Every tear that falls upon the pallid face of sorrow
(Gardiner Spring, "The Mission of Sorrow")
"When Adam sinned, sin entered the entire human
race. Adam's sin brought death, so death spread
to everyone, for everyone sinned." Romans 5:12
The empire of suffering stands abreast with
the empire of sin—there never was a sufferer
who was not a sinner.
There is no suffering where there is no sin.
The reason for all the suffering in this sinful
and sinning world—is the mournful fact that
it is a sinful and sinning world.
When this planet on which we dwell came
from the hands of its Maker, it was a happy,
because it was a holy world.
The Tempter's foot had not trodden it—nor
had it been poisoned by the venom—nor
polluted by the slime of the old Serpent.
God Himself was their supreme good, and
they were happy. The heavens and the earth,
every creature, and every object and event
around them ministered to their enjoyment.
The ground was not then cursed—nor was it
smitten with barrenness. They were not thorns
and thistles which it brought forth—nor did
savage beasts roam its mountains or its plains.
There was . . .
no poisonous atmosphere,
nor burning sun,
nor stormy wind,
nor creeping pestilence,
nor bloody sword.
Men did not sicken and die upon it, nor had
it yet entered upon its sad career of mourning
Everything was lovely, because it was unblemished;
everything beautiful, tranquil, and joyous—until its
beauty was marred, its tranquility disturbed, and
its joys infected by sin.
Then all was changed.
The ground was cursed.
The air was cursed.
The streams were cursed.
The very flowers and plants of Eden were cursed.
Man himself was cursed.
The woman was cursed.
And all their descendants are born under
the curse. They . . .
inherit a fallen nature,
are 'embryo sinners', and
go astray from the womb, speaking lies.
The varied and complicated sorrows which now
attend them from the cradle to the grave—whether
they be individual, domestic, social, or public—are
God's visitation for their iniquity. From that hour
to the present—every pang that shoots through
the bosom—every tear that falls upon the pallid
face of sorrow—is a token of God's displeasure
against sin and against man the sinner.
'Sorrow' teaches the lesson of unworthiness and
ill desert—and conveys to the proud and haughty
mind—the resistless, indelible impression of
personal guilt and vileness.