The sharp arrows of affliction!
The following is from Spurgeonís sermon,
"HEART'S EASE" No. 647. Psalm 112:7.
Let us remember the frail tenure upon which we
hold our temporal mercies- how soon may evil
tidings come concerning them.
We rightly class our families first in our possessions--
We look with delight into the faces of our children; we
mark their growing abilities; we are charmed with
evidences of opening intelligence- yet they may never
live to manhood, their sun may go down before it is yet
noon. We are, perhaps, perplexed as to what we shall
do with them when they shall be old enough to be
apprenticed to a trade, or initiated into a profession-
we may never have that task to care for; long before
they reach that period of life, they may be slumbering
in their graves.
We gaze with ever fresh delight upon those beloved ones
with whom we are united in the ties of wedlock, but if we
gaze wisely, we shall clearly see mortality written upon
the fairest brow, and glistening in the most loving eye.
How soon may these partners of our hearts' best affections
be rent away from us! We must beware of making idols of
those who are nearest and dearest, for the objects of our
idolatry may soon, like the golden calf, be dashed in pieces,
and we may have to drink the waters of bitterness because
of our sin.
If we would remember that all the trees of earth are
marked with the woodman's axe, we should not be
so ready to build our nests in them.
We should love, but we should love with the love which
expects death, and which reckons upon separations.
Our dear relations are but loaned to us, and the
hour when we must return them to the lender's
hand may he even at the door.
There is no single point in which we can hope
to escape from the sharp arrows of affliction.
The fondest hope which you and I have cherished
may yet drop like the fruit of the tree before it is
ripe, smitten at the core by a secret worm.
Set not your affections upon things of earth.
Set your whole heart upon things above, for here on earth,
the rust corrupts, and the moth devours, and the thief
breaks through, but there all joys are perpetual and eternal.
What is there here after all but cloud-land?
Why do we seek to be lords of acres of mere mist?
What are earthís treasures but vapor?
Will you heap up for yourself haze and fog?
Cloud and mist will pass away, and if these are your
riches, how poverty-stricken will you be when you can carry
none of these airy riches into the land of solid wealth.
Christian, remember well the insecurity of all
earthly things, and be content to have it so.