Oh! be submissive, meek, and quiet!
(Winslow, "Heaven, the Consummation of the Inner Life")
What is the great end of all God's afflictive
dealings with his people? For what purpose
is the Lord's furnace in Zion, and His fire in
Jerusalem? It is to purify, and sanctify, and
'fit' the believer for "the inheritance of the
saints in light."
All your heaven blessed trials, all your sanctified
temptations, all the covenant transactions of God
with you, beloved, in the way of afflictive providences,
are designed but to 'fit' you more thoroughly for
"the inheritance of the saints in light."
All the disentwining of your affections from around
creatures and created things, all the disappointments
you meet with: the cisterns He breaks, and the
beautiful gourds He withers; yes, all the steps of
God with you, beloved, are but to detach you from
earth, and earthly things; and thus the more perfectly
to 'fit' you for "the inheritance of the saints in light."
In this point of view, who would not welcome the
severest chastisement? who would not drink willingly
the bitterest cup? who would not take joyfully the
spoiling of all that is dear and fond? who would not
be willing to have the fetter unbound, the chain
snapped, the bond severed, that gives liberty to his
struggling and ascending spirit, and brings him, in a
state of holy fitness, nearer and still nearer heaven?
Beloved, look upon all the Lord's afflictive dealings
with you as but preparatory to your approaching
emancipation from all sin, suffering, and sorrow.
Welcome your trials; they are sent by your Father.
Welcome the stroke of His rod; it is a parent smiting.
Welcome, oh! welcome, beloved, whatever detaches
you from earth, and wings your spirit heavenward.
Oh! welcome the furnace that consumes the dross and
the tin, and brings out the precious gold and silver!
Oh! be submissive, meek, and quiet, under God's
chastening and afflicting hand, and receive all his
dispensations as only tending to 'fit' you more
perfectly for "the inheritance of the saints in light."