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already pressed upon him, he was overtaken by calamities still harder to endure. The natural affections of his heart were turned into a source of torment to him. A husband, he had to close the eyes of his beloved wife; a father, he followed his children to the grave; whatever was nearest to his soul, he beheld swept away as by a whirlwind, leaving him with a bleeding heart, and a disturbed imagination.
What would this man have become without Christianity? For ever revolving the most dismal thoughts in his mind, he would have had no perception of existence but by its sufferings; he would have dragged wearily to the grave the broken chain of his hopes, cursing life, and invocating death. But the man was a Christian: Religion---the Religion of Christ-came to succour him in the tempest; it took him to its bosom, it spoke peace and consolation to his soul. Weep, it said to him, weep;I
oppose not nature; weep over thy lost happiness and present misery, as thy Lord wept with Martha and Mary, at the grave of Lazarus ; fear not to encounter those chill shudderings
which run through the veins, in the extremity of sorrow for thou canst. The Creator did not give thee a heart, that thou mightest not feel-tears, that thou shouldst not shed them; he did not adorn with virtues the dearest objects of thy affections, in order that thou mightest not feel their preciousness; nor commission Death to strike, and Sorrow to seize thee, in order that thou mightest remain insensible: weep, then, my child! but perish not. Thy lacerated feelings, thy groans of anguish, are in accordance with the will of God; He “ creates good and evil.” It is the will of God—and he is thy Father, and hath loved thee “ before the foundation of the world,” and “is able to keep that which thou hast committed unto him against that day” when “all tears shall be wiped away, and there shall be no more sorrow, nor crying;” it is the will of God—and he is thy Father, and “all things work together for good to them that love him.” He, " without whose will not a sparrow falls to the ground,” strikes not his rational creatures, who are of more value than many sparrows,” aimlessly, and at random; he has his plans and purposes, which one day thou wilt comprehend: till that day arrive, muse upon thy afflictions : seated by the grave of those thou lovedst, call to mind that adversity is the seal of God's children. Jesus forewarned his followers of their trials: “ In the world ye shall have tribulation." “ We must,” adds his Apostle, “ through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of heaven;" and again, 6. Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth ;” who himself “ also suffered for us, leaving us an example.” Thou art not my victim, nor the object of my vengeance : “a woman may forget her sucking child, yet will I not forget thee.” Thou sufferest—what then? I have compensations and promises in store for thee: knowest thou not that thy Lord began his preaching by those words-strange, indeed, to human ears, but full of profound truth? “ Blessed are ye that mourn.” Unmixed prosperity would have too strongly attached thee to the world, and deprived of thy affections Him who alone ought to possess them : rather “count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing
this, that the trying of your faith worketh pa-
Saviour! who art ever present with the afflicted, whose compassions fail not, had not “thy law been my delight, the waters had gone even over my soul !” but, comforted and supported by thee, I experience with St. Paul, that “neither tribulation, nor distress, nor peril, nor sword, shall be able to separate me from thy love." Into thy hands I resign myself with joy, wholly and unconditionally. The wisdom of man, and the help of man—the whole arm of flesh—what are these, but broken cisterns that hold no water? Thy Word it is the hopes that spring from faith in Thee-which find a
way into the heart, and refresh the fainting soul.
But man has to bear still sharper pangs than these, in the miseries of sin, and the just terror which it causes. From
my tenderest infancy, God has encompassed me and crowned me with benefits innumerable. One only way was open to me to prove my gratitude--- by obedience to his law; and my conscience authoritatively tells me that I have violated that law, and am guilty. Alas! on those days of religious solemnity, when I ought with joy to have presented the offering of a pure heart to God, in proceeding, conformably with the injunction of the Apostle, to “examine myself, and so to eat of that bread, and drink of that cup,” what did I find, upon inquiring into my past life? Matter for sorrow and remorse. I have left undone what I ought to have done, and could have done: I have disobeyed the voice of the mighty God, which speaks in my heart and in the Gospel. I have to lament the coldness of my feelings, and the barrenness of my life, which might have been rich in good