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When you are in doubt, and in trouble, and do not see how you are to be happy again, and you feel as if there was a darkness in your mind and thoughts,—then you are in a spiritual night. And if you
then remember that the Lord governs all things, will this comfort you? Not unless you wish that He should govern all things; not unless you are glad to have Him govern all things. But if this is the case, then, as soon as you remember clearly, that the Lord does actually govern all things, you feel comforted, because then your faith in the Lord “ rules the night;" then there is a light in your faith which comes from your affections, and it scatters the darkness of your mind, as a bright moon, when it rises, overcomes the night.
I will try to explain this in another way. Suppose something has happened to trouble you; perhaps you find yourself forbidden or prevented from doing something you had set your mind upon doing. Now, suppose somebody comes and tells you that
your father (I mean your father on the earth,) had ordered it so, and that you was thus pre
vented because he had given such directions. Do you not see that this would comfort you if you really wished that all your father's directions should be obeyed, because you believed he knew what was best for you and wished only to make you happy? And do you not also see, that if you did not think that your father knew what was best for you, you
did not think that he wished you to be happy, and therefore did not desire that his directions might prevail,—that it would then be no comfort to you to know or remember that the things which disappointed you were ordered by him? That is, the knowledge that your father has ordered the things which trouble you, will comfort you if you desire that he should order them, and will not comfort you if you do not desire it.
Let me try to make this plainer, by yet another instance. You have been told that all things which happen to you in the world, are ordered to make you better. Now, let sickness fall upon you, or some other heavy trouble. You remember that all things are ordered to make you better, and that this very sorrow is permitted to befall you
this very purpose. But suppose you do not want to grow better; will it comfort you, under the pain of sickness, to know that you may be the better in heart and soul for the pain? Not at all. Indeed, if you do not desire to grow better, you will not believe sickness can make you better; you will not think, or care, or believe any thing about growing better. But if you heartily desire and wish above all things, to grow better and better in your affections and life, every day, and get rid of your faults and follies,--then, as soon as you remember that this sickness is permitted to help you in the thing you desire, you will feel more patient, and this truth will seem clear and bright to you, and the pains of sickness will irritate you less, and you will find ease and quiet in the midst of them. And this is what I mean, when I say that your faith will “ rule the night.
I have tried in many ways to make you understand this truth, because it is of very great impor
I can hardly tell you how much. In the tenth lesson, I spoke of the correspondence of light without heat, and then said something about
the same thing, as in this lesson. But I have now said these other things, to make it, if I could, yet plainer; because it is impossible you should know it too well.
You see how much pains are taken to teach you many things. A school has been provided, and books, and your teachers labor constantly, and your parents see that all things are taken care of, so that your attendance on school may be easy and uninterrupted. You can judge from this, how desirable it is, that you should learn what we thus try to teach you. And yet, it can be of no use to you to learn all these things, and all other things, if you do not learn them with the will and purpose, that all your knowledge may make you better.
It is good to learn. We encourage you to study. We are glad when you are attentive and make the progress we expect. But all this is for the sake of something better than this. For whatever you learn or know, though it were all that can be learnt upon earth, and more than any man ever knew, will do you no true good, and make you no happier, if you do not also increase your desire to be useful,