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was necessary to shew her the cause and the cure of the anxiety which she brought upon herself.
From what has been said upon the subject of human sorrows, let us draw the following practical conclusions. All grief and trouble, and earthly difficulties which really come from God, or which he permits others to bring upon us, must be intended for our spiritual good, if we be willing to be “exercised thereby:" for it is His own Word, that “ whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth;" and the wise author of the book of Ecclesiasticus hath shewn the blessedness and the end of spiritual discipline: “ If a man commit himself unto. wisdom, he shall inherit her, and his generation shall hold her in possession. For at the first, she will walk with him by crooked ways, and bring fear and dread upon him, and torment him with her discipline, until she may trust his soul, and try him by her laws. Then will she return the straight way unto him, and comfort him, and shew him her secrets: but if he go wrong, she will forsake him, and give him over to his own ruin.”*
All trouble, moreover, which we bring upon ourselves, (and how large a portion of human sorrow this includes may safely be left to every one's own experience to tell,) even this trouble arising from our own imprudence, or wilful sins, when those sins are repented of and forsaken, God can and always will turn to our profit: He can and does continually say to the just and necessary consequences of our own sins, as He says to the waves of the sea, “ Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further; and here shall thy proud waves be stayed.” When the sin is forsaken, and the evil of our doings ceases, God makes the trouble to cease, or deprives it of its bitterness by the consolations of religious trust and hope; a joy which the ungodly, under the pressure of their sorrows, cannot have.
* Eccles. iv. 16, 19,
Let it then be a conclusion upon the whole matter, that if trouble either now, or at any future period of our lives, come upon us, whether it be bodily or spiritual trouble, it never can be more than what we may have
proportionate strength to bear.
If it appear, or really become so, it is ourselves, not God, who make it such. God hath repeatedly promised that His aid shall always be given to every appointed trial : and He, who “ knew what was in man," who Himself was “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief," He hath told us all, that “His yoke is easy,
and His burthen light;" that the faith and obedience of His true disciples shall preserve them from the overpowering pressure of every earthly trouble. We mar our own happiness whenever we practically deny it, and neither know nor care about the great pattern of our life, as well as the Redeemer of our souls, who “entered not up into His glory before He first suffered pain.” His sufferings are the price of our redemption, and His example must be the rule of our life: for Holy Scripture every where assures us, that except we imitate His steps, we shall never be admitted as partakers of His glory. The carnal mind may deny this; but conscience, the living monitor with in, knoweth it to be true.
« THE SINGLE EYE."
ST. MATTHEW, CHAPTER 6, VERSES 22, 23.
“ The light of the body is the eye; if therefore, thine eye be
single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If, therefore, the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!"
THERE are, in Holy Scripture, many important texts, which seem to include so much, that each might almost be acted upon as containing a summary of Christian practice; and such must frequently have occurred to most of us. It is, perhaps, very much owing to the neglect of such texts as these, that the character and conduct of Christians are found so short of what sound doctrine, conscienti: ously applied, would always produce. Hence we find cause to lament how we remain, for a long portion of our few days upon earth, imperfect in knowledge, inconsistent in manner of life, unsettled in opinion, unimpressed with the truth of those awful realities which God Himself hath made known to us.
Of this kind of texts is that which is now brought before us, exceedingly comprehensive in itself, and deeply impressive in all its consequences. It is, nevertheless, a text little thought of, and seldom, it is to be feared, duly valued or understood. Its literal meaning, as an illustration, is sufficiently plain. A
single eye,” is an eye perfect in its kind; free from natural blemish, and accidental injury, so that all its uses are well and constantly applied. The acknowledged value of the blessing of sight shews how we estimate a clear and distinct vision. We see only by the eye:
“ the light of the body is the eye:” if the eye be “ single," sound and clear, the “whole body is full of light:" if it be injured, the body has no other inlet to the mind for objects of sight; and all remains in obscurity, or total darkness, according to the degree in which this invaluable member may have received hurt. ... The figurative meaning of this memorable saying of our Lord is not difficult. To the outward light of the bodily eye, is compared the inward light of the soul; those principles and motives which direct it in all its accountable actions; in all that we do, think, or say, as beings in a state of trial for eternity. If those principles and motives be evil; if the doctrine we adopt be unscriptural ; if the ob