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rendering all to his holy will and plea
6. If we were capable of giving ourselves up entirely to God, and of following continually the workings of his divine grace, we should not have much trouble in arriving at perfection ; but, because we are by nature weak, and prone to error, because we are in this life in bondage to sin, and we have perpetually a will in our members, striving against the grace of God in our hearts, we too often fall back; yet, even so, we should not be discouraged. Let us, with all the strength which we have, confide in our God, and he will never forsake us:
ON AFFLICTIONS, AND RESIGNATION
TO THE WILL OF GOD,
1. Those trials which come from God, are never without benefit to us, when we receive them worthily; since there is always a rich haryeșt of spiritual blessings for the afflicted religious heart. If human nature at first shrinks from sorrow, faith and Christian hope soon come to its support ; the trial then appears easy to be borne : Receive it as from God, and its bitterness is past. In his own good time he will send his consolations ; not those of the vain world, but such as shall speak comfort to your soul, strengthen your hope in Him, and confirm your submission to his decrees. Indeed, the peace which is always
found in this submission is itself a great blessing, even without any exterior alleviation of sorrow. It is a peace so much the more pure, as it is unconnected with the world.
2. You may, therefore, bring your mind to such a Christian state, as to rejoice that it pleases God to visit you for your sins, by trials and sufferings in this world, instead of permitting you, by uninterrupted prosperity, to enter upon eternity with a hardened heart, and an upawakened conscience. As sinners, how grateful should we be to our Creator, that the short pains of mortality are thus mercifully substituted for the eternal pains of hell; that the society of the damned, and the torments of devils, are exchanged for a few years of worldly sorrow, under which we have the supporting hand of God, and by which we learn to grow in grace, and in fitness for his heavenly kingdom!
3. When calamity visits you, or misfortune threatens the remainder of your days, say not to yourself, Wherefore should I endeavour to support this, when I can perceive no prospect of relief, no hope of better times ?-But how can you say this, when futurity is hidden from you ?-Do you know what unforeseen events may change the gloom around you? Dare not, therefore, to invade the Attributes of God, in saying what shall he: support the present as he has commanded you, rely on his power, and trust in his mercy ; believe in Him, and
be at peace.
4. Our blessed Lord himself tells us, that sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof: God deals out our present trials to us as it seems best to himself. What
are we, that we should dare to ask him, why is this laid on me ? St. Paul tells us, that He is the Lord ; " let him do what seemeth him good.” Whether he exalts
or abases his poor sinful creatures, whether he wounds or heals their hearts, whether he appoints them life or death, he is still the Lord, and we are in his hands as clay, under the hands of the potter, to be moulded and fashioned according to his will.
5. When God imposes a sacrifice upon us, or takes from us some beloved object, he does not leave us to endure the stroke unsustained; but if through the veil of sorrow which he spreads over us, we look up to Him, we shall, by the means of our mortal trials, reap everlasting joys. We are not to enquire of God, why he appoints us such trials, when we behold others exempt from them. Can we say how long our hitherto more fortunate fellow-creatures may continue untried with the like calamities ?-It may that God sees we have most need of them: If we are faithful in what we understand, how limited 'soever our imper