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Vv. II, 12. Others may look upon it as a “judgment,” in which there is no mercy-to him it is a mysterious “dis. cipline.” V. 13. God makes no mistakes. It is according to the plan of life that he has marked out for him. V. 14. After all, it is not a singular case; many fellow-sufferers are in the same furnace. V. 16, 17. Such a thought overwhelms, softens him, weans him from this world, and leads him to desire another and a better.
Ps. xciv. 12. “ Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O Lord, and teachest him out of thy law.” Deut. viii. 5.
Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the Lord thy God chasteneth thee.”
Heb. xii. 6. " Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.”
Heb. xii. 7. “If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons ; for what son is he whom the Father chasteneth not?”
Heb. xii. 8. “If ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye
not sons. Heb. xii. 11. “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous but grievous, nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruits of righteousness to them that are exercised thereby.”
Heb. xii, 16. “Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence : shall we not much rather be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live ? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure ; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.”
1 Cor. xi. 32. “But when we are judged, we are
chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.”
Heb. xii. 12. · Wherefore lift up the hands that hang down and the feeble knees.' Prov. iii. II,
'My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord ; neither be weary of his correction : for whom the Lord loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.”
All the afflicted children of God sustain the same relas tion to him. Whatever be the different forms of chastiseinent, they may avail themselves of the same promises. Whether on the rack or at the stake, or in the midst of sickness, poverty, or bereavement, their trials are alike permitted by Him who “knoweth the way that we take.” Not willingly does He afflict, but in faithfulness. Does He throw us into the furnace of affliction-perhaps “ seven times heated”? It is that we may come forth as gold." Does he “prune" us? It is that we may “bear more fruit." Does He “ empty us from vessel to vessel”? It is that we may not rest upon our lees. Does He allow calamity to come upon us as on Job ?
It is that we may glorify Him in the fires ! “ God has his martyrs still.” 3. Exhortation.
Ps. xlvi. io. “Be still, and know that I am God : I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”
Is. xlviii. 17. “I am the Lord thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go.
Mic. vi. 9. “Hear ye the rod, and who hath appointed it.” Lam. iii. 33.
- For he doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.”
Ps. XXX. 5.
Job ix. 12. “Behold, he taketh away ; who can hinder him ? who will say unto him, What doest thou ?”
Job v. 17, 18. “Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth : therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty : for he maketh sore, and bindeth up : he woundeth, and his hands make whole."
Ps. lv. 22. Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee : he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.''
Ps. xlvi. 1. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."
Ps. xxvii. 14. “Wait on the Lord : be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart : wait, I say, on the Lord.”
No doctrine is so full of consolation and so adapted to yield support in the hour of affliction as “ Himself hath done it” (Is. xxxviii. 15). The Scripture saints understood it well. Afflictions do not come out of the ground; do not come up by chance; are not the result of a blind and unmeaning fate. They are not merely the work of Satan or evil men, or any other second cause. “He woundeth, and
His hands make whole !"
“Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”'
Is. Ixvi. 13. “As one whom his mother comforteth, so
will I comfort you ; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem.”
Is. xli. 1o. “ Fear thou not ; for I am with thee : be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee ; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
Is. xliii. 2. “When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned ; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.” Is. liv. 10.
“For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed ; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.” John xiii. 7. “What I do, thou knowest not now,
but thou shalt know hereafter.” Rom. v. 3-5.
“And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also; knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience, and experience, hope : and hope maketh not ashamed ; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”
2 Cor. iv. 17. “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.
Thank God! in the hour of trouble we are not left to the mercies of a priest or Levite, but the Good Samaritan Himself is ever ready to pour in oil and wine into our bleed. ing wounds. There is Balm in Gilead. There is a Great Physician there!
Ps. cxix. 75. “I know, O Lord, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me."
Job xxxvi. 3. “And will ascribe righteousness to my Maker.”
Gen. xviii. 25. “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?"
Matt. xxvi. 39. “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.”
1 Sam. iii. 18. “It is the Lord ; let him do what seemeth him good.”
Job ii. 10. “Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil ? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.”
Ps. xxxix. 9. “I was dumb, I opened not my mouth, because thou didst it.'
Job i. 21. "The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away ; blessed be the name of the Lord.”
Acts xxi. 14. "The will of the Lord be done.”
Hab. iii. 17, 18. Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines ; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls : yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation."
Ps. lxxiii. 25, 26. " Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire besides thee. My flesh and my heart faileth ; but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever.”
“ Christ bore the cross and suffered the shame, among