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Published by glennpease

"In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts
delight my soul." — Psalm xciv. 19.

"In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts
delight my soul." — Psalm xciv. 19.

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Published by: glennpease on Jul 16, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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COSOLATIOS.BY T. LEWIS"In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comfortsdelight my soul." — Psalm xciv. 19.The life of man is a chequered scene. The gayand gloomy, light and shade, — or, in other words, joy and sorrow, pleasure and pain, make up ourpresent state of being. ot that these oppositeconditions are dealt out to any in exactly equalportions, — the one or the other may be found oc-casionally to predominate; but trouble and sorroware, more or less, allotted to all. Since man beganto sin, he has not ceased to sorrow; and as sin hastainted all the race, its inseparable concomitants,suffering and sadness, disease and death, are equallydiffused. Mourning, therefore — affliction — all theevils that corrode and destroy the human frame,are everywhere at work. At one time, we look and behold man in the bloom of youth: health andgladness sit upon his countenance; his sinews arefull of strength; his step is firm; and in all hisattitude there, seems a proud consciousness of asoul to resolve and a nerve to perform. We look COSOLATIOS. 123again, and what do we see? Alas! the pale hue,the sunken eye and hollow cheek plainly tell ushealth is fled! The graceful form, that late trodby in full vigour and infelt power, is now brokendown, and enfeebled, under the blow of somecalamity. The voice, that was but just now heardin the shout of exultation, or the song of mirth,now only reaches the ear in tremulous complaints,
or groans of anguish. Or perhaps we see the manlaid on the bed of sickness, the victim of a wast-ing disease, which is hurrying him to his end."Verily, every man, at his best state, is altogethervanity; — how is his beauty made to consume awayas a moth ! "And now, if we be asked whether, in this generalpicture of gloom and distress, we mean to includeall mankind, without distinction, the good as wellas the bad, the righteous as well as the wicked?we answer that, in this respect, all are alike, thegood and the bad. "o man knoweth either loveor hatred by all that is before them. All thingscome alike to all: there is one event to the righte-ous and to the wicked; to the clean, and to theunclean; to him that sacrificeth, and to him thatsacrificeth not." From sorrows, suffering, anddeath, there is no class of men privileged withexemption.But as it regards the character of afflictive dis-pensations towards the wicked and the righteous,there is an essential and most important difference124 CHRISTIA PRIVILEGES.between tliem. To the wicked, their aspect ispunitive; to the righteous, it is corrective. In theformer case, they are tokens of God's anger againstthe workers of iniquity, and warnings to others,that they may take heed to their ways, and sinnot; in the latter case, they are the chastisementsof God, in wisdom and parental love, for the spi-ritual benefit of his children. Of the wicked it issaid, "Because they regard not the works of theLord, nor the operation of his hands, he shall de-stroy them, and not build them up." But how dif-
ferent it fares with the righteous! "In a little wrathI hid my face from thee for a moment; but with ever-lasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saiththe Lord, thy Redeemer." In a word, the suffer-ings of the one class differ in character from thoseof the other, as much as the classes themselvesdiffer in their standing before God.Our purpose in the present Lecture is to treatof Christian Consolations; but consolations neces-sarily suppose a state of affliction as their object:we must, therefore, advert for a while to that state,and speak of what the Christian is called to endure.The Psalmist tells us that ^'many are the afflictionsof the righteous." It will be sufficient for us tonotice only the more prominent. In so doing, wecannot but observe that they resolve themselvesinto two kinds or classes, — those that are commonto Christians, with others of the race; and thosethat are peculiar to themselves, as the people of COSOLATIOS. 125God. The afflictions, and we may say the tempta-tions, of the former class, such as the Apostle calls"common to man," are confessedly numerous. Itcannot be otherwise; a sinful world must needsgreatly abound with sources of evils to be sharedby all. The Christian, then, as well as his un-regenerate neighbour, is liable to Painful Vicissi-tudes in Life — to Poverty — to Calumny and Re-proach — to Bereavements by the stroke of Death — and to Sickness of various forms.1. The Christian is often called to endure Paiti-ful Vicissitudes. Our present state is one of insta-bility and change. Of the condition of things inthe world, we can scarcely ever say they are

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