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THE FIERY TRIAL.pdf

THE FIERY TRIAL.pdf

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Published by glennpease
BY DUNCAN MACGREGOR




1 Peter iv. 12, 13.
"Beloved, think it not strange concerning tlie fiery-
trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing
happened unto you : but rejoice inasmuch as ye are
partakers of Christ's sufferings, that, when his glory shall
be revealed, ye may be glad also -with exceeding joy."
BY DUNCAN MACGREGOR




1 Peter iv. 12, 13.
"Beloved, think it not strange concerning tlie fiery-
trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing
happened unto you : but rejoice inasmuch as ye are
partakers of Christ's sufferings, that, when his glory shall
be revealed, ye may be glad also -with exceeding joy."

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Published by: glennpease on Nov 04, 2013
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THE FIERY TRIALBY DUNCAN MACGREGOR 1 Petee iv. 12, 13."Beloved, think it not strange concerning tlie fiery-trial which is to try you, as though some strange thinghappened unto you : but rejoice inasmuch as ye arepartakers of Christ's sufferings, that, when his glory shallbe revealed, ye may be glad also -with exceeding joy."THERE is not a verse in the Bible, whichrepresents the Christian life as an easything. All the figures employed to de-scribe it are suggestive of hardshipand difficulty. It is a race, — and the Christianis commanded to lay aside every weight, andthe sin which most easily besets him, and to presstowards the mark for the prize. It is a warfare, — and the hardships incident to a soldier's lifeare included in it, — the toilsome march, the(180)THE FIERY TRIAL. 181night-watcli, the surprise, tlie deadly charge,the shame of defeat, the triumph of victory. Itis a voyage, for those who dej)art from the pathare said to make shipwreck ; and although bea-cons have been planted on the reefs and hght-houses on the headlands by the Lord of thecountry whither we are going — although the
 
Bible is the chart and Jesus the Pilot — yet thequicksands are so treacherous, and the Eurocly-don blasts so fierce, that millions have neverreached the shining shores. It is a pilgi'image, — saints in aU ages have confessed that theyw^ere strangers and pilgrims in the earth, — everyheaven-tending soul finds its "ProgTess" por-trayed in Bunyan's beautiful map of the journey" from this world to that which is to come," — and recognizes another self in the lone man w^holeft wife and children behind, and never haltedtiU he reached the celestial city. Here it iscalled a fiery trial {" the burning " is the literalrendering) — trial in the furnace or fining-pot — purification by fire. " For thou, O God, hasttried us as silver is tried." " I will bring thethird part through the fire, and will refine them182 THE SHEPHERD OF ISEAEL.as silver is refined, and will try them as gold istried." (Ps. Ixvi. 10 ; Zech. xiii. 9.) No cross,no crown — no thorn, no throne — no trial, notriumph. We never read of a bed on which thepilgrim is to sleep, or of a coach in which he isto ride in state to heaven. There is an insepar-able connection between the race and the prize — ^between the fight of faith and the victor'sthrone — ^between the rough voyage and the en-trance into the blissful haven — between themarch through the wilderness and the posses-sion of C anaan — between the tears of earth andthe songs of heaven."Beloved, think it not strange concerningthe fiery trial." Look at the tenderness of thewords ! This is the language of a companion intribulation. How changed is Peter since we saw
 
him last ! He was then soldier-like, frank, im-pulsive, outspoken : a true disciple, no doubt,but so rash and self-confident, that he was con-tinually starting aside. He is now calm, sub-dued, tender, watchful. The Hght of his epistlesis soft as the light of the evening sun. Thechange is due to his grievous fall and graciousTHE FTEEY TRIAL. 183recovery. A tradition, current in tlie earlyChm^cli, informs us, that as long as lie lived lienever heard the cock crow without weeping.The broken bone, when it knits and is healed, isstrongest at the point of fracture. "God can■f make use of poison to expel poison." Strangemystery — that he can take even your sin andmake it work for your soul's sanctification."He can make the deeper sin produce thedeeper penitence — he can let you down intosuch an abyss of self-loathing that you will risethe stronger from your very fall. As the tree isfertilized by its own broken branches and fallenleaves, and gTows by its own decay ;" thus byPeter's fall was his soul chastened, purified, andripened for glory. " The Lord turned andlooked upon Peter ; . . . and Peter went outand wept bitterly." That great burst of loveand sorrow is the secret of the tender affection-ateness of the words — "Beloved, think it notstrange concerning the fiery trial which is to tryyou."Let us select four elements in the fiery trial,and dwell on them for a little : the persecution of 

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