“The Gospel reveals one thing needful, the pearl of great price; and supposes, that they who possess this are provided for against all events, and have ground of unshaken hope, and a source of never-failing consolation under every change they can meet with during their pilgrimage state.
When His people are enabled to set their seal to this, not only in theory, when all things go smooth, but practically, when called upon to pass through the fire and water, then His grace is glorified in them and by them.
Then it appears, both to themselves and to others, that they have neither followed cunningly devised fables, nor amused themselves with empty notions.
Then they know in themselves, and it is evidenced to others, that God is with them in truth.
In this view a believer, when in some good measure divested from that narrow selfish disposition which cleaves so close to us by nature, will not only submit to trials, but rejoice in them, notwithstanding the feelings and reluctance of the flesh.
For if I am redeemed from misery by the blood of Jesus.
And if He is now preparing me a mansion near himself, that I may drink of the rivers of pleasure at his right hand forevermore, the question is not (at least ought not to be), ‘How may I pass through life with the least inconvenience?’
But rather, ‘How may my little span of life be made most subservient to the praise and glory of Him who loved me, and gave Himself for me?’ (Galatians 2:20)
Should we, therefore, not account it an honour and a privilege, when the Captain of our salvation assigns us a difficult post? Since He can and does (which no earthly commander can) inspire His soldiers with wisdom, courage, and strength, suitable to their situation. (2 Cor. 12:9-10)
I am acquainted with a few who have been led thus into the forefront of the battle: they suffered much; but I have never heard them say they suffered too much; for the Lord stood by them and strengthened them.
Go on, my dear madam: yet a little while Jesus will wipe away all tears from your eyes.
You will see your beloved friend again, and he and you will rejoice together forever.
April 8, 1775″