Songs in the Night: A Thanksgiving Sermon, Preached in Emmanuel Church, Baltimore, Nov; 26, 1863 (Classic Reprint) Book

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Songs in the Night: A Thanksgiving Sermon, Preached in Emmanuel Church, Baltimore, Nov; 26, 1863 (Classic Reprint) Details

Excerpt from Songs in the Night: A Thanksgiving Sermon, Preached in Emmanuel Church, Baltimore, Nov; 26, 1863
He knows but little of the moral economy under which we live, who finds no occasion for praise and thanksgiving to God, except in the day of prosperity. There is an under-current of teaching running through the whole of revelation, which carries to the mind a lesson of mingled tribulation and gratitude. While it is true that man was made for happiness, and can only legitimately rejoice in that condition; yet since his renunciation of his first and blessed estate, since he has become a child of wrath, since true happiness has been exiled from this sin-stricken planet, it only remains for him to rejoice in those experiences and prospects which shall best conduce to his restoration to forfeited joys. Now is it a regimen of adversity or prosperity which will the better secure the coveted end? Most true it is that He whose other name is Love "doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men." Therefore He appoints for us a refluent pleasure to every outgoing effort. But as we have a haughty spirit whose pride cannot be curbed except by rigid rule, passions which cannot be quelled except by overmastering them, spiritual enemies only to be conquered by fierce conflict, temptations to be resisted but by crucial discipline, so is it also appointed to the end we may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing, conquerors, and more than conquerors, Christ being our Helper, that the broad arena of soul-effort should be darkly chequered with the shadows of adversity. Give place to the testimony of Paul, "I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation." Nay witness the unveiling of judgment. Who are the justified? "These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." Open the Book of Life where you will, and you shall be taught that the discipline of sorrow is most wholesome and necessary to the soul. Its exigencies demand it. Its calling and election are insecure without it. Hence the Pauline teaching, "I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses." The great Apostle knew, as God knoweth, and as every man ought to know, that a life of prosperity and pleasure is a poor preparation for judgment, is too replete with beguilements to ensure to the soul the safety of its mighty interests. The same mouth which teaches that "the prosperity of fools shall destroy them," and which declares prophetically of the latter days, that then "prosperity shall destroy many," declares as well, voicing the confession of the accepted in Christ. "It is good for me that I have been afflicted."
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