EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK: THE PRECIOUS THINGS OF GOD -
by Octavius Winslow, 1859
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And thus, too, it often is with the Christ-like believer. Concealing his personal sorrows, and bearing in lonely and uncomplaining silence his own burden, he is often found, from his unselfishness and sensibility, to be more deeply afflicted and oppressed by the sorrows and burdens of others. "Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not?"
And when others have retired from our presence, their patience wearied, their sympathy exhausted, their counsel baffled, perhaps their affection chilled and their friendship changed, then Christ approaches and takes the vacant place; sits at our side, speaks peace to our troubled heart, soothes our sorrows, guides our judgment, and bids us "Fear not." Beloved reader, when has Christ appeared the nearest and most precious to your soul? Has it not been in seasons when you have the most stood in need of His guiding counsel and of His soothing love? In the region of your heart's sinfulness you have learned the value, completeness, and preciousness of His atoning work, of His finished salvation. But the tender, loving, sympathetic part of His nature, you have been brought into the experience of only in the school of sanctified trial. Oh, how precious has that trial made Him! Into what sacred intimacy and close fellowship and conscious nearness has it brought you.
When He has approached with an expression so benignant, with a look so winning, with words so soothing, with an influence so tranquillizing, and told you that He was acquainted with your sorrow, entered into your loss, felt all the keen, delicate touches of your grief; and then spoke words of comfort to your spirit, bound up your broken heart, gently drew you into a sweet, holy, cheerful submission to His will and full justification of His dealings, oh, has He not enthroned Himself upon your soul at that moment more supremely and firmly than ever? You once thought you knew Him, and you did in some degree, but now, in the depth of your hallowed sorrow, a sorrow into which the Man of sorrows and the Brother born for adversity has enshrined His whole self, you exclaim, "I have heard of you by the hearing of the ear; but now mine eye sees you."
We ask, Is not trial a precious discipline, a precious correction, a precious school, that leads you more fully into the heartfelt experience of the preciousness of the Savior? Shrink not from, nor rebel against, that which makes you more intimately acquainted with your best Friend, your dearest Brother, the tender, sympathizing, Beloved of your soul. You will know more of Jesus in one sanctified trial than in wading through a library of volumes or in listening to a lifetime of sermons.
Our heavenly Father loves to hear the voice of His children; and when that voice is still, when there is a suspension of heart-communion, and the tones are silent which were used to fall as music upon His ear, He sends a trial, and then we rise and give ourselves to prayer. Perhaps, it is a perplexity, and we go to Him for counsel; or it is a want, and we go to Him for supply; or it is a grief, and we go to Him for soothing; or it is a burden, and we look to Him for upholding; it is an infirmity, and we repair to Him for grace; it is a temptation, and we fly to Him for support; it is a sin, and we repair to Him for pardon; but, be its form what it may, it has a voice—"Rise, and call upon your God!" and to God it brings us.