Sunday, March 29, 2020

"Remember that thou art a Christian..."

An excellent reminder:
NOW suppose thyself in as great a sadness as ever did load thy spirit, wouldst thou not bear it cheerfully and nobly if thou wert sure that within a certain space some strange excellent fortune would relieve thee, and enrich thee so as to overflow all thy hopes and thy desires and capacities? Now, then, when a sadness lies heavy upon thee, remember that thou art a Christian designed to the inheritance of Jesus. Indeed if thou thinkest thou shalt perish, I cannot blame thee to be sad, sad till thy heartstrings crack. But if thou believest thou shalt be saved, consider how great is that joy, how unspeakable is the glory, how excellent is the recompense for all the sufferings in the world, if they were all laden upon the spirit? So that, let thy condition be what it will, here thou art but a stranger, travelling to thy country, where the glories of a kingdom are prepared for thee; it is therefore a huge folly to be much afflicted because thou hast a less convenient inn to lodge in by the way.

But these arts of looking forwards and backwards are more than enough to support the spirit of a Christian: there is no man but hath blessings enough in present possession to outweigh the evils of a great affliction.
Jeremy Taylor, The Role and Exercises of Holy Living, 1650-51.

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