The Chief Sufferings of Life, And Their Remedies
- ISBN-13: 9781489522139
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
- Release Date: May 21, 2013
- Pages: 264 pages
- Dimensions: 0.60 x 9.00 x 6.00 inches
In every age men have struggled incessantly against suffering, and striven to solve the deep mystery that it presents, but, apart from the solution given by Christianity, no satisfactory explanation of it has ever been discovered. Some deny the very existence of pain, although it is folly to do so, and such a denial is due to pride, wounded by its own inability to understand and account for the suffering that presents itself on every side. Others-and they are more numerous – try to avoid suffering, and do all in their power to escape it; but they never succeed, and only add fresh burdens to those already laid upon them. Others, again, have recourse to all possible distractions, hoping thus to forget their troubles, yet, sooner or later, they are forced to acknowledge the futility of all their efforts. The key to the mystery is supplied by Christianity alone, which does not deny the existence of suffering, but reveals the purpose that it is intended to serve, so that pain, when stripped of all that might mislead or deceive us, is transformed in our sight, and we realize the sublime dignity conferred upon the sufferer, and, having come to regard sorrow as a messenger sent by God in His mercy, we welcome it and even love it. For nearly two thousand years a countless multitude have not only accepted suffering with willingness, but have sought it and prayed for it, as the reward for their labours in God's service. Those who are unfamiliar with the practice of our religion are astonished that anyone can desire to suffer, and regard this desire as a mark of fanaticism or folly. From their own point of view they are right, for only souls inspired with the folly of the Cross are capable of loving a thing that is absolutely opposed to the legitimate tendencies of our nature. How sublime is the folly of the Cross! It is the outcome not of human, but of supernatural wisdom, for God alone can give men courage to resist and triumph over their natural instincts. Suffering is in itself distasteful to man, and those who do not understand the teaching of faith inevitably think of it as an enemy to be avoided, for, as the Psalmist says, "they have set their eyes bowing down to the earth" (Ps. xvi. 11). They cannot do otherwise until their thoughts are turned away from this world to what lies beyond the grave, and then what now fills them with repugnance will appear desirable. This book was written with a view to proving the truth of this statement, and to reminding any reader who is anxious for his true welfare, that" that which is at present momentary and light of our tribulation worketh for us above measure exceedingly an eternal weight of glory" (2 Cor. iv. 17). If we really understand these words, they will be sources of light and hope to us, entirely altering our outlook upon life. We shall perceive that pain, sickness, death, and all the sorrows that fill us with horror, and cause even the bravest to quail, are really momentary in comparison with the eternity that lies before us, and this thought will enable us to face them fearlessly and without dismay, believing that the burdens which crush us to-day are, in truth, light and easy to bear. We shall soon be delivered from them, for our human life is but a breath; we are here to-day and to-morrow our place will know us no more. If we are only convinced that all our troubles will quickly pass away, they will not make us give way to sadness when they come upon us.
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