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Thoughts in Affliction,
REV. A. S. THELWALL, À I
OF TRINITY COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE.
In the day of adversity consider.-Eccl. vii. 14.
The Lord's voice crieth unto the city, and the man
Afflictions do not come alone,
By both He to His saints is known,
PUBLISHED BY R. B. SEELEY & W. BURNSIDE,
AND SOLD BY L. B. SEELEY AND SONS,
FLEET STREET, LONDON.
"ALTHOUGH affliction cometh not forth of the dust, neither doth trouble spring out of the ground; Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward." This truth is not only declared in the volume of Inspiration, but is so plainly proved by the experience of mankind, that even those who have lived in ignorance of the Bible have abundantly confessed it. The lamentations of those, who find this world a vale of tears, resound on every side.
And not only are visitations of sorrow the general portion of mankind,--the inheritance of all the sons of Adam;-but the Christian is expressly warned that he must "through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God." Trials, temptations, and sufferings are therefore a special portion of the inheritance of the Saints on earth. Hence every one who seeks for salvation, when counting the cost, must reckon on meeting with many afflictions; and some of a deep and a peculiar nature.
There are seasons then, in the life of every
child of man, in which the title of this little book may be expected to commend it to his perusal. And assuredly every Believer will expect, sooner or later, and of longer or shorter duration, such dispensations from his God and Father, that "THOUGHTS IN AFFLICTION" will appear peculiarly suited to his case.
How sweet then to think that, amid all the darkness and sorrows of this evil world, a voice is heard from heaven, saying, "Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God!" And that this gracious command is addressed to the Ministers of Christ,-who was Himself " a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief," and was anointed "to preach good tidings to the meek-to bind up the broken-hearted,—and to comfort all that mourn." That these are called to point out the true, the only sources of effectual and eternal consolation, to those who are bowed down beneath the burthen of that misery which sin has brought into this ruined world!
And now, my dear Reader, it is in the discharge of that delightful part of my office, as a Minister of the Gospel, that I present this
little book to thee. If thou art now in any sorrow, or shalt be hereafter, accept it, as coming from a sympathizing friend. I have been in various depths of trial and affliction, both before and since I tasted that the Lord is gracious; and out of my own experience, I have written unto thee some few things, which the Lord hath taught me, to my own soul's comfort: and which also, I have reason to know, have been made effectual to the consolation of others.
And whosoever thou art, that from any motive art induced to look into these pages, let me most solemnly and affectionately assure thee, that in the Gospel of Christ alone, the fountains of real and effectual consolation, are opened to mankind. I speak from my own experience: for I have tried in times past, whatever the wisdom of man could devise; and I found but " broken cisterns that can hold no water:" I found but emptiness and vanity. The experience of others leads to the same result. But "the glorious Gospel of the blessed God" can so engage all the powers and faculties of the mind, all the feelings and af