"As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten." -- REV. iii.19.
Love in Chastisement.
Sorrowing Believer! what couldst thou wish more than this? Thy furnace is severe; but look at this assurance of Him who lighted it. Love is the fuel that feeds its flames! Its every spark is love! Kindled by a Father's hand, and designed as a special pledge of a Father's love. How many of his dear children has He so rebuked and chastened; and all, all for one reason, "I love them!" The myriads in glory have passed through these furnace-fires, -- there they were chosen, -- there they were purified, sanctified, and made "vessels meet for the Master's use;" the dross and the alloy purged, that the pure metal might remain. And art thou to claim exemption from the same discipline? Art thou to think it strange concerning these same fiery trials that may be trying thee? Rather exult in them as thine adoption-privilege. Envy not those who are strangers to the refining flames, -- who are "without chastisement;" rather, surely, the severest discipline with a Father's love, than the fullest earthly cup without that Father's smile. Oh! for grace to say, when the furnace is hottest, and the rod sorest, "Even so, Father!" And what, after all, is the severest of thy chastisements in comparison with what thy sins have deserved? Dost thou murmur under a Father's correcting love? What would it have been to have stood the wrath of an unpropitiated Judge, and that, too, for ever? Surely, in the light of eternity, the heaviest pang of earth is indeed "a light affliction!"
"REMEMBER THIS WORD UNTO THY SERVANT, UPON