And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away…
There are bitter mercies and sweet mercies; some mercies God gives in wine, some in wormwood. Now, we must praise God for the bitter mercies as well as the sweet: thus Job, "The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord." Too many are prone to think nothing is a mercy that is not sweet in the going down, and leaves not a pleasant farewell on their palate, but this is the childishness of our spirits, which, as grace grows more manly and the Christian more judicious, will wear off. Who that understands himself will value a book by the gilt on the cover? Truly, none of our temporals (whether crosses or enjoyments) considered in themselves, are either a curse or a mercy. They are only as the covering to the book; it is what is writ in them that must decide whether they be a mercy or not. Is it an affliction that lies on thee? If thou canst find it comes from love, and ends in grace and holiness, it is a mercy, though it be bitter to thy taste. Is it an enjoyment? If love doth not send it and grace end it, it is a curse though sweet to thy sense. There are sweet poisons as well as bitter cordials.
( W. Gurnall..)
Parallel VersesKJV: And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.