Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.--ISA. xlviii. 10.
Be patient, suffering soul! I hear thy cry.
The trial fires may glow, but I am nigh.
I see the silver, and I will refine
Until My image shall upon it shine.
Fear not, for I am near, thy help to be;
Greater than all thy pain, My love for thee.
H. W. C.
God takes a thousand times more pains with us than the artist with his picture, by many touches of sorrow, and by many colors of circumstance, to bring man into the form which is the highest and noblest in His sight, if only we received His gifts and myrrh in the right spirit. But when the cup is put away, and these feelings are stifled or unheeded, a greater injury is done to the soul than can ever be amended. For no heart can conceive in what surpassing love God giveth us this myrrh; yet this which we ought to receive to our soul's good, we suffer to pass by us in our sleepy indifference, and nothing comes, of it. Then we come and complain: "Alas, Lord! I am so dry, and it is so dark within me!" I tell thee, dear child, open thy heart to the pain, and it will do thee more good than if thou wert full of feeling and devoutness.