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Saturday, November 22, 2014


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Letters To The Elect Of God
In A Time of Trouble






This touches another sorrow you have. In your several spheres of probation, you are yearning for what you never realise. You hunger and thirst for the prevalence of a noble enlightenment among men. You love God yourselves with all your hearts and souls. You long to see others rejoice in Him and exalt Him in a sincere and intelligent way. You have a compassionate regard for the condition of mankind, and desire, with even a tearful earnestness, to see them in a blessed condition. You sigh and faint for the delights of sanctified and intellectual friendship in which the hearts of companions should open with a noble warmth to the great and noble topics that the universe presents to the mind, instead of gravitating heavily to the petty accidents of animal life. Ah, and you are afflicted with your own incapacities that blur the sight and enfeeble the hands, and drag you into abysses of gloom as dark and dreadful as Jonah's habitation in the storm tossed sea. Now, there is comfort concerning all this. It is somewhat negative in its form; but, then, it is true, and true comfort wears well, whereas false comfort fails in the long run. The comfort is that these things are unattain able in the present condition of human life upon earth, but that they are attainable and will be realised in their very perfection in the kingdom of God.

The recognition of this is a help. We reconcile ourselves hopefully to our lot, enduring the hardness of the desert by knowing that it is desert, and in the confident anticipation of the land of promise at the end of the journey. One comfort more. It is not displeasing to the Father that we thus hunger and thirst to the point even of misery, after righteousness. On the contrary, Jesus said, "Blessed are ye that hunger and thirst after righteousness; for ye shall be filled."

Finally, you are troubled and distressed by dissensions in the household of faith. Many of you have been plunged into deep grief, even unto many tears. "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial." It is nothing new. It is the modern form of a very ancient and frequent experience, resulting from the fermentation of diverse elements brought together by the knowledge of the truth. We must trust to God's wisdom in permitting of the admixture of these elements. He has done so from the beginning. Do not be too much distressed by it. The results that come of it do not alter things. They only prove and try and manifest things.

The word of the Lord standeth sure amid all the chafes and changes and corruptions of men.

The Lord Jesus, from the serene exaltation of the heavens, has for centuries beheld the confusions and commotions, and wars that have wrought havoc among men in his absence. He has beheld them without surprise. He foresaw them and foretold them. He said there would be strife and division: that iniquity would abound: that the love of many would wax cold: that the trial would be too severe for some, but that he that should endure to the end would be saved. Can we imagine that such things are permitted without a purpose? The apostolic age was rife with them: is it a marvel if we have our share?

There is but one answer on the part of enlightened reason: and that answer will help us to stand in the midst of the evil and hold fast unmoved the hope of the gospel, looking to Christ, who lives -- distrusting ourselves, who die. Our life is fleeting away: the battle will soon be over. Be strong and of good comfort. Stand fast: quit you like men. Keep close to the Word in daily reading, and the peace of God will rule in your hearts and minds and preserve you amid all chafes and tumults, unto His glorious kingdom, which will heal all sores, and chase all darkness for ever away.

Your fellow-sufferer, fellow-soldier, fellow-pilgrim, and fellow-suppliant of the mercy of God unto eternal life.

Robert Roberts.

10th January, 1885.