This is a very evil world. It lieth in wickedness. The Prince of evil reigns over it. No wonder the Christian longs to take the wings of a dove and flee away and be at rest. But it is well for him to bear in mind that in this very world, where the enemies of God appear to have everything their own way, there is wonderful scope given for the exhibition of love to God. In some respects heaven cannot equal it. In heaven it is not given unto love to declare itself by suffering. There are no reproaches to be borne there; no humiliations to be encountered; no injuries to be sustained. We see from the example of the Lord Jesus Christ how that even divine love itself is able to clothe itself with honor by means of suffering. Our only chance of signalizing our love to Christ by long suffering, meekness and self-renunciation, is that which we now enjoy.

We see here that they who endure temptation are they who love God. We profess to love God more than self and all its possessions. If the Lord lays upon us a tax of one per cent, he gives us to that extent an opportunity of showing our sincerity. If the tax amount to ten per cent, then the opportunity is so much greater; if to fifty per cent, then it looks as though the Lord had confidence in us. He takes us at our word. He believes in our whole-hearted love. And if the tax swallow up everything we have, and leave us utterly bankrupt of all worldly good, then let us consider that God has only taken what we long ago recognized as his; and let us call to mind that there is a precious relation between the trial endured and the crown of life. " When he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life!'

There are some whose piety is of so utterly defective a character that it is well understood beforehand that they cannot endure trial. They can only maintain their position in the church by the most tender and delicate treatment. How then will they pass in safety through the terrors of the day of the Lord? He Cometh with a rod of iron; and everything that can be broken in pieces by that rod must be broken. The bruised reed indeed he will not break; he heals it and gives it strength, and it becomes a rod in his hand. He bestows the most tender and delicate treatment; but it is by way of preparation for the trial. And after the trial, the crown of life.