Home » Mourning Literature & Custom » Afflictions Benefit The Christian by Albert Barnes.

Afflictions Benefit The Christian by Albert Barnes.

I am lucky enough to have in my personal library a book entitled ‘The Mourner’s Friend or Sighs of Sympathy For Those Who Sorrow’. It is a collection of prose and verse compiled to give comfort to the grieving. Edited by J.B. Syme, published in 1852 by S.A. Howland in Worcester, Mass, USA; its contents are predominantly by American authors. My copy of the book has some water damage, ageing paper, and precarious binding, so before it deteriorates my project to preserve the words of the authors will find its way here on the MOLAM blog. 

Afflictions Benefit The Christian

THEY produce peace, calmness, submission in the soul. They make the heart more tranquil in its confidence in God. There is no Christian who is not ultimately benefited by trials, and who is not able at some period subsequently to say, “It was good for me that I was afflicted. Before I was afflicted I went astray ; but now have I kept thy word.” When a Christian comes to die, he does not feel that he has had one trial too many, or one which he did not deserve. He can then look back and see the effect of some early trial so severe that he once thought he could hardly endure it, spreading a hallowed influence over his future years, and scattering its golden fruit all along the pathway of life. I have never known a Christian who was not benefited by afflictions ; I have seen one who was not able to say that his trials produced some happy effect on his religious character and on his real happiness in life. If this be so, then no matter how severe our trials, we should submit to them without a murmur. The more severe they are, the more we shall yet be blessed, – on earth or in heaven.

3 thoughts on “Afflictions Benefit The Christian by Albert Barnes.

    • Ha! Indeed Marilyn! How do we recognise happiness if we have experienced nothing else – so some say. Although from the 19th C, and from a Christian’s perspective, I think this author’s reasoning can be found universally throughout times. I suspect it is one (very effective) way of keeping sane in a mad and sad world!

      • It seems to me, then Christianity offers only a palliative way to deal with the real or perceived affliction. The author says “we should submit to them” (the afflictions) However, embracing this wholehearted surrender could provide the adherent a license to wallow in self-pity.

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