DIVINE TEACHING

In the depth of troubles we learn the sufficiency of grace. Well may they “glory in tribulations also,” who have learned in them the most profitable lessons of grace, proved in them how ample is the provision of grace, and realized in them the certainty of the triumph of grace. I know not whether all soldiers love the thought of war — some do; there are many who pant for a campaign. How often an officer of low rank has repeated the murmur, “There is no promotion; no hope of rising; no honors; no prize money, as if we had to fight. Could we rush to the cannon’s mouth, there would be some prospect before us of gaining promotion in the ranks.” Men get few medals to hang upon their breasts who never know the smell of gunpowder. The brave days, as men call them, of Nelson and Trafalgar have gone by; and we thank God for it. Still we do not expect to see such brave old veterans, the offspring of this age, as those: who are still to be found lingering in our hospitals, the relics of our old campaigns. No, brethren, we must have trials if we are to get on. Young men do not become midshipmen altogether through going to school, and climbing the mast on dry land; they must go out to sea. We must do business in great waters; we must be really on the deck in a storm, if we would see the works of the Lord and His wonders in the deep. We must have stood side by side with King David; we must have gone down into the pit to slay the lion or have lifted up the spear against the eight hundred, if we would know the saving strength of God’s right hand. Conflicts bring experience, and experience brings that growth in grace which is not to be attained by any other means.