I walked a mile with Pleasure, She chatted all the way, But left me none the wiser For all she had to say. I walked a mile with Sorrow, And ne'er word said she But, oh, the things I learned from her When Sorrow walked with me!
It is no strain of metaphor to say that the love of God and the wrath of God are the same thing, described from opposite points of view. How we shall experience it depends upon the way we shall come up against it: God does not change; it is man's moral state that changes. The wrath of God is a figure of speech to denote God's unchanging opposition to sin; it is His righteous love operating to destroy evil. It is not evil that will have the last word, but good; not sorrow, but joy; not hate, but love.
It is not how much you know about life but how you live your life that counts. Those who can avoid mistakes by observing the mistakes of others are most apt to keep free from sorrow. In a world full of uncertainties, the record of what has gone before-human experience-is as sure and reliable as anything of which we know.
Did you think you could have the good without the evil? Did you think you could have the joy without the sorrow? . . . . I have been thinking much about pain. How could I help it? . . . . Sooner or later, regardless of the wit of man, we have pain to face; a reality; a final inescapable, immutable fact of life. What poor souls, if we have then no philosophy to face it with! This pain will not last; it never has lasted. I'll think about what I am going to write tomorrow-not about me, not about my body.
Alone thou goest forth, O Lord, in sacrifice to die; is this thy sorrow naught to us who pass unheeding by? Our sins, not thine, thou bearest, Lord; make us thy sorrow feel, till through our pity and our shame love answers love's appeal. This is earth's darkest hour, but thou dost light and life restore; then let all praise be given thee who livest evermore. Grant us with thee to suffer pain that, as we share this hour, thy cross may bring us to thy joy and resurrection power.
Some day, in years to come, you will be wrestling with the great temptation, or trembling under the great sorrow of your life. But the real struggle is here, now, in these quiet weeks. Now it is being decided whether, in the day of your supreme sorrow or temptation, you shall miserably fail or gloriously conquer. Character cannot be made except by a steady, long-continued process.