Severe trials and Annoyances: Sow In Tears Reap In Joy

I read this yesterday:

“Dear reader, painful and sad as may be the path you now are treading, fear not; the issue will be most glorious. The seed you are sowing in tears shall yield you a golden harvest of joy. Adversity is the school of heaven. And in heaven—where no sorrow chafes, where no tears flow, where no blight withers, where no disappointment sickens, and where no change or coldness chills, wounds, and slays—the sweetest praises will be awakened by the recollection of the early and sanctified sorrows of earth. Thus the moral beauty of the redeemed soul here, and its inconceivable glory hereafter, will be found to have been deepened by those very circumstances that threatened to deface and becloud it.”

(Octavius Onslow, “Sow In Tears Reap In Joy.”

And today:

“All the servants of God ought carefully to observe this, that they may consider how patiently they ought to submit to their condition, how hard and difficult soever it may be, and ought not to reckon it a disgrace that they must endure many and severe trials, while they have before their eyes examples of such patience. It is indeed a very severe trial when they perceive that by their manifold exertions they are doing no good, and imagine that it would be a thousand times better to relinquish their post than to labor so long in vain. Such examples, therefore, they ought frequently to set before them and call to remembrance; how Isaiah, whose labors were numerous and extensive, had little success, and how Jeremiah continued for fifty years to cry aloud to the people, though the result was that they became more and more rebellious, and how no difficulties could turn them aside from their course. We, too, ought to proceed in the discharge of our duty, and patiently to endure every kind of annoyances.”

(Calvin’s Preface to his commentary on Isaiah

Palestine, you were least among the kingdoms: The Fall of Empires

English: Isaiah; illustration from a Bible car...

English: Isaiah; illustration from a Bible card published by the Providence Lithograph Company (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

John Calvin

John Calvin (Photo credit: jimforest). Okay, so you don’t like the looks of Calvin. Get a life.

A series of three rotors from an Enigma machin...

A series of three rotors from an Enigma machine, used by Germany during World War II (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Who, in our post-modern (ghost-modern) age thinks  history is about what really happened, what’s true?  Carl Trueman (aptly) in his ”Fallacious history” writes:

”One of the most pressing but invisible threats to Christian thinking at the present time is that of fallacious history. Like carbon monoxide, it can kill; you just do not notice it is happening until it is too late. Fallacious history comes in numerous forms. The most obvious and influential are those pushed by popular culture. Movies are the primary culprits here. So powerful are the aesthetics of modern cinema that the stories the movies tell can be compelling for no other reason than that they seem so real. Thus, if there is a movie in which Americans crack the Enigma code in the Second World War, then the common assumption is, well, the Americans cracked the Enigma Code. (It was actually the British who did so.)”

Just had to post this delicious historical titbit, for the delight of (Christian) history buffs, and for the perplexity, and hopeful benefit, of a few historical (post-modern) buffoons as well.

“Assuming 763 B.C. to be the year in which the prophetic ministry of Isaiah is believed by some to have commenced, we are led to observe this remarkable coincidence, that about thirteen years earlier began the Grecian or Olympic era, which opens with the First Olympiad; and about ten years later began the Roman Era, which opens with the founding of the city of Rome… Historians, to whom the name of despised Palestine was scarcely known, have traced the brilliant career of those gigantic empires by which it was overshadowed. While amidst a long list of warriors, and poets, and orators, and statesmen, who were supposed to have achieved a deathless fame, those empires hastened to decay, Isaiah and his brethren the prophets were laying the foundations of the universal dominion and glorious reign of Him who hath on his vesture, and on his thigh, a name written, King of kings, and Lord of lords, (Revelation 19:16).” (William Pringle’s, the translator, introduction to Calvin’s commentary on Isaiah).

En passant: Unitarians, see, Jesus is King of Kings and Lords and Lords. Now stop kicking against the pricks.