Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Johnson: the purpose of affliction

Tuesday, December 13, 2016
    Feast of Lucy, Martyr at Syracuse, 304
    Commemoration of Samuel Johnson, Writer, Moralist, 1784
    Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,
    —2 Timothy 3:12 (ESV)
    It is by affliction chiefly that the heart of man is purified, and that the thoughts are fixed on a better state. Prosperity ... has power to intoxicate the imagination, to fix the mind upon the present scene, to produce confidence and elation, and to make him who enjoys affluence and honours forget the hand by which they were bestowed. It is seldom that we are otherwise, than by affliction, awakened to a sense of our imbecility, or taught to know how little all our acquisitions can conduce to safety or to quiet; and how justly we may ascribe to the superintendence of a higher power, those blessings which in the wantonness of success we considered as the attainments of our policy and courage.
    ... Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), The Works of Samuel Johnson, L. L. D., v. III, New York: William Durell, 1811, p. 251-252 (see the book)
    See also 2 Tim. 3:12; Luke 12:15; Rom. 8:18; 1 Cor. 1:23-29; Col. 3:1-2; Heb. 12:5-8; Jas. 5:1-5
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, grant me patience in trouble and a quiet heart, anxious only to please You.
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