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Possessed of a good income, guaranteeing the supply of every need, it is of little moment that God has pledged himself to provide all needful things for those who seek his kingdom first. Environed by troops of faithful friends, like so many successive lines of defence entrenched in the strong fortress of position and rank, there is less interest in the assurance that God will be the shield and buckler, the munition of rocks, the refuge from the storm for his saints. But when riches dwindle, and friends fail, and health declines, and difficulty, persecution, and trial threaten, then the soul betakes itself to the promises of God, and [mulls] them over, studying them by the hour together, until it wakes up to find mines of treasure under pages which were blank – as moorlands beneath which coal-beds lie.


It would be well for some of us if God would strip us of all those things in which we place such confidence; so that we might be compelled, perhaps for the first time in our lives, to seek in Himself all that we are now wont to seek in his gifts. Oh, blessed loss, which should teach us our true wealth! Oh, happy deprivation, which should reveal our inexhaustible resources! Oh, loving discipline, which should break the cisterns that hold the brackish rain-water, and compel us to ...

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