Thursday, December 2, 2010

Patience disposes a man to go on in the way of duty

“Patience is not an insensibleness of present evils, or an indifference for future good. Patience secures the possession of our souls in every circumstance that tends to discompose our minds. This is to possess our souls in any trial of patience; to continue in an even frame, and ward off all impressions which would ruffle our minds, or put us out of the temper befitting us as men and as Christians. Patience will prevent hasty and rash conclusions either from present troubles, or from the suspension of desired good. Patience will fortify against any unlawful methods for accomplishing our deliverance or desires. It is the work of patience to restrain from any sinful expedient which may seem to promise relief. The patient man resolves rather to bear any trouble, than go out of God's way to ease himself. Patience disposes a man to go on in the way of duty, whatever discouragements may arise from the pressure of his troubles, or the deferring of his hopes. Let us be solicitous to have this necessary principle daily strengthened, to exercise it upon every proper occasion, and that it may have its perfect work. The full work of patience is the highest perfection of a Christian on earth. And let there be a general exercise of this grace upon every occasion, in all the proper instances of it, however it may be tried; in great as well as in less trials, and in small exercises as well as in great; for sometimes impatience breaks out in men upon trivial occasions, after they have been signal for patience in great and shocking calamities, and in unusual trials, as well as in those to which we have been accustomed.'

“So, in common life, if a man boast of his patience, who never had it tried, he is as raw an ignoramus as he who boasts of his prowess in war, who yet never saw a field of battle. Experience is the best, and, indeed, the only school for patience. For this sentiment we have the highest authority: Paul writes expressly, 'Tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience.'“

from - A Treatise on Temper—its Use and Abuse

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