Tuesday, October 19, 2010

light in the utter darkness...

Of the ministry of John Brazer, a parishioner said " The sick he comforted by his conversation and cheered with his attentions, while he opened to the dying such views of immortality as supported them through the valley which was darkening around them. Deeply sensible of the efficacy of prayer, he sought to bring the heart of the sufferer before the throne of the Almighty, a humble and resigned offering to his holy will."  His sermon, "The Great Salvation" continued:

"And who is the author of this salvation ? It is God, the Infinite, the Eternal One. The Majesty of heaven and earth took pity on the ignorant and erring children of men, and sent to them this means of grace and this hope of glory.

And by whom was this " great salvation" announced and perfected here on earth ? By the great and gracious Son of God, Jesus the sinless, Jesus the righteous, who lived and taught, and suffered and died, and rose from the grave and went to heaven, that he might render this great salvation efficacious to every earnest and devoted follower.

And from what does this " great salvation " rescue us? In the first place, from forlornness and utter despair under the trials, burdens, and sorrows of the present life. It does not, indeed, excuse us from the evils themselves. There would be no real salvation in this, since they are a part of that trial and discipline which are intended to lead the soul to the salvation which it needs. But it does offer solace when all other comfort fails; light in the utter darkness of all things else; sufficing help in the midst of spiritual decays; hope in despair. It enables us to bear what we cannot forego, to be resigned where we cannot choose but suffer, and to wrest, in our strugglings with the dark angel of sorrow, those priceless blessings which it is his prerogative, and his alone, to bestow."


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