Joy and Strength 12/14

Perplexed, but not in despair; cast down, but not destroyed.
2 Cor. iv. 8, 9.

Faint, yet pursuing.
Judges viii. 4.

I, even I, am He that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.
Isa. xliii. 25.

I DON’T think it is possible to overrate the hardness of the first close struggle with any natural passion, but indeed the easiness of aftersteps is often quite beyond one’s expectations. The free gift of grace with which God perfects our efforts may come in many ways, but I am convinced that it is the common experience of Christians that it does come. There may be some souls, whose brave and bitter lot it is to conquer comfortless. Perhaps some terrible inheritance of strong sin from the father is visited upon the son, and, only able to keep his purpose pure, he falls as fast as he struggles up, and still struggling falls again. Soft moments of peace with God and man may never come to him. He may feel himself viler than a thousand trumpery souls who could not have borne his trials for a day. For you and me is reserved no such cross and no such crown as theirs who falling still fight, and fighting fall, with their faces Zionwards, into the arms of the everlasting Father. “As one whom his mother comforteth” shall be the healing of their wounds.
Juliana Horatia Ewing.

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