Friday, November 18, 2011

More Flavel

If the wisdom of God do thus triumph, and glorify itself in the distresses of the saints, then why should I fear in the day of evil? [...] Why doth my heart faint at the foresight and apprehension of approaching trouble? Fear none of those things that thou shalt suffer, O my soul; if thy God will thus be with thee in the fire and water, thou canst not perish. Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, yet let me fear no evil, whilst my God is thus with me. Creatures cannot do what they please, his wisdom limits and over-rules them all, to gracious and sweet ends. If my God cast me into the furnace, to melt and try me, yet I shall not be consumed there; for he will sit by the furnace himself all the while I am in it, and curiously pry into it, observing when it hath done its work, and then will presently withdraw the fire. O my soul, bless and adore this God of wisdom! who himself will see the ordering of all thine afflictions, and not trust it in the hands of men or angels.
Though tost in greatest storms, I'll never fear,
If Christ will sit at th' helm to guide and steer:
Storms are the triumph of his skill and art;
He cannot close his eyes, nor change his heart.
Wisdom and power ride upon the waves,
And in the greatest danger helps and saves.
From dangers it by dangers doth deliver,
And wounds the devil out of his own quiver;
It countermines his plots, and so doth spoil;
And make his engines on himself recoil.
It blunts the politician's restless tool,
And makes Ahitophel the veriest fool;
It shews us how our reason us misled,
And if he had not, we had perished.
Lord, to thy wisdom I will give the reins,
And not with cares perplex and vex my brains.
~Navigation Spiritualized: or, A New Compass for Seamen, by John Flavel (Chapter 28)

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