Hebrews 10:36

I. SOMETHING IN THE PAST. "Having done the will of God." The writer did not hereby mean that his readers had done all the will of God; he simply recognized the fact that they had complied with the will of God in Christ Jesus as far as that will had been made known in distinct words and could be complied with in distinct acts. Jesus had been proclaimed to them as the Christ; they had accepted him as such fully and practically; they had welcomed him as the Fulfiller of the Law and the prophets. They had received his Holy Spirit. They had renounced all faith in Judaism as necessary to acceptable service of God. Their position might be expressed thus: "We have done the will of God as far as it has been made known to us; if there be anything more for us to do on earth let us know, and we will do it." Now, the question for us is - Have we got as far as these people? They were standing on the fact that what they knew of God's will they had done. Have we done what we know of God's will? Or, to go further back still - Have we knowledge of what it is that God wills us to do? We all have to wait, but what is our standing-place as we wait? That will make all the difference. Have we done the whole of what can be done any day? "Wow is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation." The five wise virgins trimmed their lamps and filled their oil-vessels, and then they could wait with composure and confidence. Long as Christ's coming seems to the truly faithful, it will come all too soon for some.

II. SOMETHING IS THE PRESENT. The spirit of patient waiting. It must have been very hard to wait among persecutors and unjust spoliators. The second coming of the Master seemed the only effectual way of deliverance. But this second coming was a thing to be waited for, until it came in the fullness of time. God has to think of all individuals and all generations. God has to make all things work together for good to every man. We have to wait for others, as others have had to wait for us. The principle is laid down at the end of Hebrews 11. Meanwhile waiting is not altogether waiting. Something is given by the way. Even as Jesus had ineffable joys and satisfactions in the days of his flesh, there are like experiences for us. Patience is only truly patience when it is combined with hope, and true hops built on faith must be a gladness to the heart.

III. SOMETHING IN THE FUTURE. Something perfectly definite and certain; We know not how long we may have to wait, but at the end of the waiting there is something worth waiting for. Long did Israel wait in Egyptian bondage, but liberty came at last. Long did Israel wander in a comparatively little tract of land, but the settled life of Canaan came at last. Many generations lived and died with nothing save gracious prophecies to solace them, but the Christ came at last. And so Christ will come again without sin unto salvation. - Y.

Ye have need of patience.
Amongst the many ominous characteristics of our age, there is hardly one which stands out so glaringly and alarmingly as the growing want of quietly enduring patience. In various forms this spirit penetrates the Christian world, and tends to bring into it a certain feverishness, haste, and restlessness.

I. How PATIENCE IS TO BE HELD FAST. Patience is composed of confidence, hope, and belief in future perfect redemption; it prevents our becoming faint-hearted (Romans 8:25). Two other ingredients of patience are obedience and humility, which keep the spirit calm and submissive.

1. If we cast away confidence and the joyful hope of a better future, all capacity for patience is gone. Thence the answer of the text to the question, "How can we hold fast patience?" is, by resisting the temptation to cast away confidence and joyousness. This is particularly great at the present day.(1) In private life, where vice is gaining the upper hand, many impure passions are fostered, so that the capacity for earnest labour and quiet endurance is lost. If everything does not go quite smoothly; if health and fortune are squandered; if this sad seed begins to ripen into a sad harvest, then weariness of life. lays hold on the guilt-laden soul, which finds itself more and more firmly clasped in the temptation to cast away all confidence, and with it often life itself. Resist the temptation. Life is, and always will be, a great blessing; and so long as Christ and forgiveness of sins is preached, there is no cause for despair.(2) In the spiritual life and work of the time, pessimism is, to many, the fashionable philosophy of the day, i.e., the casting away our confidence in a better future. As if those promises no longer stood firm.(3) In social life: you all know how many, at the present time, have cast away confidence in a satisfactory development of our social conditions, and devise plans of annihilation; how their number increases in many lands, so that here and there a throne is trembling. What are they? What but an embodiment of that hopelessness which refuses to know anything of the blessing and support of our Christian faith in the guidance of the world by God in Christ.(4) Even in Christians there is no lack of temptation to cast away confidence; here, heavy, manifold, and long-continued sufferings, or the sudden loss of apparently indispensable props; there, the too slow march of the kingdom of God, so that zeal outruns all discretion, and here and there turns to new and questionable methods of a more rapid line of procedure for the spreading abroad of the kingdom.

2. But how, then, are confidence and joyfulness to be held fast in spite of all temptations to the contrary? If confidence is steadfastly to endure, look not unto men and unto the circumstances that lead into temptation, but cast thyself wholly upon God. The more thou growest in the knowledge of Him, the more strength wilt thou receive to persevere in cheerful confidence and patience. Then, too, look upon Christ. He is the visible form of the patience of God, the Lamb of God, who bore without a murmur so much contradiction. Is it a time to cast away confidence, now in the midst of the rapid extension of Christ's kingdom at home and abroad? And in order that it may become easier for us to hold fast our confidence, the text adds another weighty reason and stimulus: "which hath great recompense of reward."


1. Without it we cannot do the will of God. It is the will of the God of patience that we should be patient as His children (2 Corinthians 6:4). Let us do the will of God patiently upon earth, by patient continuance in well doing seeking for eternal life (Romans 2:7). Have we patience not only with ourselves, and the slow progress of our work, but with others also? (1 Thessalonians 5:14; Ephesians 2:14). But specially by patience in suffering must we learn to do the will of God. Learn not to shrink from little troubles, but to bear them quietly, so that, in time, thou mayest be able to endure great ones (Romans 12:12; Hebrews 12:1). All virtue is, as it were, shorn of half its glory, if it be not crowned with patience (ver. 38).

2. Patience is also indispensable for the receiving of the promise. He alone that doeth the will of God and endureth in faith and patience, can receive the whole rich contents of the Divine promises of grace for this life and for the life to come. Hence the exhortation (chap. 6:12). It is impossible for Him who loses patience, and with it hope, to have a part in the future fulfilment of hope.

(T. Christlieb, D. D.)

One who had never thought of it before might be amazed at discovering how often the word " patience " occurs in the Bible; with the force almost of a revelation might the fact break upon his mind. Patience! It seems to be referred to on every page of God's written Word; it is the inner habit of His people. This word is found through the Bible, everywhere, excepting in one section, where notably it is absent, as I shall presently show; nor is it the voice of this life only, for behind the veil, in that place where the souls under the altar cry to God, the tone is still the same (Revelation 6:10). And as this human voice calls evermore for grace to bear whatever is God's will, so, at last, there comes also the full reward (Revelation 3:10). There is something altogether memorable in this; and think how it comes home to every soul! Let us collect some of these sayings, to give fulness to our meditations — James 5:7, 8; Hebrews 12:1, 2; James 1:3, 4; 1 Thessalonians 1:3; 2 Thessalonians 1:4; Hebrews 6:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:14; Psalm 41:1; Revelation 2:2; Revelation 14:12, 13. What, then, is this, whereof such marvellous things are spoken? Take heed to distinguish it from all similes, all faint reflections of itself. There is a patience which is mere enduring, mere mute, uncomplaining submission. But in religion, patience is far more than that. It is "the endurance of any evil, out of the love of God, as the will of God." That is the full meaning of the word; that is the mark of His children; it is this which calms the storms in the soul, which refines, which makes men like Christ, and ensures to them the crown hereafter. But now, since this is a Christian virtue, involving conquest over self, and leading those who practise it, step by step, in the path which the Lord's saints have trodden, shall we think of it as too high for the ordinary daily life? We are always making that mistake about religion. We separate it from our common experiences; we do not apply it to little things. Be sure of this: that you cannot rise to what you ought to be in great things, unless you practise in small matters. It is eminently so, in the case of this virtue of patience. You have it not, because you do not strive after it day by day and hour by hour. You have it, and are collected and calm: it is because you have disciplined yourself in things so little that an ordinary mind would give them no second thought. But that is the way to prove our sincerity: the only way to gain and grow. From little daily matters, from petty trials, by the endurance of what you feel ashamed that you think of seriously, are you to grow to the likeness of the saints, to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ. Patience is the endurance of any evil. How small are most evils! How rarely come the great ones! No hour in the day without its foolish little trial; but everything turns on how you bear yourself there; so only shall you be fitted to stand without flinching when the mighty battles must be fought. What, then, is the field on which you are to be taught the sublime lesson of the Master? Find it in your own house; in your own heart; where you meet with others; when you are alone with your restless thoughts. But you will ask: How shall I learn that Divine art? We answer, patience is a special gift of grace. So much is intimated by the apostle: "the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God." What is the characteristic sign? To bear all things, not with animal courage, not with iron resolve, not with that mere pagan fortitude which is a natural virtue only, and which the world applauds, but out of the love of God. Try to feel this in a simple, practical way. Even in little trials, that love of God is proving you; it is as truly an act of religion to check yourself in angry words, to give a gentle answer when some one torments you in waywardness or malice, as to go to the church, and approach the Table of the Lord: try to act lovingly and patiently towards others, because you know that God loves them also. But you may ask whether this be possible to bear, to endure in silence, without complaint? Does not the vexed soul demand relief? Is there not a cry in the heart which must make itself heard? We know the danger of repression; it brings on outbreaks and explosions; it betides mischief, sudden and terrible, if there be no safety valve, no escape for surplus force. It is so with men; just as much so with God's patient servants as with machinery or mobs. What is in the troubled heart must make an utterance for itself. Patience is not inconsistent with complaint. Cry to the Almighty, yet not as murmuring against His dispensations, nor as rebelling against His will, nor as angrily criticising His providences, but cry to Him because He is our Father, because He knows all, because, when things seem perplexing to us, it is a comfort to know that to Him all is clear. I said before that this word "patience" is woven into the whole texture of the Sacred Books, except in one section. It is scarcely to be found in the four Gospels. Why should this be? Perhaps, because he needs no exhortation to patience who studies the life of Christ. For Christ was patience itself; in Him patience had her perfect work; of all examples of the virtue none ever came up to that. But another reason may be imagined: who needed to be patient while Christ was in the world? His presence was the fulness of joy, and at His right hand was pleasure for evermore. Not while He was with them in the flesh did they need homily or counsel to be patient, who, in having Christ Himself, had all. And so He said (Matthew 9:15). And so it was; after He departed, began the watch for His return; and as that return was delayed, patience became the sign of the faithful. It has ever been so; it shall be so till the end. Nor is it among the living only; it is thus also with the dead, wheresoever they are sleeping, in the dust of the earth, or under desert sands, or beneath the blue water, their bones expect the resurrection; it is even thus behind the veil, where the souls of the departed call on God the Lord to hasten His kingdom. Think it no hardship, then, to wait and watch, but rather think of the joy that is set before you in the Second Advent of the Lord. To those whom that great vision holds firm with a controlling power each day is counted gain, because it brings them nearer to the triumph of the Redeemer in whom they trust.

(Morgan Dix, D. D.)

Certainly this is the most difficult lesson of life, patience; for we have many of us imperious desires, hasty wills, and petulant ambitions. We too often seek speedy harvests, and expect swift recompense for our strenuous toil. The age we live in feeds the fallacy that harvests must be immediate. Results rule. Men haste to be rich. Such precipitation, however, is dangerous. We are to "run with patience." We have need of patience; it is a spiritual exercise of great preciousness not to be lightly esteemed, in the Divine outworking of the Christian life.

I. PATIENCE IS NEEDED FROM THE NATURE OF OUR WORK. The will of God rules all. Let us beware, therefore, of the hasty work of impetuous desire. Patience is something sublime, august, working itself out through hindrances to our aims. Patience! for the veil will one day be torn down, and the beautiful statue appear. Patience! for what testimony to the power of truth so potent as that it sustained men in their hours of grief and gloom?

II. PATIENCE IS NEEDED FROM OUR OWN PERSONAL CONSTITUTIONS. These constitutions differ. But for the most part we find our active powers in royal ascendency. We can do, we can dare; but we have little power to wait and to endure. When the waterfloods rise to our waist and to our throat, and almost overwhelm us, our patience fails. Thus we need Divine chastening in relation to our weakest point. We need patience day by day, not only that our natures should work, but that they should work to beautiful ends, and in humble and submissive ways. I have stood by the white water-wash when the mill sent forth two boiling streams, with fleecy foam and rushing roar; and at another time I saw one cascade, at another none. What silence then! To work the mill is not enough. The stones must be patiently adjusted, with corn there to be ground, or there is noise without result. So remember that work is not enough; it must have in it patience as well as strength. We have need of patience under disappointment: we forget that to be set right in God's way is best. A child learning music dislikes the discipline that keeps to " the scales." To play pleasant tunes is so much easier and brighter; but that would only end in inefficiency and imperfection. Even philosophy has glimpsed the truth that the way of success is a way of non-haste: as the Spanish proverb has it, "The world is his who waits." But what in life can compare with life itself? The great soul within us, that is all in all. For that to be redeemed and saved, for that to be made meet for the inheritance of the" saints in light," who would not endure?

III. PATIENCE IS NEEDED BECAUSE OF THE RELATIONSHIP WE SUSTAIN TO OTHERS. Life is full of varieties. Nature is. And so is human history. We are not all alike. Our opinions differ. Friendship has to learn how to live, not in the absence of differences, but in spite of them. It is a sorry thing if people must see eye to eye before they come heart to heart. We all have faults which must grieve others, but human forbearance is the very life of love. Without it we become petulant, prejudiced, and proud. How patient we ought to be with our children! And in Church life how needful it is that we be patient with each other in all diversities of taste and judgment.

IV. PATIENCE IS NEEDED BECAUSE OF THE DELAY OF HARVEST TIME. It seems so long! Whatever field we walk in, we are tempted, like the children in Longfellow's tale, to dig up our plants after a few days to see if they are taking root. We are discontented if we do not see the result of our labours. We forget the patience of God. And perhaps no really good work in this world was ever done without patience. Things hastily done are generally ill done. The great painters, what toilers they were! The great speakers, what elaborate skill they used! What evils have been wrought in the Church of God by endeavours after a speedy harvest! What sensationalisms have had to be endured; what strained excitements have ended in sad relapse! We need in all real work to wait for the harvest. But then the real lasts and lives. There is principle in it; there is permanence in it; there is health in it. The forced plant soon droops and dies.

V. PATIENCE IS NEEDED BECAUSE THE HARVEST IS IN HEAVEN. The harvest is to be eternal life. Our light afflictions are but for a moment. The revelation of immortal rest is the only one that will satisfy the heart, or, indeed, the intellect. We cannot understand the meaning of our sorrows unless we look to the great reward.

(W. M. Statham, M. A.)

I. THE NATURE OF CHRISTIAN PATIENCE. Patience is not an insensibleness of present evils or an indifference for future good: "No affliction for the present is joyous, but grievous." But Christian patience is a disposition that keeps us calm and composed in our frame, and steady in the practice of our duty, under the sense of our afflictions or in the delay of our hopes.

1. Patience secures the possession of our souls in every circumstance that tends to discompose our minds.

2. Patience will prevent hasty and rash conclusions, either from present troubles or from the suspension of desired good.

3. Patience will fortify against any unlawful methods for accomplishing our deliverance or desires.

4. Patience disposes a man to go on in the way of his duty, whatever discouragement may arise from the pressure of his troubles or the deferring of his hopes.


1. A Christian has need of patience to persist in doing the will of God, even in his ordinary course.

2. A Christian hath need of patience to persist in bearing the will of God, and in doing his duty under it, when his course is peculiarly embittered. For instance, to bear the shock of sudden and unexpected trials, which are apt to overset a man at once and to produce hasty thoughts and unadvised words, both of God and man (Psalm 31:22; Psalm 116:11). To suppress a tumult, and keep the mind in frame upon such an occasion, is a very great attainment. To bear succession of exercises, one after another, is still more. To have God's waves and billows to pass over us, and yet keep our heads above water, neither thinking Him unkind, nor unjust, nor unfaithful, nor losing the use of reason and grace, is a noble firmness of mind (Job 1:20-22). To bear the long continuance of exercises. Many who have behaved well upon the first attack have been tired out by the length of afflictions. To bear the hand of God when He touches us in a most tender point; not only in small trials, but in great and heavy afflictions. To bear God's rod when we cannot account for His reasons or ends in it. To bear sharp afflictions when natural spirits are decayed. To bear affliction patiently when an unlawful way of deliverance seems directly to offer itself and to promise relief. It is hard in such circumstances to choose suffering rather that sinning; to be content to bear our burden still rather than be eased of it upon such terms.

3. A Christian hath need of patience to persist in waiting to the end to receive the promise, especially if he has lively views of a happy state before him, and comfortable hopes of his own title to it; if his course be greatly embittered in the meanwhile by bodily infirmities, by troubles in the world, by the removal of many of his pious friends and acquaintance to heaven before him; if his service and usefulness are to appearance much over; if he hath long thought himself going, just at harbour, but finds himself driven back again to sea: every such instance is a fresh trial to him.


1. Whatever is a trial of our patience, we should consider it as the will of God concerning us.

2. We should strengthen our faith in the discoveries of the gospel and live in the daily exercise of it.

3. We should carefully cultivate the principle of love to God.

4. Let us often represent to our minds the present advantages of patience. It is its own reward, as impatience is its own punishment.

5. We should often contemplate the great examples of patience.

6. We should be earnest in prayer to God for this grace (James 1:4, 5). For a clue —

(1)Let those who are destitute of the principle he sensible of their need, and solicitous that they may obtain it.

(2)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."Be solicitous to exert its most excellent acts. Not only that we may be preserved by it from sinking and murmuring and notorious misbehaviour, but that there may be the most complacential acquiescence in the will of God, that we may be in a frame for praise in the darkest day: "Blessed be the name of the Lord." Study to have the actings of patience easy and ready to you as there is occasion; to be able to say with Paul, "I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die for the name of the Lord Jesus" (Acts 21:13). Be careful that the exercises of it be lasting; that it be a fixed habit, and not only by starts; like Moses, who made the exercise of patience so constant a practice that we find but one instance to the contrary through his whole story.

(John Evans, D. D,)

I. THE CALL WHICH THE CHRISTIAN LIFE MAKES ON US FOR THIS GRACE OF PATIENCE. The need of patience results from two things — the presence of sufferings or the privation of blessings; patience is exercised either in the enduring of evils or in waiting for desired good. There are trials, besides those common to man, which are peculiar to Christians. There are spiritual trials within, from the corruptions of the heart, which none but those who have experienced them can understand.


1. It lightens affliction, disarms it of half its sting. Impatience greatly adds to the momentum of affliction; but the firmness which belongs to patience prepares us to bear the pain. What, indeed, is fortitude but patience?

2. Patience gives room for those moral effects which are designed in the affliction. A tranquil state of mind gives us aa advantage for receiving the benefits of our affliction; being purified, having the unholy fires of the soul quenched, the beauties and beatitudes of the Spirit imparted. But these Divine purposes are not fulfilled in a turbulent mind.

3. Affliction endured with patience redounds to the glory of God. Nothing is a more practical proof of devotedness to God than submission; nothing more recognises God as the great Governor of the world than obedience to Him, as well in what He inflicts as in what He prescribes.


1. Affliction is sent by God; His hand is there.

2. Consider the gracious and glorious design which God has in afflicting us; it is " for our profit" — for nothing less than this — "that we may be partakers of His holiness! "

3. There are some familiar comparisons, naturally suggested to a reflecting mind, which tend to support the afflicted. One is the comparing of our trials with those of many others among the people of God. What are ours to theirs? to those of David; Isaiah, supposed to have been sawn; Jeremiah, cast into a dungeon; or the martyrs of later times?

4. What are our troubles compared with our deserts?

5. What are our sufferings compared with our eternal prospects and hopes?

6. The time is hastening on when all these afflictions will be no more.

(R. Hall, M. A.)

Great things are spoken in Scripture of this grace (Romans 5:4; James 1:4, &c.). "The God of patience" is one of the Divine titles, and consolation goes with it. May it not be said that some of the worst evils of life spring out of impatience? I need not speak of its effects and workings in hearts and homes. In high places impatience may ruin a country. Impatience is, I think, one of the vices of our generation; nothing is allowed time to grow, room to develop, or opportunity to mend itself. Patience has two ingredients. The beautiful word for it in the original conveys definition in the very name. Patience is, being interpreted, "submissive waiting." It is often treated as if it were identical with resignation. But there is altogether another element, too, in patience, and that is expectation. Patience is willing to wait; patience does not for a moment think that the past or the present is all, and that now to look back or to bear is just the one possibility and the one duty. On the contrary, "Onward" is its watchword; it submits, but it also waits. Subjection is one part of patience, but expectation is the other. "Submissive waiting " is its name and its definition. More and more as life advances do we understand why patience should be made so much of in Scripture. "Behold, we count them happy which endure" — it is the word before us — "them that have patience." We can all see why the apostle should have preached patience to these Hebrew Christians, to whom the text was first addressed.

(Dean Vaughan.)

Patience is not one of those stupid experiences which have been sometimes in vogue. It is not the grace of indifference or of laziness. Neither is it a kind of dogged obstinacy under difficulties. It is the sequence of enterprise and of endeavour, and is an act of self-control. In the text the teacher points to a very common experience, namely, impatience because labour does not bring forth its results immediately. Divine providence is conducting a double system in this world, or rather a single system with two developments. Constantly these two elements in it are clashing, by reason of men's misunderstandings; but they are co-operative and harmonious in the plan of God. He is perpetually administering His government as we that are wise parents administer ours in the family. We take care of our children's bodies, of their food, of their dress, of their physical comfort. At the same time it is with reference to an ulterior manhood. And in every instance, if there is a choice in reference to truth-telling, purity, delicacy of mind, and generosity of love, we teach the child to sacrifice the lower for the sake of keeping the higher. We are in our households carrying on a duplex education, which is at its base physical and in its higher developments moral and social; and that which we are doing in the small God is doing in the large sphere. And the human race are being developed at the bottom physically and at the top spiritually. There is, however, one element which runs through both parts of this providence, viz., the time element. In general, the time legitimately required for the accomplishment of an end or the production of an effect measures the value of that effect; or, in other words, the things that you can do very quickly are usually of the least value. Physical qualities and physical objects are very near at band. A man clears up a forest, and lays down his farm, and sees from day to day what he is doing. We raise our harvests in the same way. The distance between the establishment of the cause and the reaping of the effect is very short in physical things; and we can see from hour to hour, from week to week, the results of our work. The lowest sphere is the place where we can quickest realise the fruits of our labour. As when you touch powder to fire there is an instantaneous explosion, so there is the greatest instantaneity between cause and effect the lower down you go toward base matter; and the higher you go above base matter, the wider is the interval between cause and effect. Next above the physical department of life is the intellectual. This is far higher. A man can learn to use his body in a day or two, or in a few weeks, and, in complex trades, in a few years; but a man does not learn how to make use of his intellectual faculties in that length of time. And we call it the education, the developing of our faculties, and the teaching them comprehensive philosophy — the knowledge of how to use themselves so that they shall control the natural globe. This is a slower work. If we regard the perception of the beautiful, the fine, and the harmonious as a higher development of the intellectual or as dependent on a yet higher class of faculties, we shall find that this test which I have employed is still true, viz., that no man can produce the beautiful (the beautiful in truth, I mean) half as fast as he can the lower elements. In other words, truth, in its higher and finer elements, is a product that requires more time for development than truth in its lower forms. But moral qualities stand higher than even the intellectual and artistic in their higher forms. Love (not that instinct which comes to all, but spiritual love, comprehensive, discriminating, fine), joy (not that giggling joy of the senses, but the inspiration of the spirit, joy in the Holy Ghost, that high and blessed enjoyment which comes with faith and with hope) — love, joy, peace, faith, gentleness, goodness, truthfulness — how few there are that possess these! How rare is it to see men who are fully armed with them! And where they are possessed, how long a discipline it was that produced them! It is a long trial that makes strong, impetuous, rude, harsh, cruel men gentle — sweetly gentle — voluntarily gentle. How long it takes to subdue power to humility I How long it takes to turn a man's self-esteem into a patronising magnanimity! How long it takes to transform man's native conception that he is born and built for his own using into the conception that he is born and built to use himself for others, "in honour preferring others, and pleasing others to their edification"! As you go higher, the work is more difficult. It is larger, it is finer, and the period of time between the starting and the ending is longer. The journey between a man's volition and his higher moral traits is a very long one, ordinarily speaking. Here, then, is a brief delineation of this spiritual law of growth and labour. I will make some applications of it.

1. In a new religious life all reformations which are physical in their nature should be speedy. Evils in this sphere are to be cured at once. Absolute and total discontinuance is the law for the flesh. A man who begins a Christian life must recollect that, so far as the body is concerned, the law is that there is but a very short space between cause and effect in the lower elements of it.

2. But the strictly religious elements go on. These are the elements of negation — those which involve leaving off and not doing. The moment you enter upon the sphere of the higher elements of religious experience, which is the sphere of change or development, the results cannot be immediate. The term between cause and effect will vary in duration with the peculiar advantages which different persons have; with the peculiar susceptibilities of different persons; with the intensity of inspiration which is brought to bear upon them, and under which they are called to act; yet growth in grace is, in the nature of things, a gradual growth. Every single step upward implies and requires the harmonisation of all the elements below in a man's nature and in his surroundings, and that often is comprehensive and very difficult. Not only is all growth in grace gradual which implies development of the higher nature, but you must make up your mind that you will oftentimes set in operation courses which will finally fulfil themselves and disclose beneficial effects. You will set them in operation; and then you will have to wait a great while before you come to the result. And you are not to be discouraged because in labouring for spiritual qualities you do not find them as soon as you could wish. A man cannot say to his temper what he can say to his body. A shrew, being converted, can hold her hand so as not to beat the child, and a little later she can control her tongue, so as not to scold the servant, perhaps; and by and by she can manage her temper, but that takes much longer; and at last she develops a spontaneous emotion of kindness where before there was temper, and that takes longer yet. But still there is a regular progress all the way up; and although there seems to be but little progress made, many persons actually cover a sphere so much wider, and there is so much contained in the little which they do that they really, in the sight of God, are lifted far higher than they are in their own sight, because they are always looking to see physical results — results that the eye can measure, or that the outward senses can recognise, instead of the hidden elements of moral excellence. We have need of patience, after we have done the will of God, before we reach the results. God is dealing with men by difficulties, by tasks, by bereavements, by sorrows, by trials, to prove the higher part of their nature. Give me, now, a bit of wax, and see how soon I will take it in my hand and mould it into any form that I want. Give me a bit of alabaster, and I cannot work that as I can the wax, because it is harder. Give me a bit of marble, and that must be cut more slowly. But give me a diamond, rough and rude, and tell me to cut the faces on that by which it shall reflect all the rays of light and show its hidden powers of beauty, and it is a long task. Yet though it is a long task to cut a diamond, when it is once cut it is worth all the labour that it has cost. Wax is quickly done, but it is of very little use after it is done. A diamond, on the other hand, is long in doing, but once done it lasts for ever. We are not, therefore, to suppose that God is angry with us because we have blow upon blow, and grinding upon grinding, and stroke upon stroke, day after day. He deals with us as with sons. How little we know about this! How little we know what is being done to us! There is a great part of God's providence that must always be mysterious to us — for that is the term by which we speak of ignorance. In labouring for others, therefore, we ought to bear in mind this principle, that perpetually we are to carry along together both the physical and the moral development of the world, and that he who lays out his work so as to see the result as he goes along must of necessity be a low worker, he that sees at the end of the day all that he has done during the day has done very little. He that is a true worker is always throwing effects over beyond himself to which he will not come for months, or for years; it may be; and he is a true worker who, after he has done the will of God, has patience till he receives the promised reward — the legitimate effect. This comes home to parents. There are parents who say: "How much I have laboured with that child! and with what discouraging results! There are my neighbours — they have no trouble at all with their children; but my children, it seems to me, are bound to the gallows or the gaol." Now, you take a child that is knit from single threads, take a child that has no particular force, and that is reasonably well balanced, and it is not hard to bring him up, for a little effort here and there is sufficient to torn him. A man can put his hand at the spout of a watering-pot and turn the stream here or there or anywhere; but let a man turn Niagara with his hand if he can. Here is a child that has intensity in him. The child would do very well if the mother would let it alone. Let her wait. It takes a great while to unfold a nature, if it be a large nature. Have patience. Believe and understand that the lower things can be speedily done, but that the intermediate affections require a long time for their development, and that the higher moral nature requires a still longer time. Have faith in God. Work, work, and wait! Do not remit any work; but the worry — remit that.

(H. W. Beecher.)

I. THERE, IS A WAITING TIME. "Ye have need of patience."

1. The world in which we live is hostile.

2. We are in an imperfect state in body, mind, and heart; hence suffer affliction.

3. We wait for the fulfilment of the promise that Christ will come again.

II. THERE IS A LABOURING TIME. "After ye have done the will of God."

1. It is a righteous work.

2. It is a work that secures benefit for ourselves.

3. In this labour we have Divine assistance, for it is God's will we do.

III. THERE IS AS ENJOYING TIME TO COME. "Receive the promise."

1. Rest (Hebrews 4:9).

2. An inheritance (1 Peter 1:4).

3. Companionship with Christ (John 12:26; 1 John 3:2).

4. A speedy deliverance (ver. 37).Conclusion:

1. To bear patiently our present trials is our present duty.

2. Faith, which prompts us to do the will of God, secures for us, through Christ, our salvation.

(B. Knepper.)

This passage is interesting if only as an evidence of the care with which the apostles studied the spiritual conditions of the separate churches which were committed to their care. They conceived of their office, not as a temporary lectureship, but as, in modern phrase, a " cure of souls." Preaching was for them only a means to an end. That end was the salvation and sanctification of human souls. Wherever anything went wrong, there the anxious eye of the apostle rested, to warn, to encourage amendment. At Thessalonica they had forgotten present duties through their absorbing interest in the second coming of +,he Lord. At Rome the strongminded members of the Church were dealing with the scruples of their weaker brethren in a spirit of scornful indifference. At Corinth party spirit had reached an unexampled height, and an incestuous union was actually tolerated in a man who remained a member of the Church of the apostles. In Galatia baptized Christians were for having themselves circumcised as if they were merely Jews. At Colosse a theosophy, which afterwards became Gnosticism, was dethroning the Divine Redeemer in many a man's intellect. At Philippi there was the public scandal of a quarrel between two prominent ladies — Euodias and Syntyche. And so, as the apostle, probably dictating what he had to say in general terms to St. Luke, thinks of this church of converts from Judaism, and of the dangers which encompassed them, and of the shortcomings which were peculiar to them, we read the words, "Ye have need of patience."

I. PATIENCE NEEDED UNDER PERSECUTION. Why did the Hebrew Christians need patience? These Hebrew Christians needed patience, first of all, because they had been exposed and were still exposed to persecutions involving some degree of physical suffering. They had been, on some occasion respecting which no details have reached us, "spoiled of their goods." This trouble, the writer says, the Hebrew Christians had borne " cheerfully, knowing that they had in heaven a better and an enduring substance." They had suffered also, it would seem, as objects of popular ridicule. It is hard to be identified with a cause which is treated as ridiculous; and, when ridicule is accompanied by leagalised robbery, and by worse things than robbery looming in the distance, then the exercise of patience becomes exceedingly difficult. On the other hand, it seems clear that, as yet, in this particular Church no life had been taken. There had as yet been no martyr. "Ye have not yet resisted unto blood." This is interesting if only as showing that the Hebrews addressed in the Epistle cannot have been members of the Church of Jerusalem. Many years had passed in that Church since Stephen had sunk outside the city gate beneath the stones of his murderers, many since James the son of Zebedee had been slain by the sword of Herod. But the fact that there bad been no martyr is of moral as well as critical and historical interest. It shows that the persecution which called especially for the exercise of patience was a moderate persecution — moderate as persecutions went in those days; and for this reason patience may have been more difficult to practise than would have been the case had the persecution been fiercer.

II. LESSER TRIALS MAY DEMAND MORE PATIENCE THAN GREATER. Many a man will not utter a murmur when he knows that he is lying in agony between life and death, and when those around him know that each hour may be his last; but let that same man be afflicted with a malady which entails great distress, but something less than very acute suffering — which implies no danger to life, but which nevertheless makes him a confirmed invalid — which is of a character to allow those who wait on him to reflect less frequently on the seriousness of his illness than on the trouble which it entails upon themselves, and patience becomes, in average cases, very difficult. There is here felt to be no demand for a supreme effort at self-mastery — an effort which cannot or may not be necessary for long. There is here no sense of such support as is yielded by friends kneeling around a bedside — by sympathies stimulated to the very highest point of tension. It is more difficult to be patient when the irritation is great and when the situation is commonplace.

III. MENTAL PERPLEXITY DEMANDS PATIENCE. In their time of trouble their Jewish neighbours would have plied the recent converts with arguments for returning to the old synagogue which they had left. To begin with, it would have been urged that they would thus escape a great deal of trouble. The Jewish religion was an old, respectable religion, well known to the authorities of the empire, and, in ordinary circumstances, tolerated, if not very much liked. It was legally recognised, and by belonging to it a man escaped numberless annoyances which attached to membership of a body which, in the eyes of the pagan world, was a new sect, to which neither law nor society as yet had much to say that was not offensive or insulting. Why not, then, come back to the synagogue, the old religion which, besides having a recognised place in the world, was in possession of so much with which Christians had presumably parted company?

IV. SUMMARY OF THE ARGUMENT IN THE EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. The sum of the answer is that in possessing Jesus Christ our Lord Christians had everything that the religion of Israel could possibly give them and a great deal more. The angels ministered to Christians, too, as the heirs of salvation; but Christ was greater than the highest angel, to none of whom — no, not to the highest — had it ever been said, "Thou art My Son; this day have I begotten Thee." Moses was, no doubt, a ruler in the house of God, but he ruled as God's viceroy. Christ ruled in it as a Son over His own house. He ruled that which He had made and which He owned. And if the glories of Aaron's priesthood were undisputed, Christ, too, was a priest, but in a higher sense — after the order of Melchisedek. And the Jewish sacrifices — what were they but " shadows of the good things to come" — shadows of the realities which Christ brought with Him from heaven? That most solemn action of all — the entry into the earthly Holy of Holies — what was it but a figure of the entrance of our ascended Lord into the inmost sanctuary of the heavens, where His presence is of itself an intercession?

V. THE HEBREW CHRISTIANS NEEDED PATIENCE WHEN DEALING WITH EACH OTHER. They could keep at times and to a certain extent, out of the way of their pagan persecutors, out of the way of Jewish controversialists. They were thrown into intimate and constant contact with other members of the Church; and it seems more than probable that the Church of Alexandria, like the Churches of Rome and Corinth, contained in those first ages very different elements, the co-existence of which was a trial to patience. At Rome we know there was a quiet but vigorous struggle between the converts from Judaism and the converts from heathenism. At Corinth, to the indignation of the apostle, Christians even went to law with Christians in the courts of the pagan empire, or, as he puts it, "brother with brother, before the unbelievers." At Alexandria there would have been, from the nature of the case, very different degrees of Christian attainment, very different ways of dealing with questions of the day. It is impossible that the whole Church of Alexandria can have been meant by the writer's vivid description of those "dull of hearing," who needed "milk" when they ought to rejoice in "strong meat," who, considering the time that had elapsed since their conversion, ought to have been teachers, and yet needed that some one should teach them what were " the first principles of the doctrines of Christ." There must have been others to whom this description did not apply, but who may well have been tempted to irritation with those to whom it did. For them, perhaps, such sentences as the following were intended: .... Lift up the hands which hang down and the feeble knees, and make straight paths for the feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way, but let it rather be healed"; "Follow peace with all men."

VI. THE SLOW GROWTH OF CHARACTER. In no department of life is patience more necessary than in dealing with human character. The young, the slow, the undeveloped, the timid, claim it at our hands. No character that is worth anything develops all at once — develops at a single impulse. It grows gradually, first from silence and reserve to decision and explicitness, and then to full productiveness and beauty. As our Lord has said, "First the blade, then the ear, then the full corn in the ear." And yet how often is patience wanted on the part of older people when dealing with and judging of the young. We expect the work of ten years to be crowded into ten weeks. We expect the growth of character to reveal itself to some moral microscope of ours, or to the naked eye, when we will.

VII. PATIENCE DEMANDED IN THE PRESENT DAY. The great change which Jesus Christ introduced into man's estimate of conduct was the exaltation of the passive virtues. The old pagan world meant by a "virtuous" man a brave, strong, just, energetic human being, who might be, but who probably would not be, humble, submissive, self-subduing. The gospel ideal of character is described under the title of "the works of the Spirit," and it runs thus: "Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance." For the old pagan or for his modern representative virtue is mainly active, pushing, aggressive, demonstrative. Virtue is the warrior; it is the athlete; it is the ruler of men. Anyhow, it is the proud self-assertion of conscious force. It thinks cheaply of Christendom, with its ideal of patience and submission. It has a quiet contempt for the martyr, as though he were wanting in manly dignity and self-respect. Christian patience, it says, is the slave cringing beneath the lash of his master — cringing because he is weak and ignorant.

VIII. PATIENCE IS STRENGTH. If "better is he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city," then most assuredly the action of the will represented by patience is higher than the action of the will represented by physical courage; for, in the latter case, will is exerted upon something external to man; in the former it is turned in upon man himself: it is engaged in controlling the very force which animates it. It would be far easier, I apprehend, for nine men out of ten to join a storming party than to lie on a rack or to hang on a cross without repining. Yes, patience is strength, and patience is moral strength: it is wisdom. In exercising it we, the creatures of a day, make one of the nearest approaches possible for us to the life of God.

IX. PATIENCE OF GOD. Of God, St. has finely said, "Pattens quia aeternus" (Because He lives for ever, He can afford to wait).

X. PATIENCE THE LAW OF PROGRESS. IS not patience the very law of your conquests in science? Those revelations of new powers in nature which from time to time astonish the world those discoveries which make man's power over the conditions of his existence sensibly greater than they ever were before — have been prepared for, are being prepared for, by a group of moral and intellectual efforts under the presidency of patience — patience which neglects no facts, patience which is wearied by no disappointments, patience which inspires, which controls, which combines all the group of workers which obey her. And is not patience, I will not dare to say the law, but the hope of your art? Why does our architecture at its very best fall so far short of those great creations of days when our forefathers had neither our knowledge, nor our wealth, nor our marvellous resources? There may be more answers to that question than one, but one is that we have not the patience which is needed for these splendid efforts. We care more to see what we attempt in its completeness than to forego our personal satisfaction for the sake of the grandeur of our work, and our work is dwarfed and impoverished accordingly. Or what is the most necessary quality for any who would promote man's social or political welfare? Wisdom, no doubt, is necessary, and energy, and freedom from the chains of prejudice, and buoyant courage, and readiness to recognise the conditions under which success is possible; but above all these is patience.

XI. CONDITIONS OF INDIVIDUAL LIFE UNCHANGED. And as for individual life its conditions are just as they were eighteen centuries ago. Here the modern is just as the ancient world. Sin remains; death remains. When science has so revolutionised our life as not only to alleviate but to banish pain, as not only to postpone but to do away with death, then we may do away with patience. Till then patience is as necessary as it ever was. Patience is needed to enable us to meet the inevitable, and to transfigure it by joyfully accepting as a Father's will that which else must overtake us as if it were the iron will of a relentless fate. And in this, as in all other virtues, Jesus Christ our Lord is our highest model.

(Canon Liddon.)

The first and most obvious thing which occurs to our minds when we try to call up those things which will make patience needful is positive suffering and pain. Who but those who have actually felt the heavy load of severe bodily pain, protracted day by day, know the bitter and impatient thoughts and feelings which it has power to stir up in our hearts? Which of us can tell how sadly we may need patience before we come to die? But suffering, whether great or small, always tends to make us impatient; and oftentimes those little, insect cares and pains which are of daily and hourly occurrence, and which seem, perhaps, too small and insignificant to need any great exercise of patience to enable us to face them, yet suffice to spur us on to an impatience and fretfulness which are sinful and humiliating. And the very fact, to which experience testifies, that we are even more ready to grow impatient at little troubles than at great ones, because for great troubles a Christian man gathers up his endurance and seeks to receive them submissively as coming by the appointment of God, while little ones he somehow does not think of in connection with the Almighty, and meets them in his own unaided strength — I say this very fact only shows us the more strongly that a very. ordinary lot, with very ordinary trials, may yet furnish a great field for the exercise of patience — patience not the heathen virtue, not the worldly prudence, but the Christian grace. A second case in which patience will be very needful to us all is when our hopes and wishes are deferred, when we have to wait and wait, day after day, week after week, year after year, for some expected good. And how many human beings have to wait away in this fashion the best years of life! How many a human being never gets the thing which he or she has waited for till the power of enjoying it is gone! But surely patience, implanted by God's Spirit, is mightily needed in such a case; for, if it be not given, how often it proves bad for man to linger out these days of expectancy: how often to do so sours the heart, withers up the affections, jaundices the views, turns the fresh hopeful being of youth into the gloomy, solitary, despairing misanthrope of scarcely middle age! Who does not know that in this evil world things almost invariably turn out just in that way which we least wished and hoped? That day is nine times out of ten a rainy one which we especially desired should be fair; any little accident is pretty safe to happen just at the most inconvenient time; any little illness is almost certain to come when we most wished to be well. It is just on the day when you expect an important letter that something goes wrong with the mail train; it is just when the physician is wanted in a case of life and death that of course he is twenty miles away. So we pass to the more practical question, As we need patience so much, how are we to get it? Where does it come from? Now, we reply that patience is a Christian grace, the gift of God, the operation of the Holy Spirit; and it is to be obtained as all Christian graces are, by earnestly praying for it and by patiently striving after it, and by humbly submitting to all those means which the Holy Spirit makes use of to implant it in our hearts. "Tribulation worketh patience," says the Apostle Paul; and how often long-continued affliction is sanctified of God to subdue the soul into a calm submission. We will grant you, indeed, that in working patience the Holy Spirit finds very different kind of material on which His gracious operations must be wrought. It is much easier in some cases than in others to produce what looks like patience. Extremely stupid people often seem remarkably patient; but here, in truth, there is no true patience at all. You would not call a stone patient, let it bear what it might; and why? Because it feels nothing. And the nearer people approach to the insensibility of the stone the less they have of real patience. It is not patience to await composedly the decision of some question which would make another tremble with eagerness if the reason of your composure be that you do not care how the matter goes. Ah, the true patience, which God's Spirit works, and oftentimes by the slow wear of suffering years, is not the dull torpor of a clod, but the sensitive, eager, vehement resistance of a human soul against that to resist which it is by itself utterly unequal. But let us see to it that none of us should fancy that because we find it hard to exercise patience therefore we may be excused seeking to exercise it at all. If any among us feels within himself that impatience is his most easily besetting sin, then let such an one remember that here is his battle-ground; and let us be sure of it, that "the God of patience and consolation" — He who "knoweth our frame," and who has told us how sorely we "have need of patience" — will be ready by His Spirit and His grace to "strengthen us to all patience," to enable us to "possess our souls in patience," to "run with patience the race set before us," "patiently waiting for Christ" and His coming at the last. Oh! if the story be true how one who stands out in the long ages past as the purest and the best of heathens (Socrates) bore still upon his passion-scarred face the traces of storms gone by, after the discipline of years had made him the mildest and most self-subdued; if the tale be true that when one who professed to read men's hearts upon their brow said that the gentle philosopher must be the most irritable of men, that tranquil heathen stayed the derisive laughter of the standers by and the physiognomist's mistake, and exclaimed, "He is right; I was naturally so, but Philosophy has cured me" — oh! if days of self-conflict and self-control could change the swarthy and puny being, with his satyr nature of old still written upon his satyr face, into the very best and gentlest, shall it ever be said that the mighty grace of God and the constant working of a Divine Spirit will not suffice to calm the heats and storms and acerbities of nature, and to work out a loftier than the patience of the philosopher," even the serene, happy "patience of the saints"? May that patience be yours and mine!

(A. K. H. Boyd, D. D.)

Essex Remembrancer.
I. THE NATURE OF PATIENT ENDURANCE. Patience is one of the many valuable graces that enrich the Christian character. It cannot be too carefully cherished. From the pen of inspiration it appears that Christian patience is a certain hallowed, dignified, serene possession of the soul in the midst of the raging storm and of impending danger; it is the sitting of the noble and Heaven-taught spirit upon the munitions of rocks in, at least comparatively, undisturbed and silent majesty, smiling at the noise and fury of the tempest; it is the valiant bearing up under great perplexities and sorrows, even when surrounded by them on every side. Undismayed by the gloomiest prospects, this grace reigns and shines in leading its possessor to venture or suffer anything in obeying the commandments of God and in professing the faith of Jesus, making him well-pleased with whatever God appoints respecting him. Like every other good thing, it is the gift of God.


1. Where is our dwelling-place? It is on earth, which is not the place of our rest. The heavenly is the only inheritance that is undefiled either with sin or with sorrow. We are also in a strange land. What have we to look for but trials, of which all are partakers? The present is also a state of warfare. We are in an enemy's land.

2. What is our life? It is a scene of sorrow and trouble, of vanity and vexation of spirit.

3. What is our character? We are followers of God, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling; not of the world, even as Christ was not of the world.

4. What is our peculiar situation in reference to the richer and better part of our treasure and inheritance? We are children of hope. Truly it is said, "The greatest part of the saint's happiness is as yet in promise." Now, "Hope deferred maketh the heart sick"; and the object of our desire as Christians not always being within grasp or at our own command, we must with patience wait for it.

5. What is the will of God with which we have a special concern, in the observance of which we are neither to tire nor to rest until all be fulfilled in reference to ourselves? The will of God is twofold — that of His purpose as shining through all the wise and mysterious arrangements of His providence respecting His people, and that of His command as connected with the whole extent of required duty. With both of these we who are called by God's grace must unhesitatingly comply. To the former, or what may be termed His providential will, as Christians we must without murmuring bow. The mind is to be prepared for whatever may befall us. Oh, what need of patience! To the latter, or what is often called God's revealed will, we must ever have respect. Self is not only to be denied and the cross taken up, but the will of God is to be done. And this is the will of God, even our sanctification; and that not in part, but wholly. As far as in us lies we must walk in all the statutes and ordinances of the Lord blameless, however great the disrelish which may sometimes be felt for duty, however fierce the opposition we may meet with. Who, then, can doubt whether Christians have need of patience?


1. The first shall be drawn from the source of afflictions. The hand of the Lord is in all these things.

2. The second shall be taken from the promised reward.

(Essex Remembrancer.)

Observe patience in its poise and pose. It is the consummation of a thing which determines its appreciation. Nothing that is desirable looks to be such in its preliminary stages. On the contrary, whatever is exquisite in its completeness may be unsightly in its incipience. Patience alone comprehends the cases and fulfils the course. Patience sees things as they are by seeing things as they shall be; patience puts things together and makes sense of them. It is the Divine glory to see the end from the beginning; it is human wisdom to see the beginning from the end. Right triumphs in the sequel. Great truths move over the world at their own paces. Ships move when they seem only to rock, cutting their curves against the sky. Prejudices die, truth comes out by the witness of reason and the facts of history, as the kernel of grain comes out, just when the husk drops away. Any great cause seems, for a long time, to be a struggling and a sorry cause. Generations always scout what is to be the pride of coming generations. That old maxim, "Magna est veritas et prevalebit," is not correct in any sense of immediata consequence. Justice is the latest arrival, the last intelligence upon earth, but justice comes to stay. Justice once done is done for ever. Its final decision is distinct. No man is so sure to be righted as the man who is wronged; no heart is so sure to be remembered as the heart that was slighted; no character is so likely to be lauded as the character which has been scouted; no man is so certain to be remembered as he who had been forgotten, he who, for sake of others, could forego himself. These all hoard their claims, and put them out at interest, as the provident pinch themselves to invest their savings, that the present may lay up for the future. It is the sequel that determines any fact, as the denouement determines a fiction. Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof, and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. Now, look a little further, taking a wider range. The patience of faith is the self-possession of fact; the long agony of time is the long suffering of eternity. Most unbelief is petulant impatience. If there be a God, to worship is to wait; to wait is to worship; to wait upon Him is to have Him for waiting. Tread softly; speak gently amid these ranges and mazes. Look cheerfully upon these mysteries. God is busy with His own arrangements. His kingdom is coming by His own processes, in His own time and ways.

(H. S. Carpenter.)

Patience is the guardian of faith, the preserver of peace, the cherisher of love, the teacher of humility. Patience governs the flesh, strengthens the spirit, sweetens the temper, stifles anger, extinguishes envy, subdues pride; she bridles the tongue, restrains the hand, tramples upon temptations, endures persecutions, consummates martyrdom. Patience produces unity in the Church, loyalty in the State, harmony in families and societies; she comforts the poor and moderates the rich; she makes us humble in prosperity, cheerful in adversity, unmoved by calumny and reproach; she teaches us to forgive those who have injured us, and to be the first in asking forgiveness of those whom we have injured; she delights the faithful and invites the unbelieving; she adorns the woman and approves the man; she is beautiful in either sex and every age. Behold her appearance and her attire. Her countenance is calm and serene as the face of heaven unspotted by the shadow of a cloud, and no wrinkle of grief or anger is seen in her forehead. Her eyes are as the eyes of doves for meekness, and on her eyebrows sit cheerfulness and joy. Her mouth is lovely in silence; her complexion and colour that of innocence and security; while, like the virgin, the daughter of Sion, she shakes her head at the adversary, despising and laughing him to scorn. She is clothed in the robes of the martyrs, and in her hand she holds a sceptre in the form of a cross. She rides not in the whirlwind and stormy tempest of passion, but her throne is the humble and contrite heart, and her kingdom is the kingdom of peace.

(Bp. Horne.)

He who wanteth patience in this world is like a man who standeth trembling in the field without his armour, because every one can strike him and he can strike none; so the least push of pain, or loss, or disgrace, doth trouble that man more which hath not the skill to suffer than twenty trials can move him which is armed with patience, like a golden shield in his hand, to break the stroke of every cross and save the heart though the body suffer, for while the heart is whole all is well.

(H. Smith.)

There is no such thing as preaching patience into people unless the sermon is so long that they have to practise it while they hear. No man can learn patience except by going out into the hurly-burly world and taking life just as it blows. Patience is but lying to and riding out the gale.

(H. W. Beecher.)

There is no music in a "rest," that I know of, but there's the making of music in it. And people are always missing that part of the life-melody, and scrambling on without counting; not that it is easy to count, but nothing on which so much depends ever is easy. People are always talking of perseverance, and courage, and fortitude; but patience is the finest and worthiest part of fortitude, and the rarest too. I have known twenty persevering girls to one patient one; but it is only the twenty-first one who can do her work out and out and enjoy it; for patience lies at the root of all pleasures as well as of all powers.

(J. Ruskin.)

Men sometimes, in their eagerness to act, act too far — act by wrong motives; and in their impatient fussiness overlook the processes of God and the harmonious working of all things. It is a great thing very often to be patient; not to talk much about it, not to try to do much about it, but to wait and trust. And this is all, sometimes, that we can do.

(E. H. Chapin.)

Lord, perfect what Thou hast begun in me, that I may not suffer shipwreck when I am almost at the haven.


Were you prematurely rending the calyx which contains the coming rose or lily, perhaps it would refuse to blow at all, or at best you would only get a crumpled, stunted flower. God's way is better. With gushing summer He fills the bud within; with sap and strength He makes it glad at heart, till the withering cerement bursts and the ripened fragrance floats through all the air of June. The soul must be ripe within, and then it easily puts off this tabernacle.

(Jas. Hamilton, D. D.)

When Judson was labouring in Burmah, unable at the first to report conversions to the American churches, to their desponding letters he replied, "Permit us to labour on in obscurity, and in twenty years you may hear from us again."

Dr. Morison, of Chelsea, for thirty years editor of the Evangelical Magazine, was not more distinguished by abundant labours than by manifold sufferings. For nearly twenty-five years he was so afflicted with asthma as to be obliged generally to leave his bed by two or three o'clock in the morning. Four sons, full of promise, were in succession cut off; then came the death of his daughter, Mary Legge, of China, the unexpected end of a "life of beauty and brightness." The friend who broke to him this terrible news said: "I shall never forget the sublime resignation with which Dr. Morison bowed his head and held his peace." Only one child was then left, and she was brought home with mind wrecked by sunstroke in Tasmania. The last illness of this grand sufferer lasted forty-two months. Though by nature keenly sensitive to pain of every kind, no word of impatience escaped from his lips or his pen. He once said: "At this moment there is not an inch of my body that is not full of agony"; yet his voice was steady and his face unruffled as he spoke. Of his dying words his biographer, Dr. Kennedy, says: "I could only listen in reverent and grateful silence .... I felt as if I stood on the confines of heaven and was listening to one who was more in heaven than on earth. In the patience and peace and love and hope which I was witnessing there seemed to be a demonstration of the divinity of the gospel."

(J. F. B. Tinling, B. A.)

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