though this is not always so. But when he suffers, the true Christian understands that, though he may have deserved punishment and may be reaping the due results of his own evil deeds, yet even then the punishment comes not in God's wrath but in His boundless mercy, and that it is intended as warning, correction and chastisement, since our heavenly Father by means of these things desires to wean His children from love of the present world and to prepare them the better for the enjoyment of the glory and happiness which await them in the next. Since the true Christian knows and understands this great truth, and realizes by faith that 'to them 1 that love God all things work together for good,' he, therefore, remains patient and even happy in pain and suffering; and does not fear death, for death frees him from all this world's pain, trouble and grief, and brings him to heavenly glory and bliss. Hence, to the believer, worldly troubles and afflictions are not by any means so heavy and grievous as they are to other men. On the contrary, blessing results to him from even these things. And, although earthly suffering is not removed because a man is a Christian, but often increased through the persecution which is not at all rarely inflicted upon him by the enemies of the truth, and although he may still have to suffer just punishment in this life for any crimes which he may have committed before his conversion, yet he is delivered from the

1 Rom. viii. 28.



eternal consequences of sin and from those punishments which otherwise would fall to his lot after death, and especially from the everlasting separation from God and from all good which is the final state of the wicked. That Christ's atonement frees the true Christian from this awful ruin and perdition is clearly taught in the New Testament. For example, it is written: 'Ye 1 turned unto God from idols, to serve a living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivereth us from the wrath to come.' And again: 'God 2 commendeth his own love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, shall we be saved from the wrath of God through him.' 'There 3 is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus.' And Christ Himself speaks thus in St. John's Gospel: 'God 4 sent not the Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world should be saved through him. He that believeth on him is not judged; he that believeth not hath been judged already, because he hath not believed on the name of the only begotten Son of God;' and again: 'Verily, 5 verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth him that sent me, hath eternal life, and cometh not into judgement, but hath passed out of death into life.'

1 1 Thess. i. 9-10. 2 Rom. v. 8-9. 3 Rom. viii. 1.
4 John iii. 17-18. 5 John v. 24.