It is easy to give counsel to others, and to encourage them to be submissive in their trials. It is even easy to suggest passages of Scripture on the subject of affliction.
Now affliction has come upon you. Instead of showing calm submission which you have encouraged others to do, your mind is now disturbed and restless. It is no longer a thing you can coolly sit down and reason with. It sometimes happens, that many Christians themselves, show the same impatience and want of submission they rebuked in others. Whatever truth and power there may have been in their instructions to others, they themselves feel little power. You should by every solemn consideration, be able to show the power of those same truths you offered to others in your own case, but when trial comes to ourselves, we often fail to realize the power of those truths to console even ourselves.
It is necessary that he who is appointed to comfort the afflicted, should be experienced in affliction himself. Then he can “weep with those who weep.” Christ, too, became so pre-eminent in suffering, that he may be touched with the feelings of our infirmity, and be qualified to sympathize with us when we are tried.
It is exceedingly important, that if you have been appointed to comfort others, you should exhibit an example of patience and submission.
There are many profitable lessons to be learned by experience. We are unsuitable scholars if we have not learned by experience.
What counsel have I given where I have had no experience?