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AFFLICTION
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[ Also see Adversity Despair Grief Humanity Loss Misery Misfortune Pain Sadness Sickness Sorrow Suffering Trials Trouble Unhappiness Wounds ]

In thy silent wishing, thy voiceless, unuttered prayer, let the desire be not cherished that afflictions may not visit thee; for well has it been said, "Such prayers never seem to have wings. I am willing to be purified through sorrow, and to accept it meekly as a blessing. I see that all the clouds are angels' faces, and their voices speak harmoniously of the everlasting chime."
      - Mrs. Lydia Maria Child

The afflictions to which we are accustomed, do not disturb us.
      - Claudian (Claudianus), In Eutropium
         (II, 149)

Afflictions sent by Providence melt the constancy of the noble-minded, but confirm the obduracy of the vile. The same furnace that hardens clay liquefies gold; and in the strong manifesta-tions of divine power Pharaoh found his punishment, but David his pardon.
      - Charles Caleb Colton

There is an elasticity in the human mind, capable of bearing much, but which will not show itself until a certain weight of affliction be put upon it; its powers may be compared to those vehicles whose springs are so contrived that they get on smoothly enough when loaded, but jolt confoundedly when they have nothing to bear.
      - Charles Caleb Colton

God sometimes washes the eyes of His children with tears in order that they may read aright His providence and His commandments.
      - Theodore Ledyard Cuyler

If aught can teach us aught, Affliction's looks,
  Making us pry into ourselves so, near,
    Teach us to know ourselves, beyond all books,
      Or all the learned schools that ever were.
      - Sir John Davies

No man ever stated his griefs as lightly as he might. For it is only the finite that has wrought and suffered; the infinite lies stretched in smiling repose.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Calamity is man's true touchstone.
      - John William Fletcher

As the most generous vine, if it is not pruned, runs out into many superfluous stems, and grows at last weak and fruitless; so dote the best man, if he be not cut short of his desires and pruned with afflictions. If it be painful to bleed, it is worse to wither. Let me be pruned, that I may grow, rather than be cut up to burn.
      - Joseph Hall

We should be more anxious that our afflictions should benefit us than that they should be speedily removed from us.
      - Robert Hall

It is the crushed grape that gives out the blood-red wine: it is the suffering soul that breathes the sweetest melodies.
      - Gail Hamilton (pseudonym of Mary Abigail Dodge)

What He tells thee in the darkness,
  Weary watcher for the day,
    Grateful lip and heart should utter
      When the shadows flee away.
      - Frances R. Havergal

Extraordinary afflictions are not always the punishment of extraordinary sins, but sometimes the trial of extraordinary graces.
      - Matthew (Mathew) Henry

Sanctified afflictions are spiritual promotions.
      - Matthew (Mathew) Henry

Those that go gold into the furnace will come out no worse.
      - Matthew (Mathew) Henry

Afflictions are the medicine of the, mind. If they are not toothsome, let it suffice that they are wholesome. It is not required in physic that it should please, but heal.
      - Bishop Joseph Henshaw

Corn is cleaned with wind, and the Soul with chastening.
      - George Herbert

The truth is, when we are under any affliction we are generally troubled with a malicious kind of melancholy: we only dwell and pore upon the sad and dark occurrences of Providence, but never take notice of the more benign and bright ones. Our way in this world is like a walk under a row of trees, checkered with light and shade; and because we cannot all along walk in the sunshine, we therefore perversely fix only upon the darker passages, and so lose all the comfort of our comforts. We are like froward children who, if you take one of their playthings from them, throw away all the rest in spite.
      - Bishop John Henry Hopkins

Tears and sorrows and losses are a part of what must be experienced in this present state of life: some for our manifest good, and ail, therefore, it is trusted, for our good concealed;--for our final and greatest good.
      - Leigh Hunt (James Henry Leigh Hunt)

The damps of autumn sink into the leaves and prepare them for the necessity of their fall; and thus insensibly are we, as years close around us, detached from our tenacity of life by the gentle pressure of recorded sorrow.
      - Walter Savage Landor

What seem to us but dim funereal tapers may be heaven's distant lamps.
      - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

With every anguish of our earthly part the spirit's sight grows clearer; this was meant when Jesus touched the blind man's lids with clay.
      - James Russell Lowell

Affliction is but the shadow of God's wing.
      - George MacDonald

It is from the remembrance of joys we have lost that the arrows of affliction are pointed.
      - Henry Mackenzie ("Man of Feeling" or "Addison of the North")

Oh, when we are journeying through the murky night and the dark woods of affliction and sorrow, it is something to find here and there a spray broken, or a leafy stem bent down with the tread of His foot and the brush of His hand as He passed; and to remember that the path He trod He has hallowed, and thus to find lingering fragrance and hidden strength in the remembrance of Him as "in all points tempted like as we are," bearing grief for us, bearing grief with us, bearing grief like us.
      - Alexander Maclaren


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