ROMANS V. 3-5.

Agreeable to a desire of sister Peck, we offer a few remarks in regard to the working of tribulation, &c., in harmony with all other things, for the special good of God’s people, and the glory own great name. The inquiry is made, “How does tribulation work patience, and patience experience, and experience hope that maketh not ashamed?” In reply, suffer us to ask, What could christians know about the grace or the action of patience, if we had not trials or tribulation? Suppose that we were placed in circumstances of perpetual joy and ease, we should know something of gratification, but in that condition we could never become acquainted with patience. Nothing short of tribulation can call forth into exercise the principle and grace of patience, and it is on that account the apostle says, “Tribulation worketh patience,” and in the same connection, of one of the graces of the Spirit working in harmony with all the other graces, that “patience worketh experience.” This was illustrated in the case of poor old Job. The apostle says, “You have heard of the patience of Job, and seen the end of the Lord.” The end, or design of Lord, in Job’s tribulation, was that in the final issue, Job might have occasion to record his experience of the dealing of the Lord with him, throughout that dreadful conflict. “I have heard of thee, by the hearings of the ear; but now mine eye seeth thee.” This is the difference between theory and experience. He had heard before, but now he had actual experience. And it is so with us; our patience in tribulation stores our mind with rich experience of the divine goodness. Jeremiah also had tasted the wormwood and the gall, and had, like David, waited patiently for the Lord, and this had given him experience which strengthened his hope. My soul, said he, hath them still in remembrance, therefore, I have hope. Thus his tribulation worked patience, and patience experience, hope. But what kind of a hope would we have if we were destitute of experience? We remember our experience, and all the way the Lord our God has led us, and our hope is revived, and we say with the poet,

“His love in times past, forbids me to think He’ll leave me at last, in trouble to sink; Each sweet Ebenezer still rising to view, Confirms his good pleasure to help me quite through.” This hope being well grounded, and supported by actual experience of the loving-kindness of our covenant God, will never fail, or make us ashamed. The makers of idols shall be ashamed, and they shall all go to confusion together. But they that trust in the Lord shall be as Mount Zion. They shall not be ashamed nor confounded, world without end.

Middletown, N. Y.
September 1, 1856.

Elder Gilbert Beebe
Editorials Volume 3
Pages 370 - 372