|The furnace for gold; but the Lord trieth the hearts| (Prov. xvii.3.)
Remember that temptation is not sin unless it be accompanied with the consent of your will. There may seem to be even the inclination, and yet the real choice of your spirit is fixed immovably against it, and God regards it simply as a solicitation and credits you with an obedience all the more pleasing to Him, because the temptation was so strong.
We little know how evil can find access to a pure nature and seem to incorporate itself with our thoughts and feelings, while at the same time we resist and overcome it, and remain as pure as the sea-fowl that emerges from the water without a single drop remaining upon its burnished wing, or as the harp string, which may be struck by a rude or clumsy hand and gives forth a discordant sound, not from any defect of the harp, but because of the hand that touches it. But let the Master hand play upon it, and it is a chord of melody and a note of exquisite delight.
|In nothing terrified by your adversaries which is to you an evident token of salvation and that of God.|