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Mornings In The College Chapel by Francis Greenwood Peabody

XXIII THE MOURNERS

Whom does Jesus call the blessed people? How strange it sounds when he answers: |Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.| Blessed, that is to say, are not only the people who, as we say, are in sorrow; but blessed are all the burdened people, the people who are having a hard time, the people who are bearing their crosses, for they are the ones who will learn the deeper comfort of the Gospel. It is the same promise which is repeated later in another place: |Come unto me all ye that are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.| This does not mean that mourning is blessed for its own sake, or that the only way to be a Christian is to be sad. It simply calls attention to this fact, that every life is sure to have some hardness, or burden, or cross in it. If you have none, it simply shows that you have not really begun to live. And Jesus says that the farther you go into {61} these deep places of experience, the more you will get out of his religion. There are some phases of life where it makes little difference whether you have any religion or not. But let the water of trouble go over your soul, and then there is just one support which keeps you from going down. Religion, that is to say, is not a thing for holidays and easy times. Its comfort is not discovered until you come to a hard place. The more it is needed, the stronger it is. How strange it is that the people who seem most conscious of their blessings and sustained by a sense of gratitude are, as a rule, people who have been called to mourn. It is not resignation only which they have found; it is light. They have been comforted through their sorrows. Their burden has been made easy and their yoke light.

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