Be patient, and "good" shall not fail to be worked. (b) The second element is goodwill to God, and to His plans and purposes; consciousness of an interest in them, and admiration of their wisdom, holiness, and power. God simply assures His obedient children that their obedience shall have its reward. The wreck of mortal hopes has often enriched our immortal hopes. A thousand times I have seen the rebel creature escape from God under pretext of his insignificance, and shelter his revolt under the veil of humility. All that we mean by civilisation is due to this. Woodhouse. The manner in which they fall upon different men lies with the individual soul. He must to some extent make the aim of his teacher his own, and co-operate with him, in order to receive the full benefit of his tuition. C. Hughes, A.M.)The true Christian's blessednessC. (3) In opposition to Sabbath. I like variety. 5. (b) To be His "called" ones is to secure the co-operation of all things for our good.II. The stone complains, and asks if the operation is to be an everlasting one; but the work goes on. "Before I was afflicted I went astray; but now have I kept Thy word." And in like manner if you suffer your life to be controlled by God, there will run through it the harmony of a Divine purpose, conforming you to the image of His Son. Manifestly, to "love God."2. I do not think it always for my good to increase in treasure, but I know it is good to grow in grace. "For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth." Every particle in his body is a separate worker. The treachery of earthly friends has often driven us to closer communion with the faithful and true Friend in heaven. He is good, and so is His purpose. I can almost say I am glad this accident has happened; I can indeed!"(E. In relation to man these may exist separately. That the offer of salvation should be made to fallen man.3. Our afflictions not springing out of the dust, but coming from the hand of God, and being wisely designed by Him for some good end to us, we may comfortably assure ourselves that He will wisely dispose all events in such manner as may most effectually conduce to that end.2. This is present. Love cannot come by commands and penalties. All the countless strokes of the chisel on the block of marble contribute to form the statue which almost breathes. He has a series of purposes harmonised into one, but one all-embracing idea. Such a sacrifice as this implies the withholding of no good from those who accept Christ. Even "sin" is evil "work," and "death" is "the wages" of its ill desert.4. ALL THINGS TEND TOWARDS ONE END. Said Jerry, "Never mind!" 2. A ray of light is bent by the same angle for the Christian as the sinner; but the difference is this: the one sees God in it, the other sees himself, or nothing in it. God decreed —1. Have I satisfaction in thinking of Him? He knows how to bring out the beauty of holiness. The good of a righteousness unchallengeable to all eternity (ver. Look to Bethlehem, to Calvary, to the grave of Joseph, the Mount of Olives, and the right hand of God. We may spell a word "defeat," but God may pronounce it "victory." In the lowest levels of animated existence there are the tokens of work. How all the course of your past life, without your design, has conspired to fit you to bear the burden and fulfil the vocation of this present hour! All the provisions of grace. "We know." The fragile insect, a mere speck of animated light, pipes its feeble song in harmony with "the music of the spheres," and poises its wings of gauze for flight in consonance with the universal law and order of the great creation.2. What a proof of the ungodliness of man's nature is afforded by the fact that many are as little affected by the most certain and most important religious truths, which they profess to believe in, as if they did not believe them at all! The atheist Diagoras, disembarking at Samothracia, went to the temple, where they showed him the offerings of voyagers rescued from shipwreck. I once visited a great carpet factory. 3. The elect of God are His justified ones (ver. Expect not that all things will work together to make thee rich; it is just possible they may all work to make thee poor. I can almost say I am glad this accident has happened; I can indeed!"(E. But temporal misfortunes may be made the means far more effectually to convince them that "this is not their rest"; that this world will not do for them; to promote their submissive adoration of an all-governing, wise, though mysterious Providence, and to inspire an energy of desire and effort toward a better country.4. God's aim is the perfection of our spiritual nature. Well, this is a faithful picture of the manner in which the believing soul can turn to his good all the events of life, all the evils which overwhelm it. The great dome seemed full of harmony. )The blessedness of believersJ. It does not say that they shall work, or that they have worked; both of these are implied, but that they do work now. There is nothing that does not co-operate with our intelligence and taste. The tempest strives not with the peaceful calm — they work together. 3. If this be in perpetual action, how need we give place and time and thought to other cares? "All things work together for "ill" to them that love "not" God. If God design afflictions for our good, then if we would not oppress or frustrate His design in them, we must endeavour to profit by them; for, like all other means of piety, they do not operate of themselves to our advantage without our own concurrence.3. I can look back at the past, and wonder at all the way whereby the Lord hath led me. I do not think it always for my good to increase in treasure, but I know it is good to grow in grace. By the recorded testimony of good men. The security of the justified believer is as safe as the foundation on which it rests (vers. We take first, all Divine perfections; all the attributes and prerogatives of God's nature. All serves to erect that eternal temple where God shall be adored by all His creatures; each generation which passes lays its stone there, and the building rises.II. Let us also suppress our murmurings at the allotments of Providence. "All for good." I cannot tell what I experience when I see Christians interpreting God's dispensations in the sense which corresponds to their narrow hearts. So, in the hour of gloom, let us trust in God, for to Him the night shineth as the day; and what to us appears adverse, to Him is the guidance of our prosperity.All things for goodE. Each wheel in the subtle and complicated mechanism revolves on its separate axle, yet all are cogged in some transcendent unity, and move towards one common and sublime destination. Matter does not exist in ultimate granules, but in cohering masses. Batchelor.I. At an early stage of your course, it may be, you encountered a bitter disappointment. Why are we here to-day? If there be any true judgment to be made of men, with respect to their spiritual condition, from their circumstances of life, we ought rather to judge in favour of the afflicted and unhappy, for there are several things spoken very much to their advantage in Scripture.(R. What to them is the effect of all nature, with its beauties, its vicissitudes, its productions? A large assertion! It is not doubtful what the trees are when they are in blossom. God is no respecter of persons. Never has the mercenary spirit been more mercilessly condemned than by Jesus Christ. All things work together for His plans. The loving heart makes the diligent hand.2. To these persons all things shall work together for good.1. The vanity of this world has led us to seek more earnestly the solid realities of the world to come.3. Every noise made in the building, the slamming of the seats, the tramping of feet, all the murmur and bustle of the crowd, are caught up, softened, harmonised, blended and echoed back in music. It is limited as regards persons — "to them that love God." God cannot form the beautiful rainbow until He has unbraided a beam of white light into the sevenfold colours of the prism, which borrow from and lend to each other enhancing loveliness. The fragile insect, a mere speck of animated light, pipes its feeble song in harmony with "the music of the spheres," and poises its wings of gauze for flight in consonance with the universal law and order of the great creation.2. The charioteers of the Roman circus might with much cleverness and art, with glowing wheels, avoid each other; but God guides the fiery coursers of man's passion, yokes the storm, bits the tempest, and keeping each clear of the other from seeming evil still enduceth good, and better still; and better still in infinite progression. Since the day when Adam fell all things have had to labour. DIVINE ELECTION (vers. Ah! But beneath that magic roof every sound resolved into a symphony. The selfish man who has been all his life long absorbed in schemes of self-aggrandisement; who has trampled on the rights of others, and been careless of their feelings, is at last met by such a body of adverse opinion that he is crushed. 4. The idle man is an exception to God's rule. Moreover, the manner in which this truth is often presented revolts generous hearts. You accuse us of pride? Look at the life of Moses, and Joseph, and David. Woodside, B.D.I. The apostle lifts his hand to where the white-robed hosts are praising God for ever. I can look back at the past, and wonder at all the way whereby the Lord hath led me. Look around, above, beneath, and all things work —(1) In opposition to idleness. Now it is a mighty thing to say of any mortal that these shall absolutely work for his good. (3) Of being called by the Holy Spirit, justified by the Father, and glorified with Christ for ever. Did you ever read the maxim, "I had perished if I had not perished"? THERE IS AN ASPECT IS WHICH THIS STATEMENT IS LIMITED. 4. But because I ought to serve God without calculation, does it follow that I ought to reject, in the name of my dignity, that Providence which makes all things work together for my good? Everything contrary to holiness in the life of the believer is a frustration of the Divine purpose.3. The universe is all alive under the Divine hand.II. If afflictions have both in their own nature a tendency to promote our good, and be designed by God to this end, then we have great reason to be patient and resigned under them. There is great force in the original verb, "work together." 2. The good things in man's condition — what do they do for the enemies of God? )The Christian conception of the universeH. There is not a star which doth not travel its myriads of miles and work. Sickness is often designed for our good. On the assumption that the Creator is benevolent, we are bound to conclude that He will direct all to the happiness of them that love Him. We hear such explaining the ways of the Lord with a cold and axiomatic tone. The cutting and polishing of diamonds is done by friction. II. The thunderbolt that prostrates some sheltering tree lets heaven shine on a spot of earth where it never shone before. God's aim is the perfection of our spiritual nature. I. What million-fold animation gleams and murmurs in the summer air! And then, what an immense difference! All these things are subordinate; the higher purpose is the preservation and happiness of man. Everything contrary to holiness in the life of the believer is a frustration of the Divine purpose.3. This special graciousness to them that love Him is open to all, but a righteous ruler must limit moral benefits to moral obedience. Do you see anything that is not encouraging? The promise is not to the wise, or the strong, or the courageous, but to "them that love God." There are the temporal good things. The glorious purpose for which believers are called — "To be conformed to the image of His Son."