Love's Obstructions and Victories.
St. Clare's love-experience, in Uncle Tom's Cabin, is a fair illustration of the difficulties we have to meet in attaining communication with God. St. Clare is represented as courting a lady, when all at once his letters are returned and he is cooly informed that his sweetheart is on the point of marrying another. In a fit of desperation he makes their separation a reality, by marrying a woman he does not love; and then learns, too late, that a cruel imposition had been practiced on him by the guardians of his sweetheart, and that through it all she was faithful and true. Now was this miserable mistake inevitable?—Ought not St. Clare to have assumed that the woman he loved was true, and that the interruption was owing to the interference of others—or at least to have been satisfied with nothing but a declaration from the lady's own lips? To apply this illustration: Satan is allowed to thrust himself in between us and God, and produce the impression that God does not love us or care anything about union with us. But is it inevitable that we must be imposed upon by these plausible appearances? Should we not have that generous confidence in God's integrity that will not be turned away, and will take no refusal short of a personal declaration from himself? Every truthful mind can see that this is demanded in our case.
There are two important benefits gained by our suffering such trials and conquering them. One is that the trial of our faith brings us to a more intense recognition of God's faithfulness. Struggling through these impositions, we set to our seal that God is true, more effectually than we could in any other way.—We harden our hearts against the devil and his delusions in a way that places us beyond his power. The other benefit to be derived is, that in the struggle and reaction toward God, brought on by such collisions with the malicious mischief-maker, we cut to pieces the spirit that has undertaken to deceive us, and destroy his power over God's creation. We more unmistakably recognize the truth that God desires union with us. And when Satan and his emissaries attempt to insinuate to the contrary, instead of allowing it to produce chafing and suspicion toward God, we shall let loose upon his rival the jealousy and vengeance of love. Othello, when he saw the purity and faithfulness of Desdemona, stabbed Iago.