The adjusting of the scales
(George Mylne, "Lessons for the Christian's Daily Walk" 1859)
"In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: Surely God has appointed the one as well as the other!" Ecclesiastes 7:14
Adversity and prosperity are divinely balanced against each other with unerring divine skill. In each, respectively, the due proportions are precisely weighed, so lovingly and wisely, that none should say, "It might have been better done!" Christian, I appeal to you: Could it have been better done? Are God's ways unjust? Have they been so to you?
It is true, your path is chequered — sweet chasing bitter — and bitter chasing sweet, in quick succession. It may be, that bitter is more frequent than the sweet — that your prosperous times are few and far between. Is there no reason for it? Is God's divine balance, then, deranged? God knows the reason for your adversity — though unknown to you. He faithfully keeps the balance true between your needs — and their supply; between His chastenings — and your good. He cannot be unkind, or unequal, or unjust. Perhaps you cannot hit upon the specific sin, and say, "For this particular sin I am chastened." But say, my friend — if there is no particular sin, is there no particular lack of virtue in you? Is there no grace to strengthen — no infirmity to check?
God's ways are always just — His purposes are always wise and loving. How beautiful is His providence! How exquisite is His skill!
Grace is poised against temptation; joys are balanced against sorrows. The lights and shadows of experience thus perfected, and perfecting each other. Were all prosperity — we would be lifted up in pride. Were all adversity — we would faint under the heavy load.
God's ways are just and equal — look back and see. Had times been pleasant with you, and experience been sweet? How surely they were followed by deadness in the soul! Your joy was gone — you knew not why. Ah! but God knew it. It was the adjusting of the scales, that nothing might be out of balance. Has life gone prosperously? Sooner or later, crosses came — some disappointment, something to bring you down, something or other, counter to your will — it was the adjusting of the scales. And just so with health, and other comforts — God keeps the scales perfectly balanced.
Watch God's providence in great things, watch it in little things — the events, the thoughts, the feelings of the day. You will always find it just — the balance must be kept. Hence all your variations in the scale of comfort — and the endless shades and vicissitudes of your experience. All this is well-ordered in God's wisdom, love, and mercy!