The touchstone of friendship!
(George Lawson, "A Practical Exposition of the Book of Proverbs" 1821)
"A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity." Proverbs 17:17
Adversity is commonly reputed the touchstone of friendship. That is the season when our hollow friends forsake us — but a real friend then acts the part of a brother, and reveals his friendship more than ever.
But a true friend is steady in his love and care. Times of prosperity and adversity, honor and dishonor, evil report and good report — make no more difference to him, than the changes of the air to a man of a healthy constitution.
But no friend but Christ deserves our unlimited confidence. In Him the text received, and still receives, its most glorious accomplishment. He remembered us in our low estate, and forgets us not in His own exaltation. Afflictions are the seasons when His kindness is most richly experienced — and our provocations do not alienate His affection from us. This is our Beloved, and this is our Friend. In Him we will trust, and to Him we will devote our hearts!