… There are good people, who, if they do not constantly experience outward and inward comfort from God as often as they would like, think they are lost, that God has forgotten them completely, or has withdrawn Himself from them. At such times we must take care that we do not seek our own self-interest, but that we remain on the right path to salvation, whether. . in wealth or in poverty. If we seek God only for the sake of His pure goodness, and not desire more than His pleasure, reward will follow without our seeking.

God must be sought without self-interest, apart from the reward, entirely out of a pure spirit and heart. Those who fail to do so, often fall this way and that, and praise God in their works only as long as He does good to them, Ps. 49:18. But when God hides Himself, wants to try them a little, (for the faith of the children of God must be tried in various ways like gold, whether they will praise and serve Him in want, without outward comfort and pleasure and a feeling of weakness and ignorance, when the Lord thus withdraws the brightness of His wisdom, comfort, and goodness, causing them to consider themselves naked and miserable, yes, without any comfort, they become vexed, despondent, and sad and genuine earnestness and zeal fail them.

At this stage they must lift themselves up to God anew, remember all former gifts, awaken these in themselves, and be resigned to God. They are to abide immovably in God, whether He give much or little; they are to seek and crave the giver rather than the gifts, and not fall upon the gifts, works, and favours of God when they are at hand, namely, rest on them, and also veer from His love and kindness when these are not at hand; they are to surrender and offer themselves completely, ...

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