“Every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit” (John 15:2).
“Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous but grievous:
nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of
said that when Mr. Cecil was once walking, in deep dejection of
spirit, in the Botanical Gardens at Oxford, his attention was
arrested by a fine pomegranate cut almost through the
stem. On asking the gardener the reason, he got an
answer which explained the wounds of his own bleeding
spirit. “Sir,” he
said, “this tree used to shoot so strong that
it bore nothing but leaves. I was, therefore,
obliged to cut it in this manner, and when it was almost cut
through then it began to bear plenty of
Oh, let me suffer, till I know
The good that cometh from the pain,
Like seeds beneath the wintry snow,
wake in flowers and golden grain.
Oh, let me suffer, till I find
What plants of sorrow can impart;
Some gift, some triumph of the mind,
flower, some fruitage of the heart.
The hour of anguish passes by;
But in the spirit there remains
The outgrowth of its agony,
The compensation of its pains.
In meekness, which suspects no wrong,
In patience, which endures control,
In faith, which makes the spirit strong,
In peace and purity of soul.
—Thomas C. Upham.