By James Stalker
"A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven" (John 3:27).
There is, indeed, no greater mystery in providence than the unequal proportion in which temptation is distributed among different individuals. Some are comparatively little tempted; others are thrown into a fiery furnace of it, seven times heated. There are in the world sheltered situations, in which a man may be compared to a ship in the harbor, where the waves may sometimes heave a little, but a real storm never comes; there are others, where a man may be compared to the vessel which has to sail the high seas and face the full force of the tempest.
Many of you must know well what this means. Perhaps you know it so well that you feel inclined to say to me, Preacher, you know little about it: if you had to live where we live--if you had to associate with the companions with whom we have to work and hear the kind of language to which we have to listen--you would know better the truth of what you are saying. Do not be too sure of that. Perhaps my library is as dangerous a place for me as the market-place or the workshop is for you. Solitude has its temptations as well as society.