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中英《荒漠甘泉》1月9日

   
   “我想现在的苦楚,若比起将来要显于我们的荣耀,就不足介意了。”(罗八章十八节)
   
     我有一个天蛾的茧儿,差不多藏了一年。它的结构非常特异。一头是一条细管,一头是一个球形的囊,很像试验室中的细颈瓶。当蛾出茧的时侯,它必须从球形囊那里爬过那条极细的管儿,然后才能脱身,飞翔在空中。它的身体这样肥大,那条管儿这样细小,人人都会希奇它怎样才能够出来呢?一定会碰见多少难处,花费多少心机与力气。据生物学家讲:它在作蛹的时侯,翅膀萎缩不发达;脱茧的时侯,必须经过这一番挣扎,身体中的体质才能流到翅脉中去,两翅才能有力飞翔空中。
   


     有一天,我恰巧看见那久囚的茧儿开始活动了。整个的早晨,我忍耐着在它旁边,看它在里面努力,奋斗,挣扎,可是还不能进前丝毫。它似乎再没有可能出来了,最后我的耐心破产了。我就想我比造物者更智慧,更慈爱,我决意要帮它一忙。我用我的小剪刀把茧上的丝剪薄了些,让它出来得稍为容易一些,这正是我得意之作!看哪!一会儿,我的蛾儿很容易地爬出来了,身体是反常的臃肿,翅膀是反常的萎缩。我守在它旁边,等它徐徐地伸展它的翅膀,显露它细巧精致的彩纹。岂知大失所望。我虚伪的温柔竟成了祸根。可怜的虫儿,非但不能扑着它带虹的翅翼,飞翔空中,呈现它完全的美丽,竟很痛苦地爬了一会就不寿而终了。啊,我的智慧和慈爱害了它!一个没有发育完全的蛾儿,被我强使流产了!我把这事想了又想。许多时侯我们看见人们在忧愁困苦,艰难中挣扎,我们觉得很是可怜;我们常愿意把神的法则变得更给他们属人的帮助。啊,眼光浅近的人啊!我们怎么知道这些唏嘘和呻吟不是他们的必需呢?目光深远的,完全的爱,为要人们得益,只得不顾怜他们目前暂时的苦楚了。我们父神的爱正是如此。因为他爱他的儿女,所以才施管教,要使他们有分于他的圣洁。有了这样荣耀的目的,他才不顾他们的眼泪。神使他的长子在苦难中得荣耀;照样,也使他的众儿女在患难中学习顺服,得以进入荣耀。
   
    For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us (Romans 8:18).
   
   I kept for nearly a year the flask-shaped cocoon of an emperor moth. It is very peculiar in its construction. A narrow opening is left in the neck of the flask, through which the perfect insect forces its way, so that a forsaken cocoon is as entire as one still tenanted, no rupture of the interlacing fibers having taken place. The great disproportion between the means of egress and the size of the imprisoned insect makes one wonder how the exit is ever accomplished at all -- and it never is without great labor and difficulty. It is supposed that the pressure to which the moth's body is subjected in passing through such a narrow opening is a provision of nature for forcing the juices into the vessels of the wings, these being less developed at the period of emerging from the chrysalis than they are in other insects.
   
   I happened to witness the first efforts of my prisoned moth to escape from its long confinement. During a whole forenoon, from time to time, I watched it patiently striving and struggling to get out. It never seemed able to get beyond a certain point, and at last my patience was exhausted. Very probably the confining fibers were drier and less elastic than if the cocoon had been left all winter on its native heather, as nature meant it to be. At all events I thought I was wiser and more compassionate than its Maker, and I resolved to give it a helping hand. With the point of my scissors I snipped the confining threads to make the exit just a very little easier, and lo! immediately, and with perfect case, out crawled my moth dragging a huge swollen body and little shrivelled wings. In vain I watched to see that marvelous process of expansion in which these silently and swiftly develop before one's eyes; and as I traced the exquisite spots and markings of divers colors which were all there in miniature, I longed to see these assume their due proportions and the creature to appear in all its perfect beauty, as it is, in truth, one of the loveliest of its kind. But I looked in vain. My false tenderness had proved its ruin. It never was anything but a stunted abortion, crawling painfully through that brief life which it should have spent flying through the air on rainbow wings.
   
   I have thought of it often, often, when watching with pitiful eyes those who were struggling with sorrow, suffering, and distress; and I would fain cut short the discipline and give deliverance. Short-sighted man! How know I that one of these pangs or groans could be spared? The far-sighted, perfect love that seeks the perfection of its object does not weakly shrink from present, transient suffering. Our Father's love is too true to be weak. Because He loves His children, He chastises them that they may be partakers of His holiness. With this glorious end in view, He spares not for their crying. Made perfect through sufferings, as the Elder Brother was, the sons of God are trained up to obedience and brought to glory through much tribulation.
(2017/01/09 发表)
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