A selection from a letter by Isaac Backus to his mother about a sermon he preached from 1 Peter 1:6, after having recently endured some difficult trials. He wrote:
I was led to observe: (1) That manifold trials attend God’s people in this world, (2) That these are sent because we have need of them; [they are sent] to kill pride, to cure us of worldly mindedness and love to the creature, to rouse us from our sloth, and to quicken our regard to eternal things, etc. (3) That these temptations and sorrows continue but for a short season. And, (4) That in the midst of them God gives his saints springs of great joy. And blessed be the name of the Lord, I did not preach an unfelt religion. I have seldom seen affliction bear a more pleasant face than it did then.
A Memoir of the Life and Times of the Rev. Isaac Backus, A.M., by Alvah Hovey, 1858, republished by Gano Books, 1991, p. 135-36.