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Affliction is suffering, perceived by some as a test or lesson from a higher power.


  • AFFLICTION, n. An acclimatizing process preparing the soul for another and bitter world.
    • Ambrose Bierce, The Cynic's Dictionary (1906); republished as The Devil's Dictionary (1911).
  • Now let us thank the Eternal Power: convinced
    That Heaven but tries our virtue by affliction,—
    That oft the cloud which wraps the present hour
    Serves but to brighten all our future days.
  • Cum in omni fere litterarum studio dulce laboris lenimen et summum doloris solamen dum uiuitur insitum considerem, tum delectabilius et maioris praerogatiua claritatis historiarum splendorem amplectendum crediderim.
    • It is my considered opinion that the sweetest relief from suffering and the best comfort in affliction that this world affords are to be found almost entirely in the study of literature, and so I believe that the splendour of historical writing is to be cherished with the greatest delight and given the pre-eminent and most glorious position.
    • Henry of Huntingdon, Historia Anglorum (The History of the English People), in Diana Greenway (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996), Prologue, pp. 2-3. ISBN 0198222246.
  • The love of these things that are outside visible Christianity keeps me outside the Church... But it also seems to me that when one speaks to you of unbelievers who are in affliction and accept their affliction as a part of the order of the world, it does not impress you in the same way as if it were a question of Christians and of submission to the will of God. Yet it is the same thing.
    • Simone Weil, Last letter to Father Joseph-Marie Perrin, from a refugee camp in Casablanca (26 May 1942), as translated in The Simone Weil Reader (1957) edited by George A. Panichas, p. 111.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 12.
  • Afflicted, or distressed, in mind, body, or estate.
    • Book of Common Prayer. Prayer for all Conditions of Men.
  • Affliction's sons are brothers in distress;
    A brother to relieve, how exquisite the bliss!
  • Damna minus consueta movent.
    • The afflictions to which we are accustomed, do not disturb us.
    • Claudianus, In Eutropium, II. 149.
  • Crede mihi, miseris cœlestia numina parcunt;
    Nec semper læsos, et sine fine, premunt.
    • Believe me, the gods spare the afflicted, and do not always oppress those who are unfortunate.
    • Ovid, Epistolæ Ex Ponto, III. 6. 21.
  • Henceforth I'll bear
    Affliction till it do cry out itself,
    Enough, enough, and die.
  • Thou art a soul in bliss; but I am bound
    Upon a wheel of fire; that mine own tears
    Do scald like molten lead.
  • Affliction is not sent in vain, young man,
    From that good God, who chastens whom he loves.
  • The Lord gets his best soldiers out of the highlands of affliction.
  • Quæ regio in terris nostri non plena laboris.
    • What region of the earth is not full of our calamities?
    • Virgil, Æneid (29-19 BC), I. 460.
  • With silence only as their benediction,
    God's angels come
    Where in the shadow of a great affliction,
    The soul sits dumb!
  • Affliction is the good man's shining scene;
    Prosperity conceals his brightest ray;
    As night to stars, woe lustre gives to man.
    • Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-1745), Night IX, line 415.

Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895)


Quotes reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).

  • Christ leads me through no darker rooms Than He went through before.
  • The truest help we can render an afflicted man is not to take his burden from him, but to call out his best strength, that he may be able to bear the burden.
  • Afflictions are but as a dark entry into our Father's house.
  • If you would not have affliction visit you twice, listen at once, and attentively, to what it teaches.
  • Every man will have his own criterion in forming his judgment of others. I depend very much on the effect of affliction. I consider how a man comes out of the furnace; gold will lie for a month in the furnace without losing a grain.
  • God sometimes washes the eyes of His children with tears in order that they may read aright His providence and His commandments.
  • However bitter the cup we have to drink, we are sure it contains nothing unnecessary or unkind; and we should take it from His hand with as much meekness as we accept of eternal life with thankfulness.
  • We should be more anxious that our afflictions should benefit us than that they should be speedily removed from us.
  • What He tells thee in the darkness,
    Weary watcher for the day,
    Grateful lip and heart should utter
    When the shadows flee away.
  • The damps of autumn sink into the leaves and prepare them for the necessity of their fall; and thus insensibly are we, as years close around us, detached from our tenacity of life by the gentle pressure of recorded sorrow.
  • Be still, sad heart, and cease repining,
    Rehind the clouds the sun is shining;
    Thy fate is the common fate of all;
    Into each life some rain must fall, —
    Some days must be dark and dreary.
  • The cup which my Saviour giveth me, can it be any thing but a cup of salvation?
  • Oh, when we are journeying through the murky night and the dark woods of affliction and sorrow, it is something to find here and there a spray broken, or a leafy stem bent down with the tread of His foot and the brush of His hand as He passed; and to remember that the path He trod He has hallowed, and thus to find lingering fragrance and hidden strength in the remembrance of Him as " in all points tempted like as we are," bearing grief for us, bearing grief with us, bearing grief like us.
  • Human character is never found "to enter into its glory," except through the ordeal of affliction. Its force cannot come forth without the offer of resistance, nor can the grandeur of its free will declare itself, except in the battle of fierce temptation.
  • Affliction is the school in which great virtues are acquired, in which great characters are formed.
  • Seek holiness rather than consolation.
  • Grace will ever speak for itself and be fruitful in well-doing; the sanctified cross is a fruitful tree.
  • The truly great and good, in affliction, bear a countenance more princely than they are wont; for it is the temper of the highest hearts, like the palm tree, to strive most upward when they are most burdened.
  • Affliction of itself does not sanctify any body, but the reverse. I believe in sanctified afflictions, but not in sanctifying afflictions.
  • Most of the grand truths of God have to be learned by trouble; they must be burned into us by the hot iron of affliction, otherwise we shall not truly receive them.
  • The Lord gets His best soldiers out of the highlands of affliction.
  • As sure as God ever puts His children into the furnace, He will be in the furnace with them.
  • Heaven gives us friends to bless the present scene; Resumes them, to prepare us for the next.
  • In the dark and cloudy day,
    When earth's riches flee away,
    And the last hope will not stay,
    Saviour, comfort me.
    • Unidentified, p. 11.
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