The flowers smell sweetest after a shower;
vines bear the better for bleeding;
the walnut-tree is most fruitful when most beaten;
saints spring and thrive most internally,
when they are most externally afflicted.
Afflictions are the mother of virtue.
Manasseh’s chain was more profitable to him than his crown.
All of the stones that came about Stephen’s ears
did but knock him closer to Christ, the corner-stone.

– Thomas Brooks –