Robert Hill to Lord Russell, 1604:
The reasons why God does visit us thus with afflictions, are: 1. To humble us. 2. To wean us. 3. To winnow us. 4. To prevent us. 5. To teach us. 6. To enlighten us. 7. To honor us. 8. To cure us. 9. To crown us. 10. To comfort us. 11. To protect us. 12. To adopt us. And last of all, to teach and comfort others. To humble us, that we be not proud [Eccl. 3:20]; to wean us, that we love not this world [Ps. 119:67]; to winnow us, that we be not chaff [Luke 22:31]; to prevent us, that we do not sin [Ps. 119:71]; to teach us, that we be patient in adversity [Pss. 39:9; 40:1]; to enlighten us, that we see our errors [Gen. 42:21]; to honor us, that our faith may be manifest [James 5:11]; to cure us, that we surfeit7 not of security [Deut. 32:15]; to crown us, that we may live eternally [2 Tim. 4:8]; to comfort us, that He may send His Spirit [John 16:33]; to protect us, that He may guide us by His angels [Acts 12:7]; to adopt us, that we may be His sons [Heb. 12:7]; and to teach others, that they seeing how sin is punished in us, they may take heed it be not found in them [2 Peter 2:3]; that they seeing our comforts in troubles, may not be discouraged in the like trials [2 Cor. 1:6].