love our friends, but without encroaching upon the love of GOD, which

must be the principal.

Pray remember what I have recommended to you, which is, to think often

on GOD, by day, by night, in your business, and even in your diversions.

He is always near you and with you; leave Him not alone. You would

think it rude to leave a friend alone, who came to visit you: why then

must GOD be neglected? Do not then forget Him, but think on Him often,

adore Him continually live and die with Him; this is the glorious

employment of a Christian; in a word, this is our profession, if we do

not know it we must learn it. I will endeavour to help you with my

prayers, and am yours in our LORD.


To one who is in great pain. God is the Physician of body and of soul.

þ Feels that he would gladly suffer at His wish.

I DO not pray that you may be delivered from your pains; but I pray GOD

earnestly that He would give you strength and patience to bear them as

long as He pleases. Comfort yourself with Him who holds you fastened to

the cross: He will loose you when He thinks fit. Happy those who

suffer with Him: accustom yourself to suffer in that manner, and seek

from Him the strength to endure as much, and as long, as He shall judge

to be necessary for you. The men of the world do not comprehend these

truths, nor is it to be wondered at, since they suffer like what they

are, and not like Christians: they consider sickness as a pain to

nature, and not as a favour from GOD; and seeing it only in that light,

they find nothing in it but grief and distress. But those who consider

sickness as coming from the hand of GOD, as the effects of His mercy,

and the means which He employs for their salvation, commonly find in it

great sweetness and sensible consolation.

I wish you could convince yourself that GOD is often (in some sense)

nearer to us and more effectually present with us, in sickness than in

health. Rely upon no other Physician, for, according to my

apprehension, He reserves your cure to Himself. Put then all your trust

in Him, and you will soon find the effects of it in your recovery, which

we often retard, by putting greater confidence in physic than in GOD.

Whatever remedies you make use of, they will succeed only so far as He

permits. When pains come from GOD, He only can cure them. He often

sends diseases of the body, to cure those of the soul. Comfort yourself

with the sovereign Physician both of soul and body.

I foresee that you will tell me that I am very much at my ease, that I

eat and drink at the table of the LORD. YOU have reason: but think you

that it would be a small pain to the greatest criminal in the world, to

eat at the king's table, and be served by him, and notwithstanding such

favours to be without assurance of pardon? I believe he would feel

exceeding great uneasiness, and such as nothing could moderate, but only

his trust in the goodness of his sovereign. So I assure you, that

whatever pleasures I taste at the table of my King, yet my sins, ever

present before my eyes, as well as the uncertainty of my pardon, torment

me, though in truth that torment itself is pleasing.

Be satisfied with the condition in which GOD places you: however happy

you may think me, I envy you. Pains and suffering would be a paradise

to me, while I should suffer with my GOD; and the greatest pleasure

would be hell to me, if I could relish them without Him; all my

consolation would be to suffer something for His sake.

I must, in a little time, go to GOD. What comforts me in this life is,

that I now see Him by faith; and I see Him in such a manner as might

make me say sometimes, I believe no more, but I see. I feel what faith

teaches us, and, in that assurance and that practice of faith, I will

live and die with Him.

Continue then always with GOD: "tis the only support and comfort for

your affliction. I shall beseech Him to be with you. I present my