To the same correspondent probably, and expresses his own abiding

comfort through faith.

IF we were well accustomed to the exercise of the presence of GOD, all

bodily diseases would be much alleviated thereby. GOD often permits

that we should suffer a little, to purify our souls, and oblige us to

continue with Him.

Take courage, offer Him your pains incessantly, pray to Him for strength

to endure them. Above all, get a habit of entertaining yourself often

with GOD, and forget Him the least you can. Adore Him in your

infirmities, offer yourself to Him from time to time; and, in the

height of your sufferings, beseech Him humbly and affectionately (as a

child his father) to make you conformable to His holy will. I shall

endeavour to assist you with my poor prayers.

GOD has many ways of drawing us to Himself. He sometimes hides Himself

from us: but faith alone, which will not fail us in time of need, ought

to be our support, and the foundation of our confidence, which must be

all in GOD.

I know not how GOD will dispose of me: I am always happy: all the

world suffer; and I, who deserve the severest discipline, feel joys so

continual, and so great, that I can scarce contain them.

I would willingly ask of GOD a part of your sufferings, but that I know

my weakness, which is so great, that if He left me one moment to myself,

I should be the most wretched man alive. And yet I know not how He can

leave me alone, because faith gives me as strong a conviction as sense

can do, that He never forsakes us, till we have first forsaken Him. Let

us fear to leave Him. Let us be always with Him. Let us live and die

in His presence. Do you pray for me, as I for you.


To the same he exhorts for fuller and entire confidence in God, for body

and soul.

I AM in pain to see you suffer so long; what gives me some ease, and

sweetens the feeling I have of your griefs, is that they are proofs of

GOD's love towards you: see them in that view, and you will bear them

more easily. As your case is, "tis my opinion that you should leave off

human remedies, and resign yourself entirely to the providence of GOD;

perhaps He stays only for that resignation and a perfect trust in Him to

cure you. Since notwithstanding all your cares, physic has hitherto

proved unsuccessful, and your malady still increases, it will not be

tempting GOD to abandon yourself in His hands, and expect all from Him.

I told you, in my last, that He sometimes permits bodily diseases to

cure the distempers of the soul. Have courage then: make a virtue of

necessity: ask of GOD, not deliverance from your pains, but strength to

bear resolutely, for the love of Him, all that He should please, and as

long as He shall please.

Such prayers, indeed, are a little hard to nature, but most acceptable

to GOD, and sweet to those that love Him. Love sweetens pains; and

when one loves GOD, one suffers for His sake with joy and courage. Do

you so, I beseech you; comfort yourself with Him, who is the only

Physician of all our maladies. He is the FATHER of the afflicted,

always ready to help us. He loves us infinitely more than we imagine:

love Him then, and seek not consolation elsewhere: I hope you will soon

receive it. Adieu. I will help you with my prayers, poor as they are,

and shall be, always, yours in our LORD.


Gratitude, for mercies to his correspondent, and measure of relief while

he has himself been near death, but with consolation in his suffering.

I RENDER thanks to our LORD, for having relieved you a little, according

to your desire. I have been often near expiring, though I was never so

much satisfied as then. Accordingly I did not pray for any relief, but

I prayed for strength to suffer with courage, humility, and love. Ah,

how sweet is it to suffer with GOD! however great the sufferings may

be, receive them with love. "Tis paradise to suffer and be with Him;