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recruit and to heal, but if there be no periods of respite, the scene is soon closed.

H. We see divine goodness in the efforts that nature makes to effect her own cure.

On this point, perhaps, the physician could instruct you more than the divine ; and the fact is obvious, to every discerning mind, that nature is often her own best physician. Many of the remedies which ignorance prescribes in the hour of sickness and of death, are so many barriers to the speedy return of health. The limb that has been wounded by the luckless knife, would often heal in a few hours, if the wound could be bathed only with its own blood, and the severed fibres be permitted to join their wounded parts. How soon will the fractured bone join its broken parts, and become firm as before ! · How often will nature create some new disease, that it may rid itself of the dangers and the miseries engendered by some other ! The palaté takes disgust at food, when the stomach has lost its power to digest; and the food, if received, would endanger life. How often, when the stomach has received the deadly potion, which to retain would be quick destruction, does it exert all its power to cast back the poison and keep life in its seat! The very thorn that pierces the ploughman's foot, is thrown from its unwelcome bed by nature's own efforts.

Were I more of a physician, I should love to enlarge this article—it develops the goodness of God. Many are wounded when no surgeon is near; many are subjected to disease who are unable to employ a physician; and it often happens that he who should cure is ignorant of the nature of the disease, and plies all his skill to prevent nature from doing her office: In these distressing cases, it often happens that nature cures herself. She


attacks the disease, and, in spite of every hindrance, conquers and cures.

Brethren, when I thus speak of nature, I do not use that word as many do, who intend to exclude a God from his own creation. By nature, I mean the unseen ope. oration of his hand who healeth all our diseases ; I mean God himself, operating by certain laws which he has indented

upon every part of our frame. The cure is effected without a miracle, but not without the finger of God. This we learn from the text. If we had to wait when attacked by disease, till some angel came from heaven with the appropriate specific, or till God himself spoke, as he did in Israel's camp, and bid the disease abate, we should be no more dependent than now on the immediate agency of God. This is the very thought of the text. David, when diseased, was cured like other men, by the laws of matter, and by human means; still he takes occasion to bless and praise Jehovah as him who healeth all our diseases.

III. The great variety of specifics found in every part. of the creation, for the various diseases of men, speak the divine goodness. Probably there is not a plant or shrub that grows but yields us either food or medicine. The severest poisons are, at length, in many instances, considered the safest and speediest remedies. They have almost all become tame and manageable, and, like food itself, are hurtful only when taken without due regard to time and quantity. The discoveries of every year add new light to this interesting subject. The mineral and vegetable kingdoms are constantly pouring their treasures into the chamber of distress. And there seems an almost inexhaustible variety. Hence they furnish a specific for every disease. Even that most dire of all plagues, the hydrophobia, a disease which I can scarcely mention

without horror, is thought at length to yield to the virtue of one plant, very common in all countries. If the serpent. bite, the remedy is found on the spot. If one plant has poisoned us, there is another growing by its side that can counteract its influence. In some instances, two of the deadliest substances are, when united, not only harmless, but wholesome. The same shower and the same sunshine caused the poison and the antidote to vegetate side by side. They grow like brethren, perhaps resemble each other, but one has the power to kill and the other to heal.

Now in all this, how good is God! He could have sent the plague without the remedy, the poison without the antidote. It would be our shame if we could withhold our praise, and yet live in a world so full of the glory of God, where every plant and shrub and mineral speakg his praise, and every disease yields to the specific he prescribes.


IV. It still is true that it is God who healeth all our dis.

But for that wisdom which he has given to man, phyiscians could never have known their nature, or the virtue of those plants and minerals which are their ap pointed remedy. And his blessing makes the means effectual. We can rely nowhere else. The physician aften confesses that nothing operates as he expected. He fears he is destroying the patient he wishes to cure. And often, when his skill has failed, the patient given over to death, and the grave-clothes preparing, God bids the patient live, and he returns to health. Nor should it derogate from his glory, when he blesses the means, for, still, his own agency performs the cure. Hezekiah was. sick unto death ; a prophet of the Lord was directed to assure him, that he should die. But he cried and prayed, and a respite of fifteen years was granted him. The event was now certain, and still a bundle of figs must be the means of his cure. But was it


the less God that healed him? Had the figs any power, independently on Him who had arrested the hand of death, and prolonged the life of the king ?

The pious heart will have no misgivings on this point. Our life, our health, and all our comforts, are in the hands of God." He killeth and he maketh alive, he bringeth low and raiseth up.” It is good to feel that we are the creatures of his power; especially when we may hope, that we are the subjects of his grace,


1. A period of recovery from sickness should be a season of praise. If we have misery in prospect, it fills us with pain; but we can look back upon a season of great trial with pleasure. The miseries we remember are gone by; in retrospect they are softened and are harmless. But we had died had it not been for the hand of God. We had never risen from that bed, we had never enjoyed returning health. The physician would have mistaken our case, or would have used the wrong means, or would have found his specifics to be the deadliest poisons. And we had forfeited our lives, and could look for nothing but ruin as our desert. And where had we been if the hand of God had not been under us? To what world had we fled while some friend closing our eyes, how employed, on the day of our funeral solemnities? “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me bless his holy name.”

2. The life that God has made his care should be de voted to him. And we have all an interest in this particular. If we have never known the attacks of disease,

was case.

it was God who purified the air wę breathed, and warded off the pestilence that walketh in darkness. And if otherwise, if life has met with some interruption, and we have been called occasionally to the sick bed, it was God who healed us. In either case we are wholly the Lord's. Whether we feel our obligations or not, will not alter the

God is good, and deserves our service, whether we think and feel, or are thoughtless and stupid. There is not one, among all my readers, that does not love and serve the Lord, who can escape the charge of being a wicked and slothful servant. God has made


what you are, and given you all you have. You live by his permission, and feed on his bounty. In these circumstances, to withhold your love and your service, is impious. None can be wise, and refuse to present their bodies and souls to him as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God.

3. We see why many have praised the Lord upon the sick bed. It is not a place so destitute of comfort as many have supposed. The fiercer attacks of disease are separated by intervals, in which there are felt, independently on the comforts of religion, a keen and sensible pleasure, but when the heart is right with God, and these precious moments are employed in lifting a prayer, or a song, to his throne, I see nothing to prevent the joy rising to ecstasy. Even in the dying hour, the little lucid intervals of strength and reason, may witness joy unspeakable and full of glory. I do not deny that piety may operate even when the pains are on, and may even quench their fury by its ecstatic joy. But such is the immediate connexion between the soul and the body, that neither can suffer alone, nor the joys of the one fail to be interrupted by the agonies of the other. Hence how wel

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