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RECOVERY FROM SICKNESS: :
RAISED FROM A
RESOLUTIONS AND DEVOTIONS,
SUITABLE TO THAT OCCASION.
[THE THIRD EDITION PRINTED 1761.]
THROUGH the great mercy of God toward me, I am now recovered from a dangerous distemper; I drew near to the grave; dark and gloomy shades began to stretch themselves over me, and to compass me around ; and I received within myself the sentence of death.--But behold ! God hath turned again my captivity; he hath raised me as from the dead; he hath caused the light of life again to shine upon me; and hath brought me, as it were, anew into the land of the living. What now becomes me upon such an occasion ? It is surely most fit that I should take this first opportunity of retiring myself, of bowing down, and adoring my Almighty Deliverer ; and of making my most humble and most thankful acknowledgments at the throne of his grace. It most highly becomes me thus to dedicate the first fruits of this new life he has given me to his honour and worship; and to spend, at least, this one hour in serious and devout reflections suitable to my present case.
I. The first thing I have to do on this occasion, is to endeavour to affect my mind with a very clear and lively sense of the concern which God has in the affair of our sickness or health, of our life or death : to be fully persuaded that
our times are in his hands; and that he either shortens or prolongs them; casts down or raises up according to his pleasure; and that distempers come upon us, or forsake us only at his permission or command. See now that I, even I am he, and there is no God with me; I kill, and I make alive; I wound and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand.
This sense of God's immediate agency and concern in my late sickness and recovery, is to be laid down as the foundation upon which my pious and devout reflections are entirely to rest; let me be careful then to lay it well : let me very attentively remember, that one of his glorious titles is God who quickeneth all things; and that in and by him all live, and more, and have their being : —That it is only by his ever-present influence and operation that the seasons change, the clouds move, the rains fall
, and the flowers grow : that he is the life of the universe; from whom, all its motions and parts originally sprang; by whom, they are all continually directed and preserved; and without whom, not a sparrow falls to the ground. This sickness therefore could never have seized, and brought me so low, had not God given leave; and having seized, would never have Jeit me, until it had lain me in the dust, had not God checked its power, and said, hitherto-and no farther..
My pulse now. beats; and my blood flows regularly through all its infinitely fine and numberless canals, which lately was all ruffled, tumultous, and disturbed. The springs of life which seemed broken, are afresh strengthened and wound up: all the movements and parts of this my wondrous frame are restored to their proper order, and keep their appointed course. But Who is do presides over, directs and preserves all these