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a messenger with him, an interpreter, to shew unto man his uprightness : i. e. either God's righteousness in thus correcting him ; or else the righteous and good temper to which by repentance he ought to, avd doth, return; Then he is gracious to him, and saith, deliver him from going down to the pit. His flesh shall be fresher than a child's ; he shall return to the days of his youth. He shall pray unto God, and he will be favourable unto him ; and he shall see his face with joy. He looketh upon man, and if any say I have sinned and perverted that which was right, and it profited me not. He will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the light.

In this manner also we find the Corinthian christians of old were rebuked for some gross irregularities, some were weak and sickly amongst them; and some even slept, were actually smitten by death: and these bodily diseases are called by the apostle chastisements and judgments of the Lord, sent for their spiritual or moral benefit, that they might repent, and give glory to God, who hath power over these plagues, and uot be finally and eternally condemned. So when St. James advises, Is any sick among you-let the elders pray over him, and the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up, and if he hath committed sins, they shall be forgiven him : and when the apostle John in like manner says, If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he, i. e. God, shall give him life for them that sin not unto death : from these passages it seems plain that distempers and pains are often sent upon the body as a correction for some wrony be haviour.--To this also may be added, that they are frequently the genuine, and the natural and

proper fruits of some irregularity. For the greatest part of the disorders which afflict the human body, if traced to their true origin, would be found to owe their birth to some criminal indulgence either of the appetites, or of the passions, and not only to be the positive or appointed punishments, but even the genuine effects of sin.

It becomes me therefore now impartially to examine, whether this may not possibly have been the case as to my late disease.-Was it not occasioned by some irregularity or misconduct of my own? Is there no sinful or wrong practice in which I allow myself? No command of heaven in the violation of which I know myself to live ? • Search me, O God, and know my heart : try me and know my thoughts : see if there be any evil way in me; reclaim me from every error; and lead me in the path of righteousness and truth.

If these strokes of thy rod were levelled at any particular misconduct of mine, to admonish and correct me for it, be pleased to open mine eyes, and turn them towards it : convince me of sin: shew me my error: I renounce, from my soul, every wicked way; and would immediately forsake it; and wherein I have done evil, am resolved, by thy grace, I will do it no more. I humble myself beneath thy mighty and correcting hand. I desire meekly to kiss the rod, and to acknowledge thy sentence just. Yea, blessed be thy name, thou hast tempered mercy with justice, and that my abused, my forfeited life is thus spared. Thou hast not been extreme to mark iniquity against me, nor dealt with me rigorously according to my desert. Righteous, o Lord, art thou, and merciful, as well as just, are thy proceedings toward me. Being made whole, let me take heed that I wilfully sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto me.'


Another thing which now also highly behoves me is---Carefully to call to mind, and to endearour always to preserve the same serious, (md right sense of things which I had on my sick bed.

Trex, in what a light did I see, the grandeurs, the riches and possessions of this world, which are wont so deeply to engross men's attention and zeal! What vain and empty things did dress, did gold, did outward pomp and magnificence, which in time past, God knows, too much dazzled my weak eyes, and captivated my foolish heart; what vain and empty things did they all then appear? Then I clearly saw the wisdom of religion ; the inestimable value of piety and virtue; of a life spent in the fear of God; of a conscience bearing witness to one's sincerity, and by faith in the blood of Jesus purged from all guilt. Had the Indies been mine, how gladly would I have then given them for a rational assurance of the favour of God, and of the forgiveness of my sins ? Remember, my soul, how thou didst then admire and applaud the conduct of those, who had given themselves sincerely to the practice of virtue ; who had religiously spent their sabbaths ; who worshipped God in their families; who retired daily from the world, to maintain an intercourse with divine and invisible things by serious meditation and prayer in secret; and who kept themselves unspotted from the corruptions of the present state. - These I then saw to be the only wise and happy persons.

With what earnestness did I then wish, that iny life had been thus spent! With what solemnity vow, that if God would now spare me, my life slould be thus religiously devoted to him for the future !

How heartily did I resolve, that I would never more take the undue liberties I had before done :- That I would

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keep a stricter guard upon my appetites, upon my passions, upon my tongue, and upon all the powers both of my body and my mind : That I would better iinprove my time-Would more carefully spend my sabbaths-Would acquaint myself more with God and the truths of religion—Would live more disengaged from the present world, as expecting shortly to leave it; and more under the power of the world to come, as one whose treasure and heart are in heaven, and who continually expects to be called up to that happy state. Remember, my soul, what sins at that time lay heaviest upon thy conscience? What parts of thy past conduct gave thee the greatest uneasiness or remorse? Was there any matter of wrong or injury done thy neighbour, which then gave thee concern ? Be sure thou now iinmediately repair it: make the best restitution of which thou art capable ; that it may be abolished and blotted out.-Was there any duty towards God, or thy redeemer Jesus Christ; any act of divine worship for the neglect of which thy heart smote thee? Presently set about it; and fulfil thy solemn purpose to live no longer in its neglect.—In a word, whatever good thing thou didst then wish thou hadst done, or resolvedst to do, if God would be pleased to spare thee, now do it without delay, with diligence, and all thy might. Behold! God has heard thy vows; and given thee further space to work out thy salvation; take heed that thou perform what thou didst solemnly promise ; beware of being found false or treacherous to thy covenant. Remember, thy times are yet in God's hands; and if thou break the condition upon wbich thou wert restored, it may justly be expected that another sickness will soon be sent-And that then no prayers nor vows from such perfidious lips will any more procure a re

prieve, or move the divine regard. Better were it never to have towed, than to row and not perform.

• BLESSED SAVIOUR, keep ever upon the thought and imaginations of my heart, that serious sense of things my late sickness impressed. Oh! that I could always view the world, the riches, the pomps, the crosses, and the frowns of it, in the same just and true light, in which I then bebeld them! How patient under trouble ; how contented with my lot; how easy and chearful as to all temporal events, should I then pass the few days of my pilgrimage in it? How void of offence both towards God and towards man! How far would it lift my soul above the reach of that love of money, that sordid esteem and desire of earthly things, which is the root of a thousand evils, and wbich so horribly debases and disturbs the minds of men! Oh may the spirit even the Holy Ghost, into whose name I have been baptised, and whom the faithful word of God hath promised to send, to bring things to our remembrance, and to lead us into all truth ;--may this spirit of grace and truth ever preserve upon my mind the worthy sentiments of my sick bed; and assist me to perform the vows I then made. I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep thy righteous judgments. So help me, O

Amen." IV. Having been thus graciously redeemed from the power of the grave, perhaps from the horrors of eternal darkness and death, it now also hehoves me with the deepest and most grateful resigoment to ask-What shall I render to my AlMIGHTY DELIVERER?

This great favour on God's part, demands surely some answerable return on mine. What tribule can Į render, on this occasion, which he will be

my God.

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