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us an increased strength to endure it. And if we turn our thoughts from ourselves to the consideration of the sufferings which our Lord Jesus Christ endured for us on the cross, we shall be ashamed to give way more than we can help to any complainings. We shall feel ourselves supported by the contemplation of that glorious eternity which he, the Redeemer of the world, hath prepared for the children of men. And though pain will sometimes have its way, and overpowers all efforts of the mind to make its agonies endurable, still we have God to fly to, and we know that he is always to be approached by prayer, and will always incline his ear to those who call on him with their whole hearts.
Your second duty in illness is to be obedient to your medical advisers, and to be willing to take the remedies which they prescribe, and to be gentle and sweet-tempered to those about you. Children ought not to forget how much fatigue and anxiety their illnesses occasion. They cannot prevent this fatigue and anxiety, but they may avoid in
creasing it by their own fretfulness. The sick child who is impatient, turbulent, unsubmissive, cannot expect that the Lord will comfort him. He aggravates his sickness by his irritability under it, deprives himself of the consolations which he else might receive, and increases in a tenfold degree the harass of his friends.
On the other hand, to a meek and a pious mind, sickness, with all its pains, and sorrows, and privations, is not without its comfort and advantages. One of the advantages is the increased affection which it creates in the members of a family. There must be some of you, my young friends, who have some member, perhaps some young member, of your own families in tender health.
not that one the more endeared to you from that circumstance? Perhaps you have some of you yourselves suffered from ill health. Are not your hearts the more attached on that account to those who have been kind to you during your illnesses? I do not ask these questions of the selfish, the cold-hearted,
and the unamiable. They cannot answer these questions, and may not comprehend them. But most persons, I hope, everywhere, feel and understand that whatever adds to the affectionateness, and cements the union of a family, must be an advantage to every member of it.
Sickness has also other advantages to those who are willing to find them. It softens the heart towards the sufferings of others, and makes us know the better how to relieve them. We also learn in sickness to judge of the littleness and the insufficiency of the things of this life. When we are suffering under the agonies of pain, how little do we think of, how willingly, if it might be so, would we exchange for a little bodily ease, all those pomps and vanities of this world, which are so tempting to those who never have been afflicted.
But above all, we must not forget that a time of sickness ought to be a time of humiliation, of repentance, and amendment of life. After a severe illness is over, there are many
weary hours of feebleness which must pass before we can return to our usual occupations. We cannot turn these hours to better account than in looking into ourselves, and examining our past conduct, in humbling ourselves before God, and in forming good resolutions for our future behaviour. He who does this in sincerity of spirit, and in a firm determination of future amendment of life, will never have reason to look back on his illness with regret. Whenever it shall please God to restore his health, he will doubly enjoy the blessing, and he will say with David, "Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits who forgiveth all my sin, and healeth all mine infirmities."*
There are none of you, my dear young friends, who can know how soon you yourselves may be laid upon a bed of sickness. I trust that if it please God thus to visit you, you will not forget the things which I have been now saying. Young as you are, still you are all of you old enough to know how
* Psalm ciii. 2, 3.