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His flesh is consumed away, that it cannot be seen ; “ And his bones that were not seen stick out.

Yea, his soul draweth near unto the grave, “And his life to the destroyers."

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Various are the means which a gracious God uses to try His creatures, and to bring them to reflection and prayer; to wean them from the world, and to lead them to Himself. Happy are they, whether they be young or advanced in years, who, when visited with illness, consider the design of God by such a visitation, and so improve His dispensation towards them as to be able, on their recovery, to say, “ It is good for me that I have been afflicted ; that I might learn Thy statutes.”

The following meditation was written for a young person in illness: and as it describes the thoughts and feelings which I would wish my young readers to entertain in such circumstances, I give it here a place in this work : and may the Holy Spirit enable every child of suffering who reads it to profit by it!

“Thou, O heavenly Father, who art infinitely wise, and good, and gracious, hast laid upon me Thy afflicting hand. I cannot question Thy love. Thy tender mercies are over all Thy works. O look upon me in this season of distress, and grant that this affliction may accomplish the purpose for which Thou hast sent it.

"In the day of adversity consider.' Let me not murmur, or complain, or envy others the enjoyment of health ; but let me think, examine myself, and meditate on sacred and spiritual subjects, that by Thy grace I may largely and permanently benefit by this Thy fatherly chastisement. It is my duty now, in an especial manner, to be thoughtful, serious, and devout;- to turn from all to Thee, and to seek Thy favour, that I may

be happy in Thee.

“ In this season of languor and pain, I feel the vanity of the world. Wealth, pleasure, and amusements can now afford me no delight or comfort. Even the nearest and dearest of those about me can do but little for me, Thou, O God and Father, art the light, and guide, and healer, and comforter of the soul. I am, as it were, cut off from the world : I can look to none but Thee : and I bless Thee for disposing my heart to remember Thee and to think of Thee. This is a proof of Thy lovingkindness. Thou separatest me by this illness from the creature, that I may remember Thee my Creator. If Thou leadest me into darkness, it is that I may seek and find light in Thyself. If Thou leadest me into distress, it is that I


seek and obtain consolation and happiness in Thee, the fountain of living waters.

“But how, O Father, can I enjoy Thy favour, so as to be happy in Thee? How shall I be truly blessed in my immortal soul for time and eternity? Here I would meditate: and here be Thou my Teacher, and inspire me with right thoughts and feelings.

“ Thou art Holy—the Holy One of Israel: but I am a sinful creature. Of these truths I have no doubt: but, O, that I knew and felt them properly! -Thou art Holy~ Glorious in holiness'-Infinite Perfection. Thou delightest in holiness, and in holy beings; and whatever is contrary to holiness is displeasing to Thee, who art of purer eyes than to behold iniquity.' There can be no affinity between Thee and any thing that is unholy. O enlighten my mind, and impress my heart with a right sense of Thee, as the glorious and holy Jehovah.

“ But I, O Lord, am a sinful creature: and surely it is of the utmost moment that I see it, feel it, and humble myself before Thee as my real circumstances require.—Let me, then, examine myself. I have often said in the Church that I am an offender, a sinner, a miserable sinner. But do I see the truth of this language, and feel its force?

- I am not a gross sinner, or an atrocious offender. Thou, O God, hast kept me from dark offencesand for this I bless Thee. Yet I am a sinful creature--and why should I refuse to own it? My nature is sinful : my transgressions are numberless. How many things have I neglected! How many things have I perversely done! God be merciful to me a sinner-may well be the prayer of my heart.

“I would think more closely on this subject. I am by nature a sinful creature: and I have spent my days under the influence of inherent evil. I have had good thoughts and good feelings : but I did not cherish them. I have yielded to the thoughtlessness of my mind, and to the gaiety of my heart. Thou layest upon me Thy afflicting hand, and I find that I have been living far from Thee—without any heart-felt acknowledgment of Thee, the Holy God.

“What has my life been? My relatives and friends called me good and amiable: but they did not see my heart; they did not form their judgments by the word of God. I have not remembered, loved, and obeyed Thee. I have not duly improved my religious privileges. I have not seriously thought of the love of Christ in dying for mankind; or of the work of the Holy Ghost, the Sanctifier; or of piety, my soul, and eternity. My thoughts, views, prospects, feelings, objects, actions, and aims--all have been earthly: pleasant to myself and to those around me; but far remote from religion.

“I am a sinful creature. I have gone, O Lord, in my own way, and not in Thine. What is my conclusion ? Repentance is necessary : and wilt Thou not give me this grace? Yes; O gracious God, my heart, I trust, is no longer hard ; my spirit is troubled within me. This is Thy goodness. I am not left to pride and carelessness : but Thou mercifully grantest me power to think and feel. O that these thoughts and feelings may lead me to that godly sorrow which worketh repentance unto salvation.

“O holy and gracious God, I see, and feel, and confess that I am a sinful creature both in heart and life ; sinful, by the commission of evil, by the omission of duties, by the neglect and abuse of Thy bounty and goodness; sinful, by living far from Thee, from Christ, from salvation, amidst the instructions of Thy truth, and the invitations of Thy love, and the offers of Thy mercy; sinful, by living as if I were only born for myself and the present world.

"But shall I plunge myself into despair? Far from me be such a thought. In Thy unspeakable love to man Thou hast given Thine only Son to die for us.

He is the Saviour: and every truly humble and penitent sinner, who looks to Him, who comes to Him in faith, shall receive the blessings of salvation. Art not Thou, O Father, now showing me my sinfulness in order that Thou mayest reveal the Saviour to me? In Thy goodness and love thou chastisest me, and makest me acquainted with myself: and, o, in the same goodness and love, lead me to the true knowledge of Him who came into the world to save sinners.'

“I might now be careless, and think of nothing but the world, and desire nothing but speedy re

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