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tunate, (I exclaimed,) is it, that you should have gone to the stable! how sad a thing that you should have stood near this horse! If one could but have foreseen'- Be patient, my kind friend, I beg of you,' he interrupted me with saying; and in your affection for me, do not forget the first principles of your holy faith. You are looking wholly to second causes, to the mere instrument; and totally shutting out our gracious God from the government of his own world, and all his tender concern and gracious watching over the persons and interests of his people. Alas! my dear brother,' he continued, by this method you increase every trouble, and rob yourself of a thousand comforts. Would have me be you with myangry self for going into the stable, or displeased with a senseless horse, for acting according to his nature as a horse? As well might we take offence at the winter's cold, or summer's heat. Mere instruments are nothing, but as they are acted upon and what folly it would be to ascribe to them a power with which they have no connexion! No, no, my good friend,' he continued, never lose sight of that gracious and Almighty Being, who ordereth all things according to the counsel of his own will;' and then you will discover wisdom, and faithfulness,
and love in every providence. It is not enough,' said he, in my apprehension, merely to acquiesce in the divine will-every true believer in Jesus ought to do more; he should approve of it. It is one thing to say, 'the Lord's will be done;' and another, to say, 'good is the will of the Lord concerning me.' And this is no more, after all, than what is frequently observed in the common circumstances of the world. If, for example, I see an artist of esteemed excellence in his profession, constructing his machine upon various principles of a complicated nature; though the whole appears to my view, intricate and confused, yet I take it for granted that he knows how the several parts will harmonize together, and I yield an implicit obedience to his superior judgment. And shall we so readily ascribe such sagacity to men, and yet venture to question wisdom in the arrangements of GOD?
'Do, my brother,' he rejoined, 'do settle this in your mind as an everlasting maxim: our God, our gracious covenanted God in Christ, is unremittingly pursuing, in every minute event of his government over his church and people, their real welfare, whether it be through the path of pain or pleasure. If they are exercised with suffering, or even deeply drenched in
affliction, it is because there is a needs-be for it. Not a single pain or trouble could be dispensed with. It is not sufficient barely to say that the affliction will ultimately do them no harmthis is but a negative kind of approbation. We must say more-it will do them, sooner or later, much good. And so infinitely interesting is the most minute circumstance in their life, that to prevent, (were it possible,) one trouble, or to add one prosperous event, would derange the whole plan of God's government. Oh! depend upon it, we are under a wise as well as a gracious superintendance. A synod of angels could not add, or diminish, without manifest injury.
6 With respect to the present providence,' he added, 'I know not what is the will of my God concerning me: but one thing I know, that ' all the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies. And lifting up his eyes, he cried out,It is my mercy, thou dearest Lord of thy people, that my times are in thy hands!' I have long been enabled, by thy blessed Spirit's grace, to commit my soul into thy keeping. Well may I then leave this body of sin and death to thy care!?
* Psalm xxv. 10.
My companion had quite exhausted the little strength left him, when he had finished these words. I requested him to spare himself. He moved his head, as if consenting, and turned his face upon the pillow.
To every one present, besides my friend, it appeared to be a matter of great uncertainty, for many days together, whether the injury he had sustained would terminate fatally. The surgeon, whom I had desired to be called in on the occasion, did not, (for indeed he could not,) speedily decide upon the question. The contusion was very great, from the violence of the blow; and the extravasation extended far around the region of the loins; but the surgeon only ventured to speak of it in a general way, as a case which must necessarily be attended with great danger. But however others thought, the patient himself had already formed his opinion; and the event proved, that that opinion was too justly founded. The period was arrived for his 'going down to the house appointed for all living.'
For my part, my concern was so great, that I seldom, unless from necessity, left his chamber. He had been as a father to me; and I felt all that tender affection for him which a kind father might be supposed to excite in the mind
of his son. And, indeed, independent of all personal attachment, my small services, during his confinement, were abundantly recompensed by the spiritual good that I had gathered from the many precious observations which dropped from his lips. And although I had so highly profited from the great lessons on religion, which he had endeavoured to teach me while living, yet in his dying hours he favoured me with the sweetest instructions I had ever received. He had been as a kind taper, burning with much brightness, to lighten me on in the path of grace. But, like a taper, the most vivid rays were those which were emitted while expiring in the socket.
The reader will forgive me once more, if I pause to remark, how exceedingly mistaken, in their calculation of the means of happiness, are the children of the world, who seek it in the various haunts of what is called pleasure, notwithstanding the constant and uniform experience of thousands, in every age, has determined that it is not there to be found. If my reader will give me credit for the assertion, (and I do most solemnly assure him of the fact,) never, till the hour of my friend's confinement when living in his chamber, did I know what that pleasure of the heart is, which arises from