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ces. The wants of some are so many, that they often know not what to do; and the wants of others are so few, that they want nothing, but to know how to improve, what they have. To know how to abound, is a far greater blessing then to abound. Eccl. 3. 14. whatsoever God doth, is for ever. If God give a Man an outward worldly estate, it is for ever : What to enjoy it for ever? No, things seen are but for Time: But in respect of the use, or abuse of them, they are for
Now, to speak to that, which in particuJar John desires for his friend Gaius, That he might be in health. Gaius was not fick now, that's clear from verf. 6. He did not keep his Bed, nor his Chamber, nor his Houfe ; for John adviseth him to bring the Brethren on their way, after a godly fort : But he was a fickly Man.
Note. Those that have much of the heart of God, and live much in the love of God, may feel much of the hand of God; as in other troubles, so in long contiuued bodily weaknesJes.
That they may be fick, is no marvel, for they must dye; but we speak of long, continued weakness: Timothy was such a Man; 1 Tim. 5. 23. It is observed of Calvin, that in his latter days, he was very fickly, and weak, contracted, as 'twas thought, by eat
ing too much Alöes: Thuanus faith, he was fo seven years before his death.
We find, Job observed this in his days, fob. 2 1. 25. One dyes in the bitterness of his Soul, never eats his bread with pleasure. [ One dyes. ] What one ? Even one good Man, as well as one bad Man: He speaks indifferently of either; all things fall alike to all.The good Man dyes in bitterness, and pain, seldom made a good meal. Thus
see it hath been : And I note this, only for this purpose; that we may see, that no new thing befalls them, with whom God deals so at this day ; but that which hath been the lott of those whole Souls have prospered. 1 Cor. 10. 13. There hath no temptation taken you, but such as is common to Man.
2, Gaius was very well with refpect to his Spiritual state, but he was weakly, and sicklý ; therefore John prays that he might be in health: Hence note,
Note. A healthy conftitution of Body, though a Man may be bless'd without it; yet in it felf is a very great and desirable bletfing: It is a comprehensive blessing : It is the Epitoine and Abridgment of all outward blessings: It is like Salt, that Sealons every Meat. It is too true, this is not so feelingly acknowledged, as it ought to be, by those that do enjoy it. But when (as it is in Job) a Man's bones are chastened with a multi
tude of pains, and a Man is worn away with pining sickness; it is rare to find such a perfon, that doth not set an higher price on health, then he did before. And, verily, iť is a very great blessing ; whether it be by preservation from sickness; or by recovery out of fickness.
( 1.) If it be by preservation from fickness, prize it as a very great mercy. It is left upon Record, as a very signal Providence, and gracious Priviledge, vouchsafed to the people of Israel, when they were in Egypt, where there was so much Sickness, Plague, and Death: Yet (Pfal. 105.) there was not one feeble person among them when they came forth; for it is faid Exod. 12.27. they were able to come for thon foot, six hundred thousand Persons. And ought it not to be esteemed at this day, in this place, as a great mercy, by those Families which God is plealed to preserve from those sicknesses, that fome are under : If
do not labour to improve this so, that God may not repent, that he hath spared you, ye do not well.
(2.) It is a very great mercy to have health, by recovery from sickness, and weakness; Hezekiah judged it fó; Isa. 38.19. The living shall praise thee, as I do this days David speaks to this, Pfal.103:56 My Soul praise thou the Lord. He renew's thý strength as the Eagle: The Eagle ( as it is said all Birds
of prey do) casts her feathers once a year ; new feathers grow up again, and then the is fresh, and lusty ; and mounts up as high as before.
Now that health, iš so great a blessing; will appear in this, because while the Lord gives it, he puts a very great price into the Man's hands that hath it, to further his Soul-prosperity. A weakly, fickly person is under many disadvantages, as to that. For obferve,
(1.) Weakness, long continued infirmity, of: ten derciyes a person of the publick Ordinapi. cest' Poftibly, some may, at this day, by weakness be deprived of luck
of such Meetings as this; which we are to
to reckon publick Ordinances, not in respect of the Place, but ada ministration, Ifa:38. 22. What shall be the hgn that I fall go up to the house of the Lord while he was sick, and weak, he could not do it.
(2.) It very, much ipdisposeth a Man for the folemn performance of the private Duties of
instance of this, Jam: 5. 13: Is any affli&ted? Let him pray: 1 any fick Let him Jend for the Elders of the Church is not sickness a great affliction ? It is : Why then Thould not the fick pray? Sickness, and weakness indispose a person for the folema performance of that duty. 63.) Persons subject to long, continued weak
We have a clear in
helles of body, are often in much darkness of mind, apt to question the grace of God in theń, and the love of God, toward them. For fickness, and weakness indispose a Man's mind: He cannot infer comfortable conclufions from his former experiences of God. He is full of confusion, like a skain of Silk, that a Man can neither winde, nor draw. So it is with an infirm Man. Pfal. 88. 3. Heman, when his life did draw nigh to the grave, he faith, His Soul was full of troubles. It is a sad case, a weåk Body, and a troubled Soul too. Satan is very skilful at his work: He knew this, and therefore he reserved this as his last temptation for fob, hoping that would stick, to afflict his Body.
Now to Apply this.
1. Let all such as God is pleafed to bless with any competency of health and strength, keep their hearts under the obligation, that this lays upon them. Deut. 8. 16. The Lord gave them Manna, to humble them. We say, Oh, if we were fit for Mercy, God would give it: Thus Folks talk, that never endeavour to be more fit. If we should never have a Mercy,
we were fit, it would be long enough before we fhould have any. God many times gives a Mercy firft; and makes a people humble afterward. Well then, considering that life, and health, and strength are given to every Man, for the