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Benefits of Sickness

Benefits of Sickness

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John xi. 3.

Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.

John xi. 3.

Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jul 21, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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BEEFITS OF SICKESSBY HERY KOLLOCK, D. D,John xi. 3.Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.Was there ever on earth, my brethren, a moreprivileged family than that of Lazarus? All themembers of it were united in love to each other, andin love to the Redeemer, and were honoured, in re-turn, by his most tender friendship. " Jesus lovedMartha, and her sister, and Lazarus." They resid-ed at Bethany, a small village about two miles fromJerusalem; and to their hospitable roof the Saviouroften retired from the tumult and noise, the vicesand follies, of the city, and gave them the most sub-lime instructions, the most tender consolations, whichthey received with eager attention and with full faith.Who, then, would not have supposed that the dwell-ing of Lazarus, so gloriously distinguished by thefrequent presence of the Son of God, would be in-accessible to those calamities and afflictions whichembitter the lives of mortals, and would ever beblest by peace, by prosperity, and felicity ? If theseMISCELLAEOUS. 283precise hopes were not entertained by this piousand amiable family; if, instructed in the school of Jesus Christ, the members of it had learned that hiskingdom was not of this world, and that therefore it isnot in this world that the believer must expect aperfect felicity; they seem at least to have flatteredthemselves that their intimacy with him, who by asingle word cured the sick, would avert from a house-
hold, to which he was so much attached, the painsof sickness and the languors of disease. We mayinfer this from the message which the sisters of La-zarus send to Jesus Christ : " Lord, behold, he whomthou lovest is sick." We may infer it from the wordswhich Martha addressed to the Redeemer, when shemet him approaching to Bethany : " Lord, if thouhadst been here, my brother had not died."Their faith in the power and goodness of Jesuswas unlimited ; but it must be confessed, it was notsufficiently enlightened and submissive. The sur-prise which they express because the friend of Je-sus is sick, and because the Redeemer does not im-mediately fly to his relief, ought at least to have beenbalanced by the persuasion that this sickness was forthe benefit of Lazarus, and that it was permittedfrom motives equally wise on the part of Jesus, anduseful for his friend. If the first emotion of naturemade them exclaim, " Lord, if thou hadst been here,my brother had not died ;" religion should have in-duced them immediately to add, c Lord, thy will bedone. Thy wisdom so perfectly knows what is ne-cessary for us, that we are fully persuaded that allthy dispensations are right. Thy love for the menwhom thou earnest to redeem, is so tender and en-lightened, that we do not for a moment doubt, thatdie afflictions which thou sendest are useful to them ;284 steknio xcv.and that therefore, if Lazarus thy friend is sick, it isbecause thou lovest him.'Yes, my brethren, the great design of the religionof Jesus is the salvation of our immortal souls. Eve-ry thing, then, which tends to produce this effect, isa blessing ; and as the afflictions which Providence
sends to us may powerfully tend to produce it, weshould consider them as proceeding, not from theanger of God, but from his mercy and love: he af-flicts the body, only to heal the soul, and prepare itfor glory. It is under this point of view, that we pro-pose to consider the advantages of sickness, and the in-fluence which it may and ought to have upon us.Favour me with your attention : the subject is in-teresting to us all. Do you, who have been laid onthe bed of disease, liston, and inquire of your ownhearts, whether you have derived that benefit fromthis dispensation of Providence which you ought.Do you, who are still in health, listen ; that whenthe time of sickness comes, as it will surely come,you ma'y know to what duties and exercises Godcalls you.It is impossible, in a single discourse, to mentionall the benefits which may result from sickness. Ican only mention a few of the leading advantageswhich believers derive, and which we all ought toderive, from it.1. By sickness, God designs to discover to us ourtrue character, and make us know ourselves. I need not.tell you of what infinite consequence it is to be ac-quainted with the real state of our souls ; to knowwhether we are the children of God, or the childrenof Satan; the heirs of heaven, or the heirs of helhI need not tell you, believers, of what infinite conse„quence it is, even after you suppose you have devotedMISCELLAEOUS. 285yourselves to God, to trace the most secret recesses of your hearts ; to examine constantly what you are andwhat you ought to be, what you do and what you ought

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