My dear brother,
I find this sickness profitable to my soul. It has, I trust, meekened and humbled my spirit, and I have been brought down to lie passive in the Lord's hands. I deserve many such, and much more severe chastisements for my daily sins and iniquities. I feel this sickness to be a rod that I needed. If we escaped such trials, we would wander farther from God after idols and the vain delights of our wicked hearts. What trials, afflictions, and sorrows are required to separate us from the world! How hard, carnal, and selfish does a man become, who has nothing to soften him! We need daily crosses and daily trials to keep us in any way alive to eternal things, and to maintain a spirit of prayer and watchfulness. I trust I can say that my sickness has proved profitable to me; but I am a very dull scholar in Christ's school, and need line upon line and precept upon precept. I have to lament a heart full of wickedness, vanity, and folly. I feel a strong inclination to avoid every cross. But I am sure, nevertheless, that crosses are daily needful. How we cleave to the world! What pride, vanity, flesh-pleasing, and worldly conformity are manifest in us!
Psalm 119:71 "It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.”
Yours affectionately and sincerely,