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all is changed. I feel the glow of returning health. Though not yet strong, I am mending every day, hope rises higher and higher within me, and already the voice of joy and health is heard in my house, and the voice of praise and thanksgiving. Oh, never does health seem so joyful a thing as when it has been taken away for a season! I trust that the voice of joy and health and thanksgiving may be as loud and heartfelt as was the voice of distress and prayer.

“Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits; Who forgiveth all thy sin, and healeth all thine infirmities; Who saveth thy life from destruction, and crowneth thee with mercy and lovingkindness.”

This is the Lord's doing. My recovery, so surprising to all, is His work. The right hand of the Lord has brought mighty things


my case; the right hand of the Lord has had the pre-eminence; for it has overcome the power of my disease, and triumphed over pain and weakness, and over all my own fears and the forebodings of those around me.

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And now, by His great mercy, I shall not die but live, and go in and out again among men, and be strong and well again. O my God and Father, help me to live to Thee, and to declare the works of the Lord. Help me to profit by this Thy chastening. Let it not be for nothing that I was so ill, and lay at the gates of death. Let not those serious thoughts and earnest desires, those solemn views of life and death and sin and holiness, those contrite feelings, those prayers and cries to Thee, and that looking and clinging to my Saviour-let them not fade away.

With the joy of returning health, give me the joy of thinking that now I can serve Thee again, and find fresh opportunities for working in Thy cause. Teach me to prize this as the great joy of health, that it gives me some power to labour in my Saviour's work. O my God, give me the heart for this work ; teach me to love it; teach me to love Him, and to love Thee; teach me to love Theo

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Ought I not to love Thee more for this

great mercy ? Ought I not to live to Thee more than ever, now that Thou hast given me my life back again ? Oh, grant that my life henceforth may be a life more full

life more full of love to Thee, more unworldly, more spiritual, more holy, more like my Master's pattern. Grant that there may be a marked difference between what I was before my illness, and what I shall be after it. By this very illness and recovery, by this chastening and restoration, may I be quickened in the spiritual life. May Thy Holy Spirit use these Thy dealings as means of good to my soul.

I am thankful, I am glad. But I would be glad in Thee, I would “rejoice in the Lord.” The Psalmist's first thought was to go up to the house of the Lord and give thanks ; for this he called on them to open to him " the gates of righteousness."

I too, O my Father, will praise Thee in Thy house; but may my whole life, in every place and in every thing, be henceforth a life of praise !



“ Rejoice in the Lord alway; and again I say, Rejoice.”

-Phil. iv. 4.

ALWAY? Then ought I to be rejoicing now? I am in such trouble; I am so weak and ill, and I do not mend; I seem rather to get worse : can it be meant than I should rejoice now? The words are very plain : “Rejoice in the Lord alway;and as if St. Paul—or

; rather, God the Holy Spirit-knew that some would find it hard, it is repeated : “again I say, Rejoice.” There is much

There is much to think of here.

In the first place, it is “ in the Lord” that we are to rejoice. We can hardly be glad of pain, or rejoice because we are weak and weary, or take pleasure in affliction : but this we are not called to; we are to “rejoice in


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the Lord.It is true we are to rejoice while we are ill and suffering and troubled ; but not in those things; not on account of them, but rather in spite of them. Our joy in God is to overcome the despondency that comes from pain, or illness, or weakness.

But can it? Let me remember what St. Paul says in another place: “As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing.” He says that of himself. That is what he actually was; therefore it is possible. He was sorrowful for his many afflictions and sufferings; yet he was rejoicing in the Lord. He was sad and happy at the same time; sad for his afflictions, but happy in the Lord. And the happiness got the better of the sadness; he was “sorrowful, yet alway

; rejoicing,” he rejoiced in the Lord alway.

But besides this, though he says“ Rejoice in the Lord alway,he does not say, Rejoice always in equal measure. There are different degrees of joy. There is a bounding and exulting joy; and there is a calm and sober joy; there is a greater joy and a lesser; a more lively and a graver joy. Our joy may be various, though constant; it will not and

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