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Practice of Piety 68 - Consolations Against Impatience in Sickness.

By Lewis Bayly


      If in thy sickness by extremity of pain thou be driven to impatience, meditate-

      1. That thy sins have deserved the pains of hell; therefore thou mayest with greater patience endure these fatherly corrections.

      2. That these are the scourges of thy heavenly Father, and the rod is in his hand. If thou didst suffer with reverence, being a child, the corrections of thy earthly parents, how much rather shouldst thou now subject thyself, being the child of God, to the chastisement of thy heavenly Father, seeing it is for thy eternal good?

      3. That Christ suffered in his soul and body far more grievous pains for thee, therefore thou must more willingly suffer his blessed pleasure for thy own good (Isa. liii. 3.) Therefore, saith Peter, "Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example that ye should follow his steps" (1 Pet. ii. 21.) And "Let us," saith St. Paul, "run with joy the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross," &c. (Heb. xii. 1, 2.)

      4. That these afflictions which now you suffer are none other but such as "are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world," as witnesseth Peter (1 Peter v. 9;) yea, Job's afflictions were far more grievous. There is not one of the saints which now are at rest in heavenly joys, but endured as much as you do before they went thither; yea, many of them willingly suffered all the torments that tyrants could inflict upon them, that they might come unto those heavenly joys to which you are now called. And you have a promise, that "the God of all grace, after that you have suffered a while, will make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, and settle you" (1 Pet. v. 10.) And that "God of his fidelity will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it" (1 Cor. x. 13.)

      5. That God hath determined the time when thy affliction shall end, as well as the time when it began. Thirty-eight years were appointed the sick man at the pool of Bethesda (John v. 5.) Twelve years to the woman with the bloody issue (Matt. ix. 20.) Three months to Moses (Exod. ii. 2.) Ten days' tribulation to the angel of the Church at Smyrna (Rev. ii. 10.) Three days plague to David (2 Sam. xxiv. 13.) Yea, the number of the godly man's tears are registered in God's book, and the quantity kept in his bottle (Psal. lvi. 8.)

      The time of our trouble, saith Christ, is but a modicum (John xvi. 16.) God's anger lasts but a moment, saith David (Psal. xxx.) A little season, saith the Lord (Rev. vi. 11;) and therefore calls all the time of our pain but the hour of sorrow (John xvi. 21.) David, for the swiftness of it, compares our present trouble to a brook (Psal. cx. 7), and Athanasius to a shower. Compare the longest misery that man endures in this life to the eternity of heavenly joys, and they will appear to be nothing. And as the sight of a son safely born makes the mother forget all her former deadly pain (John xvi. 21), so the sight of Christ in heaven, who was born for thee, will make all these pangs of death to be quite forgotten, as if they had never been. Like Stephen, who, as soon as he saw Christ, forgat his own wounds, with the horror of the grave, and terror of the stones, and sweetly yielded his soul into the hands of his Saviour (Acts vii.) Forget thy own pain, think of Christ's wounds. Be faithful unto the death, and he will give thee the crown of eternal life (Rev. ii. 10.)

      6. That you are now called to repetitions in Christ's school, to see how much faith, patience, and godliness, you have learned all this while; and whether you can, like Job, receive at the hand of God some evil, as well as you have hitherto received a great deal of good (Job ii. 10.) As therefore you have always prayed, "Thy will be done," so be not now offended at this which is done by his holy will.

      7. That "all things shall work together for the best to them that love God;" insomuch that "neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, &c., shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Rom. viii. 28, 38, 39.) Assure yourself that every pang is a prevention of the pains of hell, every respite an earnest of heaven's rest; and how many stripes do you esteem heaven worth? As your life hath been a comfort to others, so give your friends a Christian example to die, and deceive the devil as Job did. It is but the cross of Christ sent before to crucify the love of the world in thee, that thou mayest go eternally to live with Christ who was crucified for thee. As thou art therefore a true Christian, take up, like Simeon of Cyrene, with both thy arms, his holy cross, carry it after him unto him; thy pains will shortly pass, thy joys shall never pass away.

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See Also:
   Practice of Piety 1 - Directing a Christian How to Walk, that He May Please God.
   Practice of Piety 2 - A Plain Description of the Essence and Attributes of God
   Practice of Piety 3 - Meditations of the Misery of a Man Not Reconciled to God in Christ.
   Practice of Piety 4 - Meditations of the Miseries of Man from Infancy to Old Age.
   Practice of Piety 5 - Meditations of the Misery of the Soul in this Life.
   Practice of Piety 6 - Meditations of the Misery of the Body and Soul in Death.
   Practice of Piety 7 - Meditations of the Misery of a Man after Death.
   Practice of Piety 8 - Blessedness of the Regenerate
   Practice of Piety 9 - Meditations of the blessed state of a Regenerate Man in his Death.
   Practice of Piety 10 - Meditations of the blessed state of the Regenerate Man after Death.
   Practice of Piety 11 - Meditations of the blessed state of a Regenerate Man in Heaven.
   Practice of Piety 12 - Of the Prerogatives which the Elect shall enjoy in Heaven.
   Practice of Piety 13 - Of the Effects of those Prerogatives.
   Practice of Piety 14 - Meditations directing a Christian how to apply to himself.
   Practice of Piety 15 - Meditations on the Hindrances which Keep a Sinner from Piety.
   Practice of Piety 16 - How a Private Man Must Begin the Morning with Piety.
   Practice of Piety 17 - Meditations for the Morning.
   Practice of Piety 18 - Brief Directions How to Read the Holy Scriptures Once A Year
   Practice of Piety 19 - A Prayer for the Morning.
   Practice of Piety 20 - Meditations to stir us up to Morning Prayer.
   Practice of Piety 21 - Another short Morning Prayer.
   Practice of Piety 22 - Farther Meditations to stir up to Prayer in the Morning.
   Practice of Piety 23 - A brief Prayer for the Morning.
   Practice of Piety 24 - Meditations Directing a Christian How To Walk All the Day with God
   Practice of Piety 25 - Secondly, for thy Words.
   Practice of Piety 26 - Thirdly, for thy Actions.
   Practice of Piety 27 - Meditations for the Evening.
   Practice of Piety 28 - A Prayer for the Evening.
   Practice of Piety 29 - Another shorter Evening Prayer.
   Practice of Piety 30 - Meditations for Household Piety.
   Practice of Piety 31 - Morning Prayer for a Family.
   Practice of Piety 32 - The Practice of Piety at Meals, and the Manner of Eating.
   Practice of Piety 33 - Grace before Meat.
   Practice of Piety 34 - The Practice of Piety at Evening.
   Practice of Piety 35 - Evening Prayer for a Family.
   Practice of Piety 36 - Meditations of the True Manner of Practising Piety on the Sabbath-Day.
   Practice of Piety 37 - Ten Reasons demonstrating the Commandment of the Sabbath to be moral.
   Practice of Piety 38 - The True Manner of Keeping Holy the Lord's Day.
   Practice of Piety 39 - A Morning Prayer for the Sabbath-day.
   Practice of Piety 40 - Duties in the Holy Assembly.
   Practice of Piety 41 - A private Evening Prayer for the Lord's day.
   Practice of Piety 42 - Of the Practice of Piety in Fasting.
   Practice of Piety 43 - Of the Public Fast.
   Practice of Piety 44 - Of the Practice of Piety in Holy Feasting.
   Practice of Piety 45 - Of Preparation.
   Practice of Piety 46 - Of the Worthiness of the Sacrament.
   Practice of Piety 47 - Of the first End of the Lord's Supper.
   Practice of Piety 48 - Of the second End of the Lord's Supper.
   Practice of Piety 49 - Of the third End of the Lord's Supper.
   Practice of Piety 50 - Of the fourth End of the Lord's Supper.
   Practice of Piety 51 - The fifth End of the Lord's Supper.
   Practice of Piety 52 - The sixth End of the Lord's Supper.
   Practice of Piety 53 - Of the seventh End of the Lord's Supper.
   Practice of Piety 54 - A Confession of Sins before the receiving of the Holy Communion.
   Practice of Piety 55 - Of the Means whereby thou mayest become a worthy Receiver.
   Practice of Piety 56 - Of the Second sort of Duties which a worthy Communicant is to perform
   Practice of Piety 57 - A sweet Soliloquy to be said between the Consecration and Sacrament.
   Practice of Piety 58 - Duties After Communion.
   Practice of Piety 59 - The Practice of Piety in Glorifying God in the Time of Sickness or Death
   Practice of Piety 60 - A Prayer when one begins to be sick.
   Practice of Piety 61 - A Prayer before taking of Medicine.
   Practice of Piety 62 - Meditations for the Sick.
   Practice of Piety 63 - Meditations for One That Is Like to Die.
   Practice of Piety 64 - A Prayer to Be Said of One That Is Like to Die.
   Practice of Piety 65 - Meditations against Despair, or doubting of God's Mercy.
   Practice of Piety 66 - An Admonition to them who come to visit the Sick.
   Practice of Piety 67 - A Prayer to be said for the Sick by them who visit him.
   Practice of Piety 68 - Consolations Against Impatience in Sickness.
   Practice of Piety 69 - Consolations Against the Fear of Death
   Practice of Piety 70 - Seven Sanctified Thoughts and Mournful Sighs of a Sick Man Ready to Die.
   Practice of Piety 71 - Of the Comfortable Assurance of God's Forgiveness of Sins.
   Practice of Piety 72 - Meditations of Martyrdom.
   Practice of Piety 73 - A Divine Colloquy Between the Soul and Her Savior
   Practice of Piety 74 - The Soul's Soliloquy, ravished in contemplation of the Passion of our Lord.

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