Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Bodily Afflictions

A selection from a letter by Rev. J. C. Philpot, to a dear friend, Thomas Clowes, who was very sick and would be dead and in glory in two months time. Mr. Philpot encouraged his friend to overcome any doubts brought about by unbelief and rest in the Lord for strength. Philpot himself was feeling very poorly and shared his own experience. The letter was written December 17, 1866.

I know from experience with what a heavy weight bodily afflictions press, not only upon our mortal tabernacle, but upon our soul, and how depressing they are to the mind and spirits. I can, therefore, feelingly sympathise with you in the painful trial, and indeed all the more, as just now passing through it myself. But all we can say is, "It is from the Lord, and He must and will deal with us as seemeth good in His sight." You have had for many years a good measure of health and strength, and though rarely free from your stomach affection, yet you have been spared to a good age [78]. You cannot expect to have now that health and strength which you had in younger days, and it will be your wisdom and mercy to bow down before the will of God, and submit with patient resignation to the strokes of His afflicting rod. He had often in times past blessed, relieved, and comforted your soul, and though through the power of unbelief you may at times call in question all He has done for you and in you, yet all your doubts and fears do not affect the reality of His work nor the exceeding riches of His superabounding grace.

Letters and Memoir of Joseph Charles Philpot, first published in 1871, reprinted by Baker Book House, 1981, p.451.

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