I am a very dull scholar in Christ's school
(Excerpts from the letters of
"It was good for me to be afflicted." Psalm 119:71
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
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
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
How we cleave to the world!
What pride, vanity, flesh-pleasing, and
worldly conformity are manifest in us!
"Before I was afflicted I went astray, but
now I obey Your word." Psalm 119:67
Yours affectionately and sincerely,