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XIV. WORSE BEFORE BETTER.

STRANGE was the behaviour of our Saviour toward his beloved Lazarus; informed by a messenger of his sickness, he abode two days still in the place where he was. [John xi. 6.] Why so slow? bad sending him on a dying man’s errands. But the cause was, because Lazarus was not bad enough for Christ to cure, intending not to recover him from sickness, but revive him from death, to make the glory of the miracle greater.

England doth lie desperately sick of a violent disease in the bowels thereof. Many messengers we despatch (monthly fasts, weekly sermons, daily prayers) to inform God of our sad 136condition. He still stays in the same place, yea, which is worse, seems to go backward, for every day less likelihood, less hope of help. May not this be the reason, that our land must yet be reduced to more extremity, that God may have the higher honour of our deliverance?

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