Evelyn Simpson, Helen Gardner, and T. S. Healy (eds), Selected Prose
3. [The physician is sent for]
i have not the righteousnesse of Job, but I have the desire of Job, I would speake to the Almightie and I would reason with God. My God, my God, how soone wouldest thou have me goe to the Phisician, and how farre wouldest thou have me go with the Phisician? I know thou hast made the Matter, and the Man, and the Art, and I goe not from thee when I go to the Phisician. Thou didst not make clothes before there was a shame of the nakednes of the body; but thou didst make Phisick before there was any grudging of any sicknes; for thou didst imprint a medicinall vertue in many Simples, even from the beginning; didst thou meane that wee should be sicke, when thou didst so? when thou madest them? No more than thou didst meane, that we should sinne, when thou madest us: thou foresawest both, but causedst neither. Thou, Lord, promisest heere trees, whose fruit shall bee for meat, and their leaves for Medicine. It is the voyce of thy Sonn, Wilt thou bee made whole? That drawes from the patient the confession that hee was ill, and could not make him selfe wel. And it is thine owne voyce, Is there no Phisician? That inclines us, disposes us to accept thine Ordinance. And it is the voyce of the Wise man, both for the matter, Phisick it selfe, The Lord hath created Medicines out of the Earth, and hee that is wise, shall not abhorre them, And for the Arte, and the Person, The Phisician cutteth off a long disease. In all these voyces, thou sendest us to those helpes, which thou hast afforded us in that. But wilt not thou avowe that voyce too, Hee that hath sinned against his Maker, let him fall into the hands of the Phisician; and wilt not thou affoord me an understanding of those wordes? Thou who sendest us for a blessing to the Phisician, doest not make it a curse to us, to go, when thou sendest. Is not the curse rather in this, that onely hee falls into the hands of the Phisician, that casts himself wholy, intirely upon the Phisician, confides in pg 97him, relies upon him, attends all from him, and neglects that spirituall phisicke, which thou also hast instituted in thy Church: so to fall into the hands of the Phisician, is a sinne, and a punishment of former sinnes; so, as Asa fell, who in his disease, sought not to the Lord, but to the Phisician. Reveale therefore to me thy Method, O Lord, and see, whether I have followed it; that thou mayest have glory, if I have, and I pardon, if I have not, and helpe that I may. Thy Method is, In time of thy sicknesse, be not negligent: Wherein wilt thou have my diligence expressed? Pray unto the Lord, and hee will make thee whole. O Lord, I doe; I pray, and pray thy servant Davids prayer, Have mercy upon mee, O Lord, for I am weake; Heale mee, O Lord, for my bones are vexed: I knowe, that even my weakenesse is a reason, a motive, to induce thy mercie, and my sicknes an occasion of thy sending health. When art thou so readie, when is it so seasonable to thee, to commiserate, as in miserie? But is Prayer for health in season, as soone as I am sicke? Thy Method goes further; Leave off from sinne, and order thy handles aright, and cleanse thy heart from all wickednesse; Have I, O Lord, done so? O Lord, I have; by thy Grace, I am come to a holy detestation of my former sin; Is there any more Inthy Methode there is more; Give a sweet savor, and a memoriall of fine flower, and make a fat offering, as not being. And, Lord, by thy grace, I have done that, sacrificed a little, of that litle which thou lentst me, to them, for whom thou lentst it: and now in thy Method, and by thy steps, I am come to that, Then give place to the Phisician, for the Lord hath created him, let him not goe from thee, for thou hast need of him. I send for the Phisician, but I will heare him enter with these wordes of Peter, Jesus Christ maketh thee whole; I long for his presence, but I look that the power of the Lord, should bee present to heale mee.