Nonfiction > Henry Craik, ed. > English Prose > Vol. III. Seventeenth Century
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Henry Craik, ed.  English Prose.  1916.
Vol. III. Seventeenth Century
 
God’s Blessing on the Baths
By Thomas Ken (1637–1711)
 
From Prayers for the use of all Persons who come to the Baths for Cure

DO not think the baths can do you any good, without God’s immediate blessing on them, for it is God that must first heal the waters, before they can have any virtue to heal you.
  1
  The river Jordan could never have cleansed Naaman of his leprosy, had he washed himself in it seventy times seven times, had not God blessed it to his cleansing. The pool of Siloam could never have restored sight to one born blind, had not our Lord sent him to it. And the pool of Bethesda could never have made sick persons whole, but that an angel was sent by God to trouble the waters.  2
  I cannot then do better, than to send you to that angel, who, according to St. John, flies in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting Gospel to preach to them that dwell on the earth, saying with a loud voice, “Fear God, and give glory to him, and worship him, that made heaven and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.”  3
  This was the angel’s sermon, and I beseech you to become his auditors, and to observe how after the heaven and the earth and the sea, he particularly mentions the springs and fountains of waters, as a very wonderful part of the creation: for out of the dark places of the earth, through passages, and from causes unknown to the search of the wisest of men, God makes sweet and fresh springs to rise, to water the earth, to give drink to every beast of the field, and to supply all the necessities of human life, and springs of different kinds, some to allay our thirst, some to cure our diseases.  4
  Look therefore on the bath, as a very admirable and propitious work of Divine Providence, designed for the good of a great number of infirm persons, as well as for yourself. Praise and adore God who has signally manifested His power, and His mercy, in creating so universal a good; and the first thing you do when you come to this place, “worship God Who made the fountain.”  5
 
 
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