On the Diseases and Health of the Soul
1 Peter 2:18-25
Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the fraudulent.…


1. Bodily distempers are very often conveyed by descent from others. So the sin of our first parents has spread a fatal corruption through the whole human race. Man is not only liable to many bodily distempers from inheritance, he brings many upon himself by imprudence and by sinful gratifications. In like manner, besides what is called original sin, we are chargeable with many actual transgressions.

2. Having spoken of the origin of sin, let us now trace the manner of its progress.

(1) Vices, like diseases, steal upon us by slow degrees. Their first attack is often imperceptible.

(2) As bodily distempers are frequently most dangerous when the patient is least sensible of them, so it is a bad symptom of the soul when it has not a just sense of the evil of iniquity.

3. Having considered sin as to its source and progress, we shall also take a view of its effects.

(1) Sickness weakens the body, debilitates the nerves, and unfits mankind so long as it continues for enjoying and discharging the affairs of human life. Sin also enfeebles the mind by curbing and confusing the reasoning powers.

(2) Nor is this the only effect; for as sickness often brings much pain, so sin also is accompanied, or will be followed, by sorrow and sufferings.

(3) As diseases produce the death of the body, so sin, if unpardoned and unremoved, will destroy the soul.


1. Jesus Christ is the Physician, and the means prescribed are His Word, His ordinances, and His providences, made effectual by the Spirit.

(1) His Word is medicinal. A text of the Bible, well applied and directed to the heart by the Holy Spirit, has produced very valuable effects.

(2) The ordinances of Christ, under which are included all acts of worship, prayer, praise, and the Lord's Supper, are designed to increase our hatred of sin and love for holiness.

(3) All events are in the hand of God. Providential dispensations are employed to reclaim and reform sinners. Sometimes more awful, sometimes more mild exertions are requisite.

(4) The office of the Holy Spirit is another of the means promised and prescribed by the mercy of God for the recovery of the health of souls. He is the Divine Agent who gives efficacy to the other means.

2. The character and capacity of Jesus Christ, our glorious Physician, shall now be a little considered.

(1) His knowledge and capacity are infinitely great.

(2) Our blessed Saviour is not only able and skilful, He is also friendly and compassionate.

(3) Our blessed Redeemer is very humble and condescending.

(4) The Son of God is a Physician to whom you may have access in all places and at all times.


1. As we derive by our birth a weak and depraved nature, and are daily increasing the number of our offences, what strong reasons are these, not to think of ourselves more highly than we ought to think, but to think soberly!

2. The progress of vice, as above considered, should excite in us the greatest jealousy and circumspection.

3. The effects of sin, formerly mentioned, show that vice is, of all evils, the most formidable to mankind.

4. It is our duty to follow exactly the prescriptions for spiritual health which Jesus Christ has been pleased to direct.

5. Remember that it is by a believing reliance on the blood of Jesus Christ that the remedies in the gospel prove means of spiritual health.

(Robert Foote.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward.

WEB: Servants, be in subjection to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the wicked.

Of Patience
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