8 THE BRUISED REED necessary before conversion. And for the most part, the Holy Spirit, to further the work of conviction, joineth some affliction, whieh sanctified bath a healing and purging power. Nay, after conversion, we need bruising, (that Reeds may know themselves to be Reeds, and not oaks)' by reason of the remainder of pride in our nature, and to let us see that we live by mercy; and that weaker Christians may not be too much discouraged when they see stronger shaken and bruised. Thus Peter was bruised, when he wept bitterly. The people of God cannot be without these examples. The heroical deeds of those great worthies do not comfort the church so much as their falls and bruises do. Thus David was bruised, until he came to a free confession without guile, Psalm xxxii. nay, his sorrows arose, in his own feelings, unto the ex·- quisite pain of breaking of bones, Psa. li. Thus Hezekiah complains that God had broken his bones as a lion, Isaiah xxxviii. 13. Thus , the chosen vessel, St. Paul, needed the messenger of Satan to buffet him, let he should be lifted up above measure, 2 Co·r. xii .