Imatges de pÓgina

less graciously love him, and delight in him, than if he could still give up himself to thy blessed will.

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And hear, O most merciful Father, our prayers in his behalf, when he can no longer commend himself to thy mercies. Pardon, good Lord, pardon all his sins; impute not to him any of his former follies; lay not to his charge his not improving, or misusing, his reason and understanding, which we earnestly, but humbly, entreat thee to restore to him, together with such a measure of thy divine grace, as may quicken and assist him to employ his thoughts to the best purposes, espe cially in meditating on thy mercies, in studying thy praise, and in exhorting all others to love thee, to trust in thee, and sincerely obey thee.

And while he remains thus deprived of his reason, be pleased to quiet and compose his spirits, or to prevent all furious motions there, or quickly to abate such violent passions, if any arise; for which end, be pleased to remove all frightful imaginations far from him, and suffer not the evil one to approach him; preserve him from doing any harm, either to himself or to any others. "Forsake him not, O Lord our God, be not far from him. Make haste to help him, O Lord our salvation."*

"So will we give thanks unto thee for ever."

"We will still be praising thee, and shewing forth thy loving kindness to those who succeed us :"

"That they may set their hope in thee our God, and not forget thy works, but keep thy commandments." Amen.

A prayer for a person when danger is apprehended by excessive sleep.

(From Mr. Kettlewell.)

O MERCIFUL God, let not this deep sleep, which is fallen on thy servant, prove the sleep of death; make it the sleep of a recovering person to relieve and revive him; and awake him out of it in thy due time, to of fer thee praise, and to labour still among us in doing thee honour and service.

Psalm xxxviii, 21, 22.

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But if thou art pleased to take him to thyself, Lord remember and accept of all his former prayers and repentance, faith and patience.

Look not upon his sins, but to pardon them; nor on his weaknesses, but to pity them: and when he awakes in the next world, let him find himself surrounded with light and bliss, instead of gloominess and sorrow, and awake to eternal life.

Lord, hear us for this thy weak servant in distress. Hear our prayers for him, who seems not able now to offer up any prayers to thee for himself. And accept both him and us to the blessed enjoyment of thy love; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

A prayer for a person lying insensible on a sick-bed.

O THOU Preserver of men, who knowest the frailty of our constitutions; how soon our senses may fail us, and our understanding depart from us; to what accidents, distempers, and decays, our weak nature is subject; even such as may make the most acute and judicious quickly become as fools; and the ablest and strongest, weak and insensible; O look down, we beseech thee, upon thy servant, who now lies in such a weak and insensible condition.

The less able he is to assist himself, the more need hath he of our prayers, and of thy tender mercy to him. O thou great Creator of the world, who broughtest light out of darkness, and madest all things out of nothing, and canst restore our dead bodies again after they are mouldered into dust, be pleased to repel the clouds of darkness which now have taken away the light of our brother's understanding, and rendered him a companion for the dead.

Quicken him again, O Lord, and restore him to his former senses, that his soul may bless and praise thy holy name.

Hear our petitions, O Lord, and receive our prayers for our brother, that this image of death may not be converted into death itself, but that he may live to proclaim thy power, and to celebrate thy praises longer upon earth.

But if it be thy will to remove him hence in this in

sensible condition, O pardon, we beseech thee, all his offences, and accept of the preparation and repentance that he was able to make before the distemper prevailed upon him in so deadly a manner. Receive him, O Lord, into the arms of thy mercy, and accept him, for thy well-beloved Son's sake; that so this short night may quickly be turned into everlasting day; and, after these dark shadows are removed, he may find himself in a heaven of happiness, where," in thy light he may see light" for ever. Amen.

A prayer for one who hath been a notoriously
wicked liver.

O LORD God, of infinite goodness and compassion, whose mercies are over all thy works; who makest the sun to shine, and the rain to descend, upon the "unjust" as well as the "just," and art kind even to the most unthankful; we humbly beseech thee to look down in mercy upon this thy unworthy servant, who hath so long "trampled upon the riches of thy goodness, not knowing that it should lead to repentance."

Let thy rod, therefore, awaken him now to a sense of his condition, whom thy goodness hath not reclaimed, and let him still find mercy at thy hands, notwithstanding his continual abuse of it.

Thou hast promised, O Lord, that, "when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness which he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive." O make good this thy promise to thy servant here, who stands in so much need of it.

"Hide thy face from his sins, and blot out all his iniquities:" though they be "red as scarlet," yet do thou make them "white as snow," by repentance, which we beg of thee to give him, and to accept, though late, through thine infinite mercies.

Simon Magus, though in the "gall of bitterness, and the bond of iniquity," was exhorted to repent, and to pray for pardon: and therefore we hope the gate of life is still open for our brother though he hath so long shut himself out of it, by going on in a course that leadeth to the "chambers of death."

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Blessed Lord, let thy terrors at length awaken him out of this lethargical condition, before he is overtaken by thy judgments. Afflict him here, that thou mayest spare him hereafter. Soften his heart, that he may bewail his ill-spent life, like Mary Magdalen, with tears of contrition.

O quicken him to a sense of his duty, and of his danger, before it be too late: and when thou hast brought him to his right mind, receive him, we beseech thee, as the compassionate father did his prodigal son, or the shepherd his lost sheep.

Thou, O Lord, who didst pardon the thief upon the cross, hear our prayers for our brother, in these his great, and, for any thing we know, his last agonies.

And, as the fore-mentioned instances are lively significations of thine unbounded goodness, and were written for our comfort and instruction, that none should despair of pardon; so with the greatest confidence we now recommend this our distressed brother to thy divine protection, beseeching thee to forgive all that is past, and to receive him at last into thine "everlasting habitation." Amen.

A prayer for one who is hardened and impenitent.

LORD God Almighty, who art the "Father of our spirits," and who "turnest the hearts of men as thou pleasest; who hast mercy on whom thou wilt have mercy, and whom thou wilt thou hardenest;" let thy merciful ears be open, we pray thee, to the supplications which we now offer to thy Divine Majesty, in the behalf of this thy servant, who appears insensible of his sin and folly, and on whom all means to lead him to repentance have hitherto seemed vain and ineffectual. Take from him, we humbly entreat thee, all ignorance and hardness of heart: remove from him all prejudice against, and contempt of, thy sacred word and ministry; let him no longer "make a mock of sin," but be sensible that the wisdom he has hitherto gloried in, is the greatest and most dangerous folly. Open thou his eyes, that he may "see the wonderful things of thy law." Shew thy mercy upon him, and grant him

ness still, by which we came into the light of the living. We cannot desire to be better provided for, than as thy infinite wisdom judgeth most convenient for us; unto that we refer ourselves, beseeching thee, if it be thy good pleasure, that her deliverance may be as speedy as her cries unto thee; or her patience as great and long as her pains. Thou who ripenest the fruits of the earth, and then givest us the gathering of them to our comfort, blast not, we beseech thee, the fruit of the womb; but bring it to maturity, and deliver it safe into thy servant's hand as a new pledge of thy goodness to her, to be an instrument of thy glory, and a future comfort and blessing to thy servant, who travails in so much pain with it now. Or if thou hast otherwise determined, Lord, give her grace to submit to thy holy will, and to rest satisfied in thy wise appointments, and never to distrust thy goodness and care over her. Hear us, O Father of mercies, and pardon hers and all our offences, and pity' our infirmities: make us more thankful for what we have received, and more fit for the blessing which we now request; and prepare us for all thy future mercies, either in this life, or in the next, through thy infinite love and compassion declared to us, in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.

A prayer for a woman who cannot be delivered without difficulty and hazard.

O LORD God of all comfort and consolation, who art the refuge of the distressed, and the help of all that dedend upon thee; we thy unworthy servants do now of fer up our supplications at the throne of thy majesty, in the behalf of this thy servant, who is in great pain and misery. Thou hast been pleased to bring the child to the birth, but there is not strength to bring forth. On this account, thy servant is in violent agonies, cry. ing out in her pangs, and pouring out her soul to thee in prayer. O grant that " it may be in an acceptable time."

"Thou art our salvation; thou shalt preserve us from trouble; thou shalt compass us about with songs of deliverance." O let thy servant feel these blessed effects of thy goodness; and as thou hast brought to the

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