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disease, as long as we are the objects of thy love, and the care of thy good providence.
And do thou give us grace so to live, that we may comfortably look up to thee at all times, especially in a time of sickness, as our constant Friend, and most tender Father, as our life and health, our rest and joy, through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. Amen.
A prayer with one who is very ill.
WE bow down before thee, O Lord of heaven and earth, acknowledging that we are but dust, and unworthy to speak to thee, either for ourselves or others.
When we consider thine infinite wisdom, power, and goodness, our own folly, weakness, and unworthiness, and our vast distance from thee, we desire with great humility to confess, that we are as nothing and vanity. But thy condescending goodness encourages our approaches to the throne of mercy with hope and confidence, to solicit thy favour both for ourselves, and our fellow-creatures.
We would therefore in a particular manner at the same time implore thy tender compassion upon this our sick brother, who desires our prayers. Gracious God, look down upon him with pity, and support him under thine afflicting hand. Work in him true repentance for all the sins he has committed against thee in thought, word, and deed. Give him a lively and stedfast faith in Christ Jesus; fill him with a lively hope of that immortal life, which Christ has purchased and promised to all true believers; fill him with a powerful sense of thy fatherly love and tender care over him in the most afflicted condition. Bestow on him thy heavenly supports and comforts from above, and give
him patience and submission to thy holy will during this visitation of sickness.
We know, great God, that with thee there is nothing impossible. If thou wilt, thou canst raise him up, and grant him a longer continuance in this world. May it be thy gracious pleasure to restore him to us! May it please thee to save and deliver him for thy goodness' sake, O Lord. Direct and bless the means which may be used for his recovery, and make them effectual. Command the disease to relinquish him by thine almighty word, that he may again be restored to health and usefulAnd in the mean time help him meekly to resign himself to thy disposal, and quietly to wait for ease and comfort here, or for everlasting rest and happiness in a future state, through Jesus Christ, who is the resurrection and the life. Amen.
A prayer with one who is sick, on the same day (or on the day before*) he receives the Sacrament.
See page 125.
O THOU God of ordinances, we thank thee for the covenant of thy grace, and the appointed seals of it. We now humbly petition thee in behalf of this thy sick servant, who desires to devote himself to thee, and to approach thy holy table with bumility and gratitude. We trust, O Lord, that thou hast filled him with reverence for this com
* Before receiving the Sacrament, especially in the preceding week, it should be frequently considered, that if we have not a due sense of the evil of sin; if we have not sincerely repented of sin; if we are strangers to a life of faith in Christ; if we are not renewed by divine grace, and have no love of holiness, nor any pleasure in the practice of it; then we are not real Christians; then we can receive no benefit from this ordinance; nor indeed have we any right to partake of it while we continue in such a state. Surely we cannot think, that any ritual service in the Christian church is designed to confer blessings on us whilst we obey not the precepts of Christ, our Lord and Master.
mand of his dying Saviour, with this desire of communion with thee, and with this willingness to be wholly thine. Examine him, O Lord, and prove him; try him, and know his thoughts. Is he indulging any secret sin? Is he allowing himself in the neglect of any holy precept? Let thy word, providence, and spirit concur to make his way plain before him. Let him not wrong his soul by a sinful absence from thy table. Scatter his doubts. Give him stronger faith and love. May the views of a crucified Saviour deeply impress his mind, and a sense of his dying love constrain him to give up himself to Christ more solemnly than he had ever yet done!
Lord, shew him thy covenant, and help him to grow in grace, and in the knowledge of his Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
He believes: Lord, help thou his unbelief, and increase his faith. Kindle his repentance, and so strike his heart, that it may bleed at the remembrance of past follies; and confirm his resolutions, that he may have nothing more to do with idols, He abhors himself that he loves his God and Saviour no better, and desires to be deeply penitent for all his offences in thought, word, and deed, against thy divine Majesty, and pleads the promises for the forgiveness of all these sins, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
[Here this prayer may be divided, if the sick person finds his attention deficient; and after proper intervals, the minister, or any other, may proceed to the remaining part, as follows.]
We renew our prayers, O Lord, for this our suffering fellow-creature. Instead of the bread and wine, and the cup of salvation, thou mightest give him the bread of affliction, and doom him to a place of punishment, where he should beg (but beg in vain) for a drop of water to cool his tongue.
But, since thou art pleased to call even sinners who have undone themselves to come unto thee for help, and hast appointed this Sacrament as a means of procuring for them that pardon and sanctifying grace of which they so greatly stand in need, he approaches thy throne of mercy, though polluted and unfit to appear before thee; and he dares not but come, as knowing that he shall be undone if he keeps away from thee. He comes not, O Lord, because he thinks himself worthy; but he comes because thou art rich in mercy. He comes as the poor starved wretch to the fire. He comes as the hungry to be fed, and as the sick to be recovered, and the wounded to be healed, that he may be washed in the fountain of thy Son's blood,! opened for all uncleanness, that he may be cleansed; and that he may receive of thine infinite fulness all that is wanting in his wretched self, that he may (as it were) "so touch Christ's garment,
as to receive virtue from him." (Mark v. 30.) to heal his sinful sores, and to enable him to serve thee faithfully. Blessed Saviour, weigh not his but thine own merits; for he has no claim to redemption by thee, but merely as it is an act of thy mercy. And, as thou sealest and confirmest the covenant of grace, may he be ever mindful of the terms of it, and come to thee at thy table in so devout and acceptable a manner, that he may return from it with his conscience quieted, his corruptions subdued, his grace increased, and his soul encouraged to run with an enlarged heart the way of thy commands.
Let any spark of repentance which thou mayest kindle become a flame; let that flame be strong and steady, and the proofs of it appear in his holy obedience. O shed abroad thy love in his heart by the Holy Spirit given unto him! Draw him, and he will run after thee. He had rather love thee, than have all the treasures on earth. “
ous, and constant; and never let sinful passions any more ruffle and discompose us.
Blessed be thy name for that relish thou hast given us of spiritual delights; for that desire we have of possessing the eternal inheritance. May the enjoyment of, sensual objects, after the representation we have seen of a crucified Saviour, and the favours we have received from him, appear mean and contemptible; and may the pleasures of the world never more prevail on us to transgress those holy laws, to the faithful observance of which we lie under such great and solemn obligations.
Grant, O Lord, we earnestly entreat thee, that we may walk worthy of these thy distinguished mercies, and live as becomes the redeemed of the Lord. Without thee, thou adorable Saviour of lost mankind, we can do nothing: without thee, who art the Sun of righteousness, we shall walk in darkness: without thee, who art the Physician of souls, we shall languish and die; without thee,who art the joy of all devout minds, we shall consume away our days in sadness. Remain therefore, O Lord, and abide with us for ever. We shall then be enabled to do thy will in this life, and thus be qualified to partake of thy glories in the next, through all the boundless ages of eternity. Amen.
A prayer with a careless and inconsiderate sinner in his sickness. See p. 26.
From Mr. Merivale.
O THOU Creator, Preserver, and Redeemer of the world by thy Son Jesus Christ, what returns of duty and gratitude mayest thou not most justly expect from all thy reasonable creatures! With what reverence, admiration, and love, should our hearts be filled towards thee! Under what a lively sense of thy presence should we walk before