Imatges de pÓgina
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6. Think of the infinite importance of praying for yourself, that your heart may be made truly humble and contrite, penitent and believing, and be effectually converted from the love of sin, to the love of God and Christ, of heaven and holiness.

7. If this late repentance and conversion would have produced an holy life in case you recovered, and be not the mere result of a frightened conscience, there is reason to hope you may be saved, though you die during this sickness. But God alone knows how far this blossom would have borne fruit. He may therefore consider that life as amended, which would have been amended if he had spared it.

Helps for conversing with one who is sick on the benefits of the Gospel.

Consider the goodness of God in giving you the Gospel or covenant of grace by Jesus Christ.

Consider the terms of it; namely, faith, repentance, and renewed obedience.

Consider the blessings of it; namely, pardon of sin, the aid of the Holy Spirit, and eternal life. Consider the duties of it; namely, love to God and to your neighbour.

Consider the promises of it, as sealed to you with the blood of Christ, and confirmed to you by his resurrection, ascension, and the coming of the Holy Spirit.

Consider your obligations to God for all these mercies, this inestimable benefit.

Helps for conversing with one who is sick on salvation by Jesus Christ.

Had not man sinned there would have been no need of a Saviour; for Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. (1 Tim. i. 15.)

Sin is very offensive to God: "Be ye holy, as I "am holy." (1 Peter i. 16.)

The disobedient and unruly are very offensive

to us.

You should confess your sins with shame and abhorrence.

Plead God's promises of forgiveness through Christ.

Acknowledge your obligations to him. Though God is a just God to punish, yet he is merciful to forgive.

You should pray to be delivered from the power of sin, as well as from the guilt of it.

Helps for conversing with the sick on Christ's invitation to come to him, and his promise to receive all who accept it on the terms of the Gospel.

It is very necessary to enquire how are we to come to him? There is no other way than by the desire of the heart turned to him in deep humility, faith, and a lively sincere repentance.

1. You should come as a lost, undone, and helpless sinner, to an all-sufficient and merciful Saviour, and say with Peter, "Lord, save me, or I " perish."

2. You should come as an humble, penitent sinner to an offended God, and say with the publican, "God be merciful to me a sinner."

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3. As a polluted creature to a cleansing fountain grace, and say with the lepers, " Unclean, un"clean! Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.'

4. As a creature enslaved by sin and Satan, to a mighty Redeemer, and say, "If thou, Lord, wilt "make me free, I shall be free indeed." John viii. 36.

5. As a diseased soul to Christ, the great spiritual Physician, and say with the woman in the Gospel, who was afflicted with a disease of long standing, "If I may but touch his garment, I shall "be whole." Christ approves, and honours such faith.

6. As weary and heavy laden under the burden of sin, that Christ may give you rest.

7. As a good subject and willing servant to Christ your Lord and Master. "His commands "are not grievous." "Lord, what wilt thou have 66 me to do?"

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8. The law pronounces us accursed. We are by the law condemned criminals. Let us then say with the apostle, "If any man sin, we have an "Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righ"teous; and he is the propitiation for our sins."

9. As weak and insufficient, come to the Captain of your salvation, and pray, " Teach my hands to war, and my fingers to fight against all my spiri"tual enemies, the world, the flesh, and the "devil."

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e Helps for conversing with one who is sick, founded on

some important texts.

The language of too many unbelievers, while in health and prosperity, is, "Depart from us, for "we desire not the knowledge of thy ways." (Job xxi. 14.) I do not suppose you have ever said this in so many words; but is not your conduct to this effect? Does it not loudly proclaim this? And do you not neglect to pray for the knowledge of God and his ways?

"All have sinned against God." (Rom. iii. 23.). "All are become guilty before God." (Rom. iii. 19.) Do you desire to be delivered from this state? "Whosoever believeth in Christ shall not perish, "but have everlasting life." (John iii. 16.) Do you believe this, and pray that you may not perish?

"Whosoever shall call upon the name of the "Lord Jesus, shall be saved." (Rom. x. 13.) Do you call on him for salvation? Christ came to save sinners, the chief of sinners." (1 Tim. i. 15.) Do you pray to him daily, that he may save you? Is such a salvation to be slighted? Ought

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you not to pray earnestly that you may partake of it?

"The blood of Christ cleanseth the penitent "from all sin." (1 John i. 7.) Are you penitent, and desirous, that it may cleanse you?

"The Holy Spirit is promised to them who ask "it." (Luke xi. 13.) Can you be holy without his assistance? Do you desire to be sanctified?

"Whoso offereth me praise, glorifieth me." (Ps. 1. 23.) Do you daily offer praise to God, and glorify him? Are you content to live without the knowledge of God, and salvation of Christ?

You may startle perhaps, and recoil at these questions; but think well of these things: be serious; be faithful, and apply other passages of Scripture in the same manner close to your consciences.

Helps for conversing with one who is sick on the reasons for which he is afflicted.

God doth not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men. Lament. iii. 33.

You should not consider your sickness as barely the effect of second causes, but as inflicted on you by Providence for some wise and good ends, as for the trial of your faith; the exercise of your patience; the punishment of your sins; the amendment of your life; or for the example of others; who, seeing your good behaviour in such a day of trouble, may glorify your Father which is in heaven. Or else it may be for the increase of your future welfare, in order that by this humiliation here you may be led to Christ, and to an higher degree of glory hereafter. Let me exhort you therefore to be patient in tribulation, resigned to the will of God; and say with good old Eli, " It "is the Lord; let him do what seemeth good unto "him." 1 Sam. iii. 18.

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Helps for conversing with one in pain.

1. If the pain be acute, God will shorten it; if lasting, he will alleviate it, or else increase your strength, and sanctify to you the greatest pains, which he may not see fit to remove.

2. No pain can be compared to the hope of glory.

3. You should think on the examples of good men, who have suffered more. Meditate on Christ's sufferings, as recorded by the Evangelists. Read the twelfth chapter to the Hebrews.

4. You have heard of the patience of Job. Be also patient. James v. 11, 8.

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5. This correction is intended to amend your life, to confirm your faith, and to exercise your piety.

6. You should be deeply penitent for sin; receive this affliction as a correction for it; implore God's pardon for it; earnestly beg the aid of his Spirit to support you; and pray, that, "though your outward man should perish, your inward "man may be renewed day by day." 2 Cor. iv. 16.

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7. Think how many are tempted to walk in the broad way which leads to destruction, and you will more easily bear your pain. Would you be Nero, the cruel profligate Roman emperor? or Job, the faithful servant of God, under his complicated afflictions and painful boils?

8. Afflictions are present physic for everlasting health.

9. Therefore prayer for grace, a dependence on Christ, obedience to the dictates of the Holy Spirit, and a progress in the divine life, are the true preparations for patient sufferings.

Helps for conversing with one who is sick, in order to bring him to a serious enquiry into the state of his soul.

I am sorry to see you in so weak a state. Your weakness bids me be short, and your memory is

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