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The proper method of using this Book profitably.
As many of these Prayers are to be considered rather as suggesting materials for prayer, than as set forms always to be used without any alteration, variations may sometimes be necessary according to the capacity, disposition, and state of the person for whose benefit they are proposed. Conversation and Examination
The Helps for are likewise to be considered as suggesting materials, and not always to be used exactly as they here stand for they are designed as sketches, on which the minister who visits the sick (or any one else) may enlarge, add some things, or omit others, according to circumstances; of which he will judge for himself. I have therefore considered this publication chiefly as helps for conversation; and that by these helps some might occasionally be assisted in their religious discourse with the sick or others, and benefited themselves in their retirements by a serious meditation on the subjects most suitable to their present state.
It is not in its own nature a work merely to be once read, and then laid aside, but to be frequently referred to, well considered, and weighed with great care; so that the readers may become thoroughly masters of its contents, especially of those parts of it which relate to particular circumstances:
Nocturna versate manu versate diurna.
It is indeed principally intended (as I have before observed) for the benefit of the sick; yet I presume it may be an assistant to many others; and I should hope, that no reader will be so deficient in candour as to discard the whole, because some
well, that this reprieve may end in pardon and eternal life.
God forbid that he should now live as if he should never see death; but may he possess his soul with such serious thoughts of another world, as shall excite him to love the Lord his God with with all his soul, with all his mind, with all his strength; (Mark xii. 30.) making the end of all his
and thus giving
actions, wishes, diligence great work of salvation, that he may at last found of the Lord in peace, and may die filled with the ar lively hopes of more durable enjoyments he shall leave at his departure from this transitory scene of things. Hear, O Lord, hear these our humble petitions, answer them, own and accept us in thy Son Jesus Christ, through whom we offer up all our worship. . Amen.
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