Imatges de pÓgina

with pity upon this woman thy servant, who at best acknowledgeth herself but a weak and helpless creature, but much more so now in her present condition, when thou hast added weakness to weakness, and made her to travail with much sickness, together with the burden of child-bearing.

O Lord, be thou graciously pleased to proportion thy strength to her weakness, and as pains and sorrow take hold upon her, inspire her with fresh vigour and courage to rely upon thee, her only support in time of need, and the rock of her salvation.

Let her not be disquieted with the fear of any evil, since none can happen unto her without thy permission; but give her grace, patiently to resign herself to thy blessed will in all things, who knowest what is best for her, and wilt lay no more upon her, we trust, than thou wilt enable her to bear.

Bring strength, O Lord, out of weakness, and health out of sickness; and make her, in thy good time, a joyful mother of a hopeful child, which may do good in its generation, and be an instrument of thy glory here, and a blessed inhabitant of thy heavenly kingdom hereafter. Amen.

A prayer for a woman in the time of her travail.
(From Bishop Patrick.)

O MOST mighty Lord, who hast given us innumerable pledges of thy love, and encouraged us to trust in thee for ever, and to expect with quiet and patient minds the issue of thy wise and good providence; we most humbly commend thy servant, in this her extremity, to thy care and blessing; beseeching thee to give her a gracious deliverance, and to ease her of the burden wherewith she labours. We ourselves are monuments of that mercy which we beg of thee. Thou didst preserve our weak and imperfect frame, before we were born. Thou hast succoured and supported us ever since, many times beyond our hopes, and always beyond our deservings. We commit ourselves and every thing belonging unto us, most heartily into thy hands; remembering that thou hast the same power and good.

thy servant, and her helpless infant, and for the wondrous things which thou hast done for her! The pangs of death compassed her, and she found trouble and sorrow. The mouth of the pit was opened, and ready to shut itself upon her: but thou hast graciously assuaged her pains, and turned her sorrows into joy.

Lord, we will ever adore and magnify thy mercy, which has dealt so lovingly with her, and praise thy truth and faithfulness, which have not suffered her hopes to fail. We will never forget how mindful thou hast been of the low estate of thy handmaid; for she has been supported by thy power, O blessed God, in her greatest weakness. She has tasted thy goodness in the midst of all her pangs and sorrows,

Perfect, O Lord, that deliverance to her which thou hast most graciously begun, and let her not be lost af ter the wonders which thou hast already done for her.

Continue her patience, and her humble dependance on thee, under the pains and accidents to which she is still exposed. Support her spirits, and raise her up again in thy due time. Thy mercy and power are still the same, and will be the same for ever. O let them still be shewn for her recovery, as they have been already for her delivery; let them be shewn upon her, that she may praise thee more and more.

But if, in thy paternal providence, whereunto we pray she may willingly commit herself, thou hast determined otherwise concerning her, thy blessed will be done. Dispose her either to life or death, as thou pleasest, only in both to thy mercy: and whether liv. ing or dying, let her still please thee, and be thou her portion. O perfect her repentance, and give her patience whilst she lives, and peace when she dies, and after that, the happiness of a blessed eternity, which thou hast prepared for all that truly fear thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

If the child be living, this may be added: PRESERVE likewise her tender infant, O Father of mercies, and let its own weakness, and our cries, commend it to thy care.

Keep it also afterward in health and safety, and as it

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increases in years and stature, let it increase in wisdom, and in thy fear. We beg not for it wealth or greatness, but wisdom to know and to serve thee. For, O Lord, we do not desire life, either for ourselves or it, but that we may live to thee, and grow daily in love and thankfulness for all thy mercies, and in faith and patience, and all holy obedience, which may fit us for the happiness which thou hast promised; through Jesus Christ our only Saviour and Redeemer. Amen. Prayers for a sick child.

(Visitation Office.)

OALMIGHTY God and merciful Father, to whom alone belong the issues of life and death; look down from heaven, we humbly beseech thee, with the eyes of mercy upon this child, now lying upon the bed of sickness: visit him, O Lord, with thy salvation; deliver him in thy good appointed time from his bodily pain, and save his soul for thy mercies' sake; that if it shall be thy good pleasure to prolong his days here on earth, he may live to thee, and be an instrument of thy glory, by serving thee faithfully, and doing good in his generation; or else receive him into those heavenly habitations, where the souls of them that sleep in the Lord Jesus enjoy perpetual rest and felicity. Grant this for thy mercies' sake; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

(From Mr. Kettlewell.)

LORD, pity the troubles and weakness of this infant, and pity our sorrows, who are afflicted with it, and for it. Ease it of its pains, and strengthen it when it lies struggling for life. Raise it up again, if it shall please thee, to grow in years and stature, in wisdom and virtue; and thereby to comfort us, and glorify thee.

We believe, O Almighty Father, that thou knowest best what is fit, both for it and us, and wilt do what is fit for both, and therefore we leave it to thee, to dispose of it as thou pleasest. But whether it be to life or death, let it be thine in both, and either preserve it to be thy true and faithful servant here on earth, or take it to the blessedness of thy children in the kingdom of heaven; through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

A prayer for a person who, from a state of health, is suddenly seized with the symptoms of death."

O MOST gracious Father, Lord of heaven and earth,. Judge of the living and of the dead, behold thy servants turning to thee for pity and mercy, in behalf of ourselves and this thy servant. It was but lately that we beheld him in as promising a state of health and life, as any one of us seems to be in at present, and therefore our concern is so much the greater to behold so sudden a change, and so unlooked-for an instance of our mortality.

We know, O Lord, thou canst bring back from the brink of the grave, and as suddenly raise thy servant again as thou hast cast him down, and therefore we think it not too late to implore thy mercy upon him for his recovery; at least we beg of thee to spare him a little, that he may recover his strength, and have time to make his peace with thee," before he go hence, and be no more seen." But if it be thy will to remove him at this time into another world, O let the miracles of thy compassion, and thy wonderful mercy, supply to him the want of the usual measures of time, that he may fit himself for eternity. And let the greatness of his calamity be a means to procure his pardon for those defects and degrees of unreadiness which this sudden stroke hath caused. And teach us all, we beseech thee, from this unexpected fate of our brother, to be continually upon our guard, and to watch and pray; since we know not the hour when the "Master of the house cometh," whether" in the evening, or at midnight, or in the morning."

Lord, thou hast now called thy servant before he was aware of it; O, give him such a great and effectual repentance in this exigence, that in a short time it may be sufficient to do the work of many days. Thou re gardest, O Lord, the sincerity of our hearts more than the measures of time, in our conversion; accept there. fore, we beseech thee, the few minutes of thy servant's unfeigned tears and humiliation for his sins, as if they were hours and days of a longer preparation; and let it be thy pleasure to rescue him from all the evils he deserves, and all the evils he fears, that in the songs of

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eternity which angels and saints shall sing to the glory of thy name, this also may be reckoned amongst thine invaluable mercies, that thou hast redeemed his soul from death, and made him partaker of eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

A prayer for a sick person, when there appeareth
small hope of recovery.

(Visitation Office.)


O FATHER of mercies and God of all comfort, our only help in time of need; we fly unto thee for succour in behalf of this thy servant, here lying under thy hand in great weakness of body. Look graciously upon him, O Lord, and the more the outward man decayeth, strengthen him, we beseech thee, so much the more continually with thy grace and Holy Spirit in the inner Give him unfeigned repentance for all the errors of his life past, and steadfast faith in thy Son Jesus, that his sins may be forgiven and his pardon sealed in heaven, before he go hence, and be no more seen. We know, O Lord, that there is no work impossible with thee, and that, if thou wilt, thou canst even yet raise him up, and grant him a longer continuance among us. Yet forasmuch as in all appearance the time of his dissolution draweth near, so fit and prepare him, we beseech thee, against the hour of death, that after his departure hence in peace, and in thy favour, his soul may be received into thine everlasting kingdom; through the mediation of Jesus Christ thy Son, our Saviour. Amen.

A general prayer for preparation and readiness to die. LORD, "what is our life, but a vapour, which appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away?" Even at the longest, how short and transitory! and when we think ourselves most secure, yet we know not what a day may bring forth; nor how soon thou mayest come, before we are aware, to call us to our last account.

Quickly shall we be as water spilt on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. Quickly shall we be snatched away hence, and our place here shall know

us no more.

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