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"The honourable age is not that which standeth in length of days, nor that which is measured by number of years:
"But wisdom is the grey hair unto men, and an unspotted life is old age." Wisd, iv. 7-9.
"Precious in the sight of the Lord, is the death of his saints." Psalm cxvi. 15.
"Yea, blessed are the dead, which die in the Lord; even so saith the Spirit; for they rest from their labours." Rev. xiv. 13.
Let us pray.
Lord have mercy upon us.
OUR Father which art in heaven: hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come.. Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive them that trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
Lord, thou hast been our refuge from one genera. tion to another.
Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever the earth and the world were made, thou art God from everlasting, and world without end.
Thou turnest man to destruction; again thou sayest, Come again, ye children of men.
For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday, seeing that is past as a watch in the night.
As soon as thou scatterest them, they are even as a sleep, and fade away suddenly like the grass.
In the morning it is green, and groweth up; but in the evening it is cut down, dried up, and withered. For we consume away in thy displeasure, and are afraid of thy wrathful indignation.
Thou hast set our misdeeds before thee, and our secret sins in the light of thy countenance.
For when thou art angry, all our days are gone; we bring our years to an end, as it were a tale that. is told.
So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.
Turn thee again at last, and be gracious to thy ser vants,
Comfort them again, now after the time that thou hast afflicted them, and for the present occasion, wherein they suffer adversity.
O satisfy them with thy mercy, and that soon; so shall they rejoice, and be glad all the days of their life."
Mosr just art thou, O God, in all thy dealings with us, our punishment is less than our iniquities deserve;" and therefore we desire to submit with all humility and patience to this dispensation of thy divine providence. Be pleased so to sanctify it to this family, that thy grace and mercy may more abundantly flow upon thy servants. Thy property it is to bring good out of evil; O turn that evil, which is now befallen this house, to the benefit of every one of us, that so we may be able to say, from happy experience, that "the house of mourning is better than the house of feasting," while the death of our brother, through thy blessing, shall conduce and minister to our spiritual advantage.
Let the sight of his change make us the more mindful of our own, and the sense of our loss make us cleave more steadfastly to thee, O God. Let the remembrance of his virtues make us follow his example, and the hope we have of his being blessed, cause us to "press," with the more earnestness, "towards the mark, for the prize of our high calling in Christ Jesus."
Thou knowest, O Lord, the weakness and frailty of our nature, and therefore we beseech thee to give thy servants, who are more nearly concerned in this visitation, a constant supply of thy good Spirit, to enable them to bear it with humility, patience, resignation, and submission to thy divine will, as becometh the gospel of Jesus Christ. O that no repining thoughts may rise in their hearts to discompose their duty towards thee, or towards their neighbour: but help them rather to think wherein they have offended thee, and carefully to amend it: to place their affections more steadfastly
on those immoveable things which are above, and freely resign all their thoughts and desires unto thee; saying, with holy Job, "The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord." And let the death of thy servant strike us all with such a lively sense of our mortality, as may cause us so thoroughly to die to sin, and live to grace, that when we die, we may rest in him, as our hope is this our brother doth.
We evidently see "that death is the end of all men;" grant us therefore grace to lay it to heart, to despise the world, "to abaor that which is evil, and cleave to that which is good;" to delight in thy word, to study thy will, to observe thy law, and to take all possible care to promote thy honour, and our own salvation; that when" we go the way of all earth, we may be comforted by thy presence," and admitted into thy hea venly kingdom. Amen.
ASSIST us, mercifully, O Lord, in these our supplications and prayers, and dispose the way of thy servants towards the attainment of everlasting salvation; that, among all the changes and chances of this mortal. life, they may ever be defended by thy most gracious and ready help; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Lord bless us and keep us, the Lord lift up the light of his countenance upon us, and give us peace, now and for evermore. Amen.
OCCASIONAL PRAYERS AND DEVOTIONS FOR THE
A prayer for a person whose illness is chiefly brought on
(From Bishop Patrick.)
O MOST gracious and glorious God, supreme Judge and Governor of the world, "in whom we live, and move, and have our being," and from whom ali the
blessings we enjoy, and "every good and perfect gift cometh," grant us, we humbly beseech thee, such a measure of thy grace, that whenever thou art pleased to remove any of thy blessings from us, we may bear it with a perfect resignation to thy divine will; and with all patience, humility, and contentedness of spirit, consider how unworthy we are of the least of thy mercies.
More particularly, O Lord, we beseech thee to giv this peaceableness, and contentedness of mind, to this thy servant, whom thou hast so sensibly afflicted, by taking so near and dear a blessing from him. O give him such a portion of thy blessed Spirit, and such a lively sense of his duty, that he may have power to surmount all the difficulties he labours under, and freely to resign all his thoughts and desires unto thee, submitting himself entirely to thy good providence, and resolving, by thy gracious assistance, to rest con tented with whatsoever thou in thy wisdom appointest for him. Thou knowest, O Lord, the weakness and frailty of our nature, and therefore be pleased to comfort him in this bed of sickness; establish him with the light of thy countenance: and grant that no repining thoughts may increase his illness, or discompose his duty towards thee, or his neighbour: but enable him to think wherein he hath offended thee, and carefully to amend his errors; to set his affections on things above, and not on things below, and to lay up for himself treasures in heaven, even the treasures of a good life, which no disasters or calamities shall ever be able to take from him. Grant this, O heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
A prayer for a person who by any calamitous disaster hath broken any of his bones, or is very much bruised and hurt in his body.
(From Mr. Jenks.)
O LORD, the only disposer of all events, thou hast taught us that "affliction cometh not forth of the dust, neither doth trouble spring out of the ground;" but that the disasters which befall us are by thy appoir.tment. Thou art just in all thou bringest upon us and
though thy "judgments are far above out of our sight," yet we know "that they are right, and that it is in very faithfulness thou causest us to be afflicted." "Why then should a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins?" Let these considerations prevail with thy servant to submit to thy dispensations. Make him resolve to bear the effects of thy displeasure, and to consider it as the just desert of his sins. O Lord, give him patience and strength, and grace proportionable to this great trial; and enable him so to conduct himself under it, that after the affliction is removed he may find cause to say, "it was good for him to be afflicted." Thou that hast torn and smitten, thou art able to heal and to comfort. Be pleased to remem ber him in this his low estate. Cause him to "search and try his ways, and turn to thee, and bring forth fruits meet for repentance."
We know, O Lord, thou canst raise him up from the deepest affliction: O, let it be thy gracious will to glorify thy power and mercy in his recovery: or, however thou shalt think fit to dispose of this "vile body," grant him, O God, a mind entirely resigned to thy will, and satisfied with thy dispensations. O, make this calamity the messenger of thy love to his soul, and the happy means of his conversion; through Jesus Christ. Amen.
A prayer for a person that is afflicted with
(From Mr. Jenks.)
O LORD, thou art a merciful God, and dost not willingly afflict the children of men; but when necessity requires, thou chastisest us for our profit, that we may be partakers of thy holiness. Remove, we beseech thee, this affliction from thy servant, or enable him to bear what thou art pleased to lay upon him. Lord, all his desire is before thee, and his groaning is not hid from thee. Regard his affliction, when thou hearest his cry. Enter not into judgment with him, nor deal with him according to his sins, but according to thy mercy in Jesus Christ. O gracious Father, sanctify to him what thou hast laid upon him, that his present afflic