Imatges de pÓgina

ease and strength; but let not his confidence in them lessen any thing of his dependance on thee, but make him sensible that every good gift is from thee, and that it is thou that givest us help in time of need. To whom, therefore, but to thee, should we flee in the day of our visitation? since it is thy blessing only that maketh the means we use effectual; and, however vain the use of them is without thee, if thou biddest them, the things or accidents which we do not think of, or regard, shall recover us. O, therefore, as their part, who administer to him, is the care, so let thine, O God, be the blessing, and his the comfort: and as he regards them as thy instruments, so let him own thee for the Author of his mercies, and to thee give thanks, and pay his vows and services through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

A prayer for a sick person when there appears some
hope of recovery.

(From Bishop Patrick.)

WE thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast heard our prayers for thine afflicted servant, and given him some respite and hopes of recovery from this great illness. Blessed be thy goodness, that he hath not made his bed in the dust, but is likely to continue still amongst us, in the land of the living. Blessed be thy goodness for so great (and lately unexpected) mercy to him.

And, O thou Preserver of man! who hast begun to revive and quicken him again; go on to perfect his cure, and forsake not the work of thy own hands. Repair all the decays in his outward man, that his mind may also recover its former strength, to praise and bless thy goodness to him.

And visit him, in the mean time, with thy heavenly consolation from above. Fill him with comfortable thoughts of thy love, and of the tender compassionate care which our Lord Jesus takes of all his afflicted servants. Endue him still with more patient submission to thy will, and enable him both quietly to wait upon thee, till thou hast finished his recovery, and also to continue steadfastly resolved to serve thee more faith

fully with his restored strength: through Jesus Christ our blessed Saviour and Redeemer. Amen.

Another, in behalf of the sick person, when he finds any abatement of his distemper.

ACCEPT, O Lord, of the unfeigned thanks of thy ser vant for abating the fury of his present distemper, and giving him some hopes of raising him up again to praise thee in the great congregation.

It is a great mercy, O Lord, and owing to thy goodness only, that his senses are preserved entire, and that he hath some respite, after so much uneasiness and pain, through the violence of his illness.

O perfect, if it be thy blessed will, what thou hast begun in him, and say to the distemper, "It is enough." Teach him hence to look up to thee continually, as the rock of his salvation, whence only he is to expect comfort and support: and give him grace always to make such a right use of thy favours, that he may daily find himself surrounded by the light of thy countenance, and enjoy the blessings of thy heavenly benediction in all his ways, whether in adversity or prosperity, in sickness or in health. Even so, blessed Lord, continue to assist, strengthen, comfort, and bless him, both now and for evermore, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

A prayer for one who is dangerously ill.

O ALMIGHTY God, "gracious, and merciful, and longsuffering, whose compassions fail not;" look down, we beseech thee, upon the low and distressed state of thy servant, now lying in the extremity of sickness. The harder his illness presses upon him, the louder does it call upon thee for help. O be merciful therefore unto him, according to the necessity of his case, and accord. ing to the multitude of thy tender mercies in Jesus Christ. Rebuke the distemper, that it prevail not over him to death; but turn its malevolent aspect into a joy. ous expectation of life. In as great danger as he is, yet if thou wilt, O Lord, we know thou canst make him whole; if thou speakest the word, it shall be done. In submission, therefore, to thy most wise and good disposal of all things, we beg this mercy at thy hands, that thou wouldest let "this" bitter "cup pass away" from

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thy servant, and cause "a way for" him "to escape" out of this dangerous condition. "O spare him a little, and his soul shall live." Amen.

A prayer for a sick person when sickness continues
long upon him.

(From Bishop Patrick.)

Look down, O Lord, we humbly beseech thee, with an eye of compassion on thy poor distressed servant, who hath lain so long under this severe affliction; and by how much the outward man is decayed and brought low by the tediousness of the distemper's continuing on him, by so much the more do thou be pleased to support 3 him in the inner man by the gracious assistance of thy Holy Spirit. Give him unfeigned repentance for all the errors of his past life, and steadfast faith in thy Son Jesus Christ; a comfortable assurance of the truth of all his precious promises, a lively hope of that immortal bliss in which he reigns for evermore, and a strong sense of thy fatherly love to him, and care over him, which may make him heartily love thee, and entirely confide in thee, and absolutely resign both soul and body to thy wise disposal.

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We know there is nothing too hard for thee; but that if thou wilt, thou canst bring him up even from the gates of death, and grant him a longer continuance among us. May it be thy good pleasure, O most gracious God, still to continue him here; spare him, O Lord, and deliver him also speedily from this misery, under which he hath so long groaned. Bless all the means that are used for his recovery and for the sup port of his spirits, and give him refreshment during this tedious sickness. Release him from his pain, or grant him some ease, or else increase and strengthen his patience. Help him, in remembrance of thy past loving-kindness, to trust in thy goodness, and submit to thy wisdom, and bear with an equal mind what thou thinkest fit to lay upon him; so that approving himself to thee in these and all other virtues, while thou triest him by so sore an affliction, he may say at the last, with the holy Psalmist, "It was good for me that I was in trouble.

Unto thy infinite mercies we recommend him, and to the compassionate kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, who we hope will hear all the prayers of his friends for him, every where, and send his Holy Spirit to be his comforter, and his good angels to be his guardians, and direct those who are to advise and prescribe the means of his restoration, and bring him to praise thee again in the assemblies of thy saints upon earth; or (if thou hast otherwise disposed in thy wise counsels) to praise thee in the great assembly of saints and angels in hea ven; through Jesus Christ our Lord and only Saviour, to whom with thee and the Holy Spirit be all praise, love, and obedience, world without end. Amen.

Prayer for the grace of patience, and a suitable behaviour in a sick person to friends and attendants,

HELP thy servant, O thou merciful Redeemer and lover of souls, to undergo this load of affliction, which thou hast laid upon him, with patience. "Lead him" gently by the hand to "the waters of comfort," and let "thy rod" and "thy staff support" him, now that he is obliged to "walk in the valley and shadow of death."

Let him consider thee, O blessed Jesus, in all thy weary pilgrimage and sufferings here upon earth, before thou enteredst into glory," that he be not weary and faint in his mind,"

If relief does not come from thee so soon as he expects or desires, enable him still to hold out with long. suffering, and to wait with patience for it. And whatsoever thou doest with him, O Lord, let him be "dumb and not open his mouth" to murmur or repine, because it is "thy doing." Make him acquiesce and rest satisfied, even in the bitterest dispensations of thy providence; and let no pains or sufferings ever drive him from thee, considering that no " temptation hath be fallen him" but "what is common to men."

And, together with this patience towards thee, give him patience, O merciful Lord, towards all those who kindly and charitably minister to him, and attend about him.

Keep him from being humorsome, and shewing cross ness to their good counsels, or from being causelessly

angry and exceptious against their kind endeavours. If any evil accidents or indiscretions happen, let him not presently be outrageous to aggravate them, or break out into any reproachful or unseemly behaviour against them: but let him be pleased with the least expression of their kindness, and interpret every thing favourably; and on all occasions let him make it his study to oblige those who are obliging to him in this time of necessity, receiving with thankfulness their good offices, and praying God to reward them, for his Son Jesus Christ's sake. Amen.

A prayer for spiritual improvement by sickness.

(From Dr. Inet.)

O MERCIFUL Father, who scourgest those whom thou lovest, and chastisest those whom thou wilt receive; let thy loving correction purify thy servant, and make him great in thy favour by his present humiliation. O let him learn " thy statutes" in the school of" affliction:" let him" seek thee early" in it; and when his "heart is overwhelmed, lead him to the rock of salvation."

Let thy" rod" awaken him from his former security in sin, and let him sensibly find that thou "chastisest him for his profit, that he may be partaker of thy holiness."

Teach him, by this proof of thy fatherly correction, to be more dutiful for the time to come; to repent of his former offences, and to " redeem the time past," by a double diligence for the future, if thou shalt in mercy raise him up again. Let the remainder of his life be thine, and let nothing separate him from thy love and service, but let it be his whole care and study to provide oil for his lamp, and prepare for eternity; that so" all the days of his appointed time he may wait till his change come," and be ready whensoever his Lord shall call him. Amen.

For a sick person who is about to make his will. O LORD, who puttest into our hearts good desires, and hast inclined thy servant to "set his house in order," as well in relation to his temporal, as his spiritual con

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