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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, "to wards 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 abhor 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 heavenly 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 SICK AND UNFORTUNATE IN EXTRAORDINARY CASES.
A prayer for a person whose illness is chiefly brought on him by some calamitous disaster or loss, as of estate, relations, or friends, &c.
(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 all 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 give 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 gra cious assistance, to rest contented 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 appointment. 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 proportionate 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 remember 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 grievous pains of his body.
(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 affliction may work out for him an eternal weight of glory. Support him under his pains, till it shall please thee to grant him ease and comfort. And, however thou shalt deal with him, let him not repine at thy correction, nor sin in charging thee foolishly. Make him sensible, that thou doest nothing but what is wise and just; nothing but what thy servant shall one day have cause to bless and praise thee for doing. And let this consideration teach him to glorify thee in the time of his visitation, by an humble submission to thy will, and a sincere reformation under thy providential dispensations; that thou mayest visit him in mercy and love, show him the joy of thy salvation; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
A prayer for one who is troubled with acute pains of the gout, stone, colic, or any other bodily distemper.
(From Mr. Spinkes.)
O BLESSED God, just and holy, who dost not willingly afflict the children of men; withhold not, we beseech thee, thy assistance from this thy serv ant in the extremity of his pain. His sorrows are increased, and his soul is full of trouble. He has none to flee unto for the ease and mitigation of his agonies but to thee, O Lord. He freely owns that his sufferings are infinitely less than he has deserved; yet, since they pierce deep, and are become al
most too heavy for him to bear, we presume to call upon thee for aid; and to entreat thee, not to punish him according to his deserts. "For if thou shouldest be extreme to mark what is done amiss, O Lord, who may abide it ?" Spare him, therefore, for thy mercy's sake; and correct him "not in thine anger, lest thou bring him to nothing." Endue him with that patience which may enable him cheerfully to submit to thy chastisement; and grant him an unfeigned repentance for all his sins. Comfort his soul, which melteth away for very heaviness, and let thy loving mercy come unto him. Sanctify this thy fatherly correction to him, that it may be for thy glory, and his advantage. And when thy gracious ends in afflicting him shall be accomplished, which we know are not for "thy pleasure," but for his profit, give him, we beseech thee, a fresh occasion to rejoice in thy saving health; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
A prayer for a person in the small-pox, or any suchlike raging infectious disease.
O GRACIOUS and merciful Father, the only giver of health, look down, we beseech thee, with an eye of compassion, upon thy miserable and disconsolate servant, from whom thou hast taken this great and valuable blessing; and, instead of it, hast filled every part of his body with a sore disease.
Teach him, O Lord, and teach us all from hence, to consider how soon the beauty of life is blasted, like a flower, and our" strength dried up like a potsherd," that we may not put our trust in any of these transitory things, but in thee only, the living God, who art able to save and to destroy, to kill and to make alive.
Our brother, whom we now behold a spectacle of misery, was lately, like one of us, in perfect health. But now "thou makest his beauty to consume away, as it were a moth fretting a garment. Thine arrows stick fast in him, and thy hand presseth him sore; so that there is no soundness in his flesh, because of thine anger; neither is there any rest in his bones by reason of his sin.
"O, reject him not utterly, but take thy plague away from him. Return, O Lord, and that speed