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These words, my brother, are written in holy scripture for our comfort and instruction ; that we should, with patience and thanksgiving, bear our heavenly father's correction, whensoever it shall please his gra. cious goodness to visit us with any kind of affliction or adversity. And there should be no greater comfort to christian pcrsons, than to be made like unto Christ by patiently suffering adversities, troubles, and sicknesses: for he was not received into joy without having first suffered pain ; he entered not into his glory, before he was crucified. So true it is, that our way to obtain eternal life, is to pass through the discipline, the trials, and the sufferings of this present life, with the patience and resignation with which Christ passed through them before us; and, finally, to obtain their acceptance by our repentance of our past offences, by our obedience to thy laws, and by our resignation to thy will.
I Tben sball be said the following prayers.
O ALMIGHTY and inost merciful God! behold, and relieve this thy servant. Look upon him with compassion ; give bim com
fort, and sure confidence in thee; support bim under all the trials of his present sickness, assuage his pains, if it seem good unto thee, and preserve him in peace and safety, through thy great mercy declared unto us by Jesus Christ our lord. Amen.
ALMIGHTY and everlasting God! the creator and governor of all mankind! who dost correct those whom thou dost love, and chastise every one whoin thou dost receive : we beseech thee to have mercy upon this thy servant, and grant that he may bear thy dispensation with patience and resignation. Prepar: him for whatever, in thy wise and righteous providence, thou hast appointed for him ; that he may have cause to praise and thank thee for his present sufferings, and he satisfied, that thou, O GOD! bast, from thine abounding kind. ness alone, permitted, or caused bim to be afflicted. Hear our prayers, and grant our requests, according to thine abounding goodness, deciared in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Hear us, almighty and most merciful GOD! and extend thine accustomed goodness
to this thy servant, who is afflicted with sickness. Improve, we beseech thee, this thy fatherly correction, that a just sense of bis various infirmities may add strength to bis confidence in thee, and scriousness to his repentance; that, if it shall be thy good pleasure to restore him to kis former health, he may lead the residue of his life in the love and reverence of thee : or, else, give him patience and fortitude to meet the approach of death with composure and true penitence of mind, that, after this painful life is ended, be may live with thee in life everlasting, according to thy gracious assurances by Jesus Christ our lord. Amen.
For a sick child. O ALMIGHTY GOD, and merciful father! to whom alone belong the events of life and death : regard with mercy, we humbly beseech thee, this child now lying upon the bed of sickness: deliver bim, in thy good time, from his bodily pain, and improve this thy fatherly dispensation, that, if it shall be thy pleasure to prolong his life in this world, he may truly love and serve thee, and do good in his generation : or, else, receive H 3
him to thyself among those, who have been obedient to thy will, and who shall be raised by thee to endless life and happiness. Grant this, o god! through thy great mercy declared unto us by Jesus Christ. Amen.
q For a sick person, when there appeareth small hope
of recovery. O FATHER of mercies and God of all comfort ! our only help in time of need! we apply unto thee for succour in behalf of this thy servant, here lying grievously afflicted with great weakness of body. Look graciously upon him; and the more his bodily frame decayeth, strengthen bim, we beseech thee, so much the more with thy favour in the disposition of his mind. Lead him, by the consideration of his state and circumstances here, to an unfeigned repentance for all the errors of his past life, and a firm reliance on thy mercy : and forgive all bis offences. We know, o GOD! that there is no work impossible with thee; and that, if thou wilt, thou canst even yet restore him, and grant bim a longer continuance among us. Yet, forasmuch as, from all appearance, the time of bis dissolution draweth near; so fit
and prepare him, we entreat thee, against the hour of death, that after his departure hence in peace, and in thy favour, he may, in thine appointed time, be received into thine everlasting kingdom, which thou hast promised by Jesus Christ our lord. Amen.
9 Commendatory prayer for a sick person at the
point of departure.
O ALMIGHTY GOD! with whom the spirits of just men made perfect shall live for ever: we humbly commend this thy seryant, our brother, into thy hands, as into the hands of a faithful creator, and most merciful judge, And teach us who survive, to see, in this, and other the like instances of mortality, the frailty and uncertainty of our own condition; and so to number our days, that we may seriously apply our hearts to that holy and heavenly wisdom, whilst we live here, which may, in the end, bring us to life everlasting, according to thy gracious promises by Jesus Christ our lord. Amen.