Page images

him, the louder does it call upon thee for help. . O be merciful therefore unto him, according to the necessity of his case, and according 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 joyous 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 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.

[ocr errors]

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 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 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 forevermore, 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.

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, 0 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 support of his spirits, and give him refreshment during this tedious sick

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, 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 tryest 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 counsel) to praise thee in the great assembly of saints and angels in heaven; 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 paitence for it. And whatsoever thou doest with him, O Lord, let him be 'dumb,' and not open his mouth' to mur

' mur 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 befallen him' but what is common to men.'

And, together with this patience towards thee, give him

[ocr errors]



patience, O merciful Lord, towards all those who kindly and charitably minister to him, and attend about him.

Keep him from being humoursome, and showing crossness 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 this 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.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

For a Sick Person who is about to make his Will.

O LORD, who puttest into our hearts good desires, and hast n clined thy servant to set his house in order,' as well in rela

tion to his temporal, as his spiritual concerns, grant that he may do it with exact justice, according to the rules of our own religion, and the dictates of right reason. He unfeignedly thanks thee for thy great mercies, in having so liberally provided for him, that he may be rather helpful than chargeable to any, and die a benefactor, and not in debt.

We charitably hope, that whạt he is now about to dispose of, was all procured by fair and righteous dealings, that he may comfortably feel, that 'it is more blessed to give than to receive.'

Let him be ready, with good Zaccheus, to make restitution in the best manner he is able, and to say with Samuel :

Behold, here I am: witness against me before the Lord; whose ox have I taken, or whose ass have I taken, or whom have I defrauded? whom have 1 oppressed, or of whose hand have I received any bribe to blind mine eyes therewith ? And I will restore it.'

Lord, give him strength to order all things in as due and regular a manner as if he were well. Let his memory be perfect, and his judgment sound, and his heart so rightly disposed, that he may do nothing amiss, or through partiality, but that justice and integrity may be seen through the whole conduct of his will.

(If rich, add this.) Let the light of his charity likewise shine gloriously before men, that out of the abundance thou hast been pleased to bless hin with, he may plentifully give to the poor and distressed, though no otherwise related to him, but as they are members of Jesus Christ, and brethren and sisters of the same communion.

Let him, O let him, now, O Lord, and at all times, if thou shouldest graciously continue him here any longer, make to

himself such friends of the unrighteous mammon, that when these fail, they may receive him into everlasting habitations.' Amen.

A Prayer for a Sick Penitent.

(From Mr Kettlewell.) RIGHTEOUS art thou, O God, in all the pains and sorrows which punish our sins, and try our patience, and we have



none to accuse and complain of for the same, but ourselves. This is the acknowledgment which thy servant makes, whom thou hast afflicted. He receives it as the chastisement of a sinner, and is willing to bear chastisement for his sins, that he may thereby be reclaimed from them. Correct him, O Lord, that thou mayest not condemn him : and let him be judged by thee for his sins, and judge himself for them here, that he may have nothing but mercy without judgment to receive at thine hands hereafter.

But judge him, O God, with mercy, and not in thine anger. Judge him not according as his sins have deserved, but according as his weakness can bear, and according as thy compassion are wont to mitigate thy judgments: and let his afflictions work in him a true repentance, “not to be repented of,' and prove a happy means, in the hand of thy mercy, to reclaim him perfectly from all the errours into which he hath fallen; and to confer that rest and peace upon his soul, which is denied to his body; for our dear Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ's sake.

Thou smitest him, O gracious God, that thou mayest cure him; and punisheth his sin, that thou mayest thereby amend and reclaim the sinner: and he is weary of his sins, which have brought upon him all these sorrows, and which, as he seems now deeply sensible, will bring infinitely worse, unless he prevent the same, by his timely and sincere repentance.

Help him, therefore, to search them out; and when he sees them, let him not stop at any one, but steadfastly resolve to renounce and amend all : Let thy love make him hate every evil way, and render his purposes against them strong and resolute, and his care in fulfilling the same, vigilant and patient; and grant that the remainder of his days may be one continual amendment of his former errours, and dedication of himself to thy service. He desires life, only that he may serve thee; Lord, continue and confirm him in this purpose.

Lord, cure his folly by his misery, and teach him, by the loss of his ease, to purchase the blessing of true repentance, and the comfortable hopes of thy merciful acceptance thereof; through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »