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O God; thou art my God for ever and ever: thou shalt be my guide unto death". Lord, comfort me, now that I lie sick upon my bed: make thou my bed in all my sickness'. O deliver my soul from the place of hell: and do thou receive me". My heart is disquieted within me, and the fear of death is fallen upon me x. Behold thou hast made my days as it were a span long, and my age is even as nothing in respect of thee; and verily' every man living is altogether vanity y. When thou with rebukes dost chasten man for sin, thou makest his beauty to consume away, like a moth fretting a garment: every man therefore is but vanity. And now, Lord, what is my hope? truly my hope is even in thee. Hear my prayer, O Lord, and with thine ears consider my calling: hold not thy peace at my tears. Take this plague away from me: I am consumed by the means of thy heavy hand. I am a stranger with thee and a sojourner, as all my fathers were. O spare me a little, that I may recover my strength, before I go hence and be no more seen. My soul cleaveth unto the dust: O quicken me according to thy word *. And when the snares of death compass me round about, let not the pains of hell take hold upon me a.
An Act of Faith concerning the Resurrection and the Day of Judgment, to be said by Sick Persons, or meditated.
I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, though my reins be consumed within me. Job. xix. 25, &c.
God shall come and shall not keep silence: there shall go before him a consuming fire, and a mighty tempest shall be stirred up round about him: he shall call the heaven from above, and the earth, that he may judge his peopleb. 0 blessed Jesu, thou art my judge and thou art my advocate: have mercy upon me in the hour of my death, and in the day of judgment. See John, v. 28, and 1 Thess. iv. 15.
Short Prayers to be said by Sick Persons. O holy Jesus, thou art a merciful high-priest, and touched with the sense of our iafirmities; thou knowest the sharpness of my sickness and the weakness of my person. The clouds are gathered about me, and thou hast covered me with thy storm: my understanding hath not such apprehension of things as formerly. Lord, let thy mercy support me, thy Spirit guide me, and lead me through the valley of this death safely; that I may pass it patiently, holily, with perfect resignation; and let me rejoice in the Lord, in the hopes of pardon, in the expectation of glory, in the sense of thy mercies, in the refreshments of thy Spirit, in a victory over all temptations.
» P»aL xlviii. 13. 'Psal. xli.3. "Psal. xlix. 15. * Psal. Iv. 4.
y Psal. xxxix. 6. * Psal. cxix. 25. * Psal. cxvi. 3. b Psal.l. 3, 4.
Thou hast promised to be with us in tribulation. Lord, my soul is troubled, and my body is weak, and my hope is in thee, and my enemies are busy and mighty; now make good thy holy promise. Now, O holy Jesus, now let thy hand of grace be upon me: restrain my ghostly enemies, and give me all sorts of spiritual assistances. Lord, remember thy servant in the day when thou bindest up thy jewels.
0 take from me all tediousness of spirit, all impatiency and unquietness: let me possess my soul in patience, and resign my soul and body into thy hands, as into the hands of a faithful Creator, and a blessed Redeemer.
O holy Jesu, thou didst die for us; by thy sad, pungent, and intolerable pains, which thou enduredst for me, have pity on me, and ease my pain, or increase my patience. Lay on me no more, than thou shalt enable me to bear. I have deserved it all and more, and infinitely more. Lord, I am weak and ignorant, timorous and inconstant, and I fear, lest something should happen that may discompose the state of my soul, that may displease thee: do what thou wilt with me, so thou dost but preserve me in thy fear and favour. Thou knowest, that it is my great fear, but let thy Spirit secure, that nothing may be able to separate me from the love of God in Jesus Christ: then smite me here, that thou mayest spare me for ever: and yet, O Lord, smite me friendly: for thou knowest my infirmities. Into thy hands I commend my spirit; for thou hast redeemed me, O Lord, thou God of truth. Come, Holy Spirit, help me in this conflict. Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly.
[Let the sick man often meditate upon these following promises and gracious words of God.]
My help cometh of the Lord, who preserveth them that are true of heart. Psal. vii. 11.
And all they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast never failed them that seek thee. Psal. ix. 10.
O how plentiful is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee, and that thou hast prepared for them that put their trust in thee, even before the sons of men! Psal. xxxi. 21.
Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him, and upon them that put their trust in his mercy, to deliver their souls from death. Psal. xxxiii. 17.
The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a contrite heart; and will save such as are of an humble spirit. Psal. xxxiv. 18.
Thou, Lord, shalt save both man and beast: how excellent is thy mercy, O God! and the children of men shall put their trust under the shadow of thy wings. Psal. xxxvi. 7.
They shall be satisfied with the plenteousness of thy house; and thou shalt give them to drink of thy pleasures, as out of the rivers. Ver. 8.
For with thee is the well of life; and in thy light we shall see light. Ver. 9.
Commit thy way unto the Lord, and put thy trust in him, and he shall bring it to pass. Psal. xxxvii. 5.
But the salvation of the righteous cometh of the Lord: who is also their strength in the time of trouble. Ver. 40.
So that a man shall say, Verily there is a reward for the righteous: doubtless there is a God, that judgeth the earth. Psal. lviii. 10.
Blessed is the man whom thou choosest and receivest unto thee: he shall dwell in thy court, and shall be satisfied with the pleasures of thy house, even of thy holy temple. Psal. lxv. 4.
They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. Psal. cxxvi. 6.
It is written, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee. Heb. xiii. 5.
The prayer of faith shall save the sick; and the Lord shall raise him up: and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Jam. v. 15.
Come and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn,
and he will heal us: he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. Hos. vi. 1.
If we sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the propitiation for our sins. 1 John, ii. 1, 2.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John, i. 9.
He that forgives shall be forgiven. Luke, vi. 37.
And this is the confidence that we have in him, that if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us. 1 John, v. 14.
And ye know, that he was manifested to take away our sins. 1 John, iii. 5.
If ye, being evil, know how to give good things to your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven, give good things to them that ask him? Matt. vii. 11.
This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. 1 Tim. i.15.
He that hath given us his Son, how should he not, with him, give us all things else? Rom. viii. 32.
Acts of Hope, to be used by Sick Persons after a pious Life.
I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate me from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Rom. viii. 38, 39.
I have fought a good fight: I have finished my course: I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. 2 Tim. iv. 7, 8.
Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comforts, who comforts us in all our tribulation. 2 Cor. i. 3, 4.
A Prayer to be said in behalf' of a Sick or Dying Person.
mercies, and the sins and sorrows of thy servant also are multiplied. Lord, look upon him with much mercy and pity, forgive him all his sins, comfort his sorrows, ease his pain, satisfy his doubts, relieve his fears, instruct his ignorances, strengthen his understanding, take from him all disorders of spirit, weakness and abuse of fancy. Restrain the malice and power of the spirits of darkness; and suffer him to be injured neither by his ghostly enemies, nor his own infirmities; and let a holy and a just peace, the peace of God, be within his conscience.
Lord, preserve his senses till the last of his time, strengthen his faith, confirm his hope, and give him a never-ceasing charity to thee our God, and to all the world: stir up in him a great and proportionable contrition for all the evils he hath done, and give him a just measure of patience for all he suffers: give him prudence, memory, and consideration, rightly to state the accounts of his soul; and do thou remind him of all his duty; that when it shall please thee, that his soul goes out from the prison of his body, it may be received by angels, and preserved from the surprise of evil spirits, and from the horrors and amazements of new and strange regions, and be laid up in the bosom of our Lord, till, at the day of thy second coming, it shall be reunited to the body, which is now to be laid down in weakness and dishonour, but we humbly beg, may then be raised up with glory and power for ever to live, and to behold the face of God in the glories of the Lord Jesus, who is our hope, our resurrection, and our life, the light of our eyes and the joy of our souls, our blessed and ever-glorious Redeemer. Amen.
[Hither the sick persons may draw in, and use the acts of several virtues respersed in the several parts of this book, the several litanies, viz. of repentance, of the passion, and the single prayers, according to his present needs.]
A Prayer to be said in a Storm at Sea.
O my God, thou didst create the earth and the sea for thy glory and the use of man, and dost daily shew wonders in the deep: look upon the danger and fear of thy servant. My sins have taken hold upon me, and without the supporting arm of thy mercy, I cannot look up; but my trust is in thee.