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Then shall the Minister exhort the Sick
DEARLY beloved, know this, that Almighty God is the Lord of life and death, and of all things to them pertaining, as youth, strength, health, age, weakness and sickness. Wherefore whatsoever your sickness is, know you certainly, that it is God's visitation. And, for what cause soever this sickness is sent unto you'; whether it be to try your patience for the example of others, and that your faith may be found in the day of the Lord, laudable, glorious, and honourable, to the increase of glory and endless felicity: Or else it be sent unto you, to correct and amend in you what. soever doth offend the eyes of your Heavenly Father: Know you certainly, that if you truly repent of your sins, and bear your sickness patiently, trusting in God's mercy, for his dear Son Jesus Christ's sake, and render unto him humble thanks . for his fatherly visitation, submitting yourself entirely unto his will, it shall turn to your profit, and help you forward in the right way, that leadeth unto everlasting life.
If the person visited be rery sick, then the Curate may end his exhortation in this place, or else proceed.
TAKE therefore in good part the chastisement of the Lord : For (as St. Paul saith in the twelfth chapter to the Hebrews) whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore, we have had fathers, of our flesh, which corrected us, and we gave them reverence; shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of Spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure ; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness, and how
These words, (good Brother) are written in holy scripture for our comfort and instruction, that we should patiently and with thanksgiving bear our heavenly Fa: thier's correction, whensoever by any manner of adversity it shall please his goodness to visit us. And there should be no greater comfort to christian persons, than to be made like unto Christ, by suffering patiently adversities, troubles and sicknesses. For he himself went not up to joy, but first he suffered pain : He en: tered not into his glory, before he was crucified. So truly our way to eternal joy is to suffer here with Christ : and our door to enter into eternal life, is gladly to die with Christ, that we may rise again from death, and dwell with him in everlasting life.
Here perhaps it may be prudent, on account of the weak state of the Sick Person, to finish the first visit; the Minister: therefore may tenderly and compassione, ately take leave of him for the present, after having addressed him in the follow -ing manner, and prayed with him, de-> ferring the remainder of this exhortation, and the examination of his faith, till his next visit, which should not be long deferred
:: And now, Brother, that I may not tire you in your present weak state by too long a visit, I will take my leave of. you for the present, and wait on you again very soon : but before I quit your chamber, I will again pray with you;
and I doubt not, but that your friends who are about you, will readily join us in the prayer which I shall offer up to the throne of grace in your behalf for support under your sickness; and you need not doubt, but that, if you are sincere in your devotions and repentance, God will vouchsafe to hear you for the sake of his dear Son Jesus Christ: Therefore let us kneel down again and pray, and may God hear, accept, and grant our petitions !
· * () Almighty God, merciful and gracious, who in thy justice did send soirow and tears, sickness and death into the world, as a punishment for man's sịn, and hast comprehended all under sin, and this sad.covenant of sufferings, not to destroy us, but that thou mightest have meroy upon 'all, making thy justice to minister to mercy, short afflictions to an eternal weight of glory; as thou hast been pleased to turn the sins of this thy servant into sickness, so turn, we beseech
* This, prayer is taken from "The Clergyman's: " Companion in visiting the Sick Page 96. Edit. 1783, there called “ A prayer for a person in the " beginning of sickness, and said to be " From * Bishop Taylor,?..
thee, his sickness to the advantage of holiness and religion, of mercy and pardon, of faith and hope, of grace and glory. Thou hast now called him to suffer.' Lord, relieve his sorrow and support his spirit,' direct his thoughts and sanctify his sickness, that the punishment of his sin may be to him a school of virtue. Make him behave as a son under discipline, humbly and obediently, evenly and patiently, that he may be brought by these means nearer unto thee; that if he shall recover his former health, he may return to the world with greater strength of spirits, to run a new race of-strieter holiness and more severe-religion; or if he shall pass from hence through the gates of death, he may rejoice in the hope of being admitted into that heavenly society, in which all thy saints and servants shall be comprehended to eternal ages. Grant this, for Jesus Christ's sake, our blessed Lord and Saviour. Amen.
q Adding this,
O Saviour of the world, who by thy cross and precious blood hast redeemed us, save us and help us, we humbly bescech thee, O Lord.