« FöregåendeFortsätt »
not been ted to you
extortion, or of any way wronging your neighbour, to answer for ?
llave you not been unfaithful in any matters of trust committed to you?
Have you not been subject to the evil habits of lying, slandering, or tale-bearing?
Have you never given false evidence, out-faced the truth, or countenanced an evil cause?
Have you not been pleased with evil reports; and have you not been forward to propagate them?
Have you not been vexatious to your neighbour, and grieved him without cause? .
Have you not been dissatisfied with the condition which God allotted you?
Have you not coveted your neighbour's. goods, envied his prosperity, or been pleased with his inisfortunes?
Have you done to others, as you wish they should have done to you?
Can you call to mind any injury or injustice for which you ought to ask pardon, or to make restitution ?
And remember that you are told the truth, that the unrighteous and unjust shall not enter into the kingdom of hcaven. Is there any body that has grievously
wronged you, to whom you ought to be reconciled? · Remember, that if you forgive not, you will not be forgiven ; and that he will receive judgment without mercy, who hath shewed no mercy.
Are you therefore in charity with all the world?
Have you been kind to the poor according to your ability ?
And remember that the moment Zaccheus resolved to do right to every body, and to be kind to the poor, our Lord tells him, that salvation was then come to his house.
You would do well therefore, as a proof of your thankfulness to God, to be liberal to the poor according to your ability.
And if you have not already settled your worldly concerns, your church enjoins me, as her minister, to admonish you to make your will, and to declare what you owe, and what is owing to you; and it is fit that you do so now, for the discharging of a good conscience, and for the preventing of mischief atter your death.
And be careful that in making your will, you do no wrong, discover no resentment, that the last act of your life may be free from sin.
And now, because it is requisite to your eternal peace, that you should have a full trust in God's mercy, and a quiet conscience, therefore, if you cannot by this means quiet your own conscience, but have any sins which do particularly trouble your mind, so that you require farther comfort or counsel, let me beseech, you freely to open your grief, that by the ministry of God's holy word, you inay receive the benefit of absolution, together with ghostly (spiritual] counsel and advice to the quieting of your conscience, and the avoiding of all, scruple and doubtfulness.
Now, Brother, I will leave you for a while to God, and to your own conscience; 'besceching him to discover to you the charge that is against you; that you may know and confess your sins to God, with all their heinous aggravations, and bewail and abhor the errors of your past life; that your sins may be done away by his mercy, and your pardon sealed in heaven, before you go hence and be no more seen.
For which purpose before I leave you, as I have concluded my former Visits with prayer, I must request you, and those about you, to join with me again; therefore let us devoutly pray.
Behold with tenderness and pity, O merciful Lord, thy servant now lying on the bed of sickness, Visit him, o Lord, with thy salvation; deliver him in thy good appointed time from his bodily pain, and save his soul for thy mercies sake. Make him thoroughly sensible of the many just reasons why thou art pleased to lay thine afflicting hand upon him. Preserve and continue to him the right use of his understanding, that so he may more effectually inquire into the crying guilt, and all the aggravations of kis past sins, and firnily resolve to repent of them. Bless, we beseech thee, the means which are used for his recovery ; and if in thy abundant goodness, thou shalt please to remove this sickness from him, grant that, in return for so signal a mercy, he may die unto sin, and live unto righteousness, so that he may with courage and constancy resist those temptations which formerly overcame him, that he may avoid those sins which did too easily beset him, and that he may no longer pursue those pleasures, the remembrance of which is now full of gall and bitterness to him.
But thou, O heavenly Father, in whose sight the death of thy saints is precious, if it be thy holy will, that this sickness be unto death, grant that he may fully reconcile himself to thee, before he goes hence, and is no more seen. Hear us, O blessed Lord, we huinbly beseech thee, and mercifully grant these our petitions through the merits and mediation of thine only Son Jesus Christ, our blessed Lord and Saviour*. Amen.
Adding this, O Saviour of the world, who by thy cross and precious blood hast redeemed us, save us and help us, we humbly beseech thee, O Lord.
Then the Minister shall say,
The Almighty Lord, who is a most strong tower to all them that put their trust in him, to whom all things in heaven, in earth, and under the earth, do bow and obey, be now and evermore thy
* This prayer is at the end of the third volume of Dr. Warren's Sermons, page 478 ; where also, I think it not foreign to my present design to obe serve, there is a form of devotion to be used by private persons or families, when upon some justifiable occasions (one of which is the indisposition of any amongst them) they cannot attend the publick wor. ship of the church.