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reformation of our lives and manners; and therefore we most humbly beseech thee to let thy present judgment have that good effect upon our brother, that he may lead the rest of his life as a faithful soldier of Jesus Christ, and not continue to harden his heart against all the powerful and repeated instances of thy mercies and judgments towards him.
If thou hast designed this sickness shall terminate in his death, O be pleased to fit and prepare him for it; or if otherwise in mercy thou hast determined to spare him, O let him not return to any of his former sinful courses, but let him always keep in mind the promise which he made to thee in baptism, of renouncing the world, the flesh, and the devil; and which, we hope, he now again heartily renews in this his day of visitation.
We know, O Lord, that many temptations will unavoidably assault him in the state of life wherein he is engaged, and therefore we most humbly beseech thee to give him such a portion of thy blessed Spirit, as may enable him to fight with as much resolution and courage against his spiritual enemies as the nature of his post obliges him to do, upon just occasions, against his temporal; ever remembering, that the greatest of conquests is that which is made upon ourselves; and that no victory is so truly honourable as that which is obtained over our vicious inclinations.
Wherefore give him grace, we beseech thee, O Lord, "to abhor that which is evil, and to cleave to that which is good." Let him religiously avoid all blasphemy and profaneness, all drunkenness, riot, and lasciviousness; and let him carefully follow the rule
our Saviour hath set him, "of doing violence to no man, accusing no man falsely, and being content with his own wages;" so that, having "put on the whole armour of God, he may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil;" and whenever thou shalt be pleased to put an end to his warfare (either now or hereafter), he may cheerfully resign his soul into thy hands, in these comfortable words of the apostle: "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 unto those that love and fear him, and put their trust in his mercy." Amen.
A Prayer to be used by a Person afflicted with a Distemper of long Continuance.
(By Dr. Stonehouse.)
O LORD God Almighty, I am wonderfully made, and all my powers of body and mind were produced and are supported by thee. "Thou killest and makest alive thou woundest, and makest whole."
I own and reverence thine hand in my present affliction. I acknowledge that thou art righteous in all that befalls me; for I have sinned; and thou chastenest me less than my iniquities deserve. In punishment thou showest mercy, continuest to me many comforts, prolongest my opportunities of reflection and amendment, and givest hope of that pardon which I so much want, and at this time earnestly
I desire, in this poor condition of my health, to search and try my ways, and turn unto thee, O Lord, by deep humility, sincere repentance, and faith in the
great Redeemer and may the fruit of this and every affliction be to take away sin, and make my heart better.
O God, if it be thy merciful will, direct me to and prosper some means for the removal of my disorder, that I may yet be capable of glorifying thee in my station, and, by farther endeavours, for thy service upon earth, be fitter for immortality.
Support me, gracious Lord, that my soul may not be quite cast down, and too much disquieted within me. Assist me to cherish penitent, believing, serious thoughts and affections. Grant me such resignation to thy will, such patience and meekness towards men, as my Divine Master requireth, and as he himself manifested while he was a sufferer on earth. Forgive all the harshness and sinfulness of my temper, and keep it from increasing upon me. May I learn, from what I now feel, to pity all who are sick, in pain, or otherwise afflicted, and do all in my power to assist and relieve them.
If by this affliction thou intendest to bring me down. to the grave, prepare me, by thy grace, for my removal hence, and entrance on the unseen eternal state; and may all the sufferings of the present life work out for me a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.
I am thankful for any degree of ease and comfort which I have this day enjoyed. Grant me, this night, such refreshing rest that I may be better able to discharge the duties and bear the burden of another day, if thou art pleased to indulge me with it. If my eyes are kept waking, may my meditations be comfortable and useful to me.
Pity my weakness, merciful and heavenly Father, and hear my imperfect petitions, through our Lord Jesus Christ, who was once a man of sorrow, and is still touched with the feeling of our infirmities; to whom, as our merciful High Priest and powerful Intercessor, be glory for evermore. Amen.
A Prayer to be used on the Death of a Friend. (By Mr. Merrick.)
O ALMIGHTY God, who dost not willingly grieve the children of men, but in thy visitations rememberest mercy, teach me by thy grace to bear the loss of that dear person whom thou hast taken from me with patience and resignation, and to make a right use of the affliction which thy fatherly hand hath laid upon me. Thou hast given, and thou hast taken away: blessed be thy holy name! Make me thankful, O Lord, for the comforts and. blessings which I still enjoy; and sanctify to my soul all the sufferings which in the course of this mortal life thou shalt appoint for me. Let the death of friends and relations help to keep me always mindful of my own mortality. And grant, that by thy grace I may here apply my heart to wisdom, and may hereafter by thy mercy be received into that everlasting kingdom, where all tears shall be wiped from all faces, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. Hear me, O merciful Father, for the sake of thy son Jesus Christ. Amen.
A Prayer to be used by a Person troubled in Mind. ALMIGHTY God, who beholdest with compassion and mercy the weaknesses and frailties of us thy sinful crea tures; look down on me, I beseech thee, and deliver
me, if it be thy blessed will, from the distress of mind. under which I labour. Strengthen my judgment, and inform my understanding, that I may rightly know my duty; and grant that I may act on all occasions, and in every circumstance of life, in the manner most acceptable to thee. Pardon my secret sins and infirmities, and preserve me from all wilful neglects and offences. If thou seest it consistent with thy glory, and with the everlasting welfare of my soul, fill me with that fervency of affection towards thee, and with that measure of spiritual comfort and assurance, which may preserve my mind in a frame of cheerfulness and composure. But if trouble and bitterness of mind be more expedient for me, continue to me both this and all other afflictions which thou seest most conducive to my future happiness, and grant that I may bear them with patience and resignation. Let thine Holy Spirit direct and support me under every trial, and enable me so to walk in thy faith and fear, that I may at last be received into thy heavenly kingdom, through the merits and mediation of thy Son Jesus Christ, our blessed Lord and Saviour. Amen.
A Prayer to be used by an Old Person.
O GRACIOUS Lord, my Maker and my Preserver, I give thee thanks for the long continuance which thou hast granted me in this world, in order that I may be the better prepared for another. Enable me by thy grace to make a right use of the time afforded me, and give me a true and deep repentance of the sins which I have committed. Support me by thy help under the infirmities of age; keep me from covetousness, and fretfulness, and from all unreasonable fears