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may learn righteousness! nor let our anxieties be so great for our bodies as for our souls; that however we fare here, it may go well with us forever. O let us not labour for the meat that perisheth as for that which endures to everlasting life; which everlasting provision for our unchangeable condition, above all we beg at thy hands, O Lord God our heavenly Father, for the sake of Jesus Christ our only Saviour. Amen.
UNDER FAMILY AFFLICTION.
MORNING OR EVENING.
ALMIGHTY GOD, the Father of mercies, and the God of all consolation, our only help in time of need, we flee unto thee for succour in this season of tribulation and distress. Out of the deeps we call unto thee, O Lord. Lord, hear our voice. Ō let thine ears consider well the voice of our complaint.
We acknowledge, O God, that for our iniquities we are visited, and for our sins are we troubled. We are born to trouble as the sparks fly upward, because we have been transgressors from the womb. And if thou shouldst be extreme to mark what we have done amiss, our present sorrows would only be the beginning of sorrows which should know no end. Wherefore should a living man complain? a man for the punishment of his sins?
But thou art gracious and merciful; full of compassion and of great goodness. Thou hast not dealt with us according to our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. Blessed be thy name, that thou not only hast opened unto us a way of escape from the wrath to come, but hast mercifully ordained the sufferings of the present life to work together for good to them that love thee.
Thy wise providence ordereth all things both in heaven and earth. Not a sparrow falleth to the ground without thy knowledge and appointment; and the very hairs of our head are all numbered. Thou assurest us, that thou dost not willingly afflict or grieve the children of men, but for their profit, that they may be par
takers of thy holiness. Whom thou lovest, thou chastenest; and scourgest every son whom thou receivest.
Thou afflictest us to humble us, and to prove us, and to know what is in our hearts; and whether we will love thee, and keep thy commandments, or no.
Give us grace therefore to consider, in this day of our adversity, wherefore thou contendest with us, and art wroth. Let us not despise thy chastening, nor faint when we are rebuked of thee; nor be weary of thy correction. But let us be still, and know that thou art God. In patience enable us to possess our souls. Grant that our tribulation may work patience; and patience experience; and experience hope; and our hope, let it not make ashamed; but let thy love be shed abroad in our hearts, through the Holy Ghost given unto us. Let us not cast away our confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. Though troubled on every side, let us not be distressed; though perplexed, let us not be in despair; though cast down, let us not be destroyed. And be pleased to cause our light afflictions, which are but for a moment, to work out for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things that are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen, are temporal; but the things which are not seen, are eternal. Though no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous; yet afterwards let it yield the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto us who are now exercised thereby. Grant that we may find it good to be afflicted, and see that thou, of very faithfulness, hast caused us to be in trouble. And whenever it may please thee to deliver us out of the miseries of this sinful world, of thy gracious goodness receive us into that blessed kingdom, where thou shalt wipe away all tears from our eyes; where there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away.
We beseech thee, also, O Lord, to have compassion on our brethren and companions in tribulation.
Have mercy upon all sick persons; and make all their bed in their sickness. Eternal God, be thou their refuge, and place underneath them thy everlasting arms.
Look graciously upon them, O Lord; and the more the outward man decayeth, strengthen them, we beseech thee, so much the more continually, by thy grace and Holy Spirit, in the inward man. Give them unfeigned repentance for all the sins of their past lives, and steadfast faith in thy Son Jesus; that their sins may be done away by thy mercy, and their pardon sealed in heaven, before they go hence, and are no more seen.
We commend into thy hands, as into the hands of a faithful Creator and most merciful Saviour, the souls of those who are departing this life; most humbly beseeching thee, that they may be precious in thy sight. Wash them, we pray thee, in the blood of that spotless Lamb which was slain to take away the sins of the world; that whatsoever defilements they may have contracted in the midst of this miserable and wicked world, through the lusts of the flesh or the wiles of Satan, being purged and done away, they may be presented pure and without spot before thee.
Be gracious also unto thy people who are weeping, and refuse to be comforted, for the loss of beloved friends and relations, departed this life in thy faith and fear. Let them not be sorry, as men without hope, for those that sleep in thee: but comfort them with the joyful expectation, that they shall see each other again at the resurrection in the last day.
May it please thee, likewise, to defend and provide for the fatherless children and widows, and all that are desolate and oppressed.
And, since many are the afflictions of the righteous, Lord, remember them and all their troubles. Regard those who are in heaviness through manifold temptations. Graciously hear us, that those evils which the craft and subtilty of the devil or man worketh against them be brought to nought, and by the providence of thy goodness they may be dispersed; that they, thy servants, being hurt by no persecutions, may evermore give thanks unto thee, and glorify thy name.
Finally, we commend to thy fatherly goodness all those who are any ways afflicted or distressed in mind, body, or estate. That it may please thee to comfort and relieve them, according to their several necessities;
giving them patience under their sufferings, and a happy issue out of all their afflictions.
[Hear us, especially, in behalf of thy servant, for whom we desire especially to pray. We look up unto thee, O thou compassionate Saviour, who wast thyself a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. O thou, who didst weep at the tomb of Lazarus, and art still touched with the feeling of our infirmities, pitifully behold the sorrows of our hearts, and graciously look upon our afflictions. O thou, who, of old, didst cure all manner of sickness, and all manner of disease among the people, be gracious unto us. Let not this sickness be unto death; but for the glory of thy name. Speak the word only, and thy servant shall be healed. Have mercy upon him, O Lord, have mercy upon him; and not on him only, but on us also, lest we should have sorrow upon sorrow. If it be possible, let this cup pass from us, without our drinking all its bitterness; but, if not, thy will be done. Only be pleased to sanctify this thy fatherly correction to him, that the sense of his weakness may add strength to his faith, and efficacy to his repentance: that, if it should be thy good pleasure to restore him to his former health, he may lead the residue of his life in thy fear and to thy glory; or else give him grace so to take thy visitation, that after this painful life ended, he may dwell with thee in life everlasting.]
And this we beg for Jesus Christ's sake.
FOR A SICK CHILD.
O GOD of the spirits of all flesh, the only giver and preserver of life in every living soul; the smallest, as well as the greatest, are thy work and thy care; and neither without the compass of thy providence, nor below the notice and regard of our heavenly Father, who though so great above all, yet despiseth not any! O Lord, let thy thoughts be full of pity and tender mercy to this poor sick child, for whose afflictions we are now concerned; and send him that relief and comfort from above, which none of us are able to give. Either
lighten the load, or increase the strength to bear it; and deal gently and graciously with him, O Lord, beyond what we are worthy to ask at thy hands, even for thy own goodness and mercy's sake. Spare him, O Father of mercies, and grant him ease and release from his trouble; yea, make haste to deliver him, we beseech thee; and in submission to thy will we beg the recovery of his health, and the continuance of his life, to be spent in thy fear, and to thy praise, that he may continue to do thee service, and bring thee glory in his days upon earth. But, forasmuch as children themselves, who are shapen in iniquity, and conceived in sin, are therefore subject to death, if thou art pleased, Lord, to take him away so early, O let it be in mercy, and prepare him then so for thyself, that it may be to him the greatest gain to die; that he may not only be delivered from the miseries and dangers of this world, and that to come, but may be made ripe and ready for heaven and eternal glory, through the infinite satisfaction and merits of thy beloved Son, our compassionate Saviour, who so kindly embraced and blessed young children, and ever lives at thy right hand to intercede for young and old; the only prevailing advocate for us all. And to thy mercy in him, O most gracious God, we commend this afflicted child, beseeching thee to deal well by him, and be good and kind to him; and out of the riches of thy grace, provide and do abundantly, as thou knowest best for him, in life and death, and for everAmen.
UNDER DANGEROUS SICKNESS.
O LORD GOD Almighty, in whom we all ever live, and move and are; we acknowledge it to be of thy mercies we are not consumed, because thy compassions fail not. If thou hadst, long before this time, cut us off in our sins, and shut us up under final despair of thy mercy, yet righteous hadst thou been, O Lord; and justly mightest thou now refuse to hear us calling upon thee in our prayers as we so often have refused to hear thee calling upon us by the motions of thy Holy Spirit. But thou art God, and not man; and thy thoughts are