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thee, and to send up the thoughts of my heart; I beseech thee to be so gracious, as to let me know my end, that I may not be surprised on a sudden by an unexpected death, as Job's children ; and so merciful as to give me timely notice of my departure, as thou didst to thy servant Hezekiah. I desire not the notice of many years, but of a few days, or at least of a few hours immediately before, that my soul may not be disturbed with evil thoughts, or frighted with false conceits, and malicious suggestions of the devil ; that I may end my days with all tranquillity and satisfaction of mind; that I may always have a perfect use of my senses, of my reason and understanding, and the assistance of thy grace ; that I may glorify thy name, and edify my neighbours, until the last moment of my departure. Suffer not therefore my soul to be snatched away by force on a sudden, but grant me time to commit it into thy merciful hands. · Amen.
A PRAYER and MEDITATION for one that dies in a strange rasis1 Country in the midst of Infidels.
MY God and heavenly Father, how grievous is this U trial ! Who can express the troubles of my mind! Ac the moment of my most urgent necessity, and of the oppression of soul, at the time of my agony, I see myself destitute of all human assistance. Here I am at a distance not only from my country, and pleasant company of my friends, and deprived of all spiritual comforts, of which I have at present greatest need in this extremity ; but also, to my unspeakable grief, here I am in a strange place, in the power of my cruel enemies. I have nobody to strengthen me in the faith of my Saviour Christ. All things that appear before me, increase and add to my trouble; I am here among the adversaries of thy truth, who labour to destroy my interest in Christ, and cause me to perish, now that I am entering into the haven of eternity. I must encounter with Death, with hell itself, and with the subtle insinuations of the infernal spirits. O Almighty and merciful Lord, suffer me not to lose my courage, and to yield to the present temptation. By thy wonderful providence, and out of thing abundant mercy, supply all my wants and infirmities, and grant that I may, with the shield of faith, quencla alt the fiery darts of Satan. I am beset with many visible and invisible enemies; but they that are for me are more in number than they that are against me. It is true, I am far from heaven, whereof the earth is the centre. I am at a distance from all my earthly friends; but nothing can put me at a distance from thee, O good God, who lovest me with an unchangeable affection. I am in the embraces of my heavenly Father, and of my God: I have not the assistance of a minister to help me in my grief and pain ; but I know that thou wilt send me thine holy angels, as once to thy beloved Son in his bitter agony. These angels shall protect me against all the powers of the prince of darkness : thou wilt administer to me, thyself, the sweet conforts of thy salvation; thy rod and thy staff will assist me in this valley and shadow of death. O Lord, thou dost things that are not to be searched out, and so many wonders that it is not possible to number them ; thy grace is sufficient for me, and thy power is made manifest in mine infirmities. Thy holy Spi. rit, who is the true Comforter, and the great power of the Almighty, shall refresh me in these my afflictions, and in all things shall make me more than conqueror. Thou art stronger than all other beings, so that I am persuaded nothing can ravish me out of thine hands. I am certain, 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, čan separate us from the love that thou hast declared to me in Jesus Christ my Lord; this precious faith, with which thou hast strengthened my
soul, sool, shall vanquish the world, triumph over hell, and de- . stroy Death in its own empire. Amen.
A PRATER and MEDITATION upon the Death of a beloved
MY God, I acknowledge that there is nothing certain
nor unchangeable on earth, but thy precious and holy promises; therefore it becomes us to enjoy the things of the world as if we enjoyed them not. Thou hast stratched out of my embraces, and pulled from my bosom, my greatest darling, and most intimate friend. Thou hast opened my heart, and torn my bowels, and thou hast sepas sited me from myself, so that my life is but a burden and pain to me. I did often look upon this pleasant object of my love as a gift from above, and a mark of thy favour and liberality; it was my greatest joy, and my sweetest comfort. The day that took it away overwhelmed me in a sea of grief. "That which doth most disturb me, is, that I am afraid that this is a stroke and an effect of thy anger and jusrice, O Lord my God, I must needs acknowledge, that I have grievously offended thee, seeing thou dost thus chastise me with so much severity, and makest me feel so sharp an affliction, I am unworthy of all thy favours, seeing thou dost take from me such a precious jewel, which was shewed to me as lightning. I am afraid I have been wanting in my duty, and that this death that kills me; is the effect of my stupidity and blindness: methinks I could bave hindered this doletul accident; for if I had behaved myself otherwise than I have done, my life and soul should not be in its grave. O God of all comfort, pardon my excessive grief, pacify my sighs, stop the current of my tears, remove all these vain displeasures that consume me, deliver my soul
from this unmerciful grief and torment that it suffers, and from these troubles that are more than human : instead of looking to the inferior causes, and to the circumstances of the death of this beloved person, give me grace to remember, that the least things, as well as the greatest, are governed and ruled by thy wise providence, and that the good and the evil proceed from thy divine appointment. Give me grace to consider, that thou dost hold in thine almighty hand the keys of life and death, and thou alone dost cast us in the grave, and liftest us up from thence again, O Sovereign Monarch of the universal world, who dost not only let Death loose, but also appointest all the circumstances, make, me truly submissive unto thy sacred pleasure, and to put, my finger upon my lips, because iç is thy doing. , If I open them, let it be to adore thy justice, and sing forth thy praises. The person for whom I lament so much, was nearly related to me, like another self, and was also thy creature, thy child, and a member of our Saviour's mystical body. We, for our parts, believe we have the right of disposing of our workmanship, and of that which we have bought with our money : and hast not thou, O God, the liberty to dispose of that which thou hast created after thy likeness? bought, not with corruptible things, as with gold and silver, but with the precious blood of the Lamb without spot or blemish? Thou hast a Son, who is the brightness of thy glory, and the express image of thy person, whom thou hast not spared for me: and shall I, Lord, refuse thee my heart and my bowels ? Thy only-begotten Son came down opon earth to suffer the most cruel and ignominious death of the cross ; but thou hast taken up into heaven the person whom my soul loved, to crown him or her) with a glorious and ever-happy immortality. Shall his or her) felicity be the cause of my afflictions ? and shall his or her) rest occasion my displeasure? It is the property of true love to prefer the happiness of the beloved person to our satisfaction ; therefore our Saviour cold his apostles, If you did love me,
you you would rejoice, because I go to my Father ; for my Fa-, ther is greater than I. Between thee, O great and, living God, and us miserable worms of the earth, there is as vast a difference as there is between the innocent and harmless delights of this world, and the unspeakable pleasures of thy presence: for these are but as drops of water, that are dried up with the least wind; whereas the satisfactions of heaven are like a bottomless sea of delights, in which we shall swim for ever. Do I therefore weep for him (or her) whose tears thou hast wiped away? Do I wear a mournful apparel, and black scarf, for him who is now covered with a glorious attire of joy and gladness, who is adorned with an habit as white as mow? Do I delight myself in darkness, and doth he solace bimself at the fountain of life and glory? Do I seek a solitary and melancholy retreat, and doth he rejoice amongst the thousands of angels, and the glorious company of immortal spirits ? I sigh and groan, and he sings a new song, the song of the blessed, which is always in bis mouth. All my complaints and groanings cannot bring him back on earth; but if that were possible, it is not just to attempt it ; my kindness would be cruel; and my love must be inhuman. How could I resolve to make him leave the haven of eternal felicity, to expose him again to the furious waves and storms of this troublesome sea of the world ; to engage him in fresh encounters, to clothe him with the rags of mortality, to take him out of rivers of pleasures, and bring him back again to a sea of gall and bitterness, and feed him again with the bread of affliction? Can I be so cruel as to wish him out of thine embraces, and the ravishing enjoyment of thy favour and eternal life, to deliver him again into the torments of mortality? The shortness of this life reminds me of my departure after him to the light of the living, where we may again enjoy one another. O Lord, truly wonderful and various in all thy dispensations ! it is not only for the advantage of this happy creature, and thy glory, that thou hast taken him into thy rest ; but for my