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prehended all under sin, and this sad covenant of sufferings, not to destroy us, but that thou mightest have mercy 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 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 this means nearer to thee; that if he shall recover his former health, he may return to the world with greater strength of spirit, to run a new race of stricter holiness, and more severe religion; or if he shall pass 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.
A Prayer for Thankfulness in Sickness.
O GOD, wonderful both in thy mercies and judgments, grant that the sense of thy servant's present afflictions may not cause him to forget thy former mercies, which thou hast bestowed upon him: O, therefore, let the remembrance of those many and great blessings that he hath so long enjoyed at thy hand, be now the proper motives and incentives to the virtues of patience and humility, causing him cheerfully to resign himself to thy blessed will under all the dispensations of thy providence, though ever so hard; and patiently to wait for the return of thy loving-kindness in Jesus, which is better than life. Amen.
A Prayer for a Blessing on the Means used for a sick Person's recovery.
(From Mr. Kettlewell.)
O GRACIOUS Lord, by whose word man lives, and not by any human means alone; direct, we pray thee, the counsels of those who prescribe to this thy servant, and prosper the medicines which are used to procure him ease and strength; but let not his confidence in them lessen any thing of his dependence on thee, but make him sensible that every good gift is from thee, and that it is thou that givest us help in time of need. To whom, therefore, but to thee, should we flee in the day of our visitation? since it is thy blessing only that maketh the means we use effectual; and, however vain the use of them is without thee, if thou biddest them, the things or accidents which we do not think of, or regard, shall recover us. O, therefore, as their part, who administer to him is the care, so let thine, O God, be the blessing, and his the comfort: and as he regards them as thy instruments, so let him own thee for the Author of his mercies, and to thee give thanks, and pay his vows and services through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
A Prayer for a sick Person when there appears some Hope of Recovery.
(From Bishop Patrick.)
We thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast heard our prayers for thine afflicted servant, and given him some respite and hopes of recovery from this great illness. Blessed be thy goodness, that he hath not made his bed in the dust, but is likely to continue still 47
amongst us, in the land of the living. Blessed be thy goodness for so great (and lately unexpected) mercy to him.
And, O thou Preserver of men! who hast begun to revive and quicken him again; go on to perfect his cure, and forsake not the work of thy own hands. Repair all the decays in his outward man, that his mind may also recover its former strength, to praise and bless thy goodness to him.
And visit him, in the mean time, with thy heavenly consolation from above. Fill him with comfortable thoughts of thy love, and of the tender compassionate care which our Lord Jesus takes of all his afflicted servants. Endue him still with more patient submission to thy will, and enable him both quietly to wait upon thee, till thou hast finished his recovery, and also to continue steadfastly resolved to serve thee more faithfully with his restored strength, through Jesus Christ our blessed Saviour and Redeemer. Amen.
Another, in Behalf of the sick Person, when he finds any Abatement of his Distemper.
ACCEPT, O Lord, of the unfeigned thanks of thy servant for abating the fury of his present distemper, and giving him some hopes of raising him up again to praise thee in the great congregation.
It is a great mercy, O Lord, and owing to thy goodness only, that his senses are preserved entire, and that he hath some respite, after so much uneasiness and pain, through the violence of his illness.
O perfect, if it be thy blessed will, what thou hast begun in him, and say to the distemper, "It is enough."
Teach him hence to look up to thee continually, as the rock of his salvation, whence only he is to expect comfort and support and give him grace always to make such a
right use of thy favours, that he may daily find himself surrounded by the light of thy countenance, and enjoy the blessings of thy heavenly benediction in all his ways, whether in adversity or prosperity, in sickness or in health. Even so, blessed Lord, continue to assist, strengthen, comfort, and bless him, both now and for evermore, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
A Prayer for One who is dangerously ill.
O ALMIGHTY God, "gracious and merciful, and longsuffering, whose compassions fail not;" look down, we beseech thee, upon the low and distressed state of thy servant, now lying in the extremity of sickness. The harder his illness presses upon him, the louder does it call upon thee for help. O be merciful therefore unto him, according to the necessity of his case, and according to the multitude of thy tender mercies in Jesus Christ. Rebuke the distemper, that it prevail not over him to death; but turn its malevolent aspect into a joyous expectation of life. In as great danger as he is, yet if thou wilt, O Lord, we know thou canst make him whole; if thou speakest the word it shall be done. In submission, therefore, to thy most wise and good disposal of all things, we beg this mercy at thy hands, that thou wouldest let "this" bitter "cup pass away" from thy servant, and cause "a way for" him "to escape" out of this dangerous condition. "O spare. him a little, and his soul shall live." Amen.
A Prayer for a sick Person, when Sickness continues long upon him.
(From Bishop Patrick.)
Look down, O Lord, we humbly beseech thee, with an eye of compassion on thy poor distressed servant, who hath
lain so long under this severe affliction; and by how much the outward man is decayed and brought low by the tediousness of the distemper's continuing on him, by so much the more do thou be pleased to support him in the inner man by the gracious assistance of thy Holy Spirit. Give him unfeigned repentance for all the errours of his past life, and steadfast faith in thy Son Jesus Christ; a comfortable assurance of the truth of all his precious promises, a lively hope of that immortal bliss in which he reigns for evermore, and a strong sense of thy fatherly love to him, and care over him, which may make him heartily love thee, and entirely confide in thee, and absolutely resign both soul and body to thy wise disposal.
We know there is nothing too hard for thee; but that if thou wilt, thou canst bring him up even from the gates of death, and grant him a longer continuance among us: May it be thy good pleasure, O most gracious God, still to continue him here; spare him, O Lord, and deliver him also speedily from this misery, under which he hath so long groaned. Bless all the means that are used for his recovery, and for the support of his spirits, and give him refreshment during this tedious sickness. Release him from his pain, or grant him some ease, or else increase and strengthen his patience. Help him, in remembrance of thy past loving-kindness, to trust in thy goodness, and submit to thy wisdom, and bear with an equal mind what thou thinkest fit to lay upon him; so that approving himself to thee in these and all other virtues, while thou tryest him by so sore an affliction, he may say at the last, with the holy Psalmist, "It was good for me that I was in trouble."
Unto thy infinite mercies we recommend him, and to the compassionate kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, who we hope will hear all the prayers of his friends for him,