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willing, an obedient and a loving spirit. O let hini never charge thee foolishly, nor murmur secretly, nor make too much haste; but, with faith and hope, submit his body and soul to thy merciful and just dispensation; that he may not discompose the duties of his repentance by a new sin, nor provoke thee to anger by his impatience, nor offend them who charitably minister to him, nor neglect the doing of any thing that can be in his power or in his duty, to his body or his soul. O God, be merciful unto thy servant, and press not him with an unequal load; but remember that we are but flesh and vanity, that we are crushed before the moth, and die in thy displeasure: give him ease and rest, a quiet mind and a peaceful conscience : make thou all his bed in his sickness; and deliver him not into the will of his spiritual enemies : but glorify thy mercies, and make thy goodness illustrious upon thy servant; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Against Deuth, and the Fear of it. O eternal God, who, for the sin of man, didst send death into the world, and by the resurrection of thy holy Son, didst bring life to all believers ; have mercy upon this thy servant, whom thou hast smitten with thy rod, and brought into the valley of tears, and the shadow of death ; O let not thy fierce anger go beyond a fatherly correction : let this rod be discipline, not vengeance; let it kill his sin, but not the man: but in judgment remember mercy; take from thy servant all inordinate fear; give him a present mind, a hopeful spirit, a faithful heart, a perfectly repenting conscience, a charitable and a devout soul. Take from him the fear, and take from him the sentence of death; preserve his life, and restore his health, if that be best for him; for to thy power we submit, on thy goodness we do depend, by thy wisdom we desire to be governed, and that thy love should choose for thy servant. But if thou hast otherwise decreed, O grant to thy servant the comforts of a holy hope, and the strengths of an unconquerable faith; the constancy of an unmoved patience, and the meekness of a perfect resignation; that to him to live may be Christ, and to die may be gain; that whether he lives or dies, he may be thine; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
For Pardon. O most gracious and eternal Son of God, who only hast power to forgive sins, and to rescue erring souls from the power of sin, and from the wrath of God; be gracious to thy servant, who confesses thy justice in his suffering, and begs to feel thy mercy in his pardon, and thy pity in his ease and restitution. Contend no longer with the miserable, who confesses himself guilty: reject him not that begs for remission of his síns and remission of thine anger; remember not the follies of his childhood, nor the vanities of his youth, the sins of his tongue, nor the sins of his anger; the sins of desire, nor the innumerable breaches of charity; his infinite omissions of duty, and the inexcusable actions of his choice. Thou hast glorified thyself in all generations of the world by giving pardon to the penitent, and ease to the afflicted, comfort to the comfortless, and refreshment to the weary; behold, O God, the sorrows of thy servant, and remember his sins no more: behold the passion and the pains which our blessed Lord suffered for our sins; and let not the sins of thy servants cause thee to take another forfeiture, and produce another and an eternal anger: but spare thy servant in thine anger; and remember him in thy mercy, and pity him in thine infinite compassion, and relieve him with mighty grace, and deliver him from his sins, and bring him to thy glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
If he be in, or near, the Agonies of Death. O blessed God, thou Lover of souls and the Saviour of thy servants, who gavest thy Son to die for us, that we might live in him ; look with mercy and great compassion upon the soul of thy servant, for whom the Lord Jesus gave his precious blood. Now, O God, is that sad period in which he is to be consigned over to his final sentence; now is the day of his great expense; his needs of mercy are great as his sins, and great as his dangers, and great as all his enemies; let him receive the fruit of all his labours, a blessed return of all his prayers, the grace of thy promises, and the effect of all the sufferings of the holy Jesus: now, O God, let him find the end of his hopes, and a just peace in his conscience, a spiritual communion with Christ, and the benefit of all his passion, pardon of his sins, and the sweetest visitations of thy Holy Spirit the Comforter. Now let him feel the effect of thy mighty power and of thy glorious victory over sin and all the powers of darkness : let them have no portion in him; and let thine anger end in comfort and pardon, in the visitation of angels and the glorious appearing of thy Holy Spirit. Now let him feel the truth of religion, and the substance of the things he hath hoped for; the verification of thy promises, and the goodness of God; let all the sermons of the Gospel pass into real exhibition of thy loving-kindness: and let thy servant rejoice in the portions of the blessed, in the redemption of his soul, in the communion of saints, in the society of the spirits of just men made perfect; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Then shall the Minister recommend the Soul of the dying man, if it be departing the body.
I. O most blessed and most gracious Saviour Jesus, into thy holy hands we commend the soul of this our brother, praying thee to defend it from all evil, from the wrath of God which he hath deserved, from the evil spirits of darkness which are ready to devour her, from the flames of hell from whence nothing can rescue her but the mercies of God in our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
II. Let thy holy angel receive this soul from her prison and ruinous house of clay, and carry her to the region of loving and obedient souls in the bosom of Jesus, there with joy and longing, with the assurance of hope and a peaceful charity, to expect the resurrection of the just, and the day of thy righteous judgment. Amen.
O let not the devils accuse this soul before thee, or if they do, let them not prevail; but interpose thy death and passion, thy mediation and intercession, between thy judgment and this soul, now at her departure and at the day of judgment; that, in the terrors of that day, this soul may stand upright, supported by the arms of thy eternal mercy. Amen.
Let not this soul carry along with her the infirmities of her present state, but be immured with a guard of loving and blessed spirits to defend her against all the hostilities and incursions of evil angels. Now she shall see what she never saw, and hear what she never heard, and know what was never revealed below; O grant that she may have aids that here she never did need, even mighty assistances in proportion to her new and stranger state, that whatsoever is in the darkness or in the fire, in the secret regions of wrath, and the horrible places of torment and fearful expectations, may not afflict or affright the lamb of thy flock, the price of thy blood, the child of thy kingdom, and the portion of thine own inheritance. Amen.
O sweetest Jesu, say unto this soul, · This day shalt thou be with me in Paradise ;' say unto this soul,' Fear not, for it is my Father's pleasure to give thee a kingdom;' let this soul dwell in safe and pleasant regions; and be supported with the hope of God, comforted with a holy conscience, rejoice in a confirmed pardon, be recreated with the visitation of angels, and walk in white whithersoever the Lamb shall go. Amen.
VI. Give unto this decaying, dying body a blessed and a glorious resurrection; to this weary and afflicted, this penitent and redeemed soul, a portion in the blessed sentence of thy right hand amongst the blessed children of thy Father, who shall receive the kingdom prepared for them from the beginning of the world. Amen.
VII. Remember, O God, the good things which, by thy grace, and by the aids of thy Holy Spirit, thy servant hath done in
all his life; and remember not his evil deeds which, by the weakness of the flesh, and the temptations of the devil, and the evil contingencies of this world, have afflicted and humbled the soul of thy servant: remember thy holy Son did die for these; and thy Holy Spirit was the cause of those; and for whom thou hast given thy Son, and to whom thou hast given thy Spirit, give thine eternal pardon, and thine eternal glories; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
After the Soul is departed, the Minister may say this Prayer in
behalf of the living Friends and Relatives of the dead. Almighty God, who governest all things in heaven and earth with infinite wisdom and infinite mercy, and bringest good out of evil, comfort out of sorrow, and after a gentle visitation dost refresh thy children with the light of thy countenance, with the blessings of thy providence, with the returns of thy grace, and the comforts of thy Holy Spirit; have mercy upon this family, and return to them all with thy loving-kindness, exchanging their present sorrow into the advantages of holiness and blessing. Be thou now and ever what thou gloriest in,--a Father of the fatherless, a Husband to the widow, a God of comfort to them that mourn in secret. Grant that thy servants may not weep as men without hope, ñor murmur at thy dispensation, nor complain of any thing but themselves, nor desire any thing but that thy will be done, nor do anything but what is agreeable to thy holy word and commandment. And grant that when thou smitest any of us, it may increase thy fear in us, and when thou doest good to any of us, in smiting or forbearing, in chastising or comforting, it may increase thy love in us : and let thy Holy Spirit so prevail over all our wills and understandings, our affections and the outward man, our interests and our hopes, that we may live in this world pleasing to thee, and may go out of this world with the peace of a holy conseience, and may have a joyful resurrection in the last day, to a participation of the glories of God; through Jesus Christ our Lord: Amen.
The Lord bless you, and keep you. The Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious unto you. The