OF THE PRACTICE OF THE GRACES PROPER TO THE STATE OF SICKNESS,
WHICH A SICK MAN MAY PRACTICE ALONE.
Now we suppose the man entering upon his
scene of sorrows and passive graces. It may be he went yesterday to a wedding,
merry and brisk, and there he felt his sentence that he must return home and
die; (for men very commonly enter into the snare singing, and consider not
whither their fate leads them;) nor feared that then the angel was to strike
his stroke, till his knees kissed the earth and his head trembled with the
weight of the rod which God put into the hand of an exter minating angel. But
whatsoever the ingress was, when the man feels his blood boil, or his bones
weary, or his flesh diseased with a load of dispersed and disordered humour, or
his head to ache, or his faculties discomposed, then he must consider that all
those discoursed he hath heard concerning patience and resignation, and
conformity to Christ's sufferings, and the melancholy lectures of the cross,
must all of them now be reduced to practice, and pass from an ineffective
contemplation to such an exercise as will really try whether we were true
disciples of the cross, or only believed the doctrines of religion when we were
at ease, and that they never passed through the ear to the heart, and dwelt not
in our spirits. But every man should consider God does nothing in vain; that he
would not to no purpose send us preachers and give us rules, and furnish us
with discourse, and lend us books, and provide sermons, and make examples, and
promise his Spirit, and describe the blessedness of holy sufferings, and
prepare us with daily alarms, if he did not really purpose to order our affairs
so that we should need all this, and use it all. There were no such thing as
the grace of patience if we were not to feel a sickness or enter into a state
of sufferings; whither, when we are entered, we are to practise by the
The Practice and Acts of Patience by way of Rule.
1. At the first address and presence of
sickness stand still and arrest thy spirit, that it may, without amazement or
affright, consider that this was that thou lookedst for and wert always certain
should happen; and that now thou art to enter into the actions of a new
religion, the agony of a strange constitution; but at no hand suffer thy
spirits to be dispersed with fear, or wildness of thought, but stay their
looseness and dispersion by a serious consideration of the present and future
employment. For so doth the Libyan lion, spying the fierce huntsman, first
beats himself with the strokes of his tail, and curls up his spirits, making
them strong with union and recollection, till being struck with a Mauitanian
spear, he rushed forth into his defence and noblest contention; and either
`scapes into the secrets of his own dwelling, or else dies the bravest of the
forest. Every man, when shot with an arrow from God's quiver, must then draw in
all the auxiliaries of reason, and know that then is the time to try his
strength, and to reduce the words of his religion into action, and consider
that, if he behaves himself weakly and timorously, he suffers nevertheless of
sickness; but if he returns to health, he carries along with him the mark of a
coward and a fool; and if he descends into his grave, he enters into the state
of the faithless and unbelievers. Let him set his heart firm upon this
resolution: "I must bear it inevitably, and I will, by God's grace, do it
2. Bear in thy sickness all along the same
thoughts, propositions, and discourses, concerning thy person, thy life and
death, thy soul and religion, which thou hadst in the best days of thy health,
and when thou didst discourse wisely concerning things spiritual. For it is to
be supposed (and if it be not yet done, let this rule remind thee of it, and
direct thee) that thou hast cast about in thy health, and considered concerning
thy change and the evil day, that thou must be sick and die, that thou must
need a comforter, and that it was certain thou shouldst fall into a state in
which all the cords of thy anchor should be stretched, and the very rock and
foundation of faith should be attempted; and whatsoever fancies may disturb
you, or whatsoever weaknesses may invade you, yet consider when you were better
able to judge and govern the accidents of your life you concluded it necessary
to trust in God and posses your souls with patience. Think of things as they
think that stand by you, and as you did when you stood by others; that it is a
blessed thing to be patient; that a quietness of spirit hath a certain reward;
that still there is infinite truth and reality in the promises of the gospel;
that still thou art in the care of God, in the condition of a son, and working
out thy salvation with labour and pain, with fear and trembling; that now the
sun is under a cloud, but it still sends forth the same influence: and be sure
to make no new principles upon the stock of a quick and an impatient sense or
too busy an apprehension: keep your old principles, and upon their stock
discourse and practise on towards your conclusion.
3. Resolve to bear your sickness like a child,
that is, without considering the evils and the pains, the sorrows and the
danger; but go straight forward, and let thy thoughts cast about for nothing
but how to make advantages of it by the instrument of religion. He that from a
high tower looks down upon the precipice, and measures the space through which
he must descend, and considers what a huge fall he shall have, shall feel more
by the horrow of it than by the last dash on the pavement: and he that tells
his groans and numbers his sighs, and reckons one for every gripe of his belly
or throb of his distempered pulse, will make an artificial sickness greater
than the natural. And if thou beest ashamed that a child should bear an evil
better than thou, then take his instrument and allay thy spirit with it;
reflect not upon thy evil, but contrive as much as you can for duty, and in all
the rest inconsideration will ease your pain.
4. If thou fearest thou shalt need, observe and
draw together all such things as are apt to charm thy spirit and ease thy fancy
in the sufferance. It is the counsel of Socrates: "It is (said he) a great
danger, and you must, by discourse and arts of reasoning, enchant it into
slumber and some rest." It may be,
thou wert moved much to see a person of honour to die untimely; or thou didst
love the religion of that death-bed, and it was dressed up in circumstances
fitted to thy needs, and hit thee on that part where thou wert most sensible;
or some little saying in a sermon or passage of a book was chosen and singled
out by a peculiar apprehension, and made consent lodge awhile in thy spirit,
even then when thou didst place death in thy meditation, and didst view it in
all its dress of fancy. Whatsoever that was which at any time did please thee
in thy most passionate and fantastic part, let not that go, but bring it home
at that time especially; because, when thou art in thy weakness, such little
things will easier move thee than a more severe discourse and a better reason.
For a sick man is like a scrupulous: his case is gone beyond the cure of
arguments, and it is a trouble that can only be helped by chance, or a lucky
saying: and Ludovico Corbinelli was moved at the death of Henry the Second more
than if he had read the saddest elegy of all the unfortunate princes in
Christendom, or all the sad sayings of Scripture, or the thrones of the funeral
prophets. I deny not but this course is most proper to weak persons; but it is
a state of weakness for which we are now providing remedies and instruction; a
strong man will not need it; but when our sickness hath rendered us weak in all
senses, it is not good to refuse a remedy because it supposes us to be sick.
But then, if to the catalogue of weak persons we add all those who are ruled by
fancy, we shall find that many persons in their health, and more in their
sickness, are under the dominion of fancy, and apt to be helped by those little
things which themselves have found fitted to their apprehension, and which no
other man can minister to their needs, unless by chance, or in a heap of other
things. But therefore every man should remember by what instruments he was at
any time much moved, and try them upon his spirit in the day of his
5. Do not choose the kind of thy sickness, or the
manner of thy death, but let it be what God please, so it be no greater than
thy spirit or thy patience; and for that you are to rely upon the promise of
God, and to secure thyself by prayer and industry; but in all things else let
God be thy chooser, and let it be thy work to submit indifferently and attend
thy duty. It is lawful to beg of God that thy sickness may not be sharp or
noisome, infectious or unusual, because these are circumstances of evil which
are also proper instruments of temptation: and though it may well concern the
prudence of thy religion to fear thyself, and keep thee from violent
temptations, who hast so often fallen in little ones, yet, even in these
things, be sure to keep some degrees of indifferency; that is, if God will not
be entreated to ease thee, or to change thy trial, then be importunate that thy
spirit and its interest be secured, and let him do what seemeth good in his
eyes. But as in the degrees of sickness thou art to submit to God, so in the
kind of it (supposing equal degrees) thou art to be altogether incurious
whether God call thee by a consumption or an asthma, by a dropsy or a palsy, by
a fever in thy humours, or a fever in thy spirits; because all such nicety of
choice is nothing but a colour to a legitimate impatience, and to make an
excuse to murmur privately, and for circumstances, when in the sum of affairs
we durst not own impatience. I have known some persons vehemently wish that
they might die of a consumption, and some of these had a plot upon heaven, and
hoped by that means to secure it after a careless life; as thinking a lingering
sickness would certainly infer a lingering and a protracted repentance; and by
that means they thought they should be safest: others of them dreamed it would
be an easier death, and have found themselves deceived, and their patience hath
been tired with a weary spirit and a useless body, by often conversing with
healthful persons and vigorous neighbours, by uneasiness of the flesh and the
sharpness of their bones, by want of spirits and a dying life; and, in
conclusion, have been directly debauched by peevishness and a fretful sickness:
and these men had better have left it to the wisdom and goodness of God; for
they both are infinite.
6. Be patient in the desires of religion; and
take care that the forwardness of exterior actions do not discompose thy
spirit, while thou fearest, that by less serving God in thy disability thou
runnest backward in the accounts of pardon and the favour of God. Be content
that the time which was formerly spent in prayer be now spent in vomiting and
carefulness and attendances; since God hath pleased it should be so, it does
not become us to think hard thoughts concerning it. Do not think that God is
only to be found in a great prayer, or a solemn office: he is moved by a sigh,
by a groan, by an act of love; and therefore, when your pain is great and
pungent, lay all your strength upon it, to bear it patiently: when the evil is
something more tolerable, let your mind think some pious, though short,
meditation; let it not be very busy, and full of attention; for that will be
but a new temptation to your patience, and render your religion tedious and
hateful. But record your desires, and present yourself to God by general acts
of will and understanding, and by habitual remembrances of your former
vigorousness, and by verification of the same grace, rather than proper
exercises. If you can do more, do it; but if you cannot, let it not become a
scruple to thee. We must not think man is tied to the forms of health, or that
he who swoons and faints is obliged to his usual forms and hours of prayer: if
we cannot labour, yet let us love. Nothing can hinder us from that but our own
7. Be obedient to thy physician in those things
that concern him, if he be a person fit to minister unto thee. God is he only
that needs no help, and God hath created the physician for thine: therefore use
him temperately without violent confidences, and sweetly without uncivil
distrustings, or refusing his prescriptions upon humours or impotent fear. A
man may refuse to have his arm or leg cut off, or to suffer the pains of
Marius's incision; and if he believes that to die is the less evil, he may
compose himself to it without hazarding his patience, or introducing that which
he thinks a worse evil; but that which in this article is to be reproved and
avoided is, that some men will choose to die out of fear of death, and send for
physicians, and do what themselves list, and call for counsel and follow none.
When there is reason they should decline him, it is not to be accounted to the
stock of a sin; but where there is no just case there is a direct
Hither is to be reduced, that we be not too
confident of the physician, or drain our hopes of recovery from the fountain
through so imperfect channels, laying the wells of God dry, and digging to
ourselves broken cisterns. Physicians are the ministers of God's mercies and
providence in the matter of health and ease, of restitution or death; and when
God shall enable their judgments, and direct their counsels, and prosper their
medicines, they shall do thee good, for which you must give God thanks, and to
the physician the honour of a blessed instrument. But this cannot always be
done: and Lucius Cornelius, the
lieutenant in Portugal under Fabius the consul, boasted in the inscription of
his monument, that he had lived a healthful and vegete age till his last
sickness, but then complained he was forsaken by his physician and railed upon
Esculapius for not accepting his vow and passionate desire of preserving his
life longer; and all the effect of that impatience and folly was, that it is
recorded to folling ages that he died without reason and without religion. But
it was a sad sight to see the favour of all France confined to a physician and
a barber, and the king (Louis XI.) to be so much their servant, that he should
acknowledge and own his life from them, and all his ease to their gentle
dressing of his gout and friendly ministries; for the king thought himself
undone and robbed if he should die; his portion here was fair; and he was loath
to exchange his possession for the interest of a bigger hope.
8. Treat thy nurses and servants sweetly, and as
it becomes an obliged and a necessitous person. Remember that thou art very
troublesome to them; that they trouble not thee willingly; that they strive to
do thee ease and benefit, that they wish it, and sigh and pray for it, and are
glad if thou likest their attendance; that whatsoever is amiss is thy disease,
and the uneasiness of thy head or thy side, thy distemper or thy disaffections;
and it will be an unhandsome injustice to be troublesome to them because thou
art so to thyself; to make them feel a part of thy sorrows, that thou mayest
not bear them alone; evilly to requite their care by thy too curious and
impatient wrangling and fretful spirit. That tenderness is vicious and
unnatural that shieks out under the weight of a gentle cataplasm; and he will
ill comply with God's rod that cannot endure his friends; greatest kindness;
and he will be very angry (if he durst) with God's smiting him that is peevish
with his servants that go about to ease him.
9. Let not the smart of your sickness make you to
call violently for death; you are not patient unless you be content to live; God hath wisely ordered that we may be
the better reconciled with death, because it is the period of many calamities;
but wherever the general hath placed thee, stir not from thy station until thou
beest called off, but abide so, that death may come to thee by the design of
him who intends it to be thy work, and do not impatiently long for evening,
lest at night thou findest the reward of him that was weary of his work; for he
that is weary before his time is an unprofitable servant, and is either idle or
10. That which remains in the practice of this
grace is, that the sick man should do acts of patience by way of prayer and
ejaculations; in which he may serve himself of the following collection.
I will seek unto God, unto God will I
committ my cause, which doth great things and unsearchable, marvellous things
without number. Job. v. 8,9,11,16-19,26.
To set up on high those that be low, that those
which mourn may be exalted to safety.
So the poor have hope, and iniquity
stoppeth her mouth.
Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth:
therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty.
For he maketh sore, and bindeth up; he woundeth,
and his hands make a whole.
He shall deliver thee in six troubles; yea, in
seven there shall no evil touch thee.
Thou shalt come to thy grave in a just age, like
as a shock of corn cometh in his season.
I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate upon
thee in the night watches. Because thou hast been my help, therefore under the
shadow of thy wings will I rejoice. My soul followeth hard after thee; for thy
right hand hath upholden me. Psalm lxiii. 6-8.
God restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the path
of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of
the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy
staff they comfort me. Psalm xxiii.3,4.
In the time of trouble he shall hide me in his
pavillion; in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up
upon a rock. Psalm xxvii.5.
The Lord hath looked down from the height of his
sanctuary; from the heaven did the Lord behold the earth; to hear the groaning
of his prisoners; to loose those that are appointed to death. Psalm
I cried unto God with my voice, even unto God
with my voice, and he gave ear unto me. In the day of my trouble I sought the
Lord; my sore ran in the night and ceased not; my soul refused to be comforted;
I remembered God, and was troubled: I complained, and my spirit was
overwhelmed. Thou holdest mine eyes waking; I am so troubled that I cannot
speak. Will the Lord cast me off for ever? and will he be favourable no more?
Is his promise clean gone for ever? Doth his promise fail for evermore? Hath
God forgotten to be gracious? hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies? And
I said, This is my infirmity; but I will remember the years of the right hand
of the Most High. Psalm lxxvii. 1-4,7-10.
No temptation hath taken me but such as is common
to man; but God is faithful, who will not suffer me to be tempted above what I
am able; but will, with the temptation, also make a way to escape, that I may
be able to bear it. 1 Cor. x.13.
Whatsoever things were written aforetime were
written for our learning; that we, through patience and comfort of the
Scriptures, might have hope. Now the God of peace and consolation grant me to
be so minded. Rom. xv.4,5.
It is the Lord; let him do what seemeth good in
his eyes. 1 Sam. iii. 18.
Surely the word that the Lord hath spoken is very
good, but thy servant is weak: O remember mine infirmities; and lift thy
servant up that leaneth upon thy right hand.
There is given unto me a thorn in the flesh to
buffet me. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from
me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is
made perfect in weakness. Most gladly, therefore, I will glory in my
infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For when I am weak,
then am I strong. 2 Cor. xii. 7-10.
O Lord, thou hast pleaded the causes of my soul;
thou hast redeemed my life. And I said, My strength and my hope is in the Lord;
remembering my affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall. My soul
hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled within me. This I recall to my
mind, therefore I have hope.
It is the Lord's mercies that we are not
consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great
is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, said my soul; therefore will I
hope in him.
The Lord is good to them that wait for him; to
the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly
wait for the salvation of the Lord. For the Lord will not cast off for ever.
But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the
multitude of his mercies. For he doth not afflict willingly, nor grieve the
children of men. Lain. iii. 58, 18-26, 31-33, 39.
Wherefore doth a living man complain - a man for
the punishment of his sins? O that thou wouldest hide me in the grave (of
Jesus), that thou wouldest keep me secret, until thy wrath be past; that thou
wouldest appoint me a set time, and remember me! Job, xiv. 13.
Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and
shall we not receive evil? Job. ii.20.
The sick man may recite, or hear recited, the
following Psalms in the intervals of his agony.
O Lord, rebuke me not in thine anger, neither
chasten me in thy hot displeasure. Psalm vi.
Have mercy upon me, O Lord, for I am weak; O
Lord, heal me, for my bones are vexed.
My soul is also vexed; but thou, O Lord, how
Return, O Lord, deliver my soul; O save me for
thy mercy sake.
For in death no man groaning; all the night make
I my bed to swim: I water my couch with my tears.
Mine eye is consumed because of grief; it waxeth
old because of all my (sorrows).
Depart from me all ye workers of iniquity; for
the Lord hath heard the voice of my weeping.
The Lord hath heard my supplication; the Lord
will receive my prayer.
Blessed by the Lord, who hath heard my prayer,
and hath not turned his mercy from me.
In the Lord put I my trust: how say ye to my
soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain? Psalm xi.
The Lord is in his holy temple, the Lord's throne
is in heaven; his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men.
Preserve me, O God; for in thee do I put my
trust. Psalm xvi.
O my soul, thou hast said unto the Lord, Thou art
my Lord; my goodness extendeth not to thee.
The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance and
of my cup; thou maintainest my lot.
I will bless the Lord who hath given me counsel;
my reins also instruct me in the night seasons.
I have set the Lord always before me; because he
is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory
rejoiceth; my flesh also shall rest in hope.
Thou wilt show me the path of life; in thy
presence is the fulness of joy, at thy right hand there are pleasures for
As for me, I will behold thy face in
righteousness: I shall be satisfied when I awake with thy likeness. Psalm
Have mercy upon me, O Lord, for I am in
trouble: mine eye is consumed with grief; yea, my soul and my belly. Psalm
For my life is spent with grief, and my years
with sighing: my strength faileth because of mine iniquity, and my bones are
I am like a broken vessel.
But I trusted in thee, O Lord; I said, Thou art
My times are in thy hand; make thy face to shine
upon thy servant; save me for thy mercy's sake.
When thou saidst, Seek ye my face, my heart said
unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek. Psalm xxvii.
Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy
presence from the pride of man; thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavillion
from the strife of tongues, (from the calumnies and aggravation of sins by
I said in my haste, I am cut off from before
thine eyes; nevertheless thou heardest the voice of my supplication when I
cried unto thee.
O love the Lord, all ye his saints; for the Lord
preserveth the faithful, and plenteously rewardeth the proud doer.
Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your
heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.
The Prayer to be said at the beginning of Sickness.
O Almighty God, merciful and gracious, who
in thy justice didst send sorrow and tears, sickness and death, into the world,
as a punishment for man's sins, and hast comprehended 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 turned my sins into sickness, so turn
my sickness to the advantages of holiness and religion, of mercy and pardon, of
faith, and hope, of grace and glory. Thou hast now called me to the fellowship
of sufferings: Lord, by the instrument of religion let my present condition be
so sanctified that my sufferings may be united to the sufferings of my Lord,
that so thou mayst pity me and assist me. Relieve my sorrow and support my
spirit; direct my thoughts, and sanctify the accidents of my sickness; and that
the punishment of my sin may be the school of virtue, in which, since thou hast
now entered me, Lord, make me a holy proficient, that I may behave myself as a
son under discipline, humbly and obediently, evenly and penitently; that I may
come by this means nearer unto thee; that, if I shall go forth of this sickness
by the gate of life and health, I may return to the world with great strengths
of spirit, to run a new race of a stricter holiness and a more severe religion;
or, if I pass from hence with the outlet of death, I may enter into the bosom
of my Lord, and may feel the present joys of a certain hope of that sea of
pleasures, in which all thy saints and servants shall be comprehended to
eternal ages. Grant this for Jesus Christ's sake, our dearest Lord and Saviour.
An Act of Resignation to be said by a Sick Person in all the evil Accidents
of his Sickness.
O eternal God, thou hast made me and
sustained me; thou hast blessed me in all the days of my life, and hast taken
care of me in all variety of accidents; and nothing happens to me in vain,
nothing without thy providence; and I know thou smitest thy servants in mercy,
and with designs of the greatest pity in the world; Lord, I humbly lie down
under thy rod: do with me as thou pleaseth; do thou choose for me not only the
whole state and condition of being, but every little and great accident of it.
Keep me safe by thy grace, and then use what instrument thou pleaseth of
bringing me to thee. Lord, I am not solicitous of the passage, so I may get to
thee. Only, O Lord, remember my infirmities, and let thy servant rejoice in
thee always, and feel and confess and glory in thy goodness. O, be thou as
delightful to me in this my medicinal sickness as ever thou wert in any of the
danger of my prosperity; let me not peevishly refuse thy pardon at the rate of
a severe discipling. I am thy servant and thy creature, thy purchased
possession, and thy son; I am all thine; and because thou hast mercy in store
for all that trust in thee, I cover mine eyes, and in silence wait for the time
of my redemption. Amen.
A Prayer for the Grace of Patience.
Most merciful and gracious Father, who, in
the redemption of lost mankind by the passion of thy most holy Son, hast
established a covenant of sufferings, I bless and magnify thy name that thou
hast adopted me into the inheritance of sons, and hast given me a portion of my
elder brother. Lord, the cross falls heavy and sits uneasy upon my shoulders;
my spirit is willing, but my flesh is weak: I humbly beg of thee that I may now
rejoice in this thy dispensation and effect of Providence. I know and am
persuaded that thou art then as gracious when thou smitest us for amendment or
trial, as when thou relievest our wearied bodies in compliance with our
infirmity. I rejoice, O Lord, in thy rare and mysterious mercy, who by
sufferings hast turned our misery into advantages unspeakable: for so thou
makest us like to thy Son, and givest us a gift that the angels never did
receive; for they cannot die in conformity to, and imitation of, their Lord and
ours; but, blessed by thy name, we can: and, dearest Lord, let it be so.
Thou, who art the God of patience and
consolation, strengthen me in the inner man, that I may bear the yoke and
burden of the Lord without any uneasy and useless murmurs and ineffective
unwillingness. Lord, I am unable to stand under the cross, unable of myself;
but thou, O holy Jesus, who didst feel the burden of it, who didst sink under
it, and wert pleased to admit a man to bear part of the load, when thou under
wentest all for him, be thou pleased to ease this load by fortifying my spirit,
that I may be strongest when I am weakest, and may be able to do and suffer
every thing thou pleased through Christ, who strengthens me. Lord, if thou wilt
support me, I will for ever praise thee; if thou wilt suffer the load to press
me yet more heavily, I will cry unto thee, and complain unto my God; and at
last I will lie down and die, and by the mercies and intercession of the holy
Jesus, and the conduct of thy blessed Spirit, and the ministry of angels, pass
into those mansions where holy souls rest and weep no more. Lord, pity me;
Lord, sanctify this my sickness; Lord, strengthen me; holy Jesus, save me and
deliver me. Thou knowest how shamefully I have fallen with pleasure; in thy
mercy and very pity, let me not fall with pain too. O let me never charge God
foolishly, nor offend thee by my impatience and uneasy spirit, nor weaken the
hands and hearts of those that charitably minister to my needs: but let me pass
through the valley of tears and the valley of the shadow of death with safety
and peace, with a meek spirit and a sense of the divine mercies; and though
thou breakest me in pieces, my hope is thou wilt gather me up in the gatherings
of eternity. Grant this, eternal God, gracious Father, for the merits and
intercession of our merciful High-priest, who once suffered for me, and for
ever intercedes for me, our most gracious and ever-blessed Saviour Jesus.
A Prayer to be said when the Sick Man takes Physic.
O most blessed and eternal Jesus, thou who
art the great physician of our souls, and the Sun of Righteousness arising with
healing in thy wings, to thee is given by thy heavenly Father the government of
all the world, and thou disposest every great and little accident to thy
Father's honour, and to the good and comfort of them that love and serve thee;
be pleased to bless the ministry of thy servant in order to ease and health,
direct his judgment, prosper the medicines, and dispose the chances of my
sickness fortunately, that I may feel the blessing and loving-kindness of the
Lord in the ease of my pain and the restitution of my health; that I, being
restored to the society of the living, and to thy solemn assemblies, may praise
thee and thy goodness secretly among the faithful, and in the congregation of
thy redeemed ones here in the outer-courts of the Lord,and hereafter in thy
eternal temple for ever and ever. Amen.
Now is the time in which the faith
appears most necessary and most difficult. It is the foundation of a good life,
and the foundation of all our hopes; it is that without which we cannot live
well, and without which we cannot die well; it is a grace that then we shall
need to support our spirits, to sustain our hopes, to alleviate our sickness,
to resist temptation, to prevent despair; upon the belief of the articles of
our religion we can do the works of a holy life; but upon belief of the
promises we can bear our sickness patiently, and die cheerfully. The sick man
may practise it in the following instances.
1. Let the sick man be careful that he
do not admit of any doubt concerning that which he believed and received from a
common consent in his best health and days of election and religion. For if the
devil can but prevail so far as to unfix and unrivet the resolution and
confidence or fulness of assent, it is easy for him so to unwind the spirit,
that from why to whether or no, from whether or no to scarcely not, from
scarcely to absolutely not at all, are steps of a descending and falling
spirit; and whatsoever a man is made to doubt of by the weakness of his
understanding in a sickness, it will be hard to get an instrument strong or
subtle enough to reinforce and insure: for when the strengths are gone by which
faith held, and it does not stand firm by the weight of its own bulk and great
constitution, nor yet by the cordage of a tenacious root, then it is prepared
for a ruin, which it cannot escape in the tempests of a sickness and the
assaults of a devil. Discourse and argument, the line of tradition and a
never-failing experience, the Spirit of God and the truth of miracles, the word
of prophecy and the blood of martyrs, the excellency of the doctrine and the
necessity of men, the riches of the promises and the wisdom of the revelations,
the reasonableness and sublimity, the concordance and the usefulness of the
articles, and their compliance with all the needs of man, and the government of
commonwealths, are like the strings and branches of the roots by which faith
stands firm and unmovable in the spirit and understanding of a man. But in
sickness the understanding is shaken, and the ground is removed in which the
root did grapple and support its trunk;
and therefore there is no way now but that it be left to stand upon the old
confidences, and by the firmament of its own weight; it must be left to stand,
because it always stood there before; and as it stood all his life-time in the
ground of understanding, so it must now he supported with will and a fixed
resolution. But the disputation tempts
it, and shakes it with trying, and overthrows it with shaking. Above all things
in the world let the sick man fear a proposition which his sickness hath put
into him contrary to the discourses of health and a sober untroubled reason.
2. Let the sick man mingle the recital of his
creed together with his devotions, and in that let him account his faith; not
in curiosity and factions, in the confessions of parties and interests: for some over-forward zeals are so
earnest to profess their little and uncertain articles, and glory so to die in
a particular and divided communion, that in the profession of their faith they
lose or discompose their charity. Let it be enough that we secure our interest
of heaven, though we do not go about to appropriate the mansions to our sect;
for every good man hopes to be saved, as he is a Christian, and not as he is a
Lutheran, or of another division. However, those articles upon which he can
build the exercise of any virtue in his sickness, or upon the stock of which he
can improve his present condition, are such as consist in the greatness and
goodness, the veracity and mercy of God through Jesus Christ; nothing of which
can be concerned in the fond disputations which faction and interest hath too
long maintained in Christendom.
3. Let the sick man's faith especially be active
about the promises of grace, and the excellent things of the gospel; those
which can comfort his sorrows and enable his patience; those upon the hopes of
which he did the duties of his life, and for which he is not unwilling to die;
such as the intercession and advocation of Christ, remission of sins, the
resurrection, the mysterious arts and mercies of man's redemption, Christ's
triumph over death and all the powers of hell, the covenant of grace, or the
blessed issues of repentance; and, above all, the article of eternal life, upon
the strength of which eleven thousand virgins went cheerfully together to their
martyrdom, and twenty thousand Christians were burned by Diocesian on a
Christman-day, and whole armies of Asian Christians offered themselves to the
tribunals of Arius Antonius, and whole colleges of severe persons were
instituted, who lived upon religion, whose dinner was the eucharist, whose
supper was praise, and their nights were watches, and their days were labour;
for the hopes of which then men counted it gain to lose their estates, and
gloried in their sufferings, and rejoiced in their persecutions, and were glad
at their disgraces. This is the article that hath made all the martyrs of
Christ confident and glorious; and if it does not more than sufficiently
strengthen our spirits to the present suffering, it is because we understand it
not, but have the appetites of beasts and fools. But if the sick man fixes his
thoughts, and sets his habitation to dwell here, he swells his hope, and
masters his fears, and eases his sorrows, and overcomes his temptations.
4. Let the sick man endeavour to turn his faith
of the articles into the love of them; and that will be an excellent
instrument, not only to refresh his sorrows, but to confirm his faith in
defiance of all temptations. For a sick man and a disturbed understanding are
not competent and fit instruments to judge concerning the reasonableness of a
proposition. But therefore let him consider and love it, because it is useful
and necessary, profitable and gracious; and when he is once in love with it,
and then also renews his love to it, when he feels the need of it, he is an
interested person, and for his own sake will never let it go, and pass into the
shadows of doubting, or the utter darkness of infidelity. And act of love will
make him have a mind to it; and we easily believe what we love, but very
uneasily part with our belief, which we for so great an interest have chosen
and entertained with a great affection.
5. Let the sick person be infinitely careful that
his faith be not tempted by any man, or any thing; and when it is in any degree
weakened, let him lay fast hold upon the conclusion, upon the article itself,
and by earnest prayer beg of God to guide him in certainty and safety. For let
him consider that the article is better than all its contrary or contradictory,
and he is concerned that it be true, and concerned also that he do believe it:
but he can receive no good at all if Christ did not die, if there be no
resurrection, if his creed hath deceiven him; therefore all that he is to do is
to secure his hold, which he can do no way but by prayer and by his interest.
And by this argument or instrument it was that Socrates refreshed the evil of
his condition, when he was to drink his aconite. "If the soul be immortal, and perpetual rewards be laid
up for wise souls, then I lose nothing by my death: but if there be not, then I
lose nothing by my opinion; for it supports my spirit in my passage, and the
evil of being deceived cannot overtake me when I have no being." So it is with
all that are tempted in their faith. If those articles be not true, then the
men are nothing; if they be true, then they are happy: and if the articles
fail, there can be no punishment for believing; but if they be true, my not
believing destroys all my portion in them and possibility to receive the
excellent things which they contain. By faith we quench the fiery darts of the
devil; but if our faith be quenched, wherewithal shall we be able to endure the
assault? Therefore seize upon the article, and secure the great object, and the
great instrument, that is, the hopes of pardon and eternal life through Jesus
Christ; and do this by all means, and by any instrument, artificial or in
artificial, by argument or by stratagem, by perfect resolution or by discourse,
by the hand and ears of premises or the foot of conclusion, by right or by
wrong; because we understand it; or because we love it, super totam
materiam; because I will, and because I ought; because it is safe to do so,
and because it is not safe to do otherwise; because if I do I may receive a
good; and because if I do not I am miserable; either for that I shall have a
portion of good things without it.
Lord, whither shall I go? Thou hast the
words of eternal life. John, vi. 68.
I believe in God the Father Almighty,
and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, etc.
And I believe in the Holy Ghost, etc.
Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief. Mark,
I know and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that
none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself: for whether we live,
we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord; whether we
live therefore or die, we are the lord's. Rom. xiv.14,7,8.
If God be for us, who can be against us?
He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him
up for us all, how shall he not with him give us all things?
Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's
elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that
died; yea, rather that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God;
who also maketh intercession for us.
If any man sin, we have an advocate with the
Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the propitiation for our sins. 1
This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all
acceptation, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. 1 Tim.
O grant that I may obtain mercy, that in me Jesus
Christ may show forth all long-suffering, that I may believe in him to life
I am bound to give thanks unto God alway, because
God hath from the beginning chosen me to salvation, through sanctification of
the Spirit, and belief of the truth, whereunto he called me by the gospel, to
the obtaining of thy glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Thess. ii.
Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God even
our Father which hath loves us, and hath given us everlasting consolation, and
good hope through grace, comfort my heart, and stablish me in every good word
The Lord direct my heart into the love of God,
and into the patient waiting for Christ. 2 Thess. iii. 5.
O that our God would count me worthy of this
calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of
faith with power; that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in
me, and I in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Thess. i. 11,12.
Let us who are of the day be sober, putting on
the breastplate of faith and love, and for an helmet the hope of salvation. For
God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus
Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep we should live together
with him. Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another. 1
There is no name under heaven whereby we can be
saved, but only the name of the Lord Jesus. Acts, iv. 12. And every soul which
will not hear that prophet shall be destroyed from among the people. Acts,
God forbid that I should glory save in the cross
of Jesus Christ. Gal. vi. 14. I desire to know nothing but Jesus Christ and him
crucified. 1 Cor. ii.2. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. Phil.
Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his
nostrils; for wherein is he to be accounted of? Isa. ii.22. But the just shall
live by faith. Hab. ii.4.
Lord, I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son
of God, John, xi. 27; the Saviour of the world, John iv. 42; the resurrection
and the life; and he that believeth in thee, though he were dead, yet shall he
live. John, xi. 25-40.
Jesus said unto her, Said I not to thee, that if
thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?
O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is
thy victory? The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the Law. But
thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Lord, make me steadfast and unmovable, always abounding in the work of the
Lord: for I know that my labour is not in vain in the Lord. 1 Cor. xv.
The Prayer for the Grace and Strengths of Faith.
O holy and eternal Jesus, who didst die
for me and all mankind, abolishing our sin, reconciling us to God, adopting us
into the portion of thine heritage, and establishing with us a covenant of
faith and obedience, making our souls to rely upon spiritual strengths, by the
supports of a holy belief, and the expectation of rare promises, and the
infallible truths of God: O let me for ever dwell upon the rock, leaning upon
thy arm, believing thy word, trusting in thy promises, waiting for thy mercies,
and doing thy commandments; that the devil may not prevail upon me, and my own
weaknesses may not abuse or unsettle my persuasions, nor my sins discompose my
just confidence in thee and thy eternal mercies. let me always be thy servant
and thy disciple, and die in the communion of thy church, of all faithful
people. Lord, I renounce whatsoever is against thy truth; and if secretly I
have or do believe any false proposition, I do it in the simplicity of my heart
and great weakness; and, if I could discover it, would dash it in pieces by a
solemn disclaiming it; for thou art the way, the truth, and the life. And I
know that whatsoever thou hast declared, that is the truth of God; and I do
firmly adhere to the religion thou hast taught, and glory in nothing so much as
that I am a Christian, that thy name is called upon me. O my God, though I die,
yet will I put my trust in thee. In thee, O Lord, have I trusted; let me never
be confounded. Amen.
Men generally do very much dread sudden
death, and pray against it passionately; and certainly it hath in it great
inconveniences accidentally to men's estates, to the settlement of families, to
the culture and trimming of souls; and it robs a man of the blessing which may
be consequent to sickness, and to the passive graces and holy contentions of a
Christian, while he descends to his grave without an adversary or a
trial; and a good man may be
taken at such a disadvantage, that a sudden death would be a great evil even to
the most excellent person if it strikes him in an unlucky circumstance. But
these considerations are not the only ingredients into those men's discourse
who pray violently against sudden deaths; for possibly if this were all, there
may be in the condition of sudden death something to make recompence for the
evils of the over-hasty accident. For certainly it is a less temporal evil to
fall by the rudeness of a sword than the violence of a fever, and the axe is
much a less affliction than a strangury; and though a sickness tries our
virtues, yet a sudden death is free from temptation; a sickness may be more
glorious, and a sudden death more safe. The deadest deaths are best, the
shortest and least premeditate, so Caesar said; and Pliny called a short death the
greatest fortune of a man's life. For even good men have been forced to an
indecency of deportment by the violences of pain: and Cicero observes concerning Hercules, that he was
broken in pieces with pain even then when he sought for immortality by his
death, being tortured with a plague knit up in the lappet of his
shirt. And therefore as a
sudden death certainly loses the rewards of a holy sickness, so it makes that a
man shall not so much hazard and lose the rewards of a holy life.
But the secret of this affair is a worse matter;
men live t that rate either of an habitual wickedness, or else a frequent
repetition of single acts of killing and deadly sins, that a sudden death is
the ruin of all their hopes, and a perfect consignation to an eternal sorrow.
But in this case also so is a lingering sickness: for our sickness may change
us from life to health, from health to strength, from strength to the firmness
and confirmation of habitual graces; but it cannot change a man from death to
life, and begin and finish that process which sits not down but in the bosom of
blessedness. He that washes in the morning when his bath is seasonable and
healthful, is not only made
clean, but sprightly, and the blood is brisk and coloured like the first
springing of the morning; but they that wash their dead cleanse the skin, and
leave paleness upon the cheek, and stiffness in all the joints. A repentance
upon our deathbed is like washing the corpse: it is cleanly and civil; but
makes no change deeper than the skin. But God knows it is a custom so to wash
them that are going to dwell with dust, and to be buried in the lap of their
kindred earth, but all their lives time wallow in pollutions without any
washing at all; or if they do, it is like that of the Dardani, who washed but
thrice all their lifetime, when they were born, and when they marry, and when
they die; when they are baptized, or against a solemnity, or for the day of
their funeral; but these are but ceremonious washings, and never purify the
soul if it be stained and hath sullied the whiteness of its baptismal robes.
God intended we should live a holy life; he
contracted with us in Jesus Christ for a holy life; he made no abatements of
the strictest sense of it, but such as did necessarily comply with human
infirmities or possibilities; that is, he understood it in the sense of
repentance, which still is so to renew our duty, that it may be a holy life in
the second sense; that is, some great portion of our life to be spent in living
as Christians should. A resolving to repent upon our death-bed is the greatest
mockery of God in the world, and the most perfect contradictory to all his
excellent designs of mercy and holiness: for therefore he threatened us with
hell if we did not, and he promised heaven if we did live a holy life; and a
late repentance promises heaven to us upon other conditions, even when we have
lived wickedly. It renders a man useless and intolerable to the world; taking
off the great curb of religion, of fear and hope, and permitting all impiety
with the greatest impunity and encouragement in the world. By this means we see
so many patuax polucronious, as Philo calls them, or
as the prophets, pueros centum annorum, children of almost a hundred
years old, upon whose grave we may write the inscription which was upon the
tomb of Similis in Xiphilin. "Here he lies who was so many years, but lived but
seven." And the course of nature runs counter to the perfect designs of piety;
and God, who gave us a life to live to him, is only served at our death when we
die to all the world; and we undervalue the great promises made by the holy
Jesus, for which the piety,
the strictest unerring piety often thousand ages is not a proportionable
exchange: yet we think it a hard bargain to get to heaven if we be forced to
part with one lust, or live soberly twenty years; but, like Demetrius Afer,
(who having lived a slave all his life-time, yet desiring to descend to his
grave in freedom, begged
manumission of his lord,) we lived in the bondage of our sin all our days, and
hope to die the Lord's freed-men. But above all, this course of a delayed
repentance must of necessity therefore be ineffective and certainly mortal,
because it is an entire destruction of the very formality and essential
constituent reason of religion: which I thus demonstrate.
When God made man and propounded to him
an immortal and a blessed state as the end of his hopes and the perfection of
his condition, he did not give it him for nothing, but upon certain conditions;
which, although they could add nothing to God, yet they were such things which
man could value, and they were his best: and God had made appetites of pleasure
in man, that in them the scene of his obedience should lie. For when God made
instances of man's obedience, he, 1. Either commanded such things to be done
which man did naturally desire; or, 2. Such things which contradict his natural
desires; or, 3. Such which were indifferent. Not the first and the last: for it
could be no effect of love or duty towards God for a man to eat when he was
impatiently hungry and could not stay from eating; neither was it any
contention of obedience or labour of love for a man to look eastward once a
day, or turn his back when the north wind blew fierce and loud. Therefore for
the trial and in stance of obedience, God made his laws so that they should lay
restraint upon man's appetites, so that man might part with something of his
own, that he may give to God his will, and deny it to himself for the interest
of his service: and chastity is the denial of a violent desire; and justice is
parting with money that might help to enrich me; and meekness is a huge
contradiction to pride and revenge; and the wandering of our eyes, and the
greatness of our fancy, and our imaginative opinions, are to be lessened that
we may serve God. There is no other way of serving God; we have nothing else to
present unto him: we do not else give him anything or part of ourselves, but
when we for his sake part with what we naturally desire; and difficulty is
essential to virtue, and without choice there can be no reward, and in the
satisfaction of our natural desires there is no election; we run to them as
beasts to the river or the crib. If, religion that satisfied all our natural
desires in the days of desires and passion, of lust and appetites, and only
turns to God when his appetites are gone and his desires cease, this man hath
overthrown the very being of virtues, and the essential constitution of
religion: religion is no religion, and virtue is no act of choice, and reward
comes by chance and without condition, if we only are religious when we cannot
choose; if we part with our money when we cannot keep it; with our lust when we
cannot act it; with our desires when they have left us. Death is a certain
mortifier; but that mortification is deadly, not useful to the purposes of a
spiritual life. When we are compelled to depart from our evil customs, and
leave to live, that we may begin to live, then we die to die; that life is the
prologue to death, and thenceforth we die eternally.
St. Cyril speaks of certain people that chose to
worship the sun because he was a day-god; for believing that he was quenched
every night in the sea, or that he had no influence upon them that light up
candles, and lived by the light of fire, they were confident they might be
Atheists all night, and live as they list. Men who divide their little portion
of time between religion and pleasures, between God and God's enemy, think that
God is to rule but in hiscertai period of time, and that our life is the stage
for passion and folly, and the day of death for the work of our life. But as to
God both the day and the night are alike, so are the first and last of our
days: all are his due, and he will account severely with us for the follies of
the first, and the evil of the last. The evils and the pains are great which
are reserved for those who defer their restitution to God's favour till their
death. And therefore Antisthenes said well, "It is not the happy death, but the
happy life, that makes man happy." It is in piety, as in fame and reputation:
he secures a good name but loosely that trusts his fame and celebrity only to
his ashes; and it is more a civility than the basis of a firm reputation that
men speak honour of their departed relatives; but if their life be virtuous,
it forces honour from contempt, and snatches it from the hand of envy, and it
shines through the crevices of detraction; and as it anointed the head of the
living, so it embalms the body of the dead. From these premises it follows, that when we discourse
of a sick man's repentance it is intended to be not a beginning, but the
prosecution and consummation of the covenant of repentance which Christ
stipulated with us in baptism, and which we needed all our life, and which we
began long before this last arrest, and in which we are now to make further
progress, that we may arrive to that integrity and fulness of duty, `that our
sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the
presence of the Lord.'
1. Let the sick man consider at what gate
this sickness entered; and if he can discover the particular, let him
instantly, passionately, and with great contrition, dash the crime in pieces,
lest he descends into his grave in the midst of a sin, and thence remove into
an ocean of eternal sorrow. But if he only suffers the common fate of man, and
knows not the particular inlet, he is to be governed by the following
2. Inquire into the repentance of thy
former life particularly; whether it were of a great and perfect grief, and
productive of fixed resolutions of holy living, and reductive of these to act;
how many days and nights we have spent in sorrow or care, in habitual and
actual pursuances of virtue; what instrument we have chosen and used for the
eradication of sin; how we have judged ourselves, and how punished; and, in
sum, whether we have by the grace of repentance changed our life from criminal
to virtuous, from one habit to another; and whether we have paid for the
pleasure of our sin by smart or sorrow, by the effusion of alms, or
pernctations or abodes in prayers, so as the spirit hath been served in our
repentance s earnestly and as greatly as our appetites have been provided for
in the days of our shame and folly.
3. Supply the imperfections of thy repentance by
a general or universal sorrow for thy sins, not only since the last communion
or absolution, but of thy whole life; for all sins, known and unknown, repented
and unrepented, of ignorance or infirmity, which thou knowest, or which others
have accused thee of; thy clamorous and thy whispering sins, the sins of
scandal and the sins of a secret conscience, of the flesh and of the spirit:
for it would be but a sad arrest to thy soul wandering in strange and unusual
regions, to see a scroll of uncancelled sins represented and charged upon thee
for want of care and notices, and that thy repentane shall become invalid
because of its imperfections.
4. To this purpose it is usually advised by
spiritual persons, that the sick man make an universal confession, or a
renovation and repetition of all the particular confessions and accusations of
his whole life; that now, at the foot of his account, he may represent the sum
total to God and his conscience, and make provisions for their remedy and
pardon according to his present possibilities.
5. Now is the time to make reflex acts of
repentance: that as by a general repentance we supply the want of the just
extension of parts, so by this we may supply the proper measures of the
intention of degrees. In our health we can consider concerning our own acts,
whether they be real or hypocritical, essential or imaginary, sincere or upon
interest, integral or imperfect, commensurate or defective. And although it is
a good caution of securities after all our care and diligence still to suspect
ourselves and our own deceptions, and for ever to beg of God pardon and
acceptance in the union of Christ's passion and intercession: yet, in proper
speaking, reflex acts of repentance, being a suppletory after the imperfection
of the direct, and then most fit to be used when we cannot proceed in and
prosecute the direct actions. To repent because we cannot repent, and to grieve
because we cannot grieve, was a device invented to serve the turn of the mother
of Peter Gratian; but it was used by her, and so advised to be, in her sickness
and last actions of repentance: for in our perfect health and understanding, if
we do not understand our first act we cannot discern our second; and if we be
not sorry for our sins we cannot be sorry for want of sorrows: it is a
contradiction to say we can; because want of sorrow, to which we are obliged,
is certainly a great sin; and if we can grieve for that, then also for the
rest; if not for all, then not for this. But in the days of weakness the case
is otherwise; for then our actions are imperfect, our discourse weak, our
internal actions not discernible, our fears great, our work to be abbreviated,
and our defects to be supplied by spiritual arts: and therefore it is proper
and proportionate to our state, and to our necessity, to beg of God pardon for
the imperfections of our repentance, acceptance of our weaker sorrows, supplies
out of the treasures of grace and mercy. And thus repenting of the evil and
unhandsome adherences of our repentance, in the whole integrity of the duty it
will become a repentance not to be repented of.
6. Now is the time beyond which the sick man must
at no hand defer to make restitution of all his unjust possessions, or other men's rights, and satisfactions
for all injuries and violences, according to his obligation and possibilities:
for although many circumstances might impede the acting it in our life-time,
and it was permitted to be deferred in many cases because by it justice was not
hindered, and oftentimes piety and equity were provided for; yet, because this
is the last scene of our life, he that does not act it so far as he can, or put
it into certain conditions and order of effecting, can never do it again, and
therefore then to defer it is to omit, and leaves the repentance defective in
an integral and constituent part.
7. Let the sick man be diligent and watchful that
the principle of his repentance be contrition, or sorrow for sins, commenced
upon the love of God. For although sorrow for sins upon any motive may lead us
to God by many intermedial passages, and is the threshold of returning sinners;
yet it is not good nor effective upon our death-bed; because repentance is not
then to begin, but must then be finished and completed; and it is to be a
supply and preparation of all the imperfections of that duty, and therefore it
must by that time be arrived to contrition; that is, is must have grown from
fear to love, from the passions of a servant to the affections of a son. The
reason of which (besides the precedent) is this, because when our repentance is
in this state it supposes the man also in a state of grace, a well-grown
Christian; for to hate sin out of the love of God is not the felicity of a new
convert, or an infant grace; (or if it be that love also is in its infancy;)
but it supposes a good progress, and the man habitually virtuous, and tending
to perfection: and therefore contrition or repentance so qualified is useful to
great degrees of pardon, because the man is a gracious person, and that virtue
is of good degree, and consequently a fit employment for his that shall work no
more, but is to appear before his Judge to receive the hire of his day. And if
his repentance be contrition even before this state of sickness, let it be
increased by spiritual arts and the proper exercises of charity.
Means of exciting Contrition, or Repentance of Sins, proceeding from the
Love of God.
To which purpose the sick man may
consider, and is to be reminded (if he does not) that there are in God all the
motives and causes of amiability in the world: that God is so infinitely good,
that there are some of the greatest and most excellent spirits of heaven, whose
work, and whose felicity and whose perfections, and whose nature it is, to
flame and burn in the brightest and most excellent love: that to love God is
the greatest glory of heaven: that in him there are such excellences, that the
smallest rays of them, communicated to our weaker understandings, are yet
sufficient to cause ravishments, and transportations, and satisfactions, and
joys unspeakable and full of glory: that all the wise Christians of the world
know and feel such causes to love God, that they all profess themselves ready
to die for the love of God, and the apostles and millions of the martyrs did
die for him: and although it be harder to live in his love than to die for it,
yet all the good people that ever gave their names to Christ did, for his love,
endure the crucifying their lusts, the mortification of their appetites, the
contradictions and death of their most passionate natural desires: that kings
and queens have quitted their diadems, and many married saints have turned
their mutual vows into the love of Jesus,and married him only, keeping a virgin
chastity in a married life, that they may more tenderly express their love to
God: that all the good we have derives from God's love to us, and all the good
we can hope for is the effect of his love, and can descend only upon them that
love him: that by his love we feel peace and joy within our spirits, and by his
love we receive the mysterious sacrament. And what can be greater than that
from the goodness and love of God we receive Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost,
and adoption, and the inheritance of sons, and to be coheirs with Jesus, and to
have pardon of our sins, and a Divine nature, and restraining grace and the
grace of sanctification, and rest and peace within us, and a certain
expectation of glory? Who can choose but love him who, when we had provoked him
exceedingly, sent his Son to die for us, that we might live with him? who does
so desire to pardon us and save us, that he hath appointed his holy Son
continually to intercede for us? that his love is so great, that he offers us
great kindness, and entreats us to be happy, and makes many decrees in heaven
concerning the interest of our soul, and the very provision and support of our
persons, that he sends an angel to attend upon every of his servants, and to be
their guard and their guide in all their dangers and hostilities: that for our
sakes he restrains the devil, and put his mightiness in fetters and restraints,
and chastises his malice with decrees of grace and safety: that he it is who
makes all the creatures serve us, and takes care of our sleeps and preserves
all plants and elements, all minerals and vegetables, all beasts and birds, all
fishes and insects, for food to us and for ornament, for physic and
instruction, for variety and wonder, for delight, and for religion: that as God
is all good in himself, and all good to us, so sin is directly contrary to God,
to reason, to religion, to safety, and pleasure, and felicity: that it is a
great dishonour to a man's spirit to have been made a fool by a weak temptation
and an empty lust; and to have rejected God who is so rich, so wise, so good,
and so excellent, so delicious, and so profitable to us: that all the
repentance in the world of excellent men does end in contrition, or a sorrow
for sins preceeding from the love of God; because they that are in the state of
grace do not fear hell violently, and so long as they remain in God's favour,
although they suffer the infirmities of men, yet they are God's portion; and
therefore all the repentance of just and holy men, which is certainly the best,
is a repentance not for lower ends, but because they are the friends of God,
and they are full of indignation that they have done an act against the honour
of their pardon, and their dearest Lord and Father: that it is a huge
imperfection and a state of weakness to need to be moved with fear or temporal
respects; and they that are so, as yet are either immerged in the affections of
the world or of themselves; and those men that bear such a character, are not
et esteemed laudable persons, or men of good natures, or the sons of virtue:
that no repentance can be lasting that relies upon any thing but the love of
God; for temporal motives may cease, and contrary contingencies may arise, and
fear of hell may be expelled by natural or acquired hardnesses, and is always
the least when we have most need of it, and most cause for it; for the more
habitual our sins are, the more cauterized our conscience is, the less is the
fear of hell, and yet our danger is much the greater: that although fear of
hell or other temporal motives may be the first inlet to a repentance, yet
repentance , in that constitution and under those circumstances, cannot obtain
pardon, because there is in that no union with God, no adhesion to Christ, no
endearment of passion or of spirit, no similitude or conformity to the great
instrument of our peace, our glorious Mediator: for as yet a man is turned from
his sin, but not converted to God; the first and last of our returns to God
being love, and nothing but love: for obedience is the first part of love, and
fruition is the last; and because he that does not love God cannot obey him,
therefore he that does not love him cannot enjoy him.
Now that this may be reduced to practice, the
sick man may be advertised, that in the actions of repentance, he separate low,
temporal, sensual, and self-ends from his thoughts, and so do his repentance
that he may still reflect honour upon God, that he confess his justice in
punishing, that he acknowledge himself to have deserved the worst of evils;
that he heartily believe and profess that if he perish finally, yet that God
ought to be glorified by that sad event, and that he hath truly merited so
intolerable a calamity: that he also be put to make acts of election and
preference, professing that he would willingly endure all temporal evils,
rather than be in the disfacour of God or in the state of sin; for, by this
last instance, he will be quitted from the suspicion of leaving sin for
temporal respects, because he, by an act of imagination or feigned presence of
the object to him, entertains the temporal evil that he may leave the sin; and
therefore, unless he be a hypocrite, does not leave the sin to be quit of the
temporal evil. And as for the other motive of leaving sin out of the fear of
hell, because that is an evangelical motive conveyed to us by the Spirit of
God, and is immediate to the love of God, if the schoolmen had pleased, they
might have reckoned it as the handmaid, and of the retinue of contrition; but
the more the considerations are sublimed above this, of the greater effect and
the more immediate to pardon will be the repentance.
5. Let the sick persons do frequent actions of
repentance, by way of prayer for all those sins which are spiritual, and in
which no restitution or satisfaction material can be made, and whose contrary
acts cannot in kind be exercised. For penitential prayers in some cases are the
only instances of repentance that can be. An envious man, if he gives God
hearty thanks for the advancement of his brother, hath done an act of
mortification of his envy, as directly as corporal austerities are an act of
chastity, and an enemy to uncleanness: and if I have seduced a person that is
dead or absent, if I cannot restore him to sober counsels by my discourse and
undeceiving him, I can only repent of that by way of prayer: and intemperance
is no way to be rescinded or punished by a dying man but by hearty prayers.
Prayers are a great help in all cases; in some they are proper acts of virtue,
and direct enemies to sin: but although alone and in long continuance they
alone can cure some one or some few little habits, yet they can never alone
change the state of a man: and therefore are intended to be a suppletory to the
imperfections of other acts: and by that reason are the proper and most
pertinent employment of a clinic or death-bed penitent.
6. In those sins whose proper cure is
mortification corporal, the sick man is to supply that part of his repentance
by a patient submission to the rod of sickness: for sickness does the work of
penances, or sharp afflictions and dry diet, perfectly well: to which if we
also put our wills, and make it our act by an after-election, by confessing the
justice of God, by bearing it sweetly, by begging it may be medicinal, there is
nothing wanting to the perfection of this part, but that God confirm our
patience and hear our prayers. When the guilty man runs to punishment the injured person is prevented, and
hath no whither to go but to forgiveness.
7.I have learned but of one suppletory more for
the perfection and proper exercise of a sick man's repentance; but it is such
an one as will go a great way in the abolition of our past sins and making our
peace with God, even after a less severe life; and that is, that the sick man
do some heroical actions in the matter of charity or religion, of justice or
severity. There is a story of an infamous thief who, having begged his pardon
of the emperior Mauricius, was yet put into the hospital of St. Sampson, where
he so plentifully bewailed his sins in the last agonies of his death, that the
physician who attended found him unexpectedly dead, and over his face a
handkerchief bathed in tears; and soon after, somebody or other pretended to a
revelation of this man's beatitude. It was a rare grief that was noted in this
man, which begot in that age a confidence of his being saved: and that
confidence (as things then went) was quickly called a revelation. But it was a
stranger severity which is related by Thomas Cantipratanus, concerning a young
gentleman condemned for robbery and violence, who had so deep a sense of his
sin, that he was not content with a single death, but begged to be tormented,
and cut in pieces joint by joint, with intermedial senses, that he might, by
such a smart, signify a great sorrow. Some have given great estates to the poor
and to religion; some have built colleges for holy persons; many have suffered
martyrdom: and though those that died under the conduct of the Maccabees, in
defence of their country and religion, had pendants on their breasts
consecrated to the idols of the Mamnenses; yet that they gave their lives in
such a cause with so great a duty, (the biggest things they could do or give,)
it was esteemed to prevail hugely towards the pardon and acceptation of their
persons. An heroic action of virtue in a huge compendium of religion: for if it
be attained to by the usual measures and progress of a Christian from
inclination to act, from act to habit, from habit to abode, from abode to
reigning, from reigning to perfect possession, from possession to extraordinary
emanations, that is, to heroic actions, then it must needs do the work of man,
by being so great towards the work of God: but if a man comes thither per
saltum, or on a sudden, (which is seldom seen,) then it supposes the man
always well inclined, but abused by accident or hope, by confidence or
ignorance; then it supposes the man for the present in a great fear of evil,
and a passionate desire of pardon; it supposes his apprehensions great and his
time little; and what the event of that will be no man can tell; but it is
certain that to some purposes God will account for our religion on our
death-bed, not by the measures of our time, but the eminency of affection; (as
said Celestine the First;) that is,
supposing the man in the state of grace, or in the revealed possibility of
salvation, then an heroical act hath the reward of a longer series of good
actions in an even and ordinary course of virtue.
8. In what can remain for the perfecting of a
sick man's repentance, he is to be helped by the ministries of a spiritual
Let us search and try our ways, and turn
again to the Lord. Let us lift up our hearts with our hands unto God in the
heavens. We have transgressed and rebelled; and thou hast not pardoned. Thou
hast covered with anger and persecuted us; thou hast slain, thou hast not
pitied. O cover not thyself with a cloud, but let our prayer pass through. Lam.
I have sinned: what shall I do unto thee, O thou
preserver of men? Why hast thou set me as a mark against thee, so that I am a
burden to myself? And why dost not thou pardon my transgression, and take away
mine iniquity? for now shall I sleep in the dust, and thou shalt seek me in the
morning, but I shall not be. Job. vii.20,21.
The Lord is righteous; for I have
rebelled against his commandments. Hear, I pray, all ye people, behold my
sorrow. Behold, O Lord, I am in distress; my bowels are troubled; my heart is
turned within me; for I have grievously rebelled. Lam. i. 18,40.
Thou, O Lord, remainest for ever; thy throne from
generation to generation. Wherefore dost thou forget us for ever, and forsake
us so long time? Turn thou us into thee, O Lord, and so shall we be turned;
renew our days as of old. O reject me not utterly, and be not exceeding wroth
against thy servant. Lam. v. 19-22.
O remember not the sins of my youth, nor my
transgressions; but according to thy mercies remember thou me, for thy goodness
sake, O Lord. Psalm. xxv.7. Do thou for me, O God the Lord, for thy name's
sake; because thy mercy is good, deliver thou me. For I am poor and needy, and
my heart, is wounded within me. I am gone like the shadow that declineth; I am
tossed up and down as the locust. Psalm cix.21-23.
Then Zeccheus stood forth, and said, Behold,
Lord, half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have wronged any man, I
restore him fourfold. Luke, xix. 8.
Hear my prayer, O Lord, and consider my desire.
Psalm exliii.1. Let my prayer be set forth in thy sight as the incense, and let
the lifting up of my hands be an evening sacrifice. Psalm cxli.3. And enter not
into judgment with thy servant; for in thy sight shall no man be justified.
Teach me to do the thing that pleaseth thee, for thou art my God: let thy
loving Spirit lead me forth into the land of righteousness. Psalm
I will speak of mercy and judgment; unto thee, O
Lord, will I make my prayer. I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O
when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk in my house with a perfect heart. I
will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn
aside; it shall not cleave to me. Psalm ci. 1-3.
Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine
iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within
me. Deliver me from blood-guiltiness, O God, from malice, envy, the follies of
lust and violence, of passion, etc., thou God of my salvation; and my tongue
shall sing aloud of thy righteousness. Psalm li. 9,10,14.
The sacrifice of God is a broken heart: a broken
and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. ver. 17.
Lord, I have done amiss; I have been deceived;
let so great a wrong as this be removed, and let it be so no more.
The Prayer for the Grace and Perfection of Repentance.
O Almighty God, thou art the great judge
of all the world, the father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the father of mercies,
the father of men and angels; thou lovest not that a sinner should perish, but
delightest in our conversion and salvation, and hast, in our Lord Jesus Christ,
established the covenant of repentance, and promised pardon to all them that
confess their sins and forsake them; O my God, be thou pleased to work in my
what thou hast commanded should be in me. Lord, I am a dry tree, who neither
have brought forth fruit unto thee and unto holiness, nor have wept out
salutary tears, the instrument of life and restitution, but have behaved myself
like an unconcerned person in the ruins and breaches of my soul: but, O God,
thou art my God, early will I seek thee; my soul thirsteth for thee in a barren
and thirsty land where no water is.
Lord, give me the grace of tears and pungent sorrow; let my heart be as a land
of rivers of waters, and my head a fountain of tears; turn my sin into
repentance, and let my repentance proceed to pardon and refreshment.
Support me with thy graces, strengthen me
with thy Spirit, soften my heart with the fire of thy love and the dew of
heaven, with penitential showers; make my care prudent, and the remaining
portion of my days like the perpetual watches of the night, full of caution and
observance, strong and resolute, patient and severe. I remember, O Lord, that I
did sin with greediness and passion, with great desires and an unabated choice;
O let me be as great in my repentance as ever I have been in my calamity and
shame; let my hatred of sin be as great as my love to thee, and both as near to
infinite as my proportion can receive.
O Lord, I renounce all affection to sin, and
would not buy my health nor redeem my life with doing any thing against the
laws of my God, but would rather die than offend thee. O dearest Saviour, have
pity upon thy servant; let me, by thy sentence, be doomed to perpetual penance
during the abode of this life; let every sigh be the expression of a repentance
and every groan an accent of spiritual life, and every stroke of my disease a
punishment of my sin and an instrument of pardon; that, at my return to the
land of innocence and pleasure, I may eat of the votive sacrifice of the supper
of the Lamb, that was, from the beginning of the world, slain for the sins of
every sorrowful and returning sinner. O grant the sorrow here and joy
hereafter, through Jesus Christ, who is our hope, the resurrection of the dead,
the justifier of a sinner, and the glory of all faithful souls. Amen.
A Prayer for Pardon of Sins, to be said frequently in time of Sickness, and
in all the portions of Old Age.
O eternal and most gracious Father, I
humbly throw myself down at the foot of thy mercy-seat upon the confidence of
thy essential mercy, and thy commandment that we should come boldly to the
throne of grace, that we may find mercy in time of need. O my God, hear the
prayers and cries of a sinner who calls earnestly for mercy. Lord, my needs are
greater than all the degrees of my desire can be; unless thou hast pity upon
me, I perish infinitely and intolerably; and then there will be one voice fewer
in the choir of singers who shall recite thy praises to eternal ages. But, O
Lord, in mercy deliver my soul. O save me for thy mercy's sake. For in the second death there is no remembrance of
thee: in that grave, who shall give thee thanks?
O just and dear God, my sins are innumerable;
they are upon my soul in multitudes; they are a burden too heavy for me to
bear; they already bring sorrow and sickness, shame and displeasure, guilt and
decaying spirit, a sense of thy present displeasure, and fear of worse, of
infinitely worse. But it is to thee so essential, so delightful, so usual, so
desired by thee to show mercy, that although my sin be very great, and my fear
proportionable, yet thy mercy is infinitely greater than all the world, and my
hope and my comfort rise up in proportions towards it, that I trust the devils
shall never be able to reprove it, nor my own weakness discompose it. Lord,
thou hast sent thy Son to die for the pardon of my sins; thou hast given me thy
Holy Spirit as a seal of adoption to consign the article of remission of sins;
thou hast, for all my sins, still continued to invite my to conditions of life
by thy ministers the prophets; and thou hast, with variety of holy acts,
softened my spirit, and possessed my fancy, and instructed my understanding,
and bended and inclined my will, and directed or overruled my passions, in
order to repentance and pardon: and why should not thy servant beg
passionately, and humbly hope for, the effects of all these thy strange and
miraculous acts of loving-kindness? Lord, I deserve it not, but I hope thou
wilt pardon all my sins; and I beg it of thee for Jesus Christ's sake, whom
thou hast made the great endearment of thy promises, and the foundation of our
hopes, and the mighty instrument whereby we can obtain of thee whatsoever we
need and can receive.
O my God, how shall thy servant be disposed
to receive such a favour which is so great that the ever-blessed Jesus did die
to purchase it for us; so great that the falling angels never could give all
that have sinned against me; O forgive me my sins, as I forgive them that have
sinned against me. Lord, I confess my sins unto thee daily by the accusations
and secret acts of conscience; and if we confess us our sins, and to cleanse us
from all unrighteousness. Lord, I put my trust in thee; and thou art ever
gracious to them that put their trust in thee. I call upon my God for mercy;
and thou art always more ready to hear than we to pray. But all that I can do,
and all that I am, and all that I know of myself, is nothing but sin, and
infirmity, and misery: therefore I go forth of myself, and throw myself wholly
into the arms of thy mercy through Jesus Christ, and beg of thee, for his death
and passion's sake, by his resurrection and ascension, by all the parts of our
redemption, and thy infinite mercy, in which thou pleaseth thyself above all
the works of the creation, to be pitiful and compassionate to thy servant in
the abolition of all my sins; so shall I praise thy glories with a tongue not
defiled with evil language, and a heart purged by thy grace, quitted by thy
mercy, and absolved by thy sentence, from generation to generation. Amen.
An Act of holy Resolution of Amendment of Life, in case of Recovery.
O most just and merciful Lord God, who
hast sent evil diseases, sorrow and fear, trouble and uneasiness, briers and
thorns, into the world, and planted them in our houses, and round about our
dwellings, to keep sin from our souls, or to drive it thence; I humbly beg of
thee that this my sickness may serve the ends of the spirit, and be a messenger
of spiritual life, an instrument of reducing me to more religious and sober
courses. I say, O Lord, that I am unready and unprepared in my accounts, having
thrown away great portions of my time in vanity, and set myself hugely back in
the accounts of eternity, and I had need live my life over gain, and live it
better; but thy counsels are in the great deep, and thy footsteps in the water;
and I know not what thou wilt determine of me. If I die I throw myself into the
arms of the holy Jesus, whom I love above all things, and if I perish I know I
have deserved it; but thou wilt not reject him that loves thee. But if I
recover, I will live, by thy grace and help, to do the work of God, and
passionately pursue my interest of heaven, and serve thee in the labour of love
with the charities of a holy zeal, and the diligence of a firm and humble
obedience. Lord, I will dwell in thy temple and in thy service; religion shall
be my employment, and alms shall be my recreation, and patience shall be my
rest, and to do thy will shall be my meat and drink, and to live shall be
Christ, and then to die shall be gain.
`O spare me a little, that I may recover my
strength, before I go hence, and be no more seen.' `Thy will be done on earth,
as it is in heaven.' Amen.
An Analysis or Resolution of the Decalogue, and the special Precepts of the
Gospel, describing the Duties enjoined, and the Sins forbidden respectively;
for the Assistance of sick Men in making their Confessions to God and his
Ministers, and the rendering their Repentance more particular and perfect.
1. Thou shalt have none other gods but
Duties commanded are, 1. To love God above
all things. 2. To obey him and fear him. 3. To worship him with prayers, vows,
thanksgiving, presenting to him our souls and bodies, and all such actions and
expressions, which the consent of nations, or the laws and customs of the place
where we live, have appropriated to God. 4. To design all to God's glory. 5. To
inquire after his will. 6. To believe all his word. 7. To submit to his
providence. 8. To proceed towards all our lawful ends by such means as himself
hath appointed. 9. To speak and think honourably of God, and recite his
praises, and confess his attributes and perfections.
They sin against this commandment, 1. Who love
themselves or any of the creatures inordinately and intemperately. 2. They that
despise or neglect any of the Divine precepts. 3. They that pray to unknown or
false gods. 4. They that disbelieve or deny there is a God. 5. They that make
vows to creatures. 6. Or say prayers to the honour of men, or women, or angels;
as paternosters to the honour of the Virgin Mary, or St. Peter, which is a
taking a part of that honour which is due to God and giving it to the creature;
it is a religion paid to men and women our of God's proper portion, out of
prayers directed to God immediately; and it is an act contrary to that
religion, which makes God that last end of all things; for this, through our
addresses to God, passes something to the creatures as if they stood beyond
him; for by the intermedial worship paid to God, they ultimately do honour to
the man or angel. 7. They that make consumptive oblations to the creatures; as
the Collyridians who offered cakes, and those that burnt incense or candles to
the Virgin Mary. 8. They that give themselves to the devil, or make contracts
with him, and use fantastic conversation with him. 9. They that consult witches
and fortune-tellers. 10. They that rely upon dreams and superstitions
observeanes. 11. That use charms, spells, superstitious words and characters,
verses of psalms, the consecrated elements, to cure diseases, to be shot-free,
to recover stolen goods, or inquire into secrets. 12.That are wilfully ignorant
of the laws of God, or love to be deceived in their persuasions that they may
sin with confidence. 13. They that neglect to pray to God. 14. They that
arrogate to themselves the glory of any action or power, and do not give the
glory to God, as Herod. 15. They that doubt of or disbelieve any article of the
Creed, or any proposition of Scripture, or put false glosses to serve secular
or vicious ends, against their conscience, or with violence any way done to
their reason. 16. They that violently or passionately pursue any temporal end
with an eagerness greater than the thing is in prudent account. 17. They that
make religion to serve ill ends, or do good to evil purposes, or evil to good
purposes. 18. They that accuse God of injustice or unmercifulness, remissness
of cruelty; such as are the presumptuous and the desperate. 19. All hypocrites
and pretenders to religion, walking in forms and shadows, but denying the power
of godliness. 20. All impatient persons; all that repine or murmur against the
prosperities of the wicked, or the calamities of the godly, or their own
afflictions. 21. All that blaspheme God, or speak dishonourable things of so
sacred a Majesty. 22. They that tempt God, or rely upon his protection against
his rules, and without his promise and besides reason, entering into danger,
from which, without a miracle, they cannot be rescued. 23. They that are bold
in the midst of judgment, and fearless in the midst of the Divine vengeance,
and the accents of his anger.
II. Thou shalt not make to thyself any graven image, nor worship it.
The moral duties of this commandment are, 1.
To worship God with all bodily worship and external forms of address, according
to the custom of the church we live in. 2. To believe God to be a spiritual and
pure substance, without any visible form or shape. 3. To worship God in ways of
his own appointing, or by his proportions, or measures of nature, and right
reason, or public and holy customs.
They sin against this commandment, 1. That make
any image or pictures of the Godhead, or fancy any likeness to him. 2. They
that use images in their religion, designing or addressing any religious
worship to them; for if this thing could be naturally tolerable, yet it is too
near an intolerable for a jealous God to suffer. 3. They that deny to worship
God with lowly reverence of their bodies, according as the church expresses her
reverence to God externally. 4. They that invent or practice superstitious
worshippings, invented by man against God's word, or without reason, or besides
the public customs or forms of worshipping, either foolishly or ridiculously,
without the purpose of order, decency, proportion to a wise or a religious end,
in prosecution of some virtue or duty.
III. Thou shalt not take God's name in vain.
The duties of this commandment are. 1. To
honour and revere the most holy name of God. 2. To invocate his name directly,
or by consequence, in all solemn and permitted adjurations or public oaths. 3.
To use all things and persons, upon whom his name is called, or any ways
imprinted, with a regardful and separate manner of usage, different from
common, and far from contempt and scorn. 4. To swear in truth and judgment.
They sin against this commandment, 1. Who swear
vainly and customarily, without just cause, without competent authority. 2.
They that blaspheme or curse God. 3. They that speak of God without grave cause
or solemn occasion. 4. They that forswear themselves, that is, they that do not
perform their vows to God, or that swear, or call God to witness to a lie. 5.
They that swear rashly or maliciously to commit a sin or an act of revenge. 6.
They that swear by any creature falsely, or any way but as it relates to God,
and consequently invokes his testimony. 7. All curious inquirers into the
secrets, and intruders into the mysteries and hidden things of God. 8. They
that curse God, or curse a creature by God. 9. They that profane churches, holy
utensils, holy persons, holy customs, holy sacraments. 10. They that provoke
others to swear voluntarily and by design, or incuriously, or negligently, when
they might avoid it. 11. They that swear to things uncertain and unknown.
IV. Remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath day.
The duties of this commandment are, 1. To set
apart some portions of our time for the immediate offices of religion and
glorification of God. 2. This is to be done according as God or his holy church
hath appointed. 3. One day in seven is to be set apart. 4. The Christian day is
to be subrogated into the place of the Jews' day; the resurrection of Christ
and the redemption of man was a greater blessing than to create him. 5. God on
that day to be worshipped and acknowledged as our Creator and as our Saviour.
6. The day to be spent in holy offices, in hearing divine service, public
prayers, frequenting the congregations, hearing the word of God read or
expounded, reading good books, meditations, alms, reconciling enumities,
remission of burdens and of offences, of debts and of work; friendly offices,
neighbourhood, and provoking one another to good works; and to this end all
servile works must be omitted, excepting necessary and charitable offices to
men or beasts, to ourselves or others.
They sin against this commandment. 1. That do, or
compel, or entice others to do, servile works without the cases of necessity or
charity, to be estimated according to common and prudent accounts. 2. They that
refuse or neglect to come to the public assemblies of the church, to hear and
assist at the Divine offices entirely. 3. They that spend the day in idleness,
forbidden or vain recreations, or the actions of sin and folly. 4. They that
buy and sell without the cases of permission. 5. They that travel unnecessary
journeys. 6. They that act or assist in contentions or lawsuits, markets,
fairs, etc. 7. They that on that day omit their private devotions, unless the
whole day be spent in public. 8. They that by any cross or contradictory
actions against the customs of the church, do purposely desecrate or unhollow
and make the day common; as they that, in despite and contempt, fast upon the
Lord's day, lest they may celebrate the festival after the manner of the
V. Honour thy father and thy mother.
The duties are, 1. To do honour and reverence
to, and to love our natural parents. 2. To obey all their domestic commands,
for in them the scene of their authority lies. 3. To give them maintenance and
support in their needs. 4. To obey kings and all that are in authority. 5. To
pay tribute and honours, custom and reverence. 6. To do reverence to the aged
and all our betters. 7. To obey our masters, spiritual governors and guides, in
those things which concern their several respective interest and authority.
They sin against this commandment, 1. That
despise their parents' age or infirmity. 2. That are ashamed of their poverty
and extraction. 3. That publish their vices, errors, and infirmities, to shame
them. 4. That refuse and reject all or any of their lawful commands. 5.
Children that marry without or against their consent, when it may be reasonable
obtained. 6. That curse them from whom they receive so many blessings. 7. That
grieve the souls of their parents by not complying in their desires, and
observing their circumstances. 8. That hate their persons, that mock them or
use uncomely jestings. 9. That discover their nakedness voluntarily. 10. That
murmur against their injunctions, and obey them involuntarily. 11. All rebels
against their kings, or the supreme power, where it is legally and justly
invested. 12. That refuse to pay tributes and impositions imposed legally. 13.
They that disobey their masters, murmur or repine against their commands, abuse
or deride their persons, talk rudely, etc. 14. They that curse the king in
their heart, or speak evil of the ruler of their of their people. 15. All that
are uncivil and rude towards aged persons, mockers and scorners of them.
VI.Thou shalt do no murder.
The duties are, 1. To preserve our own lives,
the lives of our relatives, and all with whom we converse, (or who can need us,
and we assist,) by prudent, reasonable, and wary defences, advocations,
discoveries of snares, etc. 2. To preserve our health, and the integrity of our
bodies and minds, and of others. 3. To preserve and follow peace with all
They sin against this commandment, 1. That
destroy the life of a man or woman, himself or any other. 2. That do violence
to, or dismember or hurt any part of the body with evil intent. 3. That fight
duels, or commerce unjust wars. 4. They that willingly hasten their own or
others death. 5. That by oppression or violence embitter the spirits of any, so
as to make their life sad and their death hasty. 6. They that conceal the
dangers of their neighbour, which they can safely discover. 7. They that sow
strife and contention among neighbours. 8. They that refuse to rescue or
preserve those whom they can and are obliged to preserve. 9. They that procure
abortion. 10. They that threaten, or keep men in fears, or hate them.
VII. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
The duties are 1. To preserve our bodies in
the chastity of a single life, or of marriage. 2. To keep all the parts of our
bodies in the care and severities of chastity, so that we be restrained in our
eyes as well as in our feet.
They sin against this commandment, 1. Who are
adulterous, incestuous, sodomitical, or commit fornication. 2. They that commit
folly alone, dishonouring their own bodies with softness and wantonness. 3.
They that immoderately let loose the reins of their bodley appetite, though
within the protection of marriage. 4. They that by wanton gestures, wandering
eyes, lascivious dressings, discovery of the nakedness of themselves or others,
filthy discourse, high diet, amorous songs, balls and revellings, tempt and
betray themselves or others to folly. 5. They that marry a woman divorced for
adultery. 6. They that divorce their wives, except for adultery, and marry
VIII. Thou shalt not steal.
The duties are, 1. To give every man his due.
2. To permit every man to enjoy his own goods and estate quietly.
They sin against this commandment, 1. That injure
any man's estate by open violence or by secret robbery, by stealth or cozenage,
by arts of bargaining or vexatious lawsuits. 2. That refuse or neglect to pay
their debts when they are able. 3. That are forward to run into debt knowingly
beyond their power, without hopes or purposes of repayment. 4. Oppressors of
the poor. 5. That exact usury of necessitous persons, or of any beyond the
permissions of equity, as determined by the laws. 6. All sacrilegious persons,
people that rob God of his dues or of his possessions. 7. All that game, viz.
at cards and dice, etc., to the prejudice and detriment of other men's estates.
8. They that embase coin and metals, and obtrude them for perfect and natural.
9. That break their promises to the detriment of a third person. 10. They that
refuse to stand to their bargains. 11. They that by negligence imbecile other
men's estates, spoiling or letting any thing perish which is entrusted to them.
12. That refuse to restore the pledge.
IX. Thou shalt not bear false witness.
The duties are, 1. To give testimony to
truth, when we are called to it by competent authority. 2. To preserve the good
name of our neighbours. 3. To speak well of them that deserve it.
They sin against this commandment, 1. That speak
false things in judgment, accusing their neighbour unjustly, or denying his
crime publicly when they are asked, and can be commanded lawfully to tell it.
2. Flatterers; and 3. Slanderers; 4. Backbiters; and 5. Detractors. 6. They
that secretly raise jealousies and suspicion of their neighbours
X. Thou shalt not covet.
The duties are, 1. To be content with the
portion God hath given us. 2. Not to be covetous of other men's goods.
They sin against this commandment, 1. That envy
the prosperity of other men. 2. They that desire passionately to be possessed
of what is their neighbour's. 3. They that with greediness pursue riches,
honours, pleasures, and curiosities. 4. They that are too careful, troubled,
distracted, or amazed, affrighted and afflicted with being solicitous in the
conduct of temporal blessings.
These are the general lines of duty by which we
may discover our failings and be humbled, and confess accordingly: only the
penitent person is to remember, that although these are the kinds of sins
described after the sense of the Jewish church, which consisted principally in
the external action or the deed done, and had no restraints upon the thoughts
of men, save only in the tenth commandment which was mixed, and did relate as
much to action as to thought; (as appears in the instances;) yet upon us
Christians there are many circumstances and degrees of obligation, which endear
our duty with greater severity and observation: and the penitent is to account
of himself and enumerate his sins, not only by external actions or the deed
done, but by words and by thoughts; and so to reckon if we have done it
directly or indirectly, if he have caused others to do it, by tempting or
encouraging, by assisting or counselling, by not dissuading when he could and
ought, by fortifying their hands or hearts, or not weakening their evil
purposes; if we have designed or contrived its action, desired it or love it,
delighted in the thought, remembered the past sin with pleasure or without
sorrow: these are the by-ways of sin, and the crooked lanes, in which a man may
wander and be lost, as certainly as in the broad highways of iniquity.
But besides this our blessed Lord and his
apostles have added divers other precepts; some of which have been with some
violence reduced to the decalogue, and others have not been noted at all in the
catalogues of confession. I shall therefore describe them entirely, that the
sick man may discover his failings, that, by the mercies of God in Jesus
Christ, and by the instrument of repentance, he may be presented pure and
spotless before the throne of God.
The Special Precepts of the Gospel.
1. Prayer, frequent, fervent, holy, and
persevering. 2. Faith. 3. Repentance.
4. Poverty of spirit, as opposed to ambition and high designs. 5. And in it is humility, or sitting down in the lowest
place, and in giving honour to go before another. 6. Meekness, as it is opposed to waywardness,
fretfulness, immoderate grieving, disdain and scorn. 7. Contempt of the world. 8. Prudence, or the
advantageous conduct of religion. 9.
Simplicity, or sincerity in words and actions, pretences and substances. 10.
Hope. 11. Hearing the word. 12. Reading. 14. Obeying them that have the rule over us in
spiritual affairs. 15. Refusing to
communicate with persons excommunicate: whither also may be reduced, to reject
heretics. 16. Charity: viz. Love to God above all things; brotherly kindness,
or profitable love to our neighbours as ourselves, to be expressed in alms.
forgiveness, and to die for our brethren. 17. To pluck out the right eye, or
violently to rescind all occasions of sins, though dear to us as an eye. 18. To reprove our erring brother. 19. To
be patient in afflictions; and long animity is referred hither or
long-sufferance; which is the perfection and perseverance of patience, and is
opposed to hastiness and weariness of spirit. 20. To be thankful to our
benefactors; but above all, in all things to give thanks to God. 21. To rejoice
in the Lord always. 22. Not to quench, not to grieve, not to resist the Spirit.
23. To love our wives as Christ loved his church, and to reverence our
husbands. 24. To provide for our families. 25. Not to be bitter to our
children. 26. To bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. 27.
Not to despise prophesying. 28. To be gentle, and easy to be entreated. 29. To
give no scandal or offence. 30. To follow after peace with all men, and to make
peace. 31. Not to go to law before the unbelievers. 32. To do all things that
are of good report, or the actions of public honesty, abstaining from all
appearances of evil. 33. To convert souls, or turn sinners from the error of
their ways. 34. To confess Christ before all the world. 35. To resist unto
blood, if God call us to it. 36. To rejoice in tribulation for Christ's sake.
37. To remember and show forth the Lord's death till his second coming, by
celebrating the Lord's supper. 38. To believe all the New Testament. 39. To add
nothing to St. John's last book, that is, to pretend to no new revelations. 40.
To keep the customs of the church, her festivals and solemnities; lest we be
reproved, as the Corinthians were by St. Paul, `We have no such customs, nor
the churches of God.' 41. To contend earnestly for the faith. Not to be
contentious in matters not concerning the eternal interest of our souls; but in
matters indifferent to have faith to ourselves. 42. Not to make schisms or
divisions in the body of the church. 43. To call no man master upon earth; but
to acknowledge Christ our master and lawgiver. 44. Not to domineer over the
Lord's heritage. 45. To try all things and keep that which is best. 46. To be
temperate in all things. 47. To deny ourselves. 48. To mortify our lusts and
their instruments. 49. To lend, looking for nothing again, nothing by way of
increase, nothing by way of recompence. 50. To watch and stand in readiness
against the coming of the Lord. 51. Not to be angry without cause. 52. Not at
all to revile. 53. Not to swear. 54. Not to respect persons. 55. To lay hands
suddenly on no man. (This especially pertains to bishops; to whom also, and to
all the ecclesiastical order, it is enjoined that they preach the word, that
they be instant in season and out of season, that they rebuke, reprove, exhort
with all long-suffering and doctrine.) 56. To keep the Lord's day, (derived
into an obligation from a practice apostolical.) 57. To do all things to the
glory of God. 58. To hunger and thirst after righteousness and its rewards. 59.
To avoid foolish questions. 60. To pray for persecutors, and to do good to them
that persecute us, and despitefully use us. 61. To pray for all men. 63. To
work with our own hands, that we be not burdensome to others, avoiding
idleness. 64. To be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect. 65. To be
liberal and frugal; for he that will call us to an account for our time, will
also for the spending our money. 66. Not to use uncomely jestings. 67. Modesty;
as opposed to boldness, to curiosity, to indecency. 68. To be swift to hear,
slow to speak. 69. To worship the holy Jesus as the mention of his holy name;
as of old God was at the mention of Jehovah.
These are the straight lines of Scripture by
which we may also measure our obliquities, and discover crooked walking. If the
sick man hath not done these things, or if he have done contrary to any of them
in any particular, he hath cause enough for his sorrow and matter for his
confession; of which he needs no other forms, but that he heartily deplore and
plainly enumerate his follies, as a man tells the sad stories of his own
1. Let the sick man set his house in
order before he die; state his cases of conscience, reconcile the fractures of
his family, reunite brethren, cause right understandings, and remove
jealousies; give good counsels for the future conduct of their persons and
estates, charm them into religion by the authority and advantages of a dying
person; because the last words of a dying man are like the tooth of a wounded
lion, making a deeper impression in the agony than in the most vigorous
2. Let the sick man discover every secret of art
or profit, physic or advantage to mankind, if he may do it without the
prejudice of a third person.
Some persons are so uncharitably envious, that they are willing that a secret
receipt should die with them, and be buried in their grave, like treasure in
the sepulchre of David. But this, which is a design of charity, must therefore
not be done to any man's prejudice; and the mason of Herodotus, the king of
Egypt, who kept secret his notice of the king's treasure, and when he was a
dying told his son, betrayed his trust then, when he should have kept it most
sacredly for his own interest. In all other cases let thy charity outlive thee,
that thou mayst rejoice in the mansion of rest, because, by thy means, many
living persons are eased or advantaged.
3. Let him make his will with great
justice and piety, that is, that the right heirs be no defrauded for collareral
respects, fancies, or indirect fondnesses; but the inheritances descend in
their legal and due channel; and in those things where we have a liberty, that
we take the opportunity of doing virtuously, that is, of considering how God
may be best served by our donatives, or how the interest of any virtue may be
promoted; in which we are principally to regard the necessities of our nearest
kindred and relatives, servants and friends.
4. Let the will or testament be made with
ingenuity, openness, and plain expression, that he may not entail a lawsuit
upon his posterity and relatives, and make them lose their charity, or entangle
their estates, or make them poorer by the gift. He hath done me no charity, but
dies in my debt that makes me sue for a legacy.
5. It is proper for the state of sickness, and an
excellent annealing us to burial, that we give alms in this state, so burying
treasure in our graves that will not perish, but rise again in the resurrection
of the just. Let the dispensation of our alms be as little intrusted to our
executors as may be, excepting the lasting and successive portions; but with
our own present care, let us exercise the charity and secure the stewardship.
It was a custom amongst the old Greeks to bury horses, clothes, arms, and
whatsoever was dear to the deceased person, supposing they might need them, and
that without clothes they should be found naked by their judges; and all the
friends did use to bring gifts, by such liberality thinking to promote the
interest of their dead. But we may offer our entsfta
ourselves best of all: our doles and funeral meals, if they be our own
early provisions, will then spend the better; and it is good so to carry our
passing penny in our hand, and, by reaching that hand to the poor make a friend
in the everlasting habitations. He that gives with his own hand shall be sure
to find it, and the poor shall find it; but he that trusts executors with his
charity, and the economy and issues of his virtue, by which he must enter into
his hopes of heaven and pardon, shall find but an ill account when his
executors complain he died poor. Think on this. To this purpose, wise and pious
was the counsel of Salvian: "Let a
dying man, who hath nothing else of which he may make an effective oblation,
offer up to God of his substance; let him offer it with compunction and tears,
with grief and mourning, as knowing that all our oblations have their value not
by the price, but by the affection; and it is our faith that commendeth the
money, since God receives the money by the hands of the poor, but at the same
time gives and does not take the blessing, because he receives nothing but his
own; and man gives that which is none of his own, that of which he is only a
steward, and shall be accountable for every shilling. Let it, therefore, be
offered humbly, as a creditor pays his debts; not magnifically, as a prince
gives a donative; and let him remember that such doles do not pay for the sin,
but they ease the punishment; that are not proper instruments of redemption,
but instances of supplication and advantages of prayer; and when we have done
well, remember that we have not paid our debt, but shown our willingness to
give a little of the vast sum we owe; and he that gives plentifully according
to the measure of his estate, is still behindhand according to the measure of
his sins. Let him pray to God that this late oblation may be accepted; and so
it will, if it sails to him in a sea of penitential tears or sorrows that it is
so little, and that is is so late.
6. Let the sick man's charity be so ordered that
it may not come only to deck the funeral and make up the pomp; charity waiting
like one of the solemn mourners; but let it be continued, that, besides the
alms of health and sickness, there may be a rejoicing in God for his charity
long after his funeral, so as to become more beneficial and less public; that
the poor may pray in private, and give God thanks many days together. This is
matter of prudence, and yet in this we are to observe the same regards which we
had in the charity and alms of our lives; with this only difference, that, in
the funeral alms also of rich and able persons, the public customs of the
church are to be observed, and decency and solemnity, and the expectations of
the poor, and matter of public opinion, and the reputation of religion; in all
other cases let thy charity consult with humility and prudence, that it never
minister at all to vanity, but be as full of advantage and usefulness as it
7. Every man will forgive a dying person; and
therefore let the sick man be ready and sure, if he can, to send to such
persons whom he hath injured, and beg their pardon, and do them right; for in
this case he cannot stay for an opportunity of convenient and advantageous
reconcilement; he cannot then spin out a treaty, nor beat down the price of
composition, nor lay a snare to be quit from the obligation and coercion of
laws; but he must ask forgiveness downright, and make him amends as he can,
being greedy of making use of this opportunity of doing a duty that must be
done, but cannot any more, if not now, until time returns again and tells the
minutes backwards, so that yesterday shall be reckoned in the portions of the
8. In the intervals of sharper pains, when the
sick man amasses together all the arguments of comfort and testimonies of God's
love to him and care of him, he must needs find infinite matter of thanksgiving
and glorification of God; and it is a proper act of charity and love to God,
and justice too, that he do honour to God on his death-bed for all the
blessings of his life, not only in general communications, but those by which
he hath been separate and discerned from others, or supported and blessed in
his own person; such as are, "In all my life-time I never broke a home; I never
fell into the hands of robbers, never into public shame, nor into moisome
diseases; I have not begged my bread, nor been tempted by great and unequal
fortunes: God gave me a good understanding, good friends, or delivered me in
such a danger, and heard my prayers in such particular pressures of my spirit."
This or like enumeration and consequent acts of thanksgiving are apt to produce
love to God, and confidence in the day of trial; for he that gave me blessings
in proportion to the state and capacities of my life, I hope also will do so in
proportion to the needs of my sickness and my death-bed. This we find
practised, as a most reasonable piece of piety, by the wisest of the heathens.
So Antipater Tarsensis gave God thanks for his prosperous voyage into Greece;
and Cyrus made a handsome prayer upon the tops of the mountains when, by a
phantasm, he was warned of his approaching death. "Receive, O God my Father,
these holy rites, by which I put an end to many and great affairs; and I give
thee thanks for thy celestial signs and prophetic notices, whereby thou hast
signified to me what I ought to do, and what I ought not. I present also very
great thanks that I have perceived and acknowledged your care of me, and have
never exalted myself above my condition, for any prosperour accident. And I
pray that you will grant felicity to my wife, my children, and friends, and to
me a death such as my life hath been." But that of Philagrius, in Gregory
Nazianzen, is eucharistical, but it relates more especially to the blessings
and advantages which are accidentally consequent to sickness. "I thank thee, O
Father and maker of all my children, that thou art pleased to bless and to
sanctify us even against our wills, and by the outward man purgest the inward,
and leadest us through cross-ways to a blessed ending, for reasons best known
unto thee." However, when we go from our hospital and place of little
intermedial rest in our journey to heaven, it is fit that we give thanks to the
major-domo for our entertainment. When these parts of religion are finished
according to each man's necessity, there is nothing remaining of personal duty
to be done alone, but that the sick man act over these virtues by the renewings
of devotion and in the way of prayer; and that is to be continued as long as
life, and voice, and reason dwell with us.
O my soul, thou hast said unto the Lord,
Thou art my Lord; my goodness extendeth not to thee, but to the saints that are
in the earth, and to the excellent, in whom is all my delight. The Lord is the
portion of my inheritance and of my cup; thou maintainest my lot. Psalm xvi.
As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the
Lord is tried; he is a buckler to all those that trust in him. For who is God,
except the Lord? or who is a rock, save our God? It is God that girdeth me with
strength, and maketh my way perfect. Psalm xviii.30-32.
Be not thou far from me, O Lord; O my
strength, haste thee to help me. Psalm xxii. 19.
Deliver my soul from the sword, my darling from
the power of the dog. Save me from the lion's mouth; and thou hast heard me
also from among the horns of the unicorns. Ver. 20,21.
I will declare thy name unto my brethren; in the
midst of the congregation will I praise thee. Ver. 22.
Ye that fear the Lord, praise the Lord; ye sons
of God, glorify him, and fear before him, all ye sons of men. For he hath not
despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted, neither hath he hid his
face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard. Ver. 23,24.
As the hart panteth after the water-brooks, so
longeth my soul after thee, O God. Psalm xlii.1.
My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God;
when shall I come and appear before the Lord? Ver. 2.
O my God, my soul is cast down within me. All thy
waves and billows are gone over me. As with a sword in my bones, I am
reproached. Yet the Lord will command his loving-kindness in the day-time; and
in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.
Ver. 6-8, 10.
Bless ye the Lord in the congregations; even the
Lord from the fountains of Israel. Psalm lxviii. 26.
My mouth shall show forth thy righteousness and
thy salvation all the day; for I know not the numbers thereof. Psalm
I will go in the strength of the Lord God; I will
make mention of thy righteousness, even of thine only. O God, thou hast taught
me from my youth; and hitherto have I declared thy wonderous works. But I will
hope continually, and will yet praise thee more and more. Ver. 16,17,14.
Thy righteousness, O God, is very high, who hast
done great things. O God, who is like unto thee? Thou which hast showed me
great and sore troubles shall quicken me again, and shalt bring me up again
from the depths of the earth. Ver. 19,20.
Thou shalt increase thy goodness towards me, and
comfort me on every side. Ver. 21.
My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto
thee; and my soul which thou hast redeemed. Blessed be the Lord God, the God of
Israel, who only doth wondrous things. And blessed be his glorious name for
ever; and let the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen, Amen. Ver. 23,
Psalm lxxii. 18,19.
I love the Lord because he hath heard my voice
and my supplication. The sorrows of death compassed me: I found trouble and
sorrow. Then called I upon the name of the Lord; O Lord, I beseech thee,
deliver my soul. Gracious is the Lord and righteous; yea our God is merciful.
Psalm cxvi. 1,3-5.
The Lord preserveth the simple: I was brought low
and he helped me. Return to thy rest, O my soul: the Lord hath dealt
bountifully with me. For thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from
tears, and my feet from falling. Ver. 6-8.
Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of
his saints. O Lord, truly I am thy servant; I am thy servant and the son of
thine handmaid: thou shalt loose my bonds. Ver. 15,16.
He that loveth not the Lord Jesus, let him be
accursed. 1 Cor. xvi. 22.
O that I might love thee as well as ever any
creature loved thee! He that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God. There is no fear
in love. 1 John, iv. 16,18.
O most gracious and eternal God and loving
Father, who hast poured out thy bowels upon us, and sent the Son of thy love
unto us to die for love, and to make us dwell in love, and the eternal
comprehensions of thy Divine mercies, O be pleased to inflame my heart with a
holy charity towards thee and all the world. Lord, I forgive all that ever have
offended me, and beg that both they and I may enter into the possession of thy
mercies, and feel a gracious pardon from the same fountain of grace: and do
thou forgive me all the acts of scandal whereby I have provoked, or tempted, or
lessened, or disturbed any person. Lord, let me never have my portion amongst
those that divide the union, and disturb the peace, and break the charities of
the church and Christian communion. And though I am fallen into evil times, in
which Christendom is divided by the names of an evil division, yet I am in
charity with all Christians, with all that love the Lord Jesus and long for his
coming; and I would give my life to save the soul of any of my brethren; and I
humbly beg of thee that the public calamity of the several societies of the
church may not be imputed to my soul to any evil purposes.
Lord, preserve me in the unity of thy holy
church, in the love of God and of my neighbours. Let thy grace enlarge my heart
to remember, deeply to resent, faithfully to use, wisely to improve, and humbly
to give thanks to thee for all thy favours with which thou hast enriched my
soul, and supported my estate, and preserved my person, and rescued me from
danger, and invited me to goodness in all the days and periods of my life. Thou
hast led me through it with an excellent conduct; and I have gone astray after
the manner of men; but my heart is towards thee. O, do unto thy servant as thou
usest to do unto those that love thy name; let thy truth comfort me; thy mercy
deliver me; thy staff support me; thy grace sanctify my sorrow; and thy
goodness pardon all my sins: thy angels guide me with safety in this shadow of
death, and thy most Holy Spirit lead me into the land of righteousness, for thy
name's sake, which is so comfortable, and for Jesus Christ's sake, our dearest
Lord and most gracious Saviour. Amen.
 Kalos gar o
kinsu[omegahat]os cai xrm ta toianta wsper ixasuein eautw.
 L. Cornel. Legatus sub Fabio Consule
vividam naturam et virilem animum servavi, quoad animam effiavi; et tandem
desertus ope medicorum et Escalapii Dei ingrati, cui me voveram sodalem
perpetuo futurum, si fila aliquantulum optata prorulisset.-Vetus Inscripton in
Gtpesi vocant, cum mors propter impatientiam
 Non jam validis radicubus haerens,
pondere fixa suo.
 Sanctiusque ae reverentius visum de
actis Deorum credere quam scire.-Tacit.
 Fides tua te salvum faciet: non
exercitatio Scripturarum, Fides in regula posita est; (scil. in Symbolo quod
jam recitaverat) habet legem, et saluterm de observatione legis; Exercitatio
autem in curiositate consistit, habens gloriam solam de pertitia studio. Cedat
curiositas Fidel; cedat Gloria Saluti-Tert. de pagescript St. Augustinus vocat
Symbolum comprehensionem Fidei vestra atque perfectionem; Cordis signaculum, et
nostrae militiae sacramentum. Amb. lib iii. de Vcland. Virgin. Aug. Serm. 115
Non per diddiciles nos Deus ad beatam vitam quaesuscitatum a mortuis per Deum
credere, et ipsum esse Dominum confiteri.-St. Hilar. lib. 10 de Trinit. Haec
est fides Catholica, de Symbolo suo dixit Athanasius, vel quicunque author est
St. Athanas. de fide ni cena.
 In Phaedon.
 Descendisti ad Olympia, sed nemo
praeter te: coronam tabes, vistoriam non habes.
 Mitius ille perit subith qui mergitur
unda, Quam sua qui liquidis brachia lassat aquis.-Ovid.
 Etiam innocentes mentiri cogit
 Ipse illigatus peste interimor
 Lavor honesta hora et salubri, quae
mihi et calorem et sanguinem servet: rigere et pallere post lavacrum mortuus
possum. Tertul. Apol. c.42.
 Vide the Life of Christ, Disc. of
Repentance; Rule of Holy Living, chap. iv. Sect. of Repentance; and volume of
Serm. Serm. v. vi.
 Ne tamen ad Stygias famulus
descenderet umbras, Ureret implicitum cum scelerata lues, Cavimus
 Tu milhi, quod rarum est, vivo sublime
dedisti Nomen, ab exsequiis quod dare fama solet.
 Acts, iii. 19.
 Ou pendre, ou rendre, ou les peines
 Quid debent laesi facere, ubi rei ad
 Vera ad Deum conversio in ultimis
positorum mente potius est aestimanda quam tempore. Cel. P. ep ii. c. 9. Vera
conversio scil. ab infidelitate ad finem Christi per bapts
 Psalm lxiii.1.
 Psalm vi. 4,5.
 Credebant hoc grande nefus et morte
piandum, Si juvenis vetulo non assurrexerat, et si Barbato cuicunque
puer.-Juven. Sat. 13.
 1 Thess.v.17; Luke, xviii. 1.
 Mark, xvi. 16.
 Luke xiii. 3; Acts, iii.19.
 Matt. v.3.
 Luke, xiv.10; John, xiii.14.
 Matt. v.5; Col. iii.12.
 Matt. x.16; 1 Thess.v.8.
 Rom. viii.24.
 Luke, xvi.29; Mark, iv.24.
 1 Tim. iv.13.
 Heb.xiii.17; Matt. xviii.17.
 Titus, iii.10.
 Coloss.iii 14; 1 Tim. i.v.; 2 Tim. ii
 Matt. xviii.9.
 Magnifica verba mors prope admota
 Nam verae voces tum demum pectore ab
imo Ejiciuntur - Lucret. iii. 57.
 Contra avaritiam.