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Upon the whole, the matter admits of no soft- Jhands ; we have also a history purporting to be ening qualification, or ambiguity whatever. If St. written by one of his fellow-travellers, and appearPaul did not work actual, sensible public miracles, ing, by a comparison with these letters, certainly he has knowingly, in these letters, borne his tes- to have been written by some person well actimony to a falsehood. I need not add, that, in quainted with the transactions of his life. From two also of the quotations, he has advanced his the letters, as well as from the history, we gather assertion in the face of those persons amongst not only the account which we have stated of him, whom he declares the miracles to have been but that he was one out of many who acted and wrought.
suffered in the same manner; and that of those Let it be remembered that the Acts of the Apos- who did so, several had been the companions of tles described various particular miracles wrought Christ's ministry, the ocular witnesses, or preby St. Paul, which in their nature answers to the tending to be such, of his miracles, and of his terms and expressions which we have seen to be resurrection. We moreover find this same perused by St. Paul himself.
son referring in his letters to his supernatural conversion, the particulars and accompanying circumstances of which are related in the history, and
which accompanying circumstances, if all or any Here then we have a man of liberal attain- of them be true, render it impossible to have been ments, and in other points of sound judgment, who a delusion. We also find him positively, and in aphad addicted his life to the service of the Gospel. propriated terms, asserting that he himself worked We see him, in the prosecution of his purpose, miracles, strictly and properly so called, in sup travelling from country to country enduring every port of the mission which he executed; the hisspecies of hardship, encountering every extremity tory, meanwhile, recording various passages of his of danger, assaulted by the populace, punished by ministry, which come up to the extent of this as the magistrates, scourged, beat, stoned, left for sertion. The question is, whether falsehood was dead; expecting, wherever he came, a renewal of ever attested by evidence like this. Falsehoods, the same treatment, and the same dangers, yet, we know, have found their way into reports, into when driven from one city, preaching in the next; tradition, into books; but is an example to be met spending his whole time in the employment, sa- with, of a man voluntarily undertaking a life of crificing to it his pleasures, his ease, his safety; want and pain, of incessant fatigue, of continua persisting in this course to old age, unaltered by peril; submitting to the loss of his home and counthe experience of perverseness, ingratitude, preju- try, to stripes and stoning, to tedious imprisondice, desertion; unsubdued by anxiety, want, ment, and the constant expectation of a violent labour, persecutions; unwearied by long confine- death, for the sake of carrying about a story of ment, undismayed by the prospect of death. what was false, and of what, if false, he must Anch' was St. Paul. We have his letters in our have known to be so?
VISITING THE SICK:
I. RULES FOR VISITING THE SICK.-II. THE OFFICE FOR THE VISITATION OF THE SICK.
III. THE COMMUNION OF THE SICK.-IV. A GREAT VARIETY OF OCCASIONAL PRAYERS FOR THE SICK; COLLECTED FROM THE WRITINGS OF SOME OF THE MOST EMINENT DIVINES OF THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND :
-TO WHICH ARE ADDED, THE OFFICES OF PUBLIC AND PRIVATE BAPTISM, WITH ADDITIONS AND ALTERATIONS.
This collection has been so much esteemed, that it has passed through nine editions. Having now become exceedingly scarce, it was thought proper to reprint it.
The rules for Visiting the Sick, in five sections, are extracted chiefly from the works of Bishop Taylor. The Occasional Prayers are taken from the devotional tracts of Bishop Patrick, Mr. Kettlewell, and other pious and judicious divines. But in this Edition, the antiquated style of those writers is corrected and improved; at the same time, a spirit of rational piety, and unaffected simplicity, are carefully preserved.
A prayer by Dr. Stonehouse, and four by Mr. Merrick, the celebrated translator of the Psalms, are added to the old collection.
The offices of Public and Private Baptism, though no ways relating to the Visitation of the Sick, are retained ; as, in the present form, they will be convenient for the Clergy in the course of their parochial duty.
MINISTERS TO VISIT THE SICK.
When any person is dangerously sick in any parish, the minister or curate, having knowledge thersof, shall resort unto him, or her, (if the disease be not known, or probably suspected to be infectious, to instruct and comfort them in their distress, according to the order of Communion, if he be no preacher; or, if he be a preacher, then as he shall think most needful and convenient.
It is recommended to the Clergy to write out the prayers, which are to be used by the Sick themselves, or by the persons whose devotions they wish to assist, and to leave the copies with them. 2 G 233
MANNER OF VISITING THE SICK;
ASSISTANCE THAT IS TO BE GIVEN TO SICK AND DYING PERSONS BY
THE MINISTRY OF THE CLERGY.
rules of his conscience, and all the several bearings In all the days of our spiritual warfare, from of religion, with respect to God, his neighbour, our baptism to our burial, God has appointed his and hiinself. For to prepare a soul for its change servants the ministers of the church, to supply the of the minister with the sick' have so much variety
is a work of great difficulty; and the intercourses necessities of the people, by ecclesiastical duties; in them, that they are not to be transacted at and prudently to guide, and carefully to judge
Sometimes there is need of special remeconcerning, souls committed to their charge.
And, therefore, they who all their lifetime de- dies against impatience, and the fear of death ; not rive blessings from the Fountain of Grace, by the only to animate, but to make the person desirous channels of ecclesiastical ministers, ought then
and willing to die. Sometimes it is requisite to more especially to do it in the time of their sick- awaken the conscience by “the terrors of the
Lord ness, when their needs are more prevalent, accord
to open by degrees all the labyrinths of ing to that known apostolical injunction: "Is sin those innumerable windings and turnings any man sick among you, let him send for the whicl insensibly lead men into destruction,) which elders of the church, and let them pray over
the habitual sensualist can never be able to discohim," &c.
ver, unless directed by the particular grace of The sum of the duties and offices, respectively God, and the assistance of a faithful and juimplied in these words, may be collected from the dicious guide. Sometimes there is need of the following rules.
balm of comfort, to pour in "oil and wine" (with the good Samaritan) into the bleeding wound, by representing the tender mercies of God, and
the love of his Son Jesus Christ, to mankind: SECTION II.
and at other times it will be necessary to " reprove, Rules for the Manner of Visiting the Sick.
rebuke, and exhort, with all long suffering an
doctrine:" so that a clergyman's duty, in the vi1. Let the minister be sent to, not when the sitation of the sick, is not over at once: but at sick is in the agonies of death, as it is usual to do, one time he must pray; at another, he must assist, but before his sickness increases too much upon advise, and direct; at another, he must open to him: for when the soul is confused and disturbed him the nature of repentance, and exhort him to by the violence of the distemper, and death begins a confession of his sins, both to God and man, in to stare the man in the face, there is little reason all those cases which require it: and, at another to hope for any good effect from the spiritual man's time, he must give him absolution, and the sacravisitation. For how can any regular administra- ment of the body and blood of our Lord. tion take place, when the man is all over in a dis And, indeed, he that ought to watch all the order ? how can he be called upon to confess his periods of his life, in the days of his health, lest sins, when his tongue falters, and his memory he should be surprised and overcome, had need, fails him? how can he receive any benefit by the when he is sick, be assisted and called upon, and prayers which are offered up for him, when he is reminded of the several parts of his duty in every not able to give attention to them ? or how can he instant of his temptation. be comforted upon any sure grounds of reason or The want of this makes the visitations of the religion, when his reason is just expiring, and all clergy fruitless, because they are not suffered to his notions of religion together with it? or when imprint those proper effects upon the sick, which the man, perhaps, had never any real sentiments are needful in so important a ministration. of religion before
2. When the minister is come, let him discourse It is, therefore, a matter of sad consideration, concerning the causes of sickness, and by a genethat the generality of the world look upon the ral argument move him to a consideration of his minister, in the time of their sickness, as the sure condition. Let him call upon him first, in general forerunner of death; and think his office so much terms, " to set his house in order," "to trim and relates to another world, that he is not to be treated adorn his lamp,” and “to prepare himself for anwith, as long as there is any hope of living in this other world;" and then let him perform the cus Whereas it is highly requisite the minister be sent tomary duties of prayer, and afterwards descend for, when the sick person is able to be conversed to other particulars, as occasion shall offer, and with and instructed; and can understand, or be circumstances require. laught to understand, the case of his soul, and the 3. According to the condition of the man, and
the nature of his sickness, every act of visitation once, but requires the utmost self-denial and reso is to be proportioned. If his condition be full of lution to put it in execution, consisting in general pain and intirmity, the exhortation ought to be of the following particulars :-1. A sorrowful shortened, and the minister more "instant in sense of our sins: 2. An humble confession of prayer:" and the little service the sick man can them: 3. An unfeigned abhorrence and forsaking do for himself should be supplied by the charitable of them, and turning to the Lord our God with all care of his guide, who is in such a case to speak our hearts: 4. A patient continuance in wellmore to God for him than to talk to him: "prayer doing to the end of our lives. of the righteous," when it is “ fervent,” hath a These are the constituent and essential parts promise to“ prevail much in behalf of the sick” of a true repentance; which may severally be disperson: but exhortations must prevail by their played from the following motives of reason and own proper weight, and not by the passion of the Scripture, as opportunity shall serve, and the sick speaker; and, therefore, should be offered when man's condition permit. the sick is able to receive them. And even in this The first part of a true repentance is a sorrowassistance of prayer, if the sick man joins with the ful sense of our sins, which naturally produceth minister, the prayers should be short, fervent, and this good effect, as we may learn from St. Paul, ejaculatory, apt rather to comply with his weak |(2 Cor. vii. 10,) where he tells us that “godly sorcondition, than wearisome to his spirits, in tedious row worketh repentance." Without it, to be sure, and long offices. But in case it appears he hath there can be no such thing; for how can a man sufficient strength to go along with the minister, repent of that which he is not sorry for? or, he is then more at liberty to offer up long petitions how can any one sincerely ask pardon and forfor him.
giveness for what he is not concerned or troubled After the minister hath made this preparatory about ?
entrance to this work of much time and deli A sorrowful sense, then, of our sins, is the first beration, he may descend to the particulars part of a true repentance, the necessity whereof of his duty, in the following method. may be seen from the grievous and abominable
nature of sin; as, 1. That it made so wide a separation betwixt God and man, that nothing but
the blood of his only begotten Son could suffice to SECTION III.
atone for its intolerable guilt: 2. That it carries
along with it the basest ingratitude, as being done of instructing the sick Man in the nature of and move, and have our being:" 3. That the con
against our heavenly Father, “in whom we live, Repentance, and Confession of his Sins.
sequence of it is nothing less than eternal ruin, The first duty to be rightly stated to the sick in that "the wrath of God is revealed against all man, is that of repentance; in which the minister impenitent sinners;” and “the wages of sin is cannot be more serviceable to him than by laying death,”—not only temporal but eternal. before him a regular scheme of it, and exhorting From these and the like considerations, the him at the same time to a free and ingenuous de- penitent may further learn, that to be sorry for claration of the state of his soul. For unless they our sins is a great and important duty. That it know the manner of his life and the several kinds does not consist in a little trivial concern, a superand degrees of those sins which require his peni- ficial sigh, or tear, or calling ourselves sinners, &c. tential sorrow or restitution, either they can do but in a real, ingenuous, pungent, and afflicting nothing at all, or nothing of advantage and certain- sorrow: for, can that which cast our parents out ty: Wherefore the minister may move him to of Paradise at first, that brought down the Son this in the following manner:
of God afterwards from heaven, and put him at
last to such a cruel and shameful death, be now Arguments and Exhortations to more the sick thought to be done away by a single tear or a
Man to Repentance, and Confession of his groan ? Can so base a piece of ingratitude, as reSins.
belling against the Lord of glory, who gives us all 1. That repentance is a duty indispensably ne- submission? Or can that which deserves the tor
we have, be supposed to be pardoned by a slender cessary to salvation. That to this end, all the ment of hell, be sufficiently atoned for by a little preachings and endeavours of the prophets and indignation and superficial remorse? apostles are directed. That our Saviour “came down from heaven," on purpose “ to call sinners to with a deep and afflicting sorrow; a sorrow that
True repentance, therefore, is ever accompanied repentance."* That as it is a necessary duty at will make us so irreconcilable to sin, as that we all times, so more especially in the time of sick - shall choose rather to die than to live in it. For ness, when we are commanded in a particular so the bitterest accents of grief are all ascribed to manner to “set our house in order.” That it is a
a true repentance in Scripture; such as a “weepwork of great difficulty, consisting in general of a
“ weeping day and "change of mind,” and a " change of life." Upon ing sorely," or “ bitterly;" a
night repenting in dust and ashes;" a which account it is called in Scripture, "a state of regeneration, or new birth;" a "conversion &c. Thus holy David: “I am troubled, I am
putting on sackcloth;"' " fasting and prayer,” from sin to God;" a " being renewed in the spirit bowed down greatly, I go mourning all the day of our minds;" a " putting off the old man, which long, and that by reason of mine iniquities, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts of the flesh," and a “putting on the new man, which is are ioo heavy for me to bear:” Ps. xxxviii
. 4, 6.
are gone over my head, and, as a heavy burden, created in righteousness and true holiness.” That Thus Ephraim could say: " After that I was so great a change as this, is not to be effected at instructed, I smote upon my thigh: I was ashamed,
yea, even confounded, because I did bear the reproach of my youth:” Jer. xxxi. 19.
* Matt. ix. 13.
And this is the proper satisfaction for sin which | Rev. ii. 26. Hence our religion is said to be God expects, and hath promised to accept; as, continual warfare, and we must be constantly Ps. li. 17: " The sacrifices of God are a broken “pressing forward toward the mark of our high spirit: a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou calling," with the apostle, lest we fail of the wilt not despise."
prize. 2. The next thing requisite in a true repent And this it is which makes a death-bed reance, is confession of sins, which naturally fol- pentance so justly reckoned to be very full of lows the other; for if a man be so deeply afficted hazard; such as none who defer it till then, can with sorrow for his sins, he will be glad to be rid depend upon with any real security. For let a of them as soon as he can; and the way for this, man be never so seemingly penitent in the day of is humbly to confess them to God, who hath pro his visitation, yet none but God can tell whether mised to forgive us if we do. “I said, I will con- it be sincere or not; since nothing is more comfess my sins unto the Lord,” saith the Psalmist; mon than for those who expressed the greatest "and so thou forgavest the wickedness of my signs of a lasting repentance upon a sick bed, to sin," Ps. xxxii. 6. So, Prov. xxviii. 13, and forget all their vows and promises of amendment, 1 John i. 9: "If we confess our sins, God is as soon as God had removed the judgment, and faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to restored them to their former health. “It hapcleanse us from all unrighteousness.” So the re- pened to them according to the true proverb," as turning prodigal went to his father with an hum- St. Peter says, " The dog is turned to his own ble confession of his baseness, and was received vomit again, and the sow that was washed to her into favour again.—Luke xv. 18, 19.
wallowing in the mire,”. 2 Pet. ii. 22. And because the number of our sins are like The sick penitent, therefore, should be often the hairs of our head, or the sand of the sea, and reminded of this:—that nothing will be looked almost as various too in their kinds as their num- upon as true repentance, but what would terbers; confession must needs be a very extensive minate in a holy life: that, therefore, he ought to duty, and require the strictest care and examina- take great heed, that his repentance be not only tion of ourselves: for “who can tell how oft he the effect of his present danger, but that it be lastoffendeth ?" saith David; “O, cleanse thou me ing and sincere, “bringing forth works meet for from my secret faults!"
repentance," should it please God mercifully to The penitent, therefore, should be reminded, prove him by a longer life. that his confession be as minute and particular as But here it is much to be feared, that after all it can; since the more particular the confession his endeavours to bring men to a sight of themis, to be sure,
the more sincere and safe the re- selves, and to repent them truly of their sins, the pentance.
spiritual man will meet with but very little en3. A third thing requisite in a true repentance, couragement: for if we look round the world, we is an unfeigned abhorrence and forsaking of sin, shall find the generality of men to be of a rude and turning to the Lord our God with all our indifference, and a seared conscience, and mightily hearts.
ignorant of their condition with respect to another For so we find them expressly joined together world, being abused by evil customs and princiby. St. Paul, when he charges those whom by ples, apt to excuse themselves, and to be content vision he was sent to convert, to change* their with a certain general and indefinite confession; mind, and “turn to God, and do works meet for so that if you provoke them never so much to repentance:" Acts xxvi. 20. And a little before, acknowledge their faults, you shall hardly ever he says, he was sent “ to open their eyes, and turn extort any thing farther from them than this, viz. them from darkness to light, and from the power " That they are sinners, as every man hath his of Satan unto God, that they may receive for- infirmity, and they as well as any; but, God be giveness of sin:" ver. 18. And we shall always thanked, they have done no injury to any man, tind, when we are commanded to cease from evil, but are in charity with all the world.” And, pero it is in order to do good.
haps they will tell you, “they are no swearers, The penitent, therefore, must be reminded, not no adulterers, no rebels, &c. but that, God forgive only to confess and be sorry for his sins, but like them, they must needs acknowledge themselves wise to forsake them. For it is he only "who con to be sinners in the main,” &c. And if you can fesseth and forsaketh his sins, that shall have open their breasts so far, it will be looked upon as mercy:" Prov. xxviii. 13. And this forsaking must sufficient; to go any farther, will be to do the not be only for the present, during his sickness, Office of an accuser, not of a friend. or for a week, a month, or a year; but for his But, which is yet worse, there are a great many whole life, be it never so protracted: which is persons who have been so used to an habitual the
course of sin, that the crime is made natural and 4. Last thing requisite in a true repentance, necessary to them, and they have no remorse of viz. "a patient continuance in well-doing to the conscience for it, but think themselves in a state end of our lives.” For as the holy Jesus assures of security very often when they stand upon the us, that “he that endureth unto the end shall be brink of damnation. This happens in the cases saved ;” so does the Spirit of God profess, that of drunkenness and lewd practices, and luxury, "if any man draw back, his soul shall have no and idleness, and misspending of the sabbath, and pleasure in him:" Heb. x. 38. Hence we are in lying and vain jesting, and slandering of others; said to "be partakers of Christ, if we hold the and particularly in such evils as the laws do not beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end," punish, nor public customs shame, but which Heb. iii. 14, but not else; for it is to “ him only are countenanced by potent sinners, or wicked that overcometh, and keepeth his works to the fashions, or good-nature and mistaken civilities. end,” that our Saviour hath promised a reward: In these and the like cases, the spiritual man
must endeavour to awaken their consciences απηγγέλλον μετανοείν, ,
by such means as follow: