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birth, enable her, we beseech thee, to bring forth, that she may rejoice in the workmanship of thy hands, and tell of all thy wondrous works.
Consider the low estate of thine handmaid, and deliver her soul from death, her eyes from tears, and her feet from falling. “Gracious art thou, O Lord, and righteous; thou preservest the simple, and helpest those that are in misery." Help thy servant therefore now, we humbly entreat thee, who stands in so much need of it. Accept her tears, and assuage her pain, as shall seem most expedient for her. And forasmuch as she putteth her whole trust in thee, give her strength and patience proportionable to all her pains and agonies. Support her spirits under them, and if thou pleasest, car. ry her safely through the same, and "make her to hear of joy and gladness, that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.",
“Restore unto her, O Lord, the joy of thy salvation, and uphold her with thy free Spirit; then shall she teach transgressors thy way, and sinners shall be converted unto thee. Deliver her" from this great affliction, "O God, thou God of her salvation, and her tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.”
* Thy mercies and power are still the same, and will be the same for ever. O let them now be shewn in this thy servant's delivery, as they have been formerly on the like occasion; that so, by having fresh instances of thy loving kindness, she may still praise thee more and more.
O perfect her repentance, and pardon her sins. Give her patience while she lives, and peace when she dies, and, after death, the happiness of a blessed eternity, which thou hast promised and prepared for all that love and fear thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
A prayer for grace and assistance for a woman, after
delivery, but still in danger,
(From Mr. Kettlewell.) O FATHER of mercies, what thanks can we worthily give unto thee for thine unspeakable goodness to this
* This is to be omitted, if it be the first child.
A prayer for a person who, from a state of health, is sud
denly seized with the symptoms of death. O most gracious Father, Lord of heaven and earth, Judge of the living and of the dead, behold thy servants turning to thee for pity and mercy, in behalf of qurselves and this thy servant. It was but latelythat we beheld him in as promising a state of health and life, as any one of us seems to be in at present, and therefore our concern is so much the greater to behold so sudden a change, and so unlooked for an instance of our mortality.
We know, O Lord, thou canst bring back from the brink of the grave, and as suddenly raise thy servant again as thou hast cast him down, and therefore we think it not too late to implore thy mercy upon him for his recovery; at least we beg of thee to spare him a little, that he may recover his strength, and have time to make his peace with thee,“ before he go hence, and be no more seen.” But if it be thy will to remove him at this time into another world, O let the miracles of thy compassion, and thy wonderful mercy, supply to him the want of the usual measures of time, that he may fit himself for eternity. And let the greatness of his calamity be a means to procure his pardon for those defects and degrees of unreadiness which this sudden stroke hath sed. And teach us all, we beseech thee, from this unexpected fate of our brother, to be continually upon our guard, and to watch and pray, since we know not the hour when the “ Master of the house cometh,” whether“ in the evening, or at midnight, or in the morning."
Lord, thou hast now called thy servant before he was aware of it; 0, give him such a great and effectual repentance in this exigence, that in a short time it may be sufficient to do the work of many days. Thou regardest, O Lord, the sincerity of our hearts more than the measures of time, in our conversion ; accept therefore, we beseech thee, the few minutes of thy servant's unfeigned tears and humiliation for his sins, as if they were hours and days of a longer preparation; and let it be thy pleasure to rescue him from all the evils he deserves, and all the evils he fears, that in the songs of
eternity which angels and saints shall sing to the glory of thy name, this also may be reckoned amongst thine invaluable mercies, that thou hast redeemed his soul from death, and made him partaker of eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
A prayer for a sick person, when there appeareth
small hope of recovery.
(Visitation Office.) O FATHER of mercies and God of all comfort, our only help in time of need; we Ay unto thee for succour in behalf of this thy servant, here lying under thy hand in great weakness of body. Look graciously upon him, O Lord, and the more the outward man decayeth, strengthen him, we beseech thee, so much the more continually with thy grace and Holy Spirit in the inner man. Give him unfeigned repentance for all the errors of his life past, and steadfast faith in thy Son Jesus, that his sins may be forgiven and his pardon sealed in heaven, before he go hence, and be no more seen. We know, O Lord, that there is no work impossible with thee, and that, if thou wilt, thou canst even yet raise him up, and grant him a longer continuance among us. Yet forasmuch as in all appearance the time of his dissolution draweth near, so fit and prepare him, we beseech thee, against the hour of death, that after his departure hence in peace, and in thy favour, his soul may be received into thine everlasting kingdom; through the mediation of Jesus Christ thy Son, our Saviour. Amen.
A general prayer for preparation and readiness to die. LORD," what is our life, but a vapour, which appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away?” Even at the longest, how short and transitory! and when we think ourselves most secure, yet we know not what à day may bring forth; nor how soon thou mayest come, before we are aware, to call us to our last account,
Quickly shall we be as water spilt on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. Quickly shall we be snatched away hence, and our place here shall know us no more.
Our bodies shall soon lie down in the grave, and our souls be summoned to appear before the tribunal of Christ, to receive our everlasting doom; and yet, O Lord, how do the generality of mankind live in this world, as if they were never to leave it ! How unmindful are we all of our departure! how improvident of our time ! how careless of our souls, and negligent in our preparations for eternity! so that thou mightest justly cut us off in the midst of our sins, and our unpreparedness to appear before thee. But, O God of all comfort and mercy, remember not our sins against thee, but remember thy own love to us in Jesus Christ, and thy tender mercies which have been ever of old. O, remember how short our time is, and “so teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”
In the days of our health and prosperity, let us, from the example of our brother's weakness, remember our own approaching fate; and let him, from the sudden change of health to sickness, consider how few and evil all his days have been, and that there is no satisfaction in any thing, but in knowing thee, O God. Lord, what have we to do in this world, but to devote ourselves wholly to thy service, and to make ready for the world to come? O, that we may all of us be mindful of this “one thing necessary," that we may finish our “work," before we finish our course.'
Quicken thy servant, O Lord, into a powerful and serious consideration of these things, now thou hast brought him into more intimate acquaintance with them. Instruct and assist him in this great work of preparation to die. Shew him how to do it, and help him with good success to perform it; that when the time of his dissolution draweth near, he may have nothing else to do, but to resign himself willingly and cheerfully into thy hands, as into the hands of a merciful Creator, there to remain with thee for ever in that blessed place where sin and sickness and death shall be no more. Amen.
A commendatory prayer for a sick person at the point
(Visitation Office.) O Almighty God, with whom do live the spirits of just men made perfect; we humbly commend the soul of this thy servant our dear brother into thy hands, as into the hands of a faithful Creator and most merciful Saviour; humbly beseeching thee, that it may be acceptable in thy sight. And teach us, who survive, by this and other daily instances of mortality, to see how frail and uncertain our own condition is, and so to number our days that we may seriously apply our hearts to that holy and heavenly wisdom, which may bring us to life everlasting; through Jesus Christ thy Son, our. Lord. Amen.
A litany for a sick person, at the time of departure.
(From Bishop Andrews.) O God, the Father of heaven,
Have mercy upon him:
Keep and defend him.
Have mercy upon him:
Save and deliver him. O God the Holy Ghost, proceeding from the Father and the Son,
Have mercy upon him:
Strengthen and comfort him.
Have mercy upon him.
From thy wrath and indignation ; from the fear of death; from the guilt and burden of his sins, and from the dreadful sentence of the last judgment;
Good Lord, deliver him. From the sting of conscience; from impatience, distrust, or despair ; and from the extremity of sickness or