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in urging them to do so, by the most affectionate and weighty motives.-"O that "we could always think of God as we do
of a friend, as of one that unfeignedly "loves us, whose very heart is set upon
doing us good, and hath therefore pro"vided for us an everlasting dwelling "with himself."--(Baxter's Saint's Rest.)
"In the movements of his wise admi"nistration, what we might naturally expect, we shall invariably discover, "both the tenderest compassion for the
guilty, and the most vigilant protection "of truth, purity, and virtue; for if there "be in the mitigated or averted chastise"ments of heaven, a voice which says to "to the ignorant and misguided, and "above all to the penitent sinner, 'nei"ther do I condemn thee,' there is another "voice in the recorded and accumulated, "and impending visitations of awakened judgment, which amidst the blessings "of guidance and instruction, pronoun"ces go and sin no more".-(Bishop Jebb.)
O GRACIOUS GOD, who hast taught us to pray to thee for mercy, and hast promised it to those who apply to thee for it in the name of thy Son; hear our earnest supplications for this thy servant, who now desires to seek for and to obtain it, through the merits of his Saviour Jesus Christ. Open thine eyes, we beseech thee, to his sufferings, and thine ears to his prayers; he confesses that he is unworthy of the grace he asks, and that nothing but thy unbounded goodness could encourage him to apply for it. But without thy mercy he must for ever perish, and as no creature can bear the thought of eternal perdition, so thou hast graciously declared that thou willest not the death of any sinner. Enliven therefore his petitions, and accept them, and grant that
he may obtain mercy, that through him Jesus Christ may shew forth all long suffering and compassion. His life, he acknowledges, cannot stand a strict test. and enquiry; for if thou Lord shouldest be extreme to mark what is done amiss, O Lord who may abide it. He dares not appeal to the tribunal of thy Justice, but he flies to thy gracious offer of mercy. Accept him therefore we pray thee, according to the blessed covenant of favour and acceptance, which thy Son our Saviour purchased for us, and published to us. Prepare him by sincerity of heart, and resolution of obedience, to apply to thee in prayer. Strengthen him by a comfortable trust in thee, to proceed in the path of holiness,-favour him with further time to shew his sincerity by a holy life, and whenever thou shalt please to call him hence, receive him into the arms of thy favour, through the intercession and merits of our only advocate and redeemer, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (Dodwell.) H 3
For one that has been long ill.
O GRACIOUS GOD, who in the midst of judgment hast remembered mercy, and hast made the sorest calamities to which we are liable, to be attended with some advantages: give thy grace to this thy servant, that he may look on his sent condition, to remind him of his sins, and of thy mercy; by both to quicken him to earnest repentance. Let the tedious distemper under which he suffers, raise his thoughts to the cause of all human sorrow in the disobedience of man, and to an humble reflection on the disobedience of each man, as a just cause of each one's suffering. But let him look on the time and opportunity hereby afforded, as a particular favor, and improve it to a real blessing; make him thankful that he was not snatched away in a state of impenitence, nor cut off in the pursuit of sins and follies. Make him thankful that his distemper does not affect his understanding, but that thou
continuest to him the use of his senses and of his reason. O continue to him, or revive in him, the grace to improve this opportunity of mercy, and if his long sickness try his patience, let it likewise confirm it. Grant that he may employ the time hereby afforded, in acts of Repentance for his former offences, in acts of Resignation to his present lot, and in acts of Trust for thy future mercy, that whilst his body is decaying, his soul may be improving, and at their ensuing separation may be duly prepared to return to thee who gavest it, through the merits and satisfaction of our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.-(Dodwell.)
For one that is Young.
O GOD, the author of our being, and the disposer of our state, who made us for probation in this world, and for glory in the next, have mercy we beseech thee,