« PreviousContinue »
bleness of those in health, who are present in the Congregation, should make them forget the Miseries of those that are abfent; it hath ever been the Custom of the Churches of God to recommend our Neighbours, that are in forrow, sickness, or other Distess(upon their desire of it) by Name unto the mercy of God (s). And doubtless it (-) Tdvadsapdy is a Custom as pious and useful, as it site or [rdu Seiya] is antient and univerfal, for it is an 'tor des erõuta, èxiexcellent monitor to those that are exéif an ev TÔ érése in health, to mind them of their ex* Euchol. p.690. frailty and Mortality, and gives
Exaudi nos pro fa
mulo tuo N. pro quo them all an opportunity to do an
mil ricordia tua im. act of the greatest Charity to their
ploramus duxilium. languishing Neighbour. And it is Mill, Sarisb, fol.33. much more for the comfort and benefit of the fick Person, who though he be absent in body from his Christian Brethren, yet he is present in their hearts, and hath a share in their Prayers : and sure if any thing will prevail with God to spare them, he will grant that which so many combine to beg for with united importunities; if he hear them not so as to let the fick man live longer, yet it may prevail fo far that he may dye more happily, and that also is a great blelling : Wherefore it is the duty of all fick persons , and such as are in great afflictions, to defire the Prayers of the Church for them with a firm persuasion, that they shall have very great benefit thereby, as many have had before them: And when any such are mentioned by the Priest as needing and deliring our Prayers, let us every one have a due sense of their mifery, and most heartily intreat God to relieve them, remembring it may shortly be our Lot;and as we shall delire on our tick bed, that others may pity and pray for us, so let us do now for these ; for it we be obdurate or unconcerned, we
shall deserve to be denyed the Mercy of God, and the Prayers of the Church in our own greatest need.
S.VIII Hat it may please thee to comfozt and re
Iteve them, accozoing to their several necedities, giving them Patience under their buffe. rings, and an happy tane out of all their á fltcttons, and this wa beg for Je las Chat& his sake. Amen.]
From the Persons we pass to the Things requested in their behalf, which are proportionable to the various kinds ot Sufferers ; and because some are afflicted in mind, we desire these may be comfozted ; and since others are afflicted tn bodg, az oitrelled in Edate, we pray, that these may be reliebed. First, for those who are troubled in mind, there is no remedy so proper as comfort, and none fo able to administer it, as he who is the Father of Mercies, and the God of all Consolations and Comforts, 2 Cor.i.3. which made the Psalmist say, in the multitude of the sorrons,which I had in my heart, thy comforts have refreshed my Soul, Pfal.xciv.19.He can heal a broken heart and cure a wounded spirit, and when he speaks peace those that were dejected do rejoyce, and we have a gracious Promise to encourage us to beg this of God for those that mourn, since he faith, blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted, Mat.v. 4.Stcondly, as for those whose misery is outward, viz. ia their body or Efate, we also pray to God to relieve them, that is to heal the sick, to ease those that are in pain, to supply the poor, and to right those that are oppressed: and though there be outward means for these external calamities, yet those means are ineffectual without the divine blessing; whatever be the second Cause he is the first, and therefore his Mercy is first to be implored. We have mentioned two sorts of Cures, but because there are innumerable Sufferers, and all of them in different
circumstances; we leave it to God's infinite wisdom to proportion his several remedies accoading to their federal neceatttes ; for he knows them all, and what their Condition is, and what will help them: We do not prescribe to this universal Physician, who hath a falve for every Sore, but leave it wholly to his wisdom and goodness, to find out the ways and fix the time, for the deliverance of all that are in Distress. Furthermore, when we consider the variety of mens afflictions, we know they have several necellittes, and need various remedies; but when we look upon them all under the notion of afflicted, there are two things which may ftly be desired for them all, which are mercies needful for all in misery, let their Calamity be what it will, viz. I. Patience ander thetr sufferings, while they continue. II. An Happy 3 Vue out of them at the laft. These therefore we beg for all kinds of Safferers. I. We defire it may please God to grant them Patiens, quietly to submit to his Correction, and nobly to bear their Cross, which will both engage the Almighty to strike gently, and to give over soon, when he finds the afflicted takes it so well ; and besides Patience makes the burden not half so heavy, while it lyes still, whereas impatient men double their misery, and by fretting and vexation, unquietness and fear, they become their own Tormenters(t); where (t) Indignatio in fore it is a bleffed and desirable tormen um suum prothing, that the afflicted may bear feit:Sen.ir.l.3. 16. the hand of God with a meek and
Nil tam exasperas
fervorem submissive Spirit, with a serene and quam fervendi impaconstant mind; when the fighs are
tientia, Hegesip., few and smothered, the brow smooth and calm, the Lauguage pious and full of praise to God, such a Sufferer is an Imitator of Jesus, he is dear to Heaven, eafie to himself, and a comfort to all a
prevail, and then many pocr distressed Souls will have
fireffed Creatures. The Petitions are very excellent, and Jesus in whose name we ask them is very powerful; lo that if we say them with a hearty Devotion, we shall
bout him. II. We pray that their afflictions may have a happy end. Every one that is in diftress longs for an Issue out of his trouble ; and fome are so greedy of it, as to use evil arts to escape, or to murmure if they be not presently delivered;such are only concerned for a speedy JQue out of thetr afflictions, not valueing whether it be happy or no, they would be delivered before their hearts are mollified, or their Lives amended, before they have sufficiently smarted for their fins, or reaped a. ny good by their Sufferings, and then they catily return with the Dog to their vomit, so that the deliverance, which reprieves them from present death or misery, dcth but consign them over to eternal Torments : But a wife and good Man had rather wait and endure a while, than not have a happy Issue out of his trouble, he had rather stay under them a little space, than not be bettered by them, and to such an one the Jae lha!! be happy at what-ever time, or in what-ever Ihape, it comes. If God restore such to health and prosperity, they will use it well, and live holily: If the affli&tica end in death, that is also a bappy 3Due to a and a happy exchange of a Scene of forrows for a Kingdom of glory.Doubtless a good man's affliction hath a happier Iflue by Death,than an evil man's by Life ; for this wretch will live to encrease his Darnation, the other by dying enters the sooner upon eternal joys. Let us therefore beseech Almighty God to turn our Saferings to good, if he please, let us beg that we may
fee them happily ended while we live; however, and whenever they end, let us pray that the event may be happy, and this is all that we can wish for our selvcs, or any
cause to bless God, and thank us for the happy effects of these moft charitable Supplications.
The Paraphrase of this Prayer.
600,] who art by thy infinite power the Creatoz, and] by thy gracious Providence the [Preserver of] the whole world, especially of [all mankind,] who are thy choicest work and chiefes care, [ we humble belegch thee,] who art so mighty and so merciful, [foj all Costs] and degrees and for all Estates (and Conditt ons of men,] wheresoever they dwell, and whatsoever their quality or fortune be, they are our Brethren, and therefore we pray for them all: And first for all Unbelievers, and such as know thee not, we pray, [that thou wonlod be pleased) in compassion to their ignorance and delusions [to make tby ways] and the holy paths of thy Laws (known unto them, ] and to cause the Gof pel and all the Mysteries of [the lading bealth, ] and man's Redemption to be published [unto all Pattons] for the Conversion of Jews and Turks, Heathens and Infidels.
[apore especially,) as we are Christians, (we pray] unto thy divine Majesty [foz the] peace of thy Jerusalem, the welfare and the [good ettate of the Catholick Charcb,] whereof, we are Members, that it may be quiet and prosperous in all the worldi and in order to its inward happiness, we desire (that it may be] at all rimes [ro gaided]in its Principles [and governed) in its Practices [by the good Sptrit,] that the whole Body thereof may never err, nor do amiss, (and that all] and every of the Members of this holy Society, [who pzofelgi che true Religion, Cand call themselves Chaigt