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VISITATION OF THE SICK.
Father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore, we have had fathers of our flesh, which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. These words, good brother, are written in holy Scripture for our comfort and instruction; that we should patiently, and with thanksgiving, bear our heavenly Father's correction, whensoever, by any manner of adversity, it shall please his gracious goodness to visit us. And there should be no greater comfort to Christian persons, than to be made like unto Christ, by suffering patiently adversities, troubles, and sicknesses. For he himself went not up to joy, but first he suffered pain; he entered not into his glory before he was crucified. So truly our way to eternal joy is to suffer here with Christ; and our door to enter into eternal life is gladly to die with Christ; that we may rise again from death, and dwell with him in everlasting life. Now therefore, taking your sickness, which is thus profitable for you, patiently, I exhort you, in the Name of God, to remember the profession which you made unto God in your Baptism. And forasmuch as after this life there is an account to be given unto the righteous Judge, by whom all must be judged, without respect of persons, I require you to examine yourself and your estate, both toward God and man; so that, accusing and condemning yourself for your own faults, you may find mercy at our heavenly Father's hand for Christ's sake, and not be accused and condemned in that fearful judgment. Therefore I shall rehearse to you the Articles of our Faith; that you may know whether you do believe as a Christian man should, or no.
¶ Here the Minister shall rehearse the Articles of the Faith, saying thus,
And in Jesus Christ his only-begotten Son our Lord? And that he was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary; that he suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified,
dead, and buried; that he went down into hell, and also did rise again the third day; that he ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; and from thence shall come again, at the end of the world, to judge the quick and the dead?
And dost thou believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy Catholic Church, the Communion of Saints; the Remission of sins; the Resurrection of the flesh; and everlasting Life after death?
¶ The sick Person shall answer,
All this I steadfastly believe.
Then shall the Minister examine whether he repent him truly of his sins, and be in charity with all the world; exhorting him to forgive, from the bottom of his heart, all persons that have offended him; and if he hath offended any other, to ask them forgiveness; and where he hath done injury or wrong to any man, that he make amends to the uttermost of his power. And if he hath not before disposed of his goods, let him then be admonished to make his Will, and to declare his Debts, what he oweth, and what is owing unto him, for the better discharging of his conscience, and the quietness of his Executors. But men should often be put in remembrance to take order for the settling of their temporal estates, whilst they are in health.
¶The Exhortation before rehearsed, may be said before the Minister begin his Prayer, as he shall see cause.
The Minister shall not omit earnestly to move such sick Persons as are of ability, to be liberal to the poor.
¶ And then the Minister shall say the Collect following.
Let us pray.
MOST merciful God, who, according to the multitude of thy mercies, dost so put away the sins of those who truly repent, that thou rememberest them no more; Open thine eye of mercy upon this thy servant, who most earnestly desireth pardon and forgiveness. Renew in him, most loving Father, whatsoever hath been decayed by the fraud and malice of the devil, or by his own carnal will and frailness; preserve and continue this sick member in the unity of the Church; consider his contrition, accept his tears, assuage his pain, as shall seem to thee most expedient for him. And forasmuch as he putteth his full trust only in thy mercy, impute not unto him his former sins, but strengthen him with thy blessed Spirit; and, when thou art pleased to take him hence, take him unto thy favour; through the merits of thy most dearly beloved Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
¶ Then shall the Minister say this Psalm
Psalm cxxx. De profundis.
UT of the deep have I called unto thee, O LORD; Lord, hear my voice.
O let thine ears consider well the voice of my complaint.
If thou, LORD, wilt be extreme to mark what is done amiss, O Lord, who may abide it?
For there is mercy with thee; therefore shalt thou be feared.
I look for the LORD, my soul doth wait for him; in his word is my trust.
My soul fleeth unto the Lord, before the morning watch; I say, before the morning watch.
O Israel, trust in the LORD; for with the LORD there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption.
And he shall redeem Israel from all his sins.
¶ Adding this.
SAVIOUR of the world, who by thy Cross and precious Blood hast redeemed us; Save us, and help us, we humbly beseech thee, O Lord.
¶ Then shall the Minister say,
THE Almighty Lord, who is a most strong tower to all those who put their trust in him, to whom all things in heaven, in earth, and under the earth, do bow and obey, Be now and evermore thy defence; and make thee know and feel, that there is none other Name under heaven given to man, in whom, and through whom, thou mayest receive health and salvation, but only the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
¶Here the Minister may use any part of the service of this book, which, in his discretion, he shall think convenient to the occasion; and after that shall say,
NTO God's gracious mercy and
protection we commit
thee. The Lord bless thee, and keep thee. The Lord make his face to shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee. The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace, both now and evermore. Amen.
¶ Prayers which may be said with the foregoing service, or any part thereof, at the discretion of the Minister.
A Prayer for a sick Child.
ALMIGHTY God, and merciful Father, to whom alone belong the issues of life and death; Look down from heaven, we humbly beseech thee, with the eyes of mercy upon this child, now lying upon the bed of sickness: Visit him, O Lord, with thy salvation; deliver him in thy good appointed time from his bodily pain, and save his soul for thy mercies' sake That, if it shall be thy pleasure to prolong his days here on earth, he may live to thee, and be an instrument of thy glory, by serving thee faithfully, and doing good in his generation; or else receive him into those heavenly habitations, where the souls of those who sleep in the Lord Jesus enjoy perpetual rest and felicity. Grant this, O Lord, for thy mercies' sake, in the same thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen
A Prayer for a sick Person, when there appeareth but small hope of recovery.
FATHER of mercies, and God of all comfort, our only help in time of need; We fly 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 done away by thy mercy, and his pardon sealed in heaven, before he go hence, and be no more seen. We know, O Lord, that there is no word impossible with thee; and that, if thou wilt, thou canst even yet raise him up, and grant him a longer continuance amongst 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 merits and mediation of Jesus Christ thine only Son, our Lord and Saviour.
A commendatory Prayer for a sick Person at the point of departure.
ALMIGHTY God, with whom do live the spirits of just men made perfect, after they are delivered from their earthly prisons; 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; most humbly beseeching thee, that it may be precious in thy sight. Wash it, we pray thee, in the blood of that immaculate Lamb, that was slain to take away the sins of the world; that whatsoever defilements it may have contracted in the midst of this miserable and naughty world, through the lusts of the flesh, or the wiles of Satan, being purged and done away, it may be presented pure and without spot before thee. And teach us who survive, in this, and other like daily spectacles 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, whilst we live here, which may in the end bring us to life everlasting; through the merits of Jesus Christ thine only Son our Lord. Amen.
A Prayer for Persons troubled in mind or in conscience.
BLESSED Lord, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort, We beseech thee, look down in pity and compassion upon this thy afflicted servant. Thou writest bitter things against him, and makest him to possess his former iniquities; thy wrath lieth hard upon him, and his soul is full of trouble. But, O merciful God, who hast written thy holy Word for our learning, that we, through patience and comfort of thy holy Scriptures, might have hope; give him a right understanding of himself, and of thy threats and promises; that he may neither cast away his confidence in thee, nor place it any where but in thee. Give him strength against all his temptations, and heal all his distempers. Break not the bruised reed, nor quench the smoking flax. Shut not up thy tender mercies in displeasure; but make him to hear of joy and glad