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nothing, and canst restore our dead bodies again after they are mouldered into dust, be pleased to repel the clouds of darkness which now have taken away the light of our brother's understanding, and rendered him a companion for the dead.
Quicken him again, O Lord, and restore him to his former senses, that his soul may bless and praise thy holy name.
Hear our petitions, O Lord, and receive our prayers for our brother, that this image of death may not be converted into death itself, but that he may live to proclaim thy power, and to celebrate thy praises longer upon earth.
But if it be thy will to remove him hence in this insensible condition, O pardon, we beseech thee, all his offences, and accept of the preparation and repentance that he was able to make before the distemper prevailed upon him in so deadly a manner. Receive him, O Lord, into the arms of thy mercy, and accept him for thy well beloved Son's sake; that so this short night may quickly be turned into everlasting day; and after these dark shadows are removed, he may find himself in a heaven of happiness, where, “ in thy light, he may see light” for ever. Amen.
A Prayer for One who hath been a notoriously
O LORD God, of infinite goodness and compassion,
unjust” as well as the “just,” and art kind even to
down in mercy upon this thy unworthy servant, who hath so long “trampled upon the riches of thy goodness, not knowing that it should lead to repentance.
Let thy rod, therefore, awaken him now to a sense of his condition, whom thy goodness hath not reclaimed, and let him still find mercy at thy hands, notwithstanding his continual abuse of it.
Thou hast promised, O Lord, that, “ when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness which he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive.” O make good this thy promise to thy servant here who stands in so much need of it.
“Hide thy face from his sins, and blot out all his iniquities :” though they be “red as scarlet,” yet do thou make them “ white as snow” by repentance, which we beg of thee to give him, and to accept, though late, through thine infinite mercies.
Simon Magus, though in the “gall of bitterness and the bond of iniquity,” was exhorted to repent, and to pray for pardon : and therefore we hope the gate of life is still open for our brother, though he hath so long shut himself out of it by going on in a course that leadeth to the “ chambers of death.”
Blessed Lord, let thy terrors at length awaken him out of this lethargical condition, before he is overtaken by thy judgments. Afflict him here, that thou mayest spare him hereafter. Soften his heart, that he may bewail his ill spent life, like Mary Magdalen, with tears of contrition.
O quicken him to a sense of his duty, and of his danger, before it be too late: and when thou hast brought him to his right mind, receive him, we be
seech thee, as the compassionate father did his prodigal son, or the shepherd his lost sheep.
Thou, O Lord, who didst pardon the thief upon the cross, hear our prayers for our brother in these his great, and, for any thing we know, his last agonies.
And, as the forementioned instances are lively significations of thine unbounded goodness, and were written for our comfort and instruction, that none should despair of pardon; so with the greatest confidence we now recommend this our distressed brother to thy divine protection, beseeching thee to forgive all that is past, and to receive him at last into thine
everlasting habitation." Amen.
A Prayer for One who is hardened and impenitent.
Lord God Almighty, who art the “Father of our spirits,” and who “turnest the hearts of men as thou pleasest; who hast mercy on whom thou wilt have mercy, and whom thou wilt thou hardenest;" let thy merciful ears be open, we pray thee, to the supplications which we now offer to thy Divine Majesty, in the behalf of this thy servant, who appears insensible of his sin and folly, and on whom all means to lead him to repentance have hitherto seemed vain and ineffectual. Take from him, we humbly entreat thee, all ignorance and hardness of heart : remove from him all prejudice against and contempt of thy sacred word and ministry: let him no longer “make a mock of sin,” but be sensible that the wisdom he has hitherto gloried in is the greatest and most dangerous folly. Open thou his eyes that he may “ see the wonderful
things of thy law. Show thy mercy upon him, and grant him thy salvation. Convince him of the vanity and madness as well as danger of his past ways.
His understanding, we fear, is now darkened, and his heart hardened through the deceitfulness of sin : 0, do thou enlighten his dark mind, and let him at last see the beauties of holiness which have so long been hidden from his eyes. Take from him this
stony heart, and give him a heart of flesh.” Awaken his slumbering and inattentive soul, that it may delight in things agreeable to its nature, and be employed in things that make for its everlasting peace. O give him understanding, and he shall yet live. Thou that canst revive souls which are dead in sin and trespasses, and make even such as lie in the grave of corruption to become glorious saints and even martyrs for religion, hear our prayers for our brother, who seems to be on the brink of destruction; and pity poor sinners that have not pity on themselves.
It is the unhappiness of being long accustomed to sin that we are not soon made sensible of our errors, nor easily made to know them. It is the pride of our nature to be unwilling to acknowledge our faults, and to confess our sins : but let thy grace, O God, teach us to deny this ungodly lust. Do thou humble in us all high and vain imaginations; suppress all proud thoughts and haughty opinions of ourselves. Give us all (and particularly thy servant for whom we are now interceding) a sense of our own vileness; give us unfeigned repentance for all the errors of our life past; that, being cast down, thou mayest raise us up, and become merciful to us, miserable sinners.
Let us all find, by blessed experience, that “we
grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ; and that “his commandments” are not
grievous" to us, but rather the delight and desire of our souls; that so at last we may be presented to him “ holy and unblamable, and unreprovable in his sight." Amen.
A Prayer for a Sick Woman that is with Child.
O God, the help of all that put their trust in thee, the support of the weak, and the relief of the needy; look with pity upon this woman thy servant, who at best acknowledgeth herself but a weak and helpless creature, but much more so now in her present condition, when thou hast added weakness to weakness, and made her to travail with much sickness, together with the burden of childbearing.
O Lord, be thou graciously pleased to proportion thy strength to her weakness, and as pains and sorrow take hold upon her, inspire her with fresh vigour and courage to rely upon thee, her only support in time of need, and the rock of her salvation.
Let her not be disquieted with the fear of any evil, since none can happen unto her without thy permission; but give her grace patiently to resign herself to thy blessed will in all things, who knowest what is best for her, and wilt lay no more upon her, we trust, than thou wilt enable her to bear.
Bring strength, O Lord, out of weakness, and health out of sickness; and make her, in thy good time, a joyful mother of a hopeful child, which may do good in its generation, and be an instrument of thy glory here, and a blessed inhabitant of thy heavenly kingdom hereafter. Amen.