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for the minista, as soon as theçare visited by Laess, asd Dx to wait until they are very weak and righ unto death; because in that situation they may, through pain and debility, be incapable of asking advice, or even of joining in prayer. When we are making preparation to humble ourselves before Almighty God, to confess our sins, and by unfeigned repentance seek forgiveness and the comfortable grace of his Holy Spirit, our minds ought to be sound, that we may not despair, or be too presumptuous in our hopes, or be subject to that peevishness and irritation which often accompany pain and sickness. Unfortunately, however, we are too apt to neglect this solemn duty in the enjoyment of health ; but in pain and sickness it comes home to every bosom. We then lament the folly and wickedness of not having considered our latter end; we then feel the necessity of no longer delaying to make our peace with God by sincere repentance, and by imploring forgiveness for our sins through the atone
ment and mediation of our blessed Saviour, and the comfortable assistance of the Holy Spirit.
After these observations, we proceed to explain the office, which our Church has so properly appointed for the visitation of the sick, and which is justly considered the most full and useful service, which is employed in any Church, on this occasion.
? When any person is sick, notice shall be given
thereof to the Minister of the Parish ; who, coming
into the sick person's house, shall say, PEACE be to this house, and to all that dwell in it. (1)
When he cometh into the sick man's presence he
shall say, kneeling down, REMEMBER not, Lord, our iniquities, nor the iniquities of our forefathers. (2) Spare
(1) Peace be to this, &c.] These are the words which Christ ordered his disciples to use, when he sent them to convert sinners, to preach repentance, and to heal the diseases both of their bodies and souls. St. Luke, chap. x. 5. It is a pious wish for the health and prosperity of all that dwell in the house; and Christ has promised, that if duly received, it shall procure a blessing:
(2) Remember not, Lord, our, &c.] It is natural to supplicate God not to remember our iniquities; and
us, good Lord; spare thy people, whome thou hast redeemed with thy most precious blood, and be not angry with us for ever.
Answer. Spare us, good Lord.
9 Then the Minister shall say,
Let us pray.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
we, at the same time, justly pray to him not to remember those of our fathers, because we are too apt to imitate them, and because we learn from the second commandment, that God will visit the sins of the fathers upon the children, to the third and fourth generation of them that hate him. In this prayer we also earnestly offer our petitions to the Father of all goodness, that in his unbounded mercy he will spare us, because his blessed son Jesus Christ redeemed us with his precious blood, and not be angry with us for ever ; or, in other words, to deliver us from his eternal wrath, to which we should all have been subject, without the redemption of mankind by our Lord Jesus Christ. We are told by the holy Psalmist, Psalm cxlv. 8, that “the Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger, and of great mercy;" and again, “ He will not always chide, nei ther will he keep his anger for ever.” Ps. ciii. 9.