Page images
PDF
EPUB

ent to our salvation: We beseech Thee, that as Thou visitest us with bodily infirmities and sorrows, Thou wouldest also grant us the grace of Thy Holy Spirit, so that Thy Fatherly chastenings may teach us rightly to know Thy Justice and Mercy. For we confess that our multiplied sins have richly merited these chastenings. Yet would we regard these visitations of Thy gracious Providence, not as intimations of Thy wrath, but of 'T'hy paternal love toward us, seeing Thou chastenest us that we may not be condemned at last with this wicked world. O! most merciful God, forgive we implore Thee, all our sins, for the sake of the bitter passion and death of Jesus Christ Thy Son, our only Mediator and Saviour. Grant us patience and steadfastness, in true dependence upon Thy mercy. Alleviate gracious. ly our sufferings, laid upon us by Thy righteous hand, and so control them according to Thy Faiherly will, that they may subserve the glory of Thy name, and the salvation of our souls, for the sake of Thy well-beloved Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Our Father, foc.

Grant us also continual and growing steadfastness in our old, undoubted Christian Faith:

I believe in God the Father, fc.

Prayer for the Dijing. Almighty, and most merciful God and Father, I praise and thank Thee, for my body and my soul, and that Thou hast 80 kindly and mercifully preserved and protected them. But above all I praise Thee that thou hast given unto me Thy dear Son Jesus Christ, who hath redeemed me from sin, and all the pow. er of the devil, and eternal death, and damnation. And since it is now Thy holy will to call me from this valley of tears to 'Thyself in eternal joy and bliss, and make me thus a full partaker of the glory procured for me by Thy dear Son, my Saviour: I beseech Thee graciously to alleviate for me the pains and terrors of my approaching death, nor suffer ine to be tempted in the last agony beyond the strength which Thou hast given

O! gracious Lord, strengthen the weakness of my flesh, by the power of Thy Holy Spirit, and enable me, wiih true and firm reliance upon Thy mercy, manifested in Jesus Christ, to depart in peace, with aged Simeon, and enter joyfully into Thy heavenly kingdom. Most Gracious Father, into Thy hands I cominit iny Spirit for Thou hast redeemed me, o! Lord, Thou faithful God. Amen.

Of administering the communion to the Sick. The sick must not be Whereas experience proves that many permitted to lie long persons neglect themselves & their friends

without being visited. S in sickness, so that they sometimes even die without being visited or comforted by their Pastor ; and further that too many then first send for the minister, to visit them and administer the sacrament, when they are already in the agonies of death, or so oppressed with sickness, that they can no more receive instruction, or give account of themselves. It is thought highly necessary, that sick persons, especially those who may not have friends around them able to instruct and comfort them, should not be permitted to lie longer than three days at most, without sending for the proper Pastor. And in case this should be neglected, the minister shall feel it his duty to visit them without

a special invitation. Why the Holy Supper And although the people are to be inis to be administered structed at the regular weekly services, to the sick.

and at other times, how they may comfort themselves by fellowship with Christ, by which they have been previously assured in Baptism and the Supper, according to the gracious promise of God: nevertheless, if the sick desire to receive the supper of the Lord in their own bouses, it shall not be denied them, but under these two considerations, which are to be carefully noted:

First.-If the minister has reason to suspect that the sick person holds the opinion de opere operato, and regards the communion as essential to his salvation, he shall earnestly and faithfully dissuade him from such an idolatrous error, and instruct him in the right use of the Lord's Supper.

Secondly— Those in the house, or present with the sick person, shall be exhorted to unite with him in the communion, so ihat this institution of the Lord may not be violated; remembering that His Supper must be celebrated by a company of christians, be it large or small.

As to the Form to be used on such occasions; the minister shall use an abbreviation of that given above, for the instruction of the sick person. After this the Confession of sin "shall be read together with the scriptures assigned for the comfort of ihe sick, the Lord's prayer, the Articles of our common Faith, and the words of the institution of the supper. Then the supper itself may be administered, and the whole service concluded with the usual thanksgiving and benediction. VOL. III.-NO. II.

8

its.

are

Of the Visitation of Prisoners. Prisoners should receive Inasmuch as prisoners need consolatimely and frequent vis- Ştion no less than the sick, they shall

receive the services of the Minister not only at the time of their execution, and when the terrors of death are upon them, when they are hardly capable of comprehending or receiving comfort, but shall be previously often visited and consoled. And if more than one minister is at hand, they may alternately attend to this duty. Especially such as And should some seem to be particularly greatly dis

cast down, they shall be visited the more tressed.

frequently and diligently. What instructions And whereas prisoners are mostly very

they should receive. S ignorant of the true basis of salvation, they shall be questioned concerning the principal points of christian doctrine, and made to learn and recite thein. These shall then be explained to them according to the circumstances and crime of the prisoner. The doctrines of sin, the judgment of God against sin, and justification through Christ shall be particularly pressed upon them. And in connection with this, the following or similar scriptures shall be presented to them and explained, for their admonition and comfort.

Exhortations to a discovery of sin, and true repentance toward

God. Isaiah lv: 6, 7, “Seek ye the Lord while He is near, &c.” Ezek. xviii: 33,“ Thinkest thou that I have pleasure in the death of the sinner, &c.”—0: 27,“ If the wicked forsake his unrighteousness which he hath done, &c.” Jer. iji: 7, 13, 22, “ Turn thou unto Me. Only acknowledge thine iniquity, &c." Malac. iii: 7,“ Turn unto Me, and I will, &c.Hos. xiv: 3, Joel ii : 12, 13, “ Turn unto Me with all your heart, with fasting, &c.” Is. i: 16,“ Wash you, make you clean, &c.” Jer. xxxi: 18,“ Turn Thou me, and I shall be turned, &c.”

Consolatory Passages. Matth. xi: 28, 29, “ Come unto me all ye that are weary, &c.” Rom. v: 8-10,“For God commendeth His love toward us, &c.” Rom. viii : 1, " There is therefore now no condemnation, &c.”—also v: 31-39, “What shall we say then? If

God be for us, &c.” Luke xxiii: 32, 39–43,“ And (here were also two others, malefactors, led with Him to be put to death. And one of the malefactors, which were hanged, railed, &c." Luke xviii: 13," And the publican stood afar off, &c.” Matth. ix: 2, “Be of good cheer, ihy sins are forgiven thee." 1 John i: 7, " The blood of Christ cleanseth from all sin.” 1 Tim. i: 15, " This a faithful saying, &c.” John vi: 39, 40,“ This is the will of the Father that hath sent me, that I should lose nothing, &c.” John x: 28, 29, “I give unto thein eternal life, and they shall never perish, &c.”

E.camples of great sinners who obtained mercy.' David, Manasseh, Mary Magdalene, the Thief on the cross, Peter, Paul, the Prodigal Son, &c., &c. In some cases also, the thirty second Psalm may be read; also Ps. 50, 51, 130, the prayer of Manasseh, &c.

Of the Burial of the Dead. In the burial of the dead all popish and superstitious ceremonies are to be avoided.

But it is nevertheless proper for us to commit our departed and deceased friends to the earth with respect and decency, and 10 connect therewith such services as may be profitable to the

living.

In the first place when the hour has arrired for removing the corpse to the place of interment, the church bell may be rung, but simply for the purpose of informing those who may desire to accompany it that the hour of assembling has arrived. And should the children of the school be present, the removal of the corpse may be atiended with singing.

After this, when the body has been brought to the church for burial, the minister shall read to the assembly, the scripture concerning the dead in Christ from 1 Thess. iv: 13 to the end of the chap.; or the narrative of the death and resurrection of Lazarus, John xi: 1-47; or passages of similar import; prefacing what he reads with an introduction to the following effect :

Beloved Friends, We have now committed to the grave, one who we comfortably believe and hope, was a true member of our Lord Jesus Christ. And that we may not leave this place without profitable instruction, we will select a portion of the word of God, and meditate upon its application to the solemn

men.

occasion on which we have been assembled. Let us however first of all supplicate God for His Spirit and grace, in the language of that prayer which our Saviour himself braih taught us:

Our Father who art in heaven, Soc. Funeral sermons shall Hereupon shall follow a short sermon avoid all extravagant or exhortation, in which all extravagant praises of the dec'd.

commendation of the departed shall be avoided, lest funeral sermons should fall into abuse.

Topics to be especially ? Funeral sermons or exhortations shall dwelt upon.

Saim especially at admonishing and exhorting those who are in attendance to such holiness of life as may issue in a happy and peaceful death. This will be the better secured, and be done inore profitably, if one or the other of the following topics is dwelt upon, viz: Of the death, burial, resurrection, and glorification of the body.

In reference to death the following points merit consideration :

1. Whence death proceeds, viz: from the fall and disobedience of our first parents; and why it has been inflicted upon

2. The natural effect and operation of death upon men, viz: by it we are deprived of all temporal comforts, made subject to bodily sickness and grief, and afflicted in spirit with inward troubles.

3. How great a blessing death hath been made through Jesus Christ, since all the sufferings of believers are now hereby transformed into eternal joys.

4. The necessary preparation for death. To this belongsFirst, a true firm faith, with which the grace of God in Christ is embraced. Secondly, True conversion to God, perseverance and growth in the same, since without this there can be no true faith.

Thirdly, That we deny ourselves, that is cast away all our evil lusts, submit entirely to the will of God, and allow nothing to be so dear to us, that we would not be ready cheerfully to leave it for His sake.

Fourthly, Seasonable and habitual meditations upon the grace and salvation furnished in the word of God, and upon our approaching departure from the world.

Fifthly, Earnest and constant supplication to God for the continual supply of His holy spirit, and a peaceful death.

Sixthly, How to comfort ourselves in view of our own death, and that of our friends, and dispel the fear of it from our hearts. Against the fear of eternal death we may suggest this comfort to believers, that Christ died for our sins, and arose again for our justification: Whence follows

« PreviousContinue »