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changed.” Changed, if we fall asleep in Jesus, into the likeness of His glorified body. Changed, so that we shall never know pain, and sorrow, and perplexity, and death more. Here below we are ever threatened by death, ever falling into sin ; there, God will shew His children the path of life-a path from which they shall never turn aside. Here, because we cannot always discern that God is with us, we are very often in doubt and trouble; there, in His presence, shall be fulness of joy. Here, as our lives flee away like shadows, so too they are ever darkened by crosses and trials; there, “at God's right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”
Prayer. ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who of old wert pleased that it should be written, “ The Lord's portion is His people, and Jacob the lot of His inheritance. He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; He led him about, He instructed him, He kept him as the apple of His eye,” we pray Thee at this time to make Thyself known to this Thy suffering servant. Let him not go heavily while the enemy oppresseth him, but give him “songs in the night-season of his sickness.” If his soul has hitherto been joyful in Thee, let him
feel now that Thou art his portion. Thou hast visited him for his good with this keen affliction ; be Thou his Maintainer therein. Let no acute pains put out of his remembrance the “goodly heritage” which he has by faith in Thee. Reveal Thy counsel to him according to Thy word—“The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him, and He will shew them His covenant." Visit his heart with instruction in the night-seasons, and so shall he bless Thee. Lest he should feel himself forgotten or forsaken, strengthen him so that he may set Thee always before him, and thus discern that Thou in Thy love and care for his soul dost afflict him. Through all changes reveal Thyself as present at his right hand; so shall he not be moved from sure trust and confidence in Thee. Though pain fill his frame, let his heart be glad in Thee : may “his tongue sing praise to Thee and not be silent." Let no fears of death disturb his tranquil rest in Thee, but show him that “if a man die he shall live again”; that “ Thou wilt call and he shall answer Thee”; that “ Thou wilt have regard to the work of Thine hands.” So let him dwell confidently in Thee “all his appointed time until his change come.” Speak comfortably to him, and say “ that his iniquity is forgiven, that his sin is pardoned.” Help him to realise Thy pardon ; and in the peace Thy pardon brings with it, to meditate on the joys of meeting Thee in heaven. Show him that as Thou didst not suffer Thine Holy OneThine only begotten Son--to see corruption, so Thou wilt raise him up, and not leave his soul in hell. If it please Thee, let Thy power be put forth to heal this sickness; but if not, show unto his soul the path of life, and receive him at last with all who love Thy Name, and call upon Thee in their great weakness, to the eternal pleasures, the full joy of Thy presence in light. These blessings we humbly and earnestly beseech Thee to grant in the name of Thy dear Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
SUPPLICATION UNDER CONVICTION OF SIN.
(FOR DANGEROUS SICKNESS.)
The time, above all others, when the accumulated sins of past years are most acutely felt, is come upon you. You cannot foresee the result of your present grievous sickness. Nothing is impossible with God. He has brought back the dead to life, thereby proving that “He is the Resurrection and the Life.” And He has also brought up from the very gates of the grave. It matters not how hopelessly your physician may look upon the present case of your poor body, if the power of God should be put forth to heal you. Presently we will kneel and entreat him to restore you, if it be for His glory and for your good. And before we do kneel, let me urge you to ask the Holy Spirit to pray within and for you: seek to give up your spirit entirely to prayer, for we cannot tell but that God purposes yet again to be gracious to you. But beware of being hopeful now of remaining long in this life. Since it has pleased the Almighty Disposer of all things that the longer continuance of your life on earth should be doubtful, it is high time to close
your eyes to the world, and to commune much with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Do then, I entreat you, let a thick cloud, as it were, hide this frail and fleeting state and all its shadowy joys from view. And let me try, with God's blessing, to help you a little as to the solemn questions, which I think
should be left alone to put to your own soul. The Psalm I have read is one very
David's broken and contrite heart gave utterance to it after the two foul sins of adultery and
suitable to your
murder. He was strong in the might of the Lord of Hosts before Goliath of Gath: but oh, how weak, how conscience-smitten, before Nathan ! this Psalm is very suitable to your case, because the Church puts it into the lips of her members in her solemn Commination-service, when we have just taken the first few steps into the dark, sad valley of Lent—a journey every Christian soul should devoutly take once in the year—in commemoration of the wilderness-agonies of Christ. Then the penitent sinner should recall and mourn over all the sins he can recollect, even from his earliest-remembered transgressions. And so should you do now. If you want to obtain peace with God, go very minutely,
, very deeply into the records of your past life. Do not take alone the sins that lie more immediately on the surface: do not take what the world would call little sins. Search the heart closely, for it will whisper "Peace, peace, when there is no peace," to you, if it can : treat it as an enemy that has very often listened to and been betrayed by the evil one. It is “deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.” How darkly grained with sin must our unrenewed natures be, when an eminent saint like St. Paul could say, "I know that in me, that is in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing !” Let then
your self-examination, after I have left, and before I see you again, if it be God's will, be very strict, very