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PASTORAL COUNSELS;

OR,

FIFTY SELECTIONS

OF

PASSAGES FROM HOLY SCRIPTURE,

WITH SHORT PRACTICAL COMMENTS,

AND PRAYERS

ADAPTED TO EACH PASSAGE, FOR MINISTRATION TO

THE SICK AND SUFFERING.

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PREFACE.

The following pages owe their existence, under the Great Disposer of all things, in the first instance, to a want felt by the Author, in the course of his own ministrations to the sick and suffering, of a hand-book, that, in cases of lingering illness, might enable him to impart some little variety to them on each successive visit. He felt anxious to turn to the best possible advantage a season that, with very many, is doubtless the great turning point in their lives—a season when the infinite realities of the eternal world are impressed with greater force and persistence upon the heart and the conscience, because, in those “ still hours, prospects commonly open out before the sufferer, that stretch away into immensity, beyond this little islet of human life.

The Author was gratified and thankful to find that his little project met with encouragement in a high and influential quarter, and he

prays that the great Head of the Church would graciously deign to own his work, and to bless it to the eternal good of very many precious souls.

It is a source of no trifling pleasure to himself to hope, that, circumscribed as is his own sphere of usefulness, he may be a means, in his Master's hands, of comforting many brothers and sisters, whom he trusts to meet in a happier world, “with the comfort wherewith he himself has been comforted of God.” And this hope has led him so to word his addresses to the sick and suffering, that, if possible, they may feel he is present with them in spirit, (1 Cor. v. 3) actuated by that kindly Christian sympathy towards them, which is expressed in his book. In this unobtrusive way he may affectionately co-operate with any dear brother, whose mission is the same blessed one with his own, and who may honour him by making use of this manual in his visitations to the sick, the afflicted, and the dying.

1

SHADFORTH, May, 1864.

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