Page images



And when it remains that the Catechumen is to be baptized, let him learn what concerns the Renunciationof the Devil, and the joining himself to Chrift: For 'tis fit that he should firft abftain from things contrary, and then be admitted to the Myfteries; he must before-hand purify his heart from all Wickedness of Difpofition, from all Spot and Wrinkle, and then partake of the holy things: For as the fkilfulleft Hufbandman does

firft purge hisGround of the Thorns which are grown up therein, and does then fow his Wheat,fo ought you alfo to take away all Impiety from them, and then to fow the feeds of Piety in them, and vouchfafe them Baptism: For even our Lord did in this manner exhort us, faying, firft make Difciples of all Nations, and then he adds this, And Baptize them unto the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

Note, Thefe Heads of Catechetick Inftructions are more
largely explained in the Apoftolical Conftitutions, Lib.
VIII. whence the Catechumens may be more fully inftru&t-
ed in them.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Note, That Matrimony feems to be a thing of a civil Na-
ture, and not directly belonging to religious Worship. Yet
does the holy Bifhop Ignatius affure us, That it becomes
Epift. ad Polycarp. thofe that Marry, whether Men or Wo-
§. 5.
men, to be joined together with the Appro-
bation of the Bishop; that fo their Marriage may be
· according to the Lord; and not out of Luft. Which
direction therefore it will be fit for every Chriftian to fol-
low. Nor will the ordinary Form be wholly improper, when
corrected, while that matter is intrufted with the Clergy,
as it is at prefent.

The Order for the Vifitation of the SICK.
When any Perfon is fick notice shall be given thereof to the
Bishop or fome one of the Prefbyters; who coming into the
fick Perfons houfe shall say,

Peace be to this houfe, and

to all that dwell in it. When he cometh into the fick man's prefence, he shall fay, kneeling down,

Emember not, Lord, our iniquities, nor the iniquities of our fore-fathers. Spare us, good Lord, fpare L 2


[merged small][ocr errors]

thy people, whom thou haft redeemedwith thy Son's most precious blood, and be not angry with us for ever. Anfw. Spare us, good Lord. Here may the Lord's Prayer be used; and after it thefe Collects.

Lord, look down from heaven, behold, vifit and relieve this thy fervant. Look upon him with the eyes of thy mercy, give him comfort and fure confidence in thee, defend him from the danger of the enemy, and keep him in perpetual peace and fafety, through Jefus Christ our Lord. Amen.

HEar us, Almighty and

moft merciful God and Saviour; extend thy accuftomed goodness to this thy fervant, who is grieved with fickness. Sanctify, we beseech thee, this thy fatherly correction to him; that the sense of his weakness may add ftrength to bis faith, and serioufnefs to his repentance. That if it shall be thy good pleasure to restore him to his former health(which we earneftly beg of thy divine majefty)he may lead the refidue of his life in thy fear, and to thy glory or else give him grace fo to take thy vifitation, that after this painful life ended, he may dwell with thee in life everlasting; thro' Jefus Chrift our Lord. Amen. A Lmightyeverlafting God

maker of mankind, who

doft correct those whom thou doft love, and chastise every one whom thou doft receive; We beseech thee to have mercy upon this thy fervant vifited with thine hand, and to grant that he may take his fickness patiently, and recover his bodily health(if it be thy gracious will;) and that whenfoever his foul fhall depart from the body, it may be without fpot prefented unto thee, through Jefus Chrift our Lord. Amen.

Note, One or more of these Collects may be used in the daily fervice, before the Prayer for all States and Conditions of Men, when any that are fick defire to be prayed for.

Then shall the Bishop or a Presbyter exhort the fick perfon after this form, or other like.

Early beloved, know

this, that Almighty God is the Lord of life and death, and of all things to them pertaining, as youth, ftrength, health, age, weaknefs, and fickness. Wherefore whatsoever your fickness is, know you certainly, that it is God's vifitation. And for what caufe foever this ficknefs is fent unto you, whether it be to try your patience for the example of others, and that your faith may be found in the day of the Lord, laud


[ocr errors]

།། able, glorious and honoura ble, to the increase of glory and endless felicity; or elfe it be fent unto you to correct and amend in you whatsoe ver doth offend the eyes of your heavenly Father; know you certainly, that if you truly repent you of your fins, and bear your fickness patiently, trufting in God's mercy, for his dear Son Jefus Chrift's fake, and render unto him humble thanks for his fatherly vifitation, fubmitting your felf wholly unto his will, it fhall turn to your profit, and help you forward in the right way that leadeth unto everlafting life.

TAKE therefore in good part the chaftifement of the Lord for (as the Apostle faith in the twelfth Chapter to the Hebrews) whom the Lord loveth he chaftneth,and scourgeth every Son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chaftning, God dealeth with you as with fons; for what fon is he whom the father chaftneth not? But if ye be without chaftisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye baftards and not fons. Furthermore, we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us,and we gave them reverence: fhall we not much rather be in fubjection unto the Father of fpirits, and live? for they

verily for a few days chaftned us after their own pleafure, but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. These words, good brother, arewriten in holy Scripture for our comfort and inftruction, that we fhould patiently, and with thanksgiving bear our heavenly Father's correction, whenfoever by any manner of adverfity it fhall please his gracious goodness to vifit us. And there fhould be no greater comfort to chriftian perfons then to be made like unto Chrift, by fuffering patiently adverfities, troubles, and fickneffes. For he himself went not up to joy, but firft he suffered pain; he entred not into his glory before he was crucified. So truly our way to eternal joy is to fuffer here with Chrift; and our door to enter into eternal life is gladly to die with Chrift; that we may rife again from death, and dwell with him in everlasting life. Now therefore taking your fickness, which is thus profitable for you, patiently I exhort you in the name of God, to remember the profeffion which you made unto God in your Baptifm. And forafmuch as after this life. there is an account to be given unto the righteous Judge, by whom all must be judged without refpect of perfons;


I require you to examine your felf and your eftate, both toward God and Man; fo that accufing and condemning yourself for your own faults, you may find mercy at our heavenly Father's hand for Chrift's fake, and not be accufed and condemned in that fearful judg


Then may the Bishop or a Prefbyter examine whether he repent him truly of his fins, and be in charity with all the world; exhorting him to forgive from the bottom of his heart, all perfons that have offended him, and if he bath offended any other, to ask them forgiveness; and where he hath done injury or wrong to any man, that he make amends to the uttermoft of his power. And if he hath not before difpofed of his Goods, let him then be admonifhed to make his Will, and to declare his Debts, what he oweth, and what is owing unto him, for the better difcharging of his confcience, and the quietness of his Executors. But men Should often be put in remem brance to take order for the fettling of their temporal eftates, whilft they are in bealth.

The Bishop or Priest should not omit earnestly to move fuch fick Perfons as are of ability, to be liberal to the poor.

[ocr errors]

And then the Bishop or aPref byter fhall fay the Collect following.

Let us pray. Moft merciful God, who according to the multitude of thy mercies doft so put away the fins of those who truly repent, that thou remembreft them no more; Open thine eye of mercy upon this thy fervant, who most earneftly defireth pardon and forgivenefs. Re-· new in him (moft loving Father) whatsoever hath been decayed by the fraud and malice of the devil, or by his own carnal will and frailnefs; increase his contrition and repentance, affwage his pains as fhall feem to thee most expedient for him. And impute not unto him his former fins; but ftrengthen him with thy bleffed Spirit; and when thou art pleased to take him hence, take him unto thy favour, thro' the merits of thy most dearly beloved Son Jefus Christ our Lord. 4men.

Then this Pfalm may be re-
Pfalm 71.

IN thee, O Lord, have 1

put my truft, let me never be put to confufion: but rid me, and deliver me in thy righteoufnefs; incline thine ear unto me, and save me.


I will go forth in the ftrength of the Lord God: and will make mention of thy righteoufnefs only.

Be thou my ftrong hold, whereunto I may alway refort thou haft promised to help me, for thou art my houfe of defence, and my caftle.

For thou, O Lord God, art the thing that I long for: thou art my hope, even from my youth.

Thro' thee have I been holden up ever fince I was born: Thou art he that took me out of my mother's womb; my praise fhall alway be of thee.

I am under thy fevere hand of correction: but my fure truft is in thee.

O let my mouth be filled with thy praise: that I may fing of thy glory and honour all the day long.

[ocr errors]

Caft me not away in the time of fickness: forfake me not when my ftrength faileth me.

Go not far from me, O God: my God, hafte thee to help me.

Let thofe wicked Spirits be confounded and perish, that are against my foul: let them be covered with fhame and dishonour, that feek to do me evil.

As for me, I will patiently abide alway: and will praise thee more and more.

My mouth fhall daily fpeak of thy righteoufnefs and falvation: for I know no end thereof.

Thou, OGod, haft taught me from my youth up until now: therefore will I tell of thy wondrous works.

Forfake me not, O God, in mine elder age, or when I am grey headed: until I have fhewed thy ftrength unto this generation, and thy power to them that are yet for to come.

O fpare me a little, that I may recover my ftrength, before I go hence and be no more feen!

Adding this. Great Creator and Governor of the world, who by thy Son's Crofs and precious Blood haft redeemed us, fave us, and help us, we humbly befeech thee, ◇ Lord.

Then fhall the Bishop or a Prefbyter fay to the fick Perfon. THEAlmighty Lord, who

is a most strong tower to all them that put their truft in him, to whom all things in heaven, on earth, and under the earth do bow and obey, be now and evermore thy defence, and make thee know and feel, that there is none other Name under heaven given to man, in whom and thro' whom thou mayft receive health


« PreviousContinue »