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suffering affliction, and of patience. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy."
Yet, if sorrows are multiplied, and all the dispensations of God seem darker and darker, so that heart and flesh begin to fail; still put thy trust in God. Shut the outward eye to all the things of this world: open the eye of faith, to behold things unseen and eternal. Look far beyond the valley of the shadow of death. O fix thy affections on the kingdom of perfect joy, and peace, and love; where "thy sun shall no more go down; where the Lord shall be thy everlasting light; and the days of thy mourning shall be ended."
O thou Father of mercies, and God of all consolation! we are not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which thou hast shown unto thy servants. But, alas! how soon do we forget thy favours past, whenever new afflictions come upon us! How soon do we murmur against the Most High, and forget all his loving-kindnesses, as though they were utterly gone for evermore.
Lord, it is our infirmity and our sin, that we are so ready to sink into unbelief; even doubting Thy love! Pardon the sin of this ungrateful spirit; and cast it out, by the gracious influence of thy Holy Spirit. Show to us the things which are freely given unto us in Christ. Thou hast sealed to us the
covenant of pardon and peace, through His blood. Bestow on us also, for His sake, the spirit of adoption, whereby we may cry, Abba, Father! Shed abroad in our hearts thy love: fill us with all joy and peace in believing; and make us to abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.
And whensoever any new tribulation shall come upon us, teach us to cast all our burden upon thee. Look upon our affliction and our pain, and forgive us all our sins. Uphold us with thy free Spirit. Let patience have her perfect work; and do thou perfect that which concerneth us. Father, not
our will, but Thine, be done! And raise us at length to thy glorious seat above, where the redeemed of the Lord shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
We ask these great mercies through the prevailing Name of thy dear Son; to whom, with thyself, O Father, and the Holy Ghost, we would ascribe glory in the Church, throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
PRACTICAL AND DEVOTIONAL REFLECTIONS.
IN visiting, under ordinary circumstances, the dwellings of the Poor and Afflicted; and likewise in attending the chamber of the Sick and Dying, whether they be rich or poor; there is more liberty in addressing the conscience, and carrying the Truth home to the heart, than at other times, or in other situations. With this view, these full Selections from Holy Scripture have been made. Each one is followed by some leading remark, some friendly question, or devout ejaculation; designed to assist Visitors in their attempts suitably to impress the minds of the persons whom they may visit.
These Selections are arranged under six heads: and the reason of this will be obvious. For, in order to speak, under God's blessing, to good purpose, that, and that only, should be offered, which suits the real character of the party visited. How dangerous, for example, would it be to administer some of those animating consolations, contained in the sixth section, to persons who, perhaps, are closing a
life of sin and worldliness, without any correct ideas of their own real state before God! A discriminating mind is peculiarly needed, in those who would deal wisely with the afflicted and the dying: yet this should be accompanied with a tender and prudent spirit, such as may win affection, and not needlesly jar the feelings of the patient. A person, well-read in Scripture, taught by the Holy Spirit, and experimentally acquainted with the workings of his own heart and of divine grace, is the character fitted for visiting and counselling the afflicted. May the Ministers of Christ throughout our land be such! and may they be guided in selecting, for works of mercy, persons like-minded with themselves, having "the mind of Christ"!
The remarks, as will evidently appear, are suitable, variously, both for the healthy and the sick.
PERSONS APPARENTLY LIVING IN IGNORANCE
"Be sure your sin will find you out.”
Numbers xxxii. 23.
The sinner for a long time forgets his sins: but at last some witness brings him to light; or, some disease falls on him, and death comes near; or, his conscience is so burdened, that he cannot help confessing. God saw us from the first, and all is written