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(title page) Balm for the Weary and the Wounded
Rev. C. T. Quintard, Chaplain 1st Tenn. Reg't, C. S. A.
Evans & Cogswell, Printers,
Call number 4234 (Rare Book Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
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"O Father! not my will, but Thine be done,"
So spake the Son.
Be this our charm, mellowing earth's ruder noise
Of griefs and joys;
That we may cling for ever to Thy breast
In perfect rest!
The following work has been arranged for such of our soldiers as have, by reason of wounds or disease, been compelled to exchange active service in the field for the harder and more wearying service in the hospital, or on the bed of sickness and pain.
If it be true that--
"They also serve, who only stand and wait,"
surely they serve who suffer and endure. Sickness is as truly a "state of life into which it pleases God to call us" as is health, and it is to be used for the same end--His glory, and our own good. Suffering, endurance, whether of pain or trials, is as much a vocation as is the full exercise of the powers of mind and body in the active duties of life. It is what God calls us to--it is His work, and He will bless it. It may be the work of lying still, of not stirring hand or foot, of scarcely speaking, scarcely showing life. Still it is His work.
Some must suffer, and some must serve; but each one is necessary to the other; "the whole body is fitly framed together by that which every joint supplieth."
Some learn more quickly in the school of sickness and sorrow than others, because they take great pains to learn, and are never satisfied with present progress; they are ever seeking to know more, to practice more, to rise higher. Our soldiers know very well how to labor and do for their country, and they can certainly learn to wait and to endure. Let them resolve to bear their trials, of every sort, with manly fortitude, and employ their periods of retirement and suffering in laying, broad and deep, the foundations of a genuine Christian character, and they will never lack the most efficient means of promoting our national independence.
This little manual is inscribed to the memory of Captain THOMAS EDWARD KING, of Roswell, Georgia, who fell at the Battle of Chickamauga, on Saturday, the 19th day of September, A.D. 1863.
His life was rendered illustrious by an exhibition of all those virtues which adorn the patriot and the Christian.
He was brave without temerity, generous without prodigality, noble without pride, and virtuous without severity.
Wounded at the Battle of Manassas, on the 21st of July, 1861, he was unable to resume the command of his company; but when his native state was threatened he felt that he must "join the struggle to drive the invader from his altar and his home." He accepted a position on the staff of the
gallant General Preston Smith, and fell with him, at the close of the day, cheerfully offering up his life for his country's cause. The sanctity of home-life may not be invaded, or we should find there such a display of love, generosity, and large-heartedness as would at once give charm, and dignity, and grace to all its relations. But, in every position in which he was placed or called upon to act, he exhibited, from the dawn of life to its close, the same high qualities--
"The childhood shows the man,
As morning shows the day."
He was a son who never drew a father's tear. He was a patriot who consecrated all the energies of soul and body to his country, and laid down life itself for its defense.
He was a Christian with a heart full of sympathy for every sorrow, and who recognized the connection of our highest hopes in heaven with our tenderest charities in earthly life. He had visions of God through purity of heart, and the life of God upon earth was the antechamber of that eternity
of God upon which he has entered. My heart went with him to the battle-field, and, ever and anon, as the deathful volleys echoed on my ear, I prayed that he might be spared. It was not to be; and, when he fell, I had been more than man had I not felt my heartstrings tear.
The perishable heart, in its passionate yearning for the perishable, must bleed; and mine bled as I bore his body from the field of carnage and death. But the immortal, redeemed, regenerated, and renewed is healed and comforted in its love of the Immortal. The cross of Christ to which it clings lifts it above the world. It can say: "The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away." And it can say, also: "BLESSED BE THE NAME OF THE LORD."
"His bosom, with one death-shot riven,
The warrior lay low;
His face was turned unto the heaven,
His feet unto the foe.
"As he had fallen upon the plain,
Inviolate he lay;
No ruffian spoiler's hand profane,
Had touched that noble clay.
"And precious things he still retained,
Which, by one distant hearth,
Loved tokens of the loved, had gained
A worth beyond all worth.
"I treasured these for them who yet
Knew not their mighty woe;
I softly sealed his eyes, and set
One kiss upon his brow."--Trench.
In Christ's eternal kingdom the distinction will be, who is the most like Him who has done his work most faithfully. . . . . It is a comfort to reflect that our Heavenly Father knows all the circumstances of our trial, and appreciates every effort and every desire for sanctification and improvement. . . . . . . . . . We have nothing to do with His arrangements; He sets us our work; we have to do it; step by step, day by day, be it little or much, it matters not, so that we are but faithful; it will all fit, in some wonderful way, into His great plan.--Brampton Rectory.
The skirmish may be sharp, but it can not last long. The cloud, while it drops, is passing over thy head; then comes fair weather, and an eternal sunshine of glory.Gurnall's Christian Armor.
. . . . . Casting all your care upon Him, for He careth for you. . . . .
What a calm, what a peace in the midst
of a storm, does this gracious habit of godly dependence give to a man! Suppose, tomorrow, that you were expecting something very important to take place, and a heavy burden of care is the natural consequence of so grave an expectation. You are calm and composed; your mind is at peace. You have done your best to meet the emergency, and, as a Christian, as a man of God, you cast all your care upon Him, knowing assuredly that He careth for you. And there is really a to-morrow of importance to every one of us. We shall have to unloose the bands of mortality. We shall have to take off our outer garments, and, bidding good--night to all about our strange and narrow bed, we shall have to lie down for the last time on earth, and let death put out our light. Oh! what a happy thing it will be for Faith, the handmaid of the Lord, to sound in our ear for the last time: "Casting all your care upon Him," and for us to reply: "Yes! yes! He careth for us!" and then to fall asleep.--Sermon by Rev. J. Hullett.
My lifted eye, without a tear,
The gathering storm shall see;
My trembling heart shall own no fear
While it can trust in Thee. --Anon.
There is an unseen battle-field
In every human breast,
Where two opposing forces meet,
And where they seldom rest.
That field is veiled from mortal sight;
'T is only seen by One
Who knows alone where victory lies,
When each day's fight is done.
One army clusters strong and fierce,
Their chief of demon form:
His brow is like the thunder-cloud,
His voice, the bursting storm.
His Captains--Pride, and Lust, and Hate--
Whose troops watch night and day,
Swift to detect the weakest point,
And thirsting for the prey.
Contending with this mighty force,
Is but a little band;
Yet there, with an unquailing front,
Those warriors firmly stand!
Their leader is God-like form,
Of countenance serene;
And glowing on His loving breast,
A naked cross is seen.
His Captains--Faith, and Hope, and Love--
Point to that wondrous sign;
And gazing on it, all receive
Strength from a source Divine.
They feel it speaks a glorious truth,
A truth as great as sure--
That to be victors they must learn
To love, confide, endure.
That faith sublime, in wildest strife,
Imparts a holy calm;
For every deadly blow a shield,
For every wound a balm.
And when they win the battlefield,
Past toil is quite forgot;
That plain were carnage once had reigned,
Becomes a hallowed spot:
A spot where flowers of joy and peace
Spring from the fertile sod,
And breathe the perfume of their praise
On every breeze--to God.--Anon.
Whatever be the intensity of sorrow that bows and presses the heart of man, remember that, for every grief you suffer, the meek and Holy One suffered a thousand--that there is not in the spirit a dungeon or recess of anguish, however untrodden or lonely, in which the Lord of glory was not a mourning inhabitant before you. Does the victim know the loss of earthly comforts? Christ knew not where to lay his head. Does he regret the fall from wealth or power? Let him remember who it was that emptied himself of glory which he had before the world was, and left the throne of the universe for the agonies of Calvary. Does he deplore the loss of friends? Christ was friendless in his most trying hour. Does he bewail the ingratitude of friends? Christ was betrayed by his own familiar one. Finally, does he fear the coming of death--the torture of the separation? What death can we anticipate which shall approach the horror of the last days of his Redeemer? Thus, wherever we turn, whatever be our shade of grief, we are but feeble copyists of
the great sufferer, who, in His own person, exhausted every variety of human sorrow.Archer Butler.
Christ leads me through no darker rooms
Than He went through before;
He that unto Christ's kingdom comes,
Must enter by His door.
Come, Lord, when grace has made me meet
Thy blessed face to see;
For if Thy work on earth be sweet,
What will Thy glory be?--Baxter.
My daughter, do not imagine that the work of your sanctification will be an easy one. Cherry-trees bear fruit soon after they are planted, but that fruit is small and perishable: while the palm, the prince of trees, requires a hundred years before it is mature enough to bring forth dates. A lukewarm degree of piety may be acquired in a year; but the perfection to which we aspire, oh, my dear daughter, must be the
growth of long and weary years.
From strength to strength go on,
Wrestle, and fight, and pray;
Tread all the powers of darkness down,
And win the well-fought day.--Hymn.
Strive to realize the abiding presence of Christ with all his children, and personally with yourselves. When you rise in the morning, rise to His companionship. In the little duties of the day imagine Him by your side, and act as with His eye upon you. See in your daily mercies an evidence of His love, and for those mercies thank and praise Him with your lips and your lives. As He loves you, so, from his example, learn to love and labor for those around you. You, as Christians, are to do Christ's work in the sphere in which He as placed you. You are to show, in your character and conduct, the fruits of His religion--gentleness, goodness, meekness, temperance, faith. These
are the virtues which, exemplified in you, will draw others to walk in the path that you are treading; and with the desire to please Him, you will find sufficient opportunities. To the poor, you may be as ministers of mercy; to your younger sisters, as winning guides; to your companions and friends, as persuasive illustrations of the beauty of holiness. Not that you will attain to this at once. Temptations and discouragements will come to you as to every one, but prayer and perseverance are remedies for all. The straight and narrow way is no flowery path. Flowers do not blossom there more beautiful and fragrant than any which the world can offer. But they grow in the clefts of the rocks which we climb, and in the depths of the valleys where we must descend. Yet, as we travel on that road, it becomes more easy and more peaceful. Heaven's sunshine streams over it, and heaven's glory is beyond. And, when the goal at last is reached, we shall regret no labor, shall grieve over no sacrifice that has been made for the sake of Christ, and that has gained
for us His welcome: "Well done, good and faithful servant."--The Sisters Clare preparing for Confirmation.
I suppose the great temptation to which we are, more or less, exposed, is that of losing sight of God in the ordinary actions of the day. It is hard to feel that every action of every day is capable of being so done as to advance or hinder our salvation, and yet nothing surely can be more evident. St. Paul says that, whether we eat or drink, or whatever we do, we are to do all to the glory of God, and in His name. This, no doubt, is a strict rule, and yet it is also one full of consolation--for it shows us how entirely the life of true religion is within the reach and power of every one of us. If we really traced every blessing we received to God, and at the same time referred all our trials and sorrows to Him also, ever looking upon him as the one great Cause of all that befalls us, and regarding man as his instrument
only, how much of sin, ingratitude, and folly should we escape.--The Life of Faith.
When I can trust my all with God,
In trial's fearful hour,
Bow, all resign'd, beneath his rod,
And bless his sparing power;
A joy springs up amid distress,
A fountain in the wilderness.
O, to be brought to Jesus' feet,
Through sorrows fix me there,
Is still a privilege; and sweet
The energies of prayer,
Though sighs and tears its language be,
If Christ be nigh and smile on me.
O, blessed be the hand that gave,
Still blessed when it takes;
Blessed be He who smites to save,
Who heals the heart He breaks;
Perfect and true are all His ways,
Whom heaven adores and earth obeys.
The work of our sanctification consists simply in receiving, from one moment to
another, all the troubles and duties of our state in life as veils under which God hides himself, and gives himself to us. Every moment brings some duty to be faithfully performed, and this is enough for our perfection. The moment which brings a duty to be performed, or a trouble to be borne, brings also a message declaring to us the will of God.--The Life of Faith.
The good Christian is not one who has no inclination to sin (for we have all the seed of sin in us); but who, being sensible of such inclinations, denieth them continually, and suffers them not to grow into evil actions.
Every day deny yourself some satisfaction; your eyes, objects of mere curiosity; your tongue, every thing that may feed vanity or vent enmity; the palate, dainties; the ears, flattery, and whatever corrupts the heart; the body, ease and luxury; bearing all the inconveniences of life for the love of God--cold, hunger, restless
nights, ill health, unwelcome news, the faults of servants, contempt, ingratitude of friends, malice of enemies, calumnies, our own failings, lowness of spirits, the struggle in overcoming our corruptions--bearing all these with patience and resignation the will of God. Do all this as unto God, with the greatest privacy.
All ways are indifferent to one who has heaven in his eye, as a traveller does not choose the pleasantest but the shortest and safest way to his journey's end; and that is the way of the Cross which Jesus Christ made choice of, and sanctified it to His followers.
God does not require it of us that we should not feel any uneasiness under the Cross, but that we should strive to overcome it by His grace.--Bishop Wilson.
Each cross hath its inscription.--Proverb.
Who loves the cross, and Him who on it died,
In every cloud sees Jesus by his side. The Divine Master.
Take thou thy cross, my son; nor mayest thou choose;
The cross I give is best--do not refuse. The Divine Master.
I weep, but do not yield; I mourn, yet still rebel;
My inmost soul seems steel'd, cold, and immovable.
The wound is sharp and deep; my spirit bleeds within;
And yet I lie asleep, and still I sin, I sin.
My bruised soul complains of stripes without, within;
I feel those piercing pains--yet still I sin, I sin.
O'er me the low cloud hangs its weight of shade and fear;
Unmoved I pass along, and still my sin is here.
Yon massive mountain peak the lightening rends at will;
The rock can melt or break--I am unbroken still.
My sky was once noon-bright, my day was calm the while;
I loved the pleasant light, the sunshine's happy smile.
I said, my God, O, sure this love will kindle mine;
Let but this calm endure, then all my heart is thine.
Alas! I knew it not! the summer flung its gold
Of sunshine o'er my lot, and yet my heart was cold.
Trust me with prosperous days, I said, O spare the rod;
Thee and Thy love I'll praise, my gracious, patient God.
Must I be smitten, Lord? Are gentler measures vain?
Must I be smitten, Lord? Can nothing save but pain?
Thou trustedst me awhile; alas! I was deceived;
I revelled in the smile, yet to the dust I cleaved.
Then the fierce tempest broke--I knew from whom came;
I read in that sharp stroke a Father's hand and name.
And yet I did Thee wrong; dark thoughts of Thee came in--
A forward, selfish throng--and I allowed the sin!
I did Thee wrong, my God; I wronged Thy truth and love;
I fretted at the rod--against Thy power I strove.
I said, my God, at length, this stormy heart remove;
Deny all other strength, but give me strength to love.
Come nearer, nearer still; let not Thy light depart;
Bend, break this stubborn will, dissolve this iron heart.
Less wayward let me be, more pliable and mild;
In glad simplicity more like a trustful child.
Less, less of self each day, and more, my God, of Thee;
O keep me in the way, however rough it be.
Less of the flesh each day, less of the world and sin;
More of Thy love, I pray; more of Thyself within.
Riper and riper now, each hour, let me become;
Less fit for scenes below--more fit for such a home.
More moulded to Thy will, Lord, let Thy servant be;
Higher and higher still, liker and liker Thee.
Leave naught that is unmeet; of all that is mine own
Strip me--and so complete my training of the throne.
O adorable Saviour! Thou who wast once Thyself a pilgrim--the lonely, weary, homeless, afflicted One--who hadst often no arm to lean upon, and no voice to cheer
Thee--an outcast wanderer and sojourner in Thine own creation--I rejoice to think that Thou hast trodden all this wilderness-world before me--that Thou knowest its dreariest paths. I take comfort in the assurance that there is, at the right hand of the Majesty on high, a fellow-sufferer who has drunk of every "brook by the way"--shed every tear of earthly sorrow-- heaved every sigh of earthly suffering--and who, being himself the "tried and tempted One," is able and willing to succor every pilgrim who is tried and tempted, too.--The Morning Watches.
The night is dark--behold the shade was deeper
In the still garden of Gethsemane,
When that calm voice awoke the weary sleeper,
"Couldst thou now watch one hour alone with me?"
O thou so weary of thy self-denials,
And so impatient of thy little cross,
Is it so hard to bear thy daily trials,
To count all earthly things a gainful loss?
What if thou always suffer'st tribulation,
What if thy Christian warfare never cease?
The gaining of the quiet habitation
Shall gather thee to everlasting peace.
Here are we all to suffer, walking lonely
The path that Jesus once Himself hath gone
Watch thou this hour in trustful patience only--
This one dark hour before the eternal dawn.
And He will come in His own time from heaven,
To set His earnest--hearted children free;
Watch only through this dark and painful even,
And the bright morning yet will break for thee.
Nearer, my God, to Thee!
Nearer to Thee!
E'en though it be a cross
That raiseth me;
Still all my song shall be,
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee.
How long art thou, Eternity!
Who thinks on thee, to God will say,
Here strike, here wound, here judge, here slay,
Here let stern justice have her way--
Spare only in that endless day!
Full of trembling expectation,
Feeling much, and dreading more,
Mighty Lord of my salvation,
I Thy timely aid implore;
By thy suffering, O be near me,
All my suffering to sustain;
By Thy sorer griefs to cheer me,
By Thy more than mortal pain.
Call to mind that unknown anguish,
In the days of flesh below;
When Thy troubled soul did languish,
Under a whole world of woe.
When Thou didst our curse inherit,
Groan beneath our guilty load,
Burden'd with a wounded spirit,
Bruised beneath the hand of God.
By Thy dread, unknown temptation,
In that dark, satanic hour;
By Thy last, mysterious passion,
Screen me from the tempter's power;
By Thy fainting in the garden,
By Thy bloody sweat, I pray,
Write upon my heart Thy pardon,
Take my sins and fears away.
By the travail of Thy spirit,
By Thine outcry on the tree,
By Thine agonizing merit,
In my pangs remember me!
By Thy precious death assuring,
My poor dying soul befriend,
And with patience, all enduring,
Make me faithful to the end.
Lieutenant-Colonel Reuben Fletcher Harvey
(2d Arkansas regiment) was among the
first to welcome me on my late mission to
the army, and did more than any other to
encourage the work which I had in hand.
He could find enough, and more than enough,
to exhaust his whole thought and attention
in the duties of his station, and yet so
circumspect was his walk, so consistent his
example, so reverent his interest in the worship
of God, and so earnest his efforts to
promote the growth of virtue and holiness
in all about him, that he seemed to be
wholly occupied in "redeeming the time."
At his own urgent request, and as a preparation
for the terrible battle which was then
he was admitted to the holy communion on the first Sunday in September. During the fearful fight which followed he was conspicuous for his proud and gallant carriage, freely exposing himself to the fiercest rage of the battle; but he moved
unharmed through all, and seemed preserved for still further work on earth. God, however, needed him in a higher ministry; and a casual illness, aggravated and rendered fatal by his lofty, self-forgetful sense of duty, was the chosen instrument of his removal to a higher and better world.
The next, Jacob Kirby Brown, 5th Georgia regiment, was one of ourselves--a child of the Church by birth and baptism. Amid the genial influences of home-life his better feelings were encouraged and his principles matured, and in the rite of confirmation he cheerfully owned his allegiance to the cause of Christ. His mild and amiable temper, his correct deportment, and his generous patriotism, all implied that he had caught the very spirit of the Church, and was becoming skilled in the rare accomplishment of wisely "redeeming the time." To such an one the place and mode of his promotion to an higher life could matter little; but God vouchsafed him what men call a glorious and honored departure. While nobly fighting to save from sacrilege and invasion
the altar where he was wont to worship, and the home in which he was surrounded with so much purity and love, he fell unwarned, and yielded up his spirit without a struggle and without a pang.
The last, Lieutenant James Henry Foster*
*Yancey's battalion sharp-shooters.
, likewise a youth, was known and loved by many among you. His history, after his birth, begins where every child's history should begin, by the record of his baptism upon the register of his parish church. At a time when most young men think only of things fleeting and temporal, and take their tone from surrounding objects, he began to "redeem the time" by openly ratifying his baptismal vows, and accepting the place and portion of a child at his "Father's festal board." Upon the first approach of war he determined to exchange the peaceful surroundings of student-life for the din, and bustle, and danger of the tented field. It would postpone, if not prevent, the set settled purpose of his heart; it would separate him from a dear and delightful home; but, having
only left for the Christian soldier meekly to bow his head upon his breast, speak a calm farewell to those about him, and send a message, full of tenderness and pious counsel, to many a valued absent friend. This done, he quietly passed away, and entered the dark river wearing the serene and placid brow of a sleeping child. He has prudently "redeemed the time," exchanging the evil of its days for the happy years of eternity. He has crossed the threshold of a divine and heavenly life. He awaits in Paradise the final welcome: "Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord."
In the face of such bright examples as these, and with our present access to all the means of grace and helps to holiness dispensed in the Church of Christ, let no one here complain, however evil be the days now passing, that he lacks ability to "walk circumspectly, redeeming the time."Sermon-- Rev. W. H. Clarke.
Listen! it is no dream; the Apostle's trump
Gives earnest of th' Archangel's; calmly now
Our hearts yet beating high
To that victorious lay.
Most like a warrior's to the mournful dirge
Of a true comrade, in the grave we trust
Our treasure for a while;
And if a tear steal down,
If human anguish o'er the shaded brow
Pass shuddering, when the handful of pure earth
Touches the coffin lid;
If, at our brother's name,
Once and again the thought, "for ever gone,"
Come o'er us like a cloud; yet, gentle spright,
Thou turnest not away,
Thou knowest us calm at heart.
One look, and we have seen our last of thee,
Till we, too, sleep, and our long sleep be o'er;
O cleanse us, ere we view
That countenance pure again.
Thou, who canst change our heart, and raise the dead,
As Thou art by to soothe our parting hour,
Be ready when we meet,
With Thy dear pardoning words. Lyra Apostolica.
A great sorrow recasts a soul; it either draws it nearer to the friend whose intimacy must elevate it, or drives it into the far cold space of rebellion and despair.Life Work.
O Thou who know'st our secret fame,
And every inmost grief,
In Thee I leave that long-lov'd name,
And find in Thee relief. Thoughts in Past Years.
Servant of God, well done;
Go forth from earth's employ;
The battle fought, the victory won,
Enter thy Master's joy.
The voice at midnight came,
He started up to hear;
A mortal arrow pierced his frame,
He fell--but felt no fear.
His sword was in his hand,
Still warm with recent fight,
Ready that moment, at command,
Through rock and steel to smite.
Oft with its fiery force
His arm had quelled the foe,
And laid, resistless, in his course,
The alien armies low.
Bent on such glorious toils,
The world to him was loss;
Yet all his trophies, all his spoils,
He hung upon the cross.
At midnight came the cry,
"To meet thy God prepare!"
He woke, and caught his Captain's eye;
Then strong in faith and prayer,
His spirit, with a bound,
Left its encumbering clay;
His tent, at sunrise, on the ground
A darkened ruin lay.
The pains of death are past,
Labor and sorrow cease;
And life's rough warfare closed at last,
His soul is formed in peace.
Soldier of Christ, well done!
Praise be thy new employ;
And while eternal ages run,
Rest in thy Saviour's joy.--Montgomery.
Would you know where I am? I am at home in my Father's house, in the mansion
prepared for me there. I am where I would be, where I have long and often desired to be; no longer on a stormy sea, but in a safe and quiet harbor. My working time is done, I am resting; my sowing time is done, I am reaping; my joy is as the joy of harvest. Would you know how it is with me? I am perfect in holiness; grace is swallowed up in glory; the top-stone of the building is brought forth. Would you know what I am doing? I see God; I see him as he is; not as through a glass darkly, but face to face; and the sight is transforming, it makes me like Him. I am in the sweet employment of my blessed Redeemer, my head husband, whom my soul loved, and for whose sake I was willing to part with all. I am here bathing myself at the springhead of heavenly pleasures and joys unutterable; and, therefore, weep not for me. I am here keeping a perpetual Sabbath; what that is, judge by your short Sabbath. I am here singing hallelujahs incessantly to Him who sits upon the throne, and rest not day or night from praising Him. Would you
know what company I have? Blessed company-- better than the best on earth; here are holy angels, and the spirits of just men made perfect. I am set down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of God; with blessed Paul, and Peter, and James, and John, and all the saints; and here I meet with many old acquaintances that I fasted and prayed with, who got before me hither. And, lastly, would you consider how long this is to continue? It is a garland that never withers; a crown of glory that fades not away; after millions of millions of ages, it will be as fresh as it is now; and, therefore, weep not for me.--Matthew Henry.
'T is good that we should walk alone,
That we may so the readier own
The surer strength, our only stay
Along that shadowy way,
Which each alone must tread;
And o'er our path while sober even
Brings down the skies above our head,
May build the nobler hope that we may meet in heaven. Thoughts in Past Years.
Dear words! still let me read you o'er,
And on each heavenly accent pore;
"Come unto me," ye grief-opprest'!
Dear words, on you I rest;
Henceforth, I bow unto thy chastening rod,
And turn to thy dread cross, my Saviour and my God. Thoughts in Past Years.
He is as his country's friend Who cleanses his own heart from secret ill.
St. Luke xv, 17-24.--Let us observe the several degrees of a sinner's conversion and penitence. The first is, that he knows his misery and the corruption of his own heart; the second is, that he resolves to forsake sin and the occasion thereof. A man can not forsake them both too soon. The third degree is, when a sinner turns toward God, looks upon him as a father, entertains a desire to return to him, takes a resolution of doing it, and is convinced that he must not delay it. The fourth is, his making a confession of his sin, and beginning that confession by a name of love, "my Father;" because the love of God is the foundation of all true repentance. The chief motive to the hatred of sin is because it is contrary to the goodness of God, and because He, who is the best of all fathers, is offended thereby. The fifth is, his humbling himself as being altogether unworthy of the grace and merry of God. It is love, and the spirit of adoption, which gives us a right to call God our Father. The acknowledgement of our own unworthiness is an acceptance of the humiliation
which is due to the sinner. God pours into the heart of true penitents so much comfort and delight as inspires them with a holy confidence of the pardon of their sins and reconciliation.
In the next place, the sinner openly owns his sin, and bears the shame of his ingratitude. The more a penitent humbles himself, the higher does God raise him, and heap upon him greater benefits. To the grace of reconciliation, God adds abundance of other graces, with which He covers the nakedness of a converted sinner, clothing him with Jesus Christ, His righteousness, His merits, His virtues. He seals this new covenant with a lively impression of His Spirit, which is the seal of adoption, a pledge of the inheritance in heaven, and an earnest of the eternal promises. He gives him such graces and assistances as enable him to walk in the way of His commandments, and in the practice of good works. He must not live either to the world, or to sin, which gave him death, or to himself; but he must live to Him who was made man on
purpose to seek him, and who died to raise him to life. Let his life, therefore, be one continued act of thanksgiving.--Quesnel.
"I am not good enough; I feel so unworthy." Remember that a sense of unworthiness is the first thing that makes us worthy in the sight of God. "The publican standing afar off, would not so much as lift up his eyes to heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me, a sinner." Think over the story of the prodigal son. When he "came to himself," his only plea was his unworthiness; for he said, "I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants."
In my hand no price I bring,
Simply to Thy cross I cling.
Him that cometh unto me I will in nowise cast out.
Just as I am--without one plea,
But that thy blood was shed for me,
And that thou bid'st me come to thee,
O Lamb of God, I come.
Just as I am--and waiting not
To rid my soul of one dark blot--
To Thee whose blood can cleanse such spot,
O Lamb of God, I come.
Just as I am--though tossed about
With many a conflict, many a doubt,
With fears within, and foes without--
O Lamb of God, I come.
Just as I am--poor, wretched, blind--
Sight, riches, healing of the mind,
Yea, all I need, in thee to find,
O Lamb of God, I come.
Just as I am--thy love unknown
Has broken every barrier down:
Now to be thine, yea, thine alone,
O Lamb of God, I come. Charlotte Elliott.
Now, when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles: Men and brethren, what shall we do?
Then Peter said unto them, repent and be baptized every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.Acts ii, 37-39.
And now why tarriest thou? Arise, and be baptized and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.--Acts xxii, 16.
As many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
There is a sign upon my brow,
The sign of suffering love--
Upon me rests a sacred vow,
'T is register'd above;
And should my faithless heart repine,
At grief and suffering now,
Then I will think upon that sign,
And that baptismal vow;
And it shall stir His strength within,
Whose name is named on me,
Through whom the victory I may win,
And more than conqueror be;
And I will go and kneel apart,
And clasp my hands in prayer,
Until He nerve my coward heart,
The daily cross to bear.
The swift may stumble in the race,
The strong in battle fail,
But they who ever seek Thy face
Shall in Thy might prevail.
And, oh! when on each brow shall shine,
Thy gift a fadeless crown,
What joy to own the glory Thine,
And lowly cast it down!
God can affix and join His blessings and helps to whatever He pleases. By His appointment the common waters of Jordan healed Naaman, the Syrian. By His appointment a brazen serpent healed all those that were bitten, only looking upon it
with faith in God's commandments. By the very shadow of St. Peter many, we are assured, were healed of their diseases.
And here (St. Mark vi, 56) as many as touched our Saviour's garments were made whole.
And it is thus that the two sacraments became means of salvation to all such as receive them.
The water in baptism, with the blessing and grace of God, has power in it to cleanse us from our sins.
And the bread in the Lord's Supper being set apart and blessed, becometh that bread that nourisheth to eternal life.--Bishop Wilson.
Soldiers of Christ, arise!
And put your armor on,
Strong in the strength which God supplies,
Through His eternal Son.
Strong in the Lord of hosts,
And in His mighty power;
Who is the strength of Jesus trusts,
Is more than conqueror.
Stand then in His great might,
With all his strength endued;
And take, to arm you for the fight,
The panoply of God.
That having all things done,
And all your conflicts past,
Ye may behold your victory won,
And stand complete at last. --Hymn.
Thy vows are upon me, O God. I will render praises unto Thee.
O happy day that stays my choice
On Thee, my Saviour and my God;
Well may this glowing heart rejoice,
And tell Thy goodness all abroad.--Hymn.
Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John, who, when they were come down, prayed for them what they might receive the Holy Ghost;
For as yet He was fallen upon none of
them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.Acts viii, 14-17.
Draw, Holy Ghost, Thy sevenfold veil
Between us and the fires of youth;
Breathe, Holy Ghost, Thy freshening gale,
Our fevered brow in age to soothe.
And oft as sin and sorrow tire,
The hallow'd hour do Thou renew,
When beckon'd up the awful choir
By pastoral hand, toward Thee we drew;
When, trembling at the sacred rail,
We hid our eyes and held our breath,
Felt Thee how strong, our hearts how frail,
And longed to own Thee to the death.
For ever on our souls be trac'd
That blessing dear, that dove-like hand,
A sheltering rock in memory's waste,
O'ershadowing all the weary land.
YOU TO THE
PRISONERS OF HOPE.
Zech. ix, 12.
Though the bolts are not drawn across the door; though your windows are not barred, yet what bolts or bars could hold you faster than your sickness. Your house is your prison, or your room in the hospital is a cell in the prison; and you yourself are a prisoner of God. Now, in order to profit by your imprisonment, consider first this one great truth, which is revealed to your senses in this your sickness. You are not your own, but God's. As long as you were well, you may have felt yourself to be your own; you may have gone where you liked, and done what you liked; but now you must needs feel that you are not your own; you have no power over yourself; you are in God's hands, and you can not resist Him; you are His altogether; your body is His, and your soul is His; you are a witness to yourself of God's power. He is Lord indeed; you are not your own. Well, then, if you are His, He can do with you what He likes; He is now doing what He likes; He likes at present to make you sick, to cause you to suffer, to give you a cup of trembling;
He is not consulting your likings, or your pleasure; He is going against your likings, and He has his way. He is now teaching you what you have so frequently forgotten--first, that you belong entirely to Him; next, that you contain in yourself great power and capacity of suffering, which, by His Almighty power, might be heightened and lengthened in another world beyond all our powers of conception.
But there is wonderful love in his teachings. Had he given you over, had He ceased to care for you, had He felt no love toward your soul, He would have left you to drift on to destruction. He would not have taught you any lessons in godliness; He would have let you take your own way, and then taken vengeance if you went wrong. But because He wishes you well, He has laid upon your bed that He might plead with you by His spirit. He has taken you by force from the cares, the trials, and pleasures of the world in which you were too much entangled, that He might speak to your soul, and argue with you for good.
He has made time for you to think, because you would not make time for yourself. He gives you pain to humble you, and to convince you of sin, and to make you feel the terrors of the Lord. Everything is prepared for you that you may think; your heart is softened, now that the world is removed from you; your conscience is not deafened by the noises of the world, nor clamored down; it can make itself heard now; now that the noise of the battle is hushed, the "still small voice" can be heard; you are, somehow or other, you know not how, in a more solemn and serious mood, and incline more to the thing of God. Yes, you are under the blessed discipline of the cross. The cross is laid on you; mercy has put this burden on your flesh; your Saviour comes to you in suffering; He who once suffered in the flesh comes to sufferers; He draws near to the sick. His Holy Spirit is in sick-rooms; sickness is the soul's medicine--bitter, yet yielding sweetness. He would not destroy you, for He has died for you. He would not cast
that body into hell, as it is His twice over-- once by creation, again by redemption. He desires to save it; therefore, He makes it sick.
Look, then, in this way upon your sickness; receive it as you would receive an angel; take it as medicine for the soul from the hand of the Lord. But if you desire to make your illness fulfil its end, let me give you this counsel, which may help you to turn it to good account.
Examine yourself strictly; sit as a judge on your whole past life, beginning with your youth, and tracing the stream up to the present hour. Search and try your ways, and call them to remembrance; so shall you be the better able to turn away from sin to the testimonies of the Lord. Do this not lightly, but reverently and soberly, as in the presence of the great Judge of heaven and earth, before whose dread tribunal you must certainly appear at the day of judgment to give an account of all your actions.
Examine your life and conversation by the rule of God's commandments, and whereinsoever
you shall perceive yourself to have offended, either by will, word or deed, there to bewail your own sinfulness, and to confess yourself to Almighty God with full purpose of amendment of life; and if you shall perceive your offenses to be such as are not only against God, but also against your neighbors, then you shall reconcile yourself unto them--being ready to make restitution and satisfaction, according to the uttermost of your powers, for all injuries and wrongs done by you to any other, and being likewise ready to forgive others who have offended you, as you would have forgiveness of your offences at God's hand.
Endeavor, at once, to bring forth fruits of repentance. You may say, "What can I do while I lie on a sick-bed?" You may do much. Lie there, for instance, without repining or murmuring; bear pain patiently; be meek and uncomplaining; be not selfish nor irritable; be gentle and considerate toward those who watch you, and wait on you; be thankful for all kind services of friends or attendants. This is one way in
which you can bring forth the fruit of repentance. There are trials of patience, and of temper, of endurance of pain on your sick-bed. Take your pain and your confinement to bed, and your long days and restless nights as punishments which you deserve; take them meekly and thankfully, as from the Lord's hand. This is one way in which you can show your sorrow for sin.
Of course, that is not to be called repentance which is not followed by an altered life; but you can show the beginning of an altered life while you lie upon your bed. If you have been worldly, you can try to be unworldly; if you have been selfish, you can try to be unselfish; if you have been proud, you can try to be meek; if you have neglected to pray, you can learn to pray; if you have any quarrels; you have done wrong to any one, you can confess, and ask forgiveness.
It is very profitable to meditate upon the sufferings and passions of Christ when we are in pain, for we shall get deeper views of
our own sinfulness, and of His unspeakable love who chose those sufferings--who willingly took them upon Him, who had it in His power to refuse, the suffering. We also learn patience under our pains, by His example of patience; and it gives us comfort to think that our Lord, by His human suffering, is brought near to us, and, having experienced what we feel, is "touched with a feeling of our infirmities," and enters into our sorrows. In His pains, we have a pledge that He will pity and succor us in ours.
Resign yourself at once into the hands of God, seeking in all ways to be at peace with Him--that, whether you live, you may live unto the Lord; or, whether you die, you may die unto the Lord; that, living or dying, you may be the Lord's. And now I pray that the God of peace may give you His peace in your time of sickness, and, by His Spirit, turn it to the good of your body and soul, that you may be saved in the day of the Lord, and may be numbered with the saints in glory everlasting, for our Lord Jesus Christ's sake.
The word of God, as the Psalmist speaks, "is perfect and pure, converting the soul, rejoicing the heart, and enlightening the eyes; yea, sweeter than honey, and more to be desired than the purest gold."
Let God's word, then, be your companion in sickness.
The following selections from Holy Scripture may be added at the morning and evening prayer.
In selecting these lessons a task is not attempted to be imposed, but merely appropriate portions of Holy Scripture pointed out, to be used as weakness and circumstances allow.
Almighty and most merciful Father; I have erred, and strayed from Thy ways like a lost sheep. I have followed too much the devices and desires of my own heart. I have offended against Thy holy laws. I have left undone those things which I ought to have done; and I have done those things which I ought not to have done; and there is no health in me. But Thou, O Lord, have mercy upon me, a miserable offender. Spare Thou those, O God, who confess their faults. Restore Thou those who are penitent; according to Thy promises declared unto mankind in Christ Jesus our Lord. And grant, O most merciful Father, for His sake, that I may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life, to the glory of Thy holy name. Amen.
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil: for Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
I BELIEVE in God the Father Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth:
And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our
Lord; Who was conceived by the Holy
Ghost; Born of the Virgin Mary; Suffered
under Pontius Pilate; Was crucified, dead,
and buried; He descended into hell;*
*He descended into hell, or He went into the place of departed spirits, which are considered words of the same meaning in the Creed.
The third day He rose from the dead; He ascended into heaven, And sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; From thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Ghost; The holy Catholic Church; The Communion of Saints; The Forgiveness of Sins; The Resurrection of the body; And the Life everlasting. Amen.
After which, say:
I am Thy prisoner, O Lord, chained by sickness to a bed of pain; but let me not fret, even because I am Thine; Thine, whose chain I can not break; Thine, who dost draw me to Thee by this chain; Thine, who for my sins dost justly bind me; Thine, who knowest when it is best to loose me; Thine, who hearest every groan within me; Thine, who for my sins mightest bind me in everlasting chains, and sendest this sickness to save me. O Lord, since I am so many ways Thine, let me submit to Thy chain, and lie as Thy prisoner and Thy patient before Thee; and let Thy pity, in Thy good time, release me, for Jesus Christ's sake. Amen.
Remember not, Lord, my offences, nor the offences of my forefathers; neither take Thou vengeance of my sins; spare me, good Lord; spare Thy people whom Thou hast
redeemed with Thy most precious blood, and be not angry with us for ever.
By the mystery of Thy Holy Incarnation; by Thy Holy Nativity and Circumcision; by Thy Baptism, Fasting, and Temptation;
Good Lord deliver me.
By Thine Agony and Bloody Sweat; by Thy Cross and Passion; by Thy precious Death and Burial; by Thy glorious Resurrection and Ascension; and by the coming of the Holy Ghost,
Good Lord, deliver me.
In all time of my tribulation; in all time of my prosperity; in the hour of death, and in the day of judgment,
Good Lord, deliver me.
O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world;
Grant me Thy peace.
O Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world;
Have mercy upon me.
God the Father bless me, God the Son defend me, God the Holy Ghost preserve me and all mine and His, now and evermore.
Hear what comfortable words our Saviour Christ saith unto all who truly turn to Him:
"Come unto me, all ye that travail and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you." --St. Matt. xi. 28.
So God loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, to the end that all that believe in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.--St. John iii. 16.
Hear also what Saint Paul saith:
"This is a true saying, and worthy of all men to be received, That Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners."--1 Timothy i. 15.
Here also what Saint John saith:
"If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous; and He is the propitiation for our sins."--1 St. John ii. 1,2.
Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Maker of all things, Judge of all men; I acknowledge and bewail my manifold sins and wickedness, which I, from time to time, most grievously have committed, by thought, word, and deed, against Thy Divine Majesty, provoking most justly Thy wrath and indignation against me. I do earnestly repent, and am heartily sorry for these my misdoings; the remembrance of them is grievous unto me; the burden of them is intolerable. Have mercy upon me, most merciful Father; for thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ's sake, forgive me all that is past; and grant that I may ever hereafter serve and please Thee in newness of life, to the honor and glory of Thy name, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Almighty God, the Father of our Lord, Jesus Christ, who desirest not the death of a sinner, but that he may turn from his wickedness and live; and hast promised pardon
to them that truly repent and unfeignedly believe Thy Holy Gospel; of Thy mercy I beseech Thee grant me true repentance and Thy Holy Spirit, that those things may please Thee which I do at this present, and that the rest of my life hereafter may be pure and holy, so that at the last I may come to Thine eternal joy, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
O MOST mighty God and merciful Father, who hast compassion upon all men, and hatest nothing that Thou hast made; who wouldest not the death of a sinner, but rather that he should turn from his sin and be saved; mercifully forgive my trespasses; receive and comfort me, grieved and wearied with the burden of my sins. Thy property is always to have mercy; to Thee only it appertaineth to forgive sins. Spare me, therefore, good Lord, spare me whom Thou hast redeemed; enter not into judgment with Thy servant, who is vile earth, and a miserable sinner; but so turn Thine anger from me, who meekly acknowledge my
vileness, and truly repent me of my faults, and so make haste to help me in this world, that I may ever live with Thee in the world to come; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Lord, lift Thou up the light of Thy countenance upon me; and in all the pains of my body, in all the agonies of my spirit, let Thy comforts refresh my soul, and enable me patiently to wait till my change come. And grant, O Lord, that when my earthly house of this tabernacle is dissolved, I may have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens; through Him who by His precious blood hath purchased it for me, Jesus Christ, our Redeemer. Amen.
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation. But deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
O Sun of Righteousness, keep me from utter darkness; let me so sleep in Thy peace, that I may be ever ready to arise and meet Thee in Thy glory. Amen. Amen.
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee;
Let the water and the blood,
From Thy side a healing flood,
Be of sin the double cure,
Save from wrath, and make me pure.
O Almighty God, our only help in time of trouble, who never failest them that trust in Thee: grant me grace, I beseech Thee, at all times, and in all my difficulties and distresses, so to put my whole trust and confidence in Thee, that I may cast all my care upon Thee, and with cheerfulness submit myself to Thy hands; give me, in this the hour of trial, to rely upon Thee, through the merits of my Redeemer, knowing assuredly that all things shall work together for good to them that love Thee. And, O Lord, however Thou art pleased to deal with my body, yet spare my soul, I beseech Thee, and deliver it from the bitter pains of eternal death. O take me not out of this world until Thou hast fitted me in some measure for Thy heavenly kingdom. Grant, O Lord, that, whether I live, I may live unto Thee; or, whether I die, I may die unto Thee; so that,
living and dying, I may be Thine, through Jesus Christ, my ever blessed Saviour and Redeemer. Amen.
Jesus, my Redeemer, my Saviour, Thou who didst not despise the Cross, but didst yield Thyself to the tormentors, who didst drink of the cup of sorrow willingly, yet didst taste of its bitterness, be Thou with me in the hour of my agony; strengthen me to bear all that shall be laid upon me; in every pang may my spirit still have power to say with Thee, not my will, but Thine, be done.
Give me grace, O Lord, to yield up my will into Thy hands; to trust in Thee in Thy might, and in Thy providence, rather than in the skill of man. Do Thou bless it, Lord, if so it seemeth good in Thy sight, for my relief; but if not, if it should be in vain, let me still bless and praise Thee, and submit myself to Thy good pleasure. Let me go to this trial in the strength of the Lord God committing myself to Him that judgeth righteously; all which I ask in His name
who is touched with our infirmities, Jesus Christ, Thy blessed Son. Amen.
O Gracious Lord, who only art high and to be feared, fill my soul with a holy awe and reverence of Thee, that I may give Thee the honor due unto Thy name, and so esteem all things which relate to Thee that I may never profane what Thou hast made holy and set apart for Thyself. And, O Lord, since Thou art a God who will by no means clear the guilty, let the dread of Thy displeasure, and the fear of Thy judgment, and the sentence of the last day, make me tremble to provoke Thee in anything. O let me not so misplace my fear, that I may be afraid of any man and forget Thee, the Lord, my Maker, and my Judge, but replenish my soul with that fear of the Lord which is the beginning of wisdom, and which may keep me in a constant conformity to Thy holy will. Hear me, O Lord, I beseech Thee, and put this fear in my heart, that I may never depart from Thee, but may, with fear and
trembling, work out my salvation; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
O most merciful God, who, notwithstanding my continued abuses of Thy goodness, and my unthankfulness of Thy long-suffering and patience toward me, vouchsafest to continue to me the means of grace and repentance; awaken my soul from the sleep of death, and make me duly sensible of the greatness of my transgressions, and of the dreadful eternity of torments to which, without repentance, they must consign me. Give me a deep contrition for having offended Thee, my merciful Creator and Redeemer. O work in my soul that godly sorrow which leadeth to repentance unto salvation: that, heartily detesting and loathing all my past abominations, and begging at Thy feet for pardon with strong crying and tears, I may obtain mercy of Thee, who despisest not the sighing of a contrite heart, for the merits and intercession of Thy beloved Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
O Eternal and most gracious Father, I cast down my soul before Thee. O cast me not away from Thee. I cannot stand at the bar of Thy justice; I therefore lie down at the footstool of Thy mercy. I condemn myself for my sins; Lord, judge me not. O my God, hear the prayers and cries of a sinner who calls earnestly for mercy. Blot out my sins in the blood of my Saviour. Though red as crimson, Thou has promised the penitent they shall be as snow; O pardon this guilty soul of mine, I beseech Thee. Wash me from my sins and forgive all mine iniquities. And let Thy Holy Spirit assist and strengthen me to overcome my temptations, for the blessed merits of Him who overcame the world for me, Thy dear Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
O holy Lord, who searchest the heart and triest the reins; try me, I beseech Thee, and seek the ground of my heart; purge it from all hypocrisy and insincerity, and suffer not
any accursed thing to lurk within me; give me truth in the inward parts, and purity of heart, that I may be prepared to see Thee in Thy kingdom, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Almighty God, who resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble; mercifully grant that I may follow the example of the great humility of Thy blessed Son, who did humble Himself to take upon Him our flesh, and to suffer death upon the cross; convince me that I am less than the least of all Thy mercies; that as I am vile in myself, so let me be vile in mine own eyes, and may therefore esteem every man better than myself. Grant this, O Father, for Thy Son Jesus Christ's sake. Amen.
O blessed Lord, whom without faith it is impossible to please, let Thy Spirit, I beseech Thee, work in me such a faith as may be acceptable in Thy sight, even such as may show
itself by my works, that it may enable me to overcome the world, and conform me to the image of the Christ on whom I believe; that so, at the last, I may receive the end of my faith, even the salvation of my soul, by the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
O Lord, who art the hope of all the ends of the earth, let me never be destitute of a well-grounded hope, nor yet possessed with a vain presumption; suffer me not to think Thou wilt either be reconciled to my sins or reject my repentance; but give me, I beseech Thee, such a hope as may both encourage and enable me to purify myself, even as Thou art pure, that when Thou shalt appear I may be made like unto Thee, in Thy eternal and glorious kingdom, where, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, Thou livest and reignest one God, world without end. Amen.
O Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort, our only help in time of need; we fly unto Thee for succor in behalf of this Thy servants, here lying under Thy hand in great weakness of body. Look graciously upon him, O Lord; and the more the outward man decayeth, strengthen him, we beseech Thee, so much the more continually with Thy grace and Holy Spirit in the inner man. Give him unfeigned repentance for all the errors of his life past, and steadfast faith in Thy Son Jesus; that his sins may be done away by Thy mercy, and his pardon sealed in heaven before he go hence and be no more seen. We know, O Lord, that there is no word impossible with Thee; and that, if Thou wilt, Thou canst even yet raise him up, and grant him a longer continuance amongst us; yet forasmuch as in all appearance the time of his dissolution draweth near, so fit and prepare him, we beseech
Thee, against the hour of death, that after his departure hence in peace, and in Thy favor, his soul may be received into Thine everlasting kingdom; through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, Thine only Son, our Lord and Saviour. Amen.
God the Father, who hath created thee, God the Son, who hath redeemed thee, God the Holy Ghost, who hath infused His grace into thee, be now and evermore thy defense, assist thee in this thy last trial, and bring thee into the way of everlasting life. Amen.
Into Thy merciful hands, O heavenly Father, we commend the soul of Thy servant now departing; acknowledge, we beseech Thee, a sheep of Thine own fold, a lamb of Thine own flock. Receive him into the arms of Thy mercy, into the sacred rest of everlasting peace, and into the glorious estate of Thy chosen saints in heaven. O Father Almighty, receive and forgive. O Holy Ghost the Comforter, comfort him in the dark valley of the shadow of death. O Saviour of the world, who by Thy cross and precious blood hast redeemed him, save and help this Thy departing servant, O Lord. Amen.
The only feast of which a sick man is wise to partake, is that
* * * * "Sacred feast, which Jesus makes Rick banquet of His flesh and blood."--Hymn.
* * * * *The place was bright
"With something of celestial light"--
A simple Altar by the bed
For high Communion meetly spread,
Chalice, and plate, and snowy vest.--
We ate and drank: then calmly blest,
All mourners, one with dying breath,
We sate and talk'd of Jesus' death. Christian Year.
If God hath of His mercy heard thy prayers, and restored thee to thy health again, consider, with thyself--
1. That thou hast now received from God, as it were, another life; spend it, therefore, to the honor of God, in newness of life; let thy sin die with thy sickness, but live thou by grace to holiness.
2. Put not off the thought of the day of death, for thou knowest not for all this how near it is at hand; and being so fairly warned, be wiser. For, if thou be taken in an unprepared state the next time, thy excuse will be less and thy judgment greater.
3. Fulfill all your vows of holier living, of more frequent and abundant alms-giving, of more constant public worship, and of more faithful self-examination.
The highest act of worship in which a Christian can join is the Holy Communion of Christ's Body and Blood; neglect not, then, this privilege, so soon as you are sufficiently recovered.
4. In all things give thanks unto God. Pray without ceasing; increase your prayers at home and be more devout in church. Keep God in all your thoughts; enter on your worldly labors with a devout spirit; prepare daily for the great day of Christ, that you may be found watching at His coming, and may be numbered among the saints in glory everlasting.
I will magnify Thee, O Lord, for Thou hast set me up: and not made my foes to triumph over me.
O Lord I cried unto Thee: and Thou hast healed me.
Thou hast turned my heaviness into joy: Thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness.
The Lord hath chastened and corrected me, but He hath not given me over unto death.
I will pay Thee my vows, O God, which
my lips have uttered, and my mouth hath spoken when I was in trouble.
O Lord, I give Thee humble and hearty thanks for Thy great mercy in bringing me back from the grave. What Thou hast further for me to do or to suffer, Thou alone knowest: Lord, give me patience and courage, and all Christian resolution and grace to do Thee service. And now that Thou hast mercifully restored me, let me live to love, to honor, and to obey Thee, and all this through Jesus Christ. Amen.
O Almighty God, I give Thee humble thanks, for that Thou hast vouchsafed to deliver me from the pains and perils of my late sickness; grant, I beseech Thee, most merciful Father, that I, through Thy help; may both faithfully live and walk according to Thy will in this life present, and also may be a partaker of everlasting glory in the life to come, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
I praise Thee, I worship Thee, I glorify Thee, I give thanks to Thee, O Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, that takest
away the sins of the world. For Thou only art holy, Thou only art the Lord; Thou only, O Christ, with the Holy Ghost, art most high in the glory of God the Father. Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Hosts, heaven and earth are full of Thy glory: for these and all Thy mercies, glory be to Thee, O Lord Most High. Amen.
Be patient! O be patient! Put your ear against the earth;
Listen there how noiselessly the germ o' the seed has birth--
How noiselessly and gently it upheaves its little way
Till it parts the scarcely broken ground, and the blade stands up in the day.
Be patient! O be patient! the germs of mighty thought
Must have their silent undergrowth, must under ground be wrought;
But as sure as there's a power that makes the grass appear,
Our land shall be green with liberty, the blade-time shall be here. Dean Trench.
My God, my Father, while I stray,
Far from my home, in life's rough way,
O teach me from my heart to say,
"Thy will be done."
Though dark my path, and sad my lot,
Let me be still and murmur not,
Or breathe the prayer divinely taught,
"Thy will be done."
What though in lonely grief I sigh,
For friends beloved, no longer nigh,
Submissive would I still reply,
"Thy will be done."
If Thou should'st call me to resign,
What most I prize, it ne'er was mine;
I only yield Thee what is Thine;
"Thy will be done."
Let but my fainting heart be blest
With Thy sweet Spirit for its guest;
My God, to Thee I leave the rest;
"Thy will be done."
Renew my will from day to day,
Blend it with Thine, and take away
All that now makes it hard to say,
"Thy will be done."--Amen.
O Thou, from Whom all goodness flows,
I lift my soul to Thee;
In all my sorrows, conflicts, woes,
Good Lord, remember me.
If on my aching, burdened heart,
My sins lie heavily,
Thy pardon grant, Thy peace impart;
Good Lord, remember me.
If trials sore obstruct my way,
And ills I can not flee,
Then let my strength be as my day;
Good Lord, remember me.
If, worn with pain, disease, and grief,
This feeble frame should be,
Grant patience, rest, and kind relief;
Good Lord remember me.
And oh! when, in the hour of death,
I bow to Thy decree,
Jesu, receive my parting breath;
Good Lord, remember me.--Amen.