A praier to be said of the sicke, at the houre of death.
MOst mightie art thou, O Lord, in all thy deeds, and most holie in all thy waies. Bles∣sed be the name of my father, my God, and glorious Creator; who by his diuine power, and celestiall prouidence, of nothing made all things, fish, flesh, foules, fruites, trees, hearbes, and all other things, whatsoeuer are conteined both in heauen, earth, seas, and the nethermost parts thereof. Man, concerning the outward parts, thou by thy celestiall prouidence and fatherlie bountie, framedst and crea∣tedst of claie; but concerning the inward substance of thy creature man, thou didst fashion and make him euen according to thine owne similitude and likenesse. Moreouer, such and so great was thy loue and good will towards him, that all the creatures, or works of thy creation serued to this vse. In earth thou madest him lord and king ouer the fruits thereof: the beasts of the field, the foules of the aire, and the fishes of the little flouds and great waters. In the firmament Page 203 thou hast placed the glistering Sunne, with his orient beames to giue him light by daie, and therewith thou hast giuen him the Moone and the starres to gouerne him by night. For the which cause, aboue all other the works of thy creation, man should and ought of right to giue thee that glorie, that to thee belongeth.
But alas, such and so great is the corruption of our fraile and sinfull flesh, that for all these thy graces wee are carried awaie from thee, and enter into contempt of thy precepts. For which cause thou oftentimes doost correct and punish vs, to the intent we might thereby (feeling thy rod of correction) be driuen to imbrace har∣tie and true repentance. But when thy threats, and the stripes of thy displeasure laid vpon vs, can not take place amongst vs: thou oftentimes giuest vs vp to fo∣lowe our lusts and affections: but at last, when thou dooest behold our enormities, thou in a moment, by the power of thy diuine iustice, restrainest the rope of our disordered libertie, and cuttest in sunder the bridle of our voluptuousnes, either by sudden death, sword, fire, famine, sicknesse, or other the diuine sentences of thy conceiued ire; to the intent that other thy creatures might, by the terrour of thy iustice, auoid sinne, and learne to amend their liues, least they fall into the like calamitie or danger.
True, and most true it is, good Lord, that by the ex∣ercise of sinne we are the children of death and destru∣ction: but by grace of the almightie and victorious conquerour sweete Iesus Christ, we are the adopted sonnes of thy Father, and made fellowe-heires with thee our perfect Emanuel. In whose name with all humilitie and lowlinesse of hart and mind, I come vn∣to thee in this great extremitie of sicknesse and danger of death; beseeching thee to be present with me, to for∣get mine offences, to thinke vpon thy mercies. And al∣though I haue not deserued so much as the least drop Page 204 of thy fauour, by meanes of the great burden of my sinnes, which are in the presence of thy diuine Maie∣stie, most ouglie and loathsome to behold: yet respect thou not, O Father, mine iniquitie; but haue an eie, I beseech thee, to the merits of my Sauiour Christ Ie∣sus, to whom as my Mediator, Sauiour and Redee∣mer, I appeale: who hath promised comfort and sweete consolation to all those, that in his name flie vnto thee for releefe.
I confesse that woorthilie thou hast visited me with this sicknesse and disease, and yet not according to the multitude of my sinnes; but in the fulnesse of misera∣tion and fatherlie pitie. Giue me grace therefore in these bitter brunts of death, who vehementlie at this present beginneth to combat with fainting and feeble life, constantlie to cleaue vnto thee. Let not the plea∣sures of this wicked world be a let or impediment for me to come vnto thee: let not my fraile and feeble flesh subiect to sinne, which hath through my transgression made me a bondman to death, mooue me to despaire in thy great mercie: neither yet let the caueling aduersa∣rie, the enimie of mankind, at my last end, triumph o∣uer me. Giue me patience to suffer, and gladlie to beare and abide this thy scourge and visitation; and so fortifie me in soule and bodie, that so long as life shall endure in me, I may neuer cease to call vpon thy holie and blessed name. Yea and when death is most busiest, make thou me most constant: yea when he see∣keth most stronglie to assaile my feeble bodie; giue me thy grace, good Lord, that I may in spirit, hart, mind, and all the powers of my soule, giue praises vnto thee, that of thy grace and inestimable kindnesse, hast sent thy sonne Christ Iesus to ransome me, by his bloudie death and passion, from the power of hell.
Giue me grace therfore, now that thou hast appoin∣ted thy messenger death to finish the daies of my pil∣grimage, Page 205 and to call me by his summons from out of this vale of miserie and wretchednesse, to build sted∣fastlie vpon him, and faithfullie to hope for life and sal∣uation, in & alone through him. Let the remembrance of my former wickednesse be no more thought vpon: let mine offences be blotted out of thy glorious sight. Be∣hold my sorowfull & true repentant hart, which come vnto thee with teares, not building on my merits; but vpon thy mercies. Though I be sinfull; thy sonne my Sauiour is righteous: though I be wicked; yet he is most holie: though I be full of impietie; yet he is full of all goodnesse: though I haue greeuouslie offended thee; yet he hath fullie contented thee: though I haue transgressed thy lawe; yet he hath fulfilled the same, and hath promised in his bloud, to wash awaie their sinnes, that by faith continue in him constant to the end. I therefore, in this my great and painfull agonie, beholding death to be at the gates of my bodie, come vnto thee, by the vertue of a fruitfull faith; beseeching thee, when thou shalt see it meete and conuenient, that he shall dissolue the bands of this vading life, which endureth but a while (for a thousand yeeres are as ye∣sterdaie in thy sight) to take my soule into thy glori∣ous and blessed hands; and so to confirme me in thy truth, that at the last, when it shall please thee, by the sound of a trumpe, to raise my bodie from the graue, when and in which time bodie and soule shall vnite and come before thy presence, I may by faith in thee passe ouer the mount of my corruption, shake off the bands of sinne, be set free from death and destruction; and be∣ing by the vertue of thy righteousnesse made holie, I may triumph with happie victorie ouer sinne, death, and all the powers of hell, and enter with thee, and the felowship of thy chosen Saints, into euerlasting rest. Grant this, most louing Father, for Christ Iesus sake, to whom with thee and the holie Ghost, be rendred all Page 206 laud, glorie, honour and praise, for euer, Amen.
The Lord God be mercifull to me; pardon and for∣giue me my sinnes, looke vpon me with his gratious and blessed countenance: preserue me from the second death, and euerlasting destruction of bodie and soule. The Lord God iustifie me in his death and bloud; cloath me with his euerlasting righteousnesse; and register my name in the booke of life. The Lord God comfort my guiltie conscience with the euerlasting light of his bountifull fauour; and lot my place among his Saints in his heauenlie kingdome. The Lord God for his mercies sake, after this my bodilie death, giue me the fruition of his presence, in his rich palace of endlesse glorie, to whose mercifull protection I com∣mend with all humilitie and reuerence my soule. Lord Iesus preserue me, Lord Iesus comfort me, Lord Ie∣sus refresh me, Lord Iesus praie for me. For onlie into thy hands that hast redeemed mee, O Lord God of truth, I commend my soule,