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Additional questions,

put, but care should be taken lest the sick, through any

come ac

whom you have taken any, and reputation to those from whose character you have detracted ? and this, moreover, without fraud or delay?

(4.) Have you called to your recollection who the persons thus injured by you are?

It is not unfrequently desirable that the also , may be Curate should yet still more closely inquire

into the condition of the sick person's soul,

with respect to the various vices either exof them, be- pressly or indirectly forbidden in the Decaquainted logue; at least, concerning those into which,

from repeated questioning, he suspects the sick to have fallen ; care, however, should be taken, lest in doing so he should make him acquainted with vices hitherto unknown to him, and therefore he should avoid even naming those which are less natural and but rarely perpetrated, unless he should have a strong suspicion that the sick has, at one time or other, committed them.

Every one having the cure of souls should dhe pasidua frequently advise those committed to his he call in the charge, either by private conferences or in his

with vices hitherto unknown to him.

Sixth Rule.

beginning of

The

public discourses, that each individual should Curate at the take care that the Curate be sent for when any their sickdisease first comes upon

ness.

him;

they should

for when disease reason why is predominating, conversation with the sick do so. for the most part is attended with little good, because the body being seized with the virulence of raging disease, the mind for the most part suffers with it, and is rendered unfit for the exercise of its functions ; the parishioners, therefore, should be persuaded to be diligent that the Curate, or, in his absence, some appointed Minister of the Word, be early called in to those labouring under any disease ; they should be convinced, also, that his prayers and counsel do not hasten death, as is commonly but foolishly supposed, but that they are calculated to stir up the sick to true repentance, and very serviceable (the disease being removed) to the life about to be extended further. His flock should be so much the more moved to call in their Pastor when they are unwell, because many, especially those of the lower order, forbear asking his assistance, through fear of being troublesome.

Seventh Rule.

The Pastor should frequently inquire re

flock, and enjoin the persons who have the care

But since, through the fault of the sick person or the negligence of his attendants, it

sometimes happens that the Curate is not health & his opportunely called in, it becomes his duty

very often to inquire concerning the health of

his flock; and to require this of some of those to acquaint having the care of the Church, (such as the any are sick. wardens, or clerk, or door-keeper,) that they

acquaint him when to their knowledge any of

the inhabitants of the parish happen to be The Curate sick; and the Curate being certified of the fied of their indisposition of any one, should go to him of should visit his own accord, and not tarry to be called for, own accord. because he ought to seize every opportunity

of being serviceable to his flock, and avail given.

The reason

himself of any seasons more approachable, whatever they may be, which sickness affords for visitation. No one, therefore, to whom the care of souls is committed should shun this charitable work, upon the plea that his parishioners are bound to send for him if they be sick, (according to that injunction of the Apostle, “ Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the Church; and let

why he

should do so

St. James'
Epist. ch. v.

14.

them pray over him,”) or because he fears lest, if he should of his own accord obtrude, he might be an unwelcome visitor, or might come at an inconvenient time; yea, rather, lest he should seem to them to be framing excuses, and seeking a pretence for inactivity, let him of his own accord pay at least one visit to the sick; and if he shall find himself an unwelcome visitor, and shall clearly perceive that he will not be likely to benefit the sick, then, and not before, can the Curate absent himself without any mark of negligence.

Thus far has been shown after what manner he who has the cure of souls ought to be furnished, in order that he may discreetly enter on, and serviceably discharge the arduous employment of visiting the sick ; he also now requires that I should point out the method to be observed towards the sick themselves in his visitations : and this the following rules will declare.

Rules included under the Second Division.

First Rule.

when visiting, to express his

tion for the sick.

Second Rule.

It will become the Curate, when first he The Curate approaches the sick, to express for him some ought, in the first place, commiseration by his voice and countenance,

and to inquire kindly respecting the nature of commisera the malady with which he is oppressed, its

symptoms and duration ; for as these are evidences of his love and good will, so do they render more acceptable the things which he is about to speak.

Then may the Curate intimate, that he has

hope that the sick person will submit his own exhorted to will to the Divine, and bear (as becomes a

dutiful child) the parental correction of his Heavenly Father; for the present correction, though it may appear heavy, may nevertheless

be far short of that which he deserves ; for argu ents although it is commonly reckoned among the should per- number of things which are evil, yet it will be

The sick should be

be submissive under God's hand.

productive of good to him, if he shall bear it with a quiet mind, and consider that it is sent, even as all other afflictions are, from God, in

suade him to do this.

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