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ably, and to him, without all doubt, most serviceably declare your real affection for him; and warn him, in the first place, that his mind be not called off from serious subjects, either by vain discourse, or the disorderly converse of visitors; cherish in him, as much as you are able, those pious thoughts which I have excited in his mind; read to him, when there shall be opportunity, clearly and distinctly, some catalogue of sins, and in reading dwell long time upon those to which you know your friend, either by nature or depraved habit, is most prone; read also to him on other occasions penitential psalms, and those selections of Holy Writ which you deem at such a time most profitable to him; read also to him in due course some little portion of other books; for in proportion as you do these things it will, I judge, be advantageous to him. I will frequently come to visit your friend, but as I cannot constantly be with him, it will be your part to supply my place by the friendly offices I have mentioned : acts of this kind you will yourselves expect
from others, at what time and far distant may that time be !) your lives shall be in jeopardy by reason of some heavy disease with which you shall be seized : what, therefore, you would wish others to do to you, never be unwilling to do to others.”
They who wait upon the sick should also be advised, when occasion requires, to compose their grief, and should be taught that their sorrow is in vain, and therefore opposed to reason, and that it will be impious and displeasing to God, if they too much indulge in it; for although pardon may be obtained from God, when it takes them by surprise, yet it cannot be cherished without offending the highest authority of God, and therefore they are to be admonished that they diligently direct their endeavours to this end, that they conform their own wills in all things to the divine.
They should further be prepared against the decease of the dangerously sick ; and to this end should be instructed, that since the life we lead here is perishable and uncertain, it would be unjust to deny him that lot which the sick, if must be borne by all, or to shun one's own seem near. death, or to grieve excessively over that of others, since we all entered the world under this condition—that we should depart hence at the command of God; but if he is dead whom they now uselessly deplore, that they shall all soon follow him and dwell together in eternity, unless on account of different moral conduct different abodes should be assigned them; they should be told, lastly, that their He should love towards the dead may much more rightly how they and usefully be expressed by a faithful execution of those things which their dying friend dead. committed to their care, and by a due care of those who survive, than by vain tears and useless lamentation. And if by this mode of speech the Curate cannot so far prevail as to induce the attendants of the sick to lay aside their grief or greatly lessen it, he may not- They should withstanding admonish them that they at least ed at any rate conceal the same as often as they come into their excesthe presence of the sick, lest by untimely from the sick. sorrow they disturb his mind, and render him
In what manner he
pare them against the decease of
make of the attendants concerning the sick.
more disabled to have a becoming care for his
soul. Fourth Rule. He should also closely inquire of those who ries he should wait upon the sick concerning the age, con
dition of life, learning, morals, and other circumstances less known to him : for by how much the more accurately the Curate has knowledge of these things, by so much the more easily will he be able, when he visits him, to speak the things which it becomes him to single out, (being previously apprized and well-informed with respect to those circumstances,) general and too little profitable discourse being laid aside, he will be able-a matter of no small moment—to suit his conversation to the condition of the sick.
He should inquire of the medical man who The things has the care of the sick, whether he considers
his patient near death, and should charge him, the medical if he shall perceive approaching symptoms of
death, neither to conceal them from the sick, nor from those who wait on him, lest the sick being deceived with a vain hope of his recovery, should dangerously delay the neces
which he should charge
sary care of his soul, and lest those who attend him be wanting in those offices which it be. hoves them to perform to a friend at the point of death.
If the person visited, by reason of frenzy, Sixth Rule. or some short delirium, (which often is the If the sick case,) should be incapable of receiving ghostly delirious, counsel, the Curate should admonish the at- the Curate tendants concerning those things which he to those who wishes to be said to the sick, if at any time the sick. he should recover his senses; and further should enjoin them that they be careful to send for him (the Curate) when they first perceive that any sober counsel can avail anything with the sick.
If so great a love for friends should inter- Seventh Rule. pose that the sick person cannot contemplate He should death with a calm mind, in order that he may
necessarily cheerfully compose himself to meet it, the wait upon the Curate should advise those who must neces- from him and sarily attend him in his sickness, that they do makement not allow him to be excited by these earthly whose name affections, nor by the unnecessary access of they perceive wife, children, or of any other persons most much excite
advise those who must