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be said to the
if he conform to the medical directions given. He
may, moreover, carefully and without he- What should sitation declare that the Almighty will here- sick person after pass judgment upon him, not according give him to the diseased conceptions of the sick, but according to his natural and uncontrolled habits. of life whilst in health, which, whatever they were, are naked before Him and fully perceived.
He may also, for the present solace of the Second Rule, sick, and for the benefit of the by-standers, may disdiscourse concerning the infinite mercy of course te God;
for discourses of this kind, even if they cannot heal a diseased intellect, may soothe the feelings, and for a while subdue their intensity
To the forms of prayer appointed in our Third Rule. Liturgy, may be added others discreetly suited To the to his particular case ; for as far as relates to pointed by that little prayer which by the directions of may be added our Church ought to be poured forth in behalf reason given. of persons troubled in mind, there will be no place for it on this occasion, neither will it be suited to any save those who are disquieted with a bitter sense of their iniquities.
sick arise from a consciousness of sin committed, the Curate should urge him to confess the same, and wherefore.
lation, great caution should be
If that anguish of mind of which I spake guish all the arise from a consciousness of an ill-spent life,
then the Curate may inquire what those sins are which distract him; for as long as they are concealed, experience teaches no remedies can be of service, they may hush the griefs to
sleep, but cannot entirely remove them. Fifth Rule.
But a knowledge of these sins being obIn adminiso- tained, the administering of consolation should
still be a work of great caution; since in the observed. In case of one who has long addicted himself to the anguish vice, and has knowingly and deliberately been despair, let him not depart till he has somewhat raised his hopes, by declaring that the mercy of God is infinite, and by proving from Scripture that God has not only the ability but the inclination to pardon the greatest sinners, provided they truly return to a better mind; that for such penitents Christ's merits have purchased the favour of God, neither is there any thing which they now need to fear, who have forsaken their sins and hold them in detestation, and have ever since loved and faithfully walked in the commandments of God.
guilty of some weightier sin, it is better that such a person should for a while be still more tortured with the reproaches of his own conscience. Whenever, therefore, the Curate has to visit a person of this description, he should enlarge upon the enormity of his offences, should recite the tremendous threatenings of God denounced against impiety, and also describe, as far as he is able, those
eternal punishments which await the wicked When and in in another life. If, however, he perceive
any signs of real penitence, or should be greatly apprehensive of the sick falling into
of the sick should be enlarged.
what manner his hopes should be raised.
He who has much grieved and been greatly Sixth Rule. dejected in mind because of some smaller de- should imviations into which he has been led by reason comfort him of infirmity, stands in need of immediate com- dejected. fort, and therefore the Curate should apply to such an one the promises freely made to us in Christ; he should speak of the mercy of God, and declare that the merits of Christ are sufficient to remove the most atrocious wickedness, much more then those smaller faults, which occasionally surprise the best of men;
who is greatly
not sufficiently sorry
he should tell him, that God knows how infirm he is by nature, and that He does not expect from him in this life that perfection which the blessed attain to in heaven; that it sufficeth if the weightier offences are carefully shunned, and the smaller avoided with all the strength the weakness of his nature can accomplish ; for then God will pardon all his sins.
I have known a person of most unblameable What a houlde life exceedingly tormented, because he could who grieves not sufficiently grieve for his sins; and should
the Curate happen to visit such a person, it for his sins. will be proper for him to be told, that although
regret of this description is praiseworthy and conducive to penitence, yet that it is not absolutely necessary that he who truly repents should have an ever-present detestation of sin; that it is sufficient that grief thus sensitive follow the temperament of the body; that it is not in the power of every one to be moved in an extraordinary degree by small offences, but that if he had not deeply grieved, his not having done so ought to be numbered amongst his sins; that grief was by no means
deficient in his case, since he is greatly grieved on account of his hard-heartedness.
The anguish with which some sick persons Eighth Rale. are troubled, frequently derives its origin from should take some false notions respecting God, and there sick person fore it will be the part of the Curate, when right notions he visits any sick person with the design of God and His abating his anguish, to trace out, as far as is possible, whether he entertain right notions or not of God and His attributes; and if, by reason of any natural defect in intellect, or from bad education, or from the incautious reading of books abounding in misconceived opinions, he shall perceive him to have fallen into any error, great in itself and destructive to his peace of mind, then he may instruct him after what manner he ought to form his notions, and for further information refer him to approved writings; for so long as he shall retain his erroneous views, the sick person will not easily lessen that disquietude of mind which takes from thence its source.
The Curate should cautiously distinguish Ninth Rule. and discern between that despair which really should disa