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First Rule. The Curate,

dear to him, nor by an unseasonable mention of them; he should also furnish them with arguments by which they may be able to dissuade the neighbours, should they unreasonably desire to be admitted to a frequent sight of the dying person.

Rules included under the Fourth Division.

The Minister of God's Word, the more thoroughly he is acquainted with the person he visits, the more aptly will he be able to address him, and more advantageously apply premeditated to his case passages from Holy Writ: it

if he visit a sick person with whom he is not acquainted, use a

and general

form of address.

Second Rule.

will, however, sometimes fall to his lot to

visit sick persons very little known to him, and in this case it is necessary that he confine himself to general discourse; he may also make use of some premeditated form of address which is equally suited to any stranger, and such a form of address the reader will meet with in the first division of rules.

If the Curate can search out from the recourse with plies of the person visited any thing respecting

And dis

ing those

he extracts

conversation.

his former manner of life, he should especially him concerndiscourse concerning the same, commending things which things worthy of commendation, and censuring from him in those deserving blame. And with respect to the latter he should teach him how much they are to be blamed, how hurtful, how hateful to God, and should, moreover, show him in what manner they may for the future be avoided.

Third Rule.

If he can

glean no in

formation

If he can learn nothing respecting the former life of the sick person from his replies, a conjecture may be formed by a skilful Curate, from the sick from his age and vocation, and the place which he passed his life when in health;

person's con

in versation, for Curate may are concerning

how far the

conjecture

his past life

cumstances

to every age, station, and abode, there vices attendant, and I would recommend the from the cirCurate to discourse concerning each of those of age, worldinto which he suspects the sick person to have been most inclined to fall.

ly calling, &c.

But it will be right for him to intimate Fourth Rule. towards the close of his discourse, that he by

But he must not upon suspicion un

him, and

should ex

no means charges the sick person with any of justly charge the faults he has enumerated, since he is ignorant whether he ever committed them, and that why he has

F

plain to him

to him cer

tain sins.

enumerated he has only mentioned them, in order to assist him in remembering his faults, and that he ought to impute it to the providence of God, if, being conscious of none, some secret sin should be opportunely recalled to his mind.

Fifth Rule.

He should

tell the sick

that it little

The Curate may also add, that it is of very little consequence what men may think conmatters what cerning the sick person, but that by making a full confession of his sins to God, and being but that if truly penitent for the same, he will be accounted innocent by God.

men may

think respecting

penitent God will think

well of him.

Sixth Rule. The Curate should

person pro

mise to ob

serve secrecy

the sick good counsel.

By how much the more confidentially the visited converses and freely discloses to him as to a trustworthy physician the and to give secret diseases of his soul, it will without doubt be the duty of the Curate to inform him, that he is bound by his office to keep secret those things which, under the seal of confession, he has entrusted to him, as well as to give him the most wholesome counsel he is able, nor does it matter whether the person who seeks counsel be known to him or

not; for when it is sought from him, he ought, out of a sense of duty towards all, and without any respect of persons, to assist with salutary advice.

If the person visited, notwithstanding the Seventh Rule. Curate's friendly assurance, that nothing confided to him shall be revealed, but only the

If the sick person place not confi

dence in him,

let the Curate

him to call

Minister of

best advice given, still evince a reluctance to recommend disclose his secret faults, he may be recom- in some other mended to call in some other lawful Minister God's Word. of the Word, upon whose advice he may more securely depend; for if the Curate in advising thus, does not gain his confidence, he will at least remove the suspicion which the sick may otherwise chance to entertain of his searching too inquisitively into another man's condition.

As to remaining things to be said in visiting persons unknown to him, and with respect also to the prayers to be poured forth in their behalf, every one who has taken on him to visit the sick may learn these from his own discreet judgment, and from the rules included under the second division of this Manual.

First Rule. In visiting

those who

in mind the

Rules pertaining to the Fifth Division.

It sometimes happens that the Curate has to visit those who are troubled with a

are troubled variety of griefs, and being called in to attend a person of this description, he must labour in

Curate should inquire into the cause thereof.

the first place to learn the true cause of the grief; and to this end he should urge the sick to a special confession of his sins, and should inquire of others concerning his past life; he may learn also from those who wait on the sick in what manner he thinks and speaks of worldly things: for by these means he will learn with certainty whether the anguish under which he labours ought to be imputed to a diseased intellect and disordered mind, or to a consciousness of sins committed. If he from any injury of the know assuredly that it arises from the former brain, he should be cause, he should urge the sick to have recourse to medical advisers; for, under God, it is the office of such persons to heal diseases of this sort he may give hope of his returning in a short time to his former quietness of mind,

If it arise

urged to call in medical advice.

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