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ousness, which are the genuine effects of sanctified affliction,
125 Direct. V. Be careful to perform these engage
ments which you come under in time of sickness,
127 Chap. VI. Containing directions to the unregene
rate, when they are recovered from sickness, 130 Direct. I. Examine what are the fruits of your af
fiction, and if it hath not the marks of that which is unsanctified,
ib. Direct. II. Consider the danger of not being bettered by sickness,
132 Direct. II. Admire God's sparing mercy to such
bell-deserving sinners, and be thankful for it, 35 Direct. IV. Improve sparing mercy in a right manner,
137 Chap. VII. Containing directions to these sick per
sons who are apparently in a dying condition, 141 Direct. I. Exert your utmost activity in preparing to meet with death,
142 Direct. II. Continue in the exercise of repentance to the last,
155 Direct. 111. Be mindful of the acts of justice and charity incumbent on you at this time,
157 Direct. IV. Labour to overcome the love of life
and fears of death, that you may get willingness to die,
159 Direct. V. Imitate the ancient worthies, by dying in faith,
168 Direct. VI. Set the example of other dying saints
before you, and study to imitate them in their
171 Many choice sayings of dying saints,
ib. Direct. VII. Let dying persons be earnest in prayer to God,
201 Some meditations and ejaculations, proper for sick
and dying persons, and especially for a dying .. believer,
203 Some meditations for drooping believers, when death is near,
210 An addition of some further meditations proper for any sick person in the view of death,
214 CHAP. VIII. Containing directions to the friends
and neighbours of the sick, who are at present in health,
222 Direct. I. Be thankful to God.for health, and in- ; prove it to bis glory,
ib. Direct. II. Make conscience of visiting the sick, 22+ Direct. III. Deal faithfully' with the sick about their soul,
226 Direct. IV. Pray with and for the sick,
232 Petitions for the sick,
234 Direct. V. Let your sick friend's have suitable company and converse,
236 Direct. VI. Be duly concerned also for the bodies of the sick,
238 Direct. VU. When their sickness doch ensue in
death, behave.. Christianly under the dispensation, is
239 Direct. VIII. Let the sickness and death of others
be a warning to you in time of health,' to make due preparation for the time of sickness and of dying which is before your hand,
246 Direct. IX. Let those who are in health set about
the work of repentance, and turning to God in Christ timeously and quickly; and beware of delaying this work until the time of sickness, and of dying,
255 Some dying words of the late Rev. Mr. John Wil
lison to his wife and children, found among his papers after his death,
AFFLICTED MAN'S COMPANION;
FOR A FAMILY OR PERSON UNDER AFFLICTION, BY
SICKNESS OR OTHERWISE.
INTRODUCTION. MAN, when he first dropped from his Maker's
hands, was a holy and innocent creature, pure from sin, and consequently free from sickness and trouble, enjoying uninterrupted health and prosperity both in body and soul. But no sooner was he tainted with sin, but he became liable to all sorts of miseries temporal, spiritual, and eternal. His soul being the residence of sins and lusts, his body turned the receptacle of sickness and diseases. And, seeing God's own children have the relics of sin and corruption in them, while in this world, they are not to expect exemption from such afflictions; and the infinitely wise God secs meet to make use of bodily distempers to correct the corruptions, and try the graces of his people, and to promote both their spiritual and eternal advantage. Hence it is said of Lazarus, John xi. 3. “Behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.” He was beloved, and yet sick. It is no rare thing for the dearest of God's saints to be put to chatter like cranes, and mourn like doves, by reason of sore sickness; as Hezekiah did, Isa. xxxviii. 14. Sanctified and healthy souls may be matched with weak and sickly bodies, as was Gaius, 3 John 2. Notwithstanding the case is sometimes most trying and exercising to the best of God's people; and they are never more ready to question God's love, or quarrel with
his providence, than under heavy sickness and bodily distress. It is therefore highly the concernment of all, whether families or private persons, to inquire how they ought to behave under or after afflicting sickness; and how they shall provide for such an evil time before it come. And for the help of all that desire instruction in this matter, I have written the following directory, which for method's sake, I shall divide into several chapters:
1. I shall give some general directions to all families and persons visited with sickness and affliction.
II. Some particular directions to those who are sharply afflicted with sore sickness and long trouble.
III. Directions to the children of God under sick. ness.
IV. Directions to unregenerate persons under sick
V. Directions to the people of God when recovered from sickness.
VI. Directions to unrenewed persons recovered from sickness.
VII. Directions to those sick persons who are ap: parently in a dying condition.
VIII. Directions to the relations, acquaintances, and neighbours of the sick, who are themselves in health for the time.
N. B. Let it be remembered, that what I say to those visited with sickness is likewise applicable to all other afflicted persons, whatever their distress be.
CHAP. I. CONTAINING GENERAL DIRECTIONS TO ALL FAMILIES
AND PERSONS VISITED WITH SICKNESS. DIRECT. I. Diligently inquire into the ends and de
signs, for which usually God sends sickness and af. fliction upon persons. A
N infinitely holy and gracious God hath various and wise ends in afflicting the children of men, whether they be converted or unconverted; which ought to be duly considered by all, and especially by those who are visited with sickness; some whereof I shall instance.
1. God visits with sickness, to cause careless sinners bethink themselves concerning their souls' state and condition, who perhaps had never a serious thought about it before. There are many who, when in health and strength, are so intent upon the pleasures and profits of the world, that they mind nothing else: all the warnings, exhortations, and counsels of ministers, teachers and friends, are lost upon them: they cannot en, dure to entertain a thought of God, of the soul, of death, of heaven, of hell, or of judgment to come, till God doth cast them into some sickness or bodily distress, and then sometimes they begin with the prodigal to come to themselves, and bethink themselves concerning their souls and a future life. Now, this is God's design, 1 Kings viii. 47. “ If they bethink them, selves in the land whether they are carried captives, and repent,” &c. By sickness God gives a man, that before was wholly diverted from soul-matters by business, company, and pleasures, occasion to bethink himself. The man is now confined to his chamber, is deprived of his former company and diversions, and so gets time and leisure to commune with his own heart, and reflect on his former ways, and to hear what conscience speaks concerning a judgment-day, and a world to come, and the need of a Saviour. And $o, by the blessing of God upon such afflictions, not a few have begun their first acquaintance with God and Christ, and serious religion. Nay, the furnace is Christ's usual workhouse, where he has formed the most excellent vessels of honour and praise, Isa. xlviii. 10. “ I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction; Manasseh, the Prodigal, Paul, and the Jailor, were all chosen there,
II. God visits us with sickness, in order to instruct and Leach us these things we know not, Psal. xcvi. 12.