1632 By George Herbert

The Parson Comforting.

THe Countrey Parson, when any of his cure1 is sick, or
afflicted with losse of friend, or estate, or any ways
distressed, fails not to afford his best comforts, and rather
goes to them, then sends for the afflicted, though they can,
and otherwise ought to come to him. To this end he hath
throughly digested all the points of consolation, as having
continuall use of them, such as are from Gods generall provi-
dence extended even to lillyes; from his particular, to his
Church; from his promises, from the examples of all Saints,
that ever were; from Christ himself, perfecting our Re-
demption no other way, then by sorrow; from the Benefit of
affliction, which softens, and works the stubborn heart of
man; from the certainty both of deliverance, and reward, if
we faint not; from the miserable comparison of the moment
of griefs here with the weight of joyes hereafter. Besides this,
in his visiting the sick, or otherwise afflicted, he followeth the
Churches counsell, namely, in perswading them to particular
confession, labouring to make them understand the great good use
of this antient and pious ordinance, and how necessary it is in
some cases: he also urgeth them to do some pious charitable works,
as a necessary evidence and fruit of their faith, at that time especi-
ally: the participation of the holy Sacrament, how comfortable, and
Soveraigne a Medicine it is to all sin-sick souls; what strength,
and joy, and peace it administers against all temptations, even to
death it selfe, he plainly, and generally intimateth to the dis-
affected, or sick person, that so the hunger and thirst after it may
come rather from themselves, then from his perswasion.

1 cure - Eccles.: the spiritual charge or oversight of lay people; the office and function of a Curate. (Oxford English Dictionary) [Return]

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