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that you may not knock, when the door shall be shut; and cry for mercy, when it is the time of justice. Now, you are the object of God's mercy, if by repentance and true faith you turn unto him; but if you neglect these things, you will be the object of his justice and vengeance. Now, you may claim the merits of Christ; but if you die in your sins, his sufferings will tend to your greater condemnation. O beloved, consider in this your day, how fearful a thing it will be to fall into the hands of the living God, when you can neither fly to his mercy to protect you, nor to the merits of Christ to cover you in that terrible day.

¶ Here the Minister shall examine him concerning his faith, and rehearse the articles of the Creed, Dost thou believe in God, &c. And the prisoner shall answer,

All this I steadfastly believe.

Then shall the Minister examine whether he repent him truly of his sins, and be in charity with all the world, and further admonish him particularly concerning the crimes wherewith he is charged; and exhort him, if he have any scruples, that he would declare the same, and prepare himself for the Holy Communion, against the time that it may be proper to administer it to him.

¶ Then, all kneeling, the Minister shall say as follows, from the 51st Psalm.

AVE mercy upon me, O God, after thy great goodness; according to the multitude of thy mercies do away mine offences.

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Wash me thoroughly from my wickedness, and cleanse me from my sin.

For I acknowledge my faults, and my sin is ever before me.

Against thee only have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight; that thou mightest be justified in thy saying, and clear when thou art judged. Behold, I was shapen in wickedness, and in sin hath my mother conceived me.

But lo, thou requirest truth in the inward parts, and shalt make me to understand wisdom secretly.

Thou shalt purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; thou shalt wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Thou shalt make me hear of joy and gladness, that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.

Turn thy face from my sins, and put out all my misdeeds.

Make me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

Cast me not away from thy presence, and take not thy Holy Spirit from me.

O give me the comfort of thy help again, and stablish me with thy free Spirit.

Then shall I teach thy ways unto the wicked, and sinners shall be converted unto thee.

Deliver me from blood-guiltiness, O God, thou that art the God of my health; and my tongue shall sing of thy righteousness.

Thou shalt open my lips, O Lord, and my mouth shall show thy praise.

For thou desirest no sacrifice, else would I give it thee; but thou delightest not in burnt-offerings.

The sacrifice of God is a troubled spirit: a broken and contrite heart, O God, shalt thou not despise.

¶ Then the Minister shall say,
Let us pray.

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LORD, we beseech thee, mercifully hear our prayers, and spare all those who confess their sins unto thee; that they, whose consciences by sin are accused, by thy merciful pardon may be absolved; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

GOD, whose mercy is everlasting, and power infinite; Look down with pity and compassion upon the sufferings of this thy servant; and whether thou visitest for trial of his patience, or punishment of his offences, enable him by thy grace cheerfully to submit himself to thy holy will and pleasure. Go not far from those, O Lord, whom thou hast laid in a place of darkness, and in the deep; and forasmuch as thou hast not cut him off suddenly, but chastenest him as a father, grant that he, duly considering thy great mercies, may be unfeignedly thankful, and turn unto thee with true repentance and sincerity of heart; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

↑ Prayers for Persons under sentence of death.

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¶ When a Criminal is under sentence of death, the Minister shall proceed, immediately after the Collect, O God, who sparest, &c., to exhort him after this form, or other like. EARLY beloved, it hath pleased Almighty God, in his justice, to bring you under the sentence and condemnation of the law. You are shortly to suffer death in such a manner, that others, warned by your example, may be the more afraid to offend; and we pray God, that you may make such use of your punishments in this world, that your soul may be saved in the world to come.

Wherefore we come to you in the bowels of compassion; and, being desirous that you should avoid presumption on the one hand, and despair on the other, shall plainly lay before you the wretchedness of your condition, and declare how far you ought to depend on the mercies of God, and the merits of our Saviour. Consider then seriously with yourself, in all appearance the time of your dissolution draweth near; your sins have laid fast hold upon you; you are soon to be re

moved from among men by a violent death; and you shall fade away suddenly like the grass, which in the morning is green and groweth up, but in the evening is cut down, dried up, and withered. After you have thus finished the course of a sinful and miserable life, you shall appear before the Judge of all flesh; who, as he pronounces blessings on the righteous, shall likewise say, with a terrible voice of most just judgment, to the wicked, Go, ye accursed, into the fire everlasting, prepared for the devil and his angels.

Your sins have brought you too near this dreadful sentence: it is therefore your part and duty, my brother, humbly to confess and bewail your great and manifold offences, and to repent you truly of your sins, as you tender the eternal salvation of your soul.

Be not deceived with a vain and presumptuous expectation of God's favour, nor say within yourself, Peace, peace, where there is no peace; for there is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked. God is not mocked; he is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity; and without holiness no man shall see the Lord. On the other hand, despair not of God's mercy, though trouble is on every side; for God shutteth not up his mercies for ever in displeasure: But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Do not either way abuse the goodness of God, who calleth us mercifully to amendment, and of his endless pity promiseth us forgiveness of that which is past, if with a perfect and a true heart we return unto him.

Since therefore you are soon to pass into an endless and unchangeable state, and your future

happiness or misery depends upon the few moments which are left you, I require you strictly to examine yourself, and your estate both towards God and towards man; and let no worldly consideration hinder you from making a true and full confession of your sins, and giving all the satisfaction which is in your power to every one whom you have wronged or injured; that you may find mercy at your heavenly Father's hand, for Christ's sake, and not be condemned in the dreadful day of judgment.

Lastly, beloved, submit yourself with Christian resignation to the just judgment of God, which your own crimes have brought upon you, and be in charity with all men; being ready sincerely to forgive all such as have offended you, not excepting those who have prosecuted you even unto death and, though this may seem a hard saying, yet know assuredly, that without it your charity is not yet perfect. And fail not earnestly to endeavour and pray for this blessed temper and composure of mind. So may you cast yourself with an entire dependence upon the mercies of God, through the merits of our Saviour and Redeemer Jesus Christ.

Here the Minister shall examine him concerning his faith, and rehearse the Articles of the Creed, Dost thou believe in God, &c. And the criminal shall answer,

All this I steadfastly believe.

¶ Then shall the Minister examine whether he repent him truly of his sins, exhorting him to a particular confession of the sin for which he is condemned; and upon confession, he shall instruct him what satisfaction ought to be made to those whom he has offended thereby; and if he knoweth any combinations in wickedness, or any evil practices designed against others, let him be admonished to the utmost of his power to discover and prevent them.

After his confession, the Priest shall declare to him the pardoning mercy of God, in the form which is used in the Communion Service.

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