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9. I will arise, and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against Heaven, and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy fon. St Luke xy. 18, 19.
10. Enter not into judgment with thy servant, O Lord for in thy &ght shall no man living be justified. Pf. cxliii. 2.
11. If we say that we have no lin, we deceive ourselves, 20d the truth is not in us : but if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. a St John i. 8, 9. "in
kundry places to acknowledge and confefs our manifold fins and wickedness: and that we should not dissemble, nor cloke them before the face of Almighty God
PA RA P H R AS E.
be preceded by the general judgment; and if you should appear at the tribunal of God unprepared, and without having repented of your fins, you muft expe& to perish everlastingly.
9. I will, after the example of the prodigal son, lying under the oppretion of the guilt and misery which my sins have brought upon me, retarn to my heavenly Father, and acknowledge the heinousness of them, whereby I have deservedly forfeited his favour and protection.
10 O Lord, do not too severely mark what I have done amiss ;--the Ford in the original Hebrew signifies, do not enter into judgment with me, or carry me before thy awful tribunal;—for shouldit thou exact perfeat righteousness, the most upright man cannot stand the trial; no man living can expect salvation for his own righteousness, the very best of men cap not expect to be saved by his good works, but mult depend upon thy mercy.
11. This life being a state which can never attain to perfection, and the very beft men being obnoxious to great failings, to say that we are eauire!ý free from the dominion of fin, is altogether faise and absurd, it is utterly inconsistent with the truth and fimplicity of our religion : but if we acknowledge our fins before God, and sincerely repent of them, his mercy being equal to his justice, he will pardon us upon our fulfilling rhole conditions, and will, for the time to come, preserve us from any Fortal fin, by affording us the affittance of his holy spirit, which will confim aod eftablish us in every good wolk. Rom. xvi. 20.
1. My beloved brethren and fellow christians, the holy scriptures, pobolc acthority is acknowledg'd by you, and by all truc believers, not
our heavenly Father ; but confess thein with an humble, lowly, penitent, and obedient heart; to the end that we
obtain forgiveness of the same, by his infinite goodness and mercy.
2. And although we ought at all times humbly to acknowledge our sins before God, yet ought we most chiefly so to do, when we assemble and meet together, to render thanks for the great benefits that we have received at his hands, to set forth his moft worthy praise, to hear his most holy word, and to ask those things which are requisite
PA RA PHRASE.
only in the parts which I have just read to you but in their whole tenour, do exhort us to confess unto God our numerous transgressions of his facred laws : besides, it is the height of folly for us to hape to conceal them from the searcher of hearts, from whose piercing fight no secrets can escape. Our guilt would be greatly inhanced by hypocrisy, should we, notwith, standing our many fins, attempt to justify ourselves in the awful presence of the Almighty. It is our duty, as christians, to perform these three parts of true repentance : first, we should, with an humble and contrite heart, confess our fins before God, like the publican who addressed the Almighty in these pathetic terms—God be merciful to me a finner : secondly, to this we should add a real and unfeign'd forrow, for having offended the Almighty, and for having juftly incurr'd his displeasure: And laftiy, we should, above all, take such a disgust against our fins, as to resolve to forsake them for ever, and to regulate the remainder of our lives according to God's holy law. We need never despair of God's forgiveness, if we repent of our fins in this manner; but we should not presúme that even such a repentance will entitle us to claim impunity of our fins from God; for this we muk rely wholly upon that infinite goodness and mercy which is offer'd to us by his son our Saviour Jesus Christ. It is the mystery of redemption alone that can save us ; we cannot hope to have our fins wash'd away, but by the blood of our blessed Lord who suffer’d for us.upon the cross.
2. And altho' we ought at all times, or in those frequent private devotions which are enjoined us by our religion, to perform this duty of confellion, which is so important a part of prayer, it is in a particular mannor incumbent upon us to have recourle to it in the public assemblies of christians, who meet together to acquit themselves of the four great duties enjoined them by religious worthip: first, to return thanks for favours already conferr'd upon them : fecondly, to praise and adore the Almighty for his transcendent goodness: thirdly, to hear God's word read and preached: fourthly, to intreat God to bestow fpiritual and temporal bleilings upon them. But without a confession of our sins, and the other effential
parts of truc repentance, we cannot discharge any of these public duries. As long as we remain in our lins we cannoi render an acceptable
and necessary, as well for the body as the soul, 3. Wherefore I pray and beseech you, as many as are here present, to accompany me with a pure heart and humble voice, unto the throne of the heavenly grace, saying after me.
A general Confeffion, to be said of the whole Congregation,
after the Minister, all kneeling. LMIGHTY, and most merciful Father.
have erred and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep. 3. We have followed too much the devices and de
thanksgiving onto the Lord; we cannot praise and admire his divinc perfections, till we have forfaken our evil courses ; whilft we are endaved to worldly lufts, we cannot be devout hearers of his holy word; nor can wo hope that our prayers will be accepted, whilft the wickedness of our lives render us abominable in the fight of our creator.
3. I therefore, in the most carnett manner, request all of you, who ali ft upon this solemn occasion, to prostrate yourselves before God and address him with fervent prayer, which I, as the minister of God, offer op to the throne of his grace both for you and myself ; I do not perform this daty alone, as the priett did under the Jewish dispensation, and as the papilts, who have imitated them, do at present, but I desire you, who ecjoy higher privileges by virtue of Christ's covenant, to accompany me thither with purity of heart; repeating after me the form of words prefcribd by the church upon this occafion ; intreating you, that you would endeavour to animate your hearts with that warmth, sincerity, and devotion, and be attentive and serious as the worship of God requires; taking care, in all your responses, equally to avoid a loud and clamorous voice, as well as one low and inarticulate, and that you make use only of an humble voice suited to the solemnity of the occalion,
1. O Lord, we make application to thee on account of those attributes of thine, which must dispose thee to pardon finners ; thy Omnipotence, from which we may hope for constant afistance, and thy mercy, which makes thee always ready to afford it to us : being filled with hopes of forgiveness by that relation of fatherhood, which thou haft been plealed to own that thou beareft towards us.
2. We, with the utmost confufion, confess the many fins and errors which we have been surprised into; we have wander'd from the paths of oar duty, and stray'd from the ways which we were directed to walk in by the holy religion which thou hait revealed : and this, according to the comparison of our Saviour, after the manner of those loft sheep that stray from their Mepherds, and are thereby exposed to a variety of dangers.
fres of our own hearts. 4. We have offended against thy
5. We have left undone those things which we ought to have done ; 6. And we have done those things which we ought not to have done ; 7. And there is no health in us. 8. But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us, miserable offenders. 9. Spare thou them, O God, which confess their faults. io. Restore thou them that are penitent; 11. According to thy promises declared unto mankind in Christ Jesu our Lord. And grant, О most merciful Father, for his fake; That we may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life; To the glory of thy holy Name. Amen.
PA RA PH RA SE.
3. We acknowledge that we have too often yielded to those unlawful desires which we have been prompted to by the corruption of our nature, occasioned by original fin.
4. To these we have added many positive breaches of thy holy laws, the observance of which has been so ftriatly enjoined us.
5. We, moreover, acknowledge ourselves to have been guilty of many fins of omission, in neglecting the duties commanded us.
6. And we have also been guilty of many fins of commiflion, by doing such actions as are forbidden by the law of God.
7. So that there is no part of our souls free from the infection of fin, but the disease with which they labour, is almost universal; or, (in other words) we cannot hope for health or salvation from ourselves.
&. We therefore have recourse to thy goodness, O God, and humbly implore thy aid, to deliver us from this burden of our fins.
9. Remit therefore, we in treat thee, the punishment which we have incurred by our fins, upon our confession of them, and hearty repentance of chem.
10. And if our penitence be fincere, restore us to the place which we formerly held in thy favour, and which we have forfeited by our transgrerfions; and let us partake of the benefits of thine elect faints, whose privileges all wicked and impenitent sinners are excluded from.
11. According to the promises which thou haft made unto us in the gospel-revelation, delivered to us by Jesus Christ. Therefore we beseech thee, O gracious God, not in the name of any faint or angel, but in the name of Thy dear Son, as thou haft promiled to give whatever we ask in his name, (John xvi. 23.) to aslift us so powerfully with the grace of thy Holy Spirit, that, for the time to come, we may faithfully acquit ourfelves of every part of our christian duty: that we may lead a godly life, by paying a devout worship to the Almighty : that we may live righteQuliy, in behaving with justice and charity to our neighbours, and suberly,
The Abfolution, or Remiffion of Sins, to be pronounced by the
Priest alone, standing ; the People still kneeling.
who defireth not the death of a sinner, but rather that he may turn from his wickedness, and live; and hath given power and commandment to his Ministers, to declare and pronounce to his people, being penitent, the Absolution and Remission of their fins : He pardoneth and abfolveth all them that truly repent, and unfeignedly believe his holy Gospel. 2. Wherefore let us beseech him to grant us true repentance, and his Holy Spirit ; that those things may please him, which we do at this present, and that the rest of our life hereafter may be pure and holy; so that at the last we may come to his eternal joy, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Tbe People shall answer bere, and at the End of all other
in performing all the duties of temperance, chastity, and other virtues, which more immediately concern ourselves. Nor do we defire this, in order to refeat honour upon ourselves, or to acquire any merit by leading fach a religious life, but only, that the greater glory may be alcribed to thy goodness, by whose grace we hope to have this wonderful change effected in our hearts.
1. The almighty God, who is invested with power over all things in heaven and earth, who does not defire that any finner should be everlastingiy unhappy ; (Ezek. xviii. 28.) but rather that he should escape perdition, and enjoy an happy eternity; and to this end, hath impowered the ministers of the gospel, and even given them positive orders, (Marth. xviii. 18. Jobu xx. 23) to declare remission of fins to all sincere penikats: be, by the mouth of his minister, pronounceth pardon and absolation to all who are poffeff:d of the requisite qualifications for it, ..?. 1 facere repentance of his lins, and a firm belief of his Holy Gospel. Mari xv. Ads xx. 21.
2. Therefore, that we may reap the benefit of this holy ordinance, let u pray to God, who is the giver of every good and perfect gift, (James i. 17.) to bettow upon us the grace of true repentance and the afliitance of his Holy Spirit
, for without the aid of this blessed Spirit, which trengthens our weakness and heals our infirmities, our evotion can never be acceptable to him : the afaitance of bis Holy Spirit is likewise necessary