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our heavenly Father; but confefs them with an humble, lowly, penitent, and obedient heart; to the end that we may obtain forgiveness of the fame, by his infinite goodness and mercy. 2. And although we ought at all times humbly to acknowledge our fins before God, yet ought we moit chiefly fo to do, when we affemble and meet together, to render thanks for the great benefits that we have received at
eye of God, who fees the real nature of every thing. Nor fhould we be guilty of fo vile an act of hypocrify, as, notwithstanding our manifold fins, publicly in the church, in the prefence of God and his holy angels, to ftand upon our juftification but if we discharge the duty of fincere christians, we must perform these three parts of true repentance: first, with an humble and lowly heart make confeffion of our fins to God, with a dejection of fpirit, and a confufion equal to that of the publican, who flood afar off, and would not lift up his eyes to heaven: fecondly, to this we should add a true penitent forrow of mind, for having offended fo good a Being, and brought ourselves into fuch great danger: finally, all these confiderations fhould give us fuch a difguft against our fins, as to make us form a refolution to pay an uniform obedience to the laws of God for the time to come, If in this manner we repent of our fins, we shall have just grounds to hope, that God will pardon them. But still we should not infagine that even a repentance, fo circumftantiated, will give us any elaim to merit, whereby we may be intitled to impunity of our fins: for that we must be indebted to the infinite goodness and mercy of God, reached out to us in the mystery of our redemption, and by the fufferings of our bleffed Saviour Jefus Chrift.
2. And tho' we ought at all times, or in those more frequent courfes of private devotion, which are enjoined us by our religion, to discharge this duty of religion, as it is one of the most important parts of prayer; it cannot be denied, that there is a more particular reafon for making ufe of it in the folemn affemblies of chriftians in the church, where they meet together to perform the four great parts of religious worship; first, thanksgiving for favours and mercies already received: fecondly, praises and adorations of the perfections and goodness of the Almighty: thirdly, hearing the word of God read and preached: fourthly, petition or defiring of God both fpiritual and temporal bieffings. But we cannot rightly discharge any of thefe public duties, without the confeflion of our fins, and the other neceffary parts of true repentance. As long as we continue to abuse the mercies of God, we cannot thank him as we ought we cannot praise and admire his excellencies, of which, in an unregenerate ftate, we can have but a faint idea; whilt we retain all our carnal affections, we cannot devoutly listen to the word of God; nor can we hope that our prayers will prove acceptable, when by the wickednefs of our lives, they are rendered an abomination unto God.
his hands, to set forth his most worthy praise, to hear his moft holy word, and to afk those things which are requifite and neceffary, as well for the body as the foul. 3. Wherefore I pray and befeech you, as many as are here present, to accompany me with a pure heart and humble voice, unto the throne of the heavenly grace, faying after me.
A general Confeffon, to be faid of the whole Congregation, after the Minifter, all kneeling.
LMIGHTY, and moft merciful Father. 2. We have erred and ftrayed from thy ways like loft fheep. 3. We have followed too much the devices and de
3. I therefore earnefty defire of every one of you, (whether laymen or clergymen) to addrefs yourselves with me to God, in fervent prayer; which I, as God's minifter, offer up to the throne of his grace, both for myfelf and you; this I do not do alone, as the priests were wont to do under the Jewish difpenfation, in which circumftance they have been imitated by the papifts, but I defire you who are poffeffed of higher priviledges, by virtue of Chrift's covenant, to accompany me thither; repeating after me the words prefcribed by the church on this occafion: intreating you, at the fame time, to manifeft in your devotion, fincerity, attention, and gravity, the genuine effects of a pure heart, and to behave in every respect in a manner worthy the devout worship of God; taking particular care in your refponfes as well to avoid a loud, clamorous voice, as an inarticulate motion of the lips; and that you use a low and humble tone of voice properly adapted to this folemnity.
1. O Lord, we addrefs ourselves unto thee on account of thofe attributes of thine, which incline thee to pardon finners, thy Omnipotence, by which thou art endowed with fufficient power to help us; and thy mercy, whereby thou art always ready to do it. having likewife a confident expectation of forgiveness from that relation of father-hood, which thou doft bear to us, as thou art pleafed thyfelf to acknowledge.
2. We muft, to our fhame, acknowledge that we have, by our fins of forprife and infirmity, erred and deviated from the path of our duty, and at other times ftray'd and made larger excurfions from thofe ways which the holy religion, by thee revealed, has chalked out to us to walk in and this, to ufe the comparison of our Saviour, after the manner of loft heep that ftraggle from their thepherd, and are thereby expofed to innumerable dangers.
3 We acknowledge that we have too frequently yielded to thofe unlawful defires, to which we have been prompted by our corrupt nature and riginal depravity
fires of our own hearts. 4. We have offended against thy holy laws. 5. We have left undone those things which we ought to have done; 6. And we have done thofe things which we ought not to have done; And there is no health in us. 7. But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us, miferable offenders. 8. Spare thou them, O God, which confefs their faults. 9. Reftore thou them that are penitent; 10. According to thy promifes declared unto mankind in Chrift Jefu our Lord. 11. And grant, O moft merciful Father, for his fake; That we may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and fober life; To the glory of thy holy Name. Amen.
4. To thefe we have added many actual tranfgreffions of thy holy laws, which we were fo strictly bound to obferve.
5. We morcover acknowledge ourselves to have been guilty of various kinds of actual fins, being chargeable with many fins of omiffion, by neglecting the feveral duties commanded us.
6. And many fins of commiffion, by wilfully doing what we were exprefly forbid, fo that every part of our fouls is infected with fin, and they are, as it were, attacked with an univerfal disease, (for we can hope for no health or falvation from ourselves.)
7. We therefore have recourfe to thy goodnefs, O God, for a deliverance from this load of our fins, and, after the example of the penitent publican, intreat thee to be merciful to us finners.
8. Remit therefore, we pray thee, the punishment due to our fins, upon our confeffion of and fincere repentance for them.
9. And, upon our being truly penitent, reftore us to the place which we formerly held in thy favour, and which, by our difobedience, we have forfeited, let us partake of the benefits of thine elect faints, from whose priviledges unrepenting finners are excluded.
10. According to the promifes thou haft made us in the charter of the gofpel delivered to us by Jefus Chrift.
11. We therefore befeeth thee, O gracious God, not for the fake of any faint or angel, but for the fake of thy beloved Son, in whofe name, when we afk any thing, thou haft promifed to give it, (John xvi. 23.) to afford us fuch a powerful affiftance of the grace of thy holy Spirit, that, for the future, we may punctually difcharge all the parts of our chriftian duty that we may live a godly life, by paying a devout worfhip to the Almighty: that we may live righteously, in doing all acts of charity and juftice to our neighbour and foberly, in performing all the duties of temperance, chatity, and other virtus which are centered in ourfelves: nor do we afk this to reflect any honour upon ourselves, or to acquire any merit by fuch a religious life, but only that the greater glory
The Abfolution, or Remiffion of Sins, to be pronounced by the Prieft alone, ftanding; the People ftill kneeling.
Lmighty God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who defireth not the death of a finner, but rather that he may turn from his wickedness, and live; and hath given power and commandment to his Minifters, to declare and pronounce to his people, being penitent, the Absolution and Remiffion of their fins: He pardoneth and abfolveth all them that truly repent, and unfeignedly believe his holy Gofpel. 2. Wherefore let us befeech him to grant us true repentance, and his Holy Spirit; that thofe things may please him, which we do at this prefent, and that the reft of our life hereafter may be pure and holy; fo that at the last we may come to his eternal joy, through Jefus Christ our Lord. Amen.
may be afcribed to thy goodness, whereby we expect to have thofe difpofitions and habits wrought in us.
1. The omnipotent God, who is poffeffed of the fole power over all things, both in heaven and earth, and who does not defire that any finner fhould perish everlaftingly, (Ezek. xviii. 28.) but rather, that repenting of his fins, he fhould obtain everlasting happiness; for which end he has empowered and commanded the minifters of the gofpel, (Matt. xviii. 18. John xx. 33.) to declare remiffion of fins, to thofe who are truly penitent: be therefore, by the mouth of his minifter; pronounceth pardon and abfolution to every one of you, that is duly qualified for it; in order to obtain this, he requires of you a true repentance of your fins, and a fincere belief of his holy gospel. Mark. xy. Acts xx, 21.
2. To the end therefore that we may obtain the benefit of this holy or, dinance, let us pray to God, from whom cometh every good and perfect gift, to afford us the grace of true repentance; and at the fame time the alance of his Holy Spirit; for nothing but the illumination of this bleffed Spirit, which helps our infirmities, can render our devotion acreptable unto him. The afliftance of his Holy Spirit is likewife neceffary, to prevent us from returning again to our fins, and to make our fouls, which have formerly been polluted with many vices, fhine with that purity and holiness which are required of us by the gofpel: fo that, when the hour of death approaches, we may hope to enter into the joy of the Father, thro' the merits and mediation of Jefus Christ our bleffed Saviour and Redeemer.
Then the Minifter fhall kneel, and fay the Lord's Prayer; the People aljo kneeling, and repeating it with bim.
UR Father, which art in heaven; Hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trefpaffes, as we forgive them that trefpafs against us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
See the Paraphrafe on the Lord's Prayer, Page 8, 9.
Then like wife he fall fay.
O Lord, open thou our lips.
Anfw. And our mouth fhall fhew forth thy praife.
Here all ftanding up, the Prief fhall fay,
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son; and to the Holy Ghoft;
Anfw. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be: world without end. Amen.
Priest. Praise ye the Lord.
Anfw. The Lords Name be praised.
Prieft. O God, to whom we owe the gift of utterance, (Exod. vi. 11. Prov. xvi.) aflift us in our devotion by the influence of thy Holy Spirit. Anfw. And then we fhall utter forth thy praises as we ought to do. Prieft. Afford us fpeedily thy affiftance, in order to further us in all things neceffary to our falvation.
Anfw. And do not refuse us any thing that may contribute to forward us in that most important of all our concerns.
Prift. May all glory be afcribed to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghoft, the three perfons of the ever-bieffed trinity.
Anf. As they have from all eternity existed in ever glorious felicity, and still exift in glory, and will to all eternity.
Prieft. Sing to God hallelujah.