Background Image
Table of Contents Table of Contents
Previous Page  21 / 720 Next Page
Information
Show Menu
Previous Page 21 / 720 Next Page
Page Background

Serm. CVL

in

order

to

Pardon.

Fir l The

Confeffion

of

our

Sins

; by which

is

meant a penitent ackdowledg-

ment

of

our

Faults

to

God ; to

God

I

fay, becaufe

the

Confeffion

of our

Sins

Men

is

not

generally fpeaking,

a

Condition

of

the forgivenefs

of

them,

but on-

ly

in

fome

particular

cafes,

when our

Sins

againfr

God are accompanied and com-

plicated

with

fcandal and injury

to

Men. In

other

cafes

the

Confeffion

of

our

Sins

to

Men

is

not

neceffary

to the

pardon

of

them,

as

I

shall

more fully

thew

in

the

progrefs

of

this

Difcourfe.

All

the

difficulty in this matter

is,

that the

Conffion

of

our

Sins is

oppofed

to

the

covering

and

concealing

of

them

:

he

that

covereth

his

finfhall

not

profper

;

but

whofo

confeth

them,

(hall

have

mercy.

But no

Man can

hope to

hide

his

Sin

from

God,

and therefore

cotifeffion

of

them

to God

cannot

be

here

meant. But

this

Obje&ion,

if

it

be

of

any force, quite excludeth Confeffion

to

God,

as

no part

of

Solomon's

meaning;

when yet

Confeffion

of

our

Sins

to God,

is

granted on

all

hands, to be

a neceffary

Condition

of

the

forgivenefs

of

them. And

to

take

a-

way

the whole ground

of

this Obje

&ion ; Men are faid

in

Scripture,

when they

do

not

confefs

their

Sins

and

repent

of

them,

to

hide

and conceal

them from

God :

Not

to

acknowledge

them

is

as

if

a

Man

went

about to

cover them. And

thus

David oppofeth

confelfion

of

fins

to

God,

to the

hiding

of

them,

Pfal.

3

z.

ç.

I

ac-

knowledged

my

Sin unto

thee,

and

mine

Iniquity

have

I

not

hid

:

'

I

faid

I

will

confefs

my

tranfgrejons

unto the

Lord.

So

that

this

is

no reafon, why the

Text

should

not

be

underftood

of

the

Confeflion

of

our

Sins

to

God.

But

becaufe the necefiity

of

confeffing

our

Sins

to

Men

(that

is,

to the Prieft)

in

order

to the

forgivenefs

of

them,

is a

great

point

of

difference between

us

and

theChurch

of

Rome,

it

being by them

efteemed a neceffary Article

of

Faith,

but

by

us,

fo far from being

neceffary

to

be

believed,

that

we

do not

believe

it

to

be

true ; therefore for

the

clear (taring

of

this matter,

Í (hall

briefly

enquire

into

thefe

Two

things.

I.

Whether

Confeffion

of

our

Sins

to the Prieft,

as

taught and pra

&ifed

in

the

Church

of

Rome,

be neceffary

to the

forgivenefs

of

them.

H.

How far the difclofing and revealing

of

our

Sins

to

the, Minifters

of

God

is

convenient upon

other

accounts, and

for

other

purpofes

of

Religion.

I.

Whether

Confeffion

of our

Sins

to

the Prieft, and

the manner in which

it

is

taught

and pra

&ifed

in

the Church

of

Rome,

be

neceffary

to the

forgivenefs

of

them.

What

manner

of

Confeflion

this

is,

the Council

of

Trent

hath

moft

pre

-

cifely

determined,

viz.

"

Secret

Confeffion

to the Prieft alone,

of

all

and

every

"

mortal

SIn,

which upon the

moft

diligent

fearch and

examination

of our Con-

"

fciences we

can remember

our

felves

to

be guilty

of

fince

our

Baptifm toge-

"

ther with

all

the

Circumftances

of

thofe

Sins,

which

may

change the nature

of

"

them;

becaufe

without

the

perfe&

knowledge

of

thefe, the Prieft cannot make

"

a

judgment

of

the nature

and quality

of

Mens Sins,

nor impofe fitting Penance

"

for

them.

This

is

the

Confeffion

of

Sins

required

in

the Church

of

Rome,

which

the

fame

Council

of

Trent,

without

any real

ground

from Scripture

or

Ecclefiafti-

cal

Antiquity,

doth

moft confidently

affirm,

"

to

have been inftituted by

our

"

Lord,

and by

the

Law

of

God

to

be

neceffary

to

Salvation, and

to

have

beers

"

always praetifed in

the Catholick Church.

I (hall

as

briefly

as

I can

examine

both

thefe Pretences,

of

the Divine Inttituti-

on,

and Contrant Pra

&ice

of

this kind

of

Confection.

Firft, For

theDivine

Inflitution

of

it,

they

mainly rely

upon three Texts

;

in

the

fir(i

of

which there

is

no

mention at all

of

Confeflion, much

lefs

of

a

particu-

lar

Confeffion

of

all

our

Sins

with the

Circumftances

of

them;

in the

other two

there

is

no mention

of

Confeffion

to the

Prieft

:

and yet

all

this ought

clearly

to

appear in thefe Texts, before they

can

ground

a

Divine In[titution upon them

;

for a Divine

Inttitution

is

not

to

be

founded

upon

obfcure Confequences,

but up-

on plain

Words.

The Firfl Text,

and

the

only one upon

which the

Council

of

Trent grounds

the

Necefiity

of

Confeffion,

is

John

20.

23. Whof

foever

fins

ye remit,

they

are

remit-

ted

; and

mhofefoever

fins

ye

retain,

they

are retained

:

It

is

a fign

they

were

at

a

great

lofs

for

a

Text to prove it,

when they are glad to bring

one that bath

C

not