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Serm. CVI.

in

order

to

Pardon.

A

3

their

Confciences,

to

repair

to

Comedifcreet and

faithful

Miniflerof

God's

Word,

for

advice and

fttisfa

&ion.

And thus

all

the

good

ufe,

which

can be made

c1

Confeffion, may be had

in

the Church, without our

ill

Effe&s

and Confequences

of

the

Romifh

Confeflion, and

without laying

a

Yoke

upon the

Confciences

of

Men,

which our

Saviour never laid.

And now I

have,

as

briefly and

as

plainly

as

I could, ílated this Controverfie

between

us

and

the

Church

of

Rome,

concerning

the

neceffity

and

ufe

of

fecret

Confeffion

to the

Minifters

of

God,

as

the proper

Guides

and Dire&grs-of

our

Confciences.

But

it

is

granted

on

all

hands,

that

Confeflion

of

our

fins

to Godis

neceffary

; and there

is

no doubt but it

is

here

intended

in

the Text, viz.

a

Peni-

tent

acknowledgment

of

our

fins

;

the nature whereof

I (hall

briefly explain

to you.

And it

mutt

not

only

be

a

general Confeffion

that

we

are fanners;

but there

mull

be

a

particular acknowledgment

of

our

fins

to

God,

fo far

as

upon

a

particu-

lar

difcuffion

and examination

of

our

Confciences, we

can call

them to

remem-

brance

;

efpecially

our

molt heinous

fins,

which our

Confciences will

not fuller

us

to

forget,

mutt be

particularly acknowledged,

with the

feveral

aggravations

of

them.

And

this

Confeffion mutt be accompanied

with

fuch

a

Shame

and

forrow for

or

fins, as

produceth

in

us

a

fincere

refolution

to

leave them, and to betake

our

felves

toa

better

courfe.

There

are

the

princip

l

ingredients

of

a

Penitent

Confeffion.

I.

There

muff

be

(name,

without which there

is

no hope

of

amendment.

Con

-

feffion

always

fuppofeth convi

&ion

of

a

Fault ; and he

that

is

truly convinced

that

he

hath

done

amifs

cannot but

be

affiamed

of

what

he

bath done.

And

thus

the

Penitents

in

Scripture were

wont to

make

Conief ion

of their

fins

to God ;

Ez-

ra

9.

6.

0

my

God

(fays

he)

I

am afhamed,

and

blulh to

lift

up my

face to

thee

my

God.

So

Jeremiah,

Ch,

3.

25,

We

lie down

in

our fhame,

and

oar (onfnfion covereth

us;

for

we

have

finned

againfl the

Lord.

And fo

likewife Daniel,

Ch.

9. 5.

We

have

finned, and

have committed

Iniquity,

and

done

wickedly

;

unto

us belongeth

comfit/on

of

face.

.

And thus

our

Saviour

defcribes

the penitent behaviour

of

the

Publican,

as

afhamed

to

look up

to

that

God whom he had

offended, Luke

t8.

13. He would not

lift

up

fo

much as

his

eyes

to heaven

;

but fmote

upon

his

breafl,

faying, God

be

merciful to

me

a

inner.

Confeffion

bealways accompanied

with

great

forrow for our

fins,

con

-

fidering

the

great difhonour

we

have

brought to God,

and

the danger into which

we

have brought

our

felves;

I

will declare mine iniquity,

{lays David)

and

I

will

be

ferry

for

my

fin.

And

this Sorrow mull be

proportionable to the

degree

of

our

Sin.

If

we

have

been very wicked, and

have

-finned

greatly againfl the Lord, and

have

multiplied

our

tranfgreffions,

and continued long

in an evil courfe,

have

negle

&ed

God,

and

forgotten him days without

number,

the

mealure

of

our forrow

mull bear

£ome

pro-

portion tothe

degree

of

our

fins:

If

they have

been

as Scarlet

and

Crimfon,

(as

the

Prophet

expreffeth

it)

that

is,

of

a

deeper

dye than ordinary, our Sorrow

muff

be

as

deep

as

our Guilt

; for

'tis

not

a

flight trouble and

a

few tears

that

will

wafh

out

fuch (lains.

Not

that

tears are

abfolutely

neceffary,

tho they do

very

well

become,

and

moll commonly accompany

a

fincere

Repentance.

All tempers are

not

in this

a-

like;

force

cannot

exprefs

their forrow by

tears, even

then when they

are

the

moll

inwardly and

fenfibly

grieved.

But

if

we

can

eafily shed tears

upon

other

oc-

cafions,

certainly rivers

of

tears

ought

to

run

down our

eyes,

becaufe we

have

bro-

ken

God's Laws,

the

Reafónable,

and Righteous, and Good Laws

of

fo

good

a

God,

of

fo

gracious

a

Sovereign,

of

fo mighty

a Benefa

&or,

of

the Founder

of

our

Being, and

the

perpetual

Patron

and

Prote&or of our

Lives

:

but

if

we can-

not command

our tears, there

mutt

however

be

great trouble and

contrition

of

'

Spirit,

efpecially for great fins;

to

be fore

to that

degree

as

to

produce the

3.

Property Imentioned of

a

Penitent Confeflion, namely,

a fincere

Refoluti-

on

to

leave

our

fins,

and betake

our

felves

to

a

better

courfe.

He

does

not

con

-

fefs

his Fault,

but

(land in

it, who

is

not

refolved

to

amend.

True

Shame

and

Sorrow for our

Sins is

utterly inconuftent

with

any

thought

of

returning to

them.

It