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and necessary, as well for the body as the foul, 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 Confession, to be said of the whole Congregation,
after the Minister, all kneeling. 1. ALMIGHTY, and most merciful Father. 2. We
A have erred and strayed from thy ways like loft sheep. 3. We have followed too much the devices and de
PA RA P H R AS E
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 learers of his holy word ; nor can wo hope that our prayers will be accepted, whilft the wickeduess of our lives render us abominable in the light of our creator. .
3. I therefore, in the moft earneft manner, request all of you, who aft upon this rolemn occasion, to prostrate yourselves before God and address him with fervent prayer, which I, as the minister of God, offer up to the throne of his grace both for you and myself; I do not perform this daty alone, as the prielt did under the Jewish dispensation, and as the papifts, who have imitated them, do at present, but I desire you, who enjoy higher privileges by virtue of Christ's covenant, to accompany me thither with purity of heart; repeating after me the form of words prefcrib'd by the church upon this occasion ; 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 foiemnity of the occasion,
1. O Lord, we make application to thee on account of those attributes of thine, which must dispole thee to pardon finners; thy Omnipotence, from which we may hope for constant asistance, 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 pleased to own that thou bearest towards us.
2. We, with the atmoft confusion, 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 halt revealed: and this, according to the comparison of our Saviour, after the manner of those loft sheep that stray from their shepherds, and are thereby exposed to a variety of dangers.
fires of our own hearts. 4. We have offended against thy holy laws. 5. We have teft 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. 1o. 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 sake; That we may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life; To the glory of thy holy Name. Amen.
P A R A P H R A S E. 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, morcover, acknowledge ourselves to have been guilty of many fins of omifsion, in neglecting the duties commanded us.
6. And we have also been guilty of many sins of commission, 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.
8. We therefore have recourse to thy goodness, () 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 sins, upon our confeffion of them, and hearty repentance of them.
10. And if our penitence be fincere, refore 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 eleet laints, whose privileges all wicked and impenitent linners are excluded from.
11. According to the promises which chon 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 saint or angel, but in the name of thy dear Son, as thou haft promised to give whatever we ask in his name, (John xvi. 23.) to aflift us so powerfully with the grace of thy Holy Spirit, that, for the time to come, we may faithfully acquit ourselves 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 righteously, in behaving with justice and charity to our neighbours, and fuberly, 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 everlaftingly unhappy ; (Ezek. xviii. 28.) but rather that he thould escape perdition, and enjoy an happy eternity; and to this end, hath impowered the ministers of the gospel, and even given them positive orders, (Matth. Xviti. 18. Fobn xx. 23) to declare remission of fins to all sincere penikents: be, by the mouth of his minister, pronouncech pardon and absolation to all who are poffeffed of the requifite qualifications for it, i.e. a facere repentance of his fins, and a firm belief of his Holy Gospel. Mark xv. Åds XX. 21.
AND EXPLAINED. 7 The Abfolution, or Remision of Sins, to be pronounced by the
Priest alone, standing ; the People still kneeling.. . 1. A Lmighty God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
A who desireth 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 Absolu, . tion and Remission of their sins : 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. The People mall answer bere, and at the End of all other
PA RA P H R A S E. in performing all the duties of temperance, chastity, and other virtues, which more immediately concern ourselves. Nor do we desire this, in order to refeat honour upon ourselves, or lo acquire any merit by leading fach a religious life, but only, that the greater glory may be ascribed to thy goodness, by whose grace we hope to have this wonderful change effected in our hearts.
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 1. 17.) to be tow upon us the grace of true repentance and the assistance of his Holy Spirit, for without the aid of this blessed Spirit, which Srengthens our weakness and heals our informities, our devotion can never be acceptable to him : che afaitance of bis Holy Spirit is likewise necessary
Tben the Minister fpall kneel, and say the Lord's Prayer with an audible
Voice ; the People also kneeling, and repeating it with bim, borb here,
and wberesoever else it is used in Divine Service. 1. UR Father, 2. which art in Heaven ; 3. Hallow
ed be thy Name. 4. Thy Kingdom come... 5. Thy will be done in Earth, As it is in Heaven. 6. Give us this day our daily bread. 7. And forgive us our cref: passes, as we forgive them that trespass against us. 8. And
PA RA PHRASE. to prevent us from relapsing into a sinful state, but that our souls, which formerly have been dehled with many vices, may shine with that purity and holiness which the gospel requires. So that, when we quit this tranfitory life, we may enter into the joy of the Father, thro' che merits of Jesus Christ, our ever blessed Redeemer.
1. We have recourse to thee, O God, who, by the great work of creaciun, art the father of us and all mankind, but art, in a more particular manner, the father of us chriitians by adoption. Rom. viii. 15.'
2. Offering up our petitions unto thee, the great God of heaven and earth, whose throne and peculiar place of residence is in the empyreum or heaven of heavens. Ifa, Ixvi. 1. Matt. v. 39.
3. It is our desire, and we will exert our utmost efforts, that thy name, (Exod. xx. 7.) and whatsoever has any connection with thee, may be held facred and preserved from any manner of contempt, and moreover be honoured with distinguishing marks of respect and adoration.
4. We also ardently wish for the time when thy glorious kingdom, which cinnot be inherited by Aesh and blood, shall commence, (i Cor. *1. 20.) and into which the elect are to be received. Matt. xxv. 34, 5.
5. We pray thee, O Lord, to haften thy kingdom of grace, introductory to thy kingdom of glory hereafter, that all our irregular passions and finsual affections, being subdued by thee our king and governor, we may be numbered amongst those blessed, who are poor in spirit, and to whom thy dear Son our redeemier has appropriated the kingdom of heaven. We pray farther, that we chriftians here upon earth may discharge our duty to God, and conform ourselves to his will, made known to us by the preaching of the gospel, with as much readiness and punctuality as the angels in heaven perform it. Pf. ciii. 21. Mart. xviii. 10.
6. We petition thee farther to supply us with our daily sustenance, (1 Tim. vi. 8.) not only with bread, but with cloaths and all the other necessaries of life, in fuch proportion as thou shalt judge proper.
7. Intreating thee to pardon our sins, as well great as small, both of which render is obnoxious to divine justice, as we, on our part, profess to have freely forgiven all those who have offended against as, knowing that we cannot otherwise hope for the mercy of God. Matt. vi. 15
lead us not into temptation ; 9. But deliver us from evil : 10. For chine is the Kingdom, And the Power, And the Glory, For ever and ever. Amen.
Then likewise be shall say;
PA RA P H R AS E. 8. We request of thiec, that thou wouldst be pleased to preserve us from say ftrong temptation, which we may not have strength to overcome, (Matt. xxvi. 40.) for the immediate government of thy kingdom of grace in this wicked and perverse generation. Let not any trying temptation be laid in our way, in this, too apt to be biased and corrupt, state of feeble nature ; give us not over into the enemy's hand; forsake us not in car fpiritual confli&t ; guide us in the way of thy commandments; and grant that, thro' Chrift, we may be conquerors, not conquered by the worldly and glittering allurements to fin ; or if we fall into temptations, aford us such a potent affiftance of thy grace, as may enable us to get the better of them. 2 Cor. xii. 9.
9. Bat rescue us from every evil to which human nature is obnoxious, as well from the dominion of sin, (Eph. i. 1. Heb. x. 12.) as that of calamities, and that from evil occasioned by thie malice of evil spirits. Yob, i. 6, 8. Rev. xii. 8.
10. These blessings, we trust, thou wilt not with-hold fram us; thy divine perfections giving us encouragement to expect them from thee: for thine is the empire and supreme command over all things, and thy unlimited power no being can resist; (1 Chron. xxix. 10. Jud. 25.) thou art invested with infinite power, and nothing can oppose thee; (Tob, zaviii. 11. Pfal. Ixv. 7.) and thy own glory is displayed in making thy creatures happy. Jud. 25. Eph. i. 6.
Prief. Do thou, O God, who haft bestowed upon us the gift of utter: zace, (Exod. iv. 11. Prov. x. 32.) by thy Holy Spirit, allift us in our devotions.
Antwer. And then we shall speak forth thy praise, as we are in duty boond.
Prifi. Delay not to afford us thy alfitance, in promoting all things Recefl.ry for our salvation.
Arizur. And be not backward in supplying us with whatever may help us forward in that mon importani of all cur concerns.