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A Form of Confession of Sins and Repentance, to be used upon Fasting Days, or Days of Humiliation, especially in Lent, and before the Holy Sacrament.

“Have mercy upon me, O God, after thy great goodness; according to the multitude of thy mercies do away mine offences: for I will confess my wickedness, and be sorry for my sin.” O my dearest Lord, I am not worthy to be accounted amongst the meanest of thy servants, not worthy to be sustained by the least fragments of thy mercy, but to be shut out of thy presence for ever with dogs and unbelievers. But for thy name’s sake, O Lord, be merciful unto my sin, for it is great.

I am the vilest of sinners, and the worst of men; proud, and vain-glorious, impatient of scorn or of just reproof; not enduring to be slighted, and yet extremely deserving it; I have been cozened by the colours of humility and when I have truly been called myself vicious I could not endure any man else should say so or think so. I have been disobedient, unchristian, and unmanly. But for thy name’s sake, etc.

O just and dear God, how can I expect pity or pardon, who am so angry and peevish, with and without cause, envious at good, rejoicing in the evil of my neighbours negligent of my charge, idle and useless, timorous and base, jealous and impudent, ambitious and hard-hearted, soft, unmortified, and effeminate in my life, undevout in my prayers, without fancy or affection, without attendance to them or perseverance in them; but passionate and curious in pleasing my appetite of meat, and drink, and pleasures, making matter both for sin and sickness; and I have reaped the cursed fruits of such improvidence, entertaining indecent and impure thoughts, and I have brought them forth in indecent and impure actions, and the spirit of uncleanness hath entered in and unhallowed the temple which thou didst consecrate for the habitation of thy Spirit of love and holiness. But for thy name’s sake, O Lord, be merciful unto my sin, for it is great.

Thou hast given me a whole life to serve thee in, and to advance my hopes of heaven; and this precious time I have thrown away upon my sins and vanities, being improvident of my time and of my talent, and of thy grace and my own advantages, resisting thy Spirit and quenching him. I have been a great lover of myself, and yet used many ways to destroy myself. I have pursued my temporal ends with greediness and indirect means. I am revengeful and unthankful, forgetting benefits, but not so soon forgetting injuries, curious and murmuring, a great breaker of promises. I have not loved my neighbour’s good, nor advanced it in all things, where I could. I have been unlike thee in all things. I am unmerciful and unjust: a sottish admirer of things below, and careless of heaven and the ways that lead thither.

But for thy name’s sake, O Lord, be merciful unto my sin, for it is great.

All my senses have been windows to let sin in, and death by sin. Mine eyes have been adulterous and covetous; mine ears open to slander and detraction; my tongue and palate loose and wanton, intemperate, and of foul language, talkative and lying, rash and malicious, false and flattering, irreligious and irreverent, detracting and censorious; my hands have been injurious and unclean, my passions violent and rebellious, my desires impatient and unreasonable; all my members and all my facilities have been servants of sin; and my very best actions have more matter of pity than of confidence, being imperfect in my best, and intolerable in most.-But for thy name’s sake, O Lord, etc.

Unto this and a far bigger heap of sin I have added also the faults of others to my own score, by neglecting to hinder them to sin in all that I could and ought; but I also have encouraged them in sin, have taken off their fears, and hardened their conscience, and tempted them directly, and prevailed in it to my own ruin and theirs, unless thy glorious and unspeakable mercy hath prevented so intolerable a calamity.

Lord, I have abused thy mercy, despised thy judgments, turned thy grace into wantonness. I have been unthankful for thy infinite loving-kindness. I have sinned and repented, and then sinned again and resolved against it, and presently broke it; and then I tied myself up with vows, and then was tempted, and then I yielded by little and little, till I was willingly lost again, and my vows fell off like cords of vanity.

Miserable man that I am! who shall deliver me from this body of sin?

And yet, O Lord, I have another heap of sins to be unloaded. My secret sins, O Lord, are innumerable; sins I noted not; sins that I willingly neglected; sins that I acted upon wilful ignorance and voluntary mispersuasion; sins that I have forgot; and sins which a diligent and a watchful spirit might have prevented, but I would not. Lord, I am confounded with the multitude of them, and the horror of their remembrance though I consider them nakedly in their direct appearance, without the deformity of their unhandsome and aggravating circumstances; but, so dressed, they are a sight too ugly, an instance of amazement, infinite in degrees, and insufferable in their load.

And yet thou hast spared me all this while, and hast not thrown me into hell, where I have deserved to have been long since, and even now to have been shut up to an eternity of torments, with insupportable amazement, fearing the revelation of thy day.

Miserable man that I am! who shall deliver me from this body of sin?

Thou shalt answer for me, O Lord my God. Thou that prayest for me shalt be my judge.

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