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DEVOUT AND PENITENT CONFESSIONS
TO BE USED, AS AT OTHER TIMES, SO ESPECIALLY BEFORE THE RECEIVING
OF CHRIST'S BLESSED SACRAMENT, ACCORDING TO THE DIRECTION OF
Exhortation before the Communion.
If any require comfort and counsel for the quieting of his conscience, let him come to some discreet minister of God's Word, and, opening his grief, receive the benefit of absolution.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to for- 1 John 1.9. give us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Almighty God, unto Whom all hearts be open, all desires known, and from Whom no secrets are hid; Cleanse the thoughts of my heart by the inspiration of Thy Holy Spirit", through Jesus Christ. Amen.
a [. . that I may perfectly love Thee, and worthily magnify Thy holy
Name; through Christ
Almighty and everlasting God, which hatest nothing that Thou hast made, and dost forgive the sins of all them that be penitent; Create and make in me a new and contrite heart, that I, worthily lamenting my sins, and knowledging my wretchedness, may obtain of Thee, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness, through Jesus Christ. Amen.
The Confession. I confess, &c., those sins, which, if I would, I cannot hide from Him: my sins of pride and vain-glory, of hatred and envy, of gluttony and wantonness, &c. which I acknowledge, through my fault, even through my own fault, and my most grievous fault, to have committed against His heavenly and awful Majesty. I am an unclean and a sinful creatureb: I accuse myself of my wicked thoughts and desires that I have had, &c. of my wanton and evil words, that &c. of my naughty and ungodly deeds, that &c. for all which I am truly penitent from the depth of my soul, and am stedfastly resolved to shew forth the fruits of repentance in my future course of life. And therefore, in all lowliness and humility of a broken heart, I beg my pardon, and cry unto God for mercy towards me, a most sinful and unworthy creature; that He Whose nature and property it is to forgive sinners, and ever to have mercy upon them that truly turn unto Him, would vouchsafe of His great pity and goodness, to give me the comfort of absolution, and a perfect remission of all my sins; to strengthen me in all good works, and to bring me unto life everlasting, through Jesus Christ. Amen.
Other Forms of general Confessions.
Almighty and most merciful Father, I have erred and strayed from Thy ways like a lost sheep. I have followed too much the devices and desires of my own heart. I have
6 Here may the penitent have recourse to the several breaches of God's
commandments, specified in the beginning of this book.
offended against Thy holy laws. I have left undone those things which I ought to have done; And I have done those things which I ought not to have done; And there is no health
But Thou, O Lord, have mercy upon me, miserable offender. Spare Thou me, O God, which confess my faults. Restore Thou me that am penitent; According to Thy promises declared unto mankind in Christ Jesu our Lord. And grant, О most merciful Father, for His sake; That I may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life, To the glory of Thy holy Name. Amen.
Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Maker of all things, Judge of all men; I knowledge and bewail my manifold sins and wickedness, which I from time to time most grievously have committed, by thought, word, and deed, against Thy Divine Majesty, provoking most justly Thy wrath and indignation against me. I do earnestly repent, and am heartily sorry for these my misdoings; the remembrance of them is grievous unto me; the burden of them is intolerable. Have mercy upon me, have mercy upon me, most merciful Father; for Thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ's sake, forgive me all that is past; and grant that I may ever hereafter serve and please Thee in newness of life, to the honour and glory of Thy Name, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Forgive me my sins, O Lord, forgive me the sins of my youth, and the sins of mine age, the sins of my soul, and the sins of my body, my secret and my whispering sins, my presumptuous and my crying sins, the sins that I have done to please myself, and the sins that I have done to please others, Forgive me my wanton and idle sins. Forgive me my serious and deliberated sins. Forgive me those sins which I know, and those sins which I know not; the sins which I have striven so long to hide from others, that now I have even hid them from my own memory. Forgive them, O Lord, forgive them all, and of Thy great goodness let me be absolved from mine offences.
A devout manner of preparing ourselves to receive
Absolution. I that am a wretched sinner, here personally appearing and prostrate before the presence of the everlasting God, in remembrance the exceeding mercy of His great having goodness towards me, whom He hath created of nothing, preserved, sustained, and loved, when I was most unworthy of any thing; whom He hath of His incomprehensible clemency so often invited to repentance, and whose conversion and amendment He hath so patiently expected; as also having in memory, that at the day of my Christening I was so happily and holily vowed and dedicated unto my God, to be His child, and to live in His continual service: yet that contrary to the profession which was then made in my name, I have so many and sundry times, so execrably and detestably violated my vows, profaned my sacred promises, and employed my soul to the service of the world, the flesh, and the devil; thereby despising the graces, and contemning the goodness of God's divine Majesty : at length recalling myself, and in all lowly and devout wise here casting my soul and body prostrate before the dreadful throne of His justice, I acknowledge and confess, and I yield myself a most miserable wretched sinner, guilty of that Death and Passion which Christ once suffered for me upon the tormenting cross. But turning myself to the throne of His infinite mercy, and with all my might and force from the very bowels of my heart, detesting the iniquities of my forepast life: I most humbly beg and crave pardon for the same, with an entire absolution from all my sins, even for the precious Death and Passion's sake of my Lord and Saviour: upon Whom, as upon the only foundation of my hope, I repose all my confidence, and unto Whom I promise and confirm again, I avow and solemnly renew the sacred profession of loyal service and fidelity, which was made in my name and in my behalf unto Him at my holy Baptism : renouncing unfeignedly the vanities of this wicked world, the lusts of all sinful flesh, and the suggestions of the devil; and converting myself unto my most gracious and merciful God, I desire, deliberate, purpose, and fully resolve to honour Him, serve Him, love Him, and obey Him, now and for ever hereafter. Giving and dedicating unto Him for this end, the powers of my soul, the affections of my heart, and the faculties of my body, to be His faithful, loyal, and obedient servants for ever, without unsaying, revoking, or repenting me of this my holy and sacred promise, or any part thereof. And I most humbly beseech Almighty God, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, to confirm me in this constant resolution, and to accept of this my broken and contrite heart, which He hath promised not to despise ; entirely desiring His fatherly goodness, that as He hath given me a desire and will to purpose, so He would give me strength and grace to perform all holy actions, thorow Jesus Christ.
The Prayer. O God, whose nature and property is ever to have mercy and to forgive, That hast compassion upon all men, and hatest nothing that Thou hast made, nor wouldest the death of a sinner, but rather that he should turn from sin, and be saved; Mercifully hear the devout and lowly prayers of Thy servant, and spare all those which confess their sins unto Thee, that they whose consciences by sin are accused, by Thy merciful and gracious pardon may be absolved, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
After Absolution. Blessed is he whose unrighteousness is forgiven, and whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth no sin.