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to be a part of our daily Prayers. And here it stands very fitly before we desire foggiveness, to mind us that Reo: pentance must ever go before Pardon ; the greatest Hypocrite,and the worst of Sinners, do really desire forgiveness, but they would have it without the trouble of Repentance ; if a wish, or a figh, or Lord have mercy,at lalt would procure it, they could delirea Pardon: But the sincere Christian knows, that God neither can, nor will, forgive without Repentance, Luke xiii.z.wherefore he seeks not, in vain to separate what God hath joyned, nor wilhes to escape, what Sin hath made just and necessary : He knows that he hath deserved to taste the bitter as well as the sweet, and when he hath been fo foolish as to fin, will not be so unworthy as to decline so juft a forrow as that of Repentance is, yea,
he begs it as an excellent favour from God to give him a truly penitent heart, because unless we see the folly and baseness of our evil ways, and be really grieved thereat, we are never like to forsake them, nor to get a Pardon for them. And happy is he who sincerely makes this Request, for he begins to repent already; and bletsed is he, that can obtain it, for it doth infallibly precede a Pardon ; if it be true Kepentance, a certain Remission will follow it: Pharoah indeed repented while Gods plagues were on him, and Ahab counterfeited the outward part, Judas repented, but without hope of Mercy; none of these were true Repentance, which is neither forced in the beginning, nor feigned in the going on, nor desperate in the end thereof; but it is the voluntary and kindly relenting of a tender heart, without any artifice or fantastick Aidos, real (y) Vera fiquidem ly grieved for it's own baseness and pænitentia eftcondemning it's own acts with fic plangere commila,
ut non commitantur that generous indignation, that it re
plangenda. Bern.med. folyes never to do the like again(y), 6.4.
and this always ends in Peace and joy and lays a Foundation for Faith, and blessed Expectations, and not without cause, Pray we therefore to him, who can soften the hardest hearts, and bring the most obdurate to Repentance, remembring that if we can prevail in this we shall not fail in the next, which is if.That He wtul forgive as all our Sins, negligences and ignozan cer,
and grant us a full and free Pardon (x) Euy fresult for all our greater and lefser Sins; και άφεσιν των αμαρ which is a Petition also to be found Tlõv, aj tãy mangu- in most of the antient Liturgies(2): μελημάτων υμών πα Only in this of ours, we have a more pa to nupir aith particular enumeration of the seveσώμε θα' Refp. Πα ral kinds of our Sins, which doall geoxx mugis. Lit.S. come under one of these three Chryf.c. Bafil. Heads. 1. Sins, properly so called, Pro remißione pecca. are those Evils which are donc detorum, & pro venid
liberately, by the approbation and crratorum nofirorum : Dominium oremus, S.
consent of a vitiated Judgment, Jac.
and with the Choice of a misguiUt remißionem omni ded Will. 2. Pegligences are um piccatorum noftro. those offences, which are committed 9Hm nobis dunare digo
for want of care and confideration, neris. Brev. Mss. Ebor.
being done rashly and while we (a)'Asixencial, a
minded somewhat else. 3. Ignoμάρτημα, και ατύχα
zances are those faults, which we fid'ap. Arift.de art.
run into by Error and Mistake, and Orat. Themift.in
should not have acted them, if we Orat.
had known them to be Crimes:
Which doth exactly answer that Co) Delinquitur,aut propofito, aut impetu,
threefold Division of Evil Deeds, aut cafu. Marcianus.
which both Philofop/ ers (a), and Jurisconf. Lawyers (b), have given us, and
serves here very well to put our penitential reflexions into Order, and to allift our Memo
ries in recollecting what kind of Sins we are guilty of.
1. The first and worst sort of our Transgressions are those which are strictly called Sins, that is gross and wilful acts of Iniquity, either against God, our Neighbour,or our felves, and there are very few, who are not guilty even of these most heinous enormities some time or other; and if we have not often offended thus, yet they are so grievous, that one or two of them deserves a great Repentance,and needs abundance of mercy in order to their Pardon.
II. But though Pegligences be lefser, they must not be thought to be no Sins, for though there be no Malice in them, yet there is intolerable carelesness, and abominable Disobedience ; for since we are the Servants of God by so many Bonds, we ought to attend his Commands always, and to try every Action before we do it, whether it be agreeable to his Will, and to live at random is to disown our Subjection, affront our Lord, despise our Rule, and to be unconcerned for our own Salvation. It is hardly possible indeed for us to attend what is our Duty always, the most vigilant may be surprized sometimes, and once or twice it may partly excuse, but if want of Consideration would always make us innocent, then they who least regarded God would have the fewest Sins ; wherefore when we neglect our Duty often, and live at all adventures without observing what we should do, then Negligences are great Sins, and will soon introduce greater, and that which first came in by inadvertency, will soon be entertained with delight and choice. We have a diligent Adversary I am sure, and if our Negligences were no Sins, they would be unaccountable follies, for besides the guilt of them, they give him all the advantage he can detire against us, who seeks our Eternal ruine; and yet good God, how often do the better fort of men neglect to
watch their thoughts and words, their Company and actions ? How often do we think, fpeak and do, we know neither what nor why? And have we not reason then to advise all to be more careful, and to pray to God to forgive them all their former 'neglects. : Lastly, follows our Ignozantes, which muft not be omitted neither in our Repentance,nor Petitions for Pardon : For St. Paul calls himself the chief of Sinners, though he acted out of ignorance, and accounts it a great Mercy, that he found a Pardon for it, 1 Tim.i. 13. There are many things which God accounts Sins, that we perhaps never knew to'be To, and a good Child would not ignorantly do what was difpleasing to his Father, but thefe are not all our Ignojances,for through prejudice and affection, or evil Education and Example we do often call evil, good, and good, evil. How do we know, but many things, which we omit as Sins, may be very good and pleating to God Almighty ? And many things which we act without scruple may yet be real Sins ? So that we fin oftner than we are aware of: And belides, although we do not know what is really good and evil in many Cases, the reason perhaps may be,
because we do not (c)seek to know (c) Non tibi deputatur ad culpam quod
it. Some are ignorant out of choice, ignoras, fed quod no
becaufe they decline the trouble of sligisque cre quod is Inttruction, and are willingly ignonoras. Aug.de liberi
rant,as St. Peter'speaks, 2 Pet.iii. 15. arbirr.l.3.c.19.
Yea, fome do really hate knowledg, (d) impia mens on dit etiam ipfum inter and desire not to understand their li&tum, do homo a!ic Duty, left they shculd be compelled quando niinium mente to do it (d), and love ignorance, perverfutimet intelli, that fo they may tin without Coneere, ze cogatur quod trou!. Now whoever does wicintellexerit faceie. S. Salviar.
kedly out of such an ignorance, is
is double, first that he doth evil, and fecondly, that he hates the light, which would guide him into better ways; and verily since we have so much means of Knowledg thining among us, there are scarce any except Ideots, but they either do know their Duty,or might know it, and therefore scarce any now do fin out of ignorance, but it is a voluntary blindness, and so an aggravation of all forts of Crimes. Let us therefore not pass by our very
gnojances, but beg pardon for them as well as other Sins, faying We beseech thee,&c. III. The last request is that it may please God to endue us with the Grace of his Holy Spirit, to amend pur Lives accouding to his Holy TW 030: For this amendment of Life is the testimony of our unfeigned Repentance, and the assurance of our Pardon : In vain do we confefs our Sins, negligences and ignorances,and defire Remission of them, unless we do'at the same time defire and refolve to amend them (as hath been observed before.)Wherefore that we may live better hereafter, we do in this Petition both beg it of God, and mind ourselves how it may be effected, for here is, 1. The power by which this Reformation must be wrought,viz. The Gzace of Gods Holy Spirit. 2, The Pattern according to which it must be framed, viz. The directions of his oly cai 020, the hand which must help us,and the rule that must guide us in it,both which deserve to be considered.
First, we ask for the Grace of Gods Holy Spirit, which is necessary to every good Work, much more to a compleat a (Non dicit fine mendment. Without it we cannot me parùm , aut fine do the least good, John xv.5.(e),
me difficilius fed and how should we imagine we
fine me nihil poteftis
fucere.Aug.& Can.s. can do all Gods Will, unless we Concil.Carth.contr. have his Grace?? This, this is that Pelag.An. 418. which must instruct us against our