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worm ? Do you provoke the Lord to 1 Cor. x. 22. jealousy ? are you stronger than he ? O man ! for your soul's sake, let not Satan abuse your understanding, and sin befool you ! Must you Heb. ix. 7. not die ? And doth not judgment fol- Matt. z. 26. low, when all secrets shall be opened, and God will no more entreat you to confess? Behold, the Judge standeth at the door.
Will James v. 9. sin go then with you for as light a matter as it doth
you then deny it; or will you stand to all the reasonings or excuses, by which you would now extenuate or cover it? Will you defend it as your friend, and be angry with ministers and reprovers as your enemies ? Or will you not mourn at last, with weeping and gnashing of teeth, and say, How have I hated instruction, Prov. v. 11, 12, and my heart despised reproof! and have not obeyed the voice of my teach- Matt. xiii. 42,50. ers, nor inclined mine ear to them that instructed
O that you were wise, that you Deut. xxxii. 29. understood this, and that you would consider your latter end ! Believe God's wrath before you feel it : be convinced by the word and servants of the Lord, before you are confounded by the dreadfulness of his Majesty. Yet there is hope : but shortly there
Gal, vi, 7.
will be none, if you neglect it. Yet if you confess Prov, xxviii. 13. and forsake your sins, you shall have mercy ; but if you cover them, you shall not prosper : Prov. xxix, 1. and if, being oft reproved, you harden your neck, you shall suddenly be destroyed, and that
without remedy. Be not deceived, God is not mocked: whatsoever you sow, that shall you also reap. O man ! you know not what it is to deal with an offended and revenging God: nor Matt. vii. 23;
what it is to hear Christ say, Depart
from me, ye workers of iniquity, I never knew you ; depart from me, ye wicked, into everlasting fire. You know not what it is to be shut out of heaven, and concluded under utter desperation, and in hell to look back upon this obstinate impenitence, and rejecting of the mercy that would have saved you ; and there to have conscience telling you for ever what it is that you have done. Did you not know what this is, could you think a penitent confessing and forsaking your sin to be a condition too hard for the preventing of such a doleful state ? O no! You know not what a case you are casting your immortal soul into. The Lord give you repentance, that you may never know it by experience! To prevent this, is our business
you. We delight not to displease or shame you.
But God hath told us, that if Jas. v, 20. any do err from the truth, and one convert him, let him know that he which converteth a sinner from the error of his way, shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins. I do, therefore, by the command and in the name of Jesus Christ, require and beseech you, that you do, without any more delay, confess your sins, and heartily bewail them, and beg pardon for them, and resolve and promise by the help of God to do so no more. And bless God that you have an Advocate 1 John i. 7, 9; with the Father, Jesus Christ the right
ii. 1, 2. eous, whose blood will cleanse you from your sins, if you penitently confess them; and that mercy may be yet had on so easy terms. If you had any sense of
your sin and misery, or any sense of the dishonour done to God, or of the wrong
have done to others, and of the usefulness of your penitent confession and amendment to the reparation of all these, you would cast yourself in the dust, in shame and grief, before the Lord, and before the Church. To day, therefore, if you will Psal. xcv. 8, 12; hear his voice, harden not your heart;
lxxxi. 11, 12
lest God forsake you, and give you over unto your own heart's lust, to walk in your own counsels, and resolve in his wrath you shall never enter into his rest. And then, God and this congregation will be witnesses that you were warned ; and your blood will be upon your own head. But if, in Luke xxiv. 47. penitent confession, you flee to Christ,
and loathe yourself for your iniquities, and heartily forsake them, I have authority to promise you free forgiveness, and that your iniquity shall not be
Ezek. xviii. 30,
A Form of Confession to be made before the Congregation. Josh. vii. 19. I do confess before God, and this conProv. xxviii. 13.
gregation, that I have greatly sinned. Psal. xxxii. 5. Exod. x. 16. *I have offended and dis
* Here the sin Gal. i. 13.
honoured God, wronged the must be named 2 Chron, xv. 2
and aggravated, Church, and the souls of Gen. iv. 16.
when bythe pasPsal. li. 11. others. I have deserved to tor it is judged Matt. xxvii. 5. be forsaken of the Lord,
requisite. Luke xv. 21. Mark xii. 8. and cast out of his presence, and the comPsal.xxxviii. 18, munion of saints, into desperation and 4; xl. 12.
remediless misery in hell. I am no Luke xiii. 13. 1 Tim. i. 1. more worthy to be called thy son, or
Rom. v. 10.
Heb. viii. 12.
2 Chron. xx. 20.
to have a name or place among thy Heb. ix. 26. servants. I do here declare mine ini- Luke xix. 10. quity, and am sorry for my sins : they James v. 16.
Psal. li. 2, 1, 9. are gone over my head as a heavy burden ; they are too heavy for me, Psal. li. 11, 27; they take hold upon me. I am ashamed,
xi, 9, 10; ciii.
10; li. 10, 12. as unworthy to look up towards heaven: 2 Cor. ii. 7, 10. but my hope is in the blood and grace John viii. 11.
Mark xiii. 37. of Christ, who made his life a sacrifice Psal. lxxiii. for sin, and came to seek and save that 1, 15.
Eccles. viii. 12. which was lost; whose
aboundeth where sin hath abounded. The Lord James i. 13, 14. be merciful to me a sinner! I humbly beg of the congregation that they will Gal. vi. 1. earnestly pray that God would wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from
my that he will forgive them, and blot them out, and hide his face from them, and remember them no more : that he will not cast me away from his presence, nor forsake me as I have forsaken him, nor deal with me according to my deserts ; but that he will create in me a clean heart, and renew a right spirit in me, and grant me the joy of his salvation. And I beg pardon of the Church, and all that I have wronged ; and resolve, by the grace
Psal. v. 5.