Thursday, 5 February 2015

New Directory for Public Worship (3)


Although the materials and suggestions for Confession in the following pages are almost entirely for the confession of special sins, this is not because sin itself is thought to be a less important subject of confession either in public or private prayer. On the contrary, it rightly holds a foremost place in those two noble "Confessions of Sin," from the Reformation period,  which are given in the Appendix. But the sense of sin comes to most men through the commission of particular sins, or the omission of particular duties.

The leading forms of sin and shortcoming are, therefore, here specified, in order that the minister may touch every conscience in turn, and awaken in every heart the sense of sin, and the desire to confess and to forsake it, and to receive forgiveness, cleansing, and renewal.

As will be seen at once, the Ten Commandments have guided the general arrangement; and the sub-divisions have been taken from the very full and suggestive exposition of the Commandments in the Larger Catechism. Details have been gathered from the works of the best devotional writers, especially Bishop Andrews, and Bishop Jeremy Taylor.

Titles of Invocation in Confession.
(The original KJV changed to ESV)

1. O Lord, O Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering and abundant in goodness and truth.

2. Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin.   (Exodus 34:6,7)
3.  You are a God ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. (Nehemiah 9:17)

4. The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.” (Psalm 9:9, 10)

5.  The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18)

6.  Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens,  your faithfulness to the clouds.  (Psalm 36:5)

7.  For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you. (Psalm 86:5)

8. He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. (Psalm 103:9)

9.  He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. (Psalm 103:10)

10.  But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him.  (Psalm 103:17)

11.  He has show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. (Eph 2:7)

12.  The Lord is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made.  (Psalm 105:9)

13.  Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love. (Micah 7:18)

14. He will again have compassion on us; he will tread our iniquities underfoot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea. (Micah 7:19)

Editorial Comment:  As we come to God in confession it is appropriate that we quote his own self-revelation in Scripture. The third person statements, ("he") can easily be changed to second person, ("you"), e.g. 14 "You will again have compassion on us..."

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