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curses, all his judgments. Now self sécusing will prevent Satans accusing of us. He can lay no more to our charge, than we in our confessions are willing to charge our selves with: And self-judging will prevent Gods judging of us, 1 Cor.11.31. If we would judge our selves, we should not be judged. We are not to judge others, but we may and must judge our selves. Concerning Confession of fin cake chese Rules.
I. Confesse all thy particular known fins particularly: Take thy self in private, and open the case of thy soul clearly, and without guile of spirit before the Lord, make private confession of all thy fins unto him: not that thou canst acquaint God with any thing he did not before know ; but that it may appear, thou thy self knowest, and art acquainted with the plague of thine own heart, and are fensible of thy sins, iniquities, and defects in obedience. And seeing every one is guilcy of many more fins than he can remember, though he examine his heart and life never so seriously: Therefore when thoa haft humbly confesed, and bewailed all thy particular known fins to God, then with a general confession acknowledge the rest; namely, all thy fecret, unknown, undiscovered lins ; saying, as David, Pfal.19.12. Lord cleanse me from my secret fins. Cleanse me O Lord, not only from those particular fons I do remember, and humbly confesle before thee, but from all other sons allo
thac I am any manner of way guilty of though I do not now remember them.
2. Remember, that 'tis not only words, and handsome expressions God regards in confession of fin, but there must be shame, a deep sexfe and
а. feeling of the evil ot fin, a heart hatred against fin, a true sorrow for all our offences againft God, chat must accompany our confessions, else they are no way pleasing unto him.
3. Besides con essing #nto God, there are some cases, wherein confeffion also unto man is requisice; as
1. Under deep wounds of conscience, 'Tis requifice then to open the true state and case of thy soul to some Godly Minifer, or some faithful, experienced Christian, that so they may give advice and counsel, and suiç their prayers to thy particular Case.
2. When fome eminent judgment seizeib on any, for some eminent provocation. Here as Fofbuah Taid to Achan, Joh.7.19. My for, confeß, and give glory to God. That Gods justice may be cleared ; for hereby God receiveth a great deal of Glory, and men a wonderful confirmation, of che care and justice of Providence.
3. He that by any netorious offence really scandalizeth his Brother, or the Church of Christ, ought to be willing by a private, or publick confeffson and sorrow for his fin, to declare his repentance to those that are offended, who are thereupon to be
reconciled to him, and in love to receive him.
Fifthly,Forsaking singleaving off whatever ap-. pears to be displeafing unto God. The true penitent
1. Forsakes the acting of known fins for the present.
2. Refolves against fin for the future. I. Forsakes all his former known fins, secret fins as well as open, profitable fins, as well as those that are not. frue and fincere obedience is unia versal, especially in respect of the purpose of the heart: He that out of conscience of duty to God, forsakes one fin, will for the same reason fear to offend in another ; there being the same Divine Authority, awing and binding the Conscience in one sin, as in another. To pick and chuse, here to obey, there to dispense with our felves, is a shrewd fign of hypocrisie.
II. Resolves against fin. And his resolutions come,
1. From solid reasons, and not only from some suddes affections.
2. Are accompanied with earnest and fervent prayers to God. He that is strong in resolution, and weak in fupplication is quickly
foil'd. 3. Are made, not in his own ftrength, but the strength of Christ, which he bumbly implores, and rests upon.
Sixthly, Conversion,, whereby the bent of the heart is turned towards God, choosing him for its chief delight, and portion, desiring to
walk with him, and approve it self unto him in sincere obedience. A true and real penitent does not content himself with a meer negative holineste, and leaving off his former sinful waies. 'Tis not enough for such an one to be no druze kard, no swearer, no unclean person, dc. But as he hates every evil way, so he makes Conscience of every knows duty required of him. The Commands that require duty, are as binding to him, as those that forbid sin. There will be a visible change in such a person; and that
1. In reference to God: He will love God more, and delight in his wajes and worship now, more chan formerly.
2. In reference to men , He will be careful to discharge his relative duties : He will labour to walk exactly and righteously,& co observe a friet integrity in his dealings with men. And in these two things he will manifest che reality of his conversion.
1. if he remember he has wronged any man fora merly, in his goods, or estate, either by defrauding, or unjust detaining what is due to him, he will endeavour to make him restitution, or other satisfaction. He that confeßeth, and førsaketh his fen, sball find mercy, , Prov.28.13. He that restoreth not ill gotten goods, liveth still in his fin, Reftitution being an inseparable' fruit of true Repent2. If he be at variance with apy, he will defire
C: and seek reconciliation, being willing to forgive
injuries done to him, and desiring forgivenesfe of those he has any way injured.
3. In the Government of himself, he will enderVou to be sober, and temperate, and watchfni over his heart and waies, his words and actions. See more concerning watchfulnesse, in the fifth Chapter
Thus much of the nature of true Repentance. I come now to some Directions concerning, I. Remember, Repentance (though never
, so serious) is not to be rested in, as any fatisfaltion for fin, or any tause of the pardon
chereof (that being the act of Gods free Grace in Chrift) yet ic is of such neceffity to finners, chac none may expect pardon without it.
'Tis necessary for these three Reasons. 1: Because God hath commanded it, and the Gospel enjoynes it, as a condition of the new Co
2. That we may taft something of the bitternede of fin, that so we may the more carefully avoid is for the time to come.
3. To prepare and fit us to receive pardon, to dipose us into fuch a frame, as is futable to fucba bleffing.
4. To make us fet a higher value en Gods pardoning Mercy, and Christs Merits, and Bloed. How dear and precious is Chriff to a foul truly bumbled for fin ?