Another godlie Confession and meditation of the penitent.
I Altogether vnhappie and comfortlesse, haue greeuouslie offended my Lord God. What shall I do? Whether shall I go? I can not hide me from his sight. How oft haue I tres∣passed against him? How oft haue I deserued his dis∣pleasure? And yet how seldome hath he punished me? How oft hath he beene good and mercifull vnto me? How oft haue I promised and vowed amendment, and how little and seldome haue I performed it? This is a wofull case. Who will haue pitie on me, I dare not lift vp mine eies towards heauen, because I haue sinned against it: and in earth I can looke for no refuge, be∣cause I haue beene a slander and shame vnto it. What then? Should I despaire? No, God is mercifull, and a good Sauiour: he doth visit them that liue in darknes, and is a cheerfull light to them that sit in the shadowe Page 150 of death. He willeth vs to forgiue our brother, though he offend seuentie tunes, yea infinitelie. And God is more mercifull than anie man can be, and he must be the onlie refuge and comfort: he will not despise his creature, the image of himselfe.
Returne thee therefore O my soule vnto thy Lord God, praie to him humblie on thy knees for grace, and continue to bewaile thy sinnes past, because that he which loueth thee, prouoketh thee dailie with his gra∣tious gifts and blessings to loue him, and will not leaue thee, vntill he haue made perfect his worke be∣gunne, and brought his mercie to full effect in thee. What naturall cause beginneth his worke, and lea∣ueth it in the halfe waie imperfect? The vertue of seed sowne, doth not cease till the fruit be brought to per∣fection, yet that nature worketh not at once, but first prepareth the matter, and then disposeth and makes it fit to receiue the shape, which is the perfection and end thereof. And as by naturall order, and right course things do proceede and increase by little and little, from the lesse to the more, euen so doth God first dispose vs to his mercie, and then increasing his goodnesse dailie, bestoweth on vs in the end, the treasure of his grace and inheritance of euerlasting ioies. What bird forsaketh hir yong, till they be able to liue of themselues, and yet no auaile, for their paine com∣meth to them. Uerie loue worketh in naturall causes, to bring foorth their affects to perfection. If it be so in creatures, what will the Creator doo? which is loue it selfe, and infinite goodnesse; he will withdrawe thee from thy sinnes, make thee cleane and pure, and final∣lie blesse thee with eternall life, which he hath prepa∣red for thee. O Lord, I come to thee sad and mourning, I sit at thy feete, humblie waiting for thy mercie. Thou art my hope and helper, according to thy great mercies, haue mercie vpon me,