The second Chapter, A lamentation of a sinner, with hartie repentance in faith to obtaine absolution and remission, through the merits of Christ.
WHat cause now haue I to lament, sigh, and weepe for my life & time so euill spent? With how much humilitie and lowlinesse ought I to come and knowledge my sinnes to God, Page 43 giuing him thanks, that it hath pleased him of his a∣boundant goodnesse, to giue me time of repentance. For I knowe my sinnes in the consideration of them, to be so greeuous, and in the number so exceeding, that I haue deserued verie often eternall damnation. And for the deferring of Gods wrath, so manifoldlie due, I must vncessantlie giue thanks to the mercie of God: beseeching also, that the same delaie of punishment cause not his plague to be the sorer, since mine owne conscience condemneth my former doings. But his mercie exceedeth all iniquitie. And if I should not thus hope, alas, what should I seeke for refuge and comfort? No mortall man is of power to help me; and for the multitude of my sinnes, I dare not lift vp mine eies to heauen, where the seate of iudgement is, I haue so much offended my God. What? Shall I fall in desperation? Naie, I will call vpon Christ the light of the world, the fountaine of life, the reliefe of all care∣full consciences, the peacemaker betweene God and man, and the onlie health and comfort of all true re∣pentant sinners.
He can by his almightie power saue me, and deliuer me out of this miserable state, and hath will by his mercie to saue euen the whole sin of the world. I haue no hope nor confidence in anie creature, neither in heauen nor earth; but in Christ my whole & onlie Sa∣uiour. He came into the world to saue sinners, and to heale them that are sicke. For he said, The whole haue no neede of the physician. Behold Lord, how I come to thee, a sinner sicke, and grieuouslie wounded: I aske not bread; but the crums that fall from the childrens table. Cast me not out of thy sight, although I haue deserued to be cast into hell fire.
If I should looke vpon my sinne, and not vpon thy mercie, I should despaire. For in my selfe I find no∣thing to saue me, but a dunghill of wickednesse to con∣demne Page 44 me. If I should hope by mine owne strength and power to come out of this maze of iniquitie and wickednesse, wherein I haue walked so long, I should be deceiued. For I am so ignorant, blind, weake, and feeble; that I can not bring my selfe out of this intan∣gled and wayward maze: but the more I seeke means & waies to winde my selfe out, the more I am wrap∣ped and tangled therein.
So that I perceiue my striuing therein to be hin∣derance, my trauell to be labour spent in going backe. It is the hand of the Lord that can and will bring me out of the endlesse maze of death. For without I be preuented by the grace of the Lord, I can not aske forgiuenesse, nor be repentant or sorie for them. There is no man can auow, that Christ is the onlie Sauiour of the world, but by the holie Ghost: yea, as S. Paule saith, no man can saie, The Lord Iesus, but by the holie Ghost. The spirit helpeth our infirmitie, and maketh continuall intercession for vs, with such sorowfull gro∣nings as can not be expressed.
Therefore I will first require and praie the Lord, to giue me his holie spirit, to teach me to auow that Christ is the Sauiour of the world, and to vtter these words, The Lord Iesus, and finallie to helpe mine infir∣mities, and to intercede or intreate for me. For I am most certaine and sure, that no creature in heauen nor earth, is of power, or can by anie meane helpe me: but God, who is omnipotent, almightie, beneficiall, and mercifull, welwilling, and louing to all those that call and put their whole confidence and trust in him. And therefore I will seeke none other meanes nor aduocate, but Christes holie spirit, who is on∣lie the aduocate and mediatour betweene GOD and man, to helpe and releeue mee.