IT becometh every one of us therefore to confess our own sins, & the sins of our Fa∣thers, Nehem. 9. 2. The seed of Israel sepa∣rated themselves from all strangers, and stood, and confessed their sins, and the iniquities of their Fathers. So in vers. 16. But they, and our Fathers dealt proudly, and hardened their necks, and harkened not to thy Commande∣ments. And vers. 33. 34. Speaking of the Judgements of God, that came upon them for their sins, they say, How be it thou art just in all that is brought upon us: for thou hast done right, but we have done wickedly: neither have our Kings, our Princes, our Priests, nor our Fathers, kept thy Law, nor hearkened to thy Commandements, and thy Testimonies, wherewith thou didst testifie a∣gainst them. Moreover, it is worth obser∣ving, that the Holy Ghost doth not record their sins which they confessed, as their own present abounding sins, but recordeth the sins of their Fathers, which they confessed before God, as appeareth from the ninth to the 30th. verse. It is not recorded, we dealt proudly, Page 176 we hardened our necks, we refused to obey, we were disobedient and rebellious. No question, this was their own carriage towards God. But it is said [They] meaning their Fathers: They dealt proudly, they hardened their necks, &c. Furthermore observe, they did not insist upon the sins of their immediate Progeni•ors, but upon the sins and rebel∣lions of their Fathers that came out of the Land of Egypt, and first inhabited Canaan. They make mention of their Fathers sins, as if all their m•sery came upon them chiefly for their Fathers Sins, rather than for their own Sins.
What reason can there be assigned, why the Holy Ghost makes such a record of their Confession of their Fathers Sins, rather than of their own, if it be not to convince, and shew what we ought to do, viz. Not only to lay our own sins to heart, and to confess them before God, but also the sins of our Fa∣thers: as also to shew us, that the iniquities of our Fathers do bring the dreadful Judge∣ments of God like a flood upon us, as well as our own sins, Jerem. 3. 25. We lie down in our shame, and our confusion covereth us, for we have sinned against the Lord our God, we and our Fathers, from our Youth even to this day, and have not obeyed the Voice of the Lord Page 177 our God: And Jerem. 16. 19. The Prophet cries out thus to God. O Lord, my strength and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, the Gentiles shall come unto thee from the ends of the earth, and shall say, surely our Fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit, Lam. 5. 7. The Church cries out: Our Fathers have sinned, and are not, and we have born their ini∣quities.