|Author:||Wade, John, b.1643.|
|Title:||A practical discourse of confession of sins to God, as a means of pardon and cleansing. By John Wade, minister of Hammersmith.|
|Publication info:||Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan, Digital Library Production Service
2012 November (TCP phase 2)
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A practical discourse of confession of sins to God, as a means of pardon and cleansing. By John Wade, minister of Hammersmith.
Wade, John, b.1643.
London: printed for John Salusbury, at the Rising-Sun in Cornhil, 1697.
With an initial table of contents and errata.
With marginal notes.
Reproduction of the original in the British Library.
Confession -- Early works to 1800.
Sin -- Early works to 1800.
To His Grace WILLIAM Duke of BEDFORD.
THE CONTENTS OF THE Several CHAPTERS in the following Discourse.
A DISCOURSE OF Confession of Sin.
CHAP. I. The Introduction. The Division of the Words. The Doctrine laid down, and the Method propounded for the handling of it. The Nature of Confession open'd, or a Description of it given, containing the Acts or Parts, and the Adjuncts or Properties of Confession.
CHAP. II. Of the former Act of Confession, to wit, Self-Accusation. Of the Limitation or Restriction of the Object in Self-Accusa∣tion, The Sinner accuseth himself of his sins, and none but himself; not God, nor the Devil, nor Ungodly Men.
CHAP. III. Of the Manner of Self-Accusation; and (1. of particularizing of Sin. He that confesses aright, accuseth himself of par∣ticular sins; and especially chargeth him∣self with his particular sin. He ac∣knowledgeth unknown sins in a general and implicit Confesion.
CHAP. IV. Of the second way of Self-Accusation; namely, as it is made by Aggravation of sin. The great Necessity of Aggra∣vation of sin. Our Confession cannot be full and compleat without it. There can be no thorow humiliation without it, Several Heads of Aggravation pro∣pounded: Among many others, one no∣table way of Aggravation commended; which is, To take those very thing, which are too commonly made Excuses and Pleas for sin, and to turn them in∣to so many Aggravations. How to Ag∣gravate our sins from the littleness of them, from the commonness of them; from our ignorance in sinning; from temptations to sin; and from our sinful Nature. A notable instance of Aggra∣vation of sin shewn in St. Austin.
CHAP. V. Of the second Act of Confession; to wit, Self-Condemnation. Self-Condemna∣tion does not at all consist in any wil∣lingness to go to Hell, or contented∣ness to be Damn'd, but only in a se∣rious judging, esteeming, and acknow∣ledging our selves worthy of Hell and Damnation for our sins. Two Marks or Characters, whereby we may be able to judge of our Self-Judging. If we truly condemn our selves for our sins, then (1.) We shall humbly submit to any present punishment that the hand of God has already laid upon any of us. (2.) We shall be willing to bear any further punishment, that God shall lay at any time upon any of us here in this World. Particularizing and Aggrava∣tion have some place in Self-Condem∣ning, as well as in Self-Accusing.
CHAP. VI. The first Adjunct or Property of true confession; it is free and voluntary, not forced and constrain'd.
CHAP. VIII. The third Property of Confession; it is made with a full Resolution against our sins. The Hypocrite is Rash and Self-confident in his Vows; but the humble Confessor is fearful and distrustful of him∣self in his Resolves, and seeks to God for strength and power to act his Pur∣poses, and perform his Vows.
CHAP. IX. The fourth and last Property of true Con∣fession: It is made with an Desire of, and some good Hope in Divine Mercy. The necessity of Faith and Hope in a right Confession of Sin upon a double ac∣count; because that unbelieving, de∣spairing Thoughts, do (1. greatly dis∣honour God. (2.) Extreamly deaden and straiten our own Hearts in Confes∣sion. A necessary Caution; to take one thing with anothe, and to be sure to join all these Properties of Confession in Practical Ʋse together.
CHAP. X. The Grounds and Reasons of Confession. Two false Grounds of Cofession reject∣ed. We must never confess our sins with any intention to give God Infor∣mation, or to make God Satisfaction by our Confession. An Objection an∣swered.
CHAP. XI. Ten positive Grounds, and proper Reasons of the Duty of Confession. (1.) God expresly commands it. (2.) God is greatly glorified, and justified by it. (3.) 'Tis a thing in it self most reasona∣ble and equitable. (4.) Confession of Sin is ab∣solutely and indispensably necessary to Remission of Sin; so as that God can't well pardon us without Confession. How it's unbeseeming the Majesty, the Justice, the Mercy, the Wisdom, the Ho∣liness of God, for God to pardon and forgive the Sinner, before and without the Confession and Ac∣knowledgment of his sin. (5.) Confession of Sin is it self a proper act of Mortification. (6.) Con∣fession testifies unto God, and evidences unto our selves the sincerity and unfeignedness of our Re∣pentance, and gives us good assurance that we are in a fair way of Recovery. (7.) Confession eases our troubled Spirits, and disburdens our op∣pressed Consciences. (8.) It were unreasonable Folly in us to go about to hide any sins from God; and the wisest way to conceal them from othe•s, is to discover them to God. (9.) It's no: only a fool∣ish, but an unsate and hazardous, a desperate and dangerous thing, for any to attempt to hide and con∣ceal their sins from God. (10) And lastly; Con∣fession of Sin, or Self-accusing, and Self-judging, it happily prevents or weakens all Satan's Accu∣sations, and surely forestalls the just Sentence and Judgment of the great Judge at the last Day.
CHAP. XII. The Application of the Doctrine. The first Ʋse, by way of Confutation of the Popish Doctrine of Auricular Confession.
CHAP. XIII. The second Ʋse, of Examination and Reproof together.
CHAP. XIV. The Third Ʋse, of Exhortation. Three Motives taken out of the Text: (1.) If we confess, God will forgive us our sins. (2.) He will also cleanse us from all our unrighteousness. What is meant by Cleansing. This Benefit nothing inferior to the former. (3.) God's Faithfulness and Justice do stand engag'd to make good the promised Blessings to us. God condescends to confirm his Promises, be∣cause there are two things which make us prone to distrust, especially his Par∣doning Mercy: (1.) Our own contrary Nature and Practise. (2.) The due con∣sideration of our heinous Sins and high Provocations.
CHAP. XV. A double Direction, by way of Preparation to the Duty of Confession. (1.) Preme∣ditate as much as you can, in order to Confession. (2.) Be sure to look up un∣to God for Conviction.
CHAP. XVI. Directions given concerning some Circumstan∣ces of the very Performance of this Duty. (1.) Concerning the Time and Season of Confession. (1.) Confess continually. (2.) Confess daily. The Equity and Advan∣tage of so doing. (3.) And more parti∣cularly; Confess whenever you lye under any notable Conviction. (4.) Confess whenever you lye under any notable Af∣fliction. (5.) Confess presently upon the Commission of any great sin. (6.) Con∣fess presently upon the Receipt of any great Mercy. (2.) Concerning the Place where we should confess. Let's especially confess our sins in secret; and that for a three∣fold Reason. (1.) Because private Con∣fession is plainly necessary. (2.) 'Tis very convenient: There is a double Advantage in it. (3.) The most Secret is likely to be the most Sincere Confession.
CHAP. XVII. Further Directions, respecting and ordering our Carriage and Behaviour after the Duty. (1.) Hast thou confess'd? Then bless God who has enabled thee to confess. (2). Hast thou confess'd, and so perform'd the Condition? Then apply the Promise to thy self, and make good Ʋse of it in time of Temptation. (3.) Hast thou con∣fess'd? Then daily plead the Promise with God, and carefully look after the Performance of it. (4.) Hast thou con∣fess'd, and found and felt the Benefit of it? Why then, give God the Praise that is due to him. (5.) Hast thou confess'd thy sins? Then take great heed of falling into sin after Confession. And here, (1.) Take heed of falling wilfully into any sin after Confession. (2.) Beware, especially, that you fall not wilfully into the same particular sins you have confess'd: For, (1.) There is great danger of it. Dan∣ger, (1.) To the formal Confessor, in four respects. (2.) Danger too to the Peni∣tent Confessor: (1.) From Satan. (2.) The greatest danger from our own Corrup∣tion. (2.) There is great Evil and Fol∣ly in it; great Guilt and Danger by rea∣son of it. For (1.) falling into sin after Confession does exceedingly aggravate the sin. Sin after Confession, a great sin in three respects. (2.) As this is a great sin, so it brings along with it great Pu∣nishment; both internal and external Pu∣nishments. (3.) Sinning wilfully after Confession, will make you Self-condemn'd when God punisheth you. (4.) 'Twill break our present Peace, and dash our Hopes of future and further Comfort. (5.) Thou wilt thus cut out for thy self new Work, and make the Severities of a New Repentance necessary. (6.) Falling into sin after Confession, will make us the more unapt and unable to rise again, and recover out of it; it will strengthen Sin, and weaken Grace in us. (7.) 'Twill very much dishearten us, when we would beg Pardon of our sin, and hugely discourage us when we would renew our Resolution against it. (8.) 'Twill make God loth ever to take your Word again, and will render him harder to Pardon you upon a new Confession.
CHAP. XVIII. Some Means or Helps for the shunning and avoiding of Sins confess'd. (1.) Let such as have formerly confess'd their Sins without any true Sense of Sin, now labour speedily to get a deep and thorow Con∣viction of the Evil of their Sins. (2.) Let such as have confess'd their Sins, with a true Sense of Sin upon their Spirits, ob∣serve and practise these following Rules, (1.) Labour to preserve and maintain in the course of thy Life the same Appre∣hensions thou hadst of thy Sin in any for∣mer serious and solemn Confession. (2). Se∣riously consider and remember, that thou, art at present in Dependance upon God for Mercy, and art very fair for't. (3.) Be always imploring Divine Assistance, and improving your own Endeavours against your Sins.
CHAP. XIX. This fifth Direction concluded with a double Caution. (1.) While we take heed of falling on the one side, into the same particular sin we confess'd; let us also beware of falling on the other side, into the contrary sin to that we confess'd. (2.) If through strength of Corruption, or violence of Temptation, thou shouldst at any time fall into the same sin again, thou must not for all this run into De∣spair; but thou must renew thy Con∣fession as thou renewest thy Transgression, This gives no License at all to sin, but is the best Preservative and Antidote against it.
CHAP. XX. The sixth and last Direction; Have we confess'd our sins to God, that we might be forgiven them by God? Let us then freely forgive those that have trespass'd against us, upon their Confession of their faults to us; and so forgive them, as to pro∣fess and and testify to them our pardon∣ing of them.