The Scriptural BCP - A Commination

A Commination,
or Denouncing of God's Anger and Judgements against Sinners,
With certain Prayers, to be used on the first Day of Lent, and at other times, as the Ordinary shall appoint.

THis Office the Church confesses not, to be ancient, but appointed instead of an ancient godly discipline of putting notorious sinners to open penance, which being lost with us, holy Church wishes might be restored again.

Though it be not ancient, yet is it a very useful penitential service, either in publick or private, consisting of holy sentences taken out of Gods word, fit for the work of repentance; Gods holy Commandments, the glass wherein we see our sins; Holy penitential prayers taken for the most part out of holy Scripture: so that, he which prayes this form, is sure to pray by the Spirit, both for words and matter.

F. A commination.] Cum primis salutaris est ceremonia, saith Bucer, “a very wholesome ceremony it is.” Sed non video cur debeat exhiberi solum uno die et non sepius; “but I see no reason why it should be restrained to one day” (for so it was by the first liturgy of Edward VI.) “and not exhibited oftener.” Whereupon it was appointed to be used divers times in the year. In our Church before the Reformation, its antecessor, excommunication, or the great curse, was pronounced four times in the year; on the first Sunday in Advent, the first Sunday in clean Lent, on Trinity Sunday, and the next Sunday after the Assumption of our Lady. The appointment of these divers times is not settled by any precise rule of our Church, but in the visitation articles of archbishop Grindal for his province of Canterbury, anno 1576, as a learned collector informs me, it seems there are three days mentioned, as relating to this office. One of the three Sundays next before Easter, one of the two Sundays next befpre Pentecost, one of the two Sundays next before Christmas.These, I take it, were added to Ash-Wednesday, not exclusive of it, by cause the following preface seems to have a peculiar relation to it.

The occasion and design of this office. THE preface which the Church has prefixed to this office will supply the room of an introduction. It informs us, that in the primitive Church there was a godly discipline; that at the beginning of Lent, such persons who stood convicted of notorious sins were put to open penance, and punished in this world, that their souls might be saved in the day of the Lord; and that others, admonished by their example, might be the more afraid to offend. How and in what manner this discipline was inflicted, I have formerly had occasion to shew; so that I have nothing further to observe in this place, than that it was anciently exercised in our own as well as in foreign churches. But in latter ages, during the corruption of the Church of Rome, this godly discipline degenerated into a formal and customary confession upon Ash-Wednesdays, used by all persons indifferently, whether penitents or not, from whom no other testimony of their repentance was required, than that they should submit to the empty ceremony of sprinkling ashes upon their heads. But this our wise reformers prudently laid aside as a mere shadow or show; and not without hearty grief and concern, that the long continuance of the abominable corruptions of the Romish Church, in their formal confessions and pretended absolutions, in their sale of indulgences, and their sordid commutations of penance for money, had let the people loose from those primitive bands of discipline, which tended really to their amendment, but to which, through the rigour and severity it enjoins, they found it impracticable to reduce them again. However, since they could not do what they desired, they desired to do as much as they could: and therefore till the said discipline may be restored again, (which is rather to be wished than expected in these licentious times,) they have endeavoured to supply it as well as they were able, by appointing an office to be used at this season, called A COMMINATION, or denouncing of God’s anger and judgments against sinners: that so the people being apprized of God’s wrath and indignation against their wickedness and sins, may not be encouraged, through the want of discipline in the Church, to follow and pursue them: but be moved by the terror of the dreadful judgments of God, to supply that discipline to themselves, by severely judging and condemning themselves, and so to avoid being judged and condemned at the tribunal of God.

§. 2. How often, and upon what occasions to be used. But besides the first day of Lent, on which it is expressly enjoined, it is also supposed in the title of it to be used at other times, as the Ordinary shall direct. This was occasioned by the observation of Bucer: for it was originally ordered upon Ash-Wednesdays only; and therefore in the first Common Prayer Book it had no other title but The first day of Lent, commonly called Ash-Wednesday. But Bucer approving of the office, and not seeing reason why it should be confined to one day, and not used oftener, at least four times a year, the title of it was altered when it came to be reviewed; from which time it was called A Commination agamst Sinners, with certain Prayers to be used diverse times in the Year. How often, or at what particular times, we do not find prescribed; except that bishop Cosin informs us, from the Visitation Articles of archbishop Grindal for the province of Canterbury in the year 1576, that it was appointed three times a year; viz. on one of the three Sundays next before Easter, on one of the two Sundays next before Pentecost, and on one of the two Sundays next before Christmas; i.e. I suppose the office was appointed yearly to be used on these three days, as well as on Ash-Wednesday. For that Ash-Wednesday was then the solemn day of all, and on which this office was never to be omitted, may be gathered from the Preface, which is drawn up for the peculiar use of that day. And accordingly we find that in the Scotch Common Prayer a clause was added, that it was to be used especially on the first day of Lent, commonly called Ash-Wednesday. However, in our own Liturgy, the title stood as above till the last review, when a clause was added for the sake of explaining the word Commination; and the appointing of the times, on which it should be used, left to the discretion of the Bishop, or the Ordinary. So that the whole title, as it stands now, runs thus: A COMMINATION, or Denouncing of God’s Anger and Judgments against Sinners, with certain prayers to he used on the first day of Lent, and at other times, as the Ordinary shall appoint. The Ordinaries indeed seldom or never make use of the power here given them, except that sometimes they appoint part of the office, viz. from the fifty-first Psalm to tne end, to be used upon solemn days of fasting and humiliation. But as to the whole office, it is never used entirely but upon the day mentioned in the title of it, viz. The first day of LENT.

The Preface

G. The priest shall go into the pulpit.] But why not rather go into the desk. Answer, because at the beginning of the reformation and establishment of our liturgy, there was no such thing as a desk known in the church; not a syllable of this reading-pew in the Injunctions of either King Edw. VI. or Queen Elizabeth, none in any order of advertisements set forth by the supreme authority, none in any canons ecclesiastical, and to the best of my enquiry, none in any visitation articles until the year 1603, when by the eighty-second canon it is ordained, “that a convenient seat be made for the minister to read service in.” Indeed the pulpit was at first designed not only for preaching, but also for other things tending to the edification of the people; there, even before our liturgy was established, and while the Romish mass stood entire in practice, was the epistle and gospel, and one chapter of the New Testament in the forenoon, and one chapter of the Old Testament in the afternoon, as also the Pater Noster, the Creed, and the Ten Commandments, appointed to be read. All these in the time of Edward VI., and the three last in the time of Queen Elizabeth.

This being thus, it will be worth the enquiry, what it was that did first dictate to us the necessity of the reading-desk. The satisfying of which doubt will reside in reminding you of what I discoursed upon the rubric before morning prayer, viz. that the service was to be said in the accustomed place of the church or chancel: that this place, regularly, was the choir or chorus: now because in some churches, a belfry interposing, or over great distance impeding the voice, the people would bear too slender a part in those orations, it was therefore in such cases left to the ordinary’s discretion to vary from the former course, and to assign such a place as he should think meet “for the largeness and straightness of the church and choir,” for so are the words of the advertisements. Now this liberty was as readily taken as freely indulged: the ordinaries, flexible at the solicitations of their subordinate ministers, allowing them in several places to supersede their former practice, settling the morning and evening service in the church, as a place more edifying, and in order to it tolerating the frame of a reading-desk ; which dispensation, begun at first by some few ordinaries, became in process of time to be recommended from one to another, until it amounted to a general and universal practice.


H. In the stead.] This office being erected in default of public and solemn penance, it may here seem pertinent to give an account of the ancient practice, and the most material concernments thereof, viz. by declaring what it was, upon whom, by whom imposed, how long, by what degrees, and with what ceremonies, persons in that state were restored to the communion of believers, and received absolution.

First, it was an ecclesiastical censure, by which some persons were ordered ἔξω βληθῆναι, “to be cast out of the Church,” that is, interdicted not only the participation of the Lord’s Supper, but all sociable converse in divine offices, being not admitted to common prayers. Imposed it was upon such as apostatized in the times of persecution, were convicted of heresy, schism, contumacy, adultery, drunkenness, or such notorious crimes. They who inflicted this censure, were the of προεστῶτες πρεσβύτεροι in St. Paul, 1 Tim. v. 7: the ruling elders, the probati seniores, in Tertullian; the majores natu in St. Cyprian; not lay elders, as some most erroneously suppose, but those elders gui baptizandi et manum imponendi, et ordinandi habuerunt potestatem, “who had power to baptize, to confirm, to ordain,” as the same father assureth us, no one whereof was ever pretended to by lay elders. Nor were they mere presbyters, as distinct from bishops, but both bishops and presbyters. Bishops in chief, and presbyters in a fraternal consociation. For though some words in St. Cyprian sound in favour of his acting alone, and exercising a sole power in excommunication, yet when I hear him profess to his presbyters, a primordio episcopatus mei, statui nihil sine consilio vestro privata sententia gerere, “I resolved from my first instalment in episcopacy, never to act any thing of my own presbyters were admitted joint commissioners with him, though the definitive sentence passed, it is like, in his name when he was present.

As for the time how long this penance was to continue, as the Greek and Latin differed each from other, so was neither at unity without itself, but varied with the times in an arbitrary course, protending and contracting it κατὰ τὴν dvadoγίαν τοῦ ἁμαρτήματος, “ according to the rate and the assize of the office,” as the Constitutions have it. In the Greek Church at first, the party censured was separated from the congregation κατὰ τὸ ἁμάρτημα ἑβδομάδας δύο, ἢ πέντε ἢ ἑπτὰ, “two, three, five, or seven weeks, according to the nature of the office.’ A very gentle and mild procedure, if the severity of after times be considered, which instead of those weeks appointed years, nay, and more than so, extending the censure sometimes even to twelve years, as shall be seen anon. The time once perfixed and determined, the bishop or his penitentiary, upon evident token of sincere contrition, had power notwithstanding to abbreviate and shorten it at pleasure. So the council of Ancyra decreed, τοῦς ἐπισκόπους ἐξουσίαν ἔχειν τὸν τρόπον τῆς ἐπιστροφῆς δοκιμάσαντας φιλανθρωπεύεσθαι : “that bishops examining the demeanour of penitents, shall have power to use more clemency towards such as shall deserve it.” So in the Nicene council liberty is given likewise to the bishop, where he observes men truly penitent, φιλανθρωπότερόν τι περὶ αὐτῶν βουλεύσασθαι, “to deal more favourably with them.”

Persons lapsed lying under the censure of the Church thus and so long, it will not be amiss to enquire how they spent their time in this interim, and by what degrees they were repristinated and rendered in their former state. The most clear and most satisfactory account whereof is given us by Gregorius Neocesariensis, commonly called Thaumaturgus: upon their first expulsion, saith he, they were assigned their stations, ἔξω τῆς πύλης τοῦ εὐκτηρίου, “without in the churchyard,” where they were enjoined, as saith St. Basil also, τῶν εἰσιόντων δεῖσθαι πιστῶν ὑπὲρ αὐτῶν εὔχεσθαι, “to beseech the prayers of the faithful as they entered.” This place therefore was called πρόκλαυσις, from their weeping, mourning, and howling; there most commonly they spent three years. Their next step was into the porch, ἔνδοθι τῆς πύλης ἐν τῷ νάρθηκι; this place was called ἀκρόασις, because there they stood amongst the audients to hear the sermon preached and holy Scriptures read; where they tarried three years more. Their third remove was ἔσωθεν τῆς πύλης τοῦ ναοῦ, “into the very nave” and body of the church, close up to the catechumenium. This place was called ὑπόπτωσις, “substration,” because there they did ὑποπίπτειν, throw themselves down to receive the priest’s blessing, πρηνεῖς ἑαυτοὺς ῥυπτοῦντας, καὶ τῷ μετώπῳ THY γὴν τύπτοντας ἃ, “casting themselves all along prostrate, and even knocking the floor with their foreheads,” whilst the priest prayed, and, holding his hand over them, gave them his benediction. And from this very familiar custom of prostration, penitential incurvation, at length the word μετάνοια came after to be usually applied to adoration, as in the liturgy ascribed to St. Chrysostom μετάνοιαν ποιεῖν imports the doing of reverence by adoration.

He who was in this classis, St. Gregory tells us, was to go out with the catechumens, μετὰ τῶν κατηχουμένων ἐξέρχηται: by which there seems an evident difference betwixt the practice of this time, being about 260, and that of the times succeeding the council of Laodicea; for by that council it was expressly ordered that the catechumens and penitents should be dismissed apart, for the words are, μετὰ τὸ ἐξελθεῖν τοὺς κατηχουμένους, “after the catechumens are dismissed,” τῶν ἐν μετανοίᾳ τὴν εὐχὴν γίνεσθαι, “the prayer of the penitents must succeed.” And here give me leave to note further to you, that the οἱ ἐν μετανοίᾳ, so often mentioned in the Greek Church, are properly to be understood only of those penitents in this third degree, and not in a general notion, of all such as were under the Church’s censure. And this is manifest by St. Basil, who, setting down the order to be observed in the four years’ excommunication imposed upon fornicators, saith, χρὴ δὲ τῷ πρώτῳ ἐκβάλλεσθαι τῶν προσευχῶν καὶ προσκλαίειν αὐτοὺς τῇ θύρᾳ τῆς ἐκκλησίας' τῷ δευτέρῳ δεχθήναι εἰς ἀκρόασιν τῷ τρίτῳ δεχθήναι εἰς μετάνοιαν, “the first year the fornicator must be turned out of the Church, and lie howling at the door; in the second, he shall be admitted to hear the word; in the third, he shall be received among the order of penitents.” In this condition, the censured persons, according to St. Gregory, were to continue other three years.

Their fourth advance was into the congregation of the faithful, which caused a change of posture as well as place; ὑπόπτωσις, “ prostration,” being turned to σύστασις, “standing,” and to a standing with the faithful, joining prayers with them, and being present at the celebration, but ἀπεχόμενοι τῆς προσφορὰς, “abstaining from the oblations,” where the word προσφορὰ hath a double signification; first, the Eucharist itself is intended by it, whereof they were not to participate, though they were present at the receiving it. This was anciently called κοινωνία χωρὶς προσφορᾶς, “communicating without the Eucharist,” or the communion εὐχῆς μόνης, “of prayer only,” and therefore Zonaras, upon the words of the fifth canon of the council of Ancyra, κουινωνησάτωσαν χωρὶς προσφορᾶς, saith, κοινωνίαν évταῦθα οὐ τὴν μετάληψιν τῶν ἁγιασμάτων λέγει, ἀλλὰ τὴν μετὰ τῶν πιστῶν σύστασιν, “the council calls here communication, not the participation of the consecrated elements, but only a standing together with the faithful.” And so it must be, for the canon adds, iva τὸ τέλειον τῇ τετραετίᾳ λάβωσιν, “that in the fourth year they may come to the sacrament of perfection ;” where, by the way, take notice, that the edition of Balsamon reads τριετίᾳ instead of τετραετίᾳ, evidently false; and though the edition of Zonaras presents it right in the Greek, yet it erreth as much in the Latin, translating τετραετίᾳ, triennio, instead of quadriennio, as that of Dionysius Exiguus hath it more truly. But though they did not participate of the blessed Eucharist itself, yet was there bestowed upon them the ἀντίδωρον, or “blessed bread,” which being consecrated by prayers, though not for the service of the Eucharist, was given, saith Balsamon, to persons μὴ δυναμένους μεταλαβεῖν τῶν ἁγίων μυστηρίων, “which might not participate of the blessed mysteries.” The second import of the word προσφορὰ is, as Dr. Hammond truly observeth, the very offerings whereof the Eucharist was constituted, and so the sense of the place must be, that they were in no capacity, neither to offer themselves, nor partake of others’ oblations.

In this state they abode their last three years, at the determination whereof they were admitted to μέθεξις, “participation.” This is the description which St. Gregory hath delineated as the usage of his days. After him, following councils, as that of Nice and Ancyra, present us with a different scheme, limiting penitents to three years’ continuance in the porch, and seven years in subtraction, observing no uniformity in all cases, but varying as the quality of the crime directed.

Hitherto I have insisted only upon the eastern custom, now I come to the western, where we must meet with no such gradation, no medium betwixt the porch and the chancel. This notwithstanding, we may observe, they, the Africans especially, proceeded more severely against offenders than did the Churches of the east ; uniform rule amongst them of the earlier time there is none to be found; for before general councils stated and determined the practice, every bishop ordered as he thought meet in his own diocese; actum suum disponit et dirigit unusquisque episcopus, saith Cyprian; and again, statuit quod putat unusquisque prepositus, “ every president establisheth what he please.” Whence it is that some of Cyprian’s predecessors dandam pacem mechis non putaverunt, et in totum penitentie locum contra adulteria clauserunt, “decreed that adulterers should never be received into the place of the Church, but for ever shut out of her communion.” And though St. Cyprian disliked this discipline as over rigid, yet was his own clemency to such as proved apostates to idolatry little more visible, only dispensing in evitu subveniri, “ absolution to them at the last gasp,” nay, in some cases not then neither; viz., “if they did not exhibit evident tokens of contrition before they were cast upon their death-beds.”

So that if the Greek Church be thought severe, the African may be called cruel. The truth is, the Africans being kept in awe by the faction of Novatus and Novatianus, were forced to carry a stricter hand in discipline than otherwise they would, and therefore when their adversaries declined in their reputation, they relaxed and grew gentler towards delinquents, tendering the peace of the Church to all indefinitely, who did on their death-beds desire it; as did the clergy of Rome also in the vacancy of that see determine, cum spes vivendi secundum hominem nulla substiteret, caute et sollicite subveniri, “then to afford absolution, when the offenders are given over as dead men.”

As the Latin Church outwent the Greek in protracting absolution, so was her procedure more austere in the very act of exclusion and excommunication. Her mode, as Gratian represents it, was this: “upon Ash-Wednesday all penitents were to present themselves before the bishop, at the church door, clothed in sackcloth, their feet bare, and visages dejected to the ground. Then were they by the arch-presbyters or penitentiaries (who were to proportion their penance) led into the church: the bishop, with the whole clergy, lying prostrate on the floor, and bewailing their offences, sung the seven penitential psalms. Then the bishop raising himself from prayer laid his hands upon them, sprinkled holy water and cast ashes upon their heads, covering them with sackcloth, with sighs and sobs: denounced against them, that as Adam was expelled out of paradise, so were they thrust out of the Church for their iniquities; then he commanded the door-keepers to drive them out, all the clergy pursuing them with this responsory, ‘in the sweat of thy brows shalt thou eat thy bread.’” Thus Gratian, from the council of Agatha.

Confessed it is this canon is very justly suspected for an imposture, nor do I further urge this testimony than as authors of unquestionable credit furnish us with most of the same parcels scattered here and there without method. To begin with the last, the comparing persons excommunicated with Adam’s expulsion out of paradise; Epiphanius, speaking of the Adamiani; εἰ δὲ δόξειε τινὰ ἐν παραπτώματι γινέσθαι οὐκέτι τοῦτον συνάγουσιν. φάσκουσι γὰρ αὐτὸν τὸν Addy τὸν βεβρωκότα ἀπὸ ξύλου, καὶ κρίνουσι ἐξεῶσθαι, ὡς ἀπὸ παραδείσου, τουτέστι τῆς αὐτῶν ἐκκλησίας : “if any man chance to be taken in an offence, they suffer him not to assemble with them; for they call him Adam, as one that hath eaten of the forbidden fruit, and therefore adjudge him to be cast out of paradise, meaning thereby their Church.” Now though true it is these Adamiani were accounted heretics, yet Epiphanius mentions this as their opinion, not as their heresy. Heresy it could not be which was embraced by the orthodox fathers of that Church, who looked upon their penitents under the same notion. Prevaricati sunt pactum Det in Ecclesia; sicut Adam prevaricatus est in paradiso, sic isti ejiciantur de Ecclesia, saith Jerome of the excommunicated persons of his days; “they have broken the covenant of their God in the Church, as Adam transgressed in paradise, and declare they are his followers, that as he out of paradise, so are they thrust out of the Church.” Augustine to the same purpose: in hoc paradiso, id est Ecclesia, solent a sacramentis Altaris visilibus homines disciplina ecclesiastica removeri: “in this paradise, I mean the Church, ecclesiastical discipline is wont to shut out some men from the visible elements of the Altar.” A thing so clear, as some derive the very institution of ecclesiastical censure from that precedent.

Now if any shall say that this expulsion was only a sequestration of the person excommunicated from the outward communion and society of the faithful in sacris, and though these testimonies firm the comparison betwixt such persons and Adam, yet speak they short of the rite mentioned by Gratian, viz. “the driving them out of the Church,” as it denoteth the place of God’s worship ; I answer, that there is no absolute necessity to limit the interpretation to one which is applicable to both, especially considering that the one so naturally results from the other. And did these passages speak short, yet others there are home enough, that especially of St. Jerome, who speaking of his Fabiola’s not entering the Church, saith, sacerdos ejecerat, “the priest had cast her out ;” where is full evidence both for the act of expulsion itself, from the Church, and for the person expelling, the priest, which according to the idiom of antiquity always imported none inferior to the bishop. As for the restraint of his solemn exclusion to Ash-Wednesday, Gratian’s word must be taken ; and for ought I see, well it may, considering nothing can be urged against it, as labouring of any irrational absurdity. As concerning penitents presenting themselves at the church door, it is undoubtedly true, there they were to stand during the time of divine service. Fabiola before mentioned, non est ingressa ecclesiam, “ did not enter into the church.” So the Roman clergy writing to St. Cyprian in the vacancy of that see; adeant ad limen ecclesie sed non utique transiliant, “the penitents may come to the threshold of the church, but step beyond they must not.” And this helps us to the reading of Tertullian’s adgeniculari caris Dei, where it was aris Dei before. If penitents might not set so much as a foot over the threshold of God’s house, they could not properly be said adgeniculari aris, “to kneel at the Altar.” There was indeed a great enmity between altars and persons of that state, so great, as he who was absolved was said to be reconciled “to the holy Altar,” divino altari. And this reconciliation was not to the Altar itself neither, but to the sacramental symbol consecrated at the Altar, and then his postliminiation gave him liberty to approach no nearer the Altar than Altars indulged to the very faithful themselves, and if not to them, much less to penitents.

Their stations being then assigned them without doors, there did they adgeniculari caris Dei, “ supplicate the dear saints of God as they entered the church ;” there did they beg patrocinium sancte plebis ad Deum obsecrandum, “ the assistance of the holy congregation to entreat God in their behalf,” according to the Greek form mentioned before. As for the ceremonies related by Gratian, which were indicative of interior humiliation, and as it were, silent confessions, cause I have to think they were rather spontaneous compliances with the received fashions of those times, than the result of any ecclesiastical canon ; but whether so, or not so, certain it is in use they were. St. Cyprian, describing penitents in their splendid formalities, sets them out thus, that they did, stratos solo adherere cineri, in cilicio et sordibus volutare, (or, as Tertullian, solo de cineri incubare,) “cast down upon the floor, wrap themselves up in filthy and coarse sacking.” So St. Jerome, Fabiola saccum induerat, ut errorem publice fateretur, “had put on sackcloth, that she might testify to all the world she had fallen.” Nor is this all; he addeth, she stood in ordine panitentium, “in the row of penitents ;” discalceatis pedibus, “ barefoot, with her shoes off ;” which Gratian maketh another rite appendant to solemn penance. In this posture and habit, éJdlotz, et sordulenti, et extra letitiam, to use Tertullian’s phrase, “nastily defiled with dirt, abandoning all signs of joy,” continued they all the time of sacred offices, until that of the Eucharist was finished, which being done, and the congregation risen, as they were coming forth out of the church, the penitents, Sozomen tells us, “with howling and great lamentation fell grovelling before them, and the bishop coming up to them, cast himself prostrate also, with great mourning, the congregation all be-drenched with tears : then the bishop, rising up first, and the rest after him, he sent up his prayers to God for them, and so dismissed them.”

Having thus laid down the several schemes and fashions of both primitive Churches, during the time of penance, it will be now proper to survey how they recovered those rites from which they fell. For which work, it is very probable in both Churches, one peculiar day, though not in both one and the same, was set apart; what that day was in the Greek Church I am not yet satisfied, what in the Latin, all those ancient ritualists published by Hittorp, with Durandus, Durantus, and others of later edition, who constantly fix it precisely upon Maundy-Thursday, seem to put it out of question; which possibly was exactly true in reference to the times wherein they wrote, and not very wide from the more ancient limitation ; for St. Jerome, giving us an account of Fabiola’s reception into the communion of the faithful, saith, it was sub diem Pasche, “very near Easter,” and must consequently fall into the holy week ; but St. Ambrose is most express in his epistle to Marcellina, who sending her a kind of journal of that great tumult about his not delivering up of the Church, he giveth it this date, erat autem dies, quo sese Dominus pro nobis tradidit, quo in Ecclesia penitentia relaxatur, “ now it was the day whereon our Lord delivered Himself for us, whereon public penance is released in the Church.” Nor was this a day of general release, but restrained only to such as had gone their full time of penance, and had completed it, as it was prefixed. As for the rites belonging to this reconciliation, they were in both Churches conformably two, one proper to the absolved, the other to the absolving person: the absolved being produced in the face of the congregation, made there public confession of his sins, then called exhomologesis, whereupon he was absolved with imposition of hands ; in which the bishop, as he ought, did preside. And this is that very imposition of hands intended by the Apostle, 1 Timothy v. 22, where he commands him “to lay hands suddenly upon no man,” as the learned Annotator of late, and Tertullian of old hath observed, to my apprehension, most truly.

Thus stood the discipline of the ancient Church for the first six hundred years, she keeping therein a decent medium between two extremes. To cut off lapsed persons from all hope of one single pardon, would have abetted the rigid humour of Novatus. Again, on the other side, medicina vilis minus utilis esset egrotis; “a medicine too cheap and easy to be come by, would make it the less effective in operation.” To avoid therefore that contempt, which an over frequent and too familiar lenity would create, this indulgence once, and but once she granted, there being, sicut unum baptisma, ita una penitentia que publice agitur, “as but one baptism, so but one public penance in the Church.”

That this, the most laudable, most edifying way of Christian reformation by ecclesiastical censures, should, in a Church assuming the style of reformed, be so almost totally abandoned ; that a discipline, so apostolical, so primitive, should, in a Church justly pretending to be the very parallelogram and true representation of those excellent copies, be so very near invisible ; that the restoration thereof should hitherto become the vote of so many, and endeavour of so few; is to me avery great wonder. Perhaps some will say, that this strict discipline seemed rather to magnify the power of the keys, and authority of the clergy, than the mercies of God: mercies so inexhaustible, as all our sins are in comparison of them but ὅσον σπινθὴρ πρὸς πέλαγος, “as a drop to the ocean.” To which it may be returned, in excuse of those rigorous proceedings, first, that Christianity was but then in the bud, the profession thereof thinly dispersed in the crowd of pagans, where the least moral scandal would have been a great blemish to the whole party, and consequently impeded the gaining of proselytes. For it is a rule infallible, that no sect whatsoever can thrive and prosper, whose professors do not exhibit a fair front of moral virtues in their outward actions. Upon this account it was expedient, that the Church, under the penalty of the deepest of her censures, should require, from all her subordinates, such a practical and exemplary purity, as might render her most resplendent, even in the opinion of her greatest enemies. Again, emperors and supreme magistrates had not then embraced Christianity, and consequently, no laws established to punish such crimes as were of mere ecclesiastical relation; and, in default of such laws, the Church had all the reason in the world to exercise that spiritual jurisdiction Christ had empowered her with, to those intents for which it was given. And though since Christian magistrates have taken the Church to nurse, political laws take cognizance of, and punish all notorious offenders, and so her censure now less necessary, yet considering that coercive power operates most upon the outward act, and really reforms the inward habit, I question not but this spiritual discipline might be used still in some degrees, to the greater advancement of piety and a holy life. Sure I am with learned Casaubon, huic revocande in usum operam impendisse, res futura sit Deo gratior, quam de fidei dogmatibus subtiliter disputare extra Scripturas, et omnes dissentientes ferro, et flamma persequi, in quo hodie summus pietatis apex ponitur ; “the endeavour of recalling this discipline into practice, would be time better spent, and to God much more acceptable, than, without Scripture, to dispute nicely about points of faith, and to prosecute with fire and sword all contrary judgment, which is now-a-days made the great point of Christian piety.”

This office to be said after the Litany ended. The Litany, when properly ended. THIS rubric was, in all our former Common Prayer Books, expressed a little differently from what it is now: After Morning Prayer, the People being called together by the ringing of a Belly and assembled in the Church, the English Litany shall be said after the accustomed manner; which ended, the Priest shall go into the pulpit, and say thus, [the People sitting and attending with reverence.*] This I have formerly had occasion to shew was owing to the Litany’s being a distinct service by itself, and so used sometimes after Morning Prayer was over. But it now being made one office with the Morning Prayer, and so both of them read at one and the same time, the rubric only directs, that after Morning Prayer, the Litany ended according to the accustomed manner, this office shall ensue; i.e. after the whole Litany has been concluded as usual, with The general Thanksgiving, the Prayer of St. Chrysostom, and The Grace of our Lord, &c., and not (as I have observed some to bring it in) immediately after the Collect, We humbly beseech thee, O Father, &c. For till the three forementioned prayers have all of them been used, the Litany is not ended according to the accustomed manner. For the Thanksgiving being to be used before the two final prayers of the Litany, must certainly make a part of the Litany. And if the prayer of St. Chrysostom, and The Grace of our Lord, &c., be the two final prayers of that office, then sure this office cannot be concluded without them. But what I think clearly puts this matter out of doubt, are four words that immediately follow The Grace of our Lord, &c., viz. Here endeth the Litany; from whence, one would think, any man might conclude that it is not ended before.

§. 2. To be said in the reading-pew or pulpit. The name of a reading-pew was never mentioned in our Liturgy till the last review, (the reason of which I have largely given before;) for by this rubric, till the Restoration, the Priest was to go into the pulpit, and say the following Preface and Exhortation. And indeed that is a place not improper for the office, since the Denouncing of God’s Judgments is as it were preaching of his word. And it is certain that the pulpit was at first designed, not only for preaching, but for any thing else that tended to the edification of the people. There the Lord’s Prayer, the Creed, and the Ten Commandments, were formerly appointed to be read to the people in English on every holy-day in the year, when there was no Sermon to hinder it: and there also at the beginning of the Reformation, whilst the Romish Mass was continued till the English Liturgy could be prepared, the Epistle and Gospel for the day, with a Lesson out of the New Testament in the morning, and another out of the Old Testament in the afternoon, was read to the people in the English tongue. However, reading-pews having been generally brought into use before the Restoration, it was not then thought proper to confine the use of this office any longer to the pulpit, but to allow it to be said as the Minister should think proper, either there or in the reading-pew.


I. The Preface. To bring the minds of the congregation into a serious composure, the office is introduced with a grave and solemn preface; by which the Church informs them, in the first place, of the ancient discipline, and then proposes to them the best means to supply it. The ancient discipline, she tells them, was to put those to open shame, who by any notorious sins had given public scandal and offence. By which means both the souls of those that sinned were often rescued from damnation, and others also, being admonished by their example, were deterred from incurring the same danger or punishment. But as this discipline is now lost through the degeneracy of the times, and even beyond retrieval as affairs stand now, she proposes that the congregation would supply it to themselves, by hearing the curses which God has denounced against impenitent sinners; by which means, as in a glass, each one will be able to discern his own sins, and the curses he is exposed to; the serious prospect of which will be apt to awaken them from their thoughtlessness and security, and to put them upon flying from such imminent danger, by having recourse to a speedy repentance.

After Morning Prayer, the Litany ended according to the accustomed manner, the Priest shall, in the reading Pew or Pulpit, say,

Deut 17:8-13 If a judicial decision is too difficult for you to make between one kind of bloodshed and another, one kind of legal right and another, or one kind of assault and another--any such matters of dispute in your towns--then you shall immediately go up to the place that the Lord your God will choose, where you shall consult with the levitical priests and the judge who is in office in those days; they shall announce to you the decision in the case. Carry out exactly the decision that they announce to you from the place that the Lord will choose, diligently observing everything they instruct you. You must carry out fully the law that they interpret for you or the ruling that they announce to you; do not turn aside from the decision that they announce to you, either to the right or to the left. As for anyone who presumes to disobey the priest appointed to minister there to the Lord your God, or the judge, that person shall die. So you shall purge the evil from Israel. All the people will hear and be afraid, and will not act presumptuously again.
Matt 18:15-18 "If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one. But if you are not listened to, take one or two others along with you, so that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
John 9:1 As he walked along, he saw a man blind from birth.
1 Cor 5:4-7 in the name of the Lord Jesus on the man who has done such a thing. When you are assembled, and my spirit is present with the power of our Lord Jesus, you are to hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord. Your boasting is not a good thing. Do you not know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough? Clean out the old yeast so that you may be a new batch, as you really are unleavened. For our paschal lamb, Christ, has been sacrificed.
1 Cor 5:11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother or sister who is sexually immoral or greedy, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or robber. Do not even eat with such a one.
1 Cor 5:13 God will judge those outside. "Drive out the wicked person from among you."
1 Tim 5:20 As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest also may stand in fear.
Deut 27:11-15 The same day Moses charged the people as follows: When you have crossed over the Jordan, these shall stand on Mount Gerizim for the blessing of the people: Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph, and Benjamin. And these shall stand on Mount Ebal for the curse: Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali. Then the Levites shall declare in a loud voice to all the Israelites: "Cursed be anyone who makes an idol or casts an image, anything abhorrent to the Lord, the work of an artisan, and sets it up in secret." All the people shall respond, saying, "Amen!"
2 Chron 15:5-6 In those times it was not safe for anyone to go or come, for great disturbances afflicted all the inhabitants of the lands. They were broken in pieces, nation against nation and city against city, for God troubled them with every sort of distress.
Neh 8:1-3 all the people gathered together into the square before the Water Gate. They told the scribe Ezra to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the Lord had given to Israel. Accordingly, the priest Ezra brought the law before the assembly, both men and women and all who could hear with understanding. This was on the first day of the seventh month. He read from it facing the square before the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women and those who could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive to the book of the law.
Neh 9:1-3 Now on the twenty-fourth day of this month the people of Israel were assembled with fasting and in sackcloth, and with earth on their heads. Then those of Israelite descent separated themselves from all foreigners, and stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their ancestors. They stood up in their place and read from the book of the law of the Lord their God for a fourth part of the day, and for another fourth they made confession and worshiped the Lord their God.
Ps 7:11-12 God is a righteous judge, and a God who has indignation every day. If one does not repent, God will whet his sword; he has bent and strung his bow;
Ps 34:14 Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.
Jer 6:16 Thus says the Lord: Stand at the crossroads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way lies; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls. But they said, "We will not walk in it."
Jer 9:2-6 O that I had in the desert a traveler's lodging place, that I might leave my people and go away from them! For they are all adulterers, a band of traitors. They bend their tongues like bows; they have grown strong in the land for falsehood, and not for truth; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they do not know me, says the Lord. Beware of your neighbors, and put no trust in any of your kin; for all your kin are supplanters, and every neighbor goes around like a slanderer. They all deceive their neighbors, and no one speaks the truth; they have taught their tongues to speak lies; they commit iniquity and are too weary to repent. Oppression upon oppression, deceit upon deceit! They refuse to know me, says the Lord.
Joel 2:16-17 gather the people. Sanctify the congregation; assemble the aged; gather the children, even infants at the breast. Let the bridegroom leave his room, and the bride her canopy. Between the vestibule and the altar let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep. Let them say, "Spare your people, O Lord, and do not make your heritage a mockery, a byword among the nations. Why should it be said among the peoples, 'Where is their God?'"
Amos 5:13-15 Therefore the prudent will keep silent in such a time; for it is an evil time. Seek good and not evil, that you may live; and so the Lord, the God of hosts, will be with you, just as you have said. Hate evil and love good, and establish justice in the gate; it may be that the Lord, the God of hosts, will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.
Jon 3:4-10 Jonah began to go into the city, going a day's walk. And he cried out, "Forty days more, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!" And the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast, and everyone, great and small, put on sackcloth. When the news reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, removed his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. Then he had a proclamation made in Nineveh: "By the decree of the king and his nobles: No human being or animal, no herd or flock, shall taste anything. They shall not feed, nor shall they drink water. Human beings and animals shall be covered with sackcloth, and they shall cry mightily to God. All shall turn from their evil ways and from the violence that is in their hands. Who knows? God may relent and change his mind; he may turn from his fierce anger, so that we do not perish." When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil ways, God changed his mind about the calamity that he had said he would bring upon them; and he did not do it.
Rom 2:8-9 while for those who are self-seeking and who obey not the truth but wickedness, there will be wrath and fury. There will be anguish and distress for everyone who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek,
1 Cor 10:8-10 We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did, and were destroyed by serpents. And do not complain as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer.
Eph 5:15 Be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise,
1 Thess 5:22 abstain from every form of evil.
2 Tim 2:19 But God's firm foundation stands, bearing this inscription: "The Lord knows those who are his," and, "Let everyone who calls on the name of the Lord turn away from wickedness."
2 Tim 3:1-5 You must understand this, that in the last days distressing times will come. For people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, inhuman, implacable, slanderers, profligates, brutes, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to the outward form of godliness but denying its power. Avoid them!
Heb 10:26-27 For if we willfully persist in sin after having received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful prospect of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.

The Curses

Nothing in it seems to need exposition, but the AMEN, which is to be said after the Curses, which being commonly used after prayers, may perhaps here be accounted by some, a wish or prayer; and so the people be thought to curse themselves.

For the satisfying of which scrupulosity, it is enough to say, that God himself commanded these Amens to be said after these Curses. Deut. 27. and therefore good there may be in saying of them, but harm there can be none, if men when they say them understand them. Now that we may understand them when we use them, let us consider, that Amen is not always a wish or prayer. For, it signifies no more but verily or truly, or an assent to the truth of that to which it is added. If that to which it is added, be a prayer, then this must needs be a joyning in the prayer, and is as much as so be it; but if that to which it be added be a Creed, or any affirmative proposition, such as these curses are, then the Amen is only an affirmation, as that is, to which it is annexed. In this place therefore it is not a wishing that the Curses may fall upon our heads, but only an affirming with our own mouthes that the curse of God is indeed due to such sins, as the Church here propounds it. The use of it is to make us flee such vices for the future, and earnestly repent of them, if we be guilty: since, as we acknowledge, the curse and vengeance of God doth deservedly follow such sins and sinners.

II. The Sentences. The original of repeating the curses, in the manner we now use them, was a positive ana divine institution, which twice enjoined it by Moses, and in obedience to which we find Joshua afterwards most religiously observed it. And Josephus also reckons it amongst those things which the Jews always used to perform. And though the circumstances in the Jewish manner of reciting these curses were purely ceremonial, yet doubtless the end for which this duty was prescribed was truly moral. For to publish the equity and truth of God, and to profess our belief that his laws are righteous, and the sanctions thereof just and certain, is an excellent means of glorifying God, and a proper method for converting of sinners. So that it cannot be unfit for the Gospel-times, nor at all unsuitable to our Christian worship; especially when the necessities of the Church require the sinner should be warned and brought to repentance. Christ indeed hath taken away the curse of the Law, by being himself made a curse for us; but this is only with respect to those that truly repent; for as to all others the curse stands in full force still. It is therefore fit, that all should declare their belief of the truth and reasonableness of these curses: the good man, to own what his sins had deserved, and to acknowledge his obligation to our Lord for redeeming him; the bad man, to awaken him from his security and ease, and to bring him to repentance before it be too late.

§. 2. Amen, what it signifies at the end of these sentences. For this reason all the people, as those sentences are read, are to answer and say, at the end of each of them, Amen. The end of which is not that the people should curse themselves and their neighbours, as some have foolishly imagined; but only that they should acknowledge they have deserved a curse. For it is not here said, Cursed be he, or may he be cursed; but, Cursed is he, or he is cursed, that is guilty of any of these sins. And consequently any one that answers Amen, does not signify his desire, that the thing may be so, as he does when he says Amen to a prayer; but only signifies his assent to the truth of what is affirmed, as he does when he says Amen to the Creed. It is used in this place in no other sense than it is in several parts of the New Testament, where it is translated Verily, and signifies no more than Verily it is true. The man that says it, verily believes that idolaters, and all those other kinds of sinners that are mentioned in these sentences, are all exposed to the curse of God; and his believing this is the cause of his repentance, and begging pardon for his sins; since he must be a desperate sinner indeed, that will not fly from such vices, for which he affirms with his own mouth so great and heavy a judgment to be due. In short, these curses, and the answers that are made to them, are like our Saviour’s woes in the Gospel; not the causes or procurers of the evil they denounce; but compassionate predictions of it in order to prevent it. And one would indeed think, when we consider that this manner of answering was originally appointed by God himself, people should be cautious how they charge it with being a wicked or foolish institution. But to proceed.

Deut 27:15 "Cursed be anyone who makes an idol or casts an image, anything abhorrent to the Lord, the work of an artisan, and sets it up in secret." All the people shall respond, saying, "Amen!"

And the people shall answer and say, "Amen."

Lev 20:10 If a man commits adultery with the wife of his neighbor, both the adulterer and the adulteress shall be put to death.
Deut 27:20-23 "Cursed be anyone who lies with his father's wife, because he has violated his father's rights." All the people shall say, "Amen!" "Cursed be anyone who lies with any animal." All the people shall say, "Amen!" "Cursed be anyone who lies with his sister, whether the daughter of his father or the daughter of his mother." All the people shall say, "Amen!" "Cursed be anyone who lies with his mother-in-law." All the people shall say, "Amen!"
Matt 25:41 Then he will say to those at his left hand, 'You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels;
1 Cor 6:9-10 Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! Fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, sodomites, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, robbers--none of these will inherit the kingdom of God.

The Homily

III. The application. Having heard to what sins the curse of God is due, the Church has too much reason to conclude, that we are all of us guilty of more or fewer of them, and consequently all of us in danger of God’s wrath, except we repent. To excite us therefore to so necessary a duty, that so we may escape those dreadful judgments, she hath collected a pious and pathetical discourse, to set home the foregoing denunciations to our conscience. It is all of it gathered from the holy Scriptures, that it may be more regarded, as coming directly from the word of God; and is so methodical and apt to the occasion, that the fault must be in the hearers, if the delivery of it be not attended with a happy effect.

Ps 7:11-13 God is a righteous judge, and a God who has indignation every day. If one does not repent, God will whet his sword; he has bent and strung his bow; he has prepared his deadly weapons, making his arrows fiery shafts.
Ps 51:17 The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
Ps 85:4 Restore us again, O God of our salvation, and put away your indignation toward us.
Ps 119:21 You rebuke the insolent, accursed ones, who wander from your commandments;
Ps 119:120 My flesh trembles for fear of you, and I am afraid of your judgments.
Is 26:11 O Lord, your hand is lifted up, but they do not see it. Let them see your zeal for your people, and be ashamed. Let the fire for your adversaries consume them.
Jer 31:18 Indeed I heard Ephraim pleading: "You disciplined me, and I took the discipline; I was like a calf untrained. Bring me back, let me come back, for you are the Lord my God.
Lam 3:40-41 Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the Lord. Let us lift up our hearts as well as our hands to God in heaven.
Ezek 18:30 Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, all of you according to your ways, says the Lord God. Repent and turn from all your transgressions; otherwise iniquity will be your ruin.
Luke 17:32 Remember Lot's wife.
Heb 12:29 for indeed our God is a consuming fire.
Ezra 9:6 and said, "O my God, I am too ashamed and embarrassed to lift my face to you, my God, for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has mounted up to the heavens.
Job 34:31-32 "For has anyone said to God, 'I have endured punishment; I will not offend any more; teach me what I do not see; if I have done iniquity, I will do it no more'?
Ps 51:3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.
Ps 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.
Is 16:9 Therefore I weep with the weeping of Jazer for the vines of Sibmah; I drench you with my tears, O Heshbon and Elealeh; for the shout over your fruit harvest and your grain harvest has ceased.
Jer 31:19 For after I had turned away I repented; and after I was discovered, I struck my thigh; I was ashamed, and I was dismayed because I bore the disgrace of my youth."
Dan 9:4-6 I prayed to the Lord my God and made confession, saying, "Ah, Lord, great and awesome God, keeping covenant and steadfast love with those who love you and keep your commandments, we have sinned and done wrong, acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from your commandments and ordinances. We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes, and our ancestors, and to all the people of the land.
Matt 3:8 Bear fruit worthy of repentance.
Gen 19:24 Then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire from the Lord out of heaven;
Deut 4:24 For the Lord your God is a devouring fire, a jealous God.
Job 20:11 Their bodies, once full of youth, will lie down in the dust with them.
Job 20:25-29 It is drawn forth and comes out of their body, and the glittering point comes out of their gall; terrors come upon them. Utter darkness is laid up for their treasures; a fire fanned by no one will devour them; what is left in their tent will be consumed. The heavens will reveal their iniquity, and the earth will rise up against them. The possessions of their house will be carried away, dragged off in the day of God's wrath. This is the portion of the wicked from God, the heritage decreed for them by God."
Ps 11:6 On the wicked he will rain coals of fire and sulfur; a scorching wind shall be the portion of their cup.
Is 24:17-18 Terror, and the pit, and the snare are upon you, O inhabitant of the earth! Whoever flees at the sound of the terror shall fall into the pit; and whoever climbs out of the pit shall be caught in the snare. For the windows of heaven are opened, and the foundations of the earth tremble.
Zech 13:8 In the whole land, says the Lord, two-thirds shall be cut off and perish, and one-third shall be left alive.
Mal 4:1 See, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble; the day that comes shall burn them up, says the Lord of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch.
Matt 3:10 Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
Heb 10:28-31 Anyone who has violated the law of Moses dies without mercy "on the testimony of two or three witnesses." How much worse punishment do you think will be deserved by those who have spurned the Son of God, profaned the blood of the covenant by which they were sanctified, and outraged the Spirit of grace? For we know the one who said, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay." And again, "The Lord will judge his people." It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Heb 12:29 for indeed our God is a consuming fire.
Ps 50:1-4 The mighty one, God the Lord, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting. Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines forth. Our God comes and does not keep silence, before him is a devouring fire, and a mighty tempest all around him. He calls to the heavens above and to the earth, that he may judge his people:
Ps 50:15-22 Call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me." But to the wicked God says: "What right have you to recite my statutes, or take my covenant on your lips? For you hate discipline, and you cast my words behind you. You make friends with a thief when you see one, and you keep company with adulterers. "You give your mouth free rein for evil, and your tongue frames deceit. You sit and speak against your kin; you slander your own mother's child. These things you have done and I have been silent; you thought that I was one just like yourself. But now I rebuke you, and lay the charge before you. "Mark this, then, you who forget God, or I will tear you apart, and there will be no one to deliver.
Is 26:21 For the Lord comes out from his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; the earth will disclose the blood shed on it, and will no longer cover its slain.
Mal 3:2-3 But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap; he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the descendants of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, until they present offerings to the Lord in righteousness.
Rev 6:17 for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?"
Job 21:18 How often are they like straw before the wind, and like chaff that the storm carries away?
Ps 1:4-6 The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; for the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.
Is 5:24 Therefore, as the tongue of fire devours the stubble, and as dry grass sinks down in the flame, so their root will become rotten, and their blossom go up like dust; for they have rejected the instruction of the Lord of hosts, and have despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.
Is 66:24 And they shall go out and look at the dead bodies of the people who have rebelled against me; for their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.
Jer 15:7 I have winnowed them with a winnowing fork in the gates of the land; I have bereaved them, I have destroyed my people; they did not turn from their ways.
Matt 3:12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and will gather his wheat into the granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire."
Matt 13:30 Let both of them grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Collect the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.'"
John 15:2 He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit.
Ps 73:19 How they are destroyed in a moment, swept away utterly by terrors!
Is 13:8 and they will be dismayed. Pangs and agony will seize them; they will be in anguish like a woman in labor. They will look aghast at one another; their faces will be aflame.
Matt 13:41-43 The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, and they will throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Let anyone with ears listen!
Matt 23:33 You snakes, you brood of vipers! How can you escape being sentenced to hell?
Matt 24:37-39 For as the days of Noah were, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, and they knew nothing until the flood came and swept them all away, so too will be the coming of the Son of Man.
Luke 17:28-30 Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot: they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, but on the day that Lot left Sodom, it rained fire and sulfur from heaven and destroyed all of them --it will be like that on the day that the Son of Man is revealed.
1 Thess 5:2-3 For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. When they say, "There is peace and security," then sudden destruction will come upon them, as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and there will be no escape!
Heb 2:3 how can we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? It was declared at first through the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard him,
Heb 12:25 See that you do not refuse the one who is speaking; for if they did not escape when they refused the one who warned them on earth, how much less will we escape if we reject the one who warns from heaven!
Job 36:13 "The godless in heart cherish anger; they do not cry for help when he binds them.
Ps 95:8 Do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah, as on the day at Massah in the wilderness,
Prov 6:34 For jealousy arouses a husband's fury, and he shows no restraint when he takes revenge.
Prov 29:1 One who is often reproved, yet remains stubborn, will suddenly be broken beyond healing.
Zech 7:11-12 But they refused to listen, and turned a stubborn shoulder, and stopped their ears in order not to hear. They made their hearts adamant in order not to hear the law and the words that the Lord of hosts had sent by his spirit through the former prophets. Therefore great wrath came from the Lord of hosts.
Matt 24:30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see 'the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven' with power and great glory.
Rom 2:4-5 Or do you despise the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience? Do you not realize that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? But by your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath, when God's righteous judgment will be revealed.
2 Pet 3:9 The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance.
2 Pet 3:15 and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation. So also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given him,
Rev 6:16-17 calling to the mountains and rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of the one seated on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?"
Gen 7:7 And Noah with his sons and his wife and his sons' wives went into the ark to escape the waters of the flood.
Gen 7:16-22 And those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him; and the Lord shut him in. The flood continued forty days on the earth; and the waters increased, and bore up the ark, and it rose high above the earth. The waters swelled and increased greatly on the earth; and the ark floated on the face of the waters. The waters swelled so mightily on the earth that all the high mountains under the whole heaven were covered; the waters swelled above the mountains, covering them fifteen cubits deep. And all flesh died that moved on the earth, birds, domestic animals, wild animals, all swarming creatures that swarm on the earth, and all human beings; everything on dry land in whose nostrils was the breath of life died.
Deut 7:21 Have no dread of them, for the Lord your God, who is present with you, is a great and awesome God.
Ps 29:4 The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.
Ps 29:8 The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness; the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
Ps 97:2 Clouds and thick darkness are all around him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
Prov 1:28-30 Then they will call upon me, but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently, but will not find me. Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord, would have none of my counsel, and despised all my reproof,
Ecc 9:10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do with your might; for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going.
Matt 7:21-23 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many deeds of power in your name?' Then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; go away from me, you evildoers.'
Matt 25:10-12 And while they went to buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet; and the door was shut. Later the other bridesmaids came also, saying, 'Lord, lord, open to us.' But he replied, 'Truly I tell you, I do not know you.'
Matt 25:41 Then he will say to those at his left hand, 'You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels;
Matt 25:46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."
2 Cor 6:2 For he says, "At an acceptable time I have listened to you, and on a day of salvation I have helped you." See, now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation!
Heb 9:27 And just as it is appointed for mortals to die once, and after that the judgment,
Matt 25:28 So take the talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents.
Matt 25:30 As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'
Luke 21:36 Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man."
John 9:4-5 We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world."
John 12:35-36 Jesus said to them, "The light is with you for a little longer. Walk while you have the light, so that the darkness may not overtake you. If you walk in the darkness, you do not know where you are going. While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of light." After Jesus had said this, he departed and hid from them.
2 Cor 6:2 For he says, "At an acceptable time I have listened to you, and on a day of salvation I have helped you." See, now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation!
Eph 5:16 making the most of the time, because the days are evil.
Heb 2:1-3 Therefore we must pay greater attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it. For if the message declared through angels was valid, and every transgression or disobedience received a just penalty, how can we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? It was declared at first through the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard him,
Heb 3:12 Take care, brothers and sisters, that none of you may have an evil, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.
Heb 12:25 See that you do not refuse the one who is speaking; for if they did not escape when they refused the one who warned them on earth, how much less will we escape if we reject the one who warns from heaven!
Jude 11:13 Woe to them! For they go the way of Cain, and abandon themselves to Balaam's error for the sake of gain, and perish in Korah's rebellion.
2 Chron 16:9 For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the entire earth, to strengthen those whose heart is true to him. You have done foolishly in this; for from now on you will have wars."
Ezra 9:13-14 After all that has come upon us for our evil deeds and for our great guilt, seeing that you, our God, have punished us less than our iniquities deserved and have given us such a remnant as this, shall we break your commandments again and intermarry with the peoples who practice these abominations? Would you not be angry with us until you destroy us without remnant or survivor?
Ps 103:17 But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children's children,
Is 44:22 I have swept away your transgressions like a cloud, and your sins like mist; return to me, for I have redeemed you.
Is 55:7 let the wicked forsake their way, and the unrighteous their thoughts; let them return to the Lord, that he may have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
Is 63:9 in all their distress. It was no messenger or angel but his presence that saved them; in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.
Jer 3:22 Return, O faithless children, I will heal your faithlessness. "Here we come to you; for you are the Lord our God.
Jer 26:13 Now therefore amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of the Lord your God, and the Lord will change his mind about the disaster that he has pronounced against you.
Jer 31:34 No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, "Know the Lord," for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.
Ps 51:7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Is 1:18 Come now, let us argue it out, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be like snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.
Jer 31:18 Indeed I heard Ephraim pleading: "You disciplined me, and I took the discipline; I was like a calf untrained. Bring me back, let me come back, for you are the Lord my God.
Ezek 18:30-32 Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, all of you according to your ways, says the Lord God. Repent and turn from all your transgressions; otherwise iniquity will be your ruin. Cast away from you all the transgressions that you have committed against me, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, says the Lord God. Turn, then, and live.
Is 53:4-6 Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases; yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have all turned to our own way, and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Dan 9:15 "And now, O Lord our God, who brought your people out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand and made your name renowned even to this day--we have sinned, we have done wickedly.
Rom 3:23-25 since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood, effective through faith. He did this to show his righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over the sins previously committed;
Rom 8:34 Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us.
1 Pet 3:18 For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit,
1 John 2:1-2 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
1 John 3:5 You know that he was revealed to take away sins, and in him there is no sin.
1 John 4:10 In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.
Is 19:22 The Lord will strike Egypt, striking and healing; they will return to the Lord, and he will listen to their supplications and heal them.
Jer 3:12-13 Go, and proclaim these words toward the north, and say: Return, faithless Israel, says the Lord. I will not look on you in anger, for I am merciful, says the Lord; I will not be angry forever. Only acknowledge your guilt, that you have rebelled against the Lord your God, and scattered your favors among strangers under every green tree, and have not obeyed my voice, says the Lord.
Hos 6:1 "Come, let us return to the Lord; for it is he who has torn, and he will heal us; he has struck down, and he will bind us up.
Hos 14:1-2 Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God, for you have stumbled because of your iniquity. Take words with you and return to the Lord; say to him, "Take away all guilt; accept that which is good, and we will offer the fruit of our lips.
Mal 3:7 Ever since the days of your ancestors you have turned aside from my statutes and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts. But you say, "How shall we return?"
Luke 15:18-20 I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired hands."' So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him.
Deut 10:12 So now, O Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you? Only to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul,
2 Chron 30:8 Do not now be stiff-necked as your ancestors were, but yield yourselves to the Lord and come to his sanctuary, which he has sanctified forever, and serve the Lord your God, so that his fierce anger may turn away from you.
Ps 85:8 Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, for he will speak peace to his people, to his faithful, to those who turn to him in their hearts.
Ps 86:5 For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call on you.
Ps 119:2-3 Happy are those who keep his decrees, who seek him with their whole heart, who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways.
Is 2:3 Many peoples shall come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths." For out of Zion shall go forth instruction, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
Is 38:20 The Lord will save me, and we will sing to stringed instruments all the days of our lives, at the house of the Lord.
Is 55:7 let the wicked forsake their way, and the unrighteous their thoughts; let them return to the Lord, that he may have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
Ezek 18:21-22 But if the wicked turn away from all their sins that they have committed and keep all my statutes and do what is lawful and right, they shall surely live; they shall not die. None of the transgressions that they have committed shall be remembered against them; for the righteousness that they have done they shall live.
Ezek 18:30 Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, all of you according to your ways, says the Lord God. Repent and turn from all your transgressions; otherwise iniquity will be your ruin.
Matt 11:28-30 "Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
Luke 15:7 Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
John 6:37 Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and anyone who comes to me I will never drive away;
Acts 20:19 serving the Lord with all humility and with tears, enduring the trials that came to me through the plots of the Jews.
Rom 6:13 No longer present your members to sin as instruments of wickedness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and present your members to God as instruments of righteousness.
Rom 8:14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.
1 Cor 6:20 For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body.
1 Cor 10:31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.
2 Cor 6:17-18 Therefore come out from them, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch nothing unclean; then I will welcome you, and I will be your father, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty."
Gal 5:25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit.
Eph 4:1-2 I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,
Phil 2:3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves.
Col 2:7 rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.
Col 3:14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
Col 4:2 Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving.
Heb 12:1-2 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.
Ps 43:3 O send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling.
Ps 138:8 The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.
Matt 13:43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Let anyone with ears listen!
Matt 25:33-34 and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand, 'Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world;
Matt 25:41 Then he will say to those at his left hand, 'You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels;
Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Gal 3:10 For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who does not observe and obey all the things written in the book of the law."
Gal 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us--for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree"--
2 Thess 1:7-9 and to give relief to the afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. These will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, separated from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might,
2 Pet 1:8-11 For if these things are yours and are increasing among you, they keep you from being ineffective and unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For anyone who lacks these things is short-sighted and blind, and is forgetful of the cleansing of past sins. Therefore, brothers and sisters, be all the more eager to confirm your call and election, for if you do this, you will never stumble. For in this way, entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be richly provided for you.

Psalm 51

I. Psalm 51. AFTER so serious and rational a discourse, the Church may justly suppose that we are all resolved to repent; and therefore, to assist us in so necessary a duty, she hath prepared such penitential devotions, as will be very suitable to our pious resolutions: and that they may be said with a greater humiliation and reverence, all the people are to kneel upon their knees, and the Priests and Clerks to kneel in the place where they are accustomed to say the Litany. And here they are to begin with David’s Litany, viz. Psalm 51, the most solemn and penitential one of all that he composed.

Then shall they all kneel upon their knees, and the Priest and Clerks kneeling (in the place where they are accustomed to say the Litany) shall say this Psalm.

Psalm 51 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you alone, have I sinned, and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are justified in your sentence and blameless when you pass judgment. Indeed, I was born guilty, a sinner when my mother conceived me. You desire truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have crushed rejoice. Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your holy spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you. Deliver me from bloodshed, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of your deliverance. O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. For you have no delight in sacrifice; if I were to give a burnt offering, you would not be pleased. The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. Do good to Zion in your good pleasure; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, then you will delight in right sacrifices, in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings; then bulls will be offered on your altar.
Is 6:3 And one called to another and said: "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory."
Matt 6:9 "Pray then in this way: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
Matt 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
Luke 2:14 "Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!"
Rom 16:27 to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever! Amen.
1 Cor 6:19-20 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body.
2 Peter 3:18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
Rev 15:4 Lord, who will not fear and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your judgments have been revealed."
Ps 50:23 Those who bring thanksgiving as their sacrifice honor me; to those who go the right way I will show the salvation of God."
John 13:32 If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once.
John 17:1 After Jesus had spoken these words, he looked up to heaven and said, "Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you,
Rom 15:6 so that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Rev 5:13 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, singing, "To the one seated on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!"
Job 38:7 when the morning stars sang together and all the heavenly beings shouted for joy?
Ps 104:31 May the glory of the Lord endure forever; may the Lord rejoice in his works--
Ps 106:48 Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. And let all the people say, "Amen." Praise the Lord!
Ps 145:4 One generation shall laud your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.
Is 66:23 From new moon to new moon, and from sabbath to sabbath, all flesh shall come to worship before me, says the Lord.
Eph 3:21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Matt 16:18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.
Rev 4:8 And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and inside. Day and night without ceasing they sing, "Holy, holy, holy, the Lord God the Almighty, who was and is and is to come."

The Prayers

Kyrie eleison

II. The Lord's Prayer, &c. After this follow the lesser Litany, the Lord’s Prayer, and Suffrages, of which we have often spoken before.

Ps 6:2 Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing; O Lord, heal me, for my bones are shaking with terror.
Ps 123:3 Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us, for we have had more than enough of contempt.
Luke 17:13 they called out, saying, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!"

The Lord's Prayer

Luke 11:2-4 He was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” He said to them, “When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us. And do not bring us to the time of trial.”

The Responses

Psalm 20:1-2 The Lord answer you in the day of trouble! The name of the God of Jacob protect you! May he send you help from the sanctuary, and give you support from Zion.

The First Collect

III. The first Collect. And because the Minister may know it to be time to bind up the wounds of true penitents, he in the next place addresses himself solemnly to God for their pardon and forgiveness.

2 Sam 12:13 David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the Lord." Nathan said to David, "Now the Lord has put away your sin; you shall not die.
Ps 4:1 Answer me when I call, O God of my right! You gave me room when I was in distress. Be gracious to me, and hear my prayer.
Ps 25:11 For your name's sake, O Lord, pardon my guilt, for it is great.
Ps 34:18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves the crushed in spirit.
Ps 51:3-5 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you alone, have I sinned, and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are justified in your sentence and blameless when you pass judgment. Indeed, I was born guilty, a sinner when my mother conceived me.
Ps 51:9 Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.
Ps 55:1-2 Give ear to my prayer, O God; do not hide yourself from my supplication. Attend to me, and answer me; I am troubled in my complaint. I am distraught
Joel 2:17 Between the vestibule and the altar let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep. Let them say, "Spare your people, O Lord, and do not make your heritage a mockery, a byword among the nations. Why should it be said among the peoples, 'Where is their God?'"
Mic 7:18 Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over the transgression of the remnant of your possession? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in showing clemency.
Luke 18:13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even look up to heaven, but was beating his breast and saying, 'God, be merciful to me, a sinner!'
John 16:8 And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment:
Acts 2:37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and to the other apostles, "Brothers, what should we do?"
Rom 5:1 Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
1 Pet 2:24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that, free from sins, we might live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.
1 John 3:20 whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.
Zech 13:1 On that day a fountain shall be opened for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity.
Matt 5:4 "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Matt 9:6 But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins"--he then said to the paralytic--"Stand up, take your bed and go to your home."
Acts 13:38 Let it be known to you therefore, my brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you;
Heb 9:26 for then he would have had to suffer again and again since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the age to remove sin by the sacrifice of himself.

The Second Collect

IV. The second collect. And knowing also that now he cannot well be too importunate, he subjoins a second Collect to the first; the more pathetically to press our most merciful Father, by phrases well suited to the desires of penitents, and mostly selected from holy Scripture.

Ps 50:1 The mighty one, God the Lord, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting.
Ps 145:8-9 The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. The Lord is good to all, and his compassion is over all that he has made.
Is 45:22 Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.
Is 63:1 "Who is this that comes from Edom, from Bozrah in garments stained crimson? Who is this so splendidly robed, marching in his great might?" "It is I, announcing vindication, mighty to save."
Ezek 33:11 Say to them, As I live, says the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from their ways and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways; for why will you die, O house of Israel?
Matt 5:45 so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous.
2 Cor 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all consolation,
1 Tim 2:3-4 This is right and is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
2 Pet 3:9 The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance.
Ps 38:4 For my iniquities have gone over my head; they weigh like a burden too heavy for me.
Ps 51:1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.
Ps 51:17 The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
Ps 119:76 Let your steadfast love become my comfort according to your promise to your servant.
Prov 18:14 The human spirit will endure sickness; but a broken spirit--who can bear?
Dan 9:19 O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, listen and act and do not delay! For your own sake, O my God, because your city and your people bear your name!"
Hos 14:2 Take words with you and return to the Lord; say to him, "Take away all guilt; accept that which is good, and we will offer the fruit of our lips.
Matt 11:28 "Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.
Mark 11:25 "Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone; so that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses."
2 Cor 5:19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us.
2 Thess 2:16-17 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and through grace gave us eternal comfort and good hope, comfort your hearts and strengthen them in every good work and word.
Heb 8:12 For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more."
Ex 34:6-7 The Lord passed before him, and proclaimed, "The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for the thousandth generation, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, yet by no means clearing the guilty, but visiting the iniquity of the parents upon the children and the children's children, to the third and the fourth generation."
Deut 21:8 Absolve, O Lord, your people Israel, whom you redeemed; do not let the guilt of innocent blood remain in the midst of your people Israel." Then they will be absolved of bloodguilt.
2 Chron 30:18-19 For a multitude of the people, many of them from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, yet they ate the passover otherwise than as prescribed. But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, "The good Lord pardon all who set their hearts to seek God, the Lord the God of their ancestors, even though not in accordance with the sanctuary's rules of cleanness."
Ps 136:1 O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.
Is 43:11 I, I am the Lord, and besides me there is no savior.
Is 43:25 I, I am He who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.
Joel 2:17 Between the vestibule and the altar let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep. Let them say, "Spare your people, O Lord, and do not make your heritage a mockery, a byword among the nations. Why should it be said among the peoples, 'Where is their God?'"
Mark 2:7 "Why does this fellow speak in this way? It is blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?"
1 Pet 1:18-19 You know that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without defect or blemish.
Ps 103:14 For he knows how we were made; he remembers that we are dust.
Ps 143:2 Do not enter into judgment with your servant, for no one living is righteous before you.
Ps 114:4 The mountains skipped like rams, the hills like lambs.
Ps 146:3 Do not put your trust in princes, in mortals, in whom there is no help.
Jer 2:19 Your wickedness will punish you, and your apostasies will convict you. Know and see that it is evil and bitter for you to forsake the Lord your God; the fear of me is not in you, says the Lord God of hosts.
Lam 5:16 The crown has fallen from our head; woe to us, for we have sinned!
Job 40:4 "See, I am of small account; what shall I answer you? I lay my hand on my mouth.
Job 42:5-6 I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes."
Ps 22:19 But you, O Lord, do not be far away! O my help, come quickly to my aid!
Ps 39:13 Turn your gaze away from me, that I may smile again, before I depart and am no more."
Ps 85:4-7 Restore us again, O God of our salvation, and put away your indignation toward us. Will you be angry with us forever? Will you prolong your anger to all generations? Will you not revive us again, so that your people may rejoice in you? Show us your steadfast love, O Lord, and grant us your salvation.
Jer 14:20 We acknowledge our wickedness, O Lord, the iniquity of our ancestors, for we have sinned against you.
Dan 9:8 Open shame, O Lord, falls on us, our kings, our officials, and our ancestors, because we have sinned against you.
Rom 5:20-21 But law came in, with the result that the trespass multiplied; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, just as sin exercised dominion in death, so grace might also exercise dominion through justification leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Phil 2:12-13 Therefore, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed me, not only in my presence, but much more now in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
Heb 4:16 Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Rev 3:12 If you conquer, I will make you a pillar in the temple of my God; you will never go out of it. I will write on you the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem that comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name.
Prov 28:13 No one who conceals transgressions will prosper, but one who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.
Jer 3:23 Truly the hills are a delusion, the orgies on the mountains. Truly in the Lord our God is the salvation of Israel.
Rom 7:25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with my mind I am a slave to the law of God, but with my flesh I am a slave to the law of sin.

The General Supplication

V. The general supplication. And the people being now prepared and revived by these importunate addresses, are allowed to open their lips for themselves, and to plead for their own pardon in so moving a form, that if it be presented with a suitable devotion, it cannot miss of prevailing; but will admirably fit them for...

Then shall the people say this that followeth, after the Minister.

Neh 9:1-3 Now on the twenty-fourth day of this month the people of Israel were assembled with fasting and in sackcloth, and with earth on their heads. Then those of Israelite descent separated themselves from all foreigners, and stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their ancestors. They stood up in their place and read from the book of the law of the Lord their God for a fourth part of the day, and for another fourth they made confession and worshiped the Lord their God.
Job 33:26 then he prays to God, and is accepted by him, he comes into his presence with joy, and God repays him for his righteousness.
Ps 86:5 For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call on you.
Ps 86:15 But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.
Ps 130:7 O Israel, hope in the Lord! For with the Lord there is steadfast love, and with him is great power to redeem.
Jer 31:18 Indeed I heard Ephraim pleading: "You disciplined me, and I took the discipline; I was like a calf untrained. Bring me back, let me come back, for you are the Lord my God.
Jer 50:4 In those days and in that time, says the Lord, the people of Israel shall come, they and the people of Judah together; they shall come weeping as they seek the Lord their God.
Lam 5:21 Restore us to yourself, O Lord, that we may be restored; renew our days as of old--
Joel 2:12-13 Yet even now, says the Lord, return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; rend your hearts and not your clothing. Return to the Lord, your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and relents from punishing.
Zech 12:10 And I will pour out a spirit of compassion and supplication on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that, when they look on the one whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn.
Ezra 9:13 After all that has come upon us for our evil deeds and for our great guilt, seeing that you, our God, have punished us less than our iniquities deserved and have given us such a remnant as this,
Ps 71:1 In you, O Lord, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame.
Ps 74:19 Do not deliver the soul of your dove to the wild animals; do not forget the life of your poor forever.
Ps 78:38-39 Yet he, being compassionate, forgave their iniquity, and did not destroy them; often he restrained his anger, and did not stir up all his wrath. He remembered that they were but flesh, a wind that passes and does not come again.
Jer 29:11 For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.
Joel 2:7 Like warriors they charge, like soldiers they scale the wall. Each keeps to its own course, they do not swerve from their paths.
Hab 3:2 O Lord, I have heard of your renown, and I stand in awe, O Lord, of your work. In our own time revive it; in our own time make it known; in wrath may you remember mercy.
Mal 3:17 They shall be mine, says the Lord of hosts, my special possession on the day when I act, and I will spare them as parents spare their children who serve them.
1 John 2:1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;
Ps 13:3 Consider and answer me, O Lord my God! Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death,
Ps 51:1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.
Ps 69:13 But as for me, my prayer is to you, O Lord. At an acceptable time, O God, in the abundance of your steadfast love, answer me. With your faithful help
Ps 119:156 Great is your mercy, O Lord; give me life according to your justice.
John 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
1 Cor 1:9 God is faithful; by him you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
2 Cor 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all consolation,
Gal 1:4 who gave himself for our sins to set us free from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,
Eph 2:4-5 But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ--by grace you have been saved--
Heb 9:15 For this reason he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, because a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions under the first covenant.

The Blessing

VI. The blessing. The following blessing,* which, being to be pronounced in the name of God, is taken from a form of his own prescribing: so that all who are prepared to receive its benefit must humbly kneel, and firmly believe that he who prescribed it will be sure to confirm it to their infinite advantage and endless comfort.

Then the Minister alone shall say,

Num 6:24-26 The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.