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God hath redeemed us; but we have lightly esteemed this redemption.
We have all neglected this great salvation, and have provoked God to cast us off.
He has called all men to serve and to obey Him, but they did not like Him to reign over them.
He has given to us all in our baptism His Holy Spirit, but we have resisted His motions within us.
He gave to His Church precepts and ordinances, by which the Body of Christ might be edified to the perfect Man, the measure of the stature of His fulness; but we and our fathers have despised them, and followed our own imaginations wherefore confusion has been wrought in the house of God.
He commanded all Christians to live as brethren, but we have lived in contention; in unity, but we have-separated ourselves into many sects, and no unity is to be seen on the earth. These evils have been wrought even by those who have thought to do God service, and to benefit the souls of men.
God is grieved and displeased at the state of His Church, and has preserved us unto this day that we may repent and confess our sin, and
turn unto Him, that our sin may be blotted out, and that He may still bless us.
For through our Lord Jesus Christ He will forgive all who repent and turn to Him, confessing their sins.
[The following is given as a form of EXHORTATION.]
OLY brethren, we are all by nature shapen
in iniquity, condemned by the law of God, and ignorant of the way of peace. But God hath given us the light of the knowledge of His glory in the face of Jesus Christ, who, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. God hath brought life and immortality to light by the Gospel, and hath given unto us the adoption of sons. darkness is past, and the true light now shineth.
Yet have we not duly hearkened unto the Word of this Salvation; neither have we been steadfast in the grace of our baptism and the hope of our calling. We have resisted the motions, and hindered the manifestation, of the Holy Spirit, and have lightly esteemed the precepts and ordinances given by our Lord at the first, for our perfecting as one body. We have wrought defilement and confusion in the house of God, and have, in diverse manners, broken the unity of His Church. We
have not served Him with a perfect heart, nor continued in brotherly love. We have not been unto all men the living epistle of Christ; but we have been ashamed of Him, we have brought reproach upon His Name, and we are found entangled with the world, and overcome of evil. By these things we have provoked God to cast us off.
Nevertheless unto this hour are we spared. Our heavenly Father hath borne with the waywardness of His children. He doth still regard us in the pitifulness of His great mercy. would raise us out of the low estate into which we have brought ourselves, and vouchsafe to us, through the mediation of His Son, an abundant entrance into His kingdom.
Wherefore let us humbly confess our sins, and implore His forgiveness; that, our consciences being cleansed through the Blood of sprinkling, we may at this time and henceforward acceptably serve Him, and worthily magnify His holy Name.
To be repeated by the people after the Minister
Let us pray.
ALMIGHTY and Most Merciful Father; We
have erred and strayed from Thy ways like
lost sheep. We have followed too much the
devices and desires of our own hearts.
We have offended against Thy holy laws. We have left undone those things which we ought to have done; And we have done those things which we ought not to have done.
We have been unmindful of the Unity of the Body of Christ; We have resisted and grieved Thy Holy Spirit; We have forgotten, and lightly esteemed, the ordinances which Thou didst give at the beginning for the perfecting of the saints; The hope of the appearing and kingdom of Thy Son hath failed among those who are called by His Name; We have not purified ourselves as He is pure; And there is no health in us.
But Thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us, miserable offenders. Spare us, good Lord; spare Thou them which confess their faults. Restore Thou them that are penitent; According to Thy promises declared unto mankind in Christ Jesus our Lord. And grant, O most merciful Father, for His sake; That we may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life, To the glory of Thy holy Name.
[The following is given as a form appropriate.]
ALMIGHTY GOD, the Father of our Lord
Jesus Christ, who desireth not the death of
a sinner, but rather that he may turn from his wickedness, and live; and hath given power and commandment to His ministers, to declare and pronounce to His people, being penitent, the Absolution and Remission of their sins: Have mercy upon you; Grant unto you full remission and forgiveness; and absolve you from all your sins, iniquities, and transgressions.
THE PRAYER OF DEDICATION.
ALMIGHTY GOD, who by thy holy Apostle hast called upon us to present our bodies unto Thee, a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable, which is our reasonable service; we come unto Thee in the Name of Jesus Christ, and we devote and dedicate ourselves wholly to Thy service, henceforth to live only to Thy glory. Thou art our God, and we will praise Thee; Thou art our God, we will exalt Thee. We give