|The Book of Common Prayer|
A COMMINACION AGAYNSTE SYNNERS,
¶ After Mornyng praier, the people being called together by the ringing of a bell, and assembled in the Churche, the English Letany shalbe sayd after the accustomed maner: whiche ended, the Priest shall goe into the pulpite and saye thus
BRETHREN, in the primative church there was a Godly discyplyne, that at the begynnyng of Lent suche persons as were notorious synners, wer put to open penaunce and punished in thys world, that their soules might be saved in the day of the lorde, and that others admonished by theyr example, myght be more afrayed to offende. In the stede [stead] wherof, untyl the sayd discipline may be restored againe, (which thing is much to be wyshed,) it is thought good, that at thys tyme (in your presence) should be read the general sentences of God's curssyng against impenitent sinners, gathered out of the xxvii. Chapiter of Deuteronomye, and other places of scripture: and that ye shoulde aunswere to every sentence, Amen. To thintent that you, beyng admonished of the great indignacion of God agaynst synners, may the rather be called to earneste and true repentaunce, and may walke more warely in these daungerous daies, fleeing from such vices, for the which ye affirme with your owne mouthes the curse of God to be due.
CURSED is the man that maketh any carved or molten Image, an abhominacion to the Lorde, the worke of the handes of the craftes manne, and putteth it in a secrete place to worshyp it.
And the people shall aunswere and saye,
Minister. Cursed is he that curseth his
father, and mother.
The Minister. Nowe seeing that all they be
accursed (as the Prophet David beareth witnes) which dooe erre and goe
astraye from the commaundementes of God: lette us (remembryng the dreadfull
judgement hangynge over our heades, and beeyng always at hande) returne
unto our Lorde God, with all contricion and mekenesse of hearte bewaylynge
and lamentynge our synfule lyfe, knowledgyng and confessyng our offences,
and seekyng to bring furth worthy fruites of penaunce (Psa.
cxviii.). For nowe is the Axe put
unto the roote of the trees, so that every tree whiche bringeth not
furth good fruite is hewen downe, and caste into the fyre
(Mat. iii.). It is a fearfull thyng to fall into the handes
of the lyving God (Heb. x.):
he shall poure down rain upon the synners, snares, fyre and brimstone,
storme and tempest: this shalbe their porcion to drynke (Ps.
x.). For he, the Lord is comen out
of his place, to visite the wickednes of suche as dwell upon the earth
(Es. xxvi.). But
who maye abide the daye of hys comyng? Who shalbe able to endure when
he appereth? His fanne is in his hand, and he wil pourge hys floore
and gather hys wheate into the Barne (Mala. iii.):
but he wylle burn the chaffe with unquencheable fyre (Mal.
iii.). The daye of the Lord cometh
as a thefe upon the night; and when men shal say peace, and al thinges
are safe, then shall sodenly destruccion come upon them, as sorowe cometh
upon a woman travailing with childe, and they shall not escape (1
Thes. v.): then shall appeare the wrath of God in the
daye of vengeance, which obstinate sinners, throughe the stubbernes
of theyr hearte, have heaped unto themselfe, whiche despysed the goodnes,
pacience, and long-sufferaunce of God, when he called them continuallye
to repentaunce (Rom. ii.). Then shal
they cal upon me, sayeth the lord, but I wyll not heare: they shal seke
me earlye, but they shall not fynd me, and that because they hated knowledge,
and received not the feare of the Lorde, but abhorred my counsayle,
and despysed my correccion: then shall it be to late to knock, when
the dore shall be shutte, and to late to crye for mercy, when it is
the time of Justice (Prove i.).
O terrible voyce of moste juste judgemente, whiche shall be pronounced
upon them, when it shalbe sayd unto them: Goe ye cursed into the fyre
everlasting, which is prepared for the devill and hys Aungels (Matt.
xxv.). Therefore, brethren, take we
hede betime, whyle the day of salvacion lasteth, for the nyght cometh
when none can worke (2 Cor. vi.): but
lette us, whyle we have the lyght, beleve in the lyght, and walke as
the children of the lyght, that we be not cast into the uttre darkenesse,
where is wepyng and gnashyng of teeth (John ix.).
Let us not abuse the goodnes of God, which calleth us mercifully to
amendement, and of hys endlesse pitie promyseth us forgeveness of that
whiche is paste, if (with a whole mynd and true heart) we returne unto
hym (Matt. xxv.): for though our sins
be red as scarlet, they shall be as white as Snowe; and thoughe they
bee lyke purple, yet shall they be as white as wolle (Esai.
i.). Turne you clene (sayth the Lord) from
all youre wyckednesse, and youre synne shall not be youre destruccion.
Caste awaye from you all your ungodlynes that ye have done, make you
new heartes, and a newe spirite: wherfore wil ye die, O ye house of
Israel? Seeyng that I have no pleasure in the death of hym that dyeth?
(sayeth the Lorde God.) (Ezech. xxviii.).
Turne you then, and you shall lyve. Althoughe we have synned, yet have
we an advocate with the father, Jesus Chryste the ryghteous: and he
it is that obteyneth grace for our sinnes (1 John
ii.); for he was wounded for our offences, and smitten for
our wickednes (Esai. liii.). Let us
therefore returne unto hym, who is the merciful receyver of all true
penytent synners, assuring our self, that he is ready to receive us,
and most wyllyng to pardon us, if we come to hym with faythfull repentaunce:
if we wil submit ourselves unto hym, and from hencefurth walke in hys
wayes: if we wil take his easye yoke and light burden upon us, to folowe
him in lowlinesse, pacience, and charitie, and be ordered by the governaunce
of his holy spirite, seking alwayes his glory, and serving him duely
in our vocacion, with thankesgeving (Mat. xi.).
This if we doe, Christ wil deliver us from the curse of the law, and
from the extreme malediccion, whiche shal light upon them that shal
be set on the left hand: and he wil set us on his ryght hand, and geve
us the blessed benediccion of his father, commaundyng us to take possession
of his glorious kyngdome; unto the which he vouchesafe to bryng us all,
for hys infinite mercy (Matt. xxv.).
|The scriptur references are given in the margin in several printings.|
Then shall they all knele upon their knees: and the Priestes and Clerks kneling (where thei are accustomed to saye the Letany) shal saye this Psalme.
Miserere mei Deus. Ps. li.
mercy upon me, (O God,) alter thy great goodness : accordyng
to the multitude of thy mercies, do awaye myne offences.
Lord, have mercy
¶ Our father, which art in heaven, &c.
Let us praye.
O LORD, we beseche thee mercifully heare our prayers, and spare all those whiche confess their sinnes to thee, that they (whose conscyences by synne are accused,) by thy mercyfull pardon maye be absolved : Through Chryste our Lorde. Amen.
O MOST mightie god and mercyfull father, which hast compassion of al men, and hatest nothing that thou hast made: which wouldest not the death of a synner, but that he shoulde rather turne from synne and be saved: mercifully forgeve us our trespasses, receyve and comfort us, which be greved and weried with the burthen of our synnes. Thy property is to have mercy; to thee only it apperteineth to forgeve sinnes: spare us therfore, good Lord, spare thy people whom thou hast redemed. Entre not into Judgemente with thy servaunts, which be vile yearth, and miserable synners: but so turne thy yre from us, which mekely knowledge our vilenesse, and truely repente us of our faultes: so make haste to helpe us in thys worlde, that we maye ever lyve with thee, in the worlde to come: through Jesus Christe our Lord. Amen.
¶ Then shal the people say this that foloweth. after the Minister.
TURNE thou us, O good lorde, and so shall we bee turned: bee favourable (O Lord) bee fauourable to thy people, whiche turne to thee in wepyng, fastyng and praying: for thou art a merciful god, ful of compassion, long suffering, and of a great pitie: Thou sparest when we deserve punishmente, and in thy wrath thinkest upon mercy. Spare thy people, good Lorde, spare them, and lette not thy heritage be broughte to confusion: Hear us (O Lord) for thy mercy is great, and after the multytude of thy mercyes looke upon us.
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