The Book of Common Prayer
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    The Book of Common Prayer for Scotland (1637)

A commination against sinners,
with certain Prayers to be used divers

times in the year, and especially on the first
day of Lent, commonly called,


After Morning prayer, the people being called together by the ringing of a bell, and assembled in the Church, the English Letany shall be said, after the accustomed manner ; which ended, the Presbyter shall go into the Pulpit and say thus, the people sitting and attending with reverence.

BRethren, in the primitive Church there was a godly Discipline, that at the beginning of Lent, such persons as were notorious sinners were put to open penance and did humbly submit themselves to undergo punishment in this world, that their souls might bee saved in the day of the Lord ; and that others admonished by their example might bee more afraid to offend.
    In the stead whereof, untill the said discipline may be restored againe (which thing is much to be wished) it is thought good, that at this time (in your presence) should be read the generall sentences of Gods cursing against impenitent sinners, gathered out of the xxvii chap. of Deuteronomy, and other places of Scripture : and that ye should answer to every sentence, Amen : to the intent that you, being admonished of the great indignation of God against sinners, may the rather be called to earnest and true repentance, and may walk more warely in these dangerous dayes, fleeing from such vices, for the which yee affirm with your own mouths, the curse of God to be due.


CUrsed is the man that maketh any carved or molten image, an abomination to the Lord, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and putteth it in a secret place to worship it.

And the people shall answer and say.


Deut. 27.15.
Cursed is he that curseth his father and mother.
Deu. 27.16
Prov. 20.20
Cursed is hee that removeth away the marke of his neighbours land.
Deut. 27.17.
Cursed is he that maketh the blinde to go out of his way.
Deut. 27.18
Cursed is he that in judgement hindereth, stoppeth, or preventeth the right of the stranger, of them that be fatherlesse, and of widows.
Deut. 27.19.
Cursed is he that smiteth his neighbour secretly.
Deut. 27.24.
Cursed is he that lyeth with his neighbours wife.
Lev. 20.10
Cursed is he that taketh reward to slay the soul of innocent bloud.
Deut. 27.25.
Cursed is he that putteth his trust in man, and taketh man for his defence, and in his heart goeth from the Lord.
Jer. 17.5.
Cursed are the unmercifull, the fornicatours, and adulterers, and the covetous persons, the worshippers of images, slanderers, drunkards, and extortioners.


Mat. 25.41
1 Cor. 6.9,10.
Gal. 5.19,20,21.
Psal. 15.3
NOw seeing that all they be accursed (as the Prophet David beareth witnesse) which doe erre and go astray from the commandements of God, let us (remembering the dreadfull judgement hanging over our heads, and being allwayes at hand) return unto our Lord God, with all contrition and meeknesse of heart, bewayling and lamenting our sinful life, acknowledging and confessing our offenses, and seeking to bring forth worthy fruits of penance. For now is the axe put unto the roote of the trees, so that every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit, is hewen down and cast into the fire.

Psal. 119.




Matt. 3.10

    It is a fearfull thing to fall into the hands of the living God. For upon the wicked hee shall raine snares, fire, and brimstone, and a horrible tempest ; this shall be the portion of their cup. For lo, the LORD is come out of his place, to visit the wickednesse of such as dwell upon the earth. But who may abide the day of his coming? Who shall bee able to endure when hee appeareth? His fanne is in his hand, and he will purge his floore, and gather his wheat into the barn : but hee will burn the chaff with unquenchable fire. The day of the LORD cometh as a thief upon the night : and when men shall say, peace, and all things are safe, then shall sudden destruction come upon them, as sorrow cometh upon a woman travailing with childe, and they shall not escape. Then shall appeare the wrath of God in the day of vengeance, which obstinate sinners, through the stubbornnesse of their heart, have heaped unto themself, which despised the goodnesse, patience, and long-sufferance of God, when he called them continually to repentance. Then shall they call upon mee (saith the LORD) but I will not heare. They shall seek me early, but they shall not finde me, and that because they hated knowledge and received not the fear of the LORD, but abhorred my counsell, and despised my correction. Then shall it be too late to knock, when the doore shall be shut, and too late to cry for mercy, when it is the time of justice. O terrible voyce of most just judgement, which shall be pronounced upon them, when it shall be said unto them, Go ye cursed into the fire everlasting, which is prepared for the devil and his angels!

Heb. 10.31
Psal. 11.6.

Esa. 26.21.
Mal. 3.2.

Matt. 31.2.
(actually Matt. 3.12)
1 Thess. 5.2,3.

Rom. 2,4.5.


Prov. 1.28,29,30.

Matt. 25.10,11,12.

Matt. 25.41.

    Therefore brethren, take wee heed betime, while the day of salvation lasteth, for the night cometh when none can work : but let us, while we have the light, beleeve in the light, and walk as the children of the light, that we be not cast into the utter darknesse where is weeping and gnashing of teeth. Let us not abuse the goodnesse of God, which calleth us mercifully to amendment, and of his endlesse pitie promiseth us forgivenesse of that which is past, if (with a whole minde and true heart) we return unto him. For though our sinnes be red as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow, and though they be like purple, yet shall they be as white as wool.

2 Cor. 6.2.
John 9.4.
John 12.35,36.
Matt. 25.30



Isa. 1.18.

    Turn you clean (saith the LORD) from all your wickednesse, and your sinne shall not be your destruction. Cast away from you all your ungodlinesse that ye have done, make you new hearts, and a new spirit, wherefore will yee die, O yee house of Israel, seeing that I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the LORD GOD? Turn you then and yee shall live.
Ezek. 18.
    Although we have sinned, yet have wee an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, and he it is that obtaineth grace for our sinnes.
1 John 2.1,2.

    For he was wounded for our offenses, and smitten for our wickednesse. Let us therefore re turn unto him, who is the mercifull receiver of all true penitent sinners, assuring our selves, that he is ready to receive us, and most willing to pardon us, if wee come to him with faithful repentance, if wee will submit our selves unto him, and from henceforth walk in his wayes, if we will take his easie yoke and light burden upon us, to follow in lowlinesse, patience, and charity, and bee ordered by the governance of his holy spirit, seeking allwayes his glory, and serving him duely in our vocation, with thanksgiving. This if wee do, Christ will deliver us from the curse of the Law, and from the extreme malediction which shall light upon them that shall bee set on the left hand, and he will set us on his right hand and give us the blessed benediction of his Father, commanding us to take possession of his glorious kingdome : unto the which he vouchsafe to bring us all, for his infinite mercie. Amen.

Then shall they all kneel upon their knees, and the Presbyters and Clerks kneeling (where they are accustomed to say the Letany) shall say this Psalm.

Miserere mei Deus. Ps. 51.

Isa. 53.5.



Matt. 11.29,30.



Matt. 25.33,34.

HAVE mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving kindnesse : according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.
    Wash me throughly from mine iniquity : and cleanse me from my sinne.
    For I acknowledge my transgressions : and my sin is ever before me.
    Against thee, thee only have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight : that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and clear when thou judgest.
    Behold, I was shapen in iniquitie : and in sinne did my mother conceive me.
    Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts : and in the hidden part thou shalt make mee to know wisdom.
    Purge me with hysope, and I shall be clean : wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
    Make me to heare joy and gladnesse : that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoyce.
    Hide thy face from my sinnes ; and blot out all mine iniquities.
    Create in me a clean heart, O God ; and renew a right spirit within me.
    Cast me not away from thy presence ; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
    Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation : and uphold me with thy free spirit.
    Then will I teach trangressours thy ways, and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
    Deliver me from bloud guiltinesse, O God, thou art God of my salvation : and my tongue shall sing of thy righteousnesse.
    O Lord open thou my lips : and my mouth shall shew thy praise.
    For thou desirest not sacrifice, else would I give it : thou delighteth not in burnt-offering.
    The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit : a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
    Do good in thy god pleasure unto Sion : build thou the walls of Jerusalem.
    Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousnesse, with the burnt-offering and whole burnt-offering : then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar.

    Glory be to the Father, and to the Sonne : and to the holy Ghost.
    As it was in the beginning, and is now, and ever shall be : world without end. Amen.


Lord have mercy upon us.
    Christ have mercy upon us.
Lord have mercy upon us.

OUR Father which art in heaven, &c.
And leade us not into temptation
But deliver us from evil. Amen.
O Lord save thy servants.
Which put their trust in thee.
Send unto them help from above.
And evermore mightily defend them.
Help us, O God our Saviour.
And for the glorie of thy Names sake deliver us, be mercifull unto us sinners, for thy Names sake.
Lord heare our prayer.
And let our cry come unto thee.

¶ Let us pray.

O LORD we beseech thee mercifully heare our prayers, and spare all those which confesse their sinnes to thee : that they, whose consciences by sinne are accused, by thy mercifull pardon may be absolved, through Christ our LORD. Amen.

O Most mighty GOD and mercifull Father, which hast compassion of all men, and hatest nothing that thou hast made, which wouldest not the death of a sinner, but that he should rather turn from sinne, and be saved : mercifully forgive us our trespasses, receive and comfort us, which be grieved and wearied with the burden of our sinne. Thy propertie is to have mercie, to thee onely it appertaineth to forgive sinnes : Spare us therefore, good LORD, spare thy people whom thou hast redeemed : enter not into judgement with thy servants, but turn thine anger from us, and make haste to helpe us in this world, that wee may ever live with thee, in the world to come; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.  

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

TUrn thou us, O good LORD, and so shall we be turned : be I favourable, O Lord, bee favourable to thy people, which turn to thee in weeping, fasting, and praying : for thou art a mercifull GOD, full of compassion, long-suffering, and of great pitie. Thou sparest when wee deserve punishment, and in thy wrath thinkest upon mercie. Spare thy people, good Lord, spare them and let not thy heritage be brought to confusion. Heare us, O Lord, for thy mercie is great, and after the multitude of thy mercies, look upon us.


F I N I S.



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