John Donne on Forgiveness

John Donne preached a sermon on the first Sunday of Lent to King James I. I was especially convicted of his prayer – sinnes which I have so laboured to hide from the world, as that now they are hid from mine own conscience, and mine own memory… . WOW!! Here is an extract (in old english):

FORGIVE me O Lord, O Lord forgive me my sinnes, the sinnes of my youth, and my present sinnes, the sinne that my Parents cast upon me, Originall sinne, and the sinnes that I cast upon my children, in an ill example ; Actuall sinnes, sinnes which are manifest to all the world, and sinnes which I have so laboured to hide from the world, as that now they are hid from mine own conscience, and mine own memory ; Forgive me my crying sins, and my whispering sins, sins of uncharitable hate, and sinnes of unchaste love, sinnes against Thee and Thee, against thy Power O Almighty Father, against thy Wisedome, O glorious Sonne, against thy Goodnesse, O blessed Spirit of God ; and sinnes against Him and Him, against Superiours and Equals,and Inferiours; and sinnes against Me and Me, against mine own soul, and against my body, which I have loved better than my soul ; Forgive me O Lord, Lord in the merits of thy Christ and my Jesus, thine Anointed, and my Saviour ; Forgive me my sinnes, all my sinnes, and I will put Christ to no more cost, nor thee to more trouble, for any reprobation or malediction that lay upon me, otherwise then as a sinner. I ask but an application, not an extention of that Benediction, Blessed are they whose sinnes are forgiven ; Let me be but so blessed, and I shall envy no mans Blessednesse: say thou to my sad soul, Sonne be of good comfort, thy sinnes are forgiven thee.

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