Sunday, March 05, 2006

27Sep1858, Quarrel About Confession

HAGLEY, September 27th, 1858.
—The papers are all wrangling over the new quarrel about confession : how odd people are ! What can be easier than the gentle and wise directions of the Prayer Book to ask advice and guidance when in difficulty, or oppressed with some sin, of the clergyman who has authority to declare forgiveness in the Name of Christ ? And why shd these directions lead clergymen to force their parishioners to unwilling confession ? Or why shd they be made stumbling-blocks and be reckoned popish, as long as St. James' words stand : " Confess your sins one to another " ? Marvellous extremes people fly to ! on whichever side, missing the truth, which is Scriptural, temperate, and wise. In difficulty, with something on your conscience, go to a clergyman ; without a difficulty, without anything on your conscience, do not go. Who wouldn't say Amen to that ?

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