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hindered from con

sins by a

re

sense of

reveal them unto others; or further, because he is afraid the Curate, if made aware of his

secret crimes, should form a bad opinion of What should him; if an improper modesty restrain him hini who is from speaking, which a true and genuine

modesty would not, then the Curate may thus fessing his address him :-“ You would without

any mistaken

luctance disclose to a medical person those modesty.

diseases of which you are most ashamed, were you to consult him concerning the health of your body: if any one were to bring you into a law-suit, or if you were to proceed against any one, you would wish to depend upon one skilled in law, from whose knowledge you would be very far from concealing the things which tell against you; yea, rather, unless you were imprudent, you would willingly point out to him all those defects which you yourself discover in your case ;-then why not make known the secret faults of your soul to him whom you wish to consult respecting your salvation? He, without doubt, will pity and not sport with your situation, but instruct you both how you may blot out your sins, and conceal them from the knowledge of the jesters, and not put you to shame by laying open to others those things worthy of ridicule which you have foolishly performed.”

are hindered

that the Cucon

rate would reveal their

If the sick should be fearful that the person What should to whom he confesses should reveal those those who things entrusted to him as secrets, and thereby a dread fore be unwilling to enter on the work of fession, the Curate in that case may address secrets. him thus :-“ You need not fear, my Brother, that I am about to mention to others those things which I hear from you in confession: for no entreaty, no costly reward, could induce me to do that; verily I should account myself deserving of the most ignominious death were I to betray the secrets you entrust to me, provided they be of that kind that I may conceal them without sin: this, however, I tell you, not that I may extort from you any secret ; for I do not desire that you should inform me of any thing which you wish to conceal, but that you should, to any other person in whom you can more securely confide, disclose those things which it will

ser.

manifestly be to your own advantage to make known to him who gives you counsel ; select therefore what person you like for this purpose; but I lovingly warn you that you hide not from him those things which being unknown to him will enable him to render you

little vice by his advice; for in vain can you hope for wholesome remedies from a medical man who is ignorant of the disease under which you labour; neither reasonably can you expect profitable counsel from your Curate, unless he be made entirely acquainted with the true state of your soul.”

If the sick person should be loth to make a due disclosure of his sins, because he is

fearful lest they being made known through sure of their his voluntary confession should bring him lessen them into bad repute with his Curate, then the

tell him that there is no ground for fear on that account, nay rather, that he may be assured that he, the Curate, and all others will, for this very reason, think more highly of him; for that by how much the more fully and freely his confession of sins

What should
be said to
those who
are deterred
by the fear
that a disclo-

latter may

mation of their Curate.

shall be made, by so much the more certain will be the evidence of his penitence, and that that man will by all be accounted penitent who truly grieves that he has sinned: but the Curate should add, that he does not urge him to confess to him or to any

other

person all his offences, but only that he should confess to any lawful Priest those things which it is proper he should be made acquainted with, in order that he may give to him who seeks his counsel good advice; and that as far as concerns the remainder, it is sufficient if he privately confess them unto God, and cautiously avoid them for the future ; and as by this confession to the Deity, and by a scrupulous shunning a repetition of past offences, any sinner can regain the favour of God, so, to speak what I think, whoever willingly confesses his secret sins and seriously promises a reformation, will most assuredly secure the love and good will of the person to whom he acknowledges them, if he but adhere to his promise and truly amend his life; because his spiritual adviser will rejoice the more concerning him, and think better of him than if he had never sinned; for as there will be joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, that need no repentance, so also on earth, at least amongst wise and devout ministers of reconciliation, there will be greater joy over one sinner who humbly confesses his transgressions, than over a vast number of just persons, who have no need to disclose their secret faults.

If the sick remain immovable, and cannot be at all prevailed on by arguments to disclose the sins that ought to be confessed, in order that he may be rightly counselled, then the Curate may address him thus :

“ There are certain crimes, my Brother, which can never be disclosed without danger, since it is lawful for none, if by any means they come to their knowledge, to conceal them ; such as murder, treason, and whatever other crimes it would be very much to the public interest that they should be revealed; neither do I advise, (for no one is bound to

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