With men it is confess and have execution,
but with God confess and have mercy.
We should never lay open our sins but for mercy.
So it honors God;
and when he is honored,
he honors the soul with inward peace and tranquility.
We can never have peace in our souls
till we have dealt roundly with our sins,
and favour them not a whit [bit];
till we have ripened our confession to be a thorough confession.
What is the difference between a Christian and another man?
Another person slubbers [is careless] over his sins
and he thinks if he comes to the congregation,
and follows the minister,
it will serve the turn [end].
But a Christian knows that religion is another manner of matter,
another kind of work than so.
He must deal thoroughly and seriously,
and lay open his sin as the chief enemy in the world,
and labor to raise all the hatred he can against it,
and make it the object of his bitter displeasure,
as being that that hath done him more hurt than all the world besides;
and so he confess it
with all the aggravations of hatred
and envy that he can…
That we in our confessions
(in our fastings especially)
ought to rank ourselves among the rest of sinners.
Perhaps we are not guilty of some sins that they have been guilty of.
God has been merciful to us and kept us in obedience in some things.
There is none of us all
but we have had a hand in the sins of the times.
– Richard Sibbes, Works 6:188-189