The Confessions of Jeremiah: who coined the usage?

Cheyne, T. K. (Thomas Kelly)

The more I look at the “Confessions of Jeremiah” the more puzzled I get (not by the contents, though Jeremiah is a puzzle of a book for sure) it is a commonplace of scholarship (and also to some extent of preaching) to identify a collection of passages from the book of Jeremiah as “the confessions of Jeremiah” (the exact list of passages varies a bit, but the lists are substantially the same).This usage was already common and unexplained by the start of the twentieth century. But is seems almost absent (at least from Google books, as far as they are available outside the USA) before that. The only sure example I can find is:

Cheyne, T. K. (Thomas Kelly). Jeremiah, his life and times. James Nisbet & Co., 1888, 2

This may suggest Cheyne coined the term, and perhaps even first identified the passages as a group (I am not sure because all I get is snippet view, and none of my other usual sources of e-texts seem to have the work :(

BUT if he was, why does no one else give him a hat tip?

Does anyone know what is going on here, or have better information about the origin of the name “confessions of Jeremiah”?

4 comments on “The Confessions of Jeremiah: who coined the usage?

  1. Stephen

    Do you want me to look it up? The Cheyne volume is here in the library where I’m working for the next few days.

  2. tim

    Thanks, it is p.2 I think from Google… don’t spend too long though as it is curiosity rather than a real need!

  3. Stephen

    Will have a look tomorrow (or maybe Thursday as I’m not feeling 100% today)

  4. tim

    Thanks, sorry to hear you’re crook, I’m just battling to get my paper draft finished… it doesn’t quite want to fall iintro place :(