In my recent request for information “The Confessions of Jeremiah: who coined the usage? I cited T. K. (Thomas Kelly) Cheyne, Jeremiah, his life and times. James Nisbet & Co., 1888, 2 as the first usage of the phrase “the confessions of Jeremiah” that I could find, and asked if anyone had more sure information.
No one did, but Stephen kindly tracked down Cheyne and sure enough the quote is there. Mysteriously it is on the second page 2 (it is not mysterious that it is, I trust Google books implicitly, what is strange is that there are two page twos, one after the other – a misprint :) BUT in the quote Cheyne is calling the whole book “the confessions of Jeremiah” not just the texts we now know by that name. There seems still to be a reference that (given I only have access to Google snippet view) looks like current usage given that it is a whole section with this title:
BUTTENWIESER, Moses. The Prophets of Israel from the Eighth to the Fifth Century. Their Faith and Their Message. 1914, 80ff.
Can anybody, either confirm this usage, or propose a more solid information on the origin of this name for a collection of some of the laments in Jeremiah?