I. Repentance unto life is an evangelical grace,a the doctrine whereof is to be preached by every minister of the gospel, as well as that of faith in Christ.b
II. By it a sinner, out of the sight and sense, not only of the danger, but also of the filthiness and odiousness of his sins, as contrary to the holy nature and righteous law of God, and upon the apprehension of his mercy in Christ to such as are penitent, so grieves for and hates his sins, as to turn from them all unto God,c purposing and endeavouring to walk with him in all the ways of his commandments.d
III. Although repentance be not to be rested in, as any satisfaction for sin, or any cause of the pardon thereof,e which is the act of God’s free grace in Christ;f yet is it of such necessity to all sinners, that none may expect pardon without it.g
IV. As there is no sin so small but it deserves damnation;h so there is no sin so great, that it can bring damnation upon those who truly repent.i
V. Men ought not to content themselves with a general repentance, but it is every man’s duty to endeavour to repent of his particular sins particularly.k
VI. As every man is bound to make private confession of his sins to God, praying for the pardon thereof;l upon which, and the forsaking of them, he shall find mercy;m so he that scandalizeth his brother, or the church of Christ, ought to be willing, by a private or public confession and sorrow for his sin, to declare his repentance to those that are offended;n who are thereupon to be reconciled to him, and in love to receive him.o
a Zech. 12:10. And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications, and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his first-born. Acts 11:18. When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.
b Luke 24:47. And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. Mark 1:15. And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel. Acts 20:21. Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
c Ezek. 18:30. Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord God: repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin. Ver. 31. Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed, and make you a new heart and a new spirit; for why will ye die, O house of Israel? Ezek. 36:31. Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall loathe yourselves in your own sight, for your iniquities, and for your abominations. Isa. 30:22. Ye shall defile also the covering of thy graven images of silver, and the ornament of thy molten images of gold: thou shalt cast them away as a menstruous cloth; thou shalt say unto it, Get thee hence. Psal. 51:4. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. Jer. 31:18. I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus, Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised, as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke: turn thou me, and I shall be turned; for thou art the Lord my God. Ver. 19. Surely after that I was turned I repented; and after that I was instructed I smote upon my thigh: I was ashamed, yea, even confounded, because I did bear the reproach of my youth. Joel 2:12. Therefore also now, saith the Lord, Turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning. Ver. 13. And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil. Amos 5:15. Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate; it may be that the Lord God of hosts will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph. Psal. 119:128. Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right, and I hate every false way. 2 Cor. 7:11. For, behold, this self-same thing that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you; yea, what clearing of yourselves; yea, what indignation; yea, what fear; yea, what vehement desire; yea, what zeal; yea, what revenge! in all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.
d Psal. 119:6. Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments. Ver. 59. I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies. Ver. 106. I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep thy righteous judgments. Luke 1:6. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. 2 Kings 23:25. And like unto him was there no king before him, that turned to the Lord with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; neither after him arose there any like him.
e Ezek. 36:31. Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall loathe yourselves in your own sight, for your iniquities, and for your abominations. Ver. 32. Not for your sakes do I this, saith the Lord God, be it known unto you: be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel. Ezek. 16:61. Then thou shalt remember thy ways, and be ashamed, when thou shalt receive thy sisters, thine elder and thy younger; and I will give them unto thee for daughters, but not by thy covenant. Ver. 62. And I will establish my covenant with thee, and thou shalt know that I am the Lord: Ver. 63. That thou mayest remember and be confounded, and never open thy mouth any more because of thy shame, when I am pacified toward thee for all that thou hast done, saith the Lord God.
f Hos. 14:2. Take with you words, and turn to the Lord; say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render the calves of our lips. Ver. 4. I will heal their back sliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him. Rom. 3:24. Being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Eph. 1:7. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.
g Luke 13:3. I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Ver. 5. I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Acts 17:30. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Ver. 31. Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.
h Rom. 6:23. For the wages of sin is death: but the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Rom. 5:12. Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. Mat. 12:36. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
i Isa. 55:7. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. Rom. 8:1. There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Isa. 1:16. Wash you, make you clean, put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil. Ver. 18. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow: though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
k Psal. 19:13. Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins, let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. Luke 19:8. And Zaccheus stood, and said unto the Lord, Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor: and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. 1 Tim. 1:13. Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious. But I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly, in unbelief. Ver. 15. This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.
l Psal. 51:4. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. Ver. 5. Behold, I was shapen in iniquity: and in sin did my mother conceive me. Ver. 7. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Ver. 9. Hide thy face from my sins; and blot out all mine iniquities. Ver. 14. Deliver me from blood-guiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness. Psal. 32:5. I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid: I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord: and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. Ver. 6. For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found; surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him.
m Prov. 28:13. He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy. 1 John 1:9. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
n James 5:16. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed: The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Luke 17:3. Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him: Ver. 4. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him. Josh. 7:19. And Joshua said unto Achan, My son, give, I pray thee, glory to the Lord God of Israel, and make confession unto him; and tell me now what thou hast done, hide it not from me. [Psal. 51 throughout.]
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