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P. 1
On Repentance.

On Repentance.

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Published by glennpease
BY ELIHU THAYER


MARK, vi. 12.

.4nd they went out, and preached that men should
repent.
BY ELIHU THAYER


MARK, vi. 12.

.4nd they went out, and preached that men should
repent.

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Published by: glennpease on Sep 28, 2013
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O REPETACE.BY ELIHU THAYER MARK, vi. 12..4nd they went out, and preached that men shouldrepent.Xn the preceding part of this chapter, we have theaccount of Christ's sending his twelve disciples topreach ; and he doubtless gave them particular direc-tions what to preach. — On what doctrines to insist.And may we not, from the manner of their preaching judge of the tenor of his directions to them on thissubject ? " And they went out, and preached that menshould repent." Christ had told them the nature andimportance of the commission with which they werecharged, and informed them, " that it would be moretolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judg-ment, than for that city which should refuse to hearthem. ' ' And as they went forth, preaching repentance,it is reasonable to conclude, they had been thus in-structed by their Lord and master, and that he con-Oil Repentance. 305sidered this a cardinal doctrine of his gospel which hisdisciples were to publish. In discoursing upon thesewords, it will be natural to describe in theI. Place, the nature of this important duty.II. Show its extent. And,III. Point out the motives by which this should beenforced.
 
I. What is repentance ? It is taken for granted inall passages of this kind, that man is a fallen, guiltycreature. For they who haye never offended theirMaker by sin, have no reason for repentance. " Justpersons have no need of repentance." When there-fore Christ orders repentance to be preached to theworld, it implies that the world is in a fallen, guiltystate. To preach repentance to a creature not guiltywould be impertinent ; it would be an imposition.But Christ has commanded repentance to be preachedto all nations, and " he commands all men every whereto repent." This he tells us was one important branchof his own business into the world ; " I came not tocall the righteous, but sinners to repentance," Re-pentance is an essential part of the religion of a sinner ;and therefore it becomes very important to distinguishtrue repentance from every counterfeit appearance.You will then give me your attention while I endeav-our to display its nature. And I would first observe,that repentance is an exercise of the heart, not of theintellectual part of man. It is a moral exercise, for it isconnected with the divine approbation ; and it is cer-tain, according to the constitution of the covenant of grace, that all broken hearted penitents shall inheriti40306 On Repentance.the kingdom of heaven. There is therefore something"more in true repentance, than a conviction of the un-derstanding and conscience of the evil of sin. Repen-tance according to the original, is a change of mind ;and is called repentance towards. God ; doubtless be-cause it is a turning from the love of sin, to the loveof holiness. All holy exercises are of the same nature,but are called by different names, as they respect dif-ferent objects. That peculiar exercise of heart, which
 
is denominated repentance, has for its immediate object,the evil cf sin ; and essentially consists in a heart-affecting sense of one's own character as a sinner. Re-pentance, consisting in a sense of the vilenes of ourown characters as sinners, necessarily implies godlysorrow, which consists in a sense of the evil of sin, asopposed to the pure and holy nature of God. Godhates sin, because it is opposed to the good and hap-piness of the universe ; and he, who has godly sorrowfor sin, hates it for the same reason. And repentanceimplies both a sense of the hateful nature of sin, andof our own vileness on account of the sinfulness of our nature ; and this is so essential to the character of a true penitent, that there can be no such thing as truerepentance, when there is no sense of self-pollution anddefilement. This appears from the examples of re-pentance recorded in scripture ; and the manner inwhich true penitents have expressed the feelings of their hearts. Job expressed the penitent exercises of^his heart in the following language, " Behold I amvile, what shall I answer thee ?" " I have heard of theeby the hearing of the ear, but now mine eye secth thee.On Heptntattee. 307wherefore I abhor myself and repent in dust and ashes."David expresses his repentance in this confession, " Ihave sinned against the Lord;" "Against thee,thee only have I sinned and done this evil in thy sight."See the same temper of heart exhibited by the prodi-gal son, when he returned to his father. " Father"said he, "I have sinned against heaven and in thysight, and am no more worthy to be called ihy son."Sec in the publican the same exercise expressed inthese words, " God be merciful to me a sinner." Truerepentance, as appears from these passages, does notconsist in wishing I had never sinned, but in self abhor-rence on account of it. This being the nature of re-

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