“Jesus began to preach, and to say, ‘Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.'”
“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out…”
“Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.”
Order of Contents
Welch, John – ‘On Repentance’ Sermons 3-10 on Rev. 2 in 48 Select Sermons (†1622)
Walaeus, Anthony – 32. ‘On Repentance’ in Synopsis of a Purer Theology: Latin Text & English Translation Buy (1625; Brill, 2016), vol. 2, pp. 276-304
Colquhoun, John – A View of Evangelical Repentance from the Sacred Records Buy (1825)
‘The Difference Between True & Counterfeit Repentance’ 8 points in 37 paragraphs
‘A Word to the Impenitent’ 7 points in 10 paragraphs
‘The Fruits & Evidences of True Repentance’ 10 points in 14 paragraphs
Buchanan, James – New Birth Repentance & Faith in The Office & Work of the Holy Spirit (1847) 10 paragraphs
Hodge, Charles – ‘Faith & Repentance’ in Way of Life, chs. 6 & 7
Berkhof, Louis – Conversion in Systematic Theology (1950), 31 paragraphs
Beeke, Joel – ‘Escape for Your Life’ condensed from a sermon preached on Sept. 16th (2011) 16 paragraphs
Heptameron, The Seven Days: That is, Meditations & Prayers upon thw work of the Lord’s Creation, together with other Certain Prayers & Meditations... (St. Andrews, 1621), p. 3
“I will condemn myself, that You may absolve me. I will have my sins before my eyes, that You may cast them behind your back. I will remember them, that You may forget them. I will repent of them and You will forgive them… I am content that I am shamed, if thereby honor comes to you that You may be just when you speak and pure when You judge.”
The Doctrine of Repentance, Useful for These Times (London: Printed by R.W. for Thomas Parkhurst, 1668), pp. 77-78
“There are two sorts of persons who will find it harder to repent than others:
1. Such as have sat a great while under the droppings of God’s ordinances, but grow no better. The earth which drinketh in the rain, yet beareth thorns and briars, is nigh unto cursing (Heb. 6.8). The metal which hath lain long in the fire, but is not melted and refined, there is little hope of it. When God hath sent his ministers one after another, exhorting and persuading men to leave their sins, but they settle upon the lees of formality, and can sit and sleep under a sermon; it will be hard for these ever to be brought to repentance; they may fear lest Christ should say to them as once to the fig-tree, Never fruit grow on thee more.
2. They will find it harder to repent, who have sinned frequently against the convictions of the Word, the checks of conscience, and the motions of the Spirit. Conscience has stood as the angel, with a flaming sword in its hand; it has said, ‘Do not this great evil;’ but sinners regard not the voice of conscience, but march on resolvedly under the Devil’s colors: these will not find it easy to repent (Job 24.13). They are of those that rebel against the light. It is one thing to sin for want of light, and another thing to sin against light. Here the unpardonable sin takes its rise; first men sin against the light of conscience, and so proceed gradually to the despighting the Spirit of grace.”
“Repentance is the vomit of the soul.”
John ‘Rabbi’ Duncan
“We… have cause to fear, not that the kingdom of God should become extinct, but lest it should be taken from us, and given to a nation that would bring forth the fruits of it.”
Alsted, Johann H.
ch. 21, ‘Repentance’ in Distinctions through Universal Theology, taken out of the Canon of the Sacred Letters & Classical Theologians (Frankfurt: 1626), pp. 94-97
ch. 12, ‘On Repentance’ in Theological Common Places Illustrated by Perpetual Similitudes (Frankfurt, 1630), pp. 65-70
Definition of Repentance unto Life
Westminster Confession 15.2
“By it [repentance unto life] 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]
[c] Ezek. 18:30,31. Ezek. 36:31. Isa. 30:22. Ps. 51:4. Jer. 31:18,19. Joel 2:12,13. Amos 5:15. Ps. 119:128. 2 Cor. 7:11
[d] Ps. 119:6,59,106. Luke 1:6. 2 Kings 23:25″
Mere External Repentance is No Repentance
A Free Disputation Against Pretended Liberty of Conscience… (1649), ch. 27, ‘Whether our Darkness & Incapacity to Believe…’, p. 323 (356)
“([Margin Note:] The Magistrate commands the outward man, and yet commands not sin and carnal repentance)
The sword produces no repentance at all, for external repentance is no repentance either in name or thing. The Lord commands indeed external repentance, but precepts are not given to the outward man, as to the adequate and proper object of the commandment of God.”
The Relation of Repentance to Saving Faith & Justification
Ball, John – 2nd pt., ch. 5, p. 349 of A Treatise of the Covenant of Grace (London, 1645)
“…the doubt touching the precedency of faith and repentance may be easily determined. For if faith be taken largely or generally for a belief of the promise, if we repent and receive it, then faith is before repentance: for there can be no turning without hope of pardon, nor coming home by hearty sorrow, without some expectation of mercy [see WCF 15.2 & WSC 87]. Thus the exhortations run, ‘Turn unto the Lord, for He is merciful and gracious.’ ‘Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand.’
But if faith be taken more strictly, for that faith or belief whereby we receive, embrace, or rest upon the promise of God in Christ Jesus for pardon and forgiveness, then repentance goes before pardon: for no remission is promised to be enjoyed but upon condition of repentance…
If repentance be necessary to Justification, of necessity it must go before justifying faith; because faith and justification are immediately coupled together. It is impossible to come unto Christ without repentance… Coming unto Christ is a lively motion of the soul, wherein arising from sin, it draws nigh or approaches unto Christ, that in Him it might be satisfied. The motion is one, but the points are two. For in drawing nigh unto Christ, the soul arises from sin: which may be called repentance.”
Witsius, Herman – ch. 11, ‘Whether Repentance Precedes the Remission of Sins?’ [Yes] in Conciliatory or Irenical Animadversions on the Controversies Agitated in Britain: under the Unhappy names of Antinomians and Neonomians (Glasgow, 1807), pp. 119-121
Witsius speaks of repentance as a ‘disposing condition’ of justification and the remission of sins. That is, it is a non-meritorious, disposition that is an antecedent condition for Justification to take place (it being Scripturally required that for the remission of sins, one must repent).
Ramsey, D. Patrick – ‘Faith & Repentance’ (2019) 7 paragraphs
Institutions of Christian Religion… (London: Snowdon, 1606), 30th Place, ‘Of Repentance…’, ‘Whether of these goes before, faith or repentance?’ p. 313
“Whether of these goes before, faith or repentance?
Whereas we have said before that repentance is sometimes used by a synecdoche for that which they call contrition, and have showed that contrition is legal or evangelical, we have placed faith as it were in the middle, between the former of those sorrows which comes of the acknowledgement of our sins and the accusations of the conscience, or which proceeds from the Law and the latter, which proceeds from the Gospel, for godly sorrow is an effect of faith as well as joy and gladness of conscience.”
On Penance & Human Satisfactions for Sin
Whether the Latin Vulgate says “Do Penance”? No
“Why the Roman Church is being dishonest when it says the Vulgate supports their sacrament of penitence when it says “poenitentiam agite” (Mt. 3:2):
1. The term that the reformers preferred for repentance, resipiscentia, is nowhere used in the Vulgate. In fact it’s not common at all in ancient Latin texts. So either the early Church had no concept of repentance, or they referred to it with the term poenitentia.
2. The Vulgate uses the term poenitentia throughout the Old Testament, before the sacrament of penance was instituted according to the Roman view. So something else is clearly in view.
3. The Vulgate uses poenitentia to refer to repentance at the time of conversion, whereas in the Roman view the sacrament of penance is for restoration for sins committed after baptism. For example Acts 19:4, “Joannes baptizavit baptismo poenitentiae populum“, “John baptized with a baptism of repentance”.
4. The term poenitentia is sometimes used to express how God does not turn from his plans, which is more fitting to the idea of repentance than penance. For example Rom. 11:29, “Sine poenitentia enim sunt dona et vocatio Dei.”, “The gifts and calling of God are without repentance”. See also 1 Sam. 15:29, “Porro triumphator in Israel non parcet, et poenitudine non flectetur: neque enim homo est ut agat poenitentiam.” It is even used positively in reference to God, such as Jer. 18:10, “Si fecerit malum in oculis meis, ut non audiat vocem meam, poenitentiam agam super bono quod locutus sum ut facerem ei.”
5. Poenitentia is often parsed in the Vulgate as a turning aside from sin. 1 Sam. 15:29, “Porro triumphator in Israel non parcet, et poenitudine non flectetur: neque enim homo est ut agat poenitentiam.”
6. 1 Kings 8:47 says that poenitentia may be done in one’s heart, which does not fit the nature of the sacrament of penance. “et egerint poenitentiam in corde suo in loco captivitatis“.”
Pope John XXIII – ‘Paenitentiam Agere: Encyclical of Pope John XXIII
on the Need for the Practice of Interior & Exterior Penance’ (July 1, 1962) 44 paragraphs
Note that there appears to be some inconsistency in this encyclical’s claim that “Doing penance for one’s sins is a first step towards obtaining forgiveness and winning eternal salvation”, as Romanists Catechisms tend to put the sacrament of baptism before penance.
“Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.”
“When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.”
“…that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.”