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The Doctrine of Repentance
Thomas Watson - 1668

I shall next show what gospel repentance is. Repentance is a grace of God’s Spirit whereby a sinner is inwardly humbled and visibly reformed. For a further amplification, know that repentance is a spiritual medicine made up of six special ingredients:

  1. Sight of sin
  2. Sorrow for sin
  3. Confession of sin
  4. Shame for sin
  5. Hatred for sin
  6. Turning from sin

If any one is left out it loses its virtue.

Turning to God makes for our profit. Our repentance is of no benefit to God, but to ourselves. If a man drinks of a fountain he benefits himself, not the fountain. If he beholds the light of the sun, he himself is refreshed by it, not the sun. If we turn from our sins to God, God is not advantaged by It. It is only we ourselves who reap the benefit. In this case self-love should prevail with us: ‘If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself’ (Prov. 9:12).

If we turn to God, He will turn to us. He will turn his anger from us, and his face to us. It was David’s prayer, ‘O turn unto me, and have mercy upon me’ (Ps. 86:16). Our turning will make God turn: ‘Turn ye unto me, saith the Lord, and I will turn unto you’ (Zech. 1:3). He who was an enemy will turn to be our friend. If God turns to us, the angels are turned to us. We shall have their tutelage and guardianship (Ps. 91:11). If God turns to us, all things shall turn to our good, both mercies and afflictions; we shall taste honey at the end of the rod.

Thus we have seen the several ingredients of repentance.