He was drunk upon the average once a day, and penitent upon an equally fair calculation once a month; and when he was penitent, he was invariably in the very last stage of maudlin intoxication. He was a ragged, roving, roaring kind of fellow, with a burly form, a sharp wit, and a ready head, and could turn his hand to anything when he chose to do it.
We have forgotten love, and Sat lonely beside each other. We have eaten together, Lonely behind our plates, we Have hidden behind children, We have slept together in A lonely bed. Now my heart Turns toward you, awake at last, Penitent, lost in the last Loneliness. Speak to me. Talk To me. Break the black silence.
And I do further recommend to my fellow-citizens aforesaid, that on that occasion they do reverently humble themselves in the dust, and from thence offer up penitent and fervent prayers and supplications to the great Disposer of events for a return of the inestimable blessings of peace, union, and harmony throughout the land which it has pleased him to assign as a dwelling-place for ourselves and for our posterity throughout all generations.
Faith can cut in so many ways. If you're penitent and not triumphal, it can move us to repentance and accountability and help us reach for something higher than ourselves. That can be a powerful thing, a thing that moves us beyond politics as usual, like Martin Luther King did. But when it's designed to certify our righteousness - that can be a dangerous thing. Then it pushes self criticism aside. There's no reflection.
Every experienced pastor knows that what the penitent heart says about itself is much more consequential than well-made truthful sentences that shout from the outside of the inner voice of conscience. No element of confession is more crucial than the discipline of listening. The attentive listener is a chosen agent of divine reconciliation. When the moment for keen listening is offered, take it as an inestimable gift.
Thomas C. Oden
In Nietzsche's usage, the word 'Christianity' does not even refer primarily to the religion; using it like a code word, he is thinking more of a particular religio-metaphysically influenced disposition, an ascetically (in the penitent and self-denying sense) defined attitude to the world, an unfortunate form of life deferral, focus on the hereafter and quarrel with secular facts
No doubt a man may be saved, like the penitent thief, without having received the Lord's Supper. It is not a matter of absolute and indispensable necessity, like repentance, faith, and conversion. But it is impossible to say that any professing Christian is in a safe, healthy, or satisfactory condition of soul, who habitually refuses to obey Christ and attend the Lord's Table.
J. C. Ryle
Let every Christian be a gardener so that he and she and the whole of creation, which groans in expectation of the Spirit's final harvest, may inherit Paradise. If we Christian's truly treasure the hope that one day we, like Adam and the penitent thief, will walk alongside the One who caused even the dead wood of the Cross to blossom with flowers, then we must also imitate the Master's art and make the desolate earth grow green.
Do not sit down and try to pump up repentance from the dry well of a corrupt nature. It is contrary to the laws of your mind to suppose that you can force your soul into that gracious state. Take your heart in prayer to Him who understands it and say, "Lord, cleanse it. Lord, renew it. Lord, work repentance in it." The more you try to produce penitent emotions in yourself, the more you will be disappointed. However, if you believingly think of Jesus dying for you, repentance will burst forth.
My god is all gods in one. When I see a beautiful sunset, I worship the god of Nature; when I see a hidden action brought to light, I worship the god of Truth; when I see a bad man punished and a good man go free, I worship the god of Justice; when I see a penitent forgiven, I worship the god of Mercy.
Edna St. Vincent Millay
They find seven cornices on which penitent and redeemed sinners are cleansed by the grace of God. On the first cornice, that of Pride, the proud are learning humility: Our Father, dwelling in the Heavens, nowise As circumscribed, but as the things above, Thy first effects, are dearer in Thine eyes, Hallowed Thy name be and the Power thereof, By every creature, as right meet it is We praise the tender effluence of Thy love. Let come to us, let come Thy kingdom's peace.
Revival, as contrasted with a Holy Ghost atmosphere is a clean- cut breakthrough of the Spirit, a sweep of Holy Ghost power, bending the hearts of hardened sinners as the wheat before the wind, breaking up the fountains of the great deep, sweeping the whole range of the emotions, as the master hand moves across the harp strings, from the tears and cries of the penitent to the holy laughter and triumphant joy of the cleansed.
I find no fault in Him."...You can find fault in anyone else, but you can find no fault in Jesus. Holy, harmless, undefiled, sinless: there He is! Christ is God's way to man; Christ is man's way to God. Christ is the true Jacob's ladder. By Him the penitent sinner, the believing soul, the redeemed child of God may come unto the Father and enter into the house of many mansions.
George W Truett
He came to put a harlot above a Pharisee, a penitent robber above a High Priest, and a prodigal son above his exemplary brother. To all the phonies and fakers who would say that they could not join the Church because His Church was not holy enough, He would ask, 'How holy must the Church be before you will enter into it?' If the Church were as holy as they wanted it to be, they would never be allowed into it! In every other religion under the sun, in every Eastern religion from Buddhism to Confucianism, there must always be some purification before one can commune with God. But Our Blessed Lord brought a religion where the admission of sin is the condition of coming to Him. 'Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are ill.
Fulton J. Sheen
But the lies which Odette ordinarily told were less innocent, and served to prevent discoveries which might have involved her in the most terrible difficulties with one or another of her friends. And so, when she lied, smitten with fear, feeling herself to be but feebly armed for her defence, unconfident of success, she was inclined to weep from sheer exhaustion, as children weep sometimes when they have not slept. She knew, also, that her lie, as a rule, was doing a serious injury to the man to whom she was telling it, and that she might find herself at his mercy if she told it badly. Therefore she felt at once humble and culpable in his presence. And when she had to tell an insignificant, social lie its hazardous associations, and the memories which it recalled, would leave her weak with a sense of exhaustion and penitent with a consciousness of wrongdoing.
Man of an hard heart! Hear me, Proud, Stern, and Cruel! You could have saved me; you could have restored me to happiness and virtue, but would not! You are the destroyer of my Soul; You are my Murderer, and on you fall the curse of my death and my unborn Infant's! Insolent in your yet-unshaken virtue, you disdained the prayers of a Penitent; But God will show mercy, though you show none. And where is the merit of your boasted virtue? What temptations have you vanquished? Coward! you have fled from it, not opposed seduction. But the day of Trial will arrive! Oh! then when you yield to impetuous passions! when you feel that Man is weak, and born to err; When shuddering you look back upon your crimes, and solicit with terror the mercy of your God, Oh! in that fearful moment think upon me! Think upon your Cruelty! Think upon Agnes, and despair of pardon!
Matthew Gregory Lewis
In the name of Him Who created and sustains the world, the Sage Who endowed tongue with speech. He attains no honor who turns the face from the doer of His mercy. The kings of the earth prostate themselves before Him in supplication. He seizes not in haste the disobedient, nor drives away the penitent with violence. The two worlds are as a drop of water in the ocean of His knowledge. He withholds not His bounty though His servants sin; upon the surface of the earth has He spread a feast, in which both friend and foe may share. Peerless He is, and His kingdom is eternal. Upon the head of one He placed a crown another he hurled from the throne to the ground. The fire of His friend He turned into a flower garden; through the water of the Nile He sended His foes to perdition. Behind the veil He sees all, and conceal ed our faults with His own goodness. He is near to them that are downcast, and accepts the prayers of them that lament. He knows of the things that exist not, of secrets that are untold. He causes the moon and the sun to revolve, and spreads water upon the earth. In the heart of a stone hath He placed a jewel; from nothing had He created all that is. Who can reveal the secret of His qualities; what eye can see the limits of His beauty? The bird of thought cannot soar to the height of His presence, nor the hand of understanding reach to the skirt of His praise. Think not, O Saadi, that one can walk in the road of purity except in the footsteps of Mohammed (Peace and Blessings be Upon Him)
From Les Miserables: All at once, in the midst of this profound calm, a fresh sound arose; a sound as celestial, divine, ineffable, ravishing, as the other had been horrible. It was a hymn which issued from the gloom, a dazzling burst of prayer and harmony in the obscure and alarming silence of the night; women's voices, but voices composed at one and the same time of the pure accents of virgins and the innocent accent of children, - voices which are not of the earth, and which resemble those that the newborn infant still hears, and which the dying man hears already. This song proceeded from the gloomy edifice which towered above the garden. At the moment when the hubbub of demons retreated, one would have said that a choir of angels was approaching through the gloom. Cosette and Jean Valjean fell on their knees. They knew not what it was, they knew not where they were; but both of them, the man and the child, the penitent and the innocent, felt that they must kneel. These voices had this strange characteristic, that they did not prevent the building from seeming to be deserted. It was a supernatural chant in an uninhabited house. While these voices were singing, Jean Valjean thought of nothing. He no longer beheld the night; he beheld a blue sky. It seemed to him that he felt those wings which we all have within us, unfolding. The song died away. It may have lasted a long time. Jean Valjean could not have told. Hours of ecstasy are never more than a moment.
If the Pentateuch be true, religious persecution is a duty. The dungeons of the Inquisition were temples, and the clank of every chain upon the limbs of heresy was music in the ear of God. If the Pentateuch was inspired, every heretic should be destroyed; and every man who advocates a fact inconsistent with the sacred book, should be consumed by sword and flame. In the Old Testament no one is told to reason with a heretic, and not one word is said about relying upon argument, upon education, nor upon intellectual development-nothing except simple brute force. Is there to-day a christian who will say that four thousand years ago, it was the duty of a husband to kill his wife if she differed with him upon the subject of religion? Is there one who will now say that, under such circumstances, the wife ought to have been killed? Why should God be so jealous of the wooden idols of the heathen? Could he not compete with Baal? Was he envious of the success of the Egyptian magicians? Was it not possible for him to make such a convincing display of his power as to silence forever the voice of unbelief? Did this God have to resort to force to make converts? Was he so ignorant of the structure of the human mind as to believe all honest doubt a crime? If he wished to do away with the idolatry of the Canaanites, why did he not appear to them? Why did he not give them the tables of the law? Why did he only make known his will to a few wandering savages in the desert of Sinai? Will some theologian have the kindness to answer these questions? Will some minister, who now believes in religious liberty, and eloquently denounces the intolerance of Catholicism, explain these things; will he tell us why he worships an intolerant God? Is a god who will burn a soul forever in another world, better than a christian who burns the body for a few hours in this? Is there no intellectual liberty in heaven? Do the angels all discuss questions on the same side? Are all the investigators in perdition? Will the penitent thief, winged and crowned, laugh at the honest folks in hell? Will the agony of the damned increase or decrease the happiness of God? Will there be, in the universe, an eternal auto da fe?
Robert G. Ingersoll
Manifest in this trade (commercial sale of indulgences via bankers) at the same time was a pernicious tendency in the Roman Catholic system, for the trade in indulgences was not an excess or an abuse but the direct consequence of the nomistic degradation of the gospel. That the Reformation started with Luther's protest against this traffic in indulgences proves its religious origin and evangelical character. At issue here was nothing less than the essential character of the gospel, the core of Christianity, the nature of true piety. And Luther was the man who, guided by experience in the life of his own soul, again made people understand the original and true meaning of the gospel of Christ. Like the 'righteousness of God, ' so the term 'penitence' had been for him one of the most bitter words of Holy Scripture. But when from Romans 1:17 he learned to know a 'righteousness by faith, ' he also learned 'the true manner of penitence.' He then understood that the repentance demanded in Matthew 4:17 had nothing to do with the works of satisfaction required in the Roman institution of confession, but consisted in 'a change of mind in true interior contrition' and with all its benefits was itself a fruit of grace. In the first seven of his ninety-five theses and further in his sermon on 'Indulgences and Grace' (February 1518), the sermon on 'Penitence' (March 1518), and the sermon on the 'Sacrament of Penance' (1519), he set forth this meaning of repentance or conversion and developed the glorious thought that the most important part of penitence consists not in private confession (which cannot be found in Scripture) nor in satisfaction (for God forgives sins freely) but in true sorrow over sin, in a solemn resolve to bear the cross of Christ, in a new life, and in the word of absolution, that is, the word of the grace of God in Christ. The penitent arrives at forgiveness of sins, not by making amends (satisfaction) and priestly absolution, but by trusting the word of God, by believing in God's grace. It is not the sacrament but faith that justifies. In that way Luther came to again put sin and grace in the center of the Christian doctrine of salvation. The forgiveness of sins, that is, justification, does not depend on repentance, which always remains incomplete, but rests in God's promise and becomes ours by faith alone.
Without conversion of heart we cannot serve God on earth. We have naturally neither faith, nor fear, nor love, toward God and His Son Jesus Christ. We have no delight in His Word. We take no pleasure in prayer or communion with Him. We have no enjoyment in His ordinances, His house, His people, or His day. We may have a form of Christianity, and keep up a round of ceremonies and religious performances. But without conversion we have no more heart in our religion than a brick or a stone. Can a dead corpse serve God? We know it cannot. Well, without conversion we are dead toward God. Look round the congregation with which you worship every Sunday. Mark how little interest the great majority of them take in what is going on. Observe how listless, and apathetic, and indifferent, they evidently are about the whole affair. It is clear their hearts are not there! They are thinking of something else, and not of religion. They are thinking of business, or money, or pleasure, or worldly plans, or bonnets, or gowns, or new dresses, or amusements. Their bodies are there, but not their hearts. And what is the reason? What is it they all need? They need conversion. Without it they only come to church for fashion and form's sake, and go away from church to serve the world or their sins. But this is not all. Without conversion of heart we could not enjoy heaven, if we got there. Heaven is a place where holiness reigns supreme, and sin and the world have no place at all. The company will all be holy; the employments will all be holy; it will be an eternal Sunday. Surely if we go to heaven, we must have a heart in tune and able to enjoy it, or else we shall not be happy. We must have a nature in harmony with the element we live in, and the place where we dwell. Can a fish be happy out of water? We know it cannot. Well, without conversion of heart we could not be happy in heaven. Look round the neighborhood in which you live and the persons with whom you are acquainted. Think what many of them would do if they were cut off for ever from money, and business, and newspapers, and cards, and balls, and races, and hunting, and shopping, and worldly amusements! Would they like it? Think what they would feel if they were shut up forever with Jesus Christ, and saints, and angels! Would they be happy? Would the eternal company of Moses, and David, and St. Paul be pleasant to those who never take the trouble to read what those holy men wrote? Would heaven's everlasting praise suit the taste of those who can hardly spare a few minutes in a week for private religion, even for prayer? There is but one answer to be given to all these questions. We must be converted before we can enjoy heaven. Heaven would be no heaven to any child of Adam without conversion. Let no man deceive us. There are two things which are of absolute necessity to the salvation of every man and woman on earth. One of them is the mediatorial work of Christ for us, His atonement, satisfaction, and intercession. The other is the converting work of the Spirit in us, His guiding, renewing, and sanctifying grace. We must have both a title and a heart for heaven. Sacraments are only generally necessary to salvation: a man may be saved without them, like the penitent thief. An interest in Christ and conversion are absolutely necessary: without them no one can possibly be saved. All, all alike, high or low, rich or poor, old or young, gentle or simple, churchmen or dissenters, baptized or unbaptized, all must be converted or perish.