“Repentance is a change of mind. It arises from a conviction that we have been in the wrong; and consists in holy shame, grief, and self-loathing, accompanied with a determination to forsake every evil way. Each of these ideas is included in the account we have of the repentance of Job. ” Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay my hand upon my mouth. Once have I spoken, but I will not answer; yea, twice, but I will proceed no further.”—” I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” It is essential to such a change as this, that the sinner should realize the evil nature of sin. No man ever yet repented of a fault without a conviction of its evil nature. Sin must appear exceeding sinful before we can, in the nature of things, abhor it, and ourselves on account of it. Those sentiments which wrought upon the heart of David, and brought him to repentance, were of this sort. Throughout the fifty-first Psalm, we find him deeply impressed with the evil of sin, and that considered as an offence against God. He had injured Uriah and Bathsheba, and, strictly speaking, had not injured God; the essential honour and happiness of the Divine nature being infinitely beyond his reach: yet, as all sin strikes at the Divine glory, and actually degrades it in the esteem of creatures, all sin is to be considered, in one view, as committed against God; and this view of the subject lay so near his heart as to swallow up every other—”Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight!” It follows, then, that the system which affords the most enlarged views of the evil of sin must needs have the greatest tendency to promote repentance for it.”
Excerpt From “The Calvinistic and Socinian Systems Examined and Compared”, 1802
Fuller, Andrew, The Works of Andrew Fuller. Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 2007.