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[ Also see Apologies Christianity Confession Conscience Grief Guilt Penitence Prayer Redemption Reform Reformation Regret Remorse Retribution Revelation Sin Sorrow ]

Repentance, however difficult to be practiced, is, if it be explained without superstition, easily understood. Repentance is the relinquishment of any practice from the conviction that it has offended God.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

Repentance is a goddess and the preserver of those who have erred.
      - Julian (Flavius Claudius Julianus)("The Apostate")

Repentance is not so much remorse for what we have done as the fear of consequences.
      - Francois Duc de la Rochefoucauld

Repentance does not consist in one single act of sorrow, though that, being the first and leading act, gives denomination to the whole; but in doing works meet for repentance, in a sincere obedience to the law of Christ for the remainder of our lives.
      - John Locke (1)

God dropped a spark down into everyone,
  And if we find and fan it to a blaze,
    It'll spring up and glow, like--like the sun,
      And light the wandering out of stony ways.
      - John Masefield, Widow in the Bye Street
         (pt. VI)

  We end our pilgrimage, 'tis fit that we
    Should leave corruption, and foul sin, behind us,
      But with wash'd feet and hands, the heathens dar' not
        Enter their profane temples; and for me
          To hope my passage to eternity
            Can be made easy, till I have shook off
              The burthen of my sins in free confession,
                Aided with sorrow, and repentance for them,
                  Is against reason.
      - Philip Massinger

The scriptural doctrine in regard to repentance is not, that a man must repent in order to his being qualified to go to Christ; it is rather that he must go to Christ in order to his being able to repent. From Him comes the grace of contrition as well as the cleansing of expiation.
      - Henry Melvill

That golden key
  That opes the palace of eternity.
      - John Milton, Comus (l. 13)

When the scourge
  Inexorable, and the torturing hour
    Calls us to penance.
      - John Milton, Paradise Lost (bk. II, l. 90)

Repentance is no other than a recanting of the will, and opposition to our fancies, which lead us which way they please.
      - Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

Vice leaves repentance in the soul, like an ulcer in the flesh, which is always scratching and lacerating itself; for reason effaces all other griefs and sorrows, but it begets that of repentance.
      - Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

The law stops every man's mouth. God will have a man humble himself down on his face before Him, with not a word to say for himself. Then God will speak to him, when he owns that he is a sinner, and gets rid of all his own righteousness.
      - Dwight Lyman Moody

Is it not in accordance with divine order that every mortal is thrown into that situation where his hidden evils can be brought forth to his own view, that he may know them, acknowledge them, struggle against them, and put them away?
      - Anna C. Mowatt

Sorrow for past ills, doth restore frail man
  To his first innocence.
      - Thomas Nabbes

He that waits for repentance waits for that which cannot be had as long as it is waited for. It is absurd for a man to wait for that which he himself has to do.
      - William Nevins

He [Cato] used to say that in all his life he never repented but of three things. The first was that he had trusted a woman with a secret; the second that he had gone by sea when he might have gone by land; and the third, that had passed one day without having a will by him.
      - Plutarch, Life of Cato (vol. II, p. 495),
        (Langhorne's translation)

Sweet tastes have sour closes; and he repents on thorns that sleeps in beds of roses.
      - Francis Quarles

'Tis not, to cry God mercy, or to sit
  And droop, or to confess that thou hast fail'd:
    'Tis to bewail the sins thou didst commit:
      And not commit those sins thou hast bewail' d.
        He that bewails and not forsakes them too;
          Confesses rather what he means to do.
      - Francis Quarles

Repentance is for pale faces; they killed Christ, the good man. If Christ had come to red men, we would not have killed him.
      - Red Jacket

A heart renewed--a loving heart--a penitent and humble heart--a heart broken and contrite, purified by love--that and only that is the rest of men. Spotlessness may do for angels, repentance unto life is the highest that belongs to man.
      - Frederick William Robertson

To grieve over sin is one thing, to repent is another.
      - Frederick William Robertson

Habitual evils change not on a sudden,
  But many days must pass, and many sorrows;
    Conscious remorse, and anguish must be felt,
      To curb desire, to break the stubborn will,
        And work a second nature in the soul,
          Ere virtue can resume the place she lost.
      - Nicholas Rowe

Illusion is brief, but repentance is long.
      - Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller

The dream is short, repentance long.
  [Ger., Der Wahn ist kurtz, die Reu ist lang.]
      - Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller,
        Lied von der Glocke

But with the morning cool repentance came.
      - Sir Walter Scott, Rob Roy (ch. XII)

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