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The Sweetest Joys

(Thomas Brooks, "Heaven on Earth" 1667)

Sin is a turning the back upon God
and the face
towards hell. Repentance is a turning the back
upon sin
and a setting the face towards God!

True repentance is a sorrowing for sin because it
is offensive to God. Peter was sorry for his sin;
Judas was sorry his for punishment. Peter grieves
because Christ was grieved; Judas grieved because
he would be damned.

As Noah's flood drowned his nearest and his dearest
friends, so the flood of penitent tears drowns men's
nearest and their dearest lusts! Be they Isaacs or
Benjamins, be they right eyes or right hands, true
repentance puts all to the sword; it spares neither
father nor mother, neither Agag nor Achan.

Repentance is a turning from all sin, without any
reservation or exception. One stab at the heart kills,
one hole in the ship sinks her, one act of treason
makes a traitor. Just so, one sin not forsaken, not
turned from, will undo a soul forever.

A true penitent looks upon every sin as poison, as
the vomit of a dog, as the mire of the street, as the
menstruous cloth, which of all things in the law was
most unclean, defiling, and polluting. He looks thus
upon every sin, turns his heart against every sin,
and makes him not only to refrain from sin
to forsake it, and to loathe it more than hell. 

True repentance breaks the heart with sighs,
sobs, and groans
that . . .
     a loving Father is offended,
     a blessed Saviour crucified, and
     the sweet Comforter grieved.

Penitent Mary Magdalene weeps much, as well as loves
much. Tears, instead of jewels, were the ornaments of
penitent David's bed. Surely that sweet singer never
sang more melodiously, than when his heart was broken
most penitentially.

The sweetest joys are from the sourest tears;
penitent tears are the breeders of spiritual joy. The
bee gathers the best honey off the bitterest herbs.
Christ made the best wine of water; the strongest,
the purest, the truest, the most permanent, and the
most excellent joy is made of the waters of repentance.

"They that sow in tears shall reap in joy." Psalm 126:5


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