Practical Repentance

The message of John the Baptist when preaching in the wilderness of Judea was, "Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand;" and every student of the Bible knows that all its teachings lay emphasis on the fact of repentance being necessary to salvation. In a dictionary definition of the word repentance we find, the "act of repenting, or state of being penitent; sorrow for what one has done or omitted to do;" and it is perfectly true that when the average human being has expressed any one of these sentiments, he usually considers he has done all that is required of him, and that there the matter ends.

But to the student of Christian Science, repentance should and, if he is in earnest, does mean much more than a mere expression of regret. On page 5 of "Science and Health with key to the Scriptures," Mrs. Eddy says: "Sorrow for wrong-doing is but one step towards reform and the very easiest step. The next and great step required by wisdom is the test of our sincerity,—namely, reformation." Now it is well known that though some characters may find it by no means easy to express regret for a hasty deed or word, yet all will be ready to acknowledge that it requires a much greater effort—greater because continuous—really to set one's self to overcome those faults of character which in the past have been the immediate cause of all our difficulties, of our wrong sayings and doings, and consequent unhappiness and discontent.

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