True Christian Religion (Ager) n. 530

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530. The question therefore is, How ought man to repent? And the reply is, Actually; that is to say, he must examine himself, recognize and acknowledge his sins, pray to the Lord, and begin a new life. That without examination repentance is not possible, has been shown in the preceding section. But of what use is examination except that one may recognize his sins? And why should he recognize his sins, except that he may acknowledge that they are in him? And of what use are these three things, except that man may confess his sins before the Lord, pray for help, and then begin a new life, which is the end sought? This is actual repentance. That man ought so to proceed and do, everyone may know (after he has passed the first period of life, and more and more as he comes under his own control and into the exercise of his own reason) first, from his baptism, the washing of which means regeneration; for in baptism his sponsors have promised for him that he will reject the devil and all his works, and also from the holy supper, for all are forewarned that before they can worthily approach it, they must repent of their sins, turn to God, and enter upon a new life; and still further, from the Decalogue or Catechism which is in the hands of all Christians, where, in six of the commandments nothing is commanded but that they should not do what is evil. And unless evils are removed by repentance, man cannot love his neighbor, still less God; yet on these two commandments hang the law and the prophets, that is, the Word, consequently salvation. If at recurring seasons there is actual repentance, as often, for instance, as a man prepares for the communion of the holy supper, and if he afterward abstains from one or another sin which he then discovers in himself, this is sufficient to initiate him into the actuality [of the repentance], and when he is in that he is on the way to heaven, for he then from being natural begins to be spiritual, and to be born anew from the Lord.

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