Our tears of penitence cannot remove one blot!
(Henry Law, "Family Prayers")
"Where sin aboundedgrace did much more abound!" Romans 5:20
Deepen in us this day, contrition for our vileness, as miserable sinners in Your sight. How often without resistance, have we floated down the stream of evil! We do not cloak our wretchedness. Our lips are ready to confessbut our hearts are slow to feel, and our feet are reluctant to amend our ways. We bring our hard hearts unto You. Break them by Your Spiritand then bind them up by Your grace. Wound them to the coreand then pour in the Gospel-balm!
Such is the blindness of our fallen nature, that we cannot see sin's deformityexcept as You are pleased to unmask it. Such is our deadness, that we cannot hate sinexcept as You shall graciously implant abhorrence. Such is our infirmity, that we cannot flee sinexcept as Your strength enables. Conscious of our total inabilitywe come to You for light, for help, for strength, for blessing.
Our sins without number stare us in the face! They are piled as mountain upon mountain. Their height reaches unto the heavens! But their full extent is open only to Your omniscient eye. The burden of our known transgressions weighs us to the dust. But the burden is light, compared to the mass which the scales of Your justice hold. We see but little, because our light is partial and our sight is dim. How must we appear, as seen by You, before whom the very heavens are not clean! You charge Your holy angels with folly. What must be Your estimate of our polluted souls! Humbled for what we see and feel; fearful for what is known only unto Youwe meekly cry, "Pardon all our sinsfor Jesus' sake!"
We smite upon our breasts, as utterly unworthy of the least of Your gracious and unfathomable mercies. Hear now our cry, and work in us by the omnipotence of Your Holy Spirit, more profound and abiding repentance. Give us more and more of that godly grief, which ever fears and trembles, and yet ever trusts and loveswhich is ever watchful and prayerful, and yet is ever confident and hopeful. May the remembrance of the sad pastquicken us to walk in entire newness of life. Grant that through the tears of penitence, we may see more clearlythe brightness and the glories of the saving Cross!
Oh! blessed Jesuswe flee to You! We cling to You. Our countless iniquities condemn usbut You will wash them all away! Our tears of penitence cannot remove one blotbut Your blood has all cleansing merit. Our prayers can earn no pardonbut Your mercy says, "Your sins which are manyare all forgiven!" The more we loathe ourselvesthe more we love You! Our vile demeritscommend Your glorious worth!