Cyprian on Repentance
1 That all sins may be forgiven him who has turned to God with his whole heart.
2 In the eighty-eighth Psalm: "If his children forsake my law, and walk not in my judgments, and keep not my commandments, I will visit their iniquities with a rod, and their sins with stripes; nevertheless my loving-kindness will I not scatter away from them."
3 Also in Isaiah: "Thus says the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, When you shall turn and mourn, then you shall be saved, and shall know where you were."
4 Also in the same place: "Woe unto you, children of desertion, says the Lord! You have made counsel not by me, and my covenant not by my Spirit, to add sin to sin."
5 Also in Jeremiah: "Withdraw your foot from a rough way, and your face from thirst. But she said, I will be comforted, I am willing; for she loved strangers, and went after them."
6 Also in Isaiah: "Be you converted, because you devise a deep and wicked counsel."
7 Also in the same place: "I am He, I am He that blots out your iniquities, and will not remember them; but do you remember them, and let us be judged together; do you first tell your unrighteousnesses."
8 Also in the same: "Seek the Lord; and when you shall have found Him, call upon Him. But when He has drawn near to you, let the wicked forsake his ways, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him be converted to the Lord, and mercy shall be prepared for him, because He does not much forgive your sins."
9 Also in the same: "Remember these things, O Jacob and Israel, because you are my servant. I have called you my servant; and you, Israel, forget me not. Lo, I have washed away your unrighteousness as,... And your sins as a raincloud. Be converted to me, and I will redeem you."
10 Also in the same: "Have these things in mind, and groan. Repent, you that have been seduced; be converted in heart unto me, and have in mind the former ages, because I am God."
11 Also in the same: "For a very little season I have forsaken you, and with great mercy I will pity you. In a very little wrath I turned away my face from you; in everlasting mercy I will pity you."
12 Also in the same: "Thus said the Most High, who dwells on high, forever Holy in the holies, His name is the Lord, the Most High, resting in the holy places, and giving calmness of mind to the faint-hearted, and giving life to those that are broken-hearted: I am not angry with you forever, neither will I be avenged in all things on you: for my Spirit shall go forth from me, and I have made all inspiration; and on account of a very little sin I have grieved him, and have turned away my face from him; and he has suffered the vile man, and has gone away sadly in his ways. I have seen his ways, and have healed him, and I have comforted him, and I have given to him the true consolation, and peace upon peace to those who are afar off, and to those that are near. And the Lord said, I have healed them; but the unrighteous, as a troubled sea, are thus tossed about and cannot rest. There is no joy to the wicked, says the Lord."
13 Also in Jeremiah: "Shall a bride forget her adornment, or a virgin the girdle of her breast? But my people has forgotten my days, whereof there is no number."
14 Also in the same: "For a decree, I will speak upon the nation or upon the kingdom, or I will take them away and destroy them. And if the nation should be converted from its evils, I will repent of the ills which I have thought to do unto them. And I will speak the decree upon the nation or the people, that I should rebuild it and plant it; and they will do evil before me, that they should not hearken to my voice, and I will repent of the good things which I spoke of doing to them."
15 Also in the same: "Return to me, O dwelling of Israel, says the Lord, and I will not harden my face upon you; because I am merciful, says the Lord, and I will not be angry against you forever."
16 Also in the same: "Be converted, you children that have departed, says the Lord; because I will rule over you, and will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you into Zion: and I will give you shepherds after my heart, and they shall feed you, feeding you with discipline."
17 Also in the same: "Be converted, you children who are turning, and I will heal your affliction."
18 Also in the same: "Wash your heart from wickedness, O Jerusalem, that you may be healed: how long shall there be in you thoughts of your sorrows?"
19 Also in the same: "Thus says the Lord, Does not he that falls arise? Or he that turns away, shall he not be turned back? Because this people has turned itself away by a shameless vision, and they have persisted in their presumption, and would not be converted."
20 Also in the same: "There is no man that repents of his iniquity, saying, What have I done? The runner has failed from his course, as the sweating horse in his neighing."
21 Also in the same: "Therefore let every one of you turn from his evil way, and make your desires better. And they said, We will be comforted, because we will go after your inventions, and every one of us will do the sins which please his own heart."
22 Also in the same: "Pour down as a torrent tears, day and night give yourself no rest, let not the pupil of your eye be silent."
23 Also in the same: "Let us search out our ways, and be turned to the Lord. Let us purge our hearts with our hands, and let us look unto the Lord who dwells in the heavens. We have sinned, and we have provoked You, and You have not been propitiated."
24 Also in the same: "And the Lord said to me in the days of Josias the king, You have seen what the dwelling of the house, the house of Israel, has done to me. It has gone away upon every lofty mountain, and has gone under every shady tree, and has committed fornication there-and I said, after she had committed all these fornications, Return unto me, and she has not returned."
25 Also in the same: "The Lord will not reject forever; and when He has made low, He will have pity according to the multitude of His mercy. Because He will not bring low from His whole heart, neither will He reject the children Of men."
26 Also in Ezekiel: "And the righteous shall not be able to be saved in the day of transgression. When I shall say to the righteous, You shall surely live; but he will trust to his own righteousness, and will do iniquity: all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; in his iniquity which he has done, in that he shall die. And when I shall say to the wicked, You shall surely die, and he turns himself from his sin, and does righteousness and judgment, and restores to the debtor his pledge, and gives back his robbery, and walks in the precepts of life, that he may do no iniquity, he shall surely live, and shall not die; none of his sins which he has sinned shall be stirred up against him: because he has done justice and judgment, he shall live in them."
27 Also in the same: "I am the Lord, because I bring low the high tree, and exalt the low tree, and dry up the green tree, and cause the dry tree to flourish."
28 Also in the same: "And you, son of man, say unto the house of Israel, Even as you have spoken, saying, Our errors and our iniquities are in us, and we waste away in them, and how shall we live? Say unto them, I live, says the Lord: if I will the death of a sinner, only let him turn from his way, and he shall live."
29 Also in the same: "I the Lord have built up the ruined places, and have planted the wasted places."
30 Also in the same: "And the wicked man, if he turn himself from all his iniquities that he has done, and keep all my commandments, and do judgment, and justice, and mercy, shall surely live, and shall not die. None of his sins which he has committed shall be in remembrance; in his righteousness which he has done he shall live. Do I willingly desire the death of the unrighteous man, says Adonai the Lord, rather than that he should turn him from his evil way, that he should live?"
31 Also in the same: "Be you converted, and turn you from all your wickedneses, and they shall not be to you for a punishment. Cast away from you all your iniquities which you have wickedly committed against me, and make to yourselves a new heart and a new spirit; and why will you die, O house of Israel? For I desire not the death of him that dies, says Adonai the Lord."
32 Also in Daniel: "And after the end of the days, I Nabuchodonosor lifted up my eyes to heaven, and my sense returned to me, and I praised the Most High, and blessed the King of heaven, and praised Him that lives forever: because His power is eternal, His kingdom is for generations, and all who inhabit the earth are as nothing."
33 Also in Micah: "Alas for me, O my soul, because truth has perished from the earth, and among all there is none that corrects; all judge in blood. Every one treads down his neighbor with tribulation; they prepare their hands for evil."
34 Also in the same: "Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy, because I have fallen, but I shall arise: because although I shall sit in darkness, the Lord will give me light: I will bear the Lord's anger, because I have sinned against Him, until He justify my cause."
35 Also in Zephaniah: "Come you together and pray, O undisciplined people; before you be made as a flower that passes away, before the anger of the Lord come upon you, before the day of the Lord's fury come upon you, seek you the Lord, all you humble ones of the earth; do judgment and seek justice, and seek for gentleness; and answer you to Him that you may be protected in the day of the Lord's anger."
36 Also in Zechariah: "Be you converted unto me, and I will be turned unto you."
37 Also in Hosea: "Be you converted, O Israel, to the Lord your God, because you are weakened by your iniquities. Take many with you, and be converted to the Lord your God; worship Him, and say, You are mighty to put away our sins; that you may not receive iniquity, but that you may receive good things."
38 Also in Ecclesiasticus: "Be you turned to the Lord, and forsake your sins, and exceedingly hate cursing, and know righteousness and God's judgments, and stand in the lot of the propitiation of the Most High: and go into the portion of life with the living, and those that make confession. Delay not in the error of the wicked. Confession perishes from the dead man, as if it were nothing. Living and sound, you shall confess to the Lord, and you shall glory in His mercies; for great is the mercy of the Lord, and His propitiation unto such as turn unto Him."
39 Also in the same: "How good is it for a true heart to show forth repentance! For thus shall you escape voluntary sin."
40 Also in the Acts of the Apostles: "But Peter says unto him, your money perish with you, because you think to be able to obtain the grace of God by money. You have no part nor lot in this faith, for your heart is not right with God. Therefore repent of this your wickedness, and pray the Lord, if haply the thought of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see that you are in the bond of iniquity, and in the bitterness of gall."
41 Also in the second Epistle of the blessed Paul to the Corinthians: "For the sorrow which is according to God works a steadfast repentance unto salvation, but the sorrow of the world works death."
42 Also in the same place of this very matter: "But if you have forgiven anything to any one, I also forgive him; for I also forgave what I have forgiven for your sakes in the person of Christ, that we may not be circumvented by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his wiles."
43 Also in the same: "But I fear lest perchance, when I come to you, God may again humble me among you, and I shall bewail many of those who have sinned before, and have not repented, for that they have committed fornication and lasciviousness."
44 Also in the same: "I told you before, and foretell you as I sit present; and absent now from those who before have sinned, and to all others; as, ill shall come again, I will not spare."
45 Also in the second to Timothy: "But shun profane novelties of words, for they are of much advantage to impiety. And their word creeps as a cancer: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have departed from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already happened, and have subverted the faith of certain ones. But the foundation of God stands firm, having this seal, God knows them that are His. And, Every one who names the name of the Lord shall depart from all iniquity. But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and of clay; and some indeed for honor, and some for contempt. Therefore if any one shall amend himself from these things, he shall be a vessel sanctified for honor, and useful for the Lord, prepared for every good work. Moreover, flee youthful lusts: but follow after righteousness, faith, love, peace, with them that call upon the Lord from a pure heart. But avoid questions that are foolish and without learning, knowing that they beget strifes. And the servant of the Lord ought not to strive; but to be gentle, docile to all men, patient with modesty, correcting those who resist, lest at any time God may give them repentance to the acknowledgment of the truth, and recover themselves from the snares of the devil, by whom they are held captive at his will."
46 Also in the Apocalypse: "Remember where you have fallen, and repent; but if not, I will come to you quickly, and remove your candlestick out of its place."