And saying, Repent you: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
There are thousands of persons who are given to what may be called the reverie of repentance. There are thousands of persons who feel sad that they are such wicked creatures. Really they feel that it is too bad. They at times fall into a minor key. Perhaps, if they are educated to music, they sit down to the piano, and play touching airs, and sing of the wickedness of the heart till tears flow down their cheeks. They pity themselves that they are so pitiable. How much repentance is there in all this? Is there any definiteness in it? Does the man say, "I am as proud as Lucifer? " Not a word does he utter on that subject. Does the man say, "I am meanly selfish"? Oh, no; he only says, "I am sin-sick." Does the man say, "I am unscrupulous, I am untrustworthy, I give way to debauch in this direction, and to animal appetites in that "? Does the man follow the example of that surgeon who, when called to dress a wound, probes it in all directions, and cleanses it thoroughly before he binds it up? Does he sit down and explore his heart with a searching, minute examination? No; he does not want to go particularly into it. He merely wants to have a feeling of regret in view of his general sinfulness.
(H. W. Beecher.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.