Baxter - HP BV4920 B38 1829

vii purpose of, and endeavour after new obedience. But the mischief is, that the word repent has a common meaning, different from the theological; that wherever it is used, this common meaning is apt to intrude itself, and exert a kind of habitual imposition upon the understanding-that the influence of the single word carries it over the influence of the lengthened explanation-and thus it is that, for a steady progress in the obedience oi the gospel, many persevere, to the end of their days, in a wretched course of sinning ' and of sorrowing, without fruit and without amendment. To save the practically mischievous effect arising from the application of one term to two different things, one distinct and appropriate term has been suggested for the ' saving repentance of the New Testament. The term repentance itself has been restricted to the repentance of mere sorrow, and is made equivalent to regret; and for the other, .able translators have adopted the word reformation. The one is expressive of sorrow for our past conduct; the other is expressive of our renouncing it. It denotes an actual turning from the habits of life that we are sorry for. Give us, say they, a change from bad deeds to good deeds, from bad habits to good habits, from a life of wickedness to a life of conformity to the requirements of heaven, and you give us reformation. Now there is often nothing more unprofitable than a dispute about words; but if a word has got into common use, a common and generally understood meaning is attached to it; and if this meaning does not just come up to the thing which we want to express by it, the application of that word to that thing has the same misleading efiects as in the case already alluded to. Now, we have much the same kind.of exception to allege against the term reformation, that we have alleged against the term repentance. The term repent~mce is inadequate-- trod why? because, in the common use of it, it ia