This Lent, I’ve been enjoying browsing A Collection of Hymns for the Use of the People Called Methodists, by John Wesley, first published in 1780. Many of the hymns have repentance as their theme and recognize our proneness to a hard heart and a wayward spirit and our utter reliance on the Lord and His grace and the work of the Holy Spirit to help us turn to Him and repent.
I particularly like verse 3 of the following hymn (#170). Repentance, faith and pardon are all gifts of grace to us from the Lord. So often I try to repent in my own “strength”… and fail. This is a great example of what repentance is all about. Turning to the Lord again that we might live.
1 O ‘TIS enough, my God, my God!
Here let me give my wanderings o’er;
No longer trample on thy blood,
And grieve thy gentleness no more;
No more thy lingering anger move,
Or sin against thy light and love.
2 O Lord, if mercy is with thee,
Now let it all on me be shown;
On me, the chief of sinners, me,
Who humbly for thy mercy groan;
Me to thy Father’s grace restore,
Nor let me ever grieve thee more!
3 Fountain of unexhausted love,
Of infinite compassions, hear;
My Saviour and my Prince above,
Once more in my behalf appear;
Repentance, faith, and pardon give,
O let me turn again and live!