by Thomas Watson
I shall next show what gospel repentance is. Repentance is a grace of God’s Spirit, whereby a sinner is inwardly humbled and outwardly reformed. For a further amplification, know that repentance is a spiritual medicine made up of six special ingredients:
1. Sight of sin
2. Sorrow for sin
3. Confession of sin
4. Shame for sin
5. Hatred for sin
6. Turning from sin
If any one ingredient is left out, it loses its virtue.
Ingredient 1. SIGHT of Sin
The first ingredient of Christ’s gospel-medicine is eye-salve. “I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light” (Acts 26:17-18). It is the great thing noted in the prodigal’s repentance: “he came to himself” (Luke 15:17). He saw himself a sinner—and nothing but a sinner. Before a man can come to Christ—he must first come to himself. A man must first recognize and consider what his sin is, and know the plague of his heart—before he can be duly humbled for it.
The first thing God made was light. So the first thing in a penitent, is illumination: “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord” (Eph. 5:8). The eye is made both for seeing and weeping. Sin must first be seen—before it can be wept for. Hence I infer that where there is no sight of sin—there can be no repentance.
From Thomas Watson’s ‘The Doctrine of Repentance’