512. II. THE CONTRITION, WHICH AT THE PRESENT DAY IS SAID TO PRECEDE FAITH, AND TO BE FOLLOWED BY THE CONSOLATION OF THE GOSPEL, IS NOT REPENTANCE.
In the Reformed Christian world a certain kind of anxiety, grief, and terror are spoken of, which they call contrition, which precedes faith in those who are about to be regenerated, and which is followed by the consolation of the Gospel They claim that this contrition in such persons arises from a fear of that just wrath of God and consequent eternal damnation which inheres in every man, owing to the sin of Adam and the resulting proclivity of man to evil; also, that without that contrition, the faith which imputes to man the merit and righteousness of the Lord the Savior, is not bestowed; and that those who have obtained this faith, receive the consolation of the Gospel, which is, that they are justified, that is, renewed, regenerated and sanctified, without any co-operation of their own, and are thus transferred from a state of damnation to one of eternal blessedness, which is life eternal. But respecting this contrition the following questions are to be considered: 1. Is it repentance? 2. Is it of any consequence? 3. Is there such a thing?