The sweetest joys are from the sourest tears

May 10, 2018
Thomas Brooks

(From “Heaven on Earth”, 1667)
Sin is a turning the back upon God–and the face towards hell. Repentance is a turning the back
upon sin – and a setting the face towards God!

True repentance is a sorrowing for sin because it is offensive to God. Peter was sorry for his sin;
Judas was sorry his for punishment. Peter grieves because Christ was grieved; Judas grieved because
he would be damned.

As Noah’s flood drowned his nearest and his dearest friends, so the flood of penitent tears drowns men’s
nearest and their dearest lusts! Be they Isaacs or Benjamins, be they right eyes or right hands, true
repentance puts all to the sword; it spares neither father nor mother, neither Agag nor Achan.

Repentance is a turning from all sin, without any reservation or exception. One stab at the heart kills,
one hole in the ship sinks her, one act of treason makes a traitor. Just so, one sin not forsaken, not
turned from, will undo a soul forever.

A true penitent looks upon every sin as poison, as the vomit of a dog, as the mire of the street, as the
menstruous cloth, which of all things in the law was most unclean, defiling, and polluting. He looks thus
upon every sin, turns his heart against every sin, and makes him not only to refrain from sin – but
to forsake it, and to loathe it more than hell.

True repentance breaks the heart with sighs, sobs, and groans – that…
a loving Father is offended, a blessed Savior crucified, and the sweet Comforter grieved.

Penitent Mary Magdalene weeps much, as well as loves much. Tears, instead of jewels, were the ornaments of
penitent David’s bed. Surely that sweet singer never sang more melodiously, than when his heart was broken
most penitentially.

The sweetest joys are from the sourest tears; penitent tears are the breeders of spiritual joy. The
bee gathers the best honey off the bitterest herbs.
Christ made the best wine of water; the strongest, the purest, the truest, the most permanent, and the
most excellent joy is made of the waters of repentance.

“Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.” Psalm 126:5

Additional Reading