Quotes by Gorham Abbott
Sincere repentance is never too late, but late repentance is seldom sincere. The thief on the cross repented, and was pardoned in the last hour of his life. We have one such instance in Scripture – that none might despair; and only one – that none might presume.
The faithful and laborious clergyman of a very large and populous parish had been accustomed, for a long series of years, to preserve notes of his visits to the afflicted, with remarks on the outcome of their affliction – whether life or death, and of the subsequent conduct of those who recovered. He stated, that, during forty years, he had visited more than two thousand people apparently drawing near to death, and who revealed such signs of penitence as would have led him to indulge a good hope of their eternal safety – if they had died at that moment. When they were restored to life and health – he eagerly looked that they should bring forth fruits fit for repentance. But alas! Of the two thousand, only two people manifested an abiding and saving change! The rest, when the terrors of eternity ceased to be in immediate prospect, forgot their pious impressions and their solemn vows – and returned with new avidity to their former worldly mindedness and sinful pursuits, “as the dog returns to its vomit again, and as the sow that was washed to its wallowing in the mire.”