And when the people transgressed the law which had been given to them by God, God being good and pitiful, unwilling to destroy them, in addition to His giving them the law, afterwards sent forth also prophets to them from among their brethren, to teach and remind them of the contents of the law, and to turn them to repentance, that they might sin no more. But if they persisted in their wicked deeds, He forewarned them that they should be delivered into subjection to all the kingdoms of the earth; and that this has already happened them is manifest. Concerning repentance, then, Isaiah the prophet, generally indeed to all, but expressly to the people, says: “Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near: let the wicked forsake his ways, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord his God, and he will find mercy, for He will abundantly pardon.” 651 And another prophet, Ezekiel, says: “If the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all My statutes, and do that which is right in My sight, he shall surely live, he shall not die. All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him; but in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live: for I desire not the death of the sinner, saith the Lord, but that he turn from his wicked way, and live.” 652 Again Isaiah: “Ye who take deep and wicked counsel, turn ye, that ye may be saved.” 653 And another prophet, Jeremiah: “Turn to the Lord your God, as a grape-gatherer to his basket, and ye shall find mercy.” 654 Many therefore, yea rather, countless are the sayings in the Holy Scriptures regarding repentance, God being always desirous that the race of men turn from all their sins.
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