What! Lord! after all that I have done!

(Octavius Winslow, "The Lord's Prayer" 1866)

"Only acknowledge your guilt. Admit that you
rebelled against the Lord your God and committed
adultery against Him by worshiping idols under
every green tree. Confess that you refused to
follow Me. I, the Lord, have spoken!" Jer. 3:13

God has laid great stress in His word upon the
confession of sin. How touching His language
addressed to His backsliding people, whose
backslidings were of a most aggravated character;
than which none could have been of deeper guilt,
seeing that they had committed the sin of idolatry!

"Only acknowledge your guilt." This was all that
He required at their hands. "Only acknowledge."

Poor penitent soul, bending in tears and self
reproaches over this page, read these words again
and again, and yet again, until they have scattered
all your dark, repelling thoughts of this sin forgiving
God, winning you to His feet as His restored and
comforted child, "only acknowledge your guilt."

"What! Lord! after all that I have done, after . . .
  my base returns,
  my repeated wanderings,
  my aggravated transgressions,
  my complicated iniquity,
  my sins against conviction, light, and love;
do You still stretch out your hand to me, a poor,
wretched wanderer as I am? Do You go forth to
meet, to welcome, to pardon me? Do You watch
the first kindling of penitence, the first tear of
contrition, the first word of confession, 'Father,
I have sinned!' Lord, I fall at Your feet, the
greatest of sinners . . .
  Your power has drawn me,
  Your love has subdued me,
  Your grace has conquered me!"