This excerpt from the first chapter of John Colquhoun’s little book on Repentance is related ever so slightly tangentially to some of the comments on this post.
A true sense of sin is an affecting sight and feeling especially of the exceeding sinfulness or malignity of sin. It is a sense not only of our evil doings but of the evil of our doings; not only of our sin but of the exceeding sinfulness of our sin; and not merely of things which are in themselves sinful, but of the iniquity even of our holy things. The true penitent has a deep and affecting sense of the evil that cleaves even to his best performances. Of all evils, he concludes that sin is the greatest; and of all sinners, he often thinks that he himself is the chief. He sees and feels that the innumerable evils which compass him about are the weightiest of burdens, the heaviest of debts, the foulest of stains, and the worst of enemies.
He has a true sense of the evil of sin in reference to himself, and of the evil of it with respect to God. He sees that it is the very opposite of the infinitely holy and amiable nature of God in Christ. The true penitent loves God supremely, and therefore his sins are a heavy burden to him. He loathes himself because he has walked contrary to the holy Lord God, and thereby insulted, reproached, and provoked him. He sees also that sin is contrary to that law of God which is holy, and just, and good. Discerning the perfect equity and purity of God’s law, the penitent sees the great evil of every transgression of it.
He sees the sinfulness of sin likewise with respect to Jesus Christ. He has an affecting discovery of it as the procuring cause of the unparalleled sufferings of his Redeemer. The doleful anguish and excruciating death of the Lamb of God are comments on the evil and demerit of sin which the penitent reads with deep attention. The dying agonies and groans of that Saviour who loved him and gave himself for him rend his heart, and afford him the most affecting view of the evil of sin. Hence, he has such a true sense of the sinfulness of his sin, as is an abiding source of evangelical repentance.
(John Colquhoun, Repentance. First published 1826, BOT reprint 1965, p17.)
[Edit: rough IPA for his surname: [kə ˈhun]]