Eighthly, to remind us of the great and terrible Day of Judgment, on which the trumpet is to be sounded, as we find in Zeph., “The great day of the Lord is near, and hasteneth much, a day of the trumpet and of shouting.”
Ninthly, to remind us to pray for the time when the outcasts of Israel are to be gathered together, as promised in Isaiah, “And it shall come to pass in that day, the great trumpet shall be sounded, and those shall come who were perishing in the land of Assyria.”
Tenthly, to remind us of the resurrection of the dead, and our firm belief therein. “Yea, all ye that inhabit the world, and that dwell on the earth, when the standard is lifted upon the mountain, behold, and when the trumpet is sounded, hear!” says the prophet Isaiah.
Therefore should we set our hearts to these seasons, and fulfill the precept that the Bible commands us, as it is written:—
“And the Lord commanded us to do all the statutes ... that it might be well with us at all times.”
The hearts of all who fear God should tremble with the reflection that all the deeds of the creature are known to the Creator, and will be by Him accounted to them for good or evil. God is ready at all times to acknowledge true penitence; and of repentance there are seven degrees:
First, the righteous man, who repents his misconduct as soon as he becomes aware of his sin. This is the best and most complete.
Secondly, of the man who has for some time led a life of sin, yet who, in the vigor of his days, gives over his evil ways and conquers his wrong inclinations. As Solomon has said, “Remember thy Creator in the days of thy youthful vigor.” While in the prime of life abandon thy evil ways.
Thirdly, of the one who was prevented by some cause from the commission of a contemplated sin, and who truly repents his evil intention. “Happy is the man who fears the Lord,” said the Psalmist. The man, not the woman? Aye, all mankind. The word is used to denote strength; those who repent while still in their youth.
Fourthly, of the one who repents when his sin is pointed out to him, and he is rebuked for the same, as in the instance of the inhabitants of Nineveh. They repented not until Jonah proclaimed to them, “Yet forty days more, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.” The men of Nineveh believed in God’s mercy, and though the decree had been pronounced against them, yet they repented. “And God saw their work, that they had returned from their evil ways, and God bethought Himself of the evil which He had spoken that He would do to them, and He did it not.” Therefore say the Rabbis, “Our brethren, neither sackcloth nor fasting will gain forgiveness for sins; but repentance of the heart and good deeds; for it is not said of the men of Nineveh, ’God saw their fasting and sackcloth,’ but ’God saw their work, that they had turned from their evil ways.’”