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Confession and Forgiveness.

Confession and Forgiveness.

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I John i. 9,

"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our
sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

I John i. 9,

"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our
sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Oct 02, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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COFESSIO AD FORGIVEESS.BY S. A. TIPPLE.I John i. 9,"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us oursins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."THE forgiveness of God, the Father of men, may be said to lie at the foundationof human existence, and, in the fact of human existence, to be perpetually signified. Thegenerations are its witness. We ourselves mani-fest it, simply by reason that we are^ and are stillrepeated.Who made us ? According to your belief and mine, we owe our beijig to a Power of in-finite goodness and love, whose oflfspring weare ; and the only possible motive and designof such a Power in begetting us, would be,that He might train us toward the best andhighest of which we are capable ; might develop ustoward His idea of the form into which sons anddaughters of the Lord should round and orb.Assuming Him, and our derivation from Him, youcan scarcely conceive of any other object ; but itfollows, therefore, that His forgiveness of our sinsis involved in the very fact that we continue to beborn, that the world of humanity continues torevolve ; unless, indeed, the Eternal Spirit, withI20 Confession and Forgiveness.whom is "no variableness/' has relinquished orchanged His purpose ; since alone by determining
to pardon whatever unworthiness might appearupon us, whatever wrongness might come forth inus, and by carrying out the practice from thebeginning to the end — thus alone, could the purposewith regard to us be prosecuted and maintained.If I have been made, to be placed under tuition,and put to school, with a view to my perfecting, — which must have been the case, if He who mademe is the Father, the righteous and graciousFather, — then^m the sense of not suffering rejectionfor my offences, or lying beneath doom for them,but having still around me, in spite of them, thewarm arms of paternal interest and concern, thenam I always forgiven. It is the condition in whichI live, the state in which I am nourished andbrought up. The Divine pardon is not somethingto be waited for or striven after, a blessing de-pendent upon something that must precede it ; ithas not to be created by us, or by anybody else forus, through exercise of faith or offer of atonement ;but it is already, and has been all along, original andfundamental in the relations of God with man;and one of the uses and aims of Christ is tomake known and certify, by revealing the Father,what, but for His revelation, sin-confused natureswould never have guessed — having, indeed, sur-mised quite the contrary — and what, even with Hisrevelation, they yet find it hard to entertain andrest in. ** By this man is preached unto us theforgiveness of sin§,"Confession and Forgiveness. 121But how, now, shall we explain the apparentcontradiction of the text, in which confessionis represented as procuring forgiveness, as theact that we have to perform in order to ob-tain it ? There are two replies : first, no for-
giveness, it is obvious, however real, can becomplete — complete, either, in respect of theperson who grants it, or in respect of the personto whom it is granted — tmtil the latter has beenbrought to see and feel the sinfulness of his sin,and to repent of it. You may freely forgive anoffence that has been committed against you,cherishing no resentment against the offender,nursing no thought of vengeance, still wishinghim well, still ready to show him kindness, nay,still going on to seek his good — to work andsacrifice for his welfare as before, even althoughhe may exhibit no sense of the wrong he hasdone, no grief or regret for it, and may refrainfrom acknowledging it and asking your pardon.But you cannot flow towards him, cannot restorehim to his old place in your heart, or resun^e yourold sweet relations with him, as you are able to dowhen once he begins to soften into contrition, anddiscovers a spirit shrinking away with revulsionfrom the badness of his conduct, and responsiveto your own in its estimate of it. Then^ how muchmore tender, and warm, and full your forgivenessbecomes. Then, how you can fall upon his neck and love him again. You forgave him before, butnow, and now only, are you reconciled to him. Itcould not be otherwise. Having your feeling122 Conjession and Forgiveness.about his sin, you could not possibly stream tohim and blend with him, while he felt nothing of its shame and evil. Even so with God's pardon.There is a perfecting of it, in Him, which waits,and must need wait, for the confession of thetransgressor.And then, in respect of the person to whom

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