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The Rest of Sincerity

The Rest of Sincerity

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Published by glennpease
BY CHARLES CLIFTON PENICK, D.D.,

" Repent ye." — Matt. 3 : 2.
BY CHARLES CLIFTON PENICK, D.D.,

" Repent ye." — Matt. 3 : 2.

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Published by: glennpease on Mar 16, 2014
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03/16/2014

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THE REST OF SINCERITY BY CHARLES CLIFTON PENICK, D.D.," Repent ye." — Matt. 3 : 2. HIS was no less the requirement of God than the need of man. John's faith-lit vision saw by the light of God's goodness this deep need of the human soul, and these words, strange as it may seem, were the call to rest. Man hates to repent, hates to set the seal of disapproval on his own doings ; his proud heart smarts and burns at the thought, for he wants to be counted true and right before men, even when he knows that within he is false and wrong. He does not want earth to see his foulness and shame. Yet he must re-pent ere that spirit within him can have rest, ere he can look himself square in the depths of his soul and say, " Thou art now an honest man." Painful as it is, the thorn must be withdrawn ere the wound can heal ; the cor-70 "MORE THAN A PROPHET."
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ruption must be found out ere the ulcer's pain will cease. So they who would preach only a soft, soothing gospel are cruelly false. They would cry " Peace, peace, when there is no peace." They would talk soothingly to the deep agonies of a heart without extracting the serpent's fang. They would try to pillow the soul on a lie, and soothe the prodigal while he sits feeding the swine and perishing of hunger. Ah ! that boy must go back to his father, and go back with a heart conscious of his sonship, scaTred, marred, and shamed, but conscious at last of an honest sincerity down beneath it all that he is true of heart. I once asked a Roman Catholic priest, " Suppose one came to confession and only told you a part of the sin, hiding the rest from you, and you became conscious of it, what 'would you do ?" " Have nothing to do with the hypocrite," he said. Every sinner is a hypocrite until he confesses to God his sin, and he is guilty until he repents. Mercy can-not heal the heart-wounds of sin until they are repented of. She cannot separate the sins from
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the sinner until the sinner hates the sin and "MORE THAN A PROPHET." 71 disclaims it as a part of himself. A man may come and plunge a dagger into my body with intent to slay. As he withdraws it, dripping and warm with my blood, I may say, " I for-give you ;" but that pardon takes no effect, carries home no peace, so long as he repents not ; he must be a murderer, and blood must stain his soul ; yet the instant that soul dis-claims the foul deed and throws it from him, that instant he ceases to be the man he was, and may embrace my forgiveness. His soul and mine may meet as new beings and with new hopes ; meet with a rest sweet and deep in proportion to the sincerity of faith with which he repents and I forgive, and our trust in each other's sincerity. Had John taken counsel with the wise (so called) men of his age they would doubtless have counselled a very different course, just as their representa-tives do now. Go softly, speak gently, per-
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