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The Feeling and Cry of Sin.

The Feeling and Cry of Sin.

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Published by glennpease
BY F. D. HUNTINGTON, D. D.,

GOD BE MERCIFUL TO ME A SINNER ! Luke Xviii. 13.
BY F. D. HUNTINGTON, D. D.,

GOD BE MERCIFUL TO ME A SINNER ! Luke Xviii. 13.

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Published by: glennpease on Mar 24, 2014
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THE FEELING AND CRY OF SIN. BY F. D. HUNTINGTON, D. D.,GOD BE MERCIFUL TO ME A SINNER ! Luke Xviii. 13. BY contrast with the arrogant and egotistical boast of the Pharisee, and on the score of its natural modesty, this prayer of the Publican wins the respect of all classes of people. But to enter into the anxious and burdened feeling out of which such a cry of sorrow must have sprung, and to make that feeling our own, is not so much a matter of course. This requires some thing of those more earnest exercises of the interior life, and that deeper discipline, which involve the very presence and power of the renewing Spirit. This man, standing here before God, afar off from his fellow-men, the very image of depression, not so much as his eyes lifted, pronounces himself a sinner. And this expression of conscious unworthiness is not made as a piece of information to heaven or earth. It is simply the irrepressible confession of sincerity, pressed out of the soul by a longing for forgiveness ; short, because so terribly sincere. The straitened spirit in its anguish has no room for prolix particulars. The very sound of the words, the downcast look, the withdrawn
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* Preached at the beginning of Lent, 1859. 84 THE FEELING AND CRY OF SIN. > position, the agonized gesture, as well as the character Christ puts upon these things, betray the reality of his repentance. The thing they expose to us is human sin, its self-conviction, its wretchedness, its way of relief. It is with this disease of the moral nature as it is with some sorts of physical disorder ; the sight of it is repulsive and forbidding, till the malady is acknowl edged in our own body. Then for the first time, when the pain throbs along our nerves, we are willing to contemplate it without impatience. It is a spectacle of ugliness and humiliation, from which men are eager to turn away their eyes, till they feel its hurt and peril pressing into the organs of their own frames. The prosperous and self-satisfied and unawakened say, Why talk to us of sin ? One reason why, is that it is a fact pervading the
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world. Another is, that it is the greatest of evils, and the malignant source of all evils that exist, being the sting of death itself. Another, that it is, or will be, incomparably the greatest of miseries, a misery that only a knowledge and a feeling of sin like the publican s can prevent. Still another reason is, that Christ and his religion continually refer to it, having it for their express object to take man out from its control and give him the mastery over it. So that it has come about, as the divine order for us, taken as we are, that a quickened individual conviction of sin is the first step in passing into a new and Christian life. An individual conviction. After all, what probably goes far to make all human discoursing about sin both unwelcome and ineffectual, is that so* much of it is a rebuke of man by man rather than the humble confession of a common wrong. We must acknowledge, also, that THE FEELING AND CRY OF SIN. 85 in our public and formal treatment of it, we are apt to fall into cool, customary, unfelt language. That is, there is too much of the Pharisaic method in our judg
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