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The Majesty of Forgiveness

The Majesty of Forgiveness

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY THE REV. J. R. P. SCLATER


" There is forgiveness with Thee, that thou mayest be feared."
PSALM cxxx. 4.
BY THE REV. J. R. P. SCLATER


" There is forgiveness with Thee, that thou mayest be feared."
PSALM cxxx. 4.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jun 04, 2014
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THE MAJESTY OF FORGIVEESS BY THE REV. J. R. P. SCLATER " There is forgiveness with Thee, that thou mayest be feared." PSALM cxxx. 4. IT is good hearing that there is forgiveness with God. For that fact of God meets the need of man, which man most widely recognizes, whether he claims and rests in the forgiveness that is offered or no. Lips cry, " God be merciful " That ne er cried " God be praised." When we hear that there is forgiveness with God, we hear that which meets our sorest case. But there is forgiveness with Thee ; that Thou mayest be feared . That is an unexpected conclusion. It is to be observed that there is no suggestion of dread in the word that is translated here. It is the reverent fear of awe that is suggested. There is forgiveness with Thee that we may be held in reverent awe before Thee. When thus understood, the text suggests nothing more than the result which a right comprehension of the forgiveness of God should produce in our minds. (93) 94 THE MAJESTY OF FOEGIVEESS ow in this matter of forgiveness, it is clear that certain persons, and certain movements of attitude between them, are involved in its conception. There
 
are involved for instance (1) a some one who is injured and a some one who is an injurer, and (2) a change in the attitude of the injurer, in which there are three elements : (a) A change towards the wrong in the past. The injurer comes to recognize it as a wrong. (b) A change towards that wrong in the future. He determines not to repeat it. (c) A change towards the injured person ; sug gested by this, that, from being his injurer, he becomes one willing to receive forgiveness at his hands. or are these the only implications. There are involved also a someone, or something, to bring about that change in the injurer ; and a some one injured great enough then to restore to friendship. Moreover, we have to observe that in these implications of forgiveness, there are two points at which pain comes in : 1. There is the pain of the injury done : which falls on the injured one. 2. There is the pain of the process of restoration, which falls partly on him who is restored, and partly on him who is the restorer. If a man would restore a friend, who has done a wrong either to a fellow or to God, to that state of mind in which THE MAJESTY OF FOKGIVEESS 95 forgiveness can be an actual fact, he must suffer in proportion to the greatness of the change he would
 
make. He must care enough for the man to do it. o If he care, he must be wounded that his friend could thus stain himself. He must give something of himself in pleading and in spirit, before his friend can be won back. There is always a self-loss and a self-giving in great restorations. Therefore, we are not stretching words when we say that there are two points implied in the conception of forgive ness, at which pain comes in. ow, apply these considerations to the matter which we have in hand. 1. God is the injured ; we are the injurers. You may think these unseemly terms to apply to the relation of a creature to his Creator ; and if you have better ones that are sufficiently vivid, I will take them. But they must be vivid. For all down human history, as we know it, we may see a riot against the Most High a flouting of His Holy Law. Babylon has given place to Greece, Greece to Rome, and Rome to the Empires of to-day but still men seize upon their hearts desires in flat defiance of the voice of God in them ; still, sober men rest in a placidity, while clear wrong is done on earth ; still, while the power of God is to be had for the asking, men scarce give Him and His spirit a thought, and, when they pray, toss a prayer to Him, and then forget. I say, 96 THE MAJESTY OF FOEGIVEESS think of what this earth is, think of the im poverished lives daily offered as victims to lust and avarice, think of what the earth might be if the

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