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not dealt with us after our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. No earthly parent is ever so ready to forgive an erring, repenting child, as God is to freely pardon men, at the earliest dawn of reformation. Though Israel's heart was not right with God, though they were not steadfast in his covenant, though they flattered him with their mouths, and lied unto him with their tongues, yet when they remembered that he was God, the high God, their Redeemer, he being full of compassion forgave their iniquity and destroyed them not; yea many a time he turned his anger away, and did not stir up his wrath. The mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting, upon them that fear him. His mercy endureth forever. The earth is full of the mercy of the Lord. ?Justice and judgment are the habitation of his throne; mercy and truth shall go before his face.
The glory of Jehovah, in the revelation of himself to ancient Israel, was in the fullness of his pardon, without money and without price. Because he could sware by none greater he swore by himself, saying: 8As I live saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but I would that the wicked would turn from his evil way and live. When I say unto the wicked thou shalt surely die, if the wicked restore the pledge, give again that which he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die. If the wicked
*Ps. 78:35-39. 'Ps. 103:17. 'Ps. 33:5. 'Ps. 89:14. 'Ezek. 33:11-19.
turn from their wickedness, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall live thereby. 'Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to the Lord, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God and he will abundantly pardon ;-was written a thousand years before Jesus suffered on Calvary, and two thousand years before his death was considered by any to be the grounds upon which God pardoned men.
Instead of God forgiving men on account of the imputed merits from the sufferings and death of the promised Messiah, Isaiah says; 10For his name's sake and for his praise, (because of his character and for his glory), he refrained from punishing treacherous, transgressing Israel. Again, as if Jehovah himself was speaking, by the mouth of his holy prophet, it is declared; 111, I am he that blotteth out their transgressions, for my own sake, and I will not remember their sins.
12Thou O Lord art our Father and our Redeemer, said Isaiah to God in his prayer for backslidden Israel. 18If ye forgive not men their tresspasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Does God require greater kindness and forgiveness than he is able to exercise himself? 14If ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love ye your enemies, and do good and lend hoping for nothing again; and ye shall be the children of the Highest, for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. The glory of God, as taught by Jesus, is that his mercy and pardon is without recompense.
°Is. 48:9. "Is. 43:25. Is. 63:16. "Math. 6:15. "Luke 6:33-38.
“ 'Twas not the pains which Christ endured,
THE SACRIFICE OF CHRIST
HE sacrifice of Jesus the Christ was not the cruel crucifixion. Nothing but pagan ideas, and humanity depraved by the lust for authority and
gain would have conceived a doctrine, that the Judge of all the earth could be appeased or placated with such cruel wrongs against such perfect innocence.
To sacrifice is to make sacred. The sacrifice by Jesus Christ was the holding of his flesh under the dominion of his spirit, and so bringing body and spirit into the power of the perfect holiness of life, life everlasting. Jesus was a man; not a being above the ordinary experiences of men, a foreigner to the human race, a god made perfect in heaven and sent to the earth. No child ever lay more helpless in its mother's arms, and unconscious of all about it, than Jesus in the manger at Bethlehem. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. The bones and the flesh of his body were made of the dust of the ground. His body lived and grew by the forces in natural life. Nature, which is in sin, supported his body; but his natural life did not corrupt his soul, nor influence the determinations of his will 'to sin. The selfishness in his flesh had no dominion over him. The holiness of his divine life held his natural life in absolute subjection. He was made a sin, but he knew no sin. SHe abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances, for to make of himself that was twain, one, a new man, so making peace. “He crucified the old man, that is the natural body living in sin, and he lived by the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and the holiness of truth.
'Heb. 2:16. 22 Cor. 5:21. 'Eph. 2:15.
It is true, no other ever had so rich an inheritance by birth as Jesus. He and Eve are the only two of the human race, who were not begotten by animal generation. How long Eve remained in holiness is not revealed. Some time after her creation, Satan by cunning suggestions awoke the selfishness in her flesh into dominion over her will, and she fell from the estate in which she was created. Eve was probably the most beautiful among women. Her natural life was begotten from Adam's, that was under the power of the holiness of his spirit, and being created by Jehovah through him, was of higher, purer divine life than any of her daughters since.
The human race had matured at least for four thousand years, when Jesus was begotten of the holy spirit, and born of a virgin. Moreover he was of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Judah, the unselfish blood of Ruth and Naomi was in his veins, he was a root out of the stem of Jesse, and a son of David. The sacred record of his lineage is not an animal pedigree, but the line of the highest level of divine life in men; that gave to the world a babe, with such holiness of spirit, the angels at his birth broke the silence of heaven singing, "Glory be to God in the highest, Peace on earth and good will to men; sounding out so loud, it woke the sleeping shepherds on the plains of Bethlehem.
'Rom. 6:6; Eph. 4:24. 'Luke 2:14.