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“If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses from all sin” (1 Jn. 1:7)

I have no business to make myself out any better than God. When anyone comes to me or to you, all broken down, and confesses his wrong, we forgive him freely, and before he has told half what he might tell, we tell him that it is alright, he is forgiven, and to say no more about it.

That is just what God does. He has given us the parable of the prodigal son as an illustration of how He forgives. His father saw him a great way off, and ran to meet him. I am so thankful that God does not require me, before I can be forgiven, to go back and take up every sin that I ever committed and confess it. If He did, He would have to lengthen my probation longer than I believe He possibly can, for me to repeat the smallest part of them. Well may David say, “My iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of my head; therefore my heart fails me” (Psalms 40:12). Yes, our sins are “innumerable,” but “the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart-these, O God, you will not despise” (Psalms 51:17). Thus we make a covenant with God by sacrifice.

The Lord forgives freely, and we can know it. He shows us the representative sins of our lives. Sins that stand out prominent stand for our whole sinful nature, and we know that our whole life is of that same sinful character. God is infinite in love and compassion. “As a father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust” (Psalms 103:13,14). Shall we charge God with saying, “I‘ve shown you those sins and you’ve confessed them; but there are other sins and I will not show them to you, but you must find them out for yourself, and until you do I will not forgive you.” God does not deal with us in that way.

Jones, General Conference Bulletin, 1895, p.366

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