Forgiveness Sermon Illustrations

Forgiveness Sermon Illustrations

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French Curate.—During the French revolution, the inhabitants of a village in Dauphiné had determined on sacrificing their lord to their revenge, and were only dissuaded from it by the eloquence of the curé, who thus addressed them:—"My friends," said he, "the day of vengeance is arrived; the individual who has so long tyrannized over you must now suffer his merited punishment. As the care of this flock has been entrusted to me, it behoves me to watch over their best interests, nor will I forsake their righteous cause. Suffer me only to be your leader, and swear to me that in all circumstances you will follow my example." All the villagers swore they would. "And," continues he, "you will further solemnly promise to enter into any engagement which I may now make, and to remain faithful to this your oath." All the villagers exclaimed, "We do." "Well then," said he, solemnly taking the oath, "I swear to forgive our lord." Unexpected as this was, the villagers kept their word and forgave him.


The Duke of Orleans, on being appointed Regent of France, insisted on possessing the power of pardoning. "I have no objection," said he, "to have my hands tied from doing harm, but I will have them left free to do good."


Abon Hannifah, chief of a Turkish sect, once received a blow in the face from a ruffian, and rebuked him in these terms, not unworthy of Christian imitation: "If I were vindictive, I should return you outrage for outrage; if I were an informer, I should accuse you before the caliph: but I prefer putting up a prayer to God, that in the day of judgment he will cause me to enter paradise with you."


Alphonsus, King of Naples and Sicily, so celebrated in history for his clemency, was once asked why he was so forgiving to all men, even to those most notoriously wicked? "Because," answered he, "good men are won by justice; the bad by clemency." When some of his ministers complained to him on another occasion of his lenity, which they were pleased to say was more than became a prince: "What, then," exclaimed he, "would you have lions and tigers to reign over you? It is for wild beasts to scourge; but for man to forgive."


Van Dyke.—"When any one commits an offence against me," this painter used to say, "I try to raise my soul so high that the offence shall not be able to reach up to it."


Mariè Antoinette

On the elevation of this princess to the throne after the death of Louis XV., an officer of the body-guard, who had given her offence on some former occasion, expressed his intention of resigning his commission; but the queen forbade him. "Remain," said she, "forget the past as I forgive it. Far be it from the Queen of France to revenge the injuries of the Dauphiness."

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