A shamefaced employee was summoned to the office of the senior partner to hear his doom. The least that he could expect was a blustering dismissal; he might be prosecuted, and even go to prison for years. The old man looked straight at him and asked if he were guilty. The clerk stammered out that he had no defense. `I shall not prosecute you for the sake of those who love you,' said the old man. `If I let you stay, can I trust you?' When the surprised and broken clerk had given assurance and was about to leave, the senior partner continued: 'You are the second man who has fallen and been pardoned in this business. I was the first. What you have received I received. It is only the grace of God that can keep us both.'
Ps. 32. 1, 2; 2 Cor. 5. 19; Luke 7. 42, 43)
Thus far did I come laden with my sin,
Nor could aught ease the grief that I was in,
Till I came hither. What a place is this!
Must here be the beginning of my bliss?
Must here the burden fall from off my back?
Must here the strings that bound it to me crack?
Blest cross! blest sepulchre; blest rather be
The Man that there was put to shame for me.—Bunyan
The moment a sinner believes,
And trusts in his crucified God,
His pardon at once he receives,
Redemption in full through his blood.—Joseph Hart
One day when Luther was crying out, almost in despair,"Oh my sins, my sins!" an old monk entered his cell. He told Luther that he had found great comfort in repeating the article, "I believe in the forgiveness of sins." These words filled his mind with consolation and joy.—Selected
A maiden pleaded with Napoleon for the life of her father, a deserter, condemned to be executed. A frown gathered upon Napoleon's brow as he answered, "He has already twice deserted and do you ask for his life?" "Sir" she answered, "I do not ask for justice but, for mercy." Her plea was granted.—Selected
J. Howard Perdue, Sr., Birmingham, Alabama, tells one thing: Alexander Stephens, Vice President of the Confederacy, and emaciated pygmy of a man with extremely large protruding ears, was an intellectual prodigy. He was once in a red-hot debate with a huge opponent who had the bad taste to attack Stephens' physical peculiarities: "If one will pin his ears back, I'll swallow him whole." In a flash Stephens replied, "If you do, you'll have more brains in your belly than you have in your head."
Dr. Arthur Talmadge Abernathy in his book, Center Shots at Sin tells the other thing. He says: "I was a small boy in Atlanta when Alexander H. Stephens died. Stephens was Vice President of the Confederacy. He opposed secession and fought with all his power against it. His oration before the Georgia Secession Convention will last as long as history. Stephens was a cripple, and died shortly after becoming governor of Georgia. When it became known that he was soon to die, that the physicians had no hope of prolonging his days, the great men of state crowded his bedroom and besought him to sign important documents. But Stephens waved them away and called for his private secretary—and told him to bring out of his desk an old, faded paper. The secretary found it. It was the petition of an old humble woman back in the hills seeking the pardon of her sinful son in the penitentiary.
"With the great state officials begging Stephens to lay it aside and take up weightier matters, he replied: 'No. I am going to sign this. The great matters will take care of themselves.' And, being propped on his pillow, Governor Stephens took the yellow, faded appeal of the heart-broken mother who had no other intercessor at the governor's mansion. He dipped the pen in the ink, and across the appeal he wrote 'P-A-R-D-O-N-E-D.' Underneath he scrawled his name, 'Alexander H. Stephens, Governor.' Then he dropped back upon his pillow—dead."
Dr. Abernathy goes on with these words: "On the high hill of Calvary the Son of God was dying. All the sins of the world were upon Him. At His side a thief and murderer, an outcast, hung suspended between time and eternity. He was unfitted to go into eternity, and he was being forced out of the era of time. He cried out: 'Lord, remember me when Thou comest into thy kingdom.' From the bruised lips of the Christ came the answer that has echoed down the corridors of the ages: 'Today, thou shalt be with me in Paradise." The man adjudged unfit to live with men was made suitable to live forever with Jesus."