The Pardoning God

James Smith, 1842

"A God ready to pardon!"
Nehemiah 9:17

Discoveries of sin upon a bed of affliction, are exceedingly painful. And a burden of guilt on the conscience is very distressing. But to be informed from the mouth of God Himself, under such circumstances, that He is ready to pardon is as cold water to a thirsty soul, or good news from a far country. This message, the Lord sends to you. He asserts it as a truth, and has proved it in a variety of ways. He is ready to pardon the sinner who has just discovered his fearful state and alarming condition; and as ready to pardon the backslider who, conscious of His base ingratitude and deep-dyed transgressions, trembles at His throne. Have you backslidden? Does a discovery of your backslidings fill you with concern and alarm? Are you desirous to return unto the Lord, from whom you have so deeply revolted? He bids you take words, and return unto Him. He welcomes the guilty transgressor, who deserves His wrath! He pardons like a God! It is His delight to forgive the confessing, sin-forsaking soul. Doubt Him not. He invites you to come. He pledges himself to receive you graciously. He will heal your backslidings. He will blot out your sins as cloud, and your iniquities as a thick cloud. He will be merciful to your unrighteousness, and your sins and your iniquities will He remember against you no more.

It is only your unbelief that makes it difficult to approach Him; Jesus has opened a new and living way; His name and blood are pleas that cannot be objected to, that never will be dishonored. If you need a pardon come to a pardoning God. Come without hesitation; come without a doubt respecting your acceptance; come just as you are, and prove that now is the accepted time, and that now is the day of salvation. He will pardon you freely, pardon you fully, pardon you eternally for Christ's sake. Let nothing deter you from approaching to His throne. If you cannot pray as you will then pray as you can. If you cannot pray groan. If you can do no more sigh out your desires before Him.

Keep your eye on His promise, and endeavor to keep your heart stayed on His faithfulness. He is a Father. He sympathizes with you through His Son, who wears your nature. He will rejoice over you to do you good, with His whole heart and with His whole soul. The atonement is made; the promise is given; the invitation is sent; and if we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Great God of wonders! all your ways
Are matchless, godlike, and divine
But the fair glories of your grace
More godlike and unrivaled shine.

Who is a pardoning God like Thee?
Or who has grace so rich and free?
Crimes of such a horror to forgive,
Such guilty daring worms to spare!

This is your grand prerogative,
And none shall in the honor share.
Who is a pardoning God like Thee?
Or who has grace so rich and free?