The earthly parent will kindly pass over the faults of the prodigal; but you know when that father comes to die, and is about to make his will, the lawyer sitting by his side, he says, “I shall give so much to William, who always behaved well, and my other son shall have so-and-so, and my daughter, she shall have so much; but there is that prodigal, I have spent a large sum upon him when he was young, but he wasted what he received, and though I have taken him again into favour, and for the present he is going on well; still I think I must make a little difference between him and the others. I think it would not be fair—though I have forgiven him—to treat him precisely as the rest;” and so the lawyer puts him down for a few hundred pounds, while the others, perhaps, get their thousands. But God will not remember your sins like that; he gives all an inheritance. He will give heaven to the chief of sinners as well as to the chief of saints. When he divides the portion to his children, it may be he will put Mary Magdalene as high as he does Peter, and the thief as high as he does John; yea, the malefactor who died on the cross is as much in the sight of God as the most moral person that ever lived. Here is a blessed forgetfulness. What sayest thou, poor sinner? Is thy heart drawn by a mysterious inspiration to the foot of the cross?
The New Park Street Pulpit Sermons, vol. 1 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1855), 188. Vol. 1, Sermon No. 24; Titled: Forgiveness; Delivered on Sabbath Morning, May 20, 1855.
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