Sermon 3550. An Earnest Entreaty
A SERMON PUBLISHED ON THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 1917.
DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON.
"Kiss the Son lest He be angry, and you perish from the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all theythat put their trust in Him." Psalm 2:12.
LET us have a little quiet talk tonight. I have known a simple, earnest conversation turn the whole current of a man's life.I recollect a good man, who lived at a certain market town in Suffolk. He was no preacher, as far as I know. He had nevertried to preach, yet he was a mighty soul-winner. He had noticed how commonly it happened in that town, as in most of oursmaller towns, that the lads, as they grew up, sought employment in London, or in some other large center of industry and,consequently, they left their home, their parents, guardians and the associations amidst which they had been trained, to entera new sphere-where they would lack much of the oversight that had hitherto checked them when prone to wander. His watchfuleyes and ever-listening ears having ascertained within a little when any young man was going, he sent a polite invitationto tea. And at that tea table the words he used to speak, the cautions he gave, and the necessity he urged of being decidedfor Christ before leaving, and especially the earnest prayer with which he concluded the evening-these things have been rememberedby scores of young men, who, on removing to the larger towns, could never shake off the impression which his quiet, devoutconversation had made! Some of them even traced their conversion to God, and their subsequent perseverance in the paths ofrighteousness, to the evening they had spent with that humble, but wise and earnest individual! I wonder whether any of usremember, in our young days, any such talk as that which exerted an influence upon us? I wonder more if, instead of tryingto preach anything great tonight which is not much in my line, I try to talk very seriously and pointedly to all present whoare unconverted, whether God will not bless it by His Holy Spirit and make it a turning point to decide the present courseand eternal destiny of some of my hearers?
Our text contains some very sound advice. Let us ask-to whom was it originally addressed And to whom is it appropriately addressednow?
I. TO WHOM WAS IT ADDRESSED.
"Kiss the Son, lest He be angryr Look at the 10th verse, "Be wise now, therefore, O you kings; be instructed, you judges ofthe earth." Thus to monarchs and potentates of this world-to those who made and those who administered the laws, in whosehands were the liberties, if not the lives of their subjects-were these words spoken! People make a great fuss about a sermonpreached before Her Majesty. I must confess to having wasted a shilling once or twice over those productions. I could nevermake out why they should not have been sold for a halfpenny, for I think better sermons could have been bought for a penny.But, somehow, there is always an interest attached to anything that is preached before a king or a queen, and still more soif it is pointedly preached to a king. Now this was a little private advice given to kings and judges. Still, it offers counselby which persons of inferior rank may profit. You, Sir, are not so great in station but this advice may be good enough foryou! If it was meant for those who sat on thrones, wielded scepters and exercised authority, you will not have to humble yourselfmuch to listen earnestly, and receive gratefully this admonition of wisdom!
Let me take you by your coat, and hold you for a minute, and say, Be wise now. This is the day for reason. Exercise a littlejudgment-put on your considering cap-do not spurn the monition, or put it on one side with a huff and a puff, as though itwere not discreet or urgent. This was language meant for kings-listen to it-it may be a royal word to you! Perhaps-for strangethings happen-it may help to make you a king, too, according to that saying which is written, "He has made us kings and priestsunto God." The language which would command the attention of kings would certainly claim heed of such humble and obscure personsas are here assembled! Surely, when the expostulation proceeds from the mouth of God, and when it is spoken to the highestin the world, you might account it a privilege to have the matter made privy to yourselves! And as it intimately concernsyou, there is the more cause that you take heed thereunto.
The words were spoken to those who had willfully opposed the reign of our Savior, the Son of God, the Lord's Anointed. Theyhad determined to reject Him. They said, "Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us." A terrible,a disastrous course to resolve upon in the teeth of a destiny that no plot can hinder, no confederacy can avert! Hence, thecaution and the counsel appeal to all or to any who have been opposers of Christ and of true religion. I do not suppose thereare many such here, who are actively and ostensibly revolting against the Gospel, yet there may be some such and, if thereare, I would sound an alarm and ring loudly the warning, "Be wise now, therefore! Be instructed! Do listen a little!" It isgood to be zealous in a good cause. But suppose it is a bad cause? Saul of Tarsus was vehement against Christ, but after someconsideration, he became quite as enthusiastic for Him. It may cost you many regrets another day to have been so violent againstthat which you will find out to have been worthy of your love rather than of your fierce opposition! Every wise man, beforehe commits himself to defend or withstand a policy, should make quite sure, as far as human judgment can, whether it is rightor wrong-to be desired, or to be deprecated! Surely I do not speak to any who would willfully oppose that which is good. Or,if prejudice has prompted you, there is all the more reason why your judgment should now be impartial. Stop, therefore, andgive ear! It may be your relenting will be kindled, and wisdom will enlighten your heart. These words were spoken to thosewho ought to have been wise-to kings and judges of the earth. Those mighty ones had been mistaken, otherwise the rebuke wouldhave been untimely and superfluous-"Be wise now, therefore, O you kings; be instructed, you judges of the earth." It appearsthey had rebelled- partly through ignorance, but mainly through jealousy and malice-they had rebelled and revolted againstthe Christ of God. Doubtless they did not rightly understand Him. Perhaps they thought His way was hard, His Laws severe,His government tyrannical. But He meets your wild rage with His mild reasoning! To the gusts of your passion, He respondswith the gentle voice of His mercy, "Be wise, O you kings; be instructed, you judges of the earth." Learn a little more. Geta little more knowledge-it may correct your vain imaginations. A ray of light shining into your minds might make you shudderat the darkness in the midst of which you dwell! A view of the right might, perhaps, show you that you have been wrong. Itmight take the tiller of your soul and turn the vessel around into another course. We are, none of us, so wise but we couldprofit by a little more instruction! He that cannot learn from a fool, is a fool himself. When a man says, "I know enough,"he knows nothing! He who thinks that his education is "finished," had need begin his schooling afresh, for a fair start hehas never yet made. With a sound basis, the edifice of education may proceed satisfactorily, but it never can be completed.Excelsior is the student's motto. He sees higher and higher altitudes as he rises in attainment-and as long as he sojournsin this world, fresh fields of enquiry will continue to open up before him!
Once again, I believe the words of our text leave an especial reference to those who are thoughtless and careless about theirbest interests. The kings of the earth were deliberating how they might successfully oppose Christ, but they were strangelyand culpably negligent of their real interest. Hence the remonstrance, "Be wise now; be instructed, you judges of the earth."The general lack of intelligence in the present day with respect to religion is, to my mind, appalling. The knowledge withwhich most men are content is superficial in the extreme. They do not think! They do not take the pains to make reflectionsand draw inferences from the facts within their reach, but they allow themselves to drift with the tide of what is called"public opinion." Were it the fashion for people to carry brains in their heads, some religions which are now very rife wouldsoon come to an end! I have stood aghast with wonder and with awe at the sublime folly of mankind, when I have seen how eagerlyand devoutly they will bow down before baubles and street shows, while they vainly imagine that they are worshipping God!Have they no brains within their skulls? Have they no faculty of thought? Have they no reasoning power? What singular defectcan be traced to their birth, or with what fatal folly have they renounced their commonsense? Ought we to pity, to chide,or to scorn them? In indictments for witchcraft, I suppose, you punish the impostor as a knave, while you laugh at the victimas a dupe. But in cases of priestcraft, you divide the scandal more equally. So the Sunday theatricals run their course tillthe force of thought, the voice of conscience, and, I might add, the love of liberty, shall pronounce their doom! People donot think. Some of them are of the religion of their ancestors, whatever that may be! You hear of Roman Catholic familiesand Quaker families. Not conviction, but tradition shapes their ends. Others are of the religion of the circle in which theylive, whatever that may be. They are good Protestants, they say-had they been born in Naples, they would have been as goodPapists! Or had they been born at Timbuktu, they would have been as good heathens-just about as good in any case! Thought,reason, or judgment never entered into their reckoning. They go up to their place of worship-they pray as others do, or theysay, "Amen," in the service. Thought they have none. They sing without thought, hear without thought and as the thing is tobe done, I suppose, they preach without thought!
Talk of preaching, I have specimens at home of sermons which can be bought for nine pence each. They are underlined, so thatthe proper emphasis is apparent-and the pauses to be made between the sentences are fairly indicated. Preaching made easy!We shall be favored, one of these days, with preaching machines-we have already got down to hearing machines. The mass ofour hearers is not much more animated than an automaton figure. Life and liveliness are lacking in both. Preaching and hearingmay both, perhaps, be done by steam! I would it were not so. Men are evidently thoughtful about other things. Bring up a sanitaryproblem and there are men that will work it out somehow. Is some new invention needed, say, a gun or a torpedo, to effectwholesale destruction of life? You shall find competitors in the arena, vying, one with another, in their study of the murderousscience! Man seems to think of everything but of his God-to read everything but his Bible-to feel the influence of everythingbut the love of Christ, and to see reason and argument in everything except in the inviolable truth of Divine Revelation.Oh, when will men consider? Why are they bent upon dashing into eternity thoughtlessly? Is dying and passing into anotherworld of no more account than passing from the parlor to the drawing room? Is there no hereafter? Is Heaven a dream and Hella bugbear? Well, then, cease to play with shadows! No longer foster such delusions! Be these things true or false, your insincerityis alike glaring. Like honest men, repudiate the Scriptures if you will not accept their counsel. Do not pretend to believethe solemnities of God's Word and yet trifle with them! This is to stultify yourselves, while you insult your Maker! I appealto the conscience of every thoughtless person here, if reason or commonsense would justify such vacillation. Having thus triedto find out the people to whom my text applies, let me now direct your attention to the advice it gives them.
II. THE ADVICE WHICH IS GIVEN.
The advice is this-rebel no more against God. You have done so, some of you actively and willfully. Others of you, by ignoringHis claims and utterly neglecting His will. It is not right to continue in this rebellious state! To have become entangledin such iniquity is grievous enough, but to continue therein any longer were an outrageous folly and a terrible crime. Servethe Lord with fear and rejoice with trembling. Do you say, "We hear of advice and are willing to take it- our anxiety nowis to find out the way in which we can become reconciled to God. How can we be restored to friendship with Him whom we haveso bitterly wronged and so grossly offended?" Here is the pith of the advice. "Kiss the Son, pay Him homage, yield the affectionatefealty of your hearts to the Son of God." Between you and the great King, there is an awful breach. You can obtain no audienceof Him. So grievous has been your revolt, that He will not see you. He has shut the door and there cannot be any communicationbetween you and Himself. He has hung up a thick veil, through which your prayers cannot penetrate. But He refers you to HisSon. That Son is His other Self-One with Himself in essential Deity, who has condescended to become man, has taken your natureinto union with Himself, and in that Nature has offered unto Divine Justice an expiatory Sacrifice for human guilt. Now, therefore,God will deal with you through His Son. You must have an Advocate-as many a client cannot plead in court, but must have somecounselor to plead for him who is infinitely more versed in the law and better able to defend his cause than he is-so theLord appoints that you, if you would see the face of your God, must see it in the face of Jesus Christ! The short way of beingat peace with God is not to try and mend your ways, or excuse yourself, or perform certain works, or go through certain ceremonies,but to repair to Christ, the one and only Mediator, who once was fastened to the Cross, being put to death in the flesh, butquickened by the Spirit. He is now at the right hand of God, and you are required to worship Him, to trust in Him, to loveHim. Thus do, and the reconciliation between you and God is effected in a moment! The blessed Jesus will wash you from yourguilt, and the righteousness of Christ will cover you with beauty which will make you acceptable in the sight of God. "Kissthe Son." It means render Him homage, just as in our own country they speak of kissing the Queen's hands when certain officesare taken and homage is required. So come and kiss the Savior! No hard work this! Some of us would gladly forever kiss Hisblessed feet It would be Heaven enough for us. Oh, come and pay your homage to Him! Acknowledge that Christ is your King!Give up your life to His service. Consecrate all your powers and faculties to do His will. But do trust Him. "Blessed areall they that put their trust in Him." That is the true kiss! Trust Him, rely upon Him, depend upon Him-leave off dependingupon yourself, and rely upon Jesus! Throw yourself flat down upon the finished work of Christ! When you have so done yourfaith has reconciled you to God, and you may go your way in peace. Only go your way henceforth to serve that King whose handyou have kissed, and to be the willing subject of that dear Redeemer who ought to have you because He bought you with Hisprecious blood!
This advice is urgent. Do it at once. I am not speaking, now, after the fashion of the orator, but I am talking to you asa friend. I wish I could pass along those aisles, or over the tops of those pews, and gently take the hand of each one, andsay, "Friend, God would gladly have you reconciled to Him, and it only needs the simple act of trusting Jesus and acceptingHim to be your Leader and your King." Do it now. If it is ever worth doing, it is worth doing at once! It is a blessed thingto do. Why delay? It is a simple thing to do! Why hesitate? It is the very least thing God could ask of you, and even thatHe will not require you to do in your own strength. Are you willing, but weak? He will help you to do what He commands youto do! Now, as you sit in your pew, what say you to this? "I will think it over," says one. Does it need any thinking over?If I had offended my father, I should wish to be at peace with him immediately-and if my father said to me, "My son, I willbe reconciled to you if you will go and speak to your brother about it," well, I would not think it difficult, for I lovemy brother as well as my father, and I would go to him at once-and so all would be well. God says, "Go to Jesus. I am in Him.You can reach Me there-go round by His Cross-you will find Me reconciled there. Away from the Cross I am a Judge and my terrorswill consume you. With the Cross between you and Me, I am a Father, and you shall behold My face beaming with love to you.""But how am I to get to Jesus?" you ask. Why, have I not told you?-simply to trust Him-to rely upon Him! Faith is trustingChrist. This is the Gospel, "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved." Put your entire trust in Him. Renounceall lordship that has ever been exercised over you by any other master and become Christ's servant! Rely on Him to land yousafely at the right hand of God, and He will do it. "Kiss the Son." Oh, Friend, I cannot make you do it-it must be done ofyour own will. God alone can lead that will of yours to yield itself up to Christ's will! But I pray you do it-kiss the Son,and do it now! Pursuing our quiet talk, I come to my third point, which is-
III. HOW IS THIS ADVICE PRESSED HOME UPON US?
The vanity of any other course is made palpable. Be reconciled to God because there is no use in being at enmity with Him.The kings of the earth opposed God, but while they were plotting and planning, God was laughing. "Yet," says He, "have I setMy King upon My holy hill of Zion." I think if I were a king and had the misfortune to be driven to go to war, I would notlike to fight one that had ten times my own strength! I would rather engage in a somewhat equal combat, with a prospect thatby dint of valor and good generalship, victory might be gained. To contend against Omnipotence is insanity! For any man, Icare not who he may be, to put himself in opposition to God is utter folly! I have often watched, as doubtless you have done,the foolish moth attracted by the glare of the candle or the gas. He plunges at it, as though he would put it out, and hedrops, full of exquisite pain, upon the table. He has enough wing left to make another dash at the flame, and again he isfilled with another pain, and unless you mercifully kill him outright, he will continue as long as he has any strength tofight with the fire which destroys him! That is an apt picture of the sinner's life-and such will be the sinner's death! Oh,do not so, dear Friend-do not so! Speak I not with voice of reason when I thus dissuade you? If you must fight, let it bewith someone that you can overcome. But sit down now and reckon whether you can hope to win a victory against an AlmightyGod! End the quarrel, Man, for the quarrel will otherwise end in your death and eternal destruction!
We are further pressed to the duty commanded by the claims of the Son. "Kiss the Son." As I read the words, they seem to meto have a force of argument in them which explains itself and vindicates its own claims. Kiss! Kiss whom? "Kiss the Son."And who is He? Why, He is Jesus, the Well-Beloved of the Father! And among the sons of men, the Chief among ten thousand,and the altogether lovely! Surely Christ is such a princely One that He ought to receive homage of mankind! He has done suchgreat things for us and He has shown such good will towards us, that to pay Him reverence seems not so much the call of dutyas the natural impulse of love! The worship which is His due should flow spontaneously from the instincts of Grace ratherthan be exacted by the fiat of law! Even those who have denied the authenticity of Inspiration have always been charmed withthe Character of our Lord, and you will notice that the most astute opponents of Christianity have had little, if anything,to say against the Founder of it, so transparent His virtue, so charming His humility. Oh, Kiss the Son, then! He is God-trustHim. He is Man, a perfect Man-confide in His friendship. He has finished the work of human redemption, therefore, hail Himas your King and pay your homage to Him now! Oh, that God's eternal Spirit may lead you so to do without hesitation or objection!
Were I talking to some of you in a quiet corner I might gather an argument from the simplicity of the promise here offeredyou. "Kiss the Son." Is that all? Pay Jesus homage. Is that all? The Emperor of Germany, in the olden times when Popes werePopes, had offended his Unholiness-and before he could be restored to favor, he had to stand for three days (I think it was)outside the castle gate, in the deep snow, in the depth of winter, and do penance. I have seen, myself, in Rome and elsewhere,outside of the older churches, places uncovered and exposed to wind and rain, to the heat of summer and the frost of winter,where backsliders were made to stand, sometimes for years, even, before they were restored, if they had committed some offenseagainst ecclesiastical statutes! You will sometimes see in old country churches of England little windows that run slantingand just look toward the communion table, through which poor offenders who professed repentance, after some months of standingin the church yard, or perhaps outside of it, were at last allowed to take a peep at the altar, at the expiration of theirweary term of penance! All this is contrary to the spirit of the Gospel, for the spirit of the Gospel is, "Come, now, andlet us reason together; though your sins are as scarlet, they shall be as wool." The spirit of my text is, "Kiss the Son,now"-and that is all. Though those lips were once blaspheming, let them kiss the Son! Though these lips have uttered highwords and proud words, or perhaps lying and lascivious words, "Kiss the Son." Bow down at those dear pierced feet and trustEmmanuel, and acknowledge yourself His servant, and you shall be forgiven-forgiven at once, without delay and this night youshall be accepted in Christ! I am right glad I have got so good a message to tell! I would that you would receive it withgladness. May it drop like the snowflakes on the sea, which sink into the waves. May each invitation sink into your soul,there to bless you henceforth and forever!
Moreover, the exhortation of our text is backed up with felicitations for those who yield to it. "Blessed are all they whoput their trust in Him." Those of you who do not know anything about trusting in Christ must have noticed how joyously wesang that hymn just now-
"Oh, happy day that fixed my choice
On You, my Savior and my God!
Well may this glowing heart rejoice,
And tell its raptures all abroad." Don't you think there was some fervor in our tones? Was it not sung as if we meant it?If nobody else meant it, I did! And I could see by the look of your eyes that a good many of you were stirred with gratefulrecollections. It was the happiest day in all our lives when Jesus washed our sins away! Far be it from us to deceive anyof you by saying that to be a Christian will save you from the sorrows of the world, or from trials and tribulations, fromphysical pain or from natural death. Nothing of the kind! You will be liable to sickness and adversity in their manifold forms,as other men are, but you will have this to comfort you in every dark, distressing hour-that these light afflictions, whichare but for a season-will come to you from a loving Father s gentle hand, with a gracious purpose, and they will be dealtout to you in weight and measure according to His judgment, while some sweet consolations will always be sent with them. And,above all, there is perpetual joy and perennial satisfaction in that man ' s heart who knows that he is right with God. Althoughhis house may not be as he would have it, yet he has accepted God ' s way of reconciliation-he is reconciled by the bloodof Christ! God loves him and he loves God! He is confident, therefore, that whether he lives or dies, he must be blessed,because he is at peace with God! Oh, happy day, happy day, thrice happy day, when a man comes into this blessed state! I haveheard many regret that they have pursued the pleasures of sense and been fascinated with them, but I never yet heard of onewho had found the dear delights of faith pall on his taste! It has never fallen to my lot yet to attend a dying bed whereI have heard a Christian regret that he put his trust in his Savior! Neither have I ever heard at any time of anyone who diedbelieving in Jesus who has had to say, "Had I but served the world with half the zeal I served my God I should have been ahappier man." Oh, no! Such bitter reflections on misspent and misused talents befit the worldling, and the world s poet putit into the dying man s mouth in another form from that in which I gave it, for, "what we might have been," and, "what wemight have done," make the sum of life ' s bewailing when death in view makes such repentance unavailing! The Christian 's satisfaction is, on the other hand, only shaded by the wish all feel that they had loved the Savior more intensely, trustedHim more confidently and served Him more diligently! Never have I heard any other kind of compunction and self-reproach.
"Come along, then, Friend, Come along," they say to us! "What matters so long as you are happy?" I have often heard them sayso. And let me say to you, if that is one of your slogans and you really do seek after happiness, you cannot do better thanpay homage to the Son of God, end the awful rupture between you and your Creator, and henceforth put your trust in Him. Oneother motive I must mention. "Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish from the way, when His wrath is kindled but alittle." A striking expression! If Christ gets a little angry, men perish from the way! Then what must His great anger be?If His anger, kindled but a little, burns like a devouring fire, and men perish from the way of life, and from all hope ofsalvation, what must His great wrath be? Is there a fear suggested here that anybody will provoke Christ to fiercer anger?There is. Alas, there is! Shall I tell you the likeliest person to do it? Not, I think, that abandoned sinner who was bornand bred in an immoral atmosphere and has followed a vicious course to the present hour. To him I would say, "Come to Jesus,and He will wash you now, and cleanse you from all your pollution." But the man I tremble for as most likely to make Him swearin His wrath is such a one as I was-privileged with godly parents, watched with jealous eyes, scarcely ever permitted to minglewith questionable associates, warned not to listen to anything profane or licentious-taught the way of God from his youthup! In my case there came a time when the solemnities of eternity pressed upon me for a decision and when a mother s tearsand a father s supplications were offered to Heaven on my behalf. At such a time, had I not been helped by the Grace of God,but had I been left alone to do violence to conscience, and to struggle against conviction, I might have been at this momentperhaps dead, buried, and doomed, having, through a course of vice, brought myself to my grave! Or I might have been as earnesta ringleader among the ungodly as I desire to be for Christ and His Truth! When there is light given, when one is not leftto grope in darkness, when conscience is kept tender, a little provocation may then very much anger Christ!
I am afraid some of you young people that are growing up here stand in deep need of remonstrance. You have got good parents.You have been instructed in the Scriptures from your infancy and you have had great many deep impressions while sitting inthese pews listening to the sound of the Gospel-and yet you are playing with them, you are trifling with them! Nothing badabout you, so you think. You are not conscious of having grossly violated any moral law. But have you never heard of a gentlemanin India who had a tame leopard that went about his house? It was as playful as a cat, and did no one any harm till one day,as he lay asleep, the leopard licked his hand and licked until it had licked a sore place and tasted blood. After that therewas nothing for it but to destroy it-for all the leopard-nature was aroused by that taste of blood! And some of you youngpeople, with all the godly associations that are round about you, will-I am always afraid-get a taste of the devilry outside,of the world ' s vice and sin. And then there is the leopard ' s nature in you. If you once get the taste and flavor of it,you will be prone to be always thirsting for it. Then, instead of the hope we now cherish, that we shall soon see you at yourparents ' side, serving Christ-see you take your father ' s place, young man, in later years-see you, young woman, grow upto be a matron in the Church of God, bringing many others to the Savior-we may have to lament that the children are not asthe parents, and cry, "Woe is the day that ever they were born." I, therefore, want you to decide, lest you perish from theway-from the way of God and the way of righteousness-while His wrath is kindled but a little, lest He say, "Let them alone,"and throw the reins on your neck, for if He should once do that, woe the day! Nothing can happen worse to a man than to beleft to himself. Kiss the Son, then!
Affectionately and earnestly do I entreat you-not standing here ex-officio to deliver pious platitudes, but from my very soul,as though I were your brother or father, I would say, Young man, young woman, kiss the Son now! Yield your heart up to Jesusnow! Blessed are they who trust in Him now. Oh, tonight, tonight, tonight-your first night in Grace, or else your last nightin hope! Tonight, tonight! The clock has just struck. It seemed to say, "Tonight." God help you to say, "Yes, it shall betonight, for God and for Christ!"-
"Songs of triumph then resounding
From your happy lips shall flow!
In the knowledge of salvation
You true happiness shall know,
Through Christ Jesus,
Who alone can life bestow."
EXPOSITION BY C. H. SPURGEON: LUKE 7:36-48.
Verse 36. And one of the Pharisees desiredHim that He would eat with him. AndHe went into the Pharisee's house, and sat downto eat They sat according to the Eastern custom of sitting, which was rather lying at length, with the feet far out upon thecouch or sofa.
37. And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner In a particular sense, a sinner-one whose very trade was sin.
37. 38. When she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment and stoodat His feet, behind Him, weeping. As she could do, you see, without coming into the room, except for a few yards, especiallyif the Savior ' s feet were close against the door.
38. And began to wash His feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed His feet, and anointedthem with the ointment For water she gives her tears, for a towel, her hair-to heal the blisters of His weary pilgrimage,there are her soft lips for liniment and then, for ointment, comes this precious salve.
39. Now when the Pharisee which had bidden Him saw it, he spoke within himself, saying, This Man, if He were a Prophet, wouldhave known who and what manner of woman this is who touches Him; for she is a sinner "She is a sinner, and does He let hertouch Him, kiss His feet and show such tokens of affection? What Man must He be who allows a harlot's kiss, even though itis upon His feet?" Ah, poor foolish Pharisee! He judged according to the sight of the eyes, or else he might have known thatthe best of men would never be angry at a harlot's tears, for the tears of repentance, come from whatever heart they may,are always like diamonds in the esteem of those who judge rightly.
40-42. And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, Ihave something to say unto you. Andhe said, Master, say on. There was acertain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing topay-And were, therefore, likely to be cast into prison, and to be sold as slaves.
42-43. He frankly forgave them both. Teel me, therefore, which of them will love him most Simon answered and said, I supposethat he to whom he forgave most AndHe said unto him, You have rightly judged. There were no bonds, no promises of what theywould do in the future, but he frankly forgave them both.
44. And He turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, See you this woman? I entered into your house-And it was, therefore,your duty to attend to Me.
44. You gave Me no water for My feet Though that was the common custom.
44. 45. But she has washed My feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head You gave Me no kiss. Which was thecustomary welcome to every honored guest-a kiss upon the cheek or upon the forehead.
45. But this women since the time I came in has not ceased to kiss My feet She has done what you ought to have done; she hasdone it better than you could have done it; she has done it when there was no claim upon her to do it, except that she hasbeen forgiven much, and, therefore, loved much.
46. My head with oil you did not anoint This, too, was the usual custom.
46-48. But this woman has anointed My feet with ointment Therefore I say unto you, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven;for she loved much; but to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little. And He said unto her, Your sins are forgiven.