atonement and personality

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: that,—within my very self, as well as without,—punishment, translated into penitence, is in the highest sense, the victory of righteousness. We are familiar with many, very varying, degrees of penitence; many of them indeed most real, but none wholly perfect It is of considerable importance moreover for the truth of our conceptions about penitence that we should bear clearly in mind this fact, which as fact, is surely indisputable: the fact that we know every degree of penitence except that one which alone would realize the true meaning of the word. It is of course from experience that we are to judge. But much as experience teaches us about penitence, it is important to remember that all the penitence realized within our experience, is of necessity imperfect penitence. If then we desire to know not what imperfect penitence is by reason of its imperfectness: but what penitence, apart from its imperfectness, really would mean : we must be explicitly prepared not indeed to contradict but at least to transcend experience, and contemplate something which we have never seen. Bearing in mind this truth,—which will become perhaps increasingly prominent,—we return to the thought that the penitent, just so far as his penitence is sincere, if he is, undeniably, himself the same man who sinned, yet, in a sense subordinate, but hardly less important, is really—is even essentially—different Consider our instinct,—an instinct with only too much of reasonable basis—of the indelibleness of the effect of sin. When a man has sinned, and knows that he has sinned; when the eyes of his spirit are opened, even in part yet really, to see sin as it is; the fatal misery is that the sin which he so sees has become a very integral part of himself. From an external plague, a suffering, a load, a deb...
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