Thursday, June 5, 2008

Forgive Him For Christ's Sake

A selection from a letter by the one-eyed Baptist preacher of Wales, Christmas Evans, to a friend who had asked him about forgiving others. It was written on August 7, 1836:

If some person attempted to injure me in my character, by slander, calumny and falsehood; I have no inspiration by which I may know that such a one sins the sin unto death, and that God has abandoned him to irrecoverable delusion; therefore I must, according to the nature of the gospel, and the grace of God, pray for my enemy; not that he should take him to heaven in his enmity and ungodliness, but that he would grant him repentance, and make him sensible of his crime, and then forgive him for Christ’s sake. I do not expect forgiveness myself of God for the sake of the blood of Christ, but in connection with repentance and sorrow under a sense of my sins. I perceive it necessary, and have been enabled to pray for my greatest enemies, that they may be saved in the same way that I myself expect to obtain forgiveness, even in connection with repentance and faith in the blood of Christ. Our hearts must be brought into such a state in respect of our enemies, that we can say, we would rather they should be brought to heaven in God’s gracious method, than that they should perish under the righteous judgement of Jehovah.

Christmas Evans: The Life and Times of the One-Eyed Preacher of Wales, by Tim Shenton, Evangelical Press, 2001, pp. 442-43.


Jordan Bell said...

Thank you for posting this, I think it is very useful.

Dean Olive said...

Thanks for your comment; it is a most helpful and useful note about the necessity of the forgiven forgiving, by someone who knew very well the difficulties involved in such exercises.