Sin brings in its train not only depravity but guilt, not only macula but also reatus. Scripture sets forth the pollution of sin by its similes of ?a cage of unclean birds? and of ?wounds, bruises, and putrefying sores?; by leprosy and Levitical uncleanness, under the old dispensation; by death and the corruption of the grave, under both the old and the new. But Scripture sets forth the guilt of sin, with equal vividness, in the fear of Cain and in the remorse of Judas. The revulsion of God?s holiness from sin, and its demand for satisfaction, are reflected in the shame and remorse of every awakened conscience. There is an instinctive feeling in the sinner?s heart that sin will be punished, and ought to be punished. But the Holy Spirit makes this need of reparation so deeply felt that the soul has no rest until its debt is paid. The offending church member who is truly penitent loves the law and the church which excludes him and would not think it faithful if it did not. So Jesus, when laden with the guilt of the race, pressed forward to the cross, saying: ?I have a baptism to be baptized with and how am I straitened till it be accomplished !?(<421250>Luke 12:50; <411032>Mark 10:32)
All sin involves guilt and the sinful soul itself demands penalty so that all will ultimately go where they most desire to be. All the great masters in literature have recognized this. The inextinguishable thirst for reparation constitutes the very essence of tragedy. The Greek tragedians are full of it and Shakespeare is its most impressive teacher: Measure for Measure, 5:1 ? ?I am sorry that such sorrow I procure, And so deep sticks it in my penitent heart That I crave death more willingly than mercy; ?Tis my deserving, and I do entreat it?; Cymbeline, 5:4 ? ?and so, great Powers, If you will take this audit, take this life, And cancel these cold bonds
I...Desired, more than constrained, to satisfy...take No stricter render of me than my all.? That is, settle the account with me by taking my life, for nothing less than that will pay my debt. And later writers follow Shakespeare. Marguerite, in Goethe?s Faust, fainting in the great cathedral under the solemn reverberations of the Pies Iree; Dimmesdale, in Hawthorne?s Scarlet Letter, putting himself side by side with Hester Prynne, his victim, in her place of obloquy; Bulwer?s Eugene Aram, coming forward, though unsuspected, to confess the murder he had committed. All of these are illustrations of the inner impulse that moves even a sinful soul to satisfy the claims ofjustice upon it. See A. H. Strong, Philosophy and Religion, 215, 216. On Hawthorne, see Hutton, Essays, 2:80-416 ? ?In the Scarlet Letter, the minister gains fresh reverence and popularity as the very fruit of the passionate anguish with which his heart is consumed. Frantic with the stings of unacknowledged guilt, he is yet taught by these very stings to understand the hearts and stir
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