the consciences of others.? See also Dinsmore, Atonement in Literature and Life.
Nor are such scenes confined to the pages of romance. In a recent trial at Syracuse, Earl, the wife-murderer, thanked the jury that had convicted him; he declared the verdict just and begged that no one would interfere to stay the course of justice. He said that the greatest blessing that could be conferred on him would be to let him suffer the penalty of his crime. In Plattsburg, at the close of another trial in which the accused was a life- convict who had struck down a fellow convict with an axe. The jury, after being in deliberation for two hours, came in to ask the judge to explain the difference between murder in the first and second degree. Suddenly the prisoner rose and said: ?This was not a murder in the second degree. It was a deliberate and premeditated murder. I know that I , have done wrong, that I ought to confess the truth and that I ought to be hanged.? This left the jury nothing to do but render its verdict and the Judge sentenced the murderer to be hanged as he confessed he deserved to be. In 1891, Lars Ostendahl, the most famous preacher of Norway, startled his hearers by publicly confessing that he had been guilty of immorality and that he could no longer retain his pastorate. He begged his people for the sake of Christ to forgive him and not to desert the poor in his asylums. He was not only preacher but also head of a great philanthropic work.
Such is the movement and demand of the enlightened conscience. The lack of conviction that crime ought to be punished is one of the most certain signs of moral decay, in either the individual or the nation. ( <199710>Psalm 97:10 ? ?Ye that love the Lord, hate evil? 149:6 ? ?Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, And a two-edged sword in theft hand? ? to execute God?s judgment upon iniquity).
This relation of sin to God shows us how Christ is ?made sin on our behalf? ( <470521>2 Corinthians 5:21). Since Christ is the immanent God, he is also essential humanity, the universal man, the life of the race. All the nerves and sensibilities of humanity meet in him. He is the central brain to which and through which all ideas must pass. He is the central heart to which and through which all pains must be communicated. You cannot telephone to your friend across the town without first ringing up the central office. You cannot injure your neighbor without first injuring Christ. Each one of us can say of him: Against thee, thee only, have I sinned? ( <195104>Psalm 51:4). Because of his central and all-inclusive humanity, Christ can feel all the pangs of shame and suffering which rightfully belong to sinners, but which they cannot feel, because their sin has stupefied and deadened them. The Messiah, if he be truly man, must
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