R0838-8 Pardon

::R0838 : page 8::


Pardon implies the removal of guilt. It differs from acquittal. The latter term is applied where guilt is charged but not established. The innocent man, when found to be innocent, is acquitted. He is not pardoned, but justified as an innocent man. But the sinner is not innocent. The dreadful fact of his guilt is established, and cannot be ignored. If he be delivered from guilt it must be by cancellation—by blotting out the record of the guilt—a work which God only can perform. Hence pardon is not an act of acquittal, but the reversal or revocation of the condemnatory sentence of the law. This act takes away the guilt of sin by expiation, and removes its legal results, including the penalty, so that the sinner escapes from punishment as effectually as by acquittal. The sacrifice of Christ expiates the guilt provisionally, and faith in Christ makes the expiation actual, and delivers from condemnation.—Sel.


— March, 1886 —