loved his neighbour as himself (Matt. xxii. 37-39)? Or is there any person who in his whole life
has never committed a sinful act, or spoken a word displeasing to God, or cherished in his heart a
wrong thought or evil desire? (See Job iv. 18, 19; xxv. 4, 5, 6; Ps. cxliii. 2; Rom. iii. 20.) Only
one such man has ever lived, our Lord Jesus Christ.
Seeing then that all human beings except Christ are found guilty by the testimony of our own
conscience and by that of the Word of God as revealed in Holy Scripture, is it not most fitting that
we should with true penitence of heart confess before our Creator: "O Lord of Lords, most Holy
and Righteous God, the purity which Thou requirest is not in us: we are deserving, O Lord, of Thy
wrath and of eternal death"?
That God does punish sinners is clearly taught, in the first place, by our experience, secondly
by our Conscience, and thirdly by the Word
(كلام) of God in such passages as Ezek. xviii. 20; Matt.
xii. 36; xxv. 41; Rom. i. 8; ii. 8, 9; Col. iii. 25; 2 Thess. i. 9. Some persons imagine that God
will pardon transgressors without punishing them, because of His boundless Mercy. But this is
morally impossible, unless in some way the requirements of His righteous Law should be satisfied.
Otherwise His justice would not be perfect, nor would He be acting in accordance with what He has
Himself said. It is true that God's love and mercy are infinite, but so are also His justice and His
holiness. Therefore wicked doers can never be pleasing in His sight, for He hates all sin.
Moreover, sin is in itself a curse and a punishment to the transgressor. No wicked man is happy,
can be happy, ether in this life or in the next. A man whose soul is filled with lust, for instance,
does not know what true happiness is, even here. Sin degrades man's nature, rendering men cruel,
cowardly, selfish, base, and removing them far in spirit from the Most Holy God, in whose presence
there is fullness of joy. "Every one that committeth sin is the bondservant of