Pristine Grace

Letters on Theron and Aspasio
Addressed to the Author
pgs 40-41
Paraphrased into Modern English by David Bishop
by Robert Sandeman
Letters on Theron and Aspasio

     Let us now listen to them both pray. Notice how they each present their supplications before God.

     Ah, I see the first of them now. A decent, respectable company advancing toward the house of prayer. Watch them step forward with a graceful assurance. Listen now as they begin their address:

     “We give thee thanks, O God, for the strong aversion we express towards sin. We thank thee for every agreeable qualification thou hast so graciously given us to distinguish us from other men. We bless thee for all thy fine gifts thou hast ornamented us with, but especially with the one that qualifies us for all the blessings of the kingdom of they dear Messiah.

     “We humbly acknowledge this qualification is by no means the ground of our right, yet we acknowledge that had it not been for thy grace assisting our feeble efforts, then we might yet have still been like other men, saying yes to sin and drinking up iniquity like water.

     “Therefore, while we acknowledge the righteousness of thy Messiah to be the only meritorious cause of all our happiness, yet we also earnestly beg thee to continue assisting our feeble efforts to turn away sin so that we may always come to thy house of prayer with comfortable assurance, and never be filled with confusion in thy presence.”

     Look now behind them, at some distance. I see a deplorable company approach, They appear with remorse in their faces, as if they had just come from the gratification of some guilty passion. They draw short, daring not to venture beyond the gate, as if afraid to pollute the sacred mansion. I see them point toward the inner recess of the mansion where the propitiatory stands. They are encouraged to utter the words, “God be propitious to us sinners.”

     I am certain, as they went up, that I overheard one of them saying to his fellow, “Surely there is not a wretch upon earth riper for hell than I. My life has been one continued course of injustice, profaneness and excess by which I have so reduced my health and circumstances so much that instead of having opportunity to lessen my burden to society, I have instead, through my injustice, been forced to increase it. Sometimes I feel a touch of remorse afterward, and I have promised in those moments to never do it again, but I have always broken my promise at the first hint of temptation. In short, the more I look into my heart, the more shocked I am by what I see. Whether I look backward or forward – reason, – experience, – feeling, all I see is misery and suffering and sin. But I have it on good authority that there is a propitiation for sin, – that there is forgiveness with Him who hath mercy on whom He will have mercy. – Let us therefore draw near.”