then, could He show it that it had done nothing. Had He triumphed before, it might have been said that sin had not put forth all its strength. It is only when a man has put forth his last ounce of effort that it can be said he is beaten. The last strength of sin is death; it could not be beaten before it had accomplished that. Its final defeat could not be until it had exercised as great an activity as possible. Christ, in order to overcome utterly, had for one moment to yield to that supreme victory of sin and death.1

Thus was accomplished the salvation of the world. The sinner, when he realizes the Atonement, sees sin in its true light—an utter enemy; he, therefore, hates it as God does; and God in forgiving him does not do an immoral thing, but with forgiveness gives a new life unto holiness, and death unto sin. To forgive a sinner with his sins still on him and his sinful heart still unconverted within him is simply immorality. It would end in the tottering of the pillars of eternal Holiness on which the world, yea, eternity itself, is built.

And indeed you might almost say that the Cross has created the sense (or the full realization) of

1 Did God die then? The question thus stated contains a fallacy and a lie. God as spirit cannot die—i.e., be extinguished. Many have asserted that even our spirit, as spirit, cannot die either. But any being that has spirit and body can have the two separated and so die. It is not correct, therefore, to say that God died, or even that the Word of God died; but the Incarnate Word called Christ died—i.e., the Spirit of the Incarnate One was separated from His flesh.

what sin is. It has, therefore, created the true attitude of abhorrence to it. And it has, therefore, created the true salvation from it. At the Cross the mind of man in regard to sin becomes attuned to the mind of God. And this is the meaning of the word 'the Blood of Christ cleanseth from all sin.' It cleanseth, because it cleanses the conscience of man, telling him that because he now feels towards his own sin as God does, he is forgiven; nay, more, his sin is removed, he is justified, that is, he returns to the relation with God that preceded sin. He is at peace with God, because he can now be truly at peace with himself. He is at peace with himself because he has now the right to be at peace with God.

Nothing but perfect Holiness could have involved such cost as the Passion of God in eternity and in Christ. Nothing but perfect Love could have borne it. Therefore in the Cross holiness and love, wrath and pity, justice and mercy, meet together and kiss one another.