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in Christ, being "complete in him,” “There shall be one fold and one shepherd.”a

The conclusion shows the superiority of Christ's religion to all others and His own infinite greatness in the revolutions He wrought in society and the world.

John X. 16.

a

BOOK FIRST

THE HISTORY OF PARDON

CHAPTER I

NEWNESS OF CHRISTIANITY

Christianity, an Original or New Religion. Adapted to All Man

kind. The Only Religion Promising Forgiveness of Sin. New, in Promising Eternal Life. New, in Teaching the Fatherhood of God. New in Being Positive. New or Original in that It is Missionary.

CHRISTIANITY is an original religion. It was not handed down by tradition; it was not the outgrowth of human philosophy or reason; it was not compiled from preceding religions, but it was new.

It is the only religion thus far developed in the world that is adapted to all mankind, to every individual, race, and nation. It commands all that is for the best good of man; it forbids all that is injurious and wrong. It promises all that is good, both in the present and in the future. It is the only recorded religion that promises the forgiveness of sin. Of all the recorded pagan religions there is nothing embraced in them looking to or promising the forgiveness of past sin. They offered sacrifices to their deities to propitiate their anger, to turn away their vengeance, and for aid in time of trouble or time of war, but nothing in their systems proposed the forgiveness of sin.

Even the patriarchal and Jewish religions, which were the only revealed religions prior to the Christian, did not promise complete or full pardon for sin. There was a carrying forward of sin under the Jewish economy until the promised Messiah should come. “There was a remembrance of sins year by year”; “sacrifices which can never take away sins.”a He was “the Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world.”

Again, Christianity is new or original in that it directly promises eternal life—an individual, personal, immortal spirit clothed with an immortal body. Heathen religions taught the transmigration of souls, the embodiment of the human spirit in various animals. Their highest idea was that the human spirit would finally enter Nirvana or be absorbed in the sun, or deity, but they did not teach a personal, individual immortality.

When we come to the Jewish religion and its legal system we do not find the promise of immortality or eternal life in the five books of Moses, but in its stead we have a chapter of curses and blessings, all temporal, both as to punishment for disobedience and reward for obedience. The people were to be blessed in basket and in store, in their outgoing and incoming, were to have fruitful seasons and, in fact, all

temporal blessings were to follow them if they were obedient unto the law. If not, they were to be punished by war, by famine, by pestilence, by all manner of evil on account of disobedience to their prescribed law.b In the prophets and in the Psalms there are references

a

b Deut. xxviii.

a Heb. x. 3-11.

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