An excerpt from the beginning of the first chapter:
THE BLESSING OF SINS FORGIVEN.
No greater blessing can come to a man this side of heaven than the blessing of having his sins forgiven. "Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered" (Psalm xxxii. i).
Now, there are two ways of covering sin, and only two ways—God's way and man's way. For 6,000 years man has been trying to cover his sin, and he has made poor work of it. Adam tried it in Eden, and Cain tried it outside of Eden, and they have been trying it right along down all these years. Yon will find that all classes, high and low, kings on the throne, priests behind the altar, prophets, peasants, rich and poor, have tried to hide their sins, and they have made poor work of it. No man has ever yet succeeded in covering his sin.
Not only that, but Scripture says: "He that covereth his sin shall not prosper." I have no doubt that the reason so many men have a stormy voyage in life is because there is some accursed sin in their lives. I am not talking for outsiders any more than I am for church members. I believe that if the latter have sins that they are not willing to confess they will not prosper. Some secret sin is hindering their growth. Where do the defaulting presidents of banks, and other offenders, come from? Many of them out of the churches. They have sat under the ministry and have heard men, over and over again, preaching against sin, but it has not struck home. These forget they have sins to confess as well as the ungodly and the people outside of the church.
God wants honesty and uprightness. A man that you can trust will get along anywhere, but a man that has to be watched will never prosper. There can never be a healthy soul as long as there is sin in it. Sin is a foreign substance, it does not belong in the soul, just as a bullet is a foreign element, and the body will not be healthy with a bullet in it. God does not want the wicked to nourish, for He says: "The way of the transgressor is hard." God wants it to be hard, for if a man prospered in his wickedness he would never come to God.
When a man is ready and willing to confess his sins and turn from them, God covers them. When God covers sin it can never be found in time or eternity. It is a great privilege for a man to be forgiven, and not have a cloud between him and heaven, between him and the smiling face of his Father. "Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's sleet? God that justifieth? Who is he that condemneth? Christ that died?" The Bible says in one place that the sins shall not be mentioned; in another place, that they shall not be remembered.
There are four expressions in the Bible about how God covers sin: First—He casts them into the depths of the sea. Second — He casts our sins behind His back. Third—He blots them out as a thick cloud. Fourth—He removes them as far as the east is from the west.
INTO THE DEPTHS OF THE SEA.
He will cast them into the depths of the sea. Dr. Gordon, of Boston, was preaching on that text, and he forgot to put in "the depths." He just said that God would cast them into the sea. When he got home, his little boy, four years old, spoke up and said:
"Father, why didn't you tell the people that sins were heavy like lead, and sank out of sight in the water? They might think they were like corks, floating around on top where they could be seen."
God has covered that point. He has cast them into the depths of the sea. Let the devil go down there and get them if he can. It is a safe place to have them, in the depths of the sea. There are some parts of the sea which they never have been able to fathom. Bunyan says: "Thank God, it is a sea, not a river. If it was a river, it might dry up, and they might find them in the bed of the river, but the sea never dries up."
BEHIND GOD'S BACK.
Secondly, out of love to my soul, He has taken all my sins and cast them behind His back.
Not behind my back. The smallest devil in hell could find them before I got to bed to-night, and haunt me, if they were behind my back, but they can't get behind the Almighty, behind God's back.
BLOTTED OUT AS A CLOUD.
The third expression is, T will blot them out like a thick cloud."
You see a cloud to-night, and you get up early in the morning, and it is gone. Can you find the cloud? Never. There may be other clouds, but that cloud will never appear in the history of the universe. God says He will blot sin out like a thick cloud.
REMOVED AS FAR AS EAST AND WEST.
And the fourth expression, I like that best.
I wish some one would figure it up for me, and tell me how far the east is from the west. I don't know much about astronomy, but astronomers tell us that light travels at the rate of 188,000 miles a second...