“Judgment came upon all men to
A certain prince traveling through France visited the arsenal of
Toulon where convicted criminals were held. The commandant, as a
courtesy to the prince’s rank, said he was welcome to set any of the
prisoners free, whom he should choose.
The prince, desiring to make
the wisest use of this privilege, spoke to many of them in succession,
inquiring why they were condemned to death.
cried one. “Unfair trial and prejudiced witnesses,” grumbled
another. “Unjust and unreasonable laws” was the contention of another
who had set himself against civil authority. Still another
complained that he had been the victim of the corrupt social and
economic system. They were all innocents who had been ill treated
At last he came to one who, when asked the same
question, answered; “My Lord, I have no reason to complain; I have
been a very wicked and rebellious wretch. I account it great mercy
that I am still alive.”
The prince fixed his eyes upon him and said:
“You wicked wretch! It is a pity you should be placed among so many
honest men; by your own confession you are bad enough to corrupt
them all; but you shall not stay with them another day.” Then,
turning to the officer, he said, “This is the man, Sir, I wish to see
The bitter remorse that filled the hearts of the other
men as they saw their companion walk out free while they themselves
remained to face their doom can better be imagined than told. Any
other one of them might have been set free had they confessed their
But infinitely greater remorse awaits every reader of these
lines who refuses to confess his ruin, guilt, and righteous
condemnation, and receive the pardon which God gives only to confessed
sinners. “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso
confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy” (Prov. 28:13).
sinners who have been pardoned and cleansed will be in heaven.
whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins,
according to the riches of his grace”(Eph.1:7).
Jesus says: “I came
not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. For the Son
of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
"This is a
faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus
came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.”
My hope, my only plea.
deserve eternal death, But Jesus died for me.
“He that believeth on
the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son
shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:36).
— Conrad Murrell