And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.…
The duty which the Christian world needs to learn over again, just now, is the duty of malting restitution for wrong-doings. Shame is not enough; remorse is not enough; confession is not enough; there must also be restitution. It is a melancholy and mortifying fact, that we often meet with men of the world, making no claim to being religious, whose honour and integrity put to shame the hollow pretensions of nominal Christians. When the chief councillor of Sultan Selymus advised him to bestow the marvellous wealth which he had taken from the Persian merchants upon some charitable hospital, the dying Turk answered that God would never be pleased with such an offering, and commanded that the spoils should be restored to the owners.
I. Restitution should be PROMPT. Dr. Finney, in his interesting autobiography, tells of a young woman, the only child of a widow, who once came to him in great distress. She had stolen, whenever she could, various trinkets, etc., from her schoolmates, and desired his advice as to what she ought to do. He told her that she must make restitution, and also confess her sin to those whom she had wronged. This, of course, was a great trial, but her repentance was so sincere, that she began at once to follow his advice. As she went on with the mortifying task, she remembered more and more; some persons to whom she made restitution saying, "She must be crazy, or a fool," while others were deeply touched. They all readily forgave her. The unhappy girl had stolen a shawl from Bishop Hobart's daughter, and when her spiritual adviser insisted on its being returned, she folded it in a paper, rung the bell at the bishop's door, and handed the parcel to the servant, without a word of explanation. Conscience whispered that she had not done her whole duty, and that somebody might be wrongfully suspected. She immediately went back to the house, and asked for the bishop. She was shown into his study, and told him all the truth. The good bishop, with all his impulsiveness and warmth of heart, wept aloud, and laying his hand on her head, prayed God to forgive her, as he did. Restitution was now made, and her peace was full and complete. The young woman became a devout Christian, adorning the doctrine of God our Saviour by a blameless, useful life, and, at a ripe old age, entered upon her everlasting inheritance.
II. Restitution should not only be prompt, BUT FULL AND ENTIRE. Half-way measures will serve no good purpose. It would be as well to keep back the whole of ill-gotten gains, as a part.
(J. N. Norton, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.