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Verse 12. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, etc. That is the blessing of pardon will be much more richly enjoyed under the new dispensation than it was under the old. This is the fourth circumstance adduced in which the new covenant will surpass the old. That was comparatively severe in its inflictions, (see Heb 10:28;) marked every offence with strictness, and employed the language of mercy much less frequently than that of justice. It was a system where law and justice reigned; not where mercy was the crowning and prevalent attribute, it was true that it contemplated pardon, and made arrangements for it; but it is still true that this is much more prominent in the new dispensation than in the old. It is there the leading idea. It is that which separates it from all other systems. The entire arrangement is one for the pardon of sin in a manner consistent with the claims of law and justice, and it bestows the benefit of forgiveness in the most ample and perfect manner on all who are interested in the plan. In fact, the peculiarity by which the gospel is distinguished from all other systems, ancient and modern, philosophic and moral, pagan and deistical, is, that it is a system making provision for the forgiveness of sin, and actually bestowing pardon on the guilty. This is the centre, the crown, the glory of the new dispensation. God is merciful to the unrighteousness of men; and their sins are remembered no more.

Will I remember no more. This is evidently spoken after the manner of men, and in accordance with human apprehension. It cannot mean literally that God forgets that men are sinners, but it means that he treats them as if this were forgotten. Their sins are not charged upon them, and they are no more punished than if they had passed entirely out of the recollection. God treats them with just as much kindness, and regards them with as sincere affection, as if their sins ceased wholly to be remembered, or, which is the same thing, as if they had never sinned.


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