I hope, it is plain that I say this, not to make little of doing wrong but to put the love and fulness of God in the dominating place. I must make it clear to myself that He does not shut me out of His heart because I am guilty of sins. I may shut myself out of His heart, unless I direct my mind rightly; but He is always there, unchanged, unchangeable, the ever-loving, ever-welcoming Father. Whatever I have done I can return to Him with the knowledge that He will take me back. Far from sure of myself, I can always be sure of Him.

There are those who would warn me against saying this through fear lest it should be interpreted as, “Don’t be afraid to sin so long as you keep mentally close to God.” I prefer to run that risk. The dread figure of “an angry God” has been so worked to terrorise men that large numbers of us have been terrorised. But experience shows us every day that being terrorised never produces the results at which it aims. It does not win us; it drives us away.

Much of the alienation from God in the mind of to-day is due to rebellion on the part of our sense of justice. We are sinners, of course; but not such sinners as to merit the revenge which an outraged deity is described as planning against us. That the All loving and All-mighty should smite us in our dearest aims or our sweetest affections just because we have not conformed to the lopsided morality of men is revolting to our instincts. We are repulsed by the God of Fear when we are drawn, comforted, strengthened, and changed by Him who is never anything toward us but “the Father.”

I have no hesitation, therefore, in throwing the emphasis in what I have to say on the fact that He is “a place to hide me in”—the Ark of the Great Understanding—always open to my approach—into which, whatever I have done, I can go boldly.


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