"Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered" (Ps. 32:1).
Can this defilement be removed? This surely is the question for every child of Adam; for what conscience is there which has not been stained with sin? It is a question which the conscience itself cannot answer. Conscience prescribes our duty and rewards us if we perform it. If we fail, it fills us with alarms and forebodings, but it cannot tell how these may be removed. This honor belongs to the Gospel of Christ. Like the law, conscience is a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ. Conscience may be compared to a stern guide, who gives a lantern to a cripple and orders him to go the way which the light reveals on pain of death; but it has no concern for his pitiful inability to surmount the difficult path. It is Christ who heals the cripple, putting strength into his feet and anklebones, so that he walks and leaps and praises God. Yet it is questionable if anyone can appreciate the blood which cleanseth us from all sin who has not felt the shame and pain of a conscience defiled, or if anyone can understand the easiness of the yoke of Christ who has not felt his bones broken by the yoke of the law. Though conscience does not of itself know the way to reconciliation, yet it wanders restless and excited till it catches sight of Calvary, when its eye kindles like that of the exile who sees on the horizon the cliffs of his native land; and, when it reaches the cross, it pitches its tent there forever.