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Forgiveness of Sins (Ezekiel 16:9)


William Greenhill


Born in Oxfordshire, England, William Greenhill (1591-1671) was a popular preacher and spiritual guide in London. He was a member of the Westminster Assembly which met in the 1640's and he subsequently took part in the Savoy Conference. Ejected from the parish of Stepney in 1660 he moved on to pastor an Independent church until the time of his departure from the wilderness of this world.



Those whose sin God forgives, he fully forgives. “I thoroughly washed away thy blood,” I suffered no sin, no guilt to stick upon thee. Ezek. xxxvi. 25, “I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean; from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you:” sprinkling of them with clean water imports the sprinkling of them with the blood of Christ, whereby sins are purged and done away. 1 John i. 7, “The blood of Christ cleanseth from all sin,” not some few, some little, some great, some old, some new sins, but from all sin; when God pardons he pardons thoroughly, Jer. xxxiii. 8, “I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities whereby they have sinned against me:” let the sins, iniquities, be what they will, when the Lord is upon the work of forgiving, he will forgive them all. David blesseth God upon this ground, because God was a God forgiving all iniquities, Psal. ciii. 3. That place in Isa. lv. 7, is to our purpose, “He will abundantly pardon;” not ten, twenty, a hundred, or a thousand sins, but ten thousand sins, all wicked ways, all evil thoughts. The Vulgate reads it, Multus est ad ignoscendum, He is much inclined to pardon, much in pardoning, he takes delight in it, as a thing natural to him. Micah vii. 18, “He pardoneth iniquity and passeth by transgression;” and why? “because he delighteth in mercy;” it is his will, his nature to be merciful, nothing pleases him more than to show mercy. The Hebrew is, He will multiply to pardon; if man have multiplied sins, he will multiply means to pardon those sins; the sins of the creature shall not be supernumerary to the mercies of the Creator. Man is a father of sins, and God is a “Father of mercies,” 2 Cor. i. 3. Doth man beget and bring forth thousands of sins in a day? God begets and brings forth more mercies in an hour; where sin abounds, he makes grace much more to abound, Rom. v. 20.




“An Exposition of Ezekiel - William Greenhill," published by The Banner of Truth Trust, 1994. p 354.