For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.…
When the Romans, by conquest, might have given law to the Grecians at Corinth, in the solemn time of the Isthmian games, their general, by a herald, unexpectedly proclaimed freedom to all the cities of Greece; the proclamation at first did so amaze the Grecians, that they did not believe it to be true. But when it was proclaimed the second time, they gave such a shout that the very birds flying in the air were astonished therewith, and fell dead to the ground. But if you will have a better story, take that of the Jews, who, when at first they heard of Cyrus' proclamation, and that the Lord thereby had turned the captivity of Sion, they confess that, at the first hearing of it, they were like men that dreamed; but afterwards their mouths were filled with laughter and their tongues with singing. Now, the peace that the Grecians and the Jews had was but the peace of a people or a nation, and a great blessing of God, too. But how much more reason is there that our affections should be strained to the highest pitch of joy and thanks, when we hear of the proclamation of the peace of conscience? that peace which is not of our bodies but of our souls — not of our earthly but of our heavenly estate? a peace that shall be begun here — that shall endure for ever hereafter; such a peace as will make God at peace with us, reconcile us to ourselves, and make us at concord with all the world.
Parallel VersesKJV: For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.