The PyroManiacs devote some space each weekend to highlights from the lifetime of works from the Prince of Preachers, Charles Haddon Spurgeon. The following excerpt is from The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, volume 62, sermon number 3,500, "Two coverings and two consequences.""Some people flatter themselves that their sin has already been hidden away by the lapse of time."
Not so, my friend. It may be the lapse of time will only make the discovery the more clear. A boy once went into his father’s orchard and there in his rough play he broke a little tree which his father valued. But, rapidly putting it together again, he managed to conceal the fact, for the disunited parts of the tree took kindly to each other, and the tree stood as before.
It so happened that more than forty years afterwards he went into that garden after a storm had blown across it in the night, and he found that the tree had been split in two, and it had snapped precisely in the place where he had broken it when it was but a sapling.
So there may come a crash to your character precisely in that place where you sinned when yet a lad. Ah! how often the transgressions of our youth remain within our bosoms! There lie the eggs of our young sin, and they hatch when men come into riper years.
Don’t be so sure that the lapse of time will consign your faults and follies to oblivion. You sowed your wild oats, sir; you have got to reap them. The time that has intervened has only operated to make that evil seed spring up and you are so much the nearer to the harvest. Time does not change the hue of sin in the sight of God.
If a man could live a thousand years, the sins of his first year would be as fresh in the memory of the Almighty as those of the last. Eternity itself will never wash out a sin. Flow on, ye ages; but the scarlet spot is on the sand. Flow on still in mighty streams, but the damning spot is still there. Neither time nor eternity can cleanse it.
Only one thing can remove sin. The lapse of time cannot. Let not any of you be so foolish as to hope it will.