|Museum of Fine Arts Boston|
Woman Taken in Adultrey
Joseph realized that forgiveness was not received in exchange for payment of a debt. He did not need to extract from Mary a confession or a promise to mend her ways. Jehovah forgave Jerusalem although she was disobedient. The nature of God is to forgive. The response of man to God's forgiving him is not to try and pay God back but to practice forgiving his neighbor and enemy and anyone who has disappointed or wounded him.
This forgiving results from overcoming one's fear that good will not come from seeking reconciliation. Faith too is necessary: faith that there is a larger picture than is visible to one's limited consciousness.
Jerusalem, Plate 61, (E 211)
"Ah my Mary: said Joseph: weeping over & embracing her closely in
His arms: Doth he forgive Jerusalem & not exact Purity from her who is Polluted. I heard his voice in my sleep O his Angel in my dream: Saying, Doth Jehovah Forgive a Debt only on condition that it shall Be Payed? Doth he Forgive Pollution only on conditions of Purity That Debt is not Forgiven! That Pollution is not Forgiven Such is the Forgiveness of the Gods, the Moral Virtues of the Heathen, whose tender Mercies are Cruelty. But Jehovahs Salvation Is without Money & without Price, in the Continual Forgiveness of Sins In the Perpetual Mutual Sacrifice in Great Eternity! for behold! There is none that liveth & Sinneth not! And this is the Covenant Of Jehovah: If you Forgive one-another, so shall Jehovah Forgive You: That He Himself may Dwell among You. Fear not then to take To thee Mary thy Wife, for she is with Child by the Holy Ghost"
The Old Testament book of Hosea symbolizes the relationship between Jehovah and Israel with the command of the Lord that Hosea marry a whore. The children which Gomer bears to Hosea have the potential of becoming God's people through the mercy which is offered to them.
 The beginning of the word of the LORD by Hosea. And the LORD said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms: for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the LORD.
 So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim; which conceived, and bare him a son.
 And I will sow her unto me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God.
 Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up.
 After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.
 Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.
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