In the Men’s Breakfast right now we are reading All Things for Good by Thomas Watson (1620-1686). Watson was a Puritan minister in England during times of religious and political upheaval. Early in the book Watson offers this gem:

“Mercy does more multiply in Him than sin in us.”

It sounded vaguely familiar so I tracked down another quote that a friend had sent me some time ago. This one is from Tikhon of Zadonsk (1724-1783). Tikhon was a Russian Orthodox bishop and author.

“There is more mercy in God than there are sins in us.”

Watson and Tikhon were separated by time, geography, language, and denomination. It is unlikely that Tikhon read any Puritan literature. Yet their experience of God was similar enough for them to utter almost identical expressions of the greatness of God’s mercy. One wonders if they both arrived at their understanding of the Lord’s great mercy after meditating on a yet earlier expression:

The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23