A man was once being tried for a crime, the punishment of which was death. The witnesses came in one by one and testified to his guilt; but there he stood, quite calm and unmoved. The judge and the jury were quite surprised at his indifference; they could not understand how he could take such a serious matter so calmly.
When the jury retired, it did not take them many minutes to decide on a verdict “Guilty;” and when the judge was passing the sentence of death upon the criminal he told him how surprised he was that he could be so unmoved in the prospect of death. When the judge had finished, the man put his hand in his bosom, pulled out a document, and walked out of the dock a free man. Ah, that was how he could be so calm; it was a free pardon from his king, which he had in his pocket all the time.
The king had instructed him to allow the trial to proceed, and to produce the pardon only when he was condemned. No wonder, then, that he was indifferent as to the result of the trial. Now that is just what will make us joyful in the great day of judgment: we have got a pardon from the Great King, and it is sealed with the blood of His Son.
The Judgement of Solomon. GUSTAVE DORE. 1 Kings, iii.