On December 6, 1829 two men, George Wilson and James Porter, robbed a United States mail carrier in Pennsylvania. Subsequently captured and tried, on May 1, 1830, both men were found guilty of …
On December 6, 1829 two men, George Wilson and James Porter, robbed a United States mail carrier in Pennsylvania. Subsequently captured and tried, on May 1, 1830, both men were found guilty of six indictments which included robbery of the mail “and putting the life of the driver in jeopardy.” On May 27, both Wilson and Porter received their sentences: Execution by hanging. The sentences were to be carried out on July 2, 1830.
James Porter was executed on schedule. George Wilson was not. Shortly before the set date for his execution, a number of Wilson’s influential friends pleaded for mercy to the President of the United States, Andrew Jackson.
President Jackson issued a formal pardon. The charges resulting in the death sentence were completely dropped. Wilson would have to serve only a prison term of 20 years for his other crimes. But shockingly, George Wilson refused the pardon!
Wilson was returned to court as they attempted to “force” the pardon on him. It is recorded that George Wilson chose to: “...waive and decline any advantage or protection which might be supposed to arise from the pardon referred to...”
There was no precedent for such an issue. The case reached the Supreme Court.
Chief Justice John Marshall wrote the following in the majority decision: “A pardon is a deed, to the validity of which delivery is essential; and delivery is not completed without acceptance. It may then be rejected by the person to whom it is tendered; and if it be rejected, we have discovered no power in a court to force it on him.” So, the court ruled that a pardon is worth nothing unless the person to whom it is offered accepts it!
Jesus died and rose from the dead to offer you a complete pardon for your sins. That pardon is worth nothing to you unless you accept it. You can accept your pardon today. It is offered to you by the nail pierced hands of Jesus Christ.
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