vin ANALYTICAL TECHNIQUE AND CONFESSIONAL 335
' Let the innocent among you throw the first stone at her \ At this the crowd drew off and when He was left alone with the woman, Jesus said to her, ' Woman, where are they ? Has no one condemned you ? ' She said, ' No one, Sir \ Jesus said, ' Neither do I condemn you ; go, and sin no more \ It would almost seem as if, in passing judgment on the penitent, the priest were putting himself in the place of the scribes and Pharisees. One thinker has pointed out that this injunction to refrain from sin was the severest saying attributed to Jesus. But it should be regarded as a warning against relapse, which would probably place her in a worse state than the first sin. Similar words were used in the case of the paralytic at the pool of Bethesda, to whom Jesus said, ' Sin no more lest a worse thing befall you ' (John v, 14). The same idea is found in the figurative teaching that if a person had been cured of an obsession and then suffered a relapse, his condition afterwards would be seven times worse than it was at the beginning (Matt, xii, 45). Would any true physician allow those under his care to experience suffering if it could be avoided ?