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may find it important or necessary to investigate | len from his original righteousness. The history, its origin, in order to its cure; but if he find the the mode, and the manner of that fall, the scrippatient in extreme danger, and sees not a mo- tures alone supply. ment to be lost, he will postpone his researches into the origin of the disease, and employ all his energies to palliate or remove the urgent and most dangerous symptoms.
Of the evil of sin, the only natural expositors are disease, pain, and death. What they are to the body, sin is to the soul. They destroy its comfort, they disfigure its symmetry, they waste its beauty, they undermine its strength, they torment it with pain, and they deliver it over as a
And so is it with sin in ourselves and others. Sin appears in all. The symptoms are apparent and dangerous; every one an emblem and a fore-hopeless prisoner to corruption and to worms. runner of death. Till the most urgent symptoms There is this only difference-the death of the are removed, we have no time for inquiring into body is complete the death of the soul is with their deeper origin; and when they are removed, the worm that dieth not, and the fire that is not we are contented to learn what the scriptures quenched. discover, that by one man sin entered into the world.'
That Adam stood not as an individual, but as a federal head, is obvious; for as he received the blessing of multiplying, and the command of obedience, and the threatening of disobedience, at
Help, Lord, else we perish!'
one and the same time, his obedience or dis-For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall
obedience applied, therefore, to all his posterity. And this fact we see every day illustrated in the occurrences of this life. If a father have an estate, his improvements and his additions descend to his heirs. If he squander or lose his estate, the effects of his folly, or his misfortunes, in like manner descend. Besides, since by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin,' we perceive, by simply reversing the order, that where there is death, there must have been previous sin. But we see death in children, therefore there must be sin in children. But, in cases of children dying in early infancy, it cannot have been actual transgression; it must, therefore, be that sin of the whole race which we inherit as the bitter fruit of Adam's first offence.
Now that all men naturally inherit sinful dispositions, is obvious to the eye of every man that examines the world around him. The proof lies in the fact, that in all men, without exception, as soon as action begins, sin begins. But this disposition could not have been the original condition of man. This is proved by reason as well as asserted in scripture. Reason absolutely proves it thus. We find men prone to sinful actions. We find them so prone from youth, from the very dawn of reason. But proneness to sinful actions, cannot arise from any other than sinful dispositions; in point of fact, such proneness is sinful dispositions. Now that God could not have created man so, is obvious for if he create a being with sinful dispositions, he, as the author of these dispositions, is the author of sin, which is absurd and blasphemous. Man must, therefore, have been created holy; and man must have fal
all be made alive,' 1 Cor. xv. 22.
THERE are two Adams mentioned in scripture— the first and the second. The first man (or Adam) is of the earth, earthy; the second man (or Adam) is the Lord from heaven. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly.'
Now, the first Adam was the federal head of all his posterity, and in him all his posterity die. The second Adam was also the federal head of all his posterity, and in him all his posterity live.
Our great concern is, therefore, to ascertain what the scriptures mean by being in Christ,' for upon that being in him,' depends our spiritual resurrection and eternal life. Our Saviour, in the fifteenth chapter of John, explains what is meant by being in Christ,' by the union between a vine and its branches. I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh and away; every branch that beareth fruit he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Abide in me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.' Paul expounds the same union by a variety of emblems, but by none more specially than by that of the body and members. Hence he says of Christ and believers, 'Ye are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.'
Now, is this dwelling of believers in Christ,
this union with him, merely figurative, or is it real? We answer-the union is real. This union is real, because, as Paul declares, that believers have access to God the Father by one Spirit,' they having the same Spirit that Christ possessed.—Christ and believers are one, by that one spirit. Father, Christ and believers are one, by one 'life.' 'In him was life.' He is 'that eternal life that was with the Father, and was manifested to us.' Yea, he is our life; for when Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall we also appear with him in glory.' By one spirit, therefore, and one life, believers are in Christ; and so are they made alive in him.
Therefore as all who are in Adam die, because they are in him, so all who are in Christ live, just because they are in him. The words of Paul do not signify that so sure as all men die in Adam, so sure shall all men be made alive in Christ. No. But they mean that so sure as all who are in the first Adam die, so sure shall all who, by the one spirit, by the one life, from the one Father, are in Christ, be made spiritually and eternally alive. Are we, then, spiritually alive? Paul furnishes the answer: The life that I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God.' Now, what is it to live by faith? Faith is the ground of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.' Therefore, to live by faith,' is to live under the power of the hope of glory: and to live amidst the scenery of this world, but entirely by the principles of a world unseen. Now, these principles of the unseen world are three-First, 'Christ crucified,' by whom the world is crucified unto us, and we unto the world,' and by faith of whom we die unto sin, even as he died for it. Secondly, Christ interceding—for it is 'because he ever liveth to make intercession for us,' that we rely upon him, knowing that thereby he is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him.' Thirdly, Christ coming unexpectedly, suddenly to judgment, deliverance, resurrection, and glory. This the believer dreads not, but earnestly prays for, saying, 'Lord Jesus, come quickly,' and longs for, and hastes unto, laying aside every weight, and every burden, and pressing onward to the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ.' Such are the symptoms of true spiritual life in the flesh-an eye ever looking to Christ crucified-a confident reliance upon his continual intercession-with that earnest desire that waits and watches for his promised return, and which, in the midst of all worldly allurements and attractions, never requires more than to arise and trim the lamp, and go in with the Lord to his glorious espousals.
That all such shall be made alive in the resurrection, is evidenced by the fact that they are alive already. Every principle of the spiritual life is the emblem of eternal life. It is more-it is not merely an emblem, it is an earnest, in the putting off of the old man, and the putting on of the new-it is not merely a preparation for the journey to Canaan; it is an actual entrance into the inheritance of the saints in light.'
This inheritance the believer now has in glory, as Abraham possessed the inheritance in Canaan. He received it not in fulfilment, but remained a stranger in the land—but he received it in a promise of the future; and being strong in faith, staggered not at the improbability of its fulfilment. He believed God, and it was counted unto him to righteousness. Now there is nothing in this world so improbable as that a dead body should live. Accordingly when Paul preached at Athens, concerning the resurrection, the philosophers replied in scorn, 'What does this babbler mean?' But from the heart of the believer all improbability and uncertainty are cast out. For by faith he beholds Christ already risen from the dead, and become the first-fruits of them that slept.' He sees that as by man came death, by man' came also the resurrection from the dead. But every man in his order; Christ the first-fruits, afterwards they that are Christ's at his coming,' when shall come to pass that saying, Death is swallowed up in victory; when the believer shall join in that eternal song of triumph, 'O Death, where is thy sting? O Grave, where is thy victory? Thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.' 'O the heighth and the depth, the length and the breadth of the love of God!' For his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath he quickened us together with Christ.'
And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden,' Gen. iii. 8.
EVERY object around us has its own peculiar voice. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof;' and this voice is heard whether in the gentle breeze that scarce shakes the flowers, or in the terrible hurricane that prostrates the forest. The sea has a voice, whether in the rippling wave of the calm and
But this melancholy change in the perceptions and feelings of our first parents, indicated no corresponding change in the nature or rights of God. And though the infidel models his God to suit his fancy, or patronise his sins, yet God continues the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever;' 'a God of truth, and without iniquity, just and right in all his ways;'forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin, but by no means clearing the guilty.'
lovely summer day, or in the maniac fierceness | delity. Our first parents admitted that God of the winter storm. The river has its voice, could speak, and they did not attempt to escape whether it roll its infant waters amidst the from his voice-but they forgot, because they dewillows and pebbles of some obscure and untrod- sired to forget, that God's eye could see whereden glen, or have collected the tributaries of a con- ever his voice could reach; that is, that his attinent to descend in the thunders of the cataract. tributes were all perfect, and therefore, all equal. Each beast, and bird, and insect, hast its voice by And so, infidelity, if it admit at all the being of which, according to its nature, it inspires either a God, readily asserts and takes refuge in his terror or delight. Above all-man has a voice, mercies, while it utterly denies and repudiates the the oracle of his reason, the vehicle of his will, existence and exercise of his retributive justice. and the light of his affections. And since God has thus given to the animate and inanimate, to the rational and irrational-to each his peculiar voice, shall God alone, who bestowed these several gifts, be held voiceless and incapable of speaking in words to his creatures? He that planted the ear, shall he not hear? He that formed the eye, shall he not see? He that teacheth knowledge, shall he not know?' And he that giveth voice to his creatures, shall he not speak? And yet there are those who altogether either deny this capacity to God, or else deny that he has ever employed it—and this is infidelity. That is—to admit that every creature around us has a voice whereby either its nature or will is made known; but either that the Creator of all has no voice, or never spoke with it for the instruction of his rational and account-sualists-God is not in all their thoughts.' It able offspring. Were a father never to speak to his ignorant children to instruct them, nor to his suffering children to comfort them, we must pronounce him either dumb or unnatural-and surely were God so to act to his intelligent creatures, we could form no other judgment of him! But God has, at sundry times, and in divers manners, spoken in time past to the fathers by the prophets; and in these last days has spoken unto us by his Son.'
The conduct of our first parents strongly exemplifies, not only that fear of God which hath torment,' and the most ignorant attempt to escape from him-but that alienation from God, as an object of love, which soon eventuates in enmity against him as an object of fixed aversion. Alienation from God appears in banishing the thoughts of him from the heart; as it is written of the sen
farther appears in neglect of, or aversion to, his word, so that the sinner thinks of it, and speaks of it as Ahab did of the prophet when he said, I hate him, for he doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil.' This alienation farther appears in neglect, or forsaking, of God's holy ordinances. His sabbaths become a weariness, unless they may be profaned, the word of truth becomes distasteful, unless to be criticised and rejected, while prayer becomes either a lifeless formality, in which the body bends in the sanctu ary, while the heart, with the fool's eyes, wan
Why, then, is there infidelity in the world? Just because there is sin in the world. A guilty conscience soon produces a darkened understand-ders to the ends of the earth. But this alienaing. And men love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil,' and then flee away to every vain imagination and refuge of lies,' to escape alike from themselves and from God.
All this is wondrously exemplified in the conduct of our first parents when they heard the Voice of the Lord God.' Once had that voice been sweet to the ear of listening innocence; now it sounds terrible in the ear of trembling guilt. Accordingly, when they heard his voice, they hid among the trees of the garden,' as if the eye of God could not see and discover as far as his voice could sound. This unbalancing, as it were, of the attributes of God, still continues to be one of the chief refuges of every form of infi
tion, we have said, soon eventuates in enmity;
From the conduct of our first parents-let sin
ners, finally, learn two things never to be forgotten. The alienated sinner has no peace; the impenitent sinner has no escape. Peace must come from the blood of the cross;' escape from him who said—' if ye seek me, let these go their way.' Lord, we will no more foolishly attempt to hide is from thine eye; but will humbly confess our sins, for thou art faithful and just to forgive, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.'
'And, in the shadow of thy wings
Our refuge we will place,
Do wholly overpass.'
Whither shall I go from thy Spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?' Psalm cxxxix.
THE doctrine of the Trinity is the sun of the scriptures, the doctrine of the Spirit, the perfection of the Trinity. The knowledge of the Father' conveys us to God in heaven; even as it is written- Our Father who art in heaven.' The knowledge of the Son' leads to God on earth; even as it is written, The Word was God; the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory,' or it leads us to a fixed locality in unseen glory where Jesus, in human nature, 'sitteth on the right hand of God,' and whence he shall come again into the world, and sit on the throne of his glory.' But the doctrine of the Spirit' bears us at once into immensity-we gaze around, above, below-the earth, the sea, we traverse in our thought-to heaven's utmost assignable height we ascendthence into the lowest hell we penetrate-but wheresoever we go, still the Spirit of God is there. He is there, never separate from the Father and the Son, but ever in triune and coequal Godhead subsisting; but, in each varied locality of the universe, we find the all-pervading Spirit still leading to the Father' in heaven above, to the Son on the earth beneath, or the throne of waiting or of judgment hereafter, to himself everywhere.
How deep, how mysterious, is the scriptural doctrine of the Godhead! yet how important and glorious, as revealing the economy of salvation! But its depth and mystery derogate in nothing from its evidence, or truth, or value. For all powers within us, and all nature around us, are full of mystery. We know not how our own body grows, lives, or dies. We know not how
our spirit thinks, or remembers, or anticipates. We know not how a blade of grass grows, or an ear of corn ripens. We know, from evidence, that these things are so, but 'how' they are so, we cannot tell. Even so is it with the mystery of Godhead. We know, from scripture testimony, that, in Trinity of Father, Son, and Spirit, the Godhead eternally and unchangeably subsists; we see how gloriously the doctrine solves the great problem of a sinner's salvation; and we see how it converts desire into certainty, and builds upon a rock that cannot be shaken; more, for satisfaction of reason, we need not know, and it may be that, in this imperfect state, more of God we cannot know.
The words upon which our meditation rests lead us chiefly to consider the Spirit of God as omnipresent; the other parts of the psalm to view him as omniscient. For if the Spirit of God be everywhere present as God is, then must he know every thing where he is, as God knows; but the understanding of God is infinite-therefore is the Spirit of God omniscient. The knowledge of God, however, with which we are concerned above all others, is his intimate knowledge of ourselves. And of this the Psalmist testifies, Lord, thou hast searched me.' How emphatic the word! thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my down sitting and mine uprising; thou understandest my thoughts afar off; thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but lo! O Lord, thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before, and thou hast laid thine hand upon me. Whither shall I go from thy Spirit, or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell'-the state of the dead—behold thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, surely the darkness shall cover me: even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.'
Alas! how unlike is this glorious doctrine to the debasing doctrine of our first parents when they heard the voice of the Lord, and hid themselves from the presence of the Lord among the trees of the garden! They did not, for they could not, wait for the shades of night, but they seek a covering from the eyes of God beneath the green leaves of the trees! And so, in some
degree or manner, thinks every unconverted sin- | the king of terrors. Death's dominion over this Nay, sometimes so do God's own children fallen world, as it is legitimate in its origin, abthink and act as Peter, when, through the fear solute in its exercise, and resistless in its effects, of man, he forgot both his own promise and his so is it wide as the world's extent, and lasting as Lord's presence, and sought first in denial and the world's duration. then by oaths, not only to escape from the danger by which he was pressed, but also to escape from his conscience and his God. But the moment 'the Lord turned and looked upon Peter,'-the moment eye met eye-that moment the omnipresent, heart-searching Spirit of the Lord, was acknowledged, and Peter went out and wept bitterly.'
What a near, what an Almighty foe to sin and sinners is the Holy Spirit of the living God what a confidence must he inspire into the hearts of believers. When they know not what to ask, he will help their infirmities and teach them what to pray for as they ought.' He can and he will teach them all things,'' guide them into all truth,' and 'glorify Jesus' in their conversion and sanctification.
While, then, it is every day the design and labour of sinners to escape from God, let it be ours to seek after him more and more, and ever to draw nearer and nearer to his immediate presence. But if God be everywhere, how can we approach nearer to him? Yes, God, our Creator, is every where, but God as new Creator, is only in Christ Jesus. For if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature'-a new creation-old things are passed away; behold! all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ.' For 'God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them,' having made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.'
All mine iniquities blot out,
'Cast me not from thy sight, nor take
'Death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression,' Rom. v. 14. DEATH reigned, says the apostle. Art thou a king then?' it may be asked. He is a king-he is
The reign of death is legitimate. His is no usurped authority. He is a king by right, and by divine right too. Men have, of late years, disputed much about the legitimacy of earthly dynasties; some recognising no source of kingly power but the capricious voice and fickle will of the people, while others, reviving the exploded ideas of non-resistance and passive obedience, scem almost to maintain in seriousness what has been ascribed to them in satire, the right divine of kings to govern wrong.' But be the true principle of the legitimate power of earthly monarchs what it may,—the rule of death over sinners is legitimate beyond all controversy. A time indeed there was-alas! how short!—when death was not our natural or rightful sovereign—when he was unknown on the earth except by namewhen, to use the language of an ancient Jewish writer, 'the generations of the world were healthful, and there was no poison of destruction in them, neither was the kingdom of death upon the earth; for righteousness is immortal.' But no sooner did unrighteousness enter, than by it, and with it, entered death. Look at man in paradise, and you see there the reign of life—life dispensing to obedient man happiness in every form-perfect health in his body, perfect peace in his soul, and perfect enjoyment from their continued union without the fear of dissolution. But sin reigned unto death; and now, upon man's expulsion from Eden, you see life lying dethroned and dishonoured in the dust; and upon the ruins of the broken law the Law-giver erects and establishes a throne, which death ascends, that he may thence wield his ruthless sceptre over mortal man. Be it never forgotten then, that if death reigns over us, it is by an authority which, though delegated, is divine, even the authority of him by whom kings reign, and princes decree justice.'
The sway of death over mortals is absolute and irresistible. Where the word of a king is, there is power; and who may say unto him, "what dost thou?" The wrath of an eastern despot is said to be as the messengers of death,' insuring swift and sudden destruction. Yet the mightiest tyrants may be resisted, and often have been resisted with success; but who of mortals can resist death? Who hath striven with him and conquered? If he once issue the sunmons: Arise and depart'—it matters not where, nor when, nor how that sum