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Here is an assertion no less clear than authori- | expiation for sin; so that while in the one we tative, of the grand doctrine of substitution, im- see the curse of separation into an uninhabited putation, redemption by suffering and sacrifice. desert, in the other we see the curse of being deThat we might live Christ died; that we might voted to destruction. Now, in both these respects, be happy he became miserable; that we might Christ was made a curse for his people. 'He inherit the blessing, he submitted to the curse. his own self bare our sins in his own body on He was our Redeemer by becoming our Surety- the tree.' 'God made him to be sin for us who acting, enduring, dying for us, and that not merely knew no sin, that we might be made the righte in a general way as our Benefactor, but in our ousness of God in him.' 'As the bodies of those room and stead. beasts, whose blood was brought into the sanctuary by the high-priest for sin, were burnt without the camp, so Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.' As the scape-goat was sent forth into the wilderness, far from the commonwealth of Israel, so Christ, our substitute, was expelled from Jerusalem, the type of the congregation of the living, and was led forth to Golgotha, the place of a skull;' to Calvary, a hill of infamy, a desert of death. He was treated as one lying under the heaviest excommunication-as one who was accursed to the death-as not only unfit to live, but as unworthy to die within the precincts of the holy city, unworthy even to look with his closing eyes toward's God's holy temple.
'He that is hanged is the curse of God.' We found that the curse to which we are exposed as transgressors, includes separation from God, and destruction from his presence. To both these horrible evils was the innocent Lamb of God subjected on behalf of sinners. He was emphatically called the Nazarene, the isolated one,' the Joseph separated from his brethren. He left the seat of glory, his Father's house, his eternal home, and dragging himself away from its holy joys and high communions, became an exiled outcast in this world of misery. How often was he a solitary wanderer, spending whole nights alone upon the mountains, far from the busy haunts of men, who 'hid, as it were, their faces from him!' How few companions had he here below! and at the last, even they all forsook him and fled. And when the closing scene of his agony and death arrived, he looked for comforters, and there was none.' Not only was he driven forth from the holy city, and excommunicated from the congregation of Israel, but as he hung upon the accursed tree, severed at once from earth and heaven, he was excluded from the gracious presence and blissful fellowship of his Father, God; and while the surrounding dark-famy and death, in order that you might escape ness was a fit emblem of the state of his own soul, deprived of heaven's light, bereaved of heaven's comfort, he exclaimed, out of the depth of his forlorn desolation: My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?'
Learn from this, Christian soul, that if the Christ was made a separated, devoted curse, it was for you; that voluntarily, and from the love he bore to you, he consented to be cut off from the communion of the blessed. He left Jerusalem, the city of peace, in order that you might enter in, and find there safety and establishment for ever. He went forth to Golgotha, the place of public execution, the spot where was raised the accursed tree, the dismal abode of in
eternal death and endless infamy, and be raised to life and honour everlasting. Yes! and it is even there, when surrounded with all death's hideous memorials, and when enduring death's severest pangs and most degrading ignominy, that he redeems his church from death's sting, which is sin, and from the curse of the strength of sin,' which is the law. Even then and there, with the cold dews of death upon his brow, he raises the standard of the once accursed but now honoured cross; for the very shame of the punishment serves but to evince the love and exalt the glory of Him who submitted to it—enduring the cross, despising the shame.
His, too, was the curse of destruction,' inasmuch as he was devoted to death, as well as to suffering. The Messiah was cut off, but not for himself;' he was cut off, not out of the congregation only, but 'out of the land of the living;' for the transgression of the people was he stricken. This grand truth had been typically represented under the ceremonial law, by what was done on the day of atonement. The high-priest took two goats; over one of them, called the scape-goat, The enjoyment of this redemption, however, he confessed all the sins of the people, putting is not co-extensive with exposure to the curse. them upon the head of the goat,' and sent him He only that believeth shall be saved. • Dost away into the wilderness; and the goat bore thou believe on the Son of God?' If any man him all their iniquities into a land not in- love not the Lord Jesus, he shall be Anathema habited. The other goat was sacrificed to make Maran-atha-accursed at his coming!'
The wages of sin is death,' Rom. vi. 23. THE labourer is worthy of his hire, and the soldier of his wages; but the hire of iniquity is punishment, the wages of sin is death. When lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin; and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.' 'What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed! for the end of these things is death?'
There is the death of the body. No sooner did our first parents commit sin, than they received in themselves the sentence of death, and that sentence has also been executed upon all their sinful offspring, with only two exceptions. The law of mortality is universal and unavoidable, because all have sinned.'
How frequently has a holy God inflicted instant death on the presumptuous transgressor in a way of judgment! Remember Lot's wife, and Korah and his company, and the sons of Aaron and Eli, and Ananias and Sapphira, and many others, whose awful fate is recorded in the book of God, and acknowledge, as you read, that verily there is a reward for the wicked as well as the righteous, that verily there is a God who judgeth on the earth! The same truth has been exemplified in the history of communities as well as of individuals. Look at the world before the flood, at the men of Sodom and Gomorrah, at the Egyptians who perished in the sea, and the Israelites who perished in the wilderness. They all toiled laboriously in the service of sin, and they reaped its stipulated wages.
And if we could trace the avenging progress of the angel of death now, we should find the destruction of many a sinner effected in the selfsame manner. Liar! swearer! Sabbath-breaker! glutton! drunkard!—what security have you that the next time you utter words of falsehood, or take God's name in vain, or profane his sacred day, or abuse his good creatures to the fulfilment of your base lusts-you shall not receive, in the very act of sinning, the just recompense of your deeds?
But even when sin is not immediately followed by death as a judgment from God, it often, in various other ways, does work out death as its certain consequence. There is a natural tendency in many vices to hurry on the perpetrator to an early, premature grave. We read in the bible that bloody and deceitful men do not live out half their days. Sometimes their passions impel them to the commission of crimes, which bring them to an untimely end by the hands of public
justice. Dissipation and licentiousness not only waste the substance, but ruin the health, clothe a man with rags, and bring him to a piece of bread. Habits of sensual indulgence visibly undermine the bodily constitution; and in the bloated countenance, the emaciated form, or the trembling gait, you at once read the sin in the punishment. To how many fatal accidents does intemperance expose its votaries? How many bodies are found dead or drowned, that are recognized as the bodies of drunkards, who have administered to themselves the slow but sure poison? Nor are these the only methods in which this life, so short at the best, is by the sinner rendered shorter still. Lazy inactivity and luxurious ease enervate the body as well as the mind, and are as prejudicial to health as to happiness. Envy,' says the wise man, is the rottenness of the bones.' Fretful peevishness, corroding worldly cares, and vexing anxieties, the habitual indulgence of anger, malice, revenge, all these tend more or less to shorten life; for though the results may seem more remote and are less easily traced, the effect is no less certain. Not one in a thousand is supposed to die a purely natural death; the greater number either directly or indirectly hasten on their dissolution. How many have we known who, there is every reason to believe, would have lived a longer life had they lived a better! They might have enjoyed a good old age, had it not been for their dissolute youth, and their profligate manhood. Some, indeed, of a similar character you may see dragging on their miserable existence for years, but their appearance lamentably testifies that they are filled with the sins of their youth, which shall lie down with them in the grave. In all such cases, therefore, the sinner may justly be regarded as a self-murderer,-acting as if he wished to anticipate his final judgment,-forcing for himself a passage into hell, that in its flames he may be tormented 'before the time.'
For that, after all, is sin's final wages;-not the death of the body only, but the death of the soul, the destruction of both soul and body in hell-fire. That is the ultimate hire of those who toil to life's end in the service of iniquity; as is evident from its being here placed in contrast with the life eternal' given by God through Christ to those who, being made free from sin, become the servants of righteousness.
And what is the second death? We cannot tell. It is one of those tremendous realities, which must be experienced in order to be described; it is one of those facts which our faith admits without being able to explain. We do
not know-God forbid we ever should-the | limited view, were we to regard this as implying feelings of the impenitent soul, as it passes out of merely the restoration of animal life and immorthe body through the gloomy valley of the sha- tality to the body at the last day. Looking at the dow of death into the broad day-light of eter-word in its fullest and highest acceptation, it must nity, and discovers in the full blaze of that light be held to include the spiritual life of the soul -that it is lost! This only do we know, that here, and the immortal life of soul and body in it will be for ever dying without ever becoming that glorious state of endless happiness which reextinct, that it will be for ever living in misery mains for the people of God; it is life eternal.' and for ever seeking annihilation, but shall not Death, we saw, is the wages or hire of sin, but find it; for the punishment will consist not in the it is not said that life is the merited wages, the extinction of being, but of happiness and of hope. deserved reward, of righteousness. No! it is a This death is as certainly due to the sinner as gift, a free gift of the grace of God. True, inare wages to the labourer; it is sin's appointed deed, it is bestowed only on certain characters, but and appropriate recompense. Were not this the the formation of that character is itself the work of due reward of evil deeds, the God of justice the Spirit of God, and to him, therefore, belongs would not have assigned it; and were it not to all the glory. Now, being made free from sin, be actually inflicted, the God of truth would not and become servants to God, ye have your fruit have threatened it. If we knew fully all the unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.' Yet obligations sin has violated, all the excellencies there is no proportion between the obedience of it has insulted, all the dire effects it has produced, the highest saint, and the boundless, endless bliss and will yet produce, throughout the universe, of heaven, which could entitle him to any such we should then have some adequate conceptions reward. It is a reward not of debt, but of grace, of its odious malignity and its deep demerit. and the very holiness which qualifies for its enBut there is one who knows these things full joyment, yea, and even the faith which humbly well, and in his judgment respecting sin's ex- receives it, are not of ourselves-they are the gift ceeding sinfulness, namely, that they who do of God. such things are worthy of death' let us humbly acquiesce, believing that it cannot but be according to truth. In the great day of the revelation of his righteous judgments, His awards shall be made known and vindicated before an assembled world; the convinced and condemned sinner will then be speechless; and the Judge of all the earth will be justified when he speaketh, and clear when he judgeth.
The perfect freeness of this gift is farther apparent from the medium through which it is conveyed, viz., through Jesus Christ our Lord. 'As by man came death, by man also comes life.' 'This is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son,' as a treasure sealed up and secured-life hid with Christ in God. And, therefore, as he who has the field has the treasure, as he who has the fountain has the 'The wages of sin is death. Nothing our water, as he who has the garden has the fruit, fancy can picture, or our fears apprehend, can so he that hath the Son hath life.' Yes! it is a exceed the amount of misery which is represented sublime and solemn truth, that the eternal Son by the being 'bound hand and foot and cast into of God is possessed in the highest and most imouter darkness, where there is weeping, and portant sense, not by the worlds that are upheld wailing, and gnashing of teeth-where their worm by his power, not by the heavens that display his never dies, and their fire is never quenched-glory, not by the angels that worship before his where they have no rest day nor night-and face, but by the lowly heart that bows to his where the smoke of their torment goeth up for ever and ever. May the God of mercy have mercy upon every reader, that he die not the second death!
grace, and rejoices in his salvation. To such he is the Resurrection and the Life-the resurrection of the body, and the life of the soul; for transforming the spirit by the energy of his grace, he shall, in due time, change the vile body also, and fashion it like unto his own glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.' Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift!
This eternal life is through Jesus Christ,' inasmuch as he purchased it for us by his death. To us it comes in every sense free, without money and without price, but dear did it cost our suffer
ing Lord. If we are to live, he must first die. | heard, neither have entered into the heart of man The bread which I give is my flesh, which I give the things which God hath prepared for them for the life of the world. Whoso eateth my flesh, that love him.' Suffice it to observe, that it conand drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I sists in deliverance and exemption from all possiwill raise him up at the last day.' That we ble evil, and the possession and enjoyment of all might be rich he became poor; that we might possible good—and that throughout eternity. have fullness of joys, he became a man of sorThere is the removal of all evil. They shall rows; that we might be heirs of glory, he became hunger no more, neither thirst any more, neither acquainted with grief. shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.' They rest from their labours and their sufferings together. There is no more death, neither sorrow nor crying; neither is there any more pain; for the former things are passed away.
This life eternal is through Jesus Christ,' inasmuch as he publishes it to us by his gospel. "I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.' He was the life manifested; in him was life, and the life was the light of men. When many of his followers, being of fended at the spirituality of his doctrine' on this very point, went back and walked no more with Jesus, he said unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?' Then Simon Peter answered him, 'Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life; and we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.' The beloved disciple John bears his solemn testimony respecting 'that which was from the beginning, which he had heard, which he had seen with his eyes, which he had looked on and his hands had handled of the Word of Life.' And he himself, the Witness, faithful and true, declares that power has been given him over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as the Father has given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.'
This eternal life is through Jesus Christ,' inasmuch as it is he who produces in us its commencement here, and prepares us for its consummation hereafter. Unto him, as accepted High Priest and exalted King, is committed the entire dispensation of the Holy Ghost,-the ministration of 'the Spirit;'-and by virtue of this 'law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus,' the Son quickeneth whom he will.' Hence it is that he is so often spoken of as being 'the Life,' in the abstract. When Christ, who is our Life, shall appear, then ye shall also appear with him in glory.' He obtained it by his death, he announced it by his gospel, he imparts it by his Spirit. He is all our salvation in time, and will be all our praise in eternity.
What is the gift which is to be thus freely bestowed by God through Christ on his believing people? It is eternal life;' but all that is included in that expression we can no more comprehend than we can conceive of all the misery that is threatened in that 'eternal death' to which it stands opposed. Eye hath not seen, nor ear
There is the fruition of all good, and especially of the chief good, the beatific vision, and holy service, and blissful fellowship of the Deity. They are before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple; and He that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. The powers of their minds being purified and perfected, they will search all things, yea, the deep things of God, with unceasing attention and unwearied delight-exchanging the feeble and indistinct conceptions of earth for the living light of heaven. There no darkness shall cloud the mind, no impurity defile the heart, no effort exhaust the vigour, but in ever-growing assimilation to the image of the Blessed, they shall realize with ecstatic rapture the fullest gratification of their desires, the highest consummation of their hopes. Him whom not seeing they love, they shall then see as He is;' they shall be for ever with one another, and for ever with the Lord. And conducted, under celestial guidance, to new scenes of adoring contemplation, and to new sources of unmingled bliss, the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters; and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.'
'I have no pleasure in the death of him that
The declaration is, that he has no pleasure in the death of him that dieth;' and who that knows anything of God can for a moment doubt this? He is a God of truth; and it were the height of impiety to call in question any of his assevera
tions. He is a God of wisdom; and can we suppose that he would call beings into existence and then wantonly proceed to destroy his own workmanship? He is a God of goodness and love; and it is as impossible that these attributes should take pleasure in the wretchedness of his creatures, as that his holiness and justice should take pleasure in their iniquity.
Nor has he left himself without many a witness to confirm to us the truth of his own saying, and place it beyond the possibility of contradiction. His works, as well as his word, show him to be a God, who feels for the sinner while he hates his sin.
God is love! and that love includes the intense and immeasurable desire of doing good; it is nothing less than the almighty energy of the divine mind, manifested in the unceasing and endless diffusion of happiness. As he is essentially blessed in himself, it is nothing but goodness that could have prompted him to create the universe, and give existence, and the means of existence and enjoyment, to the innumerable orders of creatures which it contains. As he is supremely good in himself, so he is the Author and Giver, the Source and Bestower of all the good that is any where or at any time enjoyed. His goodness is the praise of earth; it is the glory of heaven; it shines and is confessed throughout the universe. And can such a God, think you, have pleasure in the death of him that dieth?
'His tender mercies are over all his works.' The noon-tide sun and the cheerful day; the fullorbed moon as she walks in brightness and beauty at night; the verdant earth, the spacious sea, the bespangled firmament; the healthy breeze, the fruitful shower, the varying seasons; the flowers arrayed by his hand, the beasts fed by his bounty, the birds watched by his care-all his works praise him, all his creatures declare that the Lord is good. And can such an one then have pleasure in the death of him that dieth?
But man is pre-eminently the subject of exquisite and extensive enjoyment, and it is all from God. Other creatures here below he made for man, but us made he for himself, that we might share in his happiness and rejoice in his joy. How precious are thy thoughts unto us, O God! how great is the sum of them! if we should count them, they are more in number than the sand.' Are we not the objects of his constant protection, and his ever-wakeful, unwearied keeping? Does not his visitation preserve our spirits, and his kindness bless every moment of our lives? What have we ever had of good that we
did not receive from his gracious hand?—convenient food, needful raiment, secure dwelling, refreshing repose, affectionate relatives, faithful friends-all of us life's necessaries, and many of us its luxurious comforts. In Him we live, and move, and have our being; and can He have pleasure in our death?
But from his ceaseless loving-kindness to us as creatures, turn to his dealings towards us as sinners. The high powers he has conferred upon us, and the providential bounties he has heaped upon us, we have employed as instruments of rebellion against him. And how now must he conduct himself towards us? He might in a moment frown us into perdition—he might crush us into nothing-for he could annihilate with a word those worlds which by a word he created. But blessed be his name! He against whom we have sinned would be our Redeemer; and for this end he sent his own Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that by his labours, his prayers, his agonies, his tears, his blood, his life, the world through him might be saved. Rather than that we should suffer, God spared not his own Son, but gave him up to the death for us all. When we hear the eternal Father saying, Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow; smite the shepherd;'-when we see him bruising and putting to grief his best-beloved, and laying on him the iniquity of us all,-can we once harbour the impious thought, that the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort, has pleasure in the sinner's misery?
And who but the same God, so rich in mercy, has suffered our manners and spared our lives until now? If our death and destruction had been with him an object of pleasurable desire, how easily and instantaneously might he have accomplished it! He had but to will it, and long ere to-day our bodies would have been in the grave, and our souls in hell. Yet not only has his long-suffering forbearance prolonged life, but his grace has surrounded us with all the means of salvation, which are fitted and intended to exhibit to us his love in Christ Jesus, and to be the channels for conveying to us his Holy Spirit, as the Spirit of life and peace. Much and earnestly does he strive with our consciences, that he may guide us in the way everlasting; and surely, then, the God who gave his Son to die for us, and who sends his Spirit to quicken us to life, can have no pleasure in our death.
It is upon this solemn declaration, the truth of which is so fully attested by God's entire pro