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all he has to deal with-he is positively in greater danger from the lesser delinquency into which he has fallen, than the other is from his transgression of tenfold enormity. For to him so sensitive of guilt, it has been a more grievous surrender of principle; and to him so tender of character, has there been the infliction of a sorer and more mortifying wound; and to him so conversant in the sanctions and obligations of righteousness, does it look a more desperate overthrow, that he ever came to have forgotten them; and to him so unhackneyed in the ways of transgression, will one distinct instance of it, however venial it may have looked to others, look to him as a vile and virulent apostacy. And thus, till the blood of Christ be felt in its cleansing and its peace-speaking power, may the man, from his very scrupulosity, be in hazard of abandoning himself, in utter regardlessness, to the habit of living forthwith without God, even as he now lives without hope in the world. The very exquisiteness of his moral sense, furnishes, sin with more frequent opportunities for inflicting upon him the humiliation of a defeat; and, in the agony of that humiliation, may he the more readily be led to give up the contest in despondency; and thus, such is the sad fatality of our condition under the law, that, failing as we are sure to do of a perfect obedience to its requisitions, the more tremblingly alive we are to a sense of its obligations, the greater may be the advantage that sin has for plunging us into total and irretrievable discomfiture

-thus turning the law into a provocative of sin, and, through the weakness of our flesh, causing that to abound against which it has passed its most solemn and severe denunciations.

And even after the gospel has come in with its hopes and its assistances-this is a fact in our moral nature which may be turned to most important account, in the great work of our sanctification. There can be no doubt, that, as that work prospers and makes progress, the soul will become more delicately alive to the evil of sin; and so more liable to the paralysing influences of humiliation and discouragement, when sin in however slight a degree has obtained some advantage over it. Nothing will save it from apostacy, unless, with the growing delicacy of its principles there be also a growing strength of performance - a growing watchfulness among the temptations which beset and may baffle it-a growing jealousy of itself, under the well-founded conviction, that without Christ it can do nothing-a growing habit of dependence upon Him, that He, meeting its faith by a stream of influences and spiritual nourishment out of His fulness, may indeed enable it to do all things. It is when the delicacy of moral and sacred feeling outstrips the efficacy of these practical expedients, that a foundation is laid for distress inconceivable, and perhaps the backslidings of a final and irretrievable apostacy; and hence it is, that, instead of walking in presumptuous security, it is the part of every honest and aspiring Chris

tian, who thinketh that he standeth, to take heed lest he fall; and never ought he, even to the last half-hour of his life, while it is his part to be ever on the alert in working out his salvation—never ought he to work it out in any other way than with fear and trembling.

While therefore we cannot evade the fact, that the promulgation of a law has added to the world's guilt, and so afforded place for this reflection against God, that by a thing of His doing, even the delivery of this law, sin has been aggravated in the character and increased in the amount of it-Yet how completely, we ask you to attend, is the imputed severity of this proceeding, in as far as you at least are concerned, done away, by the express affirmation of the verse before us-that where sin abounded grace did much more abound. The antidote is an overmatch for the bane; and, virulent as the disease may be, there is a remedy provided, which, is not merely competent for its utter extirpation; but, by the applying of which, there is obtained all the security of friendship with God, and all the joy of moral and spiritual healthfulness. It is indeed a sore tyranny of evil; under which we lie oppressed. Sin is held forth as reigning as seated on a throne-as fulfilling the will of a scvereign, in accomplishing the work of destruction; for he reigneth unto death, and this is the final effect of his administration. What a wide and what a paramount authority then is he invested with-seeing that the individuals of each

generation, and all the generations of the world, are the trophies of his power. One would think that the bodies which we wear might be borne up, even as they are, into heaven; and there have immortality stamped upon them. But no-Sin has gotten an ascendancy over them; and the certainty while, under this, of their sinning, brings along with it the necessity of their dying. There is no other way, it would appear, in which this foul leprosy can be detached from that material constitution, under which we lie cumbered and heavy-laden; and so the law of sin and of death is irreversible. There may from another quarter a good and gracious principle descend upon us, by the operation of which, the sin that dwelleth in these bodies is kept in check, and not suffered to have the dominion. But in the bodies themselves, there is nought but corruption. In me that is in my flesh there dwelleth no good thing.' Its natural tendencies are all away from God and from goodness. Sin may not reign over the whole man, if there has been the accession to him by grace of that influence, under which he is regenerated; but, in that ingredient of the old man which is denominated Flesh-in all that he is by nature, or in all that mere nature ever can make of him, there is unmixed sinfulness: And therefore it is, that, while the great object of contest on earth is to keep nature under subordination to the higher and the better principle that we receive by union with Christ Jesus, the repose of heaven will con

sist in our having got rid of this enemy by his utter dissolution-in our having been emancipated from that old framework, which so encompassed us about with evil desires and evil tendencies-in our being conclusively delivered of a system, on which Death had to lay his hand and resolve it into dust, ere the soul, translated into a glorious body, could, without impediment and without,a struggle, expatiate in the full enlargement of its new and its holy nature.

Meanwhile Death reigns, and reigns universally. It has both a first and a second portion in all who obey not the gospel of Jesus Christ; and even with those who do obey, the body is all its own. So that in respect of that more visible and immediate sovereignty, which addresses itself to the eye of the senses, it revels in all the glories of an undivided monarchy. And if Death be the mandate of Sin-if he be the executioner of this despot's will; and, wherever he is seen to enter, it is upon an errand of subserviency to one in whose hands the power of death is-Then what a universal lordship has he gotten, that not one family on earth is to be found, but has to weep under the bondage of this sore oppressor; and not a man who breathes on the face of our world, however firm his step and proud his attitude, who will not fall in prostrate helplessness under a doom from which there is no escaping. What a voucher for the holiness of God, and for the malignity of that sin which He hateth, that, wherever it exists, Death and

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