Imágenes de páginas

Destruction go along with it-that on those men over whom sin prevails, death both temporal and eternal is laid as a penalty; and that to those men with whom sin is present in their vile bodies though it has not the dominion, death comes to release them from the plague-to strip them of their bodies, as they would do of a garment spotted with infection, and cause them to undergo a cleansing process in their sepulchre And it is indeed a striking testimony to the regal power and state of Sin, that he carries this sore fatality over the whole length and breadth of our species; and, sitting enthroned over the destinies of man, makes universal spoil of our dying nature, and holds it forth as the trophy of his greatness.

The honour of a king is concerned in upholding the integrity of his dominions, and in the keeping up of an unbroken authority over them; and hence may we conclude, from the expression of sin reigning, that, if this imply regal power vested in a conscious and intelligent being, there is indeed a busy and an active interest at work against our species. And taking the Bible for our guide, there is such a being, who is said to have the power of death; and who is styled from the high ascendancy to which he has arisen, the god of this world; and whom we recognise to be him whom we read of as the prince of the power of the air, and as the prince of the power of darkness; and who, seated as he is upon a throne, must feel that his glory is at stake on the perpetuity of that pe

culiar empire over which he is exalted: And hence the undoubted truth, that the might and the strenuousness and the ambitious desires of one most daring in enterprise, and most subtle in design, and most formidable in power and in resources, are all embarked on the object of our subjugation. The instrument of our overthrow is sin; and the result of it is, that second and everlasting death, the reign of which forms the domain of his rule and monarchy-and, from the very expression of sin reigning, may we infer that a thirst for power, and the dread or the shame of a fallen majesty, are all at work in the heart of one who is busy in the plying of his devices, and most assiduous in the prosecution of them for the purpose of destroying us.

This looks abundantly menacing towards our helpless and degenerate race; but by the side of the expression that sin reigneth unto death, let us point your regards to the counterpart expression of grace reigning unto eternal life. And this, as in the former case, implies something more than a mere personification. It implies a living monarch -one who sits upon a rival throne-and who is intent upon an object, directly and diametrically the reverse of that of his antagonist. In other words, if there be a kingly ambition which is against us, there is a kingly ambition that is also upon our side. If it be the pride of one monarch to enslave our race, it is the dignity of another monarch to deliver us; and the desire of mighty potentates is thus embarked on a contest, the issues of which

are death or life to our species. We read of Jesus Christ as a King in Zion, and of His having come to destroy the works of the devil-even of him who has the power of death; and the glory of His character is surely linked with the success of His undertaking; and thus is our lower world the arena, as it were, of a contest, which involves in it, not merely, the future condition of those who live in it but the renown of mighty combatants, who, arrayed in hostility against each other, are striving for the renown of victory.

Now it is not for the purpose of regaling your imaginations that we thus speak, but for the purpose of assuring and strengthening your faith. We want you to see, how the majesty is as much concerned as the mercy of God, in the work of your Redemption. We want you to feel how manifold the guarantees of your deliverance are, if you will only flee for refuge to the hope set before you in the gospel. We want you to perceive how your safety and the honour of the great Mediator are most thoroughly at one. Do you think, that, warring as He does with the great adversary of human souls, He will ever permit him the triumph of a final victory over those, who, cheered forward by His own invitation, are now trusting to His grace, and looking onward to the accomplishment of His promises. He hath graven upon an open and indelible record these memorable words, that whosoever believeth in Him shall be saved. Can you figure it then, that, on the great day of the winding

up of the gospel economy-Satan will have it in his power to revile either the truth or ability of the Saviour; or to fasten upon an individual who believed in the Son of God, and yet whom the Son of God hath not rescued from the grasp of this destroyer? Jesus Christ hath embarked His own credit upon your salvation. Should any have faith in Him, and yet not be saved, He will not only fail in that which His heart is most assuredly set upon; but He will be foiled in His own enterprise, and that too by a most hateful and hated antagonist. The destruction of one who has faith, were the degradation of Him who is the author and the finisher of faith; and hence an argument for your security in 'believing-for the perfect repose of that acquiescence, wherewith you may lie down among the promises of the gospel-for keeping firm and fast, that confidence in which you have begun-Seeing that grace has not only set out on a warfare against sin,-but that grace is seated on a throne, and the salvation of those who have been obedient to Heaven's call is essential to the truth of Heaven's voice and the triumph of Heaven's monarchy.

And a similar argument may be drawn from the clause of grace reigning through righteousness. It is this which forms the leading peculiarity of the evangelical dispensation. It is a dispensation of mercy no doubt, but not of simple and unaccompanied mercy. It has more upon its aspect and character than the one expression of tenderness. There was

compassion in the movement which then took place from Heaven to Earth; but this does not complete the history of the movement. It was compassion towards sinners; and God's righteous abhorrence of sin, was mixed up with the forthgoings of His benevolent desire towards those who had been guilty of it. The boon of reconciliation descended upon the world; but it found its way through a peculiar medium, and that was a medium of righteousness--and, to meet on our part this manifestation of the Godhead, it is not enough that we regard it in the light of mercy and nothing else—it will not be accepted that we rely on the general kindness and good-will of the Deity; but it is altogether indispensable to our safety, that, while we rejoice in His grace, we should receive it as a grace which has come to us through righteousness by Jesus Christ our Lord.


So that the sinner on entering into peace with God, does reverence to the purity of God. when he draws upon the compassion of the divine nature, he renders homage to the holiness of the divine nature. Did he hold singly upon His compassion-then the truth which stood committed to the fulfilment of its denunciations, and the justice. that had been offended by sin, would have been left without provision and without a safeguard. But the great Sacrifice has resolved all these difficulties; and you by depending, not on the general attribute of mercy, but on the redemption that is through the blood of Jesus Christ, can, consistently

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