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and sin another time. These are quite enough to meditate upon, for the present. May the Lord humble us by his Spirit; and lead us to bow down before Him, crying for mercy through Jesus Christ! For the sake of his dear Son, Jesus Christ, he is ready to pardon all our sins, though they may be more in number than the hairs of our head. Though we were born in sin, yet, by his Holy Spirit, our souls may be born again. Oh, may that Spirit be given to us; that we may abhor ourselves for our sinfulness, and learn to love the right ways of the Lord !
PRAYER. O most holy Lord God, who art of purer eyes than to behold iniquity; how vile and abominable must we appear in thy sight! For thou hast known all the thoughts of our hearts, and all our wanderings, from our childhood and youth upward, even unto this day. We were born in sin, and in sin have we lived. Gracious Father, renew and sanctify our souls; write thy law in our hearts; hide thy face from our sins, and blot out all our iniquities. And grant us thy continual grace, that, being renewed in the spirit of our mind, we may ever serve thee in newness of life, and devote ourselves to love, honour, and obey thee, in all our ways, for thy dear Son's sake, Jesus Christ our Lord.
GENESIS iii. 1–13. (See page 3.) We have not, as yet, described all the different marks of sin, in which we follow the example of our first parents. It is a very painful thing to meditate
upon our own vileness; but we had better know the worst of ourselves, that so we may be led to seek for pardon and reconciliation with God, through Christ's atoning blood.
8. The next thing we observe is, How one sinner tempts others to share in sin. 66 Eve took of the fruit, and gave unto her husband with her, and he did eat." Alas ! how many can say,
"I never knew of this sin, or that sin, till I was told of it by others.” Those with whom we have most to do, those that we keep company with, aye, those that we love the most, may be our worst enemies: for surely no enemy is so much to be feared, as he who tempts us to sin. And though persons of the same family may seem to love one another very much, yet if they tempt one another to sin, or if they live together without Religion, there can be no lasting happiness among them. Unless we cherish the love of God in our hearts, and keep close to him, the most lovely of our fellow-creatures may lead us the farthest from God; just as Eve helped to ruin Adam.
9. But, in the next place, it is mournful to see, How Adam was over-persuaded by his wife.--He ought to have reproved her. He ought to have prayed to God to pardon and restore her: instead of which, he falls into the same sin, and becomes quite as guilty as she. Therefore St. Paul, putting them both together as one, says, “ By one man, sin entered into the world, and death by sin.”
10. And now we come to notice the worst mark of all;—and yet it is the least regarded by sinners themselves. It is, the sin of endeavouring to hide ourselves from God; shunning the presence of the ever-blessed God! It is said, that when Adam and his wife heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden, they hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God, amongst the trees of the . garden. They no more loved God: they only feared him, and endeavoured to fly from him. They depart from the Living God! And such, alas! is the real state of all sinners. The presence of God is not desired by them; his name is painful to them; his worship is wearisome. They do not pray to him in secret. They do not love his holy word. They make no hearty preparations for meeting him at the judgment-day. They take no delight in thinking of the holiness and happiness of heaven. They try not to think of God, and are offended with those who speak to them about Religion. These words they do not even understand, 66 Communion with God.” This want of communion with God is their greatest sin: it is also their greatest misery. But sinners are so far
gone in sin, that they do not know how great a misery this is. God is love, and in his
is fulness of joy: but sinners shun this holy God, and vainly fly from him.
11. Another very common thing with sinners is, Making excuses, and throwing the blame on others. When Adam and Eve are called to give account of themselves, Adam throws the blame on his wife, and partly on God himself; while Eve throws the blame on the serpent. But in vain does any sinner ask of God, “ Why hast thou made me thus ?” -or, “ Why was I born into a world of sin ?"-or, “Why do I inherit a body of sin and death ?" In vain do sinners reproach one another. In vain do they curse the devil for tempting and destroying them. What a dreadful place must hell be, where lost souls and devils are for ever cursing God and one another, yet find no rest from their torments ! Others are to blame, as well as ourselves. Especially, tempters are a most cruel race. man shall bear his own iniquity. 66 The soul that sinneth, it shall die.”
O sinner! (and I speak to myself, as well as unto thee) dost thou not behold many of these deadly marks of sin in thyself? Search, and examine. Be willing to know the worst. Then thou wilt desire the salvation that is in Christ Jesus. For, blessed be God ! we are not in hell, though we deserve it. God accuses us; conscience condemns us; and the devil desires to have us. But the voice of mercy cries, “ Deliver him from going
But every down to the pit: I have found a ransom." Christ is that ransom. “ As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” " Whosoever believeth in Him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” Look, then, at all these marks of sin in yourself, one by one. But look, also, on the wounds of your bleeding Saviour. Fly to Him, in faith; remembering this declaration in the word of God: “ The blood of Jesus Christ, his Son, cleanseth us from all sin.”
O Lord, what shall we say unto thee, or what shall we speak, or how shall we clear ourselves, when we remember how grievously we have sinned against thee? Suffer us not to think of hiding ourselves from thy sight: for thine eye hath been over us continually, and thou knowest us far better than we know ourselves. But bring us to a godly repentance, and hatred of sin : may we loathe ourselves at the remembrance of it. And, oh, lead us to that Fountain which is open for sin and for uncleanness, that in it may we wash and be clean! May the blood of Jesus Christ, thy Son, cleanse us from all sin ! See if there be any wicked way in us, and lead us in the way everlasting, for Jesus Christ's sake.