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“ The sting of death,” be says, it, or to connive'at it; and too mere " is sin." Death has indeed many ciful, too regard fal of the general stings; many things to make it good, to tolerate it. 'The law, dread tol and afficting. The pains therefore, condemns all sia, under and sickness, and agonies which the severest penalties. It has anusually attend it; the violent ter- nexed death, as the punishment of mination it puts to all our prospects, it; and death, in the meaning it here schemes, and employments; the bears, is far more dreadful thag forcible dissolution it causes of the destruction. It is, the being de-. strongest boods of affection; the prived of all good; banishment from heart-rending separation from the God; the loss of spiritual life and objects dearest to us; the pangs of happiness. The death of the body, grief with which their breasts are then, is but the beginning of the corn; the uncertainty as to what awful punishment. Hitherto, jos. awaits us beyond the grave :-these lice has slept. "The criminal has are all stings of death. But the been spared. Now the execulioner sling of death, emphatically so overtakes him: his sin finds him called, is sin. It is not merely the out: the law arms sin with power 10 quinting of this world, and entering condemn him, and death with power on an unknown stale, which is dreada to punish him. This, then, is what ful, but the appearing before God, makes death dreadful, its being the conscious that we are sinners. Death punishment of sin; and this is what is the wages of sin. It is the curse makes sin so awfal, its condemna. pronounced by our Creator opon us, ' tion by the holy law of God. for our disobedience. Death is How, then, are we to be delivered dreadful, therefore, as a panish- from the sting of death, from the ment"; but it is still more dreadful strength of sin, and from the mighty as it ushers us as criminals, to the condemning power of the law? tribunal of the Judge; a Judge who Here let us teniark, the insufficannot be deceived or bribed ; a ciency of the hope which is too Julge inflexibly just and holy; be. commonly substituted for that which fore whom, our consciences tell us, the Gospel sels before us. Men usuwe must be found guilty. Oh, had ally trust to their goodness and inwe been janocent through life, death legrity, at least to some valuable would bave been considered only as quality they fancy they possess, a change into some better state, They shelter thenisel ves under the which would have been effected garb of virtue, and hope, because without fear or pain! But now, lo they have not grossly defrauded die, is to be summoned to trial. their neighbour, or because they
• The strength of sin is the law." have been kind and charitable, What is it, it may be asked, which therefore they need not fear death. makes sin so formidable, and gives But is this the language of the Apoit such power to appal and to con. 'stle? Does it warrant sóch a bope? demn usi It is the law. The law Does it inform us that only the most is the wilt and ordinance of the corrupt men have reason to fear the Supreme Ruler of the world. The judgment of God? Does it acquaint law, therefore, cannot be registed, us that the law bas denoonced na because it is maintained by Almighly curse but against the openly profli., Power. It cannot be gainsayed, for gate! On the contrary, the Scripit is the result of Infinite Wisdom, ture hath concluded all onder sin. It is the eternal rule of right and The law hath condemned every wrong, rather required by the wel- fransgression, and denounced the fare and happiness of the universe, judgment of God upon every one than imposed arbitrarily by its Go- that doeth evil. The Gospel does vernor. Now, the law condemns all not suppose that only gross and sin. It is too pure and holy to spare notorious sioners are in danger of
in another way.
perishing ; but it concludes all to The Gospel supposes man to be be in a ruined state. ". All have a fallen, guilty,condemned creature. sinned and come short of the law of It supposes bim irretrievably ruined God." "Every mouth must be stop- as to his own power of extricating ped, and the whole world become himself. And on this very ground guilty before God.” 11, therefore, is founded the neeessity of a Saputs all upon a level. It shews the viour's redemption. He came down holy nature of God, and of his law, from heaven to rescue from des to be such, that all without excep-, struction those that should believe tion have in themselves cause to on his name. And for this purpose, fear, just reason to be treated as his efforts were directed against sir, transgressors, and no right to de- which is the sting of death; and the mand, or ground in themselves to law, which is the strength of sin. expect, any thing from the hands Against sin which is the sting of of God but indignation and wrath; death. He came into the world for and to those only who are humbled sin, and condemned sin in the flesti. under the view and ackoowledg. In our nature, and for our sakes, he ment of this, does it hold out mercy fulfilled the law. In our nature, he
offered up a costly sacrifice, to make Oh, let none of us, then, flatter expiation for our sins. He gave hvis himself with the vain and false idea own most precious life as a ransom of his being righteous before God. for us, and as a sacrifice of a sweet It is the grossest ignorance of the savour before God. It pleased God law, of its purity, ils nature, its to accept bis offering as a full, design, its threatenings, to suppose perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblaso. The law worketh wrath. The Lion, and satisfaction for the sin's of law was not given to grant life by the wbole world. It pleased him our observance of it. If we seek who gave the law, to accept the for life by the observance of it, we atonement made to the law, as a renounce the hope of the Gospel : sufficient satisfaction to its injured we are fallen from grace, as many of honour; and Christ was raised from us as seek to be justified by the law, death after the sacrifice was made, « But what the law could not do, and ascended into heaven, that he through the weakness of the flesh, might minister, like the high priest, God sending his own Son in the before God in the salvation of his likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, people ; that he mighe present their condemned sin in the flesh, that the prayers, intercede in their behalf, righteousness of the law might be and irapart to them mercy to parfulfilled in us, who walk not after don, and grace to help in every time the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Be- of need hold bere, the just view given to us. Thus Christ removes from us the by an inspired Apostle, to point out curse of the law, for he was made a the insufficiency of trusting to our curse for us. Thus, he takes away own righteousness, and the true our -sins, by bearing them in his foundation on which the hope of body on the treed Thus, he gives men may be built.
s us the victory over death, by red Whence, then, may we gain the moving that sin, and that curse of victory over death? I answer, Wetbe law, which united to make death must first remove that consciousness, 1 formidable to us"» « There is thereof guilt which is the sting of death, fore no condemnation to them that and disarm that lay which is they are in Christ Jesusi? Who gi he? strengih of sin, and which gives iter that condemneth A-1 It is Christ that power to condemn raus. Now, died, meydan rather ithat rig pon the 97 thanks be to God which giveth, us right band sok, God, who+albo tivéthes the victory," says the Apostle, to make intercession for Us, vor
through our Lord Jesus Christo noso risugli tba bople which the Cita C..
spel sets before a sinner. Now, if la conclusion, let us imprese it
spire;- poverty of spirit; deep hu- hope full of immortality.
to viour; sweet meditation on his Tothe Editor of the Christian Observet. work and offices; love to his Name; I BEG leave to express the obligaapd the exaltation of it above every tions, which I feel, in common with other name that is named, whether many of your readers, to D. W. in earth or heaven. The Gospel for his remarks on what he terms requires us, to abase courselves, and the "crude Calvinistic Theology" of thankfully to receive and humbly our day. I can hope to do little 1o trøst in Divine grace. Hence niore than give an example whick Paul could say, I am the chief of may serve to illustrate those resinners, and yet could ariumph in marks, and perhaps help to set in the prospect of salvation and eter- a clearer light the danger which he Dal glorye The cause of his glory- points out. ing. was not his own righleousness. It has been my fortune for two What-lhings were paturally gain to or three successive years to visit him, such as his strict adherence to the malefactors of our great metros all the rites of the law, these he politan prison, but more particocounted loss for Christe." Yea, lasty in the week which intervens doubtless," he says, "and I count between the order for their execuall tbings but loss for the sake of ţion and the execution itself. In the Christ, and that I may win, him, course of these visits, I have also and be found in him; not having found other persons, both clergy my own righteousness which is of and laymer, humapely assisting is the law, but that sbich is by the the same painful office. On these faith of Christ, eren the righteous occasions, I have been parucularly ness-wbicb is of God by faith." struck by the piode in which amer
of such persons appear to have con- he comforts the singer, and that sidered it their duty to proceed with man being born in sin, and the reference to the unhappy men for child of wrath, he must be born whom we felt, I believe, an equal again of the Spirit, or he cannot concern. Their great object, from enter into the kingdom of Heaven. the beginning to the end of their I find that while faith is laid down intercourse with the prisoner, ap as the great instrument by which peared to be to impress upon his we are to appropriate the Saviour, mind the fulness and freeness of the yet that faith must be accompanied atonement of the Saviour, rather by repentance, or a hearty turning than the necessity of that compunc- from sin: and I observe that bork ţion for sin which I apprebend can repentance and faith were united in alone shew the value of a Saviour; the case of the thief upon the cross; to preach the promises of mercy, or in other words that his heart was rather than the terrors of judgment ; touched with compunction for sin, to exalt the Gospel at the expense as well as his judgment convinced of the Law, and to magnify the sav. that Christ was the Saviour. ing qualities of faith in Christ in Now, to apply this consideration such a loose and unguarded manner to the subject in hand-It has apas to lead the criminal to mistake peared to me the duty of any the nature of true faith, and to ima. person, when called to address an gine that the mere declaration of unfortunate criminal, to excite, in his belief in the Saviour was at the first instance, in his mind, some once equivalent to that belief itself, sense of the requisitions and exand evidential of it.
tent, the sanctions and penalties, of - I admit, sir, that the handling of a violated law, and to employ it as this subject is full of delicacy; and “a schoolmaster, to bring him to I must be content to admire, rather Christ." In opposition to this mode, th hope to imitate, the manner in I have found some persons hardly which D. W. 'has treated it.' The employing this topic at all, or in distinction which he takes between so slight a degree, as apparently to the necessity for the most full and leave but few and transient impres. plain exhibition of Divine grace, and sions; while the satisfaction offered the danger of abusing such a doc. by the Saviour (of which, in its trine '
by human presumption, has place, none can think too worthily) my hearty approbation. While I has formed the great, and indeed tremble at the Antinomianism of one exclusive, theme of exultation. extreme, I desire to deprecate and Again; I have rbopght, that it avoid the legality and self-righte- should be a principal object with ousness of the othér:-while, on the any one to ascertain whether the one hand, I feel deeply convinced, individual appeared to apply to him, that if ever I am myself saved, it self the denunciations of wrath will be upon the footing of infinite wbich are found in the word of mercy and sovereign grace alone, 1 God, or was only satisfied with a yet apprehend, that before I can general assent to the doctrines probecome a partaker of the mercy of posed to his notice, because I have the Gospel, I must feel something found that most persons under these of the terrors of the Law, and know circumstances will readily admit practically something of the evil of certain propositions, as that they sin, and the danger of departing are sinners--that Christ is a Saviour from the living God.” I find it that there is a judgment to come; declared in the Scriptures, that a and so on, of whom I have afterwards hatred of sin, as infinitely offensive had reason to fear that they possessed in the sight of God, is the first step no more than the notions of these towards its renunciation ; that the things, and aot the truths themselves Holy Spirit convinces of sin, before to any saying purpose. On the con
CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 156.
trary, many of the instructors to tion and of as pure a quality in the whom I allride have appeared to be lonelydungeon as the lofty palace;satisfied with such a general admis. it is only against a false peace thal sion of the nature and consequences I would protest ---against a hope of sin, as might, notwithstanding, wbich, after all, may have no solid well consist with an unchanged and foundation, and a joy wbich (ununsanctified state of heart. They like the more sober, yet safer, com. have been content to enlarge on the fort of the true Christian) resembles main doctrines of the Gospel, rather ratber the exhilarating effect protban to satisfy themselves, as they duced by a cordial, than the saluadvanced, whether the party ad- tary result of nutritious food. Wirb. dressed really received these irutis, out by any means intending to state, or only assented to them. From that assurance is unattainable or triwhich consideration may be noticed umph unseasonable in such cases, I (by the way) the peculiar advantage yet cannot but regard the raptore of a catechetical mode of instruc- which follows recent instances of tion founded upon, and varying conversion, especially after a long with, the actual state of the crimi- course of ignorance and sin, as at nal's mind (who is perhaps bearing best a very questionable thing. of such things for the first time in Again--the persons to whom I al. his life),- Many persons appear to lude, having themselves adopted the be perfectlysatisfied if they can only bigher doctrines of Calvinism, apobtain a hearing upon the great pear to think that first principles truths of Scripture, and doubtless and elementary truths may be the there is much in this. To preach more safely passed over; that a beine Gospel of Christ even in the lief, for instance, in the doctrines of press-yards of Newgate, surrounded electing love and final perseverance as one is by guilt and wretchedness are essentials ; and that it is of inin all their affecting varieties, is dispensable importance that these certainly an honour of no mean con- points should be pressed upon the sideration; and it would be limiting attention of the culprit, to the exthe grace of God to suppose that clusion, but too often as I appreeven where no particular advantage hend, of the "weightier matters of may appear at the moment, there. the law." This habit of admioifore none will appear hereafter. stering strong meat where milk was But still the statement of the truth rather needed has, I confess, apis not all ; and the more experience peared to me a great mistake, and any one has in this painful duty, by no means like the conduct of he more, I am convinced, will he our blessed Lord, who would not feel that external assent and inter- encumber his disciples ugseasonably nal conviction are two very distinct with what was less important in it. things, and that self-deception is self, and who, although he had sometimes quite as easy under the many such things to say unto them, most plain and pressing exhibition knew that they could not bear them of the Gospel as in its absence. then. I have myself witnessed ia
Further in a case where a mis- stances in which an acquiescence take is a mistake for eternity, it has on the part of the criminal in the always appeared to me that ihe lan- higher doctrinal views of his in
guage of confidence and the expres- structors, together with some gene:sion of joy on the part of the cri- ral admissions as to the more esseominal cannot be too carefully tial truths of the Gospel, hare been watched, nor too scrupulously exa. regarded as unequivocal evidence ..mined. For be it from me io dis- of a state of grace; and (would I courage either the one or the other, could withhold the fact consistently much less to insinuate that they with a regard to truth!) I can never may not be found in as bigh perfec. forget one case in particular, where