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fain to beg for succour and assistance, and by that assistance alone has been carried through difficulties, which were too great for his own strength and faculties. This last is the true sentiment for us. It is not for a man, whose life has been saved in a shipwreck by the compassionate help of others; it is not for a man, so saved, to boast of his own alertness and vigour ; though it be true, that, unless he had exerted what power and strength he was possessed of, he would not have been saved at all.
Lastly, this doctrine shuts the door against a most general, a most specious, and a most deceiving exeuse for our sins; which excuse is, that we have striven against them, but are overpowered by our evil nature, by that nature which the Scriptures themselves represent as evil : in a word, that we have done what we could. Now until, by supplication and paper, we have called for the promised assistance of Guisset, and with an earnestness, devotion, perseveraD.. 23 importunity, proportioned to the reagerade die cern; until we have rendered ourselves otjects é 412 influence, and yielded ourselves to , ŚMIE " that we have done all that we can.” WE I DE rely upon that excuse; for it is a true 3 experiencing the depravity and izieci12012 we see in this corruption and weates a ele ir our sins, and taking up with this el, ** 11:21 ourselves to them; if we give a se THIET IL DIL opposition to them, and strozza az EL « consenting to our sins, and 1=VI VIL E stream, which we have found so baris : take this turn with us, then are se a Raz je utterly, finally, and fatally undece. 12 I our power to shut our eyes against the
naturally shall endeavour to make ourselves as easy and contented in our situation as we can : but the truth, nevertheless, is, that we are hastening to certain perdition. If, on the contrary, perceiving the feebleness of our nature, we be driven by the perception, as Saint Paul was driven, to fly for deliverance from our sins to the aid and influence and power of God's Spirit, to seek for divine help and succour, as a sinking mariner calls out for help and succour, not formally, we may be sure, or coldly, but with cries and tears and supplications, as for life itself: if we be prepared to cooperate with this help, with the holy working of God's grace
may we trust, both that it will be given to us (yet in such manner as to God shall seem fit, and which cannot be limited by us); and also that, the portion of help which is given being duly used and improved (not despised, neglected, put away), more and more will be continually added, for the ultimate accomplishment of our great end and object, the deliverance of our souls from the captivity and the consequences of sin.
SIN ENCOUNTERED BY SPIRITUAL AID.
IN THREE PARTS.
ROMANS VII. 24.
O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from
the body of this death!
BEFORE we can explain what is the precise subject of this heavy lamentation, and what the precise meaning of the solemn question here asked, we must endeavour to understand what is intended by the expression, “the body of this death,” or as some render it, “ this body of death.”
Now let it be remembered, that death, in Saint Paul's epistles, hardly ever signifies a natural death, to which all men of all kinds are equally subjected; but it means a spiritual death, or that perdition and destruction to which sin brings men in a future state. " The wages of sin is death ;” not the death which we must all undergo in this world, for that is the fate of righteousness as well as sin ; but the state, whatever it be, to which sin and sinners will be consigned in the world to come. Not many verses after our text, Saint Paul says, carnal-mindedness is death : “ to be carnally minded is death,” leads, that is, inevitably to that future destruction which awaits the sinful indulgence of car
nal propensities, and which destruction is, as it were, death to the soul. The book of Revelation, alluding to this distinction, speaks expressly of a second death,
a in terms very fit to be called to mind in the consideration of our present text.
“I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened ; and another book was opened, which is the book of life ; and the dead were judged out of those things which were written, according to their works : and the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and hell (which last word denotes here simply the place of the dead, not the place of punishment) delivered up the dead that were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works : and death and hell were cast into the lake of fire ;” (that is, natural death, and the receptacle of those who died, were thenceforth superseded). This is the second death. " And whatsoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” This description, which is exceedingly awful, is given in the last three verses of the 20th chapter. In reference to the same event, this book of Revelation had before told us, viz. in the 2d chapter and 11th verse, that he who overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death; and in like manner in the above-quoted 20th chapter : “ Blessed and holy is he that hath part in this resurrection : on such the second death hath no power.” Our Lord himself refers to this death in those never to be forgotten words which he uttered, “He that liveth, and believeth in me, shall not die eternally." Die he must, but not eternally ; die the first death, but not the second. It is undoubtedly, therefore, the second death, which Saint Paul meant by the word death, when he wrote d he sentence, “ the body
of this death :” and the second death is the pre-
those who wrote the New Testament, ad pede line sincere Christians of that age, regarded as re;
as the subject of their awe, and dread, and it
The first death, the natural and unisen deres È the body, they looked to simply as a cbarze, a ga Er out of one room into another; a putting ose de of clothing, and putting on a different Erd T
esteemed it, compared with the other, of ze ces or account. In this respect there is a wide Exe between the Scripture apprehension of tże ski
We think entirely of the first deat: te the thought entirely of the second. We speak and ta 1 the death which we see: they spoke, and taubs, 2:2
wrote of a death which is future to that. We lick to the first with terror; they to the second alone. Te second alone they represent as formidable. Such is the view which Christianity gives us of these things different from what we naturally entertain.
You see then what death is in the Scripture sie, in Saint Paul's sense. “ The body of this dea::. The phrase and expression of the text cannot, turn ever, mean this death itself, because he prays to be de. livered from it: whereas from that death, or that perdition understood by it, when it once overtakes the sinner, there is no deliverance that we know of. The
body," then, “ of this death,” is not the death itself, but a state leading to and ending in the second death, namely, in misery and punishment, instead of happiness and rest, after our departure out of this world. And this state it is, from which Saint Paul,