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Vithout the grace of God we might have been as the worst of them. There is, in the nature of things, one train of sentiment belonging to him, who has achieved a work by his own might, and power, and prowess; and another to him, who has been 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 deceiv

ing excuse for our sins; which excuse is, that we - have striven against them, but are overpowered by our evil pature, 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 prayer, we have called for the promised assistance of God's Spirit, and with an eartnessness, devotion, perseverance, and importunity, proportioned to the magnitude of the concern; until we have rendered ourselves objects of that influence, and yielded ourselves to it, it is not true “ that we have done all that we van.” We must not rely upon that excuse; for it is not true in fact. If experiencing the depravity and imbecility of our nature, we see in this corruption and weakness an excuse for our sins, and taking up with this excuse, we surrender ourselves to them: if we give up or relax in our opposition to them, and struggles against them, at last consenting to our sins, and falling down with the stream, which we have found so hard to resist; if things take this turn with us, then are we in a state to be utterly, finally, and fatally, undone. We have it in our power to shut our eyes 201

200 SIN ENCOUNTERED
against the danger; we 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 St.
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 co-operate with this help,
with the holy working of God's grace within us
then 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 ob-
ject, the deliverance of our souls from the captis-
ity and the consequences of sin.

BY SPIRITUAL AID. 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. St. 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 carnal propensities, and which destruction is, as it were, death to the soul. The Book of Revelations, alluding to this distinction, speaks expressly of a second death, 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 open. ed; 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 heil (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 heil 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.'

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SERMON XXVI.
SIN ENCOUNTERED BY SPIRITUAL AID.

IN THREE PARTS.

(PART 1.) O wretched man that I am ! who shall deliver me

from the body of this death?~Rom. vii. 24. BEFORE we can explain what is the precise subject of this heavy lamentation, and what the pic. cise 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 St. Paul's epistles, hardly ever signifies a natural death, to which all inen of all kinds are equally subjected ; but it means a spiritual death, or that perdition and destruction, to which siu brings men

This description, which is exceedingly awful, is given in the three last verses of the twentieth chapter. In reference to the same event, this book of Revelations had before told us, viz. in the 2nd chapter and ilth verse, that he who over. cometh 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 be uttered, “He that liveth, and believeth

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. St. Paul says, “ carnal-mindedness is death ;." "to be carnally minded is death,” leads, that is, inevita. bly, to that future destruction which awaits the sinful indulgence of carnal propensities, and which destruction is, as it were, death to the soul. The Book of Revelations, alluding to this distinction, speaks expressly of a second death, 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 wereopened; 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 heil(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 three Jast verses of the twentieth chapter. In reference to the same event, this book of Revelations had before told us, viz. in the 2nd 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

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BY SPIRITUAL AID.
And this state it is, from which St. Paul, with
such vehemence and concern upon his spirit, seeks
to be delivered.

Having seen the signification of the principal
phrase employed in the text, the next, and the
most important question is, to what condition of
the soul, in its moral and religious concerns, the
apostle applies it. Now in the verses preceding
the text, indeed in the whole of this remarkable
chapter, St. Paul has been describing a state of
struggle and contention with sinful propensities;
which propensities in the present condition of our
nature, we all feel, and which are never wholly
abolished. But our apostle goes farther: he de-
scribes also that state of unsuccessful struggle and
unsuccessful contention, by which many so unhap.
pily fall. His words are these, that which I do
I allow not: for what I would that I do not; but
what I hate, that do I. For I know that in me,
that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good things : for
to will is present with me, but how to perform
that which is good I find not: for the good that I
would I do not ; but the evil which I would not,
that I do. I find a law, that, when I would do
good, evil is present with me. For I delight in
the law of God after the inward man. But I see
another law in my members warring against the
law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to
the law of sin which is in my members.

This account, though the style and manner of expression, in which it is delivered, be very peculiar, is in its substance no other, than what is strictly applicable to the case of thousands, “The good that I would, I do not; the evil which I

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202 SIN ENCOUNTERED 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 St. Paul meant by the worst death, when he wrote down the sentence, “the body of this death :” and the second death is the punishment, perdition, and destruction, which the souls of sinners will suffer in a future state. It is well worthy of observation, that was indeed the only death, which those, who wrote the New Testa. ment, and probably all sincere Christians of that age, regarded as important; as the subject of their awe, and dread, and solicitude. The first deathi, the natural and universal decease of the body, they looked to simply as a change, a going out of one room into another; a putting off one kind of clothing, and putting on a different kind. They esteemed it, compared with the other, of little moment or account. In this respect there is a wide difference between the Scripture apprehen sion of the subject and ours. We think entirely of the first death ; they thought entirely of the second. We speak and talk of the death which we see : they spoke and taught, and wrote, of a death which is future to that. We look to the first with terror; they to the second alone. The second alone they represent as formidable. Such is the view which Christianity gives us of these things, so different from what we naturally entertain.

You see then what death is in the Scripture sense ; in St. Paul's sense. « The body of this death.” The phrase and expression of the text cannot, however, mean this death itself, because he prays to be delivered 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, misery and punishment instead of happiness and rest, after our departure out of this world.

would not, that I do." How many, who read
this discourse, may say the same of themselves!
as also, what I would, that do I not; but what
I hate, that I do!" This then is the case which
St Paul had in view. It is a case, first, which
supposes as informed and enlightened conscience,
wi delight in the law of God." "I had not
known sin lyut by the law." "I consent unto the

And this state it is, from which St. Paul, with such vehemence and concern upon his spirit, seeks to be delivered.

Having seen the signification of the principal phrase employed in the text, the next, and the most important question is, to what condition of the soul, in its moral and religious concerns, the apostle applies it. Now in the verses preceding the text, indeed in the whole of this remarkable chapter, St. Paul has been describing a state of struggle and contention with sinful propensities; which propensities in the present condition of our nature, we all feel, and which are never wholly abolished. But our apostle goes farther: he describes also that state of unsuccessful struggle and unsuccessful contention, by which many so unhappily fall. His words are these, “ that which I do I allow not: for what I would that I do not; but what I hate, that do I. For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good things : for to will is present with me, but how to perform that which is good I find not: for the good that I would I do not ; but the evil which I would not, that I do. I find a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man. But I see another law in my members warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.)

This account, though the style and manner of expression, in which it is delivered, be very pe. culiar, is in its substance no other, than what is strictly applicable to the case of thousands, “The good that I would, I do not; the evil which I would not, that I do." How many, who read this discourse, may say the same of themselves ! as also, “what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that I do !” This then is the case which St. Paul had in view. It is a case, first, which supposes an informed and enlightened conscience, “I delight in the law of God.” “I had not known sin but by the law." "I consent unto the

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