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through fear; or because, by old age, they are become weak and impotent.

Under affliction a man sees himself half dead in body, and then he fancies sin is dead. "Oh!" he cries, "I see how sinful I have been! O, what an awful thing sin is! O, if God does but spare me, how will I live to him!" Well, God does spare him, and then the proverb is fulfilled, "When the sick man became well he was worse than before." And really such men sin with such eagerness, that they seem to be trying to make up for lost time; they are more greedy after sin because of their short fast. My hearers, if you are afflicted, and no change takes place, you may be sure that sin is not dead. I warn you, by all the terrors of eternity, against the delusion of supposing, that because you yourselves are half dead by sickness, that therefore sin is dead

in you.

Again some suppose that they are dead to sin, because by alarm of mind, they are half dead through fear. Thus we read of Nabal, that when his wife told him what had been threatened him by David, "his heart died within him, and he became as a stone." When they witness the death of a dear friend, or see some one drop down dead by their side, or hear of some dreadful and alarming accident, and thus they themselves are half killed by terror, they imagine sin is dead. But time does wonders: the terror is softened down; the fluttering hearts become composed; and they turn away to iniquity as before. Just as a man about to be gibbeted for his crimes, suddenly receives a reprieve, and then turns to all his crimes again, though he had every mark of penitence when he supposed death near. A poor woman was once about to commit suicide; she did what she imagined would cause her death; the Doctor did all he could, though he considered that all would be in vain ; then she died, indeed, to sin; but some symptoms of returning strength began to appear, and from that very moment there were also symptoms of apostacy! No, my hearers, there is no dependence to be placed on the disgust with sin which is occasioned by the fear of death.

The same may be said of old age, and of persons going out of the world. Because the power to sin has left them; because they can no longer eat or drink, or taste or see; because they are become half dead, a sort of carcases upon the earth; they imagine themselves to be dead to sin. But, O, if they could have new blood infused into the veins, we should at once see all their sins spring up into vigor and activity as before!

The fact is, that there is no death to sin but through the death of Christ. Is it not said, "He bare our sins in his own body on the tree,

that we might be dead to sins?" And if we could have been dead to sin without this, would he have endured all his agony and shame, and at length have died upon the cross? No: it is a stab at the heart that is fatal; and never are we struck to the heart till we see Christ, the innocent, becoming our sacrifice, taking our load upon him, and enduring unutterable anguish on our account. Then are we touched to the heart; we feel to the quick; we are alive to a sense of what he endured for us. Then we say, "God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of Jesus, my Lord!" Then, when pressed under the load of sin, we behold him bearing our burden, and our hearts are made light and gladsome. Then love melts us, and mercy brings us down; and henceforth we die to that accursed thing which brought our Lord to his death. Then we become "dead to sins; as a cancer is not eradicated from the human frame till every fibre is removed; so the cancer of sin is not wholly destroyed in our souls till we become dead to sin through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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2. We are taught that the death of sin must be the life of righteousness. There is to be a death; but there must also be a life. Christ said to the Jews, God is not the God of the dead, but of the living; for all live unto him: so he that is "dead to sin" by the cross of Christ, is, by the same cross, made "alive to righteousness." There is a vitality in religion; and the soul is not only made alive, but lively. "To be carnally minded is death; "—a poor, dull thing, at best:"to be spiritually minded, is life and peace." At the same time, that there is calmness in our own souls, we are all activity for the good of others. I always pity a man who is going on in a cold, dull, heavy, leadlike manner; and if it does not speak doubt as to the -existence of religion, it speaks a volume as to its want of excellence. There is a life in all true religion; it has but little of the snail about it. If we are, indeed, dead to sin, we shall be all alive to righteousness. I love to see a people alive; all among them aiming to do good — good to all around them their heads full of schemes, their hearts full of love, their hands full of gifts for his honor and glory.

3. All this shows that our souls are healed by his stripes. There is a reference in these words to the 53d of Isaiah "With his stripes we are healed." And the words in both places refer to his scourging in Pilate's hall. The word stripe signifies a wale; where, in consequence of a blow or cut from a lash, the extravasated blood is seen in a blackish, bluish form, under the skin. But, because this is spoken of as one, the learned Vitringi supposes that it applies to one wound, the body of Christ being wounded all over. He was all stripe and pain;

we are all ease and pleasure. "By whose stripes ye were healed."And how is healing indicated? By three signs:

By disease prevented in action. Physicians aim at this time and nature, they say, will do all the rest. O what a disease is sin! All that is seen and said, and acted under its influence, is wrong! But when we come to be healed by the stripes of Christ, diseased action ceases: we see aright, both as to ourselves and as to our Savior; we hear aright, for "blessed are the people that know the joyful sound;" we feel aright, there is a pleasant glow through our whole frame; all our various powers act aright, for the glory of God, and the benefit of ourselves and others.

By the removal of agonizing sensation, healing is indicated. All the disordered actions we perform in a state of nature produce only ⚫wretchedness. Many a sinner, who seems happy, wishes he were a reptile or a brute. Colonel Gardiner, who was known by the name of "the happy rake," on seeing a dog come into a room one day, wished he were that dog! But this disease yields to the healing power of the cross of Christ. Does a child of God, does a man healed by the stripes, by the cross of Christ, wish he were a dog, or wish he had never been born? No: many times a day he blesses God that ever he was born at all; and he hopes to live to eternity, and rejoices that he shall live through everlasting ages. Healing is indicated, also, By the obviating of threatening danger. This is an important thing in cases of disease: it is the danger which hangs over the patient that alarms him. It is not merely the pain and languor-at these he could smile; but he fears that he shall die, and that there is something after death, which, though unknown, makes him wretched beyond measure. There is danger, but healing removes this danger; renews the prospect of life for many years to come, and so restores tranquillity and pleasAnd so it is here-healing by the wounds of Christ obviates the threatened danger. There is no more fear of death; no, that is past there is no more dread of eternity; no, for that is lighted up with glory. These are the blessed consequences of healing by his stripes, "who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness.


And now to apply. And here I shall not proceed according to the usual course of inquiry, and ask you, first, if you are diseased: - this I know; I know that you are all so. But I will ask you, if you have felt your disease? A sinner is like a man frost-bitten he would fain sleep; he would lie down in the snow though he knows that by so doing he must die! and his friends are obliged to use great force to rouse him, and to keep him from dropping off to sleep. O, sin is a lethargy of the most

dreadful kind! If physical sounds could waken, I could wish for a voice of thunder, and for lungs of brass, that I might cry, "Awake, thou that sleepest! What meanest thou, O sleeper? O awake, arise!" But ah! 'tis not the voice that reaches the ear, 'tis not physical exertions that can accomplish this. "'Tis the mind that is diseased! 't is the mind that must be brought to see and feel. O come, and let mind have intercourse with mind! let me speak to your immortal spirits. Must not your spirits have been lost, but for him who "bare your sins in his own body on the tree? O come and let us linger round the cross, and mark all the ignominy, the pains, the agony, the blood! Why was all this? What had he done? He had done nothing but what was lovely and meritorious; it was all for others; it was all for the guilty. Then, have you obtained an interest in it? Have you ever become "dead to sins, and alive to righteousness?" Has there ever sprung up within you a concern for your souls for righteousness-for sal vation for everlasting glory? If not, you are not yet interested in the death of Christ.

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There must be a union with Christ. In order that he might be united to us, he became a man. Angels were not bettered by his coming, for he never became an angel. There must, I repeat it, be some union with him: we must, ourselves, feel something of the agony of the cross operating upon our minds, and teaching us the evil of sin - the wonders of his love - the faithful-the danger of our souls ness of his promise; we must venture our whole souls upon him, we must cast ourselves alone on the mercy of the Savior. Has there been this personal intercourse with Christ? If not, do not flatter yourselves that you are any better for his bearing the burden of sin, " in his own. body upon the tree." But if you are not, such a burden, a burden at which God so expressed his abhorrence, still lies heavy on your souls! And if you go out of the world, and such a burden presses upon you, how low do you suppose it will sink you? Who can tell?

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"in the lowest deep, a lower deep
Still threat'ning to devour you, opens wide!"

"Who among you can dwell with everlasting burnings?" Your "feet shall slide in due time." Do you exclaim, Where then shall I flee? Flee to him "who, his own self, bare our sins in his own body on the tree." But will he receive me? Will he not receive you? Wherefore did he bear that heavy burden? He did not bear it for nothing; and when he sees you casting yourselves at his feet as a penitent, he sees" of the travail of his soul." and he will blot out your offences,

and say with exultation, "Now I am glad I died, for that poor sinner lives!"

O let those who are alive through Christ, cherish the warmest gratitude! Live to righteousness alone. Never trifle with your souls. Seek to enjoy more and more of that healthful state of mind which is to you a pledge of everlasting bliss in the presence of God.




"The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: the grass withereth, the flower fadeth; because the Spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever."- ISAIAH xl. 6-8.

THE chapter out of which my text is taken, is, perhaps, the most magnificent piece of verse ever penned by any author, of any age. Its dignity, its energy, its sublimity, its point, are without parallel in the language of man. By the common consent of Christian expositors, the text and its connection have reference to Gospel times; and, indeed, we have the authority of the New Testament writers also, in applying it to John the Baptist, as the forerunner of Christ, and to Christ himself.

It seems to have been the custom of the monarchs of antiquity, whenever they went on any expedition, to send a herald before them to announce their approach, to level mountains, to raise valleys, and to remove every impediment out of the way. King Messiah is here represented as about to commence that career of conquest, of glory, and of salvation, which is destined never to terminate, till all the nations of the world shall become the kingdoms of our God, and of his Christ. His messenger, John the Baptist, is said to go before him to prepare his way: "The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain; and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh


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