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stamped upon him, had he obeyed the slight injunction of the Almighty ; but alas ! the temptation was too great for him
- he was unable to resist the trial; he yielded to the seduction, and, from that moment, misery and death sat upon him, and the earth refused to give her fruit, unless it was moistened by the sweat from his brow. Posterity shared in the sufferings for the crime of the father; and Adam begat sons and daughters in his own image, after his own guilty likeness—the father's eyes were made to gaze upon the cold corpse of his son-he was made to see the result of his own sin on the murdered body of Abel, and to tremble. The thorn and the thistle grew up by his side-wickedness, and, consequently, misery and wretchedness covered the works of the fair creation. All, that was good, became corrupt; the faculties of the creature were broken ; the mind, originally pure, became debased; and, in the place of purity, sat sin-in the place of holiness and affection, evil and corrupt passion—these played upon the constitution of the creature-these sullied
the happiness which, otherwise, would have been for ever.
And as we are the children of Adam, we have the like infirmities,—the same evil nature, and the dreary prospect of the grave before us.
We look around, and see our friends gradually returning to their kindred earth; we behold the infant torn by the grim tyrant from the warm and cherishing bosom of its mother; we see the lord taken untimely from the fond embrace of his loving spouse; or we see her torn from the world, leaving a train of infant mourners beside their disconsolate father. We see and feel in ourselves the infirmities of nature and the weakness of the human frame. These calamities were all inherited from Adam, and render us unfit for the kingdom of heaven. But that holy place must be gained by each of useach must work out his own salvation. How then can this be effected ? The time is short for the purpose. be willing, but the flesh is weak. Human nature, without Divine aid, cannot accomplish the work—of our own strength, we
The spirit may
have no power to do works acceptable unto God; the weakness of our nature yields to the tempting blandishments of the world.
The mind delights to dwell upon terrestrial objects, which have the appearance of momentary pleasure, more than
those joys, which are beyond the grave,
, and which bring with them everlasting bliss. The heart, corrupt above all things, fixes itself upon that which is perishable, instead of that which is eternal. And, when the moving objects are torn away, the mind is left without hope, and the heart without peace, stript of the few earthly and deceitful pleasures of the world. Misery, in the place of that quiet peace which passes
all understanding, sits gnawing, canker-like, upon the brow, and reduces the unhappy object to almost utter despair. How, then, if our own strength fail, can we overcome the world ? The words of our Saviour, bringing with them consolation, and all that is encouraging, fully answer.
“Be of good cheer,” says he, “I have overcome the world.” Go forth into the world ; ye may
have tribulation ; trouble and care may come upon you, death may deprive you of those whom you love, but “be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” I am the good shepherd—I am the door through which the sinner must enter into heavenI have reconciled the offended Deity to the guilty creature—I have atoned for the sin of the world, and led captivity captive. Here, then, brethren, is our strength perfected in weakness-here, then, are our hope, and trust, and faith. 6. As in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive.” It is very true, of our own strength we have no power to accomplish our salvation; but the Father has had compassion on us, and supplies us, through the mercies of the Son, with Divine assistance. The great atonement, which was made upon the cross, restored man to the favour of the Creator ; but the evil nature yet remains, which renders us incapable of doing good works, except by the assistance of the Holy Spirit. This Holy Spirit is freely given to those who ask; and, therefore, the charge lies at our door, if we are not saved. Christ has indeed removed every difficulty, and is the Way, the Truth, and the Life; but there is something, which we must do ourselves; and for this purpose “ the time is short.”
This life, as we before observed, is one of probation ; we are not sent here, as in the first days of Paradise, with everything around us in its primitive beauty. The perfection, which bespoke so much glory and honour to the Creator, has passed away; sin has tarnished it with a blight, and that which was to be incorruptible, has become mortal, and that mortality sinks to decay at a time, perhaps, when we least expect it. The grave yawns for us, when we, perhaps, think ourselves the most secure. Disease and misery are often in the back ground, when the prospect before us of happiness, to the enchanted eye appears all calm and serene. The distant horizon, and the clearness of the sky above us bespeak a continuance of fair weather ; but the small cloud, appearing but a speck to the eye, often gathers into the threatening storm, which at last bursts out into the violent tempest. These cir