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look upon him only as a mere unit in the social aggregate, which has no individual value further than as it contributes to augment, or form an integral portion of the total sum. The philosopher may seem to raise him higher yet by awakening his mind to the contemplation of order and system, by helping him to trace the intermediate links in the chain of causation, and by presenting him, in something like a telescopic form, the wonders of the little world he inhabits. But the bible, while it speaks in far stronger terms than they would do of the natural imperfections and degradation of humanity, yet, by the imparted gifts of deity, by the promised communication of the divine spirit. itself to our souls, proposes to raise us to far greater and nobler destinies than these. The bible speaks of man, by nature, as lost, abominable, vile; but by grace, as exalted from the dust, as restored to the eminence of an exalted spirit, as made "a little lower than the angels," as "clothed with dignity and honour." Not without significant meaning was the human form made to enshine the glory of God. The soul of the Christian is declared to be honoured as the hallowed residence of divinity, "the temple of the Holy Ghost."* Higher and nobler prospects than the brightest dreams of philosophy ever reached, are presented to his view.
* 1 Cor. vi. 19.
No intermediate steps of causation, but the great first cause himself is the perpetual object of his contemplation. He begins at the point far short of which the utmost stretch of unaided intellect must terminate. A better, a brighter, a more expanded world is opened to his view. And it is in the steady pursuit of such things as these, in the serving a greater than an earthly master, in the sacrifice of present to future, of time to eternity, that the best energies of his being, as a creature destined for immortality, are alone properly and essentially engrossed.
How then can they who would fain "live without God and the world," and be strangers to all these characteristic qualities of renewed humanity, be said to live the life of man?-the life which man ought to live,-which he was made to live,—and which God came down from heaven and suffered on the cross that he might live again? To designate such an existence as this the destined and proper life of a human creature, is but to malign and traduce the benevolent purposes of providence itself. And they who maintain such a position might as reasonably take the sun from the material universe, and prefer the dark and withering stagnation of all things which would ensue, as more in accordance with the intention of the Creator than the lively and
joyous animation which God first breathed into his own created world. With a cold and horrible stagnation like this, sin has ever smitten the moral mechanism of the heart of man, and interfered with the destined course and the original designs of his creation. The sun of his system is hidden from the sinner's view. The life and animation of his soul are gone. While he resists the proffered aid of heaven, he has none of the high enjoyments of which man was designed to participate. He has none of those energies of the heart, and soul, and mind, which constitute the glory and the happiness of life. He has none of that elevation of the soul to God,—he has none of that animating hope of futurity, which those partake who are vivified and quickened by the aid of the Holy Spirit. As far as all goodness is concerned, he is as though he had already departed to his grave. Amongst the number of those who really live, -as man -as man was designed to live;-amongst the flock of worshippers in the house of God, amongst the crowd of those who look for a better existence hereafter, he is not to be found. He is not amongst those who pray; he is not amongst those who lift up the voice of praise. You may not meet him in the company of those whose pursuits and engagements are calculated to give any real and solid satisfaction.
To the society of all good men, nay, in the sight of God himself, he is as though he were already dead. He exists merely (as far as all good is concerned) in one perpetual and unbroken slumber. And if, perchance, a thought of better things suggests itself for a while, it passes lightly over the surface of his mind like a midnight dream which may not be realized, and which vanishes away before the beams of the morning sun.
(2.) Again, there is another point in which the unrighteous man is like the dead. The dead cannot feel nor see nor understand. The sensation is benumbed and hardened to all the pleasures of life. The eye is closed now to the many glories of the visible creation.
can no longer listen to the music of life,-to the harmonious voices of love and affection and joy which were wont to gladden the senses and delight the heart. And is it not so with him who perseveres in a course of sin? Can we not all say of those who despise the law of God, that they are dead to feeling, and, as the Apostle says, 66 without natural affection?" Can we not say that in their duties to their fellow creatures they are generally hard-hearted, and in their duties to God always so? Do they not refuse to fear and to love him, when there is every thing that ought to excite their alarm on the one
hand, and to awaken their gratitude on the other? And then how dull, and how blind, and how senseless they are to all that is worth the seeing or knowing in this lower sphere! They have made themselves strangers to all that is most productive of happiness and comfort in the world. They have turned away from the glad tidings of hope and of joy that were proclaimed afar. St. Paul says of one that "lived in pleasure," that "she was dead while she lived."* And so it is with every ungodly person. He is dead, in every sense in which the life of man is truly spoken of,-he is dead while he liveth. He chooses corruption, he loves the darkness, he shuns every thing that is fair and honest in the sight of God. Like the dead, he hears no more, and thinks no more, of the things that might have made him happy. Truly has St. Paul spoken of those who have thus refused the grace of the gospel which might have restored their fallen and disordered nature, that even now, "through the offence of one may be dead;"† that the works of such a one are "dead works;"‡ and St. Peter, that "the gospel was preached also to them that were dead."* Well too has the prophet described such persons as "they + Rom. v. 15. ‡ Heb. vi. 1., ix. 14.
* 1 Tim. v. 6.
** 1 Peter iv. 6.