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likely to complain when it is experienced. Now Christ bore without a murmur, and just as if he had been insensible or unconscious, the mockings, the taunts, the scourging, the buffetting, the nailing to the cross—in short, all the corporeal sufferings and official indignities offered to him by his enemies. But there was one part of his sufferings which he did not bear unmoved--one which wrung from him that pathetic exclamation, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me!" And what was this? I answer, It was A SÉPARATION FROM God.
Now a separation from God is a death to God. Death is a word which denotes privation or separation. When the ties which bind one to the natural world are severed, when he can no longer see the light of day, nor hear the voice of affection, nor feel the grasp of friendship, nor perceive the odors and tastes of natural objects—when he breathes no more the vital air, and his heart is still and motionless, we say that he is dead. It is because the relations and connexions which existed between him and the natural world are broken up, and he is separated from the world and become wholly insensible to any thing therein., Just so death in respect to God and the spiritual world, is a state of separation from God, or vice versa, the expressions being interchange able.
We have thus before us a deaih quite different in its nature, from the mere cessation of animal existence. And it is a death which is truly such. Nay, if any thing deserve to be called death, by way of eminence, it is this. It is to it, indeed, the term is most commonly applied in scripture. As natural sleep is to natural death, so is natural death comprred with a death to God * To be dead and insensible to the source of all that is lovely and glorious; of all that is good and merciful; of all that is happy and joyful- to be cut off from Him who is the fount of being and blessedness, in whom alone where is life," and to whom alone "belong the issues from death," this is to be dead indeed. It need not be sung, then, "Who would live always away from his God”? l'he true question is, Who can? And the true answer, No one.
"I cannot live if thou remove;:
For thou art all in all."
* This will serve as a key to the true sense of many passages of scripture which will doublies; occur to the mind of the reader. We may instance our Lord's language is relation to Lazarus-"He sleeps, bui I go to awake him out of sleep;" and to Jairns' daughter, she is not dead, hul sleeperh.” But “they derided him," it is said, “knowing that she was deait." And she was, in their sense of the word, but not in bis. As he said in another place-God is not the God of the deal, hut of the living"-and why? "Because tripy all live unto bim." One may thus be dead to men-dead to the natural world-but still alive to God So also one niay be alive to men and to the ralural world, hul dead in respect to God. Lel the reader consider John. v. 24; 1 Tim. v. 6.; 1 Pet, iv. 5, 6.; 1 Jobs v. 12,$c$c. FOLV-X.
It is not, then, strange that our Lord experienced such emotions of dread, and such poignant anguish in the anticipation and suffering of this death, so terrible in itself and so dreadful to him especially who had dwelt in the bosom of the Father, and knew the joys and blissful privileges and unspeakable happiness of such a communion-of such a life. How unwillingly men part with mere animal existence, who have no more! It is because it has been the source and means of all their enjoyments. How insensible such are to their state of death to God! It is because they have never tasted the blessedness which those experience who are made walive to God." They can bear with apparent indifference a state of separation and alienation from the fellowship and favor of God and the joys of the spiritual world, which Jesus could not even anticipate without an agony of soul which wrung out a sweat of blood and caused him thrice to pray, “Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me." All but this might be endured with unshaken fortitude. But this, how bitter! how terrible to him who truly lived in God alone! And oh! how dreadful the condition of those who are not only dead to God, but wholly unconscious of the fact!
This, then, is the death which Christ died for his people-a death to God. This, also, is the death which his people can never die.Ah no! never shall they again be separate from God. Never shall cne who has been quickened and born again into the spiritual kingdom and family of God be left to exclaim, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me!” No. Even in that hour when flesh and heart fail, will God be the strength of his heart and his portion forever. It is then, that as the animal life is ebbing fast away, the divine presence flows in upon the soul; and as the ties which bound his natural frame to earth are loosened, those are but drawn more tightly which attach his soul to heaven. “He shall never taste of death,” said Jesus"He shall never see death"_Whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.” A death to God, then, being a state of separation from God, and this being the nature of the death which Christ died for his people, and the death consequently which they, having died in him, can never die, it may be well for us now to look at the subject from another point, suggested by the inquiry, What is the cause of a death to God? To this it may be at once replied, It is sin. 'It is sin which has separated between us and God.' "The soul that sinnerh, t shall die.” “If we say we have fellowship with God and walk in darkness (in sin,] we lie and do not the truth.” “He that committeth sin is of the devil-Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sinIn this the children of God are manifest and the children of the devil."
on our account.
The unpardoned sinner, then, is dead 10 God, or separated from God on account of his sins. Hence he is in the scripture said to be "dead in tresspasses and in sins"-a phrase synonymous with dead to God or separated from God, and one which is often used, being expressive both of the fact itself and the cause of it-to wit, “presspasses and sins."
Hence the Lord had no sooner "laid upon Christ the iniquities of us all”—and he so sooner "bore our sins in his own body on the tree,” than it became necessary that he should be separated from God
How signal a proof of the divine abhorrence of sin! On the other hand, the sinner is no sooner redeemed from his iniquity, through a personal application of the sacrifice of Christ, than he is made alive to God; and enjoying fellowship with him by his Spirit, he is now possessed of sensibilities or powers of intercourse with a spiritual world, of whose very existence almost he was before unconscious.* To die for sins, then, is to be separated from God-on account of the sins of others. To be dead in sins is to be in the same state of separation on account of our own transgressions. With how much propriety, then, the primary fact of the gospel is expressed: Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and how different is a death merely, in the common sense of the word, from a death for iin!
But we may look at this subject from another point which will afford a view no less interesting. That point is the garden of Eden; and from this position it appears very clearly not only that to be dead is 10 be separated from God, but even that the radical and original meaning of the word death was a separation from God, and that its application to what is now called death, the cessation of mere animal existence, is secondary and subordinate.
Man had been informed that in the day in which he should eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil he should surely die. Atihe period of this declaration, there was no barrier between him and the Divine Creator. He was alive to God,” conscious of his presence, rejoicing in his favor and fellowship. The ties which bound him to the spirit ual world were as yet unbroken, for he was a "son of God," sinless and uncorrupted. When created, then, our first parents occupied the true position of man-their highest happiness and delight-their life—an enlarged, lofiy, and holy communion with spiritual being, so exalting and absorbing, that earth and their own material earth-born frames even were so unnoticed and unihonghi of, that they did not even know that they were naked, and were consequently “not ashamed.”
* Eph ij “And you hath he quickened who were dead in tresspasses and sing"“Even when we were dead in sins he hash quickened us togellier with Christ '-Re. member that ye were at that time without ciirist-having no hope and without God in the world "
Coloss ii. “And you heing dead in your sins and uncircumcision of your flesh hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all tresspasscs." See also Rom. vi.
But no sooner did they break the commandment, than they were severed from that direct intercourse with the spiritual world. He drove out the man." He sent him forth to wear out (cut off from the tree of life) that animal existence which now alone remained to him. His dying then, and it is the first and original use and application of The word, was his separation from God, which, according to the terms of the law he had violated, took place in the day in which the sin was commiited. He became dead in the true and proper and most important sense of the word-dead in sin-an outcast from the divine presence and the joys of Eden. In the connexion the cessation of his animal life is spoken of, but it is not even called death—it is termed "a returning to the ground.' He was already dead in the true sense, and all that followed-sorrow, pain, labor, and the final cessation of animal life, were merely the consequences of his death to God-his separation from the Source of Life. On the other hand, men, in their habit of exalıing the natural above the spiritual and earth above heaven, have applied the term deaih to the cessation of animal life, and have accustomed themselves to regard this as the literal and true application of the word, which is only its figurative or secondary one.
Many persons too, from the same habit of carnalizing spiritual things, have taken no other view of the penalty of Adam's transgression than this, that it was a natural death, and have been at much pains to explain away the language used in relation to it. Availing themselves of the marginal reading, "dying thou shalt die," they labor to show that this expresses a slow and gradual process which might be extended to the period of Adam's return to the dust. It is to be observed, however, that whatever meaning may be given to the word die, the process was to take place and to be completed “IN THE DAY" —that very day, and that there is no authority to extend any thing included in the word
die" beyond that period. They have greatly erred too, in attempting to make it appear that the Hebraism rendered osdying thou shalt die, is a form of expression weakening, or intended to diminish, the full sense of the word. The very reverse of this is the case. It is a form adopted for the very purpose of giving force, energy and certainty, and is very correctly rendered thou shalt sürely die." We have an example of the same kind, Gen. xliii, 7.-Knowing could we know that he would say, Bring your brother down," in which case the proper rendering is given in the text, “Could we certainly know that he would say," &c.
Thus it appears that the death which Adam died in the day in which he sinned, is the death which Jesus died when he bore the sins of many—to wit-a separation from God; and that Christ's people are, by virtue of his deaih on their account, released from that state of alienation from God which sin created, and restored to the divine favor, fellowship and life, being brought once more to that holy, spiritual, and blissful communion which existed in Eden, and which, if truly enjoyed, will elevate the soul, purify the affections, and absorb all the faculties of our nature.
How important, then, it is that the common error in relation to this subject be corrected, and that men should be induced to regard death as really, essentially, and truly a state of separation from God, and life as a state of connexion, communion, and fellowship with Him and with that spiritual and eternal world which to the natural eye jo invisible. Are not the invisible things the true and real ones? Are not the things seen those that are unreal, transitory, temporal? This material constitution of nature is, as it were, like the tabernacle, but a pattern of things in the heavens—in the spiritnal world. Thal world and the Lord of it existed before ever this earth or the system to which it belongs was called into being. That world, in its unfading beauty and unchanging reality, exists still, and shall continue to exist when the material universe shall pass away and leave no trace.
"The things that are unseen are eternal.” It is the spiritual which has given origin to the material, as the substance to the shadow. This is
"The land of apparitions, empty shades!
Is real, the reverse is Folly's creed." Mere animal existence, then, is not truly life, nor the loss of it death; neither have we any authority to apply these terms, in their literal and full sense, to things which are but faint and imperfect images of that which is truly life and truly death.
How secularized and carnalized is the Christian profession now! How different were the thoughts, language, and actions of the early Christians. They were dead 10 the world,” but walive to God through Christ.” Now, professed followers of Christ are alive to the world is pleasures, fashions, and follies; but seem to have no spirii• ual union at all to God, and con- quently no real union, for God is Spirit and consequenily a real union with Him must be a spiritual one. They take no delight therefore in spiritual conversation and meditation, or any exercises which are truly spiritual-all these are to them uninteresting and burdensome. With the early Christians, Christianity was every thing-heir hope, their joy, their life. The loss of it was