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whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness."'1
From this state of thraldom Jesus asserts his power and his readiness to deliver them. He
35. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.
36. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
While they were the servants of sin and Satan, they could not abide in the house of God ;-in his heavenly kingdom. There are many mansions there; but none for unrepented sin. But the Son abideth ever.
For “ of the Son the scripture saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever.”
" The Father hath delivered all things into his hand, because he is the Son of man.” If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
Here, then, is a clear and a most important promise; that Christ Jesus will deliver those who “continue in his word, and are his disciples indeed,” from the dominion of sin. It is the mise of the whole Gospel. It began with his birth. “ His name was called Jesus, for he should save his people from their sins.” And the message was first delivered in the same language. “ God sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.'
St. Paul has shown us how this process is carried on in the heart of the Christian. He first sees the danger of his present state. It is proved to him 1 Rom. vi. 16.
2 Acts iii. 26.
It is the pro
by the cross of Christ, which stands before his eyes, as an evidence of the end to which sin leads. “For the wages of sin is death :" " indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, reserved for every soul of man that doeth evil.” This awakens a desire to escape from that dominion by which he is enthralled. Whoever is in bondage, must first feel an earnest desire to escape, before he bestirs himself to seek the means. And such is the account of the apostle. (Rom. vii. 23.) “I find a 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. O wretched man that I am ! who shall deliver me from the body of this death ?” Here is a just description of captivity.
" Who shall deliver me?” Who shall deliver me from my unhallowed passions, my rebellious thoughts? who shall restrain the proud imaginations of my
heart? who shall release me from covetousness, envy, malice : from the besetting sin—whatever it may be-of my nature and my habits ? These enslave me : have possession of me : and from their dominion I can no more release myself, than I can create myself anew. And then follows the delight of one who sees the prospect open before him, whose preserver is at hand.
16 I thank God, through Jesus Christ our Lord.” He shall deliver
He can do, what man cannot do, give “a new heart and a right spirit.” He offers such assurances of pardon, such persuasive motives, such present peace, such future hopes and promises, that
the bonds which enchained my sinful heart are broken, and I am no longer the slave of Satan. He fills my heart with the truth, and the truth shall make me free.
This then is the deliverance enjoyed by the disciple of Christ Jesus. “The spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made him free from the law of sin and death.” Sin is an enemy, but a conquered enemy. It may disturb, and rebel, and harass, and injure; but it cannot subdue or destroy. And this is to be free indeed: because it is the being enabled to act according to a man's best interests, both present and eternal. Well may the apostle speak of the “glorious liberty of the sons of God.” And well may He be described as a Saviour, who came “ to save his people from their
We are now able, by uniting together what has been said in this and the preceding lecture, to form a just estimate of our own state, and inquire how far THE TRUTH, that is, the gospel, has had its proper effect upon ourselves. It has not its proper effect, unless it has freed you from the dominion of sin : so that no habitual transgression of God's will can any more be allowed in your practice, than you would suffer an assassin to continue in your house, or poison to be mixed up with your daily food. It has not its proper effect, unless you are free from the control of “this present world ;” and in all things you consider, not what is generally done, not what is apparently expedient to private
interests, or pleasing to the inclination of others, but what agrees with the analogy of Scripture, the example of Christ, the will of God, the prospect of everlasting glory. It has not its proper effect, unless you are delivered from any servile fear of death, and can look forward to an event which you know must come, and which cannot be very distant, as the door of an everlasting kingdom, purchased for you by an Almighty Saviour, whom by faith you have made your own.
Be not satisfied with any thing short of this. Look to the faith which you profess, as able to carry you beyond this world, to exalt
above it. For " he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God,” “overcometh the world.”3 Continue in his word, for so shall ye be his disciples indeed : and learn by happy experience, that his “service is perfect freedom.”
3 See 1 John v. 4, 5.
DISCOURSE WITH THE JEWS CONTINUED. THE CHILDREN OF GOD AND THE CHILDREN OF SATAN DISTINGUISHED.
JOHN viii. 37-47.
37. I know that ye are Abraham's seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you.
. 38. I speak that which I have seen with my Father : and ye do that which ye have seen with your father.
39. They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham.
40. But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God : this did not Abraham.
41. Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication : we have one Father, even God. 1
42. Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.
43. Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear
Most persons, if not utterly insensible to religion, have some reason satisfactory to themselves why
1 We are the genuine descendants of Abraham, not by Ishmael or Esau, but by Jacob and the patriarchs.