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The strength of sin overpowers the your own experience and observalove of health. The votaries of pleas- tion; Jook at the pages of history, ure spend their days in luxury and and see to what exertions, what pri. riot, while they see disease and pre- vations and sufferings they have led mature old age rapidly advancing to mankind, and then learn how great seize on their prey. The intemper. must be the strength of sin which ate man raises with trembling hand overpowers these deep-rooted prioci. the bowl which he knows to contain ples of the human heart. the seeds of pain and sorrow ; and The strength of sin overpowers the for a few short hours of mad intoxi. tenderness of compassion.-Mercation voluntarily consents lo drag cy is an attribute that shines bright out a life of weakness and disease among the glories of the Divine char. for a few short hours of mad intoxi. acter, -and it is too, one of the cation, consents to exchange mental brightest ornaments of human navigour for childish imbecility, and the ture. Yet this loveliest feature of strength of manhood for the tottering the beart, is not seldom defaced by limbs of old age-for a few short the workings of sin. The pages of hours of mad intoxication, consents history are filled with little else iban to exchange the glow of health, so de. cruelty and bloodshed, and in spite lightful to the eye for the hues of ex- of the natural tenderness of the bucess, from which the eye turns man heart, at the present how we with loathing.
must confess that it is no libel on The strength of sin overpowers the man to say we live in an unfeeling ties of natural affection. Men pur- world. How vast the difference besue sensual pleasures when they are tween a heart that would not willing, absolutely certain that their conduct ly inflict a needless pain on an inwill disgrace not only themselves, sect, and a heart that can move with but their connexions. How many exultation over thousands writhing fathers, in the indulgence of sensual on the field of battle! How vast the appetites, break through the ties difference between Howard, diving with which nature has bound them into the impurities of a dungeon, and to their children ! How many hus- traversing the most distant counbands sacrifice affection and tender- tries to relieve one pang of the solitaness and domestic peace, to the bale- ry, friendless captive-and the rufful spirit of gambling and intemper- fian who smiles over the bloody dirk ance! Eren bow many a youth has of assassination! Yet all this differ. pained the heart of a doating mother, ence is created by sio. Strong as the while with thoughtless rashness he principle of compassion is, it is overtreads the flowery paths of self-in- powered by the greater strength of dulgence ! Nor is this done from in- sin. sensibility to the claims of nature.- The strength of sin overpowers the The heart of the gambler, in the fear of punishment.--Alter all the hours of reflection, is stung with res laws and penalties that human inmorse the heart of the drunkard, genuity can devise, the world is full in the hours of sobriety, osten is of sin. Not only does it operate wrung with anguish for the grief of secretly in the beart, but walks ahis family-and the erring youth, broad in society, in contempt of while reason gains her sway over bis public feeling and public threatensoul, would assuage parental sorrow ings. Fear, the strongest principle almost at the expense of life itself. of our nature, is unable to restrain It is a degrading servitude, and they it, and the records our courts, tlie would gladly escape, but their prison columns of our newspapers, the cells is ‘guarded by a strong man armed.' of our prisons, present a constant Think now of the strength of paren- testimony of the inefficacy of every eftal and filial affection ; look over fort to overcome the strength of sin.
I might proceed to show that there pathway of life, by the strength of is not a principle in the nature of man sin. And as an oak, stretching its which has not been overpowered by withered leafless branches amid a the strength of sin—that there is not forest. of verdure, testifies to the a principle of our nature which we power of the lightnings of heaven, can make a citadel, where they stand, amid souls Hlourishing as may bid defiance to that strong law the cedars of Lebanon, an awful in our own members which wars monument of tbe resistless, wither against the law of our own mind and ing power of sin.
Are none of my brings us into captivity.
readers of this description? Are Let us next look at the strength of there none over whom we had alsin as manifested in the conduct of most begun the song of salvation, men, in reference to the government over whom we are now compelled to of God, and to a future state. lament that having put their band
The strength of sin overpowers the to the plough and looked back, they convictions of conscience. And the bave judged themselves unfit for the start of terror—the bloodless cheek- kingdom of heaven? Are there none the forebodings of fiery indignation, of whom we are compelled to say, testify :hat the power of conscience it would have been better for them. over the soul is not feeble. Multi- not to have known the way of righttudes, however, rush to the commis- eousness, better for them never to sion of deeds for which they have have felt the operations of the Spirit, often been brought before the bar of than after they had known thein, to conscience and have suffered the have turned from the boly combitterness of its punishment. Multi- mandment, and sunk quietly into the tudes have felt the power of con- iron grasp of sin ? science, pressing on their souls, like The strength of sin overpowers a body of death, while they have our firmest resolutions to reform our been burried forward to crimes which lives. they are fully convinced will add Men sometimes awake from the new turtures to those already insup. stupidity of years and look with unportable. “O wretched man that I clouded eyes on the scenes of eterniam,' is the language of many a heart ty. They know their hearts are destithat yields to the cruel dominion of tute of holiness. Their first expedient sio.
then, is a resolve to reform their The strength of sin overpowers lives, to desert their evil habits, to the operations of the Holy Spirit on attend on the means of grace dilithe heart. The scriptures represent gently, and in this manner, prepare the Spirit of God as striving with men, for heaven. But a little experience though there are degrees of opposi- shows how futile are all these resolution which the Spirit is pleased not tions; for a few months, perhaps to overcome, but to leave the sinner days, witness them swept away, and to his own chosen way. Hence the the soul as guilty as before under the case is not unfrequent of those who dominion of sin. Thousands on have resisted bis influences, and been earth, who are now regardless of relitorn from hope and salvation by the gion, and ten thousands in hell, overpowering strength of sin. The could once adopt, with feeling, the Bible set before them the way of life, language of Paul, 'when I would do the Spirit prompted them to walk in good, evil is present with me: how to it, angels began to rejoice as they perform that which is good, I find bent their feet towards the narrow not.' road, they thought themselves al- The strength of sin overpowers most within the narrow gate, when our desire of future happiness.their steps were suddenly averted There can be no doubt that every and their souls borne far from the man who believes in a future state
desires that state should be happy - dominion-unless we trample on its especially that those who have clear authority--unless we controul its inviews of the nature of the joys of fluence in our hearts we shall never heaven and the miseries of hell are enter into the kingdom of heaven. sincere in desiring that they may. die How then, shall we free ourselves the death if the righteous, and their from its unrelenting grasp? Can we last endo:ike his.' And we do not break away from it by our own believ, at the most hardened pro- strength ? Make the experiment, fligate or the most obstinate infidel for a single day and by your sucthat ever expired in a Christian land, cess, judge of the probability of arin te full exercise of reason, did not riving at heaven by your unassisted in his heart, whatever he might have exertions. Before you think lightly uttered with his lips,—did not in his of the aid of the Holy Spirit, encounheart desire to be found on the day ter the sin that rules in your hearts-of judgment among the people of and if you come off conquerors by God. This desire, however it may the strength of your own arm, then, be concealed, exists in the beart with and then only,
you safely an awful sincerity.--Now what pre- neglect the help of the Mighty One vents the attainment of their desires? of Israel.--Then, and then only, can The way to eternal life is opew': you safely despise the doctrine which and you may search the universe for teaches that men are regeverated an obstacle, and you will not find and delivered from the power of sin one, unless in the heart of mai. by the sovereign influences of the If the gate of life is blocked up, it is Holy Ghost. Then too, and then blocked by the strength of sin; and only, can you safely stand aside if every moral agent who has heard from the Captain of Salvation and of the Gospel does not find his wish- reject the protection of that Rees for eternal happiness accomplish- deemer who has triumphed over the ed, there is no truth in the bible, un- powers of sio and darkness. less he is drawn to hell by the strength of sin-by a love to sin which is stronger than his love of For the Christian Spectator. endless felicity. Every soul that fails of heaven, will fail of it because Exegetical Remarks on 1. Cor. xv.
29. his attachnient to sin is stronger than Eπει τί ποιήσουσιν οι βαπτιζόμενοι υπέρ his attachment to happiness --We
των νεκρών, εϊ οδως νεκροί ουκ εγείρονmay invent excuses and palliations
σί και βαπτίζονται υπερ αυτών και for the loss of the soul, but after all, the plain truth will at last beam forth
Else what shall they do which are to our confusion and despair, that
baptized for the dead, if the
dead rise not at all ? love of sin-voluntary, habitual, un
at all? why yielding love of the dominion of sin are they then baptized for the --a willing submission to the strength
dead?-Common Version. of sin, is the sole cause of our des- Alioquin quid facient qui baptizantruction.
tur pro mortuis, si omnino mortui This faint view of the strength of non resurgunt ? ut quid et bapsin has not been exhibited for a mere tizantur pro illis ?.-Vulgate. matter of speculation ;—but as Quæ nisi ita essent, quid illi ronsetruth in which we are all deeply in- querentur, qui mox morituri tot ac terested. This sin whose strength tantis vitæ periculis se veluti imwe have delineated, has dominion mergi patiuntur, si mortui plane over every one of us who has not non in vitam revocarentur ? quo been sanctified by the Holy Spirit; tandem modo morituri non multo --and God who cannot lie, has de- positantis periculis se exponeclared that unless we break from its rent ? Jaspis.
By comparing the above versions in the marshes, V. 47. 2. Bartıkóof this very difficult passage, it will ενοι έως των μαστών, immersed up to be seen that the English and Vulgate the breast, III. 72. 4. So Diod. Sic. are not entitled to the name of trans- I. 34. XI. 18. Closely allied to lations, because by adopting without this is the meaning, to buthe, to perchange the principal word (Barti form ablution, to wash ; in which fw) on which the sense of the whole sense the word is found in the Sepverse turns, they have furnished no tuagint for 520 2. K. 14; in The clue to its local meaning in this par. Apocryphal writings, as Judith xii, ticular connexion. The Latin of 7, εβαπτίζεσω επί της πηγής του ύδαJaspis gives the sense assigned to T05, she bathed at the fountain. Ecthe passage by the ablest modern clus. xxxi, 25, or xxxiv. 27, Batticommentators; and in accurdance Sólsvos drò vɛxpoū, being cleansed with this view, the original may be from the pollution of touching a tbus paraphrased in English, viz. dead body; and also in the N. T. For otherwise, i. e. if there be no Luke xi, 38, the Pharisee wondered resurrection, of what αυail is it for ότι ου πρώτον εβαπτίσθη προ του αρίσany to expose themselves to so many you because he did not bathe, or wash, dangers and calamities for the sake before cating. Mark vii. 4. Of a of these perishable natures, or ewis- similar nature is the meaning, to tences, which are so soon to drop in- overwhelm with any thing, to pour to annihilation ? i. e. why do they out profusely, largiter profunthus expose themselves in the vain do; as Matt. ii. 11, Mark i, 3. al. hope that they shall rise again and So Plutarch Sympos. 3, 4. ožuw. Beste enter into rest ?-if these natures sifarv, vino obruere. In consequence rise not again, if we are to suffer of its having these significations, eternal death, why should any be the word came to be used in refer. thus willing to be oppressed and ence to the religious ablution by overwhelmed with sufferings? The which persons
were initiated and correctness of this interpretation, it bound to the profession of a particuwill be seen, depends principally on lar faith, etc.-a use so common in the fact, whether the words Bantilw, the New Testament. But since in to baptize, and á vexpoí, the dead, the sacred writings, afflictions and cawill bear the meanings here assigned lamities are often compared to whirlto them; and also, whether the sen- pools, and to deep streams of mighty timent be in accordance with the waters, in which the wretched are scope of the Apostle's reasoning, in overwhelmed and borne away (Ps. the context. That such is actually Ixix, 2, 3, 15, 16 ; cxxiv, 4 ; cxliv, the case, it will be the object of the 7; Isai. xliii, 2) so the word Bantifollowing remarks to evince. fw was transferred from its literal
1. The words Barrisw and vexpoi and primitive meaning, and came to will bear the meanings above assign- signify, to oppress with evils, to overed to them. The primitive significa. wheln with distress and afflictions. tion of Barriţw, in the usage both of So Sept. Isai. xxi. 4. n avquia de Bare the Alexandrine and classic Greek, silsi, terror overwhelmed me. for seems to have been, to submerge, to nya 01353. In Luke xii. 50, cause to sink, to immerse. It is thus Christ says, Barriowa dè čxw Battisused in the passive for you to sink, ovas, I have a baptism to be buptito be overwhelmed, by the author of zed with, where he most evidently the anonymous Greek version, Ps. refers to his crucifixion with its atix. 6; and by Symmachus, Ps. Ixix. tendant sufferings. Matt. xx. 22, 3. So Polybius (ed. Schweighauser) 23. Mark x. 38, 39 So Jesephus, Barriles à ahora vel oxápn, to sink De Bell. Jud. IV 3.3, speaking of the vessels, I. 51. 6. VIII. 8. 4. the bands of robbers who had got Βαπτίζομενοι εν τοίς τέλμασι, sinking possession of Jerusalem, says, εβάπ
VOL. VI No.-6. 38
τισαν την πόλιν, they baptized the II. The interpretation above gircity i. e. they filled it with dis- en is in uccordance with the scope of tress. Heliodor. Æthiop. II.3, xai the Apostle's reasoning in the consñ oup.popã 3eCantiduevov, overwhelm- text. The Apostle is arguing against ed with misfortune. IV. 20. V. 16. those who affirmed that there was Dod. Sic. Ι. 73, ιδιώσας βαπτίζειν no resurrection; see v. 12-16. He saīs sid popais, to oppress the people states the consequences of such a bewith taxes. Anthol. Gr. II. 47. lief: “ If the dead rise not, then These examples are sufficient, it is hop- Christ is not raised; and if Christ be ed,to show that the signification above not raised, your faith is vain ; ye are assigned to Santi(w is so far from be. yet in your sins; and they who have ing forced that it is not even an unusu- died confiding in Christ, have peral one. That Paul and his coadjutors ished. (19) If in this life only we were actually exposed to the greatest have hope in Christ, we are of all sufferings and dangers, so that he might men most miserable." Then, after appropriately employ the word in this affirming in the strongest terms the meaning, is expressly affirmed by doctrine of a resurrection (v. 20–22) himself in the very next verses. he digresses into one of those long
That the word vexpoi may be used parentheses for which he is so noin reference to those who are in a ted. In verse 29, which stands in state of eternal death, i. e. a state immediate connexion with verse 22, from which there is no resurrection, he returns again to the subject, and would seein hardly to need confirm. asks : “ If the dead rise not, why ation by arguments. An example should any, why do we undergo suck in point, however, is not wanting ; sufferings for the sake of those who for in Matt. xxii. 32, and Luke xx. are so soon to be subjected to perpet. 38, Christ says, oɛos dè oux ŠOTI VEX- ual death? (30) Why stand we thus ir pôv, dna furow, he is not the God jeopardy every hour? (31) I protest, of the dead, but of the living. It is by the joy which I have in Christ Jealso employed to denote that which is Eus on your account, that I am every exposed to death, or which is mortal; day exposed to death (32) If, Rom. viii. 10, sờ kèv Oūpa vexpòv di å for example, I have been compelled Waptriav,the body is liable to death,mor. to fight with wild beasts at Ephesus, tal ; so verse 11, and compare drod- (Coll. 2 Cor. i. 8) of what avail is vhoxw, Luke viii. 42. 1 Cor. xv. 31. all this suffering to me? If the dead The sense, therefore, wbich is given rise not, well may we adopt the prinabove to vexpoí is an obvious one, and ciple, Let us eat and arink, for tois supported by Scripture usage. It morrow we die.” Could any thing may here be remarked, that some accord more perfectly with the wricommentators, among whom ter's train of thought, or fall in more Ziegler and Rosenmueller, bave giv- appositely with the course of his exen a different version to the phrase
to the phrase pressions ? The verses (29-32) be υπερ των νεκρών, on account of the come thus in a manner parallel; Basdead, making it equivalent to ÚTEC Filouaus (29) being exchanged for του γίνεσθαι νεκρούς, and translating κινδυνεύω (30) and for αποθνήσκω. (31). thus, viz. Why do they thus expose III. No other interpretation which themselves to suffering merely that has yet been given is either so simthey may die ? it is sufficient to ob- ple, or harmonizes so well with the serve that such a construction of the context. It would be a tedious and phrase is unsupported by analogy,- most unprofitable task to go through the passage in Heb. ix. 17, to which with all the attempts at explanation, they appeal being not in point,—and which have been made upon this lothat the meaning thus obtained is cus vexatissimus et magnum criticoless direct, less simple, and less rum offendiculum. Suffice it to say, striking, than that given above. that all have taken Bamsigw in its