The Perpetual Obligation Of The Moral Law; The Evil Of Sin, And Its Deserving Of Punishment.

Adapted from a Sermon By

Isaac Watts

Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. 1 John 3:4

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23

Romans Chapter 6 verse 23 pronounces the most grave and solemn warning: The wages of sin is death.

And 1 John Chapter 3 verse 4 tells us that Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness.

This morning following a sermon adapted from Isaac Watts, we will consider, The Perpetual Obligation Of The Moral Law; The Evil Of Sin, And the Punishment which Sin Deserves.

The blessed God has an undoubted right to command and govern his creatures, and when he makes known his will, or lays the knowledge of it within their reach, this becomes a law to them, this determines what is their duty; and a transgression of this law, or disobedience to it, is sin; and sin carries in it the notion of moral evil, which deserves some penalty to be inflicted on the sinner.

Now that the moral law is such a law as has just been described, and has such consequences to the transgression of it; will be shown under these four headings:

1. We will consider what is meant by the moral law, and where this law is to be found.

2. We will consider the proofs that it reaches to all mankind, and is perpetually binding.

3. That sin, or the transgression of it, is a very great and heinous evil.

4. That it justly deserves punishment from the hands of God.

1. The first question is, What do we mean by the moral law?

To which, the answer is, The moral law is that rule which is given to all mankind to direct their manners or behaviour, considered merely as they are intelligent and social creatures, as creatures who have an understanding to know God and themselves, a capacity to judge what is right and wrong, and a will to chose and refuse good and evil.

This law does not come merely from nature, but also includes in it the existence of God, and his will manifested some way or other, or at least put within the reach of our knowledge; it includes also his authority, which requires us to walk by the rule he gives us. The commands or requirements of the moral law may be viewed from different perspectives, but tend to the same design and substance. Sometimes the moral law is represented as requiring us to seek after the knowledge of that God who made us, as requiring us to believe whatsoever God reveals to us, and as commanding us to perform those duties he prescribes, and to abstain from those things which he forbids.

Sometimes again this moral law is represented by distinguishing it into those duties which we owe to God, to our neighbours, and to ourselves.

The duties which we owe to God are fear and love, trust and hope, worship and obedience, prayer and praise, doing everything to his glory, and patience under his providences in life and death.

The duties which we owe to our neighbours are submission to our superiors, compassion to our inferiors, truth and faithfulness, justice and honesty, benevolence and goodness toward all men.

The duties which we owe to ourselves are sobriety and temperance; and in general the moral law requires a restraint of our natural appetites and passions within just bounds, so that they neither break out to the dishonour of God, to the injury of our neighbour, or to hinder us in the pursuit of our own best interests.

There is yet another general representation of the moral law, which is used in Scripture both in the Old and New Testament. It is mentioned by Moses, Deut. 6. 5. Lev. 19. 18. and repeated and confirmed by our blessed Saviour, Matt. 22. 37. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind, and you shall love your neighbor as yourself; On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets: And therefore the apostle Paul, Rom. 13. 10. tells us, love is the fulfilling of the law. For he that loves God and his neighbour as he ought, will perform all necessary duties toward them, as well as govern himself aright in obedience to God his Maker.

Having explained what is meant by the moral law, we come to consider where it is to be found?

It is found in the Ten Commands given to the Jews at Sinai; it is found in the Holy Scriptures, scattered up and down through all the writings of the Old and New Testament; and it may be found out in the plainest and most necessary parts of it, by the sincere and diligent exercise of our own reasoning powers. It was written by the finger of God in tables of stone; it is written by the inspiration of God in the Holy Bible; and it is written in the hearts and consciences of mankind by the God of nature.

The voice of God from heaven proclaimed this law, the voice of the prophets and apostles confirm it, and the voice of conscience, which is the vicegerent of God in the heart of man, speaks the same thing. As we see in Romans Chapter 2. 14, 15. which must be explained in this way: When the gentiles, who do not have the written law, are admonished by nature, and their own consciences, to do things contained in the written law, their hearts and reasoning powers are a natural law to themselves, which shows or reveals the work of the written law or Ten Commandments impressed on their hearts; their very consciences bearing witness for or against themselves, and accusing, or excusing them, according as they have obeyed or broke that natural law within them.

2. The second general heading leads us to consider the proofs, that this moral law is universally and perpetually binding on all mankind, even through all nations and all ages.

The will of God their Maker concerning their conduct being revealed to them, or laid within the reach of their knowledge, as already mentioned, becomes a law or rule of life to men. Now this moral law is so far revealed to all, whether Jews, gentiles, or Christians, both by the light of reason, and by the writings of the Old and New Testament, that it becomes a universal law which requires the obedience of all mankind. And as it has universal authority over all men, so its obligation is perpetual and everlasting; there cannot be any dissolution of it, nor a release from its commands or requirements; which will appear if we consider the following reasons:

I. It is a law which arises from the very existence of God and the nature of man.

It comes from the very relation of such creatures to their Maker and to one another. Every creature must owe its all to him that made it; and therefore all its powers ought to be employed so as to bring some honour to its Maker God. He is the supreme Lord and Ruler, and he ought to be reverenced and obeyed: He is all-wise and almighty, he ought to be feared and worshipped: He is in himself the most excellent of beings as well as merciful and kind to us, and the source of all our present comforts and our future hopes. He ought therefore to be loved above all things, and to be addressed with prayer and praise; nor can it ever be said that a creature is under no obligation to love and obey, to fear and worship his Creator, or to render what is due to his fellow-creatures, even according to his utmost powers.

II. This law is so far built into the very nature of man as a reasonable creature, that an awakened conscience will forever require obedience to it.

Wherever the reasoning powers of man are diligent and sincerely attentive to his most important concerns, he must acknowledge that Almighty God demands our best obedience, our honour and our love, and he deserves it: Every conscience acting on reasonable principles must confess, that truth and honesty ought to be practised towards our neighbour, and temperance and sobriety with regard to ourselves; that we are bound to restrain our vicious appetites and passions within the rules of reason and our better powers; that we must not be savage or cruel to others, nor must we abuse our understanding and our senses which God has given us for better purposes, and by drowning them in wine and strong drink, or by any intemperance behave like the lower animals that perish. As long as man is man, and reason is reason, so long will this law be a rule to mankind.

III. This law must be perpetual, for it is suited to every state and circumstance of human nature, to every condition of the life of man, and to every dispensation of God.

And since it cannot be changed for a better law, it must be everlasting. It is suited to the state of man in innocence, and of man fallen from his happiness: It is suited to every tribe and nation of mankind: All are required to yield their utmost obedience to the commands of God. It began in paradise as soon as man was created, and it will never cease to bind in this world or the other. Neither Jew nor Gentile, neither saint nor sinner on earth, nor Enoch, nor Elijah, nor the blessed spirits in heaven, nor the spirits of the wicked under the punishments of hell, are released from their obligation to this law, which requires them to love and honour God, and to be faithful and just to man: For if any persons whatsoever were released from the bond of this law, they would not be guilty of sin, nor do wrong in neglecting the practices of virtue and godliness.

IV. It appears yet further that this law is perpetual, because whatsoever other law God can prescribe, or man can be bound to obey, it is built upon the eternal obligation of this moral law.

Every positive command of rites and ceremonies, and sacrifices given to the patriarchs, or the Jews; every command of faith in the Messiah, trust in the blood of Jesus, and obedience to him in his exalted state; every institution of the Old Testament and the New, circumcision and baptism, the feast of the Passover and of the Lord's supper, with all the forms of worship and duty towards God and man, which ever were prescribed, receive their force and obligation from the moral law.

It is this law which requires all men to believe whatsoever God will reveal with proper evidence, either by the exercise of their own reason, or by his divine revelation: It is the moral law that requires our heart and hands to yield obedience to all the positive laws God has given to men: Some of those rites and ceremonies, so far as we can see, seem not to be of any great importance in themselves; but a wilful neglect of the least of them is a disobedience to the great God, and a violation of this law; and we may say that if this law were abolished, no other could bind us: for it is one of the first and strongest requirements of this law, that a creature must obey his Maker in all things. And for this reason it was that our blessed Saviour, who had no need to be washed from sin, yet submitted to baptism under the ministry of John his forerunner, even when John seemed to dissuade him from it. Matt. 3. 15. Let it be so now, said he, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness, that is, to obey whatever God commands.

V. It should be added in the last place, that Scripture asserts the perpetuity and everlasting obligation of the moral law.

Luke 16. 17. It is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one dot of the Law to become void; and our blessed Saviour declares; Matt. 5. 17. that he did not come to abolish the law, but to fulfil it: by which he cannot mean the Jewish ritual which was soon abolished, but he means eminently the moral law, for it is the precepts of that law he goes on to explain. And it is in conformity to this doctrine the apostle Paul makes use of this law to convince Jew and gentile, and all mankind in all ages, that they are sinners, and guilty before God, in the second and third chapters to the Romans. Through the law comes knowledge of sin, whether the natural law of the heathens, or the written law of the Jews: All have broken this moral law of God, every mouth is stopped, and all the world lies guilty before God.

Now there have always been some contrary opinions rising up in the heart of man against this doctrine. Some have objected here, that since the fall of Adam no mere man is able to perfectly comply with its demands, since it requires universal obedience in thought, word, and action, and a perfect abstinence from every sin; but since no man is able to yield this obedience, it can never be supposed that a righteous and a gracious God can continue to require it. In answer to this, first,

Answer I.—Consider that man has not lost his natural powers to obey this law; he is bound then as far as his natural powers will reach.

Admittedly his faculties are greatly corrupted by vicious inclinations or sinful tendencies, which has been appropriately called a moral inability to fulfil the law, rather than a natural impossibility of it.

But though the powers of man be impaired, and his inclinations to evil are so strong that they will never be effectually subdued without divine grace, yet the great and holy God continues still to demand a perfect obedience; he cannot give an imperfect law, or a law that requires but an imperfect obedience to it. His title, as the Creator and the God of nature, demands the best service that our natural powers can perform: Our understanding and will, our heart, and hand, and tongue, owe him their utmost obedience.

Besides, if the law did not continue to require our best and highest obedience, we should not be guilty of sin where we fall short of perfection; that is, if we loved God in part, if we serve him in part, though it was not with all our mind, with all our soul, with all our heart, and with all our strength, yet we should not be transgressors; but this it seems is a very irrational supposition. In answer, in the second place,

II. Consider that the moral law may continue still to demand perfect obedience of all men, though since the fall they cannot perfectly fulfil it; for the grace of the gospel which is revealed in Scripture, and which runs through every dispensation since the fall of Adam, has not lessened the demands of the law, though it has provided a relief for us under our failings.

And though we do not fulfil what God requires in this law, yet he condescends in this gospel to pardon and to accept the humble, the sincere, the penitent sinner, on the account of the perfect obedience and atoning sacrifice of his own Son. It is granted indeed, that all men who have been saved in the way of the gospel have yielded but a very imperfect and defective obedience to this law, yet still the law of God demands a perfection of holiness according to our utmost natural powers and capacities; the law demands that we do not sin at all; but the gospel says, if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world: 1 John 2. 2.

3. Having proved the perpetual obligation of the moral law, we go on to the third part of the sermon, and that is, briefly to represent the evil nature of sin.

Our text tells us in what it consists. Sin is lawlessness or the transgression of the law. When a creature transgresses any command that God has given, he commits sin; but this mainly refers to the moral law, because it is this law upon which all others are founded, and which gives force and authority to them all. Now there is a heinous evil contained in the nature of sin, if we consider the following characters of it.

I. It is an affront to the authority and government of a wise and holy God, a God who has sovereign right to make laws for his creatures, and has formed all his commands and prohibitions according to infinite wisdom.

Every act of wilful sin denies, as it were, the sovereignty of God over us, and the property that God has in us, according to the expression of profane sinners, Psalm 12. 4. Our lips are our own; who is lord over us? Wilful sin against God denies his right to govern us, and pours high contempt upon his wisdom and his righteous dominion; it denies his laws to be wise and righteous, as though they were not fit to be prescribed by God, or practised by men.

II. Sin carries in its nature high ingratitude to God our Creator, and a wicked abuse of that goodness which has bestowed upon us all our natural powers and talents, our limbs, our senses, and all our faculties of soul and body.

Such a Creator, who has furnished his creatures with so many excellent faculties, may reasonably expect and demand of them a return of love and obedience; but to employ these very talents and powers for the dishonour of him who gave them, is abominable in itself, and highly provoking to that God who formed us.

III. Sin against the law of God, breaks in upon that wise and beautiful order which God has appointed to run through his whole creation.

Prov. 16. 4. The Lord has made everything for its purpose and his own glory; but if we set up ourselves and our own honour as the chief end of all, and neglect to pay our duty and honours to the blessed God, we run contrary to this divine appointment, and place ourselves in the place of God. He has ordained that his creatures should be mutually helpful to each other, and that man should love his neighbour; but if malice, and envy, and falsehood prevail in us, and if cruelty and injustice are practised toward our fellow-creatures, the proper and beautiful harmony between the intelligent creatures is broken, and it is a hateful thing in the eyes of God to see those rules of order violated, renounced and trampled upon, which he has established with so much wisdom and justice.

Yet further, God has ordained reason in man to govern his appetites and passions, and all his lower powers: But sin brings shameful confusion into our very frame, while it exalts the appetites and passions to reign over our reason, to break the rules and dictates of conscience, and transgress all the bounds of reasonable restraint. Sin working in the heart empowers those impure and unruly powers of nature, and spreads wild disorder through all the life of man.

IV. As it is the very nature of sin to bring disorder into the creation of God, so its natural consequences are hurtful to the sinful creature!

Every act of wilful sin tends to deface the moral image of God in the soul, and ruin the best part of his workmanship. It warps the mind aside from its chief good, and turns the heart away from God and all that is holy. Sin forms itself in the heart into an evil principle and habit of disobedience; one sin makes way for another, and increases the wretched trade of sinning. A frequent breaking of the restraints of law and conscience not only strengthens the inclination to vice, but it enfeebles the voice and power of conscience to withhold us from sin: it sets man running in the paths of intemperance and malice, folly and madness, down to perdition and misery: It many times brings painful diseases upon the body, and it is the source of dreadful sorrows in the soul: All these are the natural consequences of sin.

V. In the last place, sin provokes God to anger, as he is the righteous Governor of the world; it brings guilt upon the creature, and exposes it to the punishments threatened by the broken law.

When sin entered into the nature of man, there was an end of all friendly interaction between him and his Maker. Man is afraid of God, and God is angry with man. Sin throws him out of his Maker's former favour, and exposes him to the wrath and indignation of a righteous and almighty God, who will vindicate the honours of his own law. He is a God of purer eyes than to see evil, Hab. 1:13. and he feels indignation with the wicked every day; Psalm 7. 11.

The great Creator and Governor of the universe will not always bear to be affronted by such contemptible little worms as we are: If we do not turn from our evil ways, he will whet his sword; he has bent and readied his bow, he has prepared for him his deadly weapons, making his arrows fiery shafts, and the soul of the sinner will feel his arrows. Verse 12, 13.

And yet further, as God has set up conscience in man to be a witness for God there, and remind man of his Maker's law and his own duty, so this power called conscience is also ordained to be a judge in the heart of man in the place of God, and to sentence and condemn the guilty creature, and to begin the execution of this sentence with sharp anguish of heart, with inward reproaches and bitter terrors. This home bred torment is a hell on earth, and it often begins before the sinner dies.

Who does not see the dreadful evil of sin, in the wretched change that is introduced by it into God’s creation in the upper and lower worlds? It has turned angels of light into devils and spirits of darkness: It has thrown millions of glorious and happy beings out of their heavenly dwelling: It made our first parents afraid of their Maker even in paradise, and turned them out of that happy garden. It brought many curses upon human nature, many sorrows and sufferings of every kind. It is sin that has run through every generation, and exposed us to all the evils that we feel, and to all that we fear, either from the hand of God, or our fellow-creatures.

While man stood innocent and obedient, nothing could hurt him; but he broke the law of his God and renounced his government, and the bonds of love between mankind are broken, and the brute creatures have to a large extent broken their subjection to man. He who was made to govern them is afraid of them, and has often been destroyed by them: Innocence had been a sure and everlasting defence. All the desolations that have been made by famine and disease, and wars and earthquakes, and by the rage of wild beasts, from the beginning of the world, are owing to the sin of man.

4. But these thoughts bring us down to the fourth general heading of the sermon, which is to consider the proper demerit of sin, or what is the punishment it deserves. This we will consider under these four plain Propositions:

Proposition I.—When God made man at first, he designed to continue him in life and happiness so long as man continued innocent and obedient to the law, and thereby maintained his allegiance to God his Maker.

This is consistent with the terms of the law represented in Rom. 2. 7. If he had patiently continued in well-doing, he would have enjoyed glory and honour, immortality and eternal life: And the blessed God seems to have promised it to man, at least by way of emblem and sacrament, in giving him the tree of life, and perhaps also by a more explicit promise of life, which has not been revealed to us in Moses’ writings.

II. By a wilful and presumptuous transgression of the law, man violated his allegiance to God his Maker, and forfeited all good things that his Creator had given him, and the hope of all that he had promised.

Every sin incurs a forfeiture of life itself, and all the present and future comforts of it, according to the express words of the threatening; Gen. 2. 17. in the day that you eat of the forbidden fruit you shall surely die, that is, you shall become mortal and liable to death. And the apostle tells us; Rom. 6. 23. The wages of sin is death. Nor is such a forfeiture of life and the blessings of it by sin, utterly unknown to the heathen world, as the apostle Paul declares Rom. 1. 32. They know God's righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die: And surely the very light of nature might find this out; for it would be strange indeed if God the Creator should be bound to continue life or any blessing to a creature which had broken his allegiance to his Maker, and by a wilful and presumptuous offence, had, as it were, renounced the very end and design for which he was made.

III. This loss of life and its blessings through sin, is an everlasting loss.

Every sin is usually and justly supposed to increase its demerit, or merit of punishment, according to the dignity of the person whose law is broken. Sin against a father or a prince carries greater guilt in it, than that which is committed against a neighbour or a servant: And from this perspective sin against God appears to have a sort of infinite evil in it, because it is committed against the infinite Majesty of heaven: And on this account every sin deserves a sort of infinite or everlasting punishment, that is, an everlasting loss of life and all the blessings of it, which in this way are lost for ever.

IV. There is scarcely any actual, that is, wilful sin, but carries with it some particular aggravations, and these deserve such further positive punishments as the wisdom and justice of God will see fit to inflict.

From this arises the penal continuance in life with the loss of all the comforts of it, that is, the pains and sorrows of life in hell. God is the righteous Governor of the world, his justice weighs in the most accurate balances every command of his own law, and every grain of the sinner's offences, with all their circumstances of guilt and aggravation; and strict justice distributes sorrows in proportion to sins: This appears in the punishment of Babylon; Rev. 18. 6. God has remembered her iniquities. Pay her back as she herself has paid back others, and repay her double for her deeds; mix a double portion for her in the cup she mixed. As she glorified herself and lived in luxury, so give her a like measure of torment and mourning. And this proportion of sorrow to sin will appear in a terrible way in the last judgment and the final punishment of sinners in the world to come.

And now, as we come to a close here are some few reflections on the subject:

Reflection I. Is the law of God in perpetual force, and is every transgression of it so heinous an evil?; then let us consider how wretched and deplorable is the state of mankind by nature.

We have all broken the law of our God, which we have been all bound to obey; we are still bound to obey it, and are still breakers of it. Our daily thoughts, our words and our deeds, sufficiently show us that we are transgressors, and there is in our nature a perpetual tendency to transgress. Where is the mortal that has lived according to the purity and perfection of this law? There is none righteous; no, not one. Rom. 3. 10, 12. Where is the son or daughter of Adam, that is not pronounced guilty and condemned by it? Every mouth is stopped, and all the world is guilty before God. What a miserable region is this earth, overspread with sinful inhabitants, criminal creatures, who are all transgressors against the law of the God that made them, and by the sentence of that law stand condemned to death, considered in their natural state.

II. Is the moral law of such constant obligation, and is death the due recompence of every transgression of it?; Then it is necessary for ministers to preach this law, and it is necessary for hearers to learn it.

We should all know our duty and our danger. The best of Christians are not arrived at a dispensation above the knowledge and the practice of this law. There is no honour done to the gospel by explaining it in such a manner as to release us from the duties of the moral law; for it is one great purpose of the gospel to restore us again to a happy and regular obedience to it.

To release Christians from the precepts of the law is to make Christ the minister of sin, and to turn the grace of our God into unrestraint, which the apostles Paul and Jude speak of with great aversion. Gal. 2. 17. Jude verse 4. To pretend that obedience to the moral law is needless for Christians who believe the gospel, is to deny and destroy, as much as in us lies, the great end for which Christ and the gospel came into the world; which is to redeem us from all iniquity—that we might be zealous of good works; Tit. 2. 14. to deliver us from the curse of the law, and its condemnation, that we might love the precepts of the law, and practise them with delight and newness of heart.

It is not therefore the preaching of the law to promote the gospel, that deserves to reproach of being called a legal sermon; but to preach the law instead of the gospel, or to preach the gospel as a law of works. Christ and the apostle Paul well understood the gospel, and yet they both preached the law in the commands and terrors of it.

We have to learn the law if we would be aware of our own guilt and danger, or if we would know our duty, and practise religion and virtue. By the law is the knowledge of sin, and by the law our feet are guided into the paths of righteousness. It is in the mirror of the law of God that we see the sinfulness of our hearts and lives: It reveals every blot in our souls, and every blemish in our conversation: It lays us under guilt, it makes us know our misery, it humbles us to the dust before God, and is made use of by the blessed Spirit to drive us out of ourselves, and all our own pretences to righteousness, that we may seek the appointed salvation of Jesus, and run to our better hope.

III. What a holy regard and jealousy has God shown for the honour of his everlasting law, and what a sacred indignation has he manifested against sin, when he sent his own Son to obey this law, and to suffer for our disobedience to it.

Not even the Son of God himself, when he came in flesh and blood, was exempted from the duties of this law, and he magnified it and made it honourable by his practice of it in perfection: And when so glorious and divine a person condescended to become a sacrifice for our transgressions against this law, he gave the highest instance of his own veneration for it, as well as of the just resentment of God his Father against every sin.

The great and glorious God, the Governor of the world, thought it more necessary and becoming his majesty, that the Son of his love should be put to a painful and shameful death to make a propitiation for our sins against this law, than that any one transgression should be pardoned without an atonement. These awful sentiments should be an everlasting caution to us against entertaining superficial thoughts of the evil of sin. It is no small matter to indulge the least sin, when it awakens the resentment and wrath of the eternal God. Fools are they indeed that make a mockery of sin; Prov. 14. 9. when the Son of God had to die before it could be pardoned.

IV. How glorious is the wisdom and the mercy of the gospel, which does honour to the law in every respect, which prepares an honourable atonement and pardon for guilty rebels who have broken this everlasting law, and provides grace and power to renew our nature according to its demands.

It not only pardons returning transgressors, but it promises to write this law in the hearts of men, that it may be better observed and obeyed. A double and complete salvation. Read the language of the gospel and rejoice in it; Heb. 8. 10. This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more. And it is repeated Heb. 10. 16, 17. The law of God requires universal and everlasting obedience, and it is an unspeakable blessing to have this obedience made natural and easy by sanctifying grace.

V. Lastly, happy is the world above, where such natural and such easy obedience is forever paid to this law of God without the least transgression.

The moral law carries all its demands up to that blessed country, and whatever other laws are in force there, it is this eternal law that gives authority to them all, and every inhabitant answers all its demands by a free and cheerful obedience. Happy world indeed, where so pure and so perfect a law of the Creator cannot charge one creature with transgression and guilt! A world without sorrow and without sin!

A strange unknown blessedness to creatures such as we are, who were born and brought up in this dark region of sins and sorrows! It is the function of the law here on earth to give us the knowledge of sin; but there it will lose this function, it will no longer convince us of sin; for it will dwell in us, to reveal the beauty of holiness and to make us forever holy.

And when will the blessed day come, that we will be sanctified to this complete extent? When will that blessed state begin, and the law be impressed into our nature with such power, and be practised with such perfection, that it will be able to bring no charge of sin against us either in thought, word, or deed, forever?

While we groan here, being burdened under the remains of corruption, while the law of God which works in our consciences gives us many severe reproofs and heartaches, let us look forward with hope and desire toward that state where our hearts will be molded into the very form of this law by the power of divine grace, where sin will be banished from all the powers of our souls, and pains, and sorrows, and death, and all the bitter fruits of sin, will be done away with, and will be found no more forever and ever.