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in the false, uncertain light of ever-varying questions, as to whether God has forbidden this or that object of personal gratification? How is it that there can be a doubt? Only because the soul walks not exclusively in the Light of the Lord — the soul stands not out in its clear, undoubting, indisputable allegiance to God. In one thing it is led by the Word of the Lord, in another by self-inclination, in another by the opinions of the world, and all this makes a haze of doubtful questioning, leading to the wrong conclusion, not the right.
• To the Word and to the Testimony; if they speak not according to this Word it is because there is no Light in them.' (Isa. viii. 20.) For the Commandment is a Lamp, and the Law is Light, and reproofs of Instruction are the Way of Life.' (Prov. vi. 23.) When God gives His Light — His own Divine, , Eternal Truth, we are responsible for the way in which we use it. If our eye be single, always directed in all things to the revealed Truth of God, we have the Divine Promise that our 'whole body shall be full of Light.' (Luke, xi. 34–36.) 'The Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the Testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the Statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the Commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.' (Ps. xix.) The breathings of a Soul whose eye is single are given us in Psalm cxix.,-'O how love I Thy Law! it is my Meditation all the day. Thou through Thy
Commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies, for they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my Teachers, for Thy Testimonies are my
Meditation. I understand more than the Ancients, because I keep Thy Precepts. I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep Thy Word. I have not departed from Thy judgments, for Thou hast taught me. How sweet are Thy Words unto my taste, yea, sweeter than honey unto my mouth! Through Thy Precepts I get understanding, therefore I hate every false way.' In these words we may hear the very breathings of the human Soul of the Son of Man, the Second Adam ; and these divine breathings are echoed back to Heaven from every soul restored by Him.
"GOD IS NOT A MAN THAT HE SHOULD LIE, NEITHER THE SON OF MAN THAT HE SHOULD REPENT; HATH HE SAID AND SHALL HE NOT DO IT, OR HATH HE SPOKEN AND SHALL HE NOT MAKE IT GOOD?'-NUM. XXIII. 19.
* ADAM heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the Garden in the cool of the day;' that voice that until now awoke in him the deepest thrill of life and joy; the voice of Him who made him, and caused each moment as it came to breathe on him in blessing; he heard that voice again, it brought the bliss of Heaven no more; his guilty soul grew darker still in fear beneath it, while he fled to hide both body and soul amidst the Trees of God.'
And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said, Where art thou? And he said, I heard Thy Voice in the Garden, and I was afraid because I was naked, and I hid myself. And He said, Who told thee that thou wast naked ? Hast thou eaten of the Tree whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldst not eat? And the man said, The woman whom Thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the Tree, and I did eat.'
In this tremendous Interview, does the listening ear expect the dread sentence of Death from the voice of the Lord God ?-having called the Sinner before Him and heard from his own lips the fearful fact, 'I did eat.' God had said, 'In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die!' Had God reversed the sentence that He speaks not to Man of Death ? Was Man’s vain hope still to be suspended on the Devil's lie, “Thou shalt not surely die?' No. There was no need to speak of Death, that Sentence was already executed ! 'He spake and it was done, he commanded and it stood fast.' (Ps. xxxii. 9.) Heaven and Earth may pass away, but the Word that God hath spoken shall not pass away. (Luke, xxi. 33.) The Sentence had taken effect. Man, whom God made a Living Soul, stood before his Maker Dead in trespasses and sins.' (Eph. ii. 1.) Nothing could stay the Word. Sin and Death are Eternally united. By one man Sin entered into the World, and Death by Sin; and
. so Death passed upon all men, for that all have Sinned.' (Rom. v. 12.) 'In the Day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.'
What was it then to die? We call the failure of the bodily powers death. When the body yields its breath, we say, This is death! While the body breathes, we call it life. We speak according to the things of earth, and our brief space of earthly existence. We are willingly blinded to Eternal realities, even though they are pressed by every power
ful motive and solemn warning on our attention, by Him who hath made us partakers of His own Eternity. We think of life as that which enables us to use the bodily senses; but the soul or spirit of man with all its powers is left more deeply sensible, more keenly conscious of all that opens around and before it, when the bodily senses narrow its vision no longer, and Eternity breaks on its astonished view.
That which made man to be a living soul was his spiritual life flowing from God. The moment that Man by his Sin separated himself from God he became a dead soul, his life was cut off at the Fountain Head. Instead of flowing freshly from God, the Eternal Well-spring of Life, it became a dead and stagnant pool, where Corruption and defilement gathered. The decay of the body must follow; a dead soul could not retain a living body; that which is allied to Sin must partake its nature and its sentence, Death.
It is a solemn thought, how certainly, how silently, how instantly, God's sentence is fulfilled. There was not a moment's delay, no fresh utterance of the terrible decree. Death followed Sin as the shadow follows the substance. Man sinned, and lo! the living soul rejoicing in the Life that flowed from and that rendered all to God, by Sin slew itself and was dead.
Those living souls were dead. Dead to God. Their innocence was dead, they were sinful now.