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Sin and Its Punishment.

Sin and Its Punishment.

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Published by glennpease
BY J. W. McGARVEY


"Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth the law, for
sin is the transgression of the law." — (I. John, iii. 4.)
BY J. W. McGARVEY


"Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth the law, for
sin is the transgression of the law." — (I. John, iii. 4.)

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Published by: glennpease on Sep 04, 2013
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SI AD ITS PUISHMET.BY J. W. McGARVEY"Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth the law, forsin is the transgression of the law." — (I. John, iii. 4.)If there is a definition of sin in the Bible, we have itin the last clause of this verse : " Sin is the transgressionof the law." Of course, it means the transgression of God's law. God's law may be transgressed by thought,by feeling, by words, or by actions ; for as w^e learn fromother portions of the word of God, there are wickedthoughts, wicked feelings, wicked words, and wickedactions. This definition may not be exhaustive, but itis sufficient for our present purpose.I wonder if any of us has ever reahzed what it is tocommit shi. I believe that I w^ould esteem above everyother gift that could be bestowed upon me as a preacher,the power to adequately conceive what sin is, and toadequately set it before the people. A number of timesin my ministrations, I have prepared sermons designedto set forth the enormity of sin; but I have every timefelt that I made a failure. I found, I thought, two causesof the failure : first, a want of realization in my own soulof the enormity of it ; and second, inability to gatherup such words and such figures of speech, as would, withanything like adequacy, set it forth before my hearers.The pleasures of sin have blinded our eyes to its enor-mity. So I have come to the conclusion, after a great16SI AD ITS PUISHMET. 17deal of reflection, and a great deal of mental effort, that
 
about the only correct guage we have with which tomeasure the enormity or heinousness of sin, is thepunishment that God has decreed against it. God isinfinite in all His attributes ; infinite in mercy, in love, incompassion ; and when we find the punishment that sucha God as that was constrained, by the justice that alsocharacterizes him, to enact against sin, I think we shall bebetter able to form an idea of its enormity than we canfrom any other view of the matter. This is the reasonwhy, in announcing the subject of the present discourse,I named it, ''Sin and its Punishment."It may be a question in the minds of some whetherthere is any punishment of sin, either in this world orthe world to come. But there is one thing certain, thatthis world has been freighted, from its earliest history,with a vast burden of woe and pain and death. The journey of human life is strewn with tears ; the wholeearth on which we live has become dotted over withgrave-yards. Death, preceded by incalculable pains of the body; the whole period of the life filled with inter-changeing smiles and tears; anguish of heart relievedby times of joy and happiness, have been our history.The word of God tells us that all this woe, pain, sin,sorrow and death, are the result of sin. It is a punish-ment that the infinite God, against whom we havesinned, has laid upon us in the present life. "By man,sin entered into the world," says the Apostle Paul, " anddeath by sin;" and all that train of evils which brings usdown to the grave, is included. If a man deny the Bibledoctrine on this subject of the source of all our woe, thencall upon him to give an account of it — whence did itcome ? The fact that the Bible ascribes it to sin is nomean evidence that the Bible tells the truth ; for it can18 SERMO II.not be accounted for in any other conceivable way. So
 
then, all of the pain and woe and misery and death thatthe human race has experienced since the days of Adamto the present time, are manifestations of God's wrathagainst sin, and of His estimate of the enormity of theact when a man deliberately violates the law of hisMaker; and this, alone, ought to teach us a great horrorfor sin.But the principal subject of the discourse is thepunishment, if any, which is to be visited upon us onaccount of our sins in the future state. There can beno dispute about that which comes upon us now. Isthere any punishment, suffering, misery, to be expe-rienced in the future world on account of our sms ? If reason were called upon to give an answer, without theaid of revelation, what would it be ? I know of no wayby which we could even approach a conjectural answer,except by judging of the future from what we know of thepast. Go to the old man, who is trembling on the vergeof the grave — has lived a long, eventful life — and ask him, Sir, judge of the future, if you are to have a future,by the past, and what can you expect it to be, the sameGod ruling over all? What would his answer be, unlessit would be this — I have no reason to hope that it willbe any better with me than it has been. On account of sin, I have suffered a great deal in this world. If thetime ever comes that I shall be entirely free from sin, itmay be that I shall be free from suffering; but, if mysins continue, I have no reason to doubt that my sorrowwill continue in proportion. That would be the verdictof reason. But still, that would be a conjecture, and itcould not furnish details as to the severity of the sufferingthat may be experienced hereafter, as to the nature of it,or as to the duration of it. All the details would be leftSI AD ITS PUISHMET. 19in the dark. So then, if our question is to be answered

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