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of the avenging justice of God, but also of his love; for, said he, they were by this means deprived of the possibility of adding to their sins, and thus of aggravating their condemnation. He maintained, that not merely the power, but also the love and mercy of God had been glorified in Pharaoh : for if he had only been willing, the manifold proofs of Jehovah's omnipotence, which God caused to pass before his eyes, would certainly have produced faith in him, and the fear of God, and thus have caused his salvation. “But, on the other hand,” said he, “ God manifests, in the forgiveness of sin, not merely his mercy and his love, but also his justice, according to those words in the first Epistle of John, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all iniquity.””
Towards the Saviour my teacher manifested a profound and filial veneration, and at the same time a fervent and heartfelt love. I never heard him make use of the customary expression, “ the Lord Jesus,” or “ the Lord Christ;" this would, he said, be just like saying, “the clergyman,” or “the doctor.” The word “ Lord,” when applied to Christ, is not a mere appellation, as with us, when prefixed to the name of a person of rank, but has a much greater signification. Christ is not merely called Lord, but is so in reality ; because God has committed to him the government of the whole world: hence he always said, “Our Lord Jesus,” or “the Lord Jesus Christ.”
He attached great importance to the Christian church, and to true Christians. “When once the Christian church falls to ruins,” said he, “ the world may then look out for other support.” For he termed true Christians—referring to the converse of Abraham with God respecting Sodom—“the props of the world,” because by their intercessions, they restrain judgment from descending upon a corrupt world.
In one of the seasons of instruction, he spoke upon the love of truth, and contrasted the example of Jesus before the high-priest and before Pilate, and the instance of Peter and the fire of coals. All at once he asked me, “What kind of lies are permitted ?"
Inconsiderately, because his question took me by surprise, I answered, “ Such as are uttered from necessity.”
TEACHER. That we shall soon see. What is a lie in the sight of God?
SETMA. A sin.
TEACHER. What kind of sins, therefore, are admissible if your answer be correct?
SETMA. Sins of necessity.
TEACHER. Is that conceivable ? · SETMA. No, because every sin, whether committed from necessity or not, is forbidden. (1 John v. 17, 18.)
TEACHER. For instance, when a person steals from necessity, in order to preserve his life-is this also sin ?
SETMA. Why not? He ought to have asked his neighbour for it.
TEACHER. But if he had done so, without effect?
SETMA. He ought then to have asked God, who is able to help, without the commission of theft.
TEACHER. But what belongs to prayer ?
SETMA. Through unbelief.
TEACHER. Another case :-William Isbrand Bontekoe, the captain of a Dutch vessel, lost his ship by fire in the Indian Ocean. He escaped with a part of the crew, in an open boat; but all of them had forgotten to take provisions with them. The most violent hunger soon began to be felt. In the eager looks of the sailors, the intention was visible, which they soon after really expressed—to kill some of the people, and then feed upon their flesh. Would this have been proper ?
SETMA. No ; for in the sixth commandment, killing is forbidden without exception.
TEACHER. But if the distress was so great that no other means were left, ought they not, by the sacrifice of a few persons, to save the rest, rather than that all should perish ?
SETMA. I think that God never lets it go so far with any one who keeps his commandments, as to compel him to despair. And yet, in the end, it is better to die than sin against God.
TEACHER. But upon what are these convictions founded ?
SETMA. On the belief that God is not wanting in ways and means to help, even where short-sighted men perceive no way of escape; and that this present life is not of so much value as to sacrifice for it the life of the soul.
TEACHER. Yes, and also that if I were obliged to purchase this earthly life with a single sin, the price would be too high. This conviction Bontekoe also possessed. Confiding in God and his willingness to help, he besought his companions to postpone their bloody purpose only three days longer, because he hoped in that time to reach land. Nor was he deceived in this expectation. The Lord delivered him wonderfully out of all his distress, even as he delivers all those who trust in him. But what is the cause of what are called white lies ?
SETMA. Because, if we have faith, we trust in the Lord, that he will deliver those