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SECTION II.

SPIRITUAL DEATH.

CHAPTER I.

SPIRITUAL DEATH.

ITS NATURE.

Having considered the origin and nature of human sin, it is necessary now to consider its consequences, or the nature and forms of that spiritual death which, as we learn from Scripture, passed on all men through the sin of Adam.

The subject is the more important because crude and false ideas are liable to be formed concerning it. It is a common idea that the principal representatives of this spiritual death are the adulterers, robbers, extortioners, and murderers of this world ; these, it is supposed, are the chief enemies of God and opposers of Christ; but that respectable members of society who are free from such crimes may perchance be equally alienated from Him never enters the mind. Yet these grosser sins are merely some of the simpler consequences of man's alienation from God ; and the deeper forms of that alienation may be accompanied by much outward morality, and even religion.

It is well, therefore, that we should understand the · nature of that evil from which if man is not redeemed, he must perish; to consider, in short, the true nature of man's spiritual death, to trace the history of its development, and, finally, to point out the various forms under which it manifests itself.

Firstly of its nature. What is death? We may define death in its first aspect as ccasing to be, the cessation of existence; but if in physical death we ask what is the cause of the cessation of existence, we plainly perceive that it is not the cessation of the existence of the body, or even the decomposition of its material substances, but the absence in them of the principle of life. That principle keeps decay and decomposition at bay in the material form in which it resides, and death, or the absence of the principle of life, must take place before decay can commence. The spirit which gives beauty, expression, and activity to the body, and manifests itself through the body, must be separated from the body, and this separation is death. Consequently, on account of the strict analogy between physical and moral things, the word death is used throughout the New Testament as a term for moral separation--as dead unto the law,' dead unto sin,' etc.—meaning thereby that persons thus dead are separated from the power and principle of these things. But it is especially in connection with the death which is the consequence of sin that the expression is used. Thus the Apostle, writing to the Ephesians, says, 'You hath He quickened,' i.e., given life to, who were dead in trespasses and sins '; and the meaning of this is clearly defined by a parallel passage, as in Eph. ii. 2. 'Ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, without Christ, alien' (i.e., dead to, or separated) “from the commonwealth of Israel, strangers to the covenant of promise, having no hope, and without God' (or separated from, or dead to God) * in the world.' Again, speaking of the Gentiles generally, the Apostle describes them as having the understanding darkened, being alienated' (or separated) 'from the life of God, through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart, who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. And, again, writing to the

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