Dead or Wounded?
(Henry Law, "Beacons
of the Bible" 1869)
When grace subdues the heart, a wondrous
change ensues! Earth knows no greater. But
words are weak to picture it. Images lend not
Light shines, where once night brooded.
Satan's chains no more enslave.
The prison bars are broken.
Right principles direct.
Right ends are sought.
Right means are used.
Life now is life indeed,
for the man lives to God.
Such is a feeble outline of the new creation.
But is SIN therefore dead?
Wounded indeed it is, but it retains power
sting. Sometimes it revives in fearful strength.
Though crippled, it strives to conquer. It may
seem for a season to regain its hold, and win
brief victory. It may roll the new man in the
mire. But it cannot keep him down.
Its real dominion is gone.
Its existence only lingers, until full escape
from this world delivers wholly from its touch.
Where is the saint who is not conscious
that the foe still lives? Witness the closet
prayers of the man of God . . .
What bitter humblings!
What smitings of the breast!
What sensitive laments!
What writhing under the motions of corruption's filth!
Tears, sobs, and cries are frequent.
"When I would do good, evil is present with me."
"O wretched man that I am! who shall
deliver me from the body of this death?"
"God be merciful to me a sinner."
Faithful Scripture warns of this constant
conflict. It tells that the heavenward
march is over treacherous roads,
where many pilgrims slip and stumble!