Everywhere may we trace the slime of the old serpent!
(George Everard, "Help and Consolation from the Sanctuary" 1868)
Since the fall, everything has been marred and corrupted by sin. With its deadly touch, sin has pervaded the whole creation. In the beginning, all things were made very good — but now they have become very evil. Everywhere may we trace the slime of the old serpent!
But Christ is the mighty Alchemist — transforming, changing, restoring. Into every "Marah" fountain, into every affliction and trial — He is ever ready to cast a branch of the tree of life, thus making the bitter waters, sweet. In other words, He turns that which in itself is grievous and painful — into a means of increased holiness and heightened joy.
Yes, He changes the heart and spirit of man — turning the vile sinner, into the holy saint. He changes the fallen one, into the holy child of God, according as it is written, "If any man is in Christ, he is a new creature — old things are passed away — behold, all things are become new!"
The fierce demoniac, a terror to all around — He changes into the meek and obedient disciple, "sitting at his feet, clothed and in his right mind."
"The woman who had lived a very sinful life" — He so changes, that she becomes an example to all for the great love which she bestows upon Him.
The dying malefactor — He changes into an heir of paradise.
Saul, the persecuting Pharisee — He changes into Paul, the very chief of Apostles.
The jailer, hardened in his sin — He changes into the rejoicing believer.
The Ephesians, dead in trespasses and sins, having no hope and without God in the world — He changes into "fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God."
The Corinthians, once drunkards, thieves, adulterers, prostitutes, homosexuals and the like — He changes into holy Christians — washed, sanctified, and justified!
And ever since His exaltation to the right hand of the Father, He has ever been carrying out the same gracious design:
destroying the works of the devil in men,
lifting them up from the degradation and bondage of sin,
adorning them with all heavenly graces and virtues,
making them partakers of the Divine holiness!