Reading: “For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.”  —Psalm 51:3  

How do we estimate the evil of sin? That sin is a great evil is evident by its effects. It deprived Adam of the life and presence of God, and brought death and all natural evil into the world. It caused the destruction of the old world by water. It is the source of all the misery with which the earth is now filled; it will kindle the last great conflagration (the fires of hell); yea, it has already kindled that fire which shall never be quenched.

But in no view does the sinfulness of sin appear so striking as in this wonderful effect—i.e., the suffering and death of Messiah. Notwithstanding the dignity of His person, and the perfection of His obedience to the law, and that though He prayed in His agonies “that if it were possible the cup might pass from him,” yet, if sinners were to be saved, it was indispensably necessary that He should drink it.

This shows the evil of sin in the strongest light; and in this light it is viewed by all who derive life from His death, and healing from His wounds. We may be afraid of the consequences of sin from other considerations; but it is only by looking to Him who was pierced for our transgressions, that we can learn to hate it.

(Taken from “Sin Charged upon the Surety” in The Works of John Newton, 4:238)


O for a closer walk with God,
A calm and heavenly frame,
A light to shine upon the road
That leads me to the Lamb!

Where is the blessedness I knew,
When first I saw the Lord?
Where is the soul refreshing view
Of Jesus and His Word?

What peaceful hours I once enjoyed!
How sweet their memory still!
But they have left an aching void
The world can never fill.

Return, O holy Dove, return,
Sweet messenger of rest!
I hate the sins that made Thee mourn
And drove Thee from my breast.

—William Cowper