My dear Friend S.,—I am still in a land called Sodom and Egypt, where our dear Lord was crucified, I mean this accursed earth,, where everything is withering under the curse, and sometimes everything good in me seems to he withering and dying away too, and I cannot keep alive my own soul. I know that everything in this world is under a curse, and that we must have been cursed for ever, had not the Lord Jesus come in our nature, stooped under the curse, and been made sin and a curse for us; and certainly he did by his death remove sin and the curse out of the way for ever, or it never would have been removed. If the cause be removed, the effects must cease. He finished sin and made an end of transgression.
But then you say, “I want to know if my sins were there and then removed.” Why, I believe we may know, if we are enabled to look to the witness in ourselves. “How is that?” you say. Why, there certainly is a fellowship of suffering with Christ. “If we be dead with him, we shall live with him; if we suffer with him, we shall reign with him.” Have we ever had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves? Did the law of God ever come with the curse of death and condemnation in the conscience, working wrath, despair, and death? For we must drink of the cup of which he drank, of the cup of the curse, and taste the bitterness of death in it, before we can drink of the cup of blessing, and drink of the water of life; because this water of life is only drunk and tasted by those who are made alive from the dead and those who have been scorched and parched with thirst under the fiery law; yea, their tongues failing for thirst, a thirst unto death, a suffering with Christ, and a dying with Christ. For when the Lamb of God died under the curse, he said, “I thirst.” Have our tongues failed for thirst under the burning law within us? Seem we to die of thirst, and feel as if we must be damned to all eternity? And where and when did you find the first drops or draughts of the cooling water of life in your soul, which quenched the thirst occasioned by that fiery law in your conscience? The manifestation of interest in Christ is compared to a thirsty soul drinking cold water. If you have been brought under the curse of the law, and have ever felt it a fiery law, drying up your soul and your throat, and your tongue has failed for thirst, you could not have been alive now if the Lord, in mercy, had not given you a little water of life; and Jesus saith, “Whosoever shall drink of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst.” No, friend S., he shall never thirst any more as we thirsted under the curse of the law, when it dried up our tongues and souls till we could not speak. Wrath and the curse are gone, and gone for ever; for the Lord hath said that he will not be wrath with us any more. Whatever we have to pass through now is for the trial of our faith; and whatever sufferings we have are all in love. (See Prov 3:11)—1840.
William Gadsby (1773-1844) was a Strict and Particular Baptist preacher, writer and philanthropist.