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III. THE EXTENT OF OUR SALVATION is in proportion to the price given for it. The breadth of it "That we might not

reaches from hell to heaven.

"that we might have

perish," was the first object; everlasting life," was the second.

1. That we might not perish?" What means this? that we might escape the death of the body? If so, Christ has been given in vain! No-it is the death of the soul which alone is worthy to be called "perishing "-everlasting damnation-" the worm that dieth not, and the fire which is not quenched." And this the whole world had deserved; nay, we were in fact sentenced to endure this; when Christ stept in as Mediator, "between the dead and the living," between the law and its victims-" and the plague was stayed." All mankind for a season are reprieved, and perish not, in virtue of the gift of Christ; and of a part of mankind he has declared, "They never shall perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand."3

2. That we 66 might have everlasting life”—not merely deliverance from woe, but exaltation to glory. And this by various steps. There is, first, The life of God's favour-present, free, entire forgiveness, with adoption into his family: secondly, The life of God's Spirit-quickening the dead soul, and uniting it to the living Vine, that it may "bring forth fruit unto God:" thirdly, The life of God's presence, in which "there is fulness of joy, and pleasures at his right hand for evermore."4 All these are included in the term "salvation;" with every thing, here or hereafter, that is worthy to be called a blessing; "no good thing will he withhold from those," 5 whom he saves through his only begotten Son.

1 Mark ix. 44. 2 Num. xvi. 48. 3 John x. 28. 4 Psa. xvi. 11.

5 Psalm lxxxiv. 11.

And who are they? A most important question, surely! What must I do to be one of them?'-The text

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-To whom is it given? It was love to the whole world which " gave" the Saviour; do all therefore gain everlasting life? No, these alone-" whosoever believeth in him”—in the only begotten Son of God.

The Faith which lays hold of salvation is the simple act of relying on Christ's merit, and on the promises of God through him. But many things are requisite to prove it genuine. It must be penitential-self-despairing-affectionate.-Blessed be God! WHOSOEVER thus cometh unto Christ, him he "will in no wise cast out."1 The door is open to the vilest. If a sinner be but willing to have what Christ offersthat is, the life of God's favour, the life of God's Spirit, and the life of God's presence-the privilege is unlimited. "Whosoever will, may take of the water of life freely." 2

This is the Gospel-"the glorious Gospel of the blessed God; "3 the "good news from a far country," more refreshing than "cold water to the thirsty soul; "4 the "glad tidings of great joy,"5 which angels descended from heaven to proclaim. According to the grace given unto me, I have once more preached it in your ears. But oh, remember its awful sanction"He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned!"6 Take heed, then, that you be "not of them that draw back unto perdition, but of them that believe to the saving of the soul." 7

1 John vi. 3. 4 Prov. xxv. 25.

2 Rev. xxii. 17.
5 Luke ii. 10. 6 Mark xvi. 16.

3 1 Tim. i. 11.

7 Heb. x. 39.


MATTHEW V. 25, 26.-Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.

OUR Lord had been urging the duty of prompt and immediate reconciliation with an injured brother; but these solemn words allude to another and a more dangerous quarrel.-Let us consider,

I. THE ADMONITION HERE ENFORCED. "Agree with thine Adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him."

Adversaries of various kinds are spoken of in the Bible. Of some, we are exhorted to have no fear; for the adversaries of the Lord shall be broken to pieces." 1 Against others, we are directed to pour out fervent prayers: hence David says, "For my


love they are my adversaries, but I give myself unto prayer.' With one, in particular, we are to make no terms whatsoever: "Your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour; whom resist, sted fast in the faith; "3 and shortly he shall be "bruised under your feet.” 4

1 1 Sam. ii. 10. 2 Ps. cix. 4. 31 Pet. v. 8, 9. 4 Rom. xvi. 20.

There can be no doubt respecting the Adversary with whom we are here admonished to come to an agreement. It is God-our Creator, Owner, and Sovereign. By ten thousand ties are we bound to obey, glorify, and please him. Refusing to do this, we have made Him (who should have been our best Friend) our most dangerous Enemy. "If ye will not hearken unto me, but walk contrary to me, then I will walk contrary unto you also in fury; and I will chastise you seven times for your sins."1 Such is his awful declaration-such his threatening against those who, by wicked works, set themselves up as his adversaries.

Have you never thus "walked contrary" to God? Yes, times without number!-Oh that you would now bethink you of your ways, and turn your feet unto his testimonies! For behold, O Sinner, how the Divine Adversary is here represented as already prosecuting thee, for the injury which he has received at thy hand. "Thou art in the way with him." He has already pronounced thy sentence —he hath his hand upon thee-and every moment brings thee nearer to thy deserved fate. Do not think that he has forgotten thine offence, or is neglecting thy punishment. It may be more or less distant; but it approacheth-and the way thou art taking is the way to it. As it may daily be said to the true Christian, "Now is thy salvation nearer than when thou believedst; "2 so to the unreconciled sinner-Now is thy curse nearer; judgment lingereth not, thy damnation slumbereth

not." 3


This Adversary is in the way with thee, however, in a far different sense. While he draws thee towards thy deserved punishment, he is also tenderly entreat1 Lev. xxvi. 21-28. 2 Rom. xiii. 11.

3 2 Peter ii. 3.


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ing thee to enter into terms of agreement with him. "Come now," he says, "let us reason together; though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool."1 Do you ask, 'How can this be?' Are you saying, Oh, if I could but hope that God would no longer be my Adversary, I would instantly cease from my enmity against him? Why, all the difficulty and hindrance, O Sinner, is on thy side! God is willing enough, if thou be willing. He has himself provided the satisfaction for thine offences: he has "found a Ransom "2 for thy captivity. There is thy Surety, standing by the cross-nay, hanging upon it! "The chastisement of thy peace" has been laid upon Jesus; and now he is continually in the way with thee, saying, "Be ye reconciled unto God." 4


AGREE, then, with this jealous, but at the same time condescending Adversary.-And how must you proceed, in order to cement the agreement?

1. By humbly admitting the Truth of his charge against thee.-This is indispensable. While there is any remainder of self-defence, excuse, and palliation, you continue exposed to that awful word," He that covereth his sins shall not prosper. "5 No-take for your pattern the case described by your Adversary himself, in Levit. xxvi. 40-42. Imitate David-" Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight; that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest."6 Take the penitential language of Job-" Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay my hand upon my mouth. Once have I spoken, but I will not answer; yea twice, but I will proceed no further."7 Thus confessing, with the

1 Is. i. 18. 2 Job xxxiii. 24. 3 Is. liii. 5.

5 Proverbs xxviii. 13.

6 Psalm li. 4.

4 2 Cor. v. 20. 7 Job xl. 4, 5,

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