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NO SALVATION WITHOUT OBEDIENCE.
HEBREWS v, 8, 9. Though he were a Son, yet learned he abedience by
the things which he suffered; and, being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvatiou unto all them that obey him.
3d INFERENCE. WE can receive no benefit from the atopeinent of Christ unless we obey him.
Christ hath done great things for us, whereof the saints are glad. Paul speaking of Christ saith: By his own blood, he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. We can not however be justified and saved, "through the redemption there is in Christ Jesus” unless we obey him. We must "put off the old man, and put on the new, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” For, “without holiness no man shall sec the Lord.”
It is presumption, not religion, to expect pardon and salvation through the blood of Jesus, while we live in disobedience. The Jews looked for salvation, but not through Christ; for him they despised. They boasted that they were the children of Abraham: But Christ gave them to understand, that if they believed not that he was the only Saviour, they should die in their sins. He said, I am the living bread which came down from heaven, which if a man eat, he shall live forever,
Christ gave his flesh for the life of the world. He did not, however, barely, on this ground, promise eternal life to any
For he saith, “whosoever eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life.” Salvation is not made certain to us, merely, because Christ "was delivered for our offences, and raised again for our justification” Jesus said to the Jews. I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirstChrist will not be the Saviour of those who do not come to bim. But saith he: “him that cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out.” We readily see that neglected bread, bread, of which we do not eat, will avail us nothing. Sioners, therefore, cannot be saved, who “neglect the great salvation.” We see then 'what the end will be of those who obey not the Gospel of God.'
Manna was rained from heaven about the camp of Israel in the wilderness; but none were benefitted by it, except those who went abroad and gathered and eat it. Hence, they who refuse the bread of life must perish: it will be to them "a savour of death unto death." Salvation is far from him, "who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace.” If we wish to be saved by Christ, and are willing that he should have the glory of our salvation, we must come unto him. He calls upon us to come, and he promises salvation to those who obey him.
Christ is the only Saviour: still “salvation is far from the wicked: because they seek not God's statutes Christ will save his people: he is gone to heaven to prepare a place for them, and he will come again and receive them to himself; that where he is, there they may be also. But they who obeỹ not the Gospel shall be cast into utter darkness, where there is weep ing and wailing and gnashing of teeth. “So we sie that they could not enter in because of unbelief."
That the blood of Christ without obedience, will not save men, I shall endeavour further to illustrate in a number of particulars:
1. This proposition is illustrated by the institution of the passover. A divine decree had gone forth for the destruction of all the first born of Egypt. But while inevitable, and awful distress was coming upon Pharaoh and his people, God had devised a way for the children of Israel to escape. The plan divinely constructed was as follows-God commanded that every house of the congregation of Israel should be provided with a lamb; “according to the house of their fathers a lamb for an house. And the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. And they shall take of the blood and strike it on the two side-posts, and on the upper door-posts of the houses wherein they shall eat it ” God said that he would pass through the land of Egypt that night, and smite all the first born of Egypt, buth man and beast. “And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I shall see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you, to destroy you when I smite the land of Egypt."*
Although the paschal lamb had been slain, and his blood shed according to order, and agreeably to the command of God; yet if it were not sprinkled upon the side posts, and on the upper door posts of the houses wherein it was eaten, it would avail them nothing But God had promised that where he should see this token, namely, the side-posts and the upper door-posts sprinkled with the blood of the slain lamb, he would pass them over; and that they should escape the terrible destruction, which he was about to pour upon the land of Egypt.
While the first born of all the Egyptians was slain, the people of Israel, being governed by the divine command, in the use of the blood of the slain lamb, were
* Fixod. xii.
safe in God's pavilion till the indignation was overpast. “And the children of Israel went away, and did as the Lord commanded Moses and Aaron, so did they. And it came to pass that at midnight the Lord smote all the first born in the land of Egypt And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead."*
This teaches us the alarming situation of those, whose hearts are not sprinkled with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.
Had not the lintel, and the two side-posts of the doors of the houses of the children of Israel, been sprinkled with the blood of the paschal lamb, they all would have been involved in the same dreadful calamity, which came upon Pharaoh and upon all his people. So, if sinners are not sprinkled with the blood of sprinkling, which speaketh better things than the blood of Abel, they will be forever undone. For the sentence of eternal death will go forth with infinite weight, and with all the authority of the Most High, upon every “soul of man that doeth evil,” and is not, therefore, made clean in the blood of the Lamb. “Draw nigh to God, then, and he will draw nigh to you. Çlerinse your hands, ye sinners, and purify your hearts, ye double-minded ”p
The question in the day of judgment will not be, Di Christ die for you? did he make an atonement for your sins? has he taught in your streets? anu have you eaten and drunk in his presence, and in his name done many wonderful works? But the question will be, Whether we have clean hands and a pure heart? "Blessed are the pure in heart:" "blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity,
* Exod. xli, 29, 30.
† James iv, 8.
and in whose spirit there is no guile.” In the Gospel a fountain is opened to wash in, from sin and unclean,
Whosoever will let him take of the water of life freely. Hence, “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink.”_"Come, buy wine and milk without money, and without price."
Notwithstanding the freeness of the offer of salvation, the depravity of man by nature is such, as to make light of it. Christ has illustrated this sentiment by the parable of the marriage of the king's son. Many were invited to the wedding, but they would not come.—“He sent again, saying, Behold I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready, come unto the marriage. But they made light of it.” This parable illustrates the Gospel. Whosoever will may come; but he must perish, who will not come, as truly as if no provision had been made. For, "except ye repent ye shall all like. wise perish.”
2. It may be illustrated, that the atonement will avail them nothing, who live in disobedience.by the case of Noah's “preparing an ark to the saving of his house."
There was a time when the wickedness of man was so great that God said, I will destroy him; for “it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” Noah, therefore, was commanded of God to build an ark, that he and his house might be safe, when the overflowing scourge should come upon a wicked world. “And Noah did according to all that the Lord commanded him, so did he. And Noah went in and his sons, and his wife, and his sons' wives with him, into the ark, because of the waters of the flood."* The eight souls which went into the aik were saved from tlie waters of the flood. But whai did the aik
* Gen. ri, 22; and vii, 7.