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Nevertheless the death of Christ is the only foundation of our hope
This is fully declared in the gospel, and must therefore be received
If they, who despised Moses's law, died without mercy, much more must we perish if we neglect the gospel
To this effect the apostle speaks in the passage us, ver. 2, 3. 1. What is the salvation here spoken of?
We shall confine ourselves to that view of it which the apostle gives in the context
It is that salvation, which was first spoken by our Lord, and afterwards confirmed by the apostles, ver, 3.
[Our Lord invariably declared himself to be the only Saviourb
He commissioned his disciples to declare the same
They accordingly proclaimed these glad tidings; Peter in his first sermon to the Gentiles;d and Paul, in answer to the jailor's questione-]
This salvation, in whatever view it be considered, is truly “great” 1. As wrought out for us
[That " Jehovah's fellow” should become our surety! That he should yield up himself to such a death! That he should do this even for the chief of sinners!
Surely, if angels exulted so at the first disclosing of this mystery,' much more should we at its consummation-] 2. As imparted to us
[On our first believing in Christ, we receive pardon of sin-peace of conscience-strength against temptation—&c.
On our dismission from the body, we enter into the full and everlasting fruition of the divine presence
What language can express the greatness of this salvation?-]
We may well expect therefore that all should eagerly embrace it
But it is almost universally neglectedII. Who they are that neglect it?
• Heb. x. 28, 29.
b John xiv. 6. and ii. 14. 36.
It may appear superfluous to insist on this
But our proneness to deceive ourselves renders it ne. cessary
They then are guilty of this neglect 1. Who live in any known sin
[Salvation includes deliverance from sin as well as from gulit
All, who truly seek after salvation, do obtain deliverance from sin
They therefore, who live in any known sin, manifest thereby that they neglect this salvation-] 2. Who trust in their own righteousness
[Self-righteousness is most opposite to the gospel of Christ
It excludes Christ himself from the office of a SaviourTherefore it argues an utter rejection of this salvations]
3. Who do not seek this salvation more than other objects
[They are considered as neglecting their temporal concerns who are not diligent in their attention to them—
Much more should we think thus with respect to spiritual concerns
If we be not more earnest in pursuing, and more fearful of losing this salvation than any other object whatever, we may be truly said to neglect it
Hence we see the propriety of our Lord's admonition] How many then are there of this character!
To those who persist in their neglect, the consequences will be dreadful
III. The danger of neglecting it
The interrogatory in the text is the strongest possible negation
The wrath of God must come upon those who continue guilty of this neglect1. To hope for an escape is absurd
[The guilt implied in such neglect is beyond measure great
It cannot be that persons so guilty should be treated as good and faithful servants-]
2. To effect it is impossible
& Rom. x. 3.
h Luke xiii, 24.
It would be contrary to the established order of things
[We can never attain the end without using the means- -] Nor can any means of escape ever be devised
[Is there any other way of salvation?
Let all therefore seek this salvation with their whole hearts.
i Acts iv. 12. Ezek. xxii. I 4.
k Rev. vi. 15, 16.
XIV. THE DUTY OF DEVOTING OURSELVES TO GOD.
ye are not
1 Cor. vi. 19, 20. What, know ye not that ...
your ownd for ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
THE word of God reveals to us many things which unenlightened reason could never have discovered
This is particularly manifest with respect to the offices of Christ and of the Holy Spirit
These were “mysteries hid in God from the foundation of the world”
But they are supposed to be well known to every true Christian
Indeed they form the basis of the Christian's hope
They at the same time afford him his strongest motives to obedience
St. Paul was dissuading the Corinthians from the sin of fornication
He reminded them therefore of the principles which they professed
We wave what he says respecting the Spirit dwelling in them, and shall confine ourselves to the words of our text
We shall consider
[Men employ their time and faculties nearly as they pleasea
They think themselves at liberty to do so!
Hence the language of their hearts is declared by the Psalmist
Their conduct, if not their speech, resembles that of Pharaohd-] But no man is or can be his own
[Men may be free from any human yoke-But no man is or can be independent of God-This is a principle even of natural religion-] This every Christian is supposed to know
[The manner in which the apostle assumes this principle is remarkable
His question is a direct appeal to our consciences
He takes it for granted that no one can be ignorant of that truth
He expresses surprise that such a truth should be forgotten]
Indeed this principle cannot admit a doubt
This appears from considering II. The
in God, as our Creator, has an analienable right over us
(We possess not a faculty of body or mind but from hime
We cannot exercise one faculty but by virtue derived from himf
We therefore can be no other than his property-]
(We were in bondage to the curse of the laws
He paid no less a price for us than the blood of his own SonBy this he has acquired a further right over us
[The great end of redemption was “ that we might live unto God”
The Scriptures speak of redemption in this light
Thus our obligation to devote ourselves unreservedly to God is greatly increased and confirmed by it
support of it
a Isai. liii. 6. b Jer. xxiii. 17.
c Ps. xii. 4. d Exod. v. 2, e 1 Cor. iv, 7.
2 Cor. iii. 5. & Gal. iii. 10. h Gal. iii. 13.
il Pet. i. 18, 19. ki Pet. iii. 18. 2 Cor. v. 14, 15. John xvii. 19.
If God complain of us for requiting with neglect his paternal care, Isai. i. 2, 3. how much more may he, for our contempt of redeeming love!-]
The principle being thus established, we proceed to consider III. The exhortation he founds upon it
“Our body and our spirit are entirely God's" property
We are bound therefore to glorify him with both to the uttermost
[We cannot indeed add any thing to God's glory! God however esteems himself glorified by our services There are many ways in which we may glorify him daily
A devotedness to him is justly called “our reasonable service”n_] Let the exhortation then have its due effect
[God claims every one of us as his ownLet us not then live as though we were at our own disposal
Let us adopt the resolution of Joshua, xxiv. 15.-
Let us never disjoin what was so connected in Paul's experience_
Let us seek to have that inspired declaration fulfilled in us'-] INFERENCES—We may see from hence
1. What lamentable ignorance prevails in the Christian world!
[Many are daily violating their baptismal vows without remorse
Though educated in the faith of Christ, they give not themselves to him
This may well be a matter of surprise to thoughtful mindsIt may justly excite the feelings of David
Let us beg of God to convince us of the evil of such conduct
Let us turn from it with self-loathing and self-abhorrence)
2. How reasonable and delightful is the Christian's duty!
Ps. xvi 2. * Rom. vi. 13. * Rom. xiv. 7, 8.
m Ps. 1. 23. p Ps. ciii. 1.
Ps. cxix. 53,
o Rom. xii. I.