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It instructs us who of all the fallen race of man will be saved. And who are they? A vile and blood-shedding king, like Manasseh, might say, I can never hope to be saved; for I have filled the world with the bodies of the slain, and have waded to the throne through rivers of blood. A relentless persecutor, like Saul of Tarsus, might say, There is no salvation for me; for I have kindled the fires, and erected the gibbet, for thousands of the people of God. The hardened sailor may say, It is of no use for me to think of being saved; for my heart is hard as adamant; I am a profane swearer, a thoughtless Sabbath-breaker, and have from my youth up been a despiser and reviler of God and his Christ. But what saith the Scripture to all such men? Its language is simple and strong; this is what it says"He that believeth shall be saved." Not a few there are who feel that they are not good enough to be partakers of this great salvation; and that if they were only better men, and more holy and righteous, they would stand a better chance of finding mercy. But Jesus Christ says no such thing. He declares that the man who believes in him, no matter who, nor where, nor what he is, shall be a saved man. Not a few there are who would persuade us that no man can enter into the kingdom of God, unless they belong to some one particular denomination of Christians. But if this were so, the language of Christ would have been very different from what it is in the text. He would have told us what sect and which clan we must belong to. But he simply says, that we must be Christians, and believers in his blessed Gospel.

A sweet and delightful truth this, that "he that believeth shall be saved." No man may take anything

from it, nor add to it anything. There it stands single and alone, the only, the divine charter of the sinner's hopes. It is like the peering out of the north-star when the bewildered mariner has lost his compass; it is like the blue sky just opening over his head in the midst of a long storm.

But you ask me, what is it to believe the Gospel? The question is a proper one, because there is a false faith as well as a true. False faith is holding the truths of the Gospel in unrighteousness; it is the belief of the head, without the belief of the heart; it is believing that the Son of God came into the world to save sinners, without loving him; it is such a faith as the devils have. True faith is humbly receiving Jesus Christ as your teacher, your Lord, and your Saviour; giving yourself to him, and trusting in him alone for salvation. Some things we believe on the evidence of our senses; some on the testimony of our fellow-men; but the Gospel is received on the testimony of God. If we receive the testimony of man, the testimony of God is greater.. "This is the testimony of God; that he hath given us eternal life, and that this life is in his Son." There is salvation in no other; he is mighty to save; those who come to him he will in no wise cast out. These are great and precious truths; faith receives them, obeys them, lives upon them. Humbling as they are to his pride and self-righteousness, the believing sinner rejoices in them, and chooses to be saved in the way by which he is humbled and God exalted.

The Saviour's declaration is, "He that believeth shall be saved." He shall be saved. What is it to be saved? The salvation here spoken of is indeed a great salvation—a salvation which will require ages to un


Pardon, peace, holiness, adoption into God's family, and his divine love, his fatherly care and discipline; a safe and happy death, and blessed and glorious resurrection; and an eternal heaven, the dwellingplace of everlasting peace and joy, where every cloud shall be withdrawn, every sin eradicated, every fear subside, and every hope realized-this is the salvation which belongs to him that believeth. It is not of his deserving, but of God's mercy; it is not of his working, but of Christ's dying. God's word for it, "he that believeth shall be saved." Christ's death stands in the place of his death, and he shall be saved. God is not a man that he should lie, nor the son of man that he should repent." Once have I sworn in my holiness," saith Jehovah, "that I will not lie unto David." But we turn from this delightful truth to contemplate the other part of this solemn alternative.


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II. In the second place, our text declares, He that believeth not shall be damned.

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Knowing the terrors of the Lord, we persuade men." There are fearful terrors revealed in the Bible, and we must preach them. The one are as important to be made known as the other. Neither the promises, nor the threatenings of the Gospel, have any appropriate force and import, unless both are true. We dare not neglect to preach them both as we shall answer it at the bar of God.

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The Saviour declares of every one who lieve the Gospel, that he shall be damned. use any softer language than this; he says he shall be damned. To the king on the throne, and to the criminal in the prison-house; to the minister in the pulpit, and to the poorest and meanest of his hearers; to the

titled and the untitled, to the honored and the dishonored, to the moral and the immoral, to the sanctimonious professor of godliness and to the gay worldling, to seamen and to landsmen, he says, "He that believeth not shall be damned!"

How many individuals, and what large classes of men does this comprehensive declaration involve! How many who expected to be saved because they were the children of pious parents, will at last perish because they did not believe the Gospel! How many who expected to be saved because they were better than other men, will perish because they did not believe the Gospel! How many who thought that God was too good to damn them, will be damned after all, because they did not believe! How many who expected to be saved because Christ died for their salvation, will nevertheless be damned, because they would not come to him that they might have life! How many who have been baptized in the name of the of the Holy Ghost; how many who have been the partakers of that broken bread and that cup of blessing which show forth his death, will be damned because they did not believe in that Saviour whom this outward observance honors!

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Unbelief is the opposite of belief. If believing the Gospel is heartily receiving and obeying it, then not believing is heartily rejecting and disobeying it. "Did ye never read in the Scriptures, the stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the the corner?" Unbelief is not a mere negative act of the mind; it is a positive act. It is not simply the not doing that which God commands; but the doing of that which he forbids. Those who do not believe the

Gospel reject and oppose all the truth, and grace, and heaven which that Gospel reveals. They are the personal enemies of God and his Christ. They are displeased with the method of redemption; they do not like the terms of it, and will not accept it on any terms. They had rather "have their sins, and go to hell; than leave their sins, and go to heaven.'

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Now Jesus Christ says of all such persons, that they shall be damned. God is angry with such persons, and he will show the greatness and power of his anger by damning them. This is just what their incorrigible unbelief deserves. When men have made up their minds finally and irrevocably to reject the salvation God offers them, they have fitted themselves for just such a doom. They are "vessels of wrath fitted for destruction." Their enmity to God and their rejection of his Son fits them for nothing else. There is everything to require the execution of this fearful curse, and there is nothing in the universe to prevent it. God requires it; his law requires it; his Gospel requires it; heaven, earth, and hell require it. And as there is nothing to forbid it, so there is nothing to prevent it. Justice will not, goodness will not, mercy will not-it cannot, for its tenderest entreaties are despised. "How can they escape, who neglect so great salvation?" There is no escape -there is no hope-no, never! "He that believeth not shall be damned!"

And what is it to be damned? I tremble while I ask this question. God grant that none of us may ever know what it is! That banishment from God and heaven-that everlasting destruction-that dreadful, eternal hell—may we never know what it is! The Bible kindly gives us a glimpse of it, but no words can

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