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I may notice, thirdly, in close connection with the preceding particular, that faith is sometimes spoken of as obedience." They have not all obeyed the gospel; for Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?"

"A great company of the priests were obedient to the faith." The mystery of the gospel, revealed through the apostles, "is made known to all nations for the obedience of faith."*-I am aware that, in such passages, obeying includes more than believing. It includes a giving up of the heart to the influence of the truth believed,-yielding to its holy power and tendencies,-not thinking only, but feeling and acting, according to it: "God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin; but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you." But still, the "belief of the truth," yielding to the force of its evidence, and receiving it as from God, is without doubt the first thing expressed by such phraseology.

*Rom. x. 16. Acts vi. 7. Rom. xvi. 26.

God is obeyed, when his testimony is believed; and all by whom it is refused are ranked among the disobedient.

This will be still more apparent, when we have noticed, fourthly, the explicit declarations of the sinfulness of unbelief, and the annexation to it of a sentence of condemnation. The text itself, as I have before stated, is a most unequivocal instance of this. And the following are in harmony with it: "When He (the Holy Spirit) is come, he will convince the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment:-of sin, because they believe not on me:". "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth, and is baptized shall be saved; he that believeth not shall be condemned:"- "He that, believeth on the Son of God hath everlasting life; he that believeth not the Son, shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him:"-" He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself; he that believeth not God, hath made him a liar" (no light or venial

guilt surely)" because he hath not believed the record that God gave of his Son:""The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven, with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ; who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; when he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe, (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day."*

Such passages as these must mean something more than that in consequence of men's not believing, or availing themselves of the means of pardon, their sins, consisting of violations of the divine law, remain unforgiven they clearly and strongly teach us, that unbelief itself is one of the sins on account of which perdition comes upon the unbeliever. The following powerful and striking

John xvi. 8, 9. Mark xvi. 15, 16. John iii. 36.
2 Thess. i. 7-10.

1 John v. 10.

expostulation from the book of Proverbs may be added to the passages already cited. It is not less persuasive and touching from the earnestness of pity which it breathes, than it is instructive and profitable as a decisive intimation of truth:-" Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets; she crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying, How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? Turn ye at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my Spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; but ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; when your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. Then shall they



call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: for that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord: they would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof: therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil."*

This passage expresses, as plainly as the text does, the moral cause of the refusal of sinners to listen to the voice of heavenly wisdom: they "love their simplicity;" they "delight in their scorning," they "hate knowledge;" they "do not choose the fear of the Lord." This is the same thing as "loving darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil."

Having thus shown you very briefly the

* Prov. i. 20-33.

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