Hebrews 2:3
how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? This salvation was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard Him,
A Confirmed TestimonyA. B. Davidson,LL. D.Hebrews 2:3
An Unanswerable QuestionHebrews 2:3
Christ HistoricalJ. Stewart Mill.Hebrews 2:3
Danger of DelayHebrews 2:3
Do not Neglect the Great SalvationG. Clayton.Hebrews 2:3
Folly of NeglectC. H. Spurgeon.Hebrews 2:3
God's Scheme of Salvation as a Great HarbourF. B. Meyer, B. J.Hebrews 2:3
God's Sure Judgment on Those Who Neglect the Great SalvationD. Young Hebrews 2:3
Great SalvationH. T. Miller.Hebrews 2:3
Great Salvation -- an AppealHomilistHebrews 2:3
How Shall We EscapeJ. Cumming, D. D.Hebrews 2:3
How Shall We EscapeM. Henry.Hebrews 2:3
How Shall We Escape?D. S. Brunton.Hebrews 2:3
NeglectHomlistHebrews 2:3
NeglectNew Cyclopedia of IllustrationsHebrews 2:3
NeglectHebrews 2:3
Neglect -- not Gathering UpHebrews 2:3
Neglect Leads to DeteriorationProctor's Gems of ThoughtHebrews 2:3
Neglect of the Great SalvationEssex Congregational RemembrancerHebrews 2:3
Neglectful of SalvationJ. N. Norton, D. D.Hebrews 2:3
Of Confirming the WordW. Gouge.Hebrews 2:3
Of the Means of SalvationT. Boston, D. D.Hebrews 2:3
Opportunity Must be GraspedHebrews 2:3
The Certainty that Punishment in Eternity Awaits the UnconvertedB. W. Noel, M. A.Hebrews 2:3
The Danger of NeglectB. F. Whittemore.Hebrews 2:3
The Danger of NeglectHebrews 2:3
The Danger of Neglecting Christ and SalvationJ. Hannam.Hebrews 2:3
The Danger of Neglecting the Great SalvationHebrews 2:3
The Elements of Persuasion in the Gospel SalvationJ. Hawes, D. D.Hebrews 2:3
The Gospel and its RejectorsHomilistHebrews 2:3
The Great SalvationEssex Congregational RemembrancerHebrews 2:3
The Great SalvationS. Martin, D. D.Hebrews 2:3
The Great Salvation by Jesus, ChristS. Luckey. D. D.Hebrews 2:3
The Greatness of SalvationC.H. Spurgeon.Hebrews 2:3
The Greatness of the Gospel SalvationJ. Rogers, D. D.Hebrews 2:3
The Guilt of the Unconverted in Neglecting the Offered SalvationB. W. Noel, M. A.Hebrews 2:3
The Inexcusableness of Rejecting the GospelS. Clark. , D. D.Hebrews 2:3
The Only PlanB. D. Johns.Hebrews 2:3
The Regret of Lost SoulsR. S. Barrett.Hebrews 2:3
The Sin and Danger of Neglecting the Great Salvation of the GospelE. Cooper, M. A.Hebrews 2:3
The Sinfulness and the Danger of Neglecting the GospelW. Kidston, D. D.Hebrews 2:3
The Superiority of Christianity as Seen in its ClaimsD. C. Hughes, M. A.Hebrews 2:3
The Vital QuestionThos. Mair, D. D.Hebrews 2:3
Unconscious of PerilJ. N. Norton, D. D.Hebrews 2:3
Value of TestimonySmith's "Dictionary of the Bible," Art. "Resurrection."Hebrews 2:3
An Exhortation Against Drifting Away from the Glorious Son of GodC. New Hebrews 2:1-4
Art Attentive Hearing to be Given to the Gospel of ChristW. Jones, D. D.Hebrews 2:1-4
Diligent Attention to the GospelJ. Owen, D. D.Hebrews 2:1-4
DriftingW. M. Taylor, D. D.Hebrews 2:1-4
Drifting from ChristAlex. Martin, M. A.Hebrews 2:1-4
Drifting from ChristC. New.Hebrews 2:1-4
Earnest Attention to SalvationA. S. Patterson.Hebrews 2:1-4
Fastening the ImpressionJ. B. Thomas, D. D.Hebrews 2:1-4
For the Evening of the Lord's DayHomilistHebrews 2:1-4
How to Keep the Word from Slipping from UsW. Jones, D. D.Hebrews 2:1-4
In Attentive HearersJ. Thornton.Hebrews 2:1-4
Letting the Truth SlipC. M. Jones.Hebrews 2:1-4
Men Ruined by DriftingF. B. Meyer, B. A.Hebrews 2:1-4
Redemptive TruthsHomilistHebrews 2:1-4
Slipping Back PreventedHebrews 2:1-4
Soul DriftingJ. G. Rogers, B. A.Hebrews 2:1-4
Taking HeedE. Deering, B. D.Hebrews 2:1-4
The Glory of the GospelJ.S. Bright Hebrews 2:1-4
The Gospel Demands AttentionEssex Congregational RemembrancerHebrews 2:1-4
The Gospel Requires the More Earthest AttentionW. Gouge.Hebrews 2:1-4
The Influences that Cause Men to Drift Frets ChristA. B, Davidson, LL. D.Hebrews 2:1-4
The More Solemn Responsibilities of ChristiansW. Jones Hebrews 2:1-4
The Superior Privileges of ChristiansW. Jones Hebrews 2:1-4
The True Attitude of the Soul Toward ChristW. L. Watkinson.Hebrews 2:1-4
WatchfulnessBp. WestcottHebrews 2:1-4
The Completeness with Which the Great Salvation is Made KnownD. Young Hebrews 2:3, 4

I. NOTE THE APPEAL TO HISTORY. In the history of the Hebrew people God had shown the validity and seriousness of his messages. Those to whom the message had come had been disposed to slight it, either because of the improbability of the matter, or the mean appearance of the messenger. And behind both of these considerations it might also be that the message was very unpalatable. But however the message might appear to men, it was God's message, therefore necessary to be sent. The steadfast word through the angels we must take with a very wide significance, as including the prophets, though angels are specially mentioned because being so reverently regarded by the Hebrews There was an a fortiori argument as applied to the message that came through the Son.

II. NOTE THE GREAT TRANSGRESSION AND DISOBEDIENCE WE MAY COMMIT. We may be negligent of the great salvation. Our own personality, with its great powers and with the claims which God has upon it, we may allow to go to wreck and ruin, instead of submitting to the process whereby God would save us, and make us capable of glorifying him in a perfect way. The man who in any physical peril should steadily neglect whatever means of escape were put in his way, if he perished, would be held to have in him the spirit of the suicide. He who takes active steps against his own life is held to be committing a crime against society; but he who neglects his physical welfare is also sinning against society, though society cannot define his offence so as to punish him. But God, we know, can specify offences, as we cannot; and here is one, that when a man has spiritual and eternal salvation laid before him he yet neglects it. And the more we study this state of negligence, the more we shall see how great a sin it involves.

III. THE INEVITABLE PUNISHMENT WHICH WILL COME FOR SUCH NEGLECT. How shall we escape it? It is a question parallel to that of Paul in Romans 2:3, "How shalt thou escape the judgment of God?" The question is not of escaping from the danger by some other means than what God has provided. It is as to how we shall get away from God's doom upon us for deliberately and. persistently neglecting his loving provisions. How often New Testament exhortations make us face the thought of the great judgment-seat! We see what a serious thing in the sight of God simple negligence is. It is in heavenly affairs as in earthly, probably more harm is done by negligence of the good than by actual commission of the evil. Let there be strongest emphasis and deepest penitence in the confession, "We have not done the things we ought to have done."

IV. THE EXHORTATION TO ATTENTION. We must give more earnest heed to the things that have been heard. How close this exhortation comes! Things not only spoken but heard. The excuse is not permitted that we have not heard of these things. It is what we have heard, but have failed to treat rightly, to cherish and hold fast which constitutes our peculiar responsibility. Over against actual negligence there is the demand for close, continual attention. The meaning of salvation and the means of salvation are not to be discovered by listless hearts. We are attending too much to the wrong things - things that, in comparison with the so great salvation, are but as the fables and endless genealogies, attention to which Paul contemptuously condemned. And those who have to proclaim this salvation would do well to attend to that other counsel of Paul to Timothy, "Give heed to reading, exhortation, teaching," and so all of us need to be readers, learners, and especially submissive to the παράκλησις of the Holy Ghost. - Y.

How shall we escape, if we neglect.
The great salvation of which the apostle testifies is not the salvation which the gospel reveals, but the gospel itself, even the good news of the kingdom, which, by His Son, God in these last days hath spoken unto us (Hebrews 1:2). The salvation which is in Christ Jesus may, with the most obvious propriety, be denominated great, if we compare it with the deliverance which was wrought for the house of Israel, when the Lord brought them out of the land of Egypt. The former was a temporal deliverance, the latter is a spiritual salvation, including deliverance from sin and wrath — from everlasting destruction; and not only deliverance from all evil, but also the enjoyment of eternal life. What is it to neglect so great salvation? "All things are ready, come unto the marriage," is the intimation which the servants of the King, according to His commandment, gave to those who were bidden to the marriage of His Son. Did they regard this kind, this generous invitation as duty and interest required? No. "They made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise." They who neglect so great salvation, make light of the gospel. They do not regard it as the way of eternal life; they do not give to it that cordial reception to which it is entitled. The great salvation is neglected by all who enjoy the means of religious knowledge, and yet remain ignorant of the faith once delivered to the saints; by all who do not with the heart believe unto righteousness, how much knowledge soever they may have attained; by all who continue in the love and practice of sin, who profess to know God, but in works deny Him — who do not give to the salvation of their souls the preference to every other object of pursuit.


1. The dignity of Him by whom the great salvation has been made known to us, illustrates the wickedness of neglecting it.

2. The wickedness which is included in rejecting the gospel of the blessed God our Saviour, is illustrated by the clear and full revelation which it makes of the way of eternal life. The mystery of salvation by the obedience and the death of the Son of God, which was hid from ages and generations, is clearly revealed, and hath appear, d unto all men. The gospel proclaims tidings so good and so interesting, that, on the acknowledged principles of human nature, it seems at first view reasonable to conclude, that to a very faint discovery of them, all whom they concern must give the most earnest heed. How inexcusable, then, must be they who turn away from Him who now speaketh from heaven, proclaiming in the clearest manner, "Peace on earth, and good-will to men!"

3. The wickedness of neglecting so great salvation is illustrated by the infallible proofs of its Divine origin by which it is recommended to our acceptance. That the gospel is indeed the Word of the living God is established by the most abundant evidence. Do you require evidence to convince you that the gospel which the apostles preached, is, indeed, the great salvation which, at the first, began to be spoken by the Lord? What you require. ,he text supplies in rich abundance. "So, then, after the Lord had spoken unto them, He was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God; and they went forth and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the Word by signs following." That the God who cannot lie will not attest what is false, is a self-evident truth. He cannot be deceived, and He will not, He cannot deceive. If, therefore, the God of heaven bears testimony to the doctrine which the apostles published, it must be the great salvation which, at, the first, began to be spoken by the Lord.


1. The righteousness of God renders it necessary that, on them who make light of that mercy which the gospel reveals, judgment shall be executed.

2. The condemnation of those who neglect so great salvation must be dreadful beyond conception.

3. The condemnation of those who neglect so great salvation is most certain.

(W. Kidston, D. D.)

1. Here is the intrinsic goodness and excellency of the thing itself, which wicked men reject; intimated as a just ground why they should not escape unpunished.

2. This further consideration, that the gospel is n express and positive revelation of the will of God, is a very high aggravation of the sin of neglecting so great a salvation.

3. The dignity and excellency of the Person, by and through whom this great salvation is proposed to us. is a further aggravation of the sin of rejecting it.

4. The strength and clearness of the evidence, and the number and greatness of the proofs, made use of to assure us of the truth of the gospel, is the highest aggravation of the guilt of those who neglect or disobey it, and that which of all other things renders them the most absolutely inexcusable.

(S. Clark. , D. D.)

I. THE GREATNESS OF THE SALVATION, which every unconverted person despises. It is a deliverance from the eternal ruin due to our sins; from the dominion of sin and Satan on earth, and from the doom of Satan after death; from present terror and from eternal remorse; from the wrath of an infinite Avenger; from a sorrow, which is near at hand, inevitable, intolerable, eternal; from all that thought shrinks to contemplate, and more than the imagination ever conceived. It is, on the other hand, an admission to blessings as vast. To adoption into the family of God; to all the privileges of His believing people; to be loved by Him, watched over, provided for, cheered, consoled, sustained, and guided to glory. It is an invitation to accept the blessings, given after the greatest provocation — a guilt which is incalculable. It is a salvation offered to those, who by the obduracy of their hearts and the ungodliness of their lives, persevered, d in through long years, have deserved that the Lord should exclude them from His favour for ever. It is a salvation provided for such rebellious transgressors at the cost of the death of Christ.

II. WHAT IS IT TO NEGLECT IT? It might seem that it was impossible to neglect a mercy such as this. The traveller, when he is dying of thirst in the desert, does not reject the gushing spring, which, bubbling at his feet, gives him refreshment and life. The prisoner does not hug his chain, and draw back from the sunshine and liberty offered him, to the damps and darkness of his dungeon. The sick man never scorns health. The poor dejected and homeless wanderer would never refuse proffered wealth. Yet it is not only possible to neglect this salvation, but it is too certain that it is very generally neglected — that while the road to perdition is crowded by multitudes, the road to glory is straight and narrow "and few there be that find it." To neglect this great salvation is, evidently, not to obtain the blessings which it proposes; by whatever mode that neglect is manifested, in whatever way those blessings are lost, to lose them s to neglect this "great salvation." God has offered them to sinners freely; He has set before you plainly the way in which they may be made yours; tie has offered them only in that one way; and therefore if either another way of obtaining them is preferred, or if they are not sought in this way, then is such a person chargeable with neglecting this great salvation.

III. THE GUILT OF NEGLECTING IT. That guilt is clearly implied in the expression in our text, "How shall we escape " if we neglect it? " How shall we escape?" — it evidently implies, that there is in it such a guilt as must provoke the severest punishment.

1. In the first place, you despise these blessings. Heaven, and the pardon of your sins, and the renewal of your hearts, and the indwelling Spirit. the love of God, a holy and a blameless life, a glorious crown, an immortality of holiness and happiness — all this you despise, But I have a heavier charge to bring against you.

2. It is evil enough to disregard these mercies, but every unconverted person is also guilty of inconceivable ingratitude towards God.

(B. W. Noel, M. A.)


1. The deliverance of Noah from the general destruction brought upon the old world was wonderful; but the deliverance of our souls from the deluge of God's wrath, by the gospel, is greater. The preservation of Lot from the destruction of Sodom was great; but the salvation we obtain by the gospel, from the vengeance of eternal fire, is greater.

2. The Author of this salvation (Isaiah 9:6), God manifest in the flesh (1 Timothy 3:16; Isaiah 59:16).

3. The means (Romans 8:3; Isaiah 53:8; Hebrews 9:22).

4. The salvation itself, or the benefits that accrue to believers through Jesus Christ.(1) We are saved from the guilt of all our sins (Romans 8:1; Acts 13:39).(2) Believers are saved from the power of sin (Romans 6:6, 14).(3) Believers are saved from the contagion of sin (1 John 3:9; Ezekiel 36:25, 29).(4) They that are delivered from the body of sin and death, are saved, likewise, from fear; from all fear that hath torment (1 John 4:18; 1 Corinthians 15:55; Isaiah 12:1).(5) Believers are saved from the power of the grave (1 Corinthians 15:53; Philippians 3:21).(6) The saints shall be saved from hell and all misery (Revelation 7:17; Psalm 16:11).


1. Those who live in any known sin.

2. Those who trust in their own righteousness (Romans 10:3.)

3. Those who do not seek this salvation more than other objects.


1. In this life conscience condemns them; therefore are they like the troubled sea (Isaiah 57:20, 21). There is a curse on them, and on whatsoever they do.

2. At judgment justice will seize upon them (Revelation 6:15, 16; Romans 14:12; Proverbs 2:22).

3. In hell the vengeance of God will still pursue them (Psalm 9:17; Psalm 11:6; Revelation 21:8).Application:

1. How glorious is the gospel-scheme of salvation, how far superior to all those wonderful deliverances which God wrought in old times! Christ is our only refuge (Isaiah 32:2).

2. It is easy to see how heinous a thing sin is in the sight of God; how infinite and inconceivable the love of God is towards sinners (John 3:16; 1 Peter 3:18).

3. Consider the great, the glorious salvation, which is offered to you by the gospel. Seek it while it may be found (Isaiah 55:7; Hebrews 3:7, 8; 2 Corinthians 6:2).

4. Remember how it shall happen to all those who forget God (Romans 2:8, 9; Psalm 50:22). Speedily give up all for Christ (Philippians 3:8).

5. Though you may have neglected this great salvation to the present moment, God is willing and ready to pardon. Great salvation for great sinners (1 Timothy 1:15; John 6:37).

6. Never rest till you lest in Christ.

(J. Hannam.)



III. We have another and an independent proof that the impenitent sinner must look for a severe retribution when he comes before the judgment of his Maker, derived from THE PAST JUDGMENTS WHICH HE HAS INFLICTED ON ACCOUNT OF SIN.

1. Often have individuals been made to experience the instant vengeance that God takes upon iniquity. Under the Mosaic law the provisions were exceedingly severe, to mark to that people that God abhors transgression.

2. On many occasions God has manifested His anger against sin, towards multitudes at once.

3. Once agate; contemplate a more awful wreck, and a worse disaster yet. Think of those angelic beings, that once were in the presence of God, loving, holy, happy beyond fear, who seemed in their Maker's favourite have a shield that would secure them to eternity. Those angels transgressed the wilt of God. And "keeping not their first estate" they ,re now visited by no mercy, reserved to an eternity of horror. What God has done, why, sinner I should He not do again? How can you plead an exemption from the curse that has rested upon so many?

IV. But there is another fact, still more awful than all — another argument still more potent than these. If every other proof that God will visit iniquity were lost, if His Word were silent, if we otherwise knew not His attributes, if there were no past judgments to point at, still in THE CROSS OF CHRIST YOU would read a manifestation of the wrath of God against iniquity, which must reduce to hopelessness every considerate person still living in sin, or must reduce to silence at the last day every sinner that will cling to delusive hope. For why did Christ die, Because God will manifest how He hates iniquity; because He must — because holiness, justice, truth, goodness, and mercy require that He must — show that He hates sin.

(B. W. Noel, M. A.)


1. They must needs be strangers to the great salvation, who slight the gospel that brings the good tidings of it.

2. If the gospel alone brings the tidings of salvation for lost sinners, how thankful should you be to God for this revelation.

3. If the gospel alone brings you the tidings of salvation for lost sinners — a salvation we all needed to hear of and be interested in — then how worthy is it of all acceptation.



1. It is great salvation, as it is the product of infinite wisdom and unerring counsel.

2. From the dignity of the Person that wrought it out.

3. It is a fruit of a great price, even of the obedience and death of Jesus Christ.

4. It is applied by almighty power, against all the opposition, of Satan, of an evil world, and even of the very soul itself who is made partaker of it.

5. It delivers the soul from everything that is evil.

6. It brings the soul from darkness to light, from death to life, from the power of Satan unto God.

7. It is a fruit of great grace.


1. Notice how the greatest and most dangerous sin under the gospel is described. "Neglect" not the only remedy, the true riches. It is an injury to Father, Son, and Spirit. It is a high affront offered to the wisdom of God, and to His goodness and grace in Christ.

2. Notice the misery of those that neglect the great salvation. They are condemned already (John 3:18).

3. Who are they, among all the hearers of the gospel, that neglect the great salvation?(1) Such as satisfy themselves with notions of the gospel, and take no care about the transforming virtue of the Word of God upon their souls (1 Thessalonians 1:5).(2) Such as have often heard of the danger of sin, yet live in the love and practice of it.(3) Such as hear of the necessity of an interest in Jesus Christ, but take no care to win Christ and be found in Him.(4) Such as know their Master's will, and have no heart to do it.(5) Such as have but a low esteem of the gospel of Christ, and the ordinances of it.(6) Such as never inquire what they shall do to be saved, how they may escape the wrath to come.

4. Whence is it that some, who are placed by kind Providence under the gospel and ministry, neglect the great salvation?(1) From the blindness of their minds, and ignorance of their hearts. They are not sensible of their misery, the guilt, bondage, defilement, and poverty that sin has brought them to.(2) From the atheism of their hearts.(3) From their natural aversion to the Word and ways of God.


1. Some impenitent sinners hope to escape the wrath of God, Though they neglect the great salvation.

2. Every one under the gospel should exercise their own judgment, reason, and conscience about their present behaviour, under their present trusts, and seriously think what will be the issue of their present carriage.

3. There is no mercy to be shown to impenitent sinners after this life, if they die in their sins.

4. Neglecting the great salvation is the only damning sin.

(1)It is a high affront to each of the Persons in the Holy Trinity.

(2)It is a slight of the only remedy.

5. The punishment that shall be inflicted, at last, upon impenitent sinners, for their neglect of the great salvation, will be found to be just.

(1)God has given them fair warning by His word.

(2)They will receive nothing at the great day but the just fruit of their rebellion against the Lord Jesus Christ.

(3)They will receive nothing but their own wishes and a retaliation of their own language (Job 21:14).

Uses: 1. Inferences.(1) Hence we see how wonderfully rich the goodness of God is to poor lost mankind, in providing this great salvation for them.(2) The goodness of God is further displayed in revealing this great salvation to us by the gospel.(3) We learn hence the sin and folly, the danger and misery of such as sit under the gospel and yet neglect the great salvation.(4) Such as neglect the great salvation will be found the greatest losers; a greater loss never was or can be sustained.(5) Those of you who are partakers of this great salvation, you see where your treasure lies, and there your hearts should be also.

2. Examination: Ask your own souls what entertainment the gospel and its salvation have with you. It has been brought to your door; has it been brought to your heart?

3. Exhortations:(1) Give yourselves time, closely and seriously, to consider the state and wants of your own souls.(2) Take care and pains to clear up your interest in the great salvation, by the power of the Word of God upon the heart, and by the esteem of the Word of God upon your souls; by your hatred of sin and love of holiness, and by your hungering and thirsting after God the living God, and hearty concern for the salvation of others.(3) Attend the ministry of the gospel with your affectionate prayers, that God would reveal His arm therewith, and powerfully apply His great salvation to the souls of your poor relations and neighbours.(4) If you can make out to yourselves that you are partakers of the great salvation, then —

(a)Give God the glory of what He has wrought.

(b)Take care to live agreeably to this great grace.

(c)Commend the Lord Jesus Christ and His salvation to others; endeavour to show them the necessity of it.

(d)Put this great salvation into the balance against all the great afflictions, losses, disappointments, and unkindnesses that you may meet with in the world (2 Corinthians 4:17; Romans 8:1.18).

(W. Notcutt.)


1. The inquiry, "How shall we escape?" implies it: bitten, depraved, dead, lest.

2. We need relief — salvation (Isaiah 53:6; Ezekiel 37:11).

3. We cannot relieve or save ourselves (Job 36:18, 19; Psalm 49:7).

4. Christ brings salvation to us (John 3:16; Matthew 1:21; Luke 9:56; 1 Timothy 2:6).


1. God in Christ is its Author.

2. Jesus is its Finisher.

3. It is plenteous and full (Psalm 130:7).

4. It saves from great sins.

5. It saves from greatest dangers.

6. It is free.

7. It is the only salvation. "None other name."

8. It is great in heaven. Infinite honours, eternal crown. "Kings and priests."

9. It is everlasting (Isaiah 45:17).

III. THERE IS DANGER OF LOSING IT. Not great sinfulness alone, but simple neglect will destroy your soul. The man in business has but to neglect it to be ruined. The sick man neglects the means of recovery, and he dies. The man on Niagara neglects at the proper time to use the oar, and he plunges over the cataract. Ah, ruinous neglect! Let no one infer because he is moral and truthful, is not a drunkard, an adulterer, a murderer, or some redhanded, black-hearted criminal, that he is safe. Why, if your own morality and goodness were enough to save you, then Jesus need not have suffered and died. Salvation is n t forced upon us. We must make an effort to secure it. We may neglect to make that effort, and be lost.

(B. F. Whittemore.)

Essex Congregational Remembrancer.

1. Its heavenly origin.

2. The extraordinary means by which it is effected.

3. Its boundless fulness and freeness.

4. Its deliverances from evils

5. Its choice and extensive blessings.



(Essex Congregational Remembrancer.)

I. The word of the gospel which is preached to us, is THE WORD OF SALVATION.

1. It reveals and announces salvation. It tells us of God's method of recovery for lost, guilty, sinful man. The gospel is the only revelation of saving mercy. Reason could never have discovered it. Philosophy never could have descried a scheme like this. Nature could never have given us any just conceptions of this subject. We see much of the goodness of God in the brightness of the sun, and in the descent of the shower; in the flowers which cover the earth; but not one word of salvation; not a syllable which relates to the restoration of man, and his deliverance from the deserved wrath which his apostasy has incurred.

2. Instrumentally it effects salvation. It brings salvation near, both to the understanding and to the heart.

3. It is the ordained means of perfecting and preparing the soul for the enjoyment of consummate bliss.

II. This salvation, announced and revealed and brought near in the gospel, is inconceivably GREAT. The apostle does not attempt to describe its greatness; but he wraps up the whole magnificence of his theme in this expression, "so great salvation."

1. Think of the stupendous contrivance in which it originated; and it will be found a great salvation.

2. Look at the methods which have been adopted in order to render this salvation sure. Nothing less than the achievements of the eternal Son.

3. Think of the agency employed in securing the application and saving efficacy of this salvation — the Holy Spirit.

4. Think of the all-sufficient credentials and Divine attestations, by which the gospel is recommended to us; and you will easily perceive that it is, ill my text, most justly described.

5. Consider the richness and amplitude of its provisions.

6. I only refer, finally, to the ultimate end which it proposes to effect on behalf of all who are interested it, its benefits. That end is the resurrection of the body from the dust; the glorification of the entire Church; the subjugation of all evil; an eternity of unimaginable bliss.

III. I am to prove to you that THOSE who NEGLECT IT have not the remotest prospect of escape from the entire and hopeless ruin which such neglect inevitably involves.

1. Everything in the reason of the case forbids the hope of escape. Because God Himself has devised this method of recovery; He has revealed it; He has offered it; He has told us plainly, "Neither is there salvation in any other" than Christ. They who neglect this salvation, then, most perish, upon every principle of equity, and upon every principle of reason. There is a storm gathering. Divine mercy has provided a shelter. You neglect it; and the thunderbolt strikes you prostrate to the ground.

2. Everything in the character of God forbids the hope of an escape. He is a God of justice; and will never compromise the claims of equity in complaisance to the negligence and unbelief of His creatures.

3. There is, moreover, nothing in the Word of God which affords the slightest ground of expectation that this method of salvation discarded any other will be provided. (Hebrews 10:26.) Lessons:

1. Admire and adore the riches of Divine grace in having provided such a salvation for lost man.

2. How full of terror is this subject to you who are neglecting this salvation.

3. How happy are they who have reached the final end and ultimate enjoyment of that salvation of which we have been hearing; who have "believed to the salvation of the soul."

(G. Clayton.)


1. Their imperativeness.

2. Their personal character.


1. These consequences are suggested analogically.

2. These consequences are based on the intrinsic excellence of Christianity.

3. The character of the sin on account of which these consequences will be inevitably inflicted.

4. That such a sin as neglect must inevitably be followed by serious consequences is very obvious from the laws of our nature.

(1)That of relation between moral appreciation and moral advantage.

(2)That of free agency.

5. That these consequences will follow this sin is seen from the veracity of God.Lessons:

1. We learn that there are two sides to salvation.

(1)The Divine side, viz., the providing salvation for a lost world.

(2)The human side, viz., the personal acceptance by faith of the salvation thus divinely provided.

2. We learn that, for all practical purposes, the human side is as important as the Divine.

3. We learn that, infinitely great and glorious as salvation is, there is no manifestation of the goodness of lied more easily sacrificed.

4. We learn the unspeakable importance of giving practical heed to the voice of God's Spirit as He speaks in His Word.(1) Because neglect is followed by such sad and irretrievable consequences.(2) Because of the law of habit.

(a)Birds which build their nests in a belfry become habituated to the loudest and longest clangour.

(b)Those who live ill the vicinity or Niagara and cataracts of the Nile become so habituated to the roar of their waters that they do not mind it at all.

(c)Alas! is not this the explanation of the heedlessness to the gospel of thousands in Christendom — they have become too familiar with its sound.(3) Because of this life being our probationary sphere.

(a)If we die in a state of unbelief we cannot hope for another opportunity.

(b)As we are liable to die any hour, to neglect salvation is of all follies the greatest.

(D. C. Hughes, M. A.)

Whether we look at the source from which salvation originates, or the objects to whom it is extended; at the depth of misery from which it delivers, or at the height of glory to which it exalts; at the long train of prophecies by which it was introduced, or at the stupendous display of miracles by which it was established, we cannot but be deeply impressed with its magnitude and importance. There is one circumstance, however, which wonderfully augments these impressions, the unparalleled excellence and dignity of the Person by whom this salvation was perfected.

I. The first argument which I shall adduce results from THE VERY NATURE AND CONSTITUTION OF THINGS. They who neglect the great salvation of the gospel must, from the necessary connection between causes and effects, he involved in everlasting destruction. For what is the salvation of the gospel? It is salvation from sin. Should the drowning man neglect to lay bold of the only hand stretched out to save him; should the sick man neglect to follow the only prescription which can administer a cure: what, in all these several instances, must be the inevitable consequence? Death. Neglecting to improve the only opportunity vouchsafed to them of procuring the removal of their guilt, they must sink down for ever under the curse and burden of unpardoned sin.

II. Another argument arises from THE PECULIAR AND AGGRAVATED GUILT OF NEGLECTING SO GREAT SALVATION. The gospel is a remedy which we are constrained by the most powerful obligations to apply: a remedy, the neglect of which argues not only the most daring folly, but the most malignant wickedness, and consequently involves a degree of criminality which exhibits in a still stronger light the impossibility of escaping. To neglect the salvation of the gospel is to violate a positive command of God. It is also to pour contempt on His most glorious perfections. The gospel is the richest display of mercy to fallen man, the consummation of the Divine wisdom and love.

(E. Cooper, M. A.)

I. "SALVATION" is the grand thought.

1. Consider salvation in its origin. May it not be termed "so great salvation"? God is its Author. It was planned in the councils of eternity; it is the fruit of infinite wisdom. Great, we own, is creation; greater far is redemption. God creates by the word of His power; He redeems by the blood of His Son; new-creates by the power of His Spirit.

2. Salvation is so great: when we remember its nature. It saves from great sins. Christ is "able to save unto the uttermost."

3. It saves from great dangers.

4. There is salvation from great enemies. But we have given only one side of salvation — deliverance. Positive blessings belong to it. Salvation might be termed "so great," if it were only for the blessedness it brings to the heart now; in this life; Christ's peace, Christ's joy, Christ's wondrous love. But man has a destiny reaching away into the great eternity. When we think of man as he is, what be deserves, what he well may fear, guilty, depraved, condemned — as he shall be, when purified, glorified — is not salvation rightly styled "so great "?

II. Think now of the word "NEGLECT." Easy were it to show that such " neglect" is a great calamity, and a great crime.

1. This neglect is common. Alas! how many ,how their neglect in their lives — by open sin, by contempt of God's Word, God's day, God's house.

2. It is inexcusable. Vain and flimsy as a spider's web are all excuses. The real reason why men neglect so great salvation is because they love this world more than God; time more than eternity; their sins more than their souls.

3. Neglect is foolish. What should we think of a prisoner who should bug the chains that bind him?

4. Neglect is easy. In one sense, it in hard for sinners to perish. God in mercy sets barriers in the way. In another sense, it is an easy thing. "Neglect!" The man in business does not need to gamble in order to go bankrupt; all he needs is to neglect his business.

5. When we add it is fatal, this brings us to the third word —

III. "ESCAPE." "How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation?"

(D. S. Brunton.)

I. CONSIDER THE CHARACTER DESCRIBED. The man who, amidst the multitude of other anxieties, sets the invitation to a banquet aside, and altogether neglects it, is just as sure of being found absent as the man who distinctly rejects it. There are many who idle a whole lifetime away in a sort of passive indifference to the gospel, and go down to the grave utter strangers to its Saving power. The man who is not diligent in the prosecution of his worldly business is said to neglect it; and so, in like manner, if you do not esteem the salvation of the soul as the one thing needful, if you do not strive to enter in at the straight gate, and give diligence to make your calling and election sure, then know, of a truth, that you are found among those woo are guilty of neglecting it.

II. CONSIDER THE QUESTION HERE PUT. More evil is done, and more injury sustained, through neglect than from any other cause. Escape is utterly and altogether impossible.

1. From the very nature of the case; for the neglect of salvation is just the rejection of the remedy, and if the remedy be releced, what but ruin can await us?

2. From the history of the Divine denyings. If God brought in the flood upon the world of the ungodly, so that they escaped not, how shall we escape? Say not that God is too merciful to inflict the penalty He has threatened; for was God not merciful then, and yet He did not permit them to escape?

3. From the very means employed for our deliverance. If sin were trivial, if the law were flexible, if God were changeable, Christ would never have suffered, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us unto God.

III. CONSIDER THE GUILT OF NEGLECTING THIS GREAT SALVATION. The mariner who refuses to cast his anchor on the rock deserves to suffer shipwreck. The man who declines to accept the bread that is offered to him deserves to die of famine. God has not provided this great salvation at such a mighty expenditure, and left men to sport and trifle with it at their pleasure.

(Thos. Mair, D. D.)


1. In the lower or material realm, e.g., industrial, sanitary, commercial.

2. In the higher or mental and moral realm, e.g., education, religion.

(1)The signs of neglect. Listlessness and dulness, or profligacy and obduracy.

(2)The temptation to neglect. Example, spirit of procrastination, pressure of other claims.


1. It is spiritual suicide.

2. It is ruinous in its influence on others. You say, "No danger," when the peril is terrific.

3. It is practical atheism.

4. It is in gratitude to the Redeemer.


I. GOD HAS MADE ABUNDANT PROVISION FOR THE WELFARE OF THE WORLD. "So" — the descriptive word of a child when failing to set forth in detail an object beyond its ability.

1. Salvation is God's highest achievement.

2. Supplies all the wants of mankind.

3. Is all-powerful in its influence.

4. Is destined to be universal in its success.

5. Is everlasting in its duration.


1. The freedom of the human will.

2. The deluding power of sin.

3. The futility of mere knowledge.

4. The evil of contempt.

5. The power of self-righteousness.

6. The actual prevalence of carelessness.

(1)Some are totally indifferent.

(2)Some are idly procrastinating.

(3)Some by hoping for the best.

(4)Some because others do.


1. Man bears in himself the elements of destruction. Born a sinner. Sin will never destroy itself. Powder train laid.

2. Salvation the only remedy. Ark, Brazen Serpent, Cities of Refuge. "No other name." "Jesus only."

3. Man's effort to appropriate the appointed means is essentially necessary. Wrecked sailor must enter lifeboat; manslayer flee to city of refuge; patient take prescribed medicine.

4. Non-compliance on man's part will result in endless misery.

(B. D. Johns.)

In the palace at Versailles. as if by the irony of fate, is a famous statue of Napoleon in exile. His noble brow is lowered in thought, his mouth is compressed, his chin is resting upon his breast, and his grand eye gazes into space as if fixed on some distant scene. There is something inexpressibly sad in that strong, pale face. It is said that the sculptor represented Napoleon at St Helena, just before his death. He is looking back upon the field of Waterloo, and thinking how its fatal issue was the result of three hours' delay. Those three short hours seem ever to write on the walls of his memory — "The summer is ended, the harvest is past!" Years rolled on, but the memory of that neglected opportunity follows the great emperor through his life, and haunts him through midnight hours in his sea-girt home. I have sometimes imagined that I could see on some remote and lonely shore of the Lake Avernus a soul haunted by its memories. The battle of lit e is long past, centuries have rolled away, but memory lives. Some lost soul wanders from the rest, where the waves of that gulf beat hopelessly on the far-off shore. The absent eye that gazes over the starless deep, is looking with longing unutterable to the precious time when those who are now in glory held up the blood-stained cross and pointed to the joys of heaven, then so near, now so tar. And a bitter sigh, and a sob as bitter as despairing love, fills the solitude; but it reaches no ear, touches no sympathy, awakes no echo. Such is the vengeance of neglected opportunity.

(R. S. Barrett.)

By our wealth? Its currency is condemned at the judgment-seat. By our own good deeds? Those deeds have been weighed in the balance, and found wanting. Then how shall we escape? By concealing ourselves? God's eye penetrates, with its burning glance, all space. Shall we escape in the crowd? Each individual shall be so insulated, as if there were no other creature besides at the judgment-seat. Then how shall we escape? There is but one way, and that escape is incompatible with neglecting the great salvation. Thus he says the gospel is the great salvation. "How shall we escape" — not, mark you, if we reject so great salvation, but if we neglect so great salvation? The sceptic rejects Christianity; the nominal believer neglects Christianity. Now, I very much question if it be not a greater insult to God to neglect religion than it is to reject it. I can understand that man who says, I have examined all the evidence, and I have come to the conclusion that the Bible is a fable, that Christianity is a romance; eternity, and death, and judgment the visions of a mere baseless dream. I pity him, I deplore his conclusion, but I can understand it; there is consistency about it. But the man that neglects such a religion, if it be true that God has spoken, if it be true that Christ has died for us, if it be true that we must stand at the judgment-seat, if it be true that by His righteousness alone we are justified, is guilty indeed. Such neglect is in the sight of God and man altogether inexcusable.

(J. Cumming, D. D.)

During the terrible fire in the Ring Theatre at Vienna, a large crowd striving to reach one of the exits saw a sideway marked "Emergency Door, in case of Fire." This was just what they needed. They turned aside from the main passages, and rushed to use this special way. But the bolts could not be drawn, the locks could not be turned, and the hinges were choked with rust; because the door had never been used, it could not now be suddenly put into requisition when urgently needed. A heap of dead soon lay before that gate. So, lips which never pray on earth will be speechless in the great day; the prayer for mercy will die unuttered, and the excuse which has been framed on earth will never be offered, when the King asks, "How art thou come in hither all unprepared?"

Many years ago a Welsh minister, a man of God, beginning his sermon, leaned over the pulpit, and said with a solemn air, "Friends, I have a question to ask. I cannot answer it. You cannot answer it. If an angel from heaven were here he could not answer it. If a devil from hell were here he could not answer it." Death-like silence reigned. Every eye was fixed on the speaker. He proceeded, "The question is this, How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation?

A certain man had a long journey before him, which must needs be made in one day, for it would be impossible for him to journey a mile in that country after nightfall, neither was there any place wherein he could lodge on the road. He knew right well that this journey was appointed him, and that it was his duty to perform it; and, moreover, he told his best friends that he was fully determined to set out thereon: but he thought the matter was easier than they seemed to imagine. In his stable there was a fine stud of strong and swift horses suitable for the road, and a carriage stood ready for his riding. The traveller did not set out in the early morning, for he said that there was time enough. Meanwhile, by a certain custom of the country, two of his best horses were taken for the king's service, and this caused the traveller to look about him; but he soon quieted down, sat down to his dishes and his cups, and cried, "What's the good of haste?" While thus engaged, more of his horses were lost, or stolen, or else they strayed, and had he then set out and kept well to his journey, he had scarce the means left to accomplish it. Still he waited with his boon companions till one way or another his horses were gone, and he had nothing left to ride upon but a single wretched jade. Then he made much ado about setting out, and meant to fly along the road at a great rate; only it so happened that while he was resolving the sun went down, and he never reached the place where he would have been rewarded with honour and profit. The explanation of the riddle is easy. A man in his early days, with his best years before him, is so foolish as to put off the concerns of his soul till he is older. Years follow years, and yet he delays — delays even when his last. worn, and feeble age is all that remains to him, and death comes before it is welcome. Alas, that men should think to perform the most important business of all at a time when all their powers and faculties are failing! God's service requires all our abilities in the prime of their strength, and it is wicked as well as foolish to put Him off with our leavings, and endeavour to reach heaven on a worn-out steed at the fagend of the day.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

New Cyclopedia of Illustrations.
A traveller always provided himself with a life-preserver, which he kept in constant readiness for use. On the Mississippi an accident occurred which led him to dream of the advantages of precaution. He dreamed that the vessel was disabled, and rushing upon a lee-shore. The passengers, in different moods, awaited the result. Those who had life preservers were composed; while those who had none rushed to and fro in terror and dismay. Some cursed themselves because they did not buy them before they started; others did not apprehend danger; others had them laid away in their trunks, but found them useless through long neglect; others found themselves cheated with a counterfeit article; others were uselessly trying to escape by resting on the life-preservers of others, which could barely support their owners. The scene is one only too common in life. When the storms come, and the frail vessel is a wreck, how many have secured the true life-preserver, and wait the result in good confidence? How many are dismayed because unready?

(New Cyclopedia of Illustrations.)

Some years ago a large river in America became greatly swollen, and a rapid current was thus produced which was very dangerous to venture on, as a terrible fall was only a few miles distant. A man who had some valuable timber in the stream got into a boat to rescue it. He was, however, soon drawn into the rushing tide. He had not the slightest power to stop or turn the boat, but rapidly it floated down the stream, hurrying him on to a certain destruction. A friend saw his peril, and mounting a fleet horse started for a bridge a few miles below as the only chance to rescue him. Reaching the bridge before the skiff, which came like an arrow towards the arch, he dropped a rope over the surface of the stream and called to the imperilled man to seize it as his only chance of escape. The trembling hand was extended, and with the firmness of a death-grasp clutched the rope as the boat shot by, and soon he was in the arms of his deliverer. This was the arch of mercy to him, which, if once passed, it would have been certain death.

It is an appeal to universal reason, to the consciences of sinners themselves; it is a challenge to all their power and policy, to all their interest and alliances, whether they, or any of them, can find out, or can force out, a way of escape from the vindictive justice and wrath of God. It intimates that the neglecters of this great salvation will be left not only without power, but without plea and excuse at the judgment day.

(M. Henry.)

Proctor's Gems of Thought
Let a certain number of pigeons, of different colours and varieties, be collected and carried to a desert island. Let them fly wild in the woods and found a colony there. After the lapse of many years let the collector return to the island, when he will find The pigeons all of one colour — a black and white dun, or a dark slaty hue. All the beautiful colours will have vanished. Why? Because they have been neglected. The variations and improvements had been the result of care, nurture, and domestication: neglect has simply had the effect of letting them drop into their original state. So with plants — a rose — a strawberry; it is a natural law. So with man. By neglect his body will lapse into a savage state; his mind to imbecility; his conscience to lawlessness and vice; his soul to atrophy, ruin, and decay. "Let him alone," and all the rest will follow.

(Proctor's Gems of Thought)

As the inhabitants of a little, narrow street in Paris looked out at their doors one morning, they were astonished to see a young woman pacing backward and forward on the top of a six-story house. Their astonishment was changed into alarm when it was discovered that she was unconscious of her peril, and was walking in her sleep! The young creature seemed to be dreaming of an approaching gala day, and was humming a lively air. Again and again she drew near to the very verge of the parapet, and again and again crossed over to the other side of the roof, always smiling, and unconscious of danger. Suddenly her eye was attracted by a light in the house opposite. She awoke instantly; there was a piercing cry, a heavy fall, and all was over. Alas! that this sad incident should have a counterpart in things spiritual still more appalling. The despisers of God's mercy, who are now dreaming away the brief remaining portion of their existence, will be aroused suddenly from their guilty slumber by the light which bursts in upon them from the other world, but only to discover the fearful precipice on which they have so long been standing, and when escape from ruin will be impossible.

(J. N. Norton, D. D.)

Bear in mind the teaching that lies hid in the derivation of the word "neglect." It signifies "not to gather up." It paints to us the blind man walking through a valley of diamonds, and in his ignorance gathering up none. And when, in their ignorance, men do not avail themselves of "the riches of God's grace," placed within their reach, how can they "escape" the results of their folly?

A lady had a very important lawsuit on hand for which she needed the services of an advocate. She was strongly urged to secure the help of a ver, eminent and well-known lawyer, but she could not make up her mind to entrust her case to any one. Time passed on, and at last she was compelled to take steps to secure an advocate, and called upon the great lawyer who had been mentioned to her. He listened whilst she expressed her wish to engage his help, but in a few minutes he said with a grave face, "Madam, you are too late; had you come to me before, I would gladly have been your advocate, but now I have been called to the bench, and am a judge, and all I can do is to pass judgment upon your case." Now is the day of grace, and the Lord Jesus Christ is our Advocate, ever pleading the merits of His precious blood (1 John 2:1, 2), but the day will come when He will be the Judge of sinners, and must pass sentence upon them (2 Timothy 4:1).

It is the neglected wheel that capsizes the vehicle, and maims for life the passengers. It is the neglected leak that sinks the ship. It is the neglected field that yields briers instead of bread. It is the neglected spark near the magazine whose tremendous explosion sends its hundreds of mangled wretches into eternity. The neglect of an officer to throw up a rocket on a certain night caused the fall of Antwerp, and postponed the deliverance of Holland for twenty or more years. The neglect of a sentinel to give an alarm hindered the fall of Sebastopol, and resulted in the loss of many thousand lives.

So great salvation.

1. Ever augmenting.

2. Self-created.

3. For ever unavoidable after death.


1. The great facts it involves.

2. The immense influence it exerts upon the universe.

3. The infinite blessings it secures to those who will accept it.


1. Because it is the only expedient now on earth that can effect your deliverance.

2. Because it is the only expedient that will ever be presented to you by Heaven for the purpose.



1. Its gratuity.

2. Its greatness.

3. Its endurance.

4. Its relation to us.

5. Its singleness.


1. The inseparable connection between sin and punishment.

2. God's veracity.

3. God's almightiness.

4. God's justice.

5. The nature of Heaven.


1. It was a great thought in the heart of God.

2. It required a great preparation.

3. It exhibited great condescension.

4. It gives occasion to study a great mystery.

5. It exacted great sufferings.

6. It ensures a revenue of great glory.

(H. T. Miller.)

The word "salvation" occurs in the Bible under a variety of significations. When the children of Israel had just been delivered out of Egypt, and were brought to a stand-still before the Red Sea, Moses said to them — "Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord." Now, in what did that salvation consist? It consisted in this — in a temporary delivering of them out of their trouble, by making a path through the depths of the sea. The Lord delivered them then with a great salvation. Further, you remember that our Lord, on His visit to Zacchaeus, seeing how he was escaping from the bonds of that passion for ill-gotten lucre, exclaims, "This day is salvation come unto this house." That was a great salvation — a deliverance from the thraldom of sin, by the introduction of the freedom wherewith Christ makes His people free. And there remains another appropriate use of the term. We are kept by faith unto salvation: to be redeemed and brought into that glorious state, where the white-robed ones stand — that city, in which we shall not only be saved, as we are now, but in a perfect state of salvation. That, also, is meant at times in the Scripture, when the word salvation is employed. Now, it becomes us to inquire which of these three senses are here conveyed by the words of our text. It seems to me that it comprehends all three; that is to say, all that is needed for the first liberation of man from sin; all that is needed of temporal deliverance to keep him from failing, and to enable him to persevere unto the end; and all that is comprehended in the hereafter, and not-to-be-revealed glory that remaineth for the people of God. Each of the three are great salvation, and, combined, they make the so great salvation. "How shall we escape, if we neglect this so great salvation?" Now, I think there are several things which will plainly prove that this is a great salvation.

I. First of all — as A SCHEME, a plan, to work out a Divine purpose — as a Divine scheme and plan, I maintain it is a great salvation.

1. If I examine the wisdom of the scheme — the plan of the scheme — here I come in contact with a wisdom of no finite being: it is the wisdom of the Divine Being Himself; it is infinite wisdom; the mint-mark has Heaven's royal stamp, and the image and superscription are more than Caesar's; they are those of the King of kings Himself. Now this wisdom is displayed in a threefold manner.(1) First, in grappling with a difficulty in which no man can succeed. We can deal with our fellow-creatures' bodies; we can deal with their minds; but their souls are encased as in triple steel; and whenever man has begun to touch sin, the only thing he has done has been to burn his own fingers, without putting that firebrand out of the world. Sin is everywhere, and man has never been able to cast it out. It stands, and ever will stand, till a Divine power shall come to cast it out. Now God has found out the way of accomplishing this, and He has devised a scheme which, in His hand, shall make this wide world to be covered with His glory, even as the waters cover the deep. That is one thing in which I detect the wisdom of God; He has accomplished that which has ever defied the wisdom of the wisest, and the might of the mightiest.(2) Something further is to be noticed — God has done this with a wisdom so great, that He has foreseen all that He has purposed to do, and everything He has done, and has not left undone anything that He has purposed.(3) Let me observe, again, that the wisdom of this scheme is something so great, that not a single wrong is done to any one. God has rest ,red the false note in the great organ of the universe, without staying its tune, or hindering the harmony of the music of the spheres; and He has done it all with a wisdom so infinite, that we must exclaim. "This is indeed a s, great salvation."

2. But now, join that wisdom with love — think of the low, as well as the wisdom, and then you will have further heightened the thought.

II. Now, it is a great salvation, not only because of the scheme, but also because of THE AIM IN VIEW, and the objects which it purposes to perform. Christ came, not merely to save man from sin, and from Satan — not merely to save man from going down to the pit without ransom, though that would ha, e been a great salvation. Christ comes, we say, to destroy sin; but how? By bringing in a righteousness that shall far surpass the righteousness of men. He comes to destroy death; but how? By bringing life and immortality to light. He comes to destroy the works of the devil; and how? By doing the works of Him that sent Him, and the great salvation He brings in, has, for its end and aim, not merely the putting of man into the garden of Eden, where he was before the Fall but to put him in possession of life and immortality itself.

III. We exclaim again, "It is a great salvation," from THE MEANS that have been used for the working-out of the scheme, and from the original end and aim proposed. And here I might begin at the beginning, but how can we go back to the countless ages of eternity? and time would certain, fail us, if I were to begin at the creation of the world, for it all has been but the theatre for the working-out of this great salvation. I would come down to the time of the Jews, and would see there all the wonders of the life of Abraham, and of Abraham's descendants. All these things formed part of the working-out of the scheme, for the Jews were like the scaffolding which needed to be erected, that there might be raised, inside of it, a true and living structure, which is to abide for ever. The Jewish race, with its wondrous history, has but served as the pinnacle for the erection and for the display of the cross thereupon. But we must narrow our limits again. Let us now start from Bethlehem; and there, in the stable of a lowly inn, we see a babe; small it is, but yet great ; the Son of Mary, and the Son of the Highest. He whom even the heaven of heavens cannot contain, is there, wrapped in that veil of our inferior clay. As I look upon that deep mystery, and see there that Child of God, I see also and adore "the man my fellow" — Christ in the flesh — God incarnate. I see there a mighty deed that stamps this salvation with a greatness of His own. I pass by all the after-wonders of His life, and come to the cloning scene, when He hangs upon the cross. I look at that bleeding man, and I exclaim, "How is it? — it is the blood of God" — for I find the Scripture saying, "The Church of God, which He has purchased with His blood." How it is I cannot tell; but there is a Divine efficacy in the death and blood of Christ.

IV. Fourthly, let us look at these facts taken as a whole, and as LYING AT THE FOUNDATION OF OUR RELIGION. Now reason could never discover a religion; I say that reason does tell us this — it is the best religion the world ever has seen, or can see. There are three things that we must find in every religion to make it great. It must reveal a God, worthy of the highest honour ; it must give benefits to the worshippers ; and it must establish a connection between the two. If it does not reveal a God, it is worthless. If it reveals a God, but He is not worthy of the highest honour, I say it is a weak religion — away with it. Now our religion is this: "Glory to God in the highest" — glory in the scheme, glory in the working-out, glory in the end proposed.

(C.H. Spurgeon.)

Essex Congregational Remembrancer

1. It is worthy of the character given to it, if you consider the method of its contrivance.

2. It is a great salvation in the manner of its execution. Amazing love!

3. It is a great salvation in the blessing it secures.

4. In the manner of its bestowment. It regards us as we really are, "poor and wretched"; and without insulting us in our poverty, it invites us — nay more, it commands us — to "come and take of the water of life freely." Were the smallest good required of you in exchange for this blessing, we might then calculate on your neglecting this great salvation, on the plea that you were destitute of what you were required to give for it. But you are invited to receive it "without money and without price"

5. In the countless multitudes who shall be brought to participate in it.


1. It demands great attention.

2. It should be embraced with great thankfulness.

3. Its refection will be accompanied with great condemnation.God could devise no method more safe, more honourable, more glorious for a sinner's salvation, than the method exhibited in the gospel. Grace in its richest character, mercy in its brightest form are here displayed. But the greater the grace, the richer the mercy, and the more free and generous the invitation, the greater will be the guilt of him who rejects it.

(Essex Congregational Remembrancer,)

I. SALVATION. Now, suppose that I were on the bank of a river, and were to see some child or some fellow-man struggling in the stream; if I were to use my best endeavour to help that fellow-creature out of the water, and if I were successful in that attempt, it would be a salvation. Or, if I were to find some fellow-man suffering from a dreadful disease for which I had a specific, and I were to come and administer this specific to that man, and he were to recover from that disease, that would be a salvation. I am about to speak to you of a salvation of a different kind — not .f a salvation from mere bodily death not of a salvation from bodily disease — but of a salvation from all the ills which soul, and spirit, and body are heirs to — a salvation from everything that blights and blasts our fallen human nature. 1. The salvation upon which I speak is the deliverance from ignorance of the true God. That ignorance, you know, is just like a dense darkness at a time when a man wants light, and in the place where a man wants light, and under circumstances where the shining of light is essential to a man. The man who is saved knows something of God, of our Father in heaven: t e knows enough of God for his present well-being, and for his present well-doing. That is one part of salvation. Now there is another.

2. I do not know how it is, but so it is, as we believe, that every one born into, this world is inclined to do wrong. God made such an arrangement when He created our first parents, that if they had done right, right dispositions would have been communicated. You sometimes see a very amiable mother and a very amiable daughter ; there is a disposition communicated the one from the other. Now, on account of that arrangement, when our first parents went wrong and they had children, the children received from them a wrong disposition — a disposition to do that which is had-that which is evil. and it is within us all. Is there anything more common than to hear people say, "I shall do as I like; don't meddle with me, I shall do as I please"? Now that is the very essence of sin. Any creature who begins to say, "I will do as I like," falls immediately. If the brightest and best of the angels from around God's throne were at this moment to say, "I will do as I like," and were to begin to turn to his own way and to carry out the desired devices of his own heart, he would be immediately a fallen angel, and heaven would be no paradise to that being. What is this salvation? It is a salvation from the "I'll do as I like" principle, — from the " I'll do what I please" principle. It is deliverance from that. It is the creation within us of another spirit, and of a new heart in that matter, and the question then is, "Saviour, what shall I do? Saviour, how shall I speak? Saviour, how shall I live? Saviour, what shall I work at? Saviour, where shall I abide? Where shall I travel? What will be my occupation? Saviour, in all things what shall I do?" That also is part of salvation. Some people, you know, especially some people with a profession of religion, think that their consciences always are right. You see such an one doing something that you think is very bad, something that the Bible condemns. You open the Bible and point to a text, and say to him, "There, that passage says you are wrong." But he will probably really, "I cannot be very wrong, for I did such and such a thing conscientiously." Now, suppose I were in the position of some of you who have places of business, and that I employed errand-boys to assist me in that business, and I required of a lad that he should always be at the shop at six o'clock in the morning; and suppose he had a miserable sort of time-piece that was always two hours behind the time of day. I chide the lad for being two hours behind time, and he brings forth to me his old wretched thing of a watch, and shows me that its hands point to the hour of six, but I tell him that, according to the position of the sun in the skies, it is eight o'clock. He argues with me, "But my watch says it is six!" Then, what I should say to him would he, "Unless you are mocking me I require that you get your watch regulated, and take care that on the face of that watch there is always a correct index of the true time." Just so I say to people who do wrong, and justify their wrong-doing by reference to their conscience. Conscience is a thing amongst mankind which is as often wrong as a bad clock or as a bad watch, and consciences need mending — need rectifying. Now, salvation is to put a man's conscience right, so That it answers to the will of God, and to the pleasure of God, and is an index of what is right and of what is wrong. That is another part of salvation. I need not say to you that we are all hurrying onward to the grave, and that after death comes the judgment. Now, we carry with us, unless we are saved the guilt of the first sin we committed when we begin to say "I will" and "I won't," and the guilt of all the sins committed throughout life. If we pass unsaved into the future state, we carry the guilt of all the transgressions with us to the bar of God. Now, you know that God must do one of two things: He must either forgive sin or punish it. He cannot pass it by. Oh, what must be the weight of His arm when it strikes the transgressor to punish! We cannot wonder that in the place of punishment there is "weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth."

3. Now, this salvation is deliverance from such punishment. A man who is saved not only knows God, not only obeys God, but is free from all danger of future misery. God has cast his transgressions into the depths of the sea. They are beyond the arm and beyond the sight of any creature. That is salvation. There are fifty other things that might be said about the salvation if we were professing to speak of it fully, but we only intend to give you two or three illustrations of what it is.Now observe it is great. "Why?"

1. First, because it comes from a great God; because it comes from that great God's great heart; because it comes from the great grace of the great heart of that great God. That is why it is great.

2. It is brought down to us from that great God's great heart and from His great grace by a great and personal Saviour.

3. It is a great salvation because it compasses all our wants, all our woes, all our trials, all our temptations, all the ills to which we are heir.

II. NEGLECT. Suppose we were to-night in an excursion train instead of being here, and suppose a train were just behind us — an express train. And suppose that the man at the last station had forgotten to stop that train, to signal it, or to tell the driver that the excursion train was before him and that he must go gently. Suppose he forgot it — that he was occupied with other matters so entirely as to forget it. What would be the effect of that neglect? Into our train would come dashing the express train. And what would be the consequence? Terrific loss of life. Or say that I am suffering from high fever. My medical attendant sends me medicine which he requires to be taken to me immediately. Say that some person in my house neglects to give me that medicine and I remain being consumed by the fever through the night. That person might nut intend to injure me; it might be very far from his wish; but the neglect does the injury. My fever rages, burns, and consumes, and before morning light, I am upon the very brink of the grave. We see what mischievous consequences may flow from neglect. If a person acre to put a bar of iron across the metals of the line upon which we were travelling, and do it with the purpose of upsetting the train, that would involve the most serious consequences. But we have seen that neglect does it without any bad intention. If a person were to administer poison intentionally, that would destroy life; but we have seen that the neglect in not giving the medicine might be the means of terminating life quite as really and effectually as the administering poison itself. Now I want your attention to this, for the text says, "How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation?"

III. Any day may bring forth such a change in your circumstances, as that you shall see no way of escape. To-day shows you AWAY OF ESCAPE, a place of repentance. To-day exhibits to you the great salvation: To-morrow may see you in such a position as that no way of escape can ever exist for you, and you may say in the agony of despair, "How can I escape, for I have neglected God's great salvation?"

(S. Martin, D. D.)

I. Those persons may certainly be numbered among this class WHO ARE SLUMBERING OVER THEIR IMMORTAL INTERESTS, and who are satisfied to be indifferent to the claims of the gospel, so long as they can be accused of no outrageous offence against it. On every principle of equity, great benefits deserve great and anxious labours and struggles to possess ourselves of them. The man would be accounted guilty of egregious toll,, who, having the opportunity to send forward his goods to their destination on strong and fleet horses, should insist on engaging for the purpose such as were worn out and helpless; but not so foolish as those who are wasting the days of health and vigour in indecision and idleness, and who are expecting to work out their everlasting salvation in the season of sickness and decrepitude.

II. The charge of neglecting this "great salvation" must also be brought against those WHO ARE MERELY NEUTRALS in the cause of God.

III. All those living in Christian lands may be said to neglect salvation WHO FAIL TO MAKE IT THEIR FIRST AND GREATEST CONCERN.

IV. Those persons are neglecting this "great salvation" WHO DO NOT USE GOD'S OWN APPOINTED MEANS FOR SECURING IT.

(J. N. Norton, D. D.)


1. The law, unquestionably, as contradistinguished from the gospel.

2. When in this connection we speak of law as contradistinguished from gospel, we men that rule of moral conduct, of both heart and life, to which God exacts perfect obedience from all His intelligent creatures.

3. The law has not been abrogated by the introduction of the gospel; nor have its claims been alienated, or its sanctions abolish d.

4. To perceive the force of the apostle's argument it is necessary to notice the prominence he gives to the penal character of the law. "Eve, y transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward."

5. The " just recompense of reward" is this penalty. "A recompense," says Mr. Benson, "proportionable to the crime, according to the judgment of God, width is infinitely just and equal, and implies that they who commit sin 'are worthy of death.'" Death is the penalty of the law: "The soul that sinneth, it shall die."


1. The whole system of Christianity.

2. The theme of the gospel is salvation by Jesus Christ. It is founded in Him. "Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ." He is "the Author and Finisher of our faith"; — "the Author of eternal salvation to all them that obey Him." Of the whole system of the gospel, he is "the Alpha and the Omega." The gospel is a remedial system. It proposes satisfaction to the claims of justice by a propitiatory offering for sin. By this offering we were redeemed, bought back from the bondage of sin and the penal sentence of the law.

3. Eternal life, with all the means and provisions necessary to its attainment, is ascribed to the atonement.

4. To be thus saved, we must come to God through Christ. "Whosoever shall call upon the name," &c. We must receive Him by faith: "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ," &c. All who slight these requirements, neglect this great salvation.

5. All this, remember, upon which eternal life is offered to sinful man, is through the atonement by Jesus Christ; and is the only remedy God has provided against the penalty of the law.

6. But the text asserts the possibility and danger of failing to receive this gracious gift of God, "everlasting life through Jesus Christ our Lord," by neglecting the gospel. Eternal life is suspended upon terms and conditions set forth in the gospel; and, to insure it, intense application to these is necessary, lest anything essential to that end should be permitted to slip, and the soul be left under the power of eternal death. How tremendous the motive "to give the more earnest heed"! They neglect this great salvation who are indifferent to its terms and provisions, and slight the offer of pardon it makes to the guilty. Their indifference shows that they are not influenced by that sense of the guilt of sin, without which they cannot be fit subjects for pardon, in any way consistent with the purity and integrity of the moral government of God.

III. THE CONCLUSION DEDUCED FROM THE RELATION IN WHICH THE GOSPEL OF THE GRACE OF GOD STANDS TO THE LAW, which is steadfast in its claims of justice strikes us with all the force of moral demonstration.

1. From what has been said, it is evident that everlasting life, as the gift of God through our Lord Jesus Christ, is the only remedy against eternal death, which is the penalty of the law.

2. "Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea. we establish the law." In the terms of both the law and the gospel, God deals with man as a moral agent.

(S. Luckey. D. D.)

The apostle does not attempt to tell us just how great salvation is. He probably felt respecting it much as he did in regard to the love of Christ, that it has a breadth and length and depth and height, which passeth knowledge. He could therefore express his views of it no better than by giving utterance to the words — so great salvation. Great it certainly is; so great, that we can conceive of none greater. I wish now to direct attention to some of the elements of impression and persuasion contained in it.

1. The salvation of the gospel commends itself, by the fact that it comes to you as a direct personal concern. You need this salvation, and your immortal all is involved in your acceptance of it in faith and love.

2. The salvation of the gospel embodies great and affecting truths; and this is another element of persuasion which it brings to bear on the mind and heart of man. First of all it unveits the character of God to your view in a new and most affecting light. It calls you to look to Him, not merely in the character of a righteous lawgiver, moral governor, and just judge, but of a kind and merciful father, calling you to His love, and proffering you pardon and everlasting happiness in Christ the Mediator. It holds up to your view the great truth that this Christ, the Son of God, has interposed in your behalf, has been in the world on your account, has by His sufferings and death made atonement for sin, and opened a way whereby God can justify and save you consistently with His holiness, His justice and His truth. And while thus the great salvation reminds you of the everlasting love of God, and of the infinite grace and kindness of the Saviour, it sets before you another truth in the most impressive light — I mean the truth of your own lost and utterly helpless condition as a sinner. In the very fact of offering you mercy it proclaims you condemned, and in seeking to raise you to life and heaven it shows you to be exposed to death and hell. It also presses on your attention another great truth — theft of the helping agency of the Holy Spirit, whose office it is to take of the things of Christ and show them unto men; who visits the heart and the conscience with His tender, awakening influence, and mercifully guides to peace and hope all who listen to His voice and yield to the drawings of His love.

3. It is another element of impression and persuasion in the salvation of the gospel that it is perfectly free and gratuitous. If you were continued in hopeless bondage in a strange land, with no hope of self-deliverance, and one unsolicited, a prince of royal blood, should, at a great expense of treasure and toil, procure your release and send you a document to that effect, the transaction would strike you as one of great kindness, and you could not fail, unless you had a heart of stone, to be deeply affected with a sense of indebtedness to so generous a benefactor. Now it is on tibia wise that the salvation of Christ comes to you. It is an unsolicited favour; it was procured at an infinite price; it offers you deliverance, complete and eternal, from the most terrible form of bondage — the bondage of sin and death — and all as a gratuity.

4. The salvation of the gospel has great power of appeal to the heart and mind of man.

5. Let us notice next the results at which the salvation of the gospel aims. Pardon, peace, joy in believing, reconciliation to God, adoption into His family, &c., in this present life. But who can speak of the results of salvation, as they will be developed in the kingdom of everlasting glory and blessedness? Salvation completed is everlasting happiness; happiness in the presence of God and the Lamb — pure, perfect, all satisfying; an exceeding and eternal weight of glory; fulness of joy and pleasures for evermore in the presence of the infinite Father, in the society of angels, and of just men made perfect.

6. Another element of impression and persuasion in this salvation lies in the fact that the offer of it is made to you only for a short time; and when withdrawn there is no more hope for eternity.

(J. Hawes, D. D.)


1. How great, how glorious a felicity, how adequate to the desires of a reasonable nature, is revealed to our hopes in the gospel.

2. What care and solicitude God has expressed for our attainment of it.

3. Upon how gracious reims of duty it is promised to us.


III. THEY WHO NEGLECT IT, HAVE NO EXCUSE FOR THE CRIME, BUT MUST EXPECT THE SEVEREST RESENTMENTS OF DIVINE JUSTICE. The direction, then, is sufficiently clear, and the duty required by it adjusted to the powers of our nature; neither ignorance, nor inability can be pretended; and what plea can we offer to Divine justice to prevent condemnation?

(J. Rogers, D. D.)

A sinner having heard that sin deserves God's wrath and curse, the question that natively follows is, What way one may escape them? This is answered by the weighty question in the text, How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation? Which we may take up in these two things.(1) There is no escaping for sinners, if they neglect the great salvation; they perish without remedy.(2) They that do not neglect it, shall surely escape. Here let us consider —

1. The danger sinners are in by their sin.

2. The way how they may escape; namely, by not neglecting, but falling in with the great salvation. The words intimate —(1) That there is a possibility of escaping; sinners are not shut up hopeless under the curse.(2) The way of escape is not by fleeing from the Judge, and the execution of His sentence: nay, He is omniscient and omnipresent; one cannot outwit Him, or get away from His sight, or out of His reach. Nor is it by resisting, for He is omnipotent, and none can outbrave Him, nor make head against Him. But he may escape by falling in with the means of escape appointed by Himself, and required by Him to be made use of by us. It is neglected by unbelief, impenitency, and not using the means prescribed. On the contrary, then, He requires of us faith and repentance, which are the substance of the gospel (Acts 20:21); and He requires of us the use of the means by which the salvation held forth in the gospel is obtained (Proverbs 8:34); for surely they neglect and slight the gospel, who do not believe, repent, or use the ordinary means of obtaining the salvation.

I. THE NECESSITY OF FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST, in order to escape the wrath and curse of God due for sin.

1. There is no pleasing God without it (Hebrews 11:6).

2. It is the great duty of the gospel, whereby one is made partaker of the remedy provided, and without which neither your persons nor performances can be accepted.

3. It is that which enters one into the covenant of peace; unites him with Christ" and by which he comes to partake of all saving benefits.

4. Salvation and damnation turn upon this very point (Mark 16:16).


1. The Word of God certifies us, that whosoever does not repent shall perish (Luke 13:5). Your souls. then, lie at stake.

2. Heaven's door is bolted against all impenitent sinners; it is not so wide as to let in a sinner with a burden of unrepented of guilt upon his back (Revelation 21:27).

3. Repentance is the other duty of the gospel; thereby signifying that without repentance there is no possibility but we must perish under God's wrath and curse. John Baptist preached repentance, so did Christ Himself, the apostles, &c. How can one think then to escape without it?

4. True faith does always bring along with it true repentance (Zechariah 12:10).

III. ARE FAITH AND REPENTANCE IN MEN'S POWER, SINCE GOD REQUIRES THEM OF THEM? They are not. For God's demands of us are the measure of our duty, but not of our strength, which reaches not to these. For —

1. They are the gifts of God, and the operations of His special grace (Ephesians 1:19; Acts 5:31).

2. Sinners by nature, and in themselves, can do nothing which is good, and therefore cannot believe nor repent (John 15:5).

IV. THE CONNECTION BETWIXT FAITH AND REPENTANCE, AND ESCAPING THE WRATH AND CURSE OF GOD DUE TO US FOR SIN. Those who believe and repent shall certainly escape (John 5:24; Ezekiel 18:30; Romans 8:1). In the moment the sinner comes into Christ, he is no more liable to eternal wrath, nor to the curse; for he is not under the law, but under grace: and the utmost he is liable to, is fatherly chastisements (Psalm 89:30-33). Thus faith and repentance have the connection of appointed means prescribed by God Himself, which, by His blessing, are rendered subservient to this great end of obtaining salvation.


1. God has peremptorily required this (Luke 13:24).

2. We hare no ground to expect grace or salvation but in the use of the means (Proverbs 8:34).

3. The neglect of the means is a contempt of the thing. If we would be healed, we would lie at the pool. If not, we say we care not for cure. And there is required here, not a careless or merely superficial use of the outward means, but a diligent one; that is an embracing of every opportunity that God in His providence gives us for attending upon them, a careful improvement of them, and a looking earnestly to Him for His blessing upon them.

(T. Boston, D. D.)

After a wild night, we have gone down to the harbour, over whose arms the angry waves have been dashing with boom of thunder and in clouds of spray. Outside the sea has been tossing and churning; cloudwrack driving hurriedly across the sky; the winds howling like the furies of olden fable. But within those glorious walls, the barks which had put in during the night were riding in safety; the sailors resting, or repairing rents in sail and tackle, whilst the waters were unstirred by the storm raging without. Such a refuge or harbour is a fit emblem of salvation, where tempest-driven souls find shelter and peace.

1. It is great in its sweep. — Sufficient to embrace a ruined world. Room in it for whole navies of souls to ride at anchor. Space enough for every ship of Adam's race launched from the shores of time. "He is the propitiation for the whole world." "Whosoever will." Already it is becoming filled. There a vessel, once maimed by seven devils, a pirate ship, but captured by our Emmanuel, and at her stern the name, Mary of Magdala. And here one dismasted, and almost shattered, rescued from the fury of the Maelstrom at the last hour; on her stern the words, The Dying Thief. And there another, long employed in efforts to sap the very walls of the harbour, and now flying a pennon from the masthead, Chief of Sinners and Least of Saints.

2. It is great in its foundations. The chief requisite in constructing a sea-wall is to get a foundation a which can stand unmoved amid the heaviest seas. The shifting sand must be pierced down to the granite rock. But this harbour has foundations mighty enough to inspire strong consolation in those who have fled to it for refuge (Hebrews 6:18). The promise, and as if that were n t enough, the oath of God.

3. It was great in its cost. By the tabular bridge on the Menai Straits stands a column, which records the names of those who perished during the construction of that great triumph of engineering skill. Nothing is said of the money spent, only of the lives sacrificed. And so, beside the harbour of our salvation, near to its mouth, so as to be read by every ship entering its enclosure, rises another column, with this as its inscription: " Sacred to the memory of the Son of God, who gave His life a sacrifice for the sin of the world."

4. It has been great in its announcement. The announcement of the law was by angels. The announcement of the gospel was by the Son. If the one were august, what must not the other have been? If the one were made sure by the most tremendous sanctions, what should not be said of the other? Proclaimed by the Lord; confirmed by apostles and eye-witnesses; testified to by the Almighty Himself, in signs and wonders, and gifts of the Holy Ghost. How dare we treat it with contumely or neglect?

5. It will be great in its penalties. — The tendency of our age is to minimise God's righteous judgment on sin. It seems to be prevalently thought that, because out dispensation is on, of love and mercy, therefore there is the less need to dread the results of sin. But the inspired writer here argues in precisely a contrary sense. Just because this age is one of such tender mercy, therefore sins against its King are more deadly, and the penalties heavier. In the old days no transgression, positive, and no disobedience, negative, escaped its just recompense of reward: and in these days there is even less likelihood.

(F. B. Meyer, B. J.)

Confirmed unto us.
Though Christ's own publishing of the gospel were sufficient to make it worthy of all acceptation, yet it is said to be confirmed. That is confirmed which is further proved, or fulfilled, or made more sure and certain. Thus Christ is said to confirm the word of His apostles with signs (Mark 16:20), and God by sending His Son to confirm the promises made to the fathers (Romans 15:8). That also which is kept from failing or from being altered, is said to be confirmed. So God doth confirm His unto the end (1 Corinthians 1:8), and establish them (1 Corinthians 1:21), and we are called upon to be established with grace (Hebrews 13:3). But that which Christ spake needed not in any such respect to be confirmed. He is a faithful and true witness (Revelation 3:14). He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6), that only true way that leadeth unto life. So there was no fear of any uncertainty, or of any failing in His Word. Christ's Word, therefore, was con-fired for these and other like reasons.

1. Because He was not at all times, in all places present with His Church. to urge and press His Word upon them. For this end He sent forth in His life time disciples to preach (Luke 9:2. 10:1). And after His ascension He gave apostles and others for the perfecting of the saints (Ephesians 4:11, 12).

2. Because of our weakness, Christ confirmed His Word, to support us, that we might have strong consolations. For this end God confirmed His promise by an oath (Hebrews 6:17, 18).

3. Because of the commendable custom of men, who used to confirm their own words by the consent and testimony of others. Thus St. Paul in the inscriptions of his epistles joins with himself Sosthenes (1 Corinthians 1:1), Timothy (2 Corinthians 1:1), Silvanus and Timothy (1 Thessalonians 1:1), Timothy with the bishops and deacons (Philippians 1:1), all the brethren which were with him (Galatians 1:2).

4. Because by God's law and man's, at the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established (Deuteronomy 19:15). Thus Christ's Word was confirmed:(1) In that there were many witnesses of the same truth wherein they all agreed (Luke 24:48; Acts 2:32).(2). In that such as despised Him in His life-time, after His resurrection and ascension were wrought upon (Acts 2:37).(3) In that by reason of the power of the Spirit in them, they who preached the gospel of Christ after Him, "were received as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus" (Galatians 4:14).(4) In that many who never heard Christ themselves, believed that Word which Christ had preached, but was made known to them by others (1 Peter 1:8). Thus it appears that this confirming of Christ's Word added nothing to the authority thereof. The Church may confirm the sacred Scriptures to be the Word of God: yet confirm nothing to their authority. Divine mysteries may be confirmed by human testimonies: yet no authority brought thereby to those mysteries. God being pleased thus to confirm the gospel to us, it ought to be a steadfast word to us, we ought with all steadfastness of faith to receive it, and to continue steadfastly therein, as the Christians of the primitive Church did in the apostles' doctrine (Acts 2:42).

(W. Gouge.)

Confirmed is "made steadfast" (ver. 2), as the law was to Israel. The word confirmed does not mean, added their own testimony to the redemptive truth of what they heard and preached. This they no doubt did, and to men the testimony of other men founded on their own experience is very weighty and convincing; and of course we have it, not only in the faith of those around us, but in the unbroken life of the Church up to our time. The-point here, however, is rather the accuracy and trustworthiness with which the salvation has been handed on even unto us, by ear-witnesses of the Lord, combined perhaps with a certain authority which belonged to them as His personal healers, and the accompanying signs attesting their preaching.

(A. B. Davidson,LL. D.)

It is of no use to say that Christ as exhibited in the Gospels, is not historical. Who among His disciples or among their proselytes was capable of inventing the sayings ascribed to Jesus, or imagining the lie and character revealed in the Gospels? Certainly not the fishermen of Galilee; as certainly not St. Paul, whose character and idiosyncrasies were of a totally different sort; still less the early Christian writers, in whom nothing is more evident than that the good which was in them was derived, as they always professed that, it was derived, from a higher source.

(J. Stewart Mill.)

Smith's "Dictionary of the Bible," Art. "Resurrection."
Bishop Young says: "The conviction produced by testimony is capable of being carried much higher than the conviction produced by experience, and the reason is this, because there may be concurrent testimonies to the truth of one individual fact; whereas there can be no concurrent experiments with regard to an individual experiment."

(Smith's "Dictionary of the Bible," Art. "Resurrection.")

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