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The Ruin of the Soul Effected by Neglect.

The Ruin of the Soul Effected by Neglect.

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" How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation ?" — Heb. 2 : 8.

" How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation ?" — Heb. 2 : 8.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jul 12, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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THE RUI OF THE SOUL EFFECTED BY EGLECT.BY WILLARD PRESTO, D,D." How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation ?" — Heb. 2 : 8.This is a question in form only ; often the strongestmode of affirming the truth. There is not a passagein all this book which implies more, or more importanttruths than the text announces. The salvation towhich it refers, embraces all that God in His three-fold personality has done, to provide for the endlesshappiness of man ; involving the eternal misery of allwho fail to secure the blessings proposed, includingthe mode which he has prescribed, in which alonethose blessings can be obtained, or that misery avoided.And wdiat facts or truths are as deeply interesting toman as these ? In these respects alone, it may wellbe pronounced a " great salvation^ Great, as heavenis desirable, or hell dreadful. But it assumes a stillhigher character, when we call to mind what it costto make the provision. The gift, the incarnation,and the death of God's own and equal Son. It iswith direct reference to this, the Apostle introducesthe text, and which is set forth in the preceding chap-142 SERMO VIII.ter to that which contains the text. " Therefore weought to give the more earnest heed to the thingswhich we have heard, lest at any time we should letthem slip ; for how shall we escape if we neglect sogreat salvation ?" And did not innumerable factsestablish the contrary, we could hardly have con-ceived it possible, that an individual of our fallen race,who ever heard the Gospel preached, could be found
to reject or neglect the salvation which it proffers.The depraved ingenuity of man has, indeed, devisedmany schemes as substitutes for that of the Gospel,but they are all refuges of lies ; while still greaternumbers appear to be satisfied with their prospects foreternity, on the simple ground that they manifest nohostility or opposition to the plan of salvation whichthe Gospel proclaims.While the text addresses a solemn admonition toall who, by any means, or in any way, ftiil of thissalvation, it makes its appeal more especially to thelatter class — to the careless, and indifferent, and negli-gent. Were it necessary to describe this class, it maybe done in few words. They are those on whom divinetruth makes no sensible or salutary impression ; whoremain still the same in all their self-security. Thewriter of the text has described them in a subsequentchapter : " The word preached did not profit them,not being mixed with faith in them that heard it."They did not so believe it as to produce any goodeffect on their hearts and lives. It is to such nowSERMOx viir. ItsI address the sentiment of the text, " How shall youescape, if you neglect so great salvation ?" Thatsentiment is, — simple neglect abandons the soul toeternal ruin.I propose to establish the truth of this sentiment,I. By the obvious teachings of Scripture. II. Fromthe nature of the salvation which the Gospel proposes.I. o other possible construction can be put, as itseems to me, on the text. ot a word is said, in con-nection with it, of violent resistance, or of substituting
any other mode. Having stated that a " great salva-tion" had been effected and proclaimed by God's equalSon, and which engaged all the angels in heaven tominister to man's interest in it, the Apostle adds,"Plow shall we escape, if we neglect so great salva-tion ?" Violent opposition unquestionably aggravatesthe guilt of the individual who fails to secure itsblessings, but neglect through indifference will as cer-tainly end in the ruin of the soul. This is as certainas that the neglect of food Avill as effectually be thedeath of the body, as though one, should lay violenthands on himself, or as he who neglects to sow hisseed will have no crop.Our Saviour has most forciblv taucrht this truth inthe parable of the talents, in his reproof and condem-nation of the servant who received the one talent, butwho had made no improvement of it. "His Lord saidunto him. Thou wicked, slothful servant ! Take thetalent from him, and cast ye the unprofitable servant144 SERMO y:ii.into outer darkness; there shall be weephig and gnasli-ing of teeth." Men are intrusted with nothing morevaluable than the privileges of the (jospel; no talentsmore important, no possessions to which they will beheld to a stricter account, than the means of grace, andthe opportunities of their salvation ; and neglect is aforfeiture of all the blessings which they were in-tended to secure. This truth, moreover, is taught andenforced by the urgency with which the salvation of the soul is pressed upon us. I scarcely need say toyou that the salvation of the soul is everywhere setforth in this book as the great work of men — that forwhich God gave him his existence, unless, by his per-version, he himself renders that existence an eternalcurse to himself; that for which God has blessed us

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