The rescue must be effected by moral, not by physical means, and the problem is to make the moral means powerful enough for the purpose. "What can separate us?" The man who is not a Christian has yet to enter upon the way.2. The same, and more yet dangers await him than await the Christian.Remarks:1. Leighton. On the other hand, children may have equal trials in their parents. (6) The work of salvation in the righteous is already begun (Philippians 1:6).2. BUT "WHERE SHALL THE UNGODLY AND SINNER APPEAR?" Because He is a faithful Creator. Enlarged views of the love and care of God.4. They promote the glory of God. (2) When sin grows common and spreads far. God is faithful to us, however unfaithful we have been to Him.V. Where, then, shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? (3) Because even when salvation is thus attained, it is not persevered in without the same supernatural aid, and the utmost diligence. It could have been for no insignificant position and service that He did actually make men in His own likeness, giving them the high honour of resembling Himself in those spiritual characteristics which constitute the essence of His being. They promote spiritual prosperity and happiness. They are righteous in the righteousness of Christ, who is called the Lord our Righteousness (Jeremiah 23:6; 1 Corinthians 1:30). Leighton.These words contain the true principle of Christian patience and tranquillity of mind in the sufferings of this life, expressing both wherein it consists and what are the grounds of it.1. But even this is not all; some duties which the righteous have to perform are especially difficult, through their direct opposition to their natural tendencies. "Where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?"1. (2) How dreadful must it be! To serve God is doing good, but after their own lusts, is not doing well. Again, the holiness of the righteous is exposed to failure through trials. God made these human hearts capable of love immortal, and even in their mourning capable of proving and deepening their power of love; He is faithful; He cannot deny Himself in the human hearts which He has made. But even this is not all; some duties which the righteous have to perform are especially difficult, through their direct opposition to their natural tendencies. (6) The work of salvation in the righteous is already begun (Philippians 1:6).2. Our religious history furnishes parallels to these narrow escapes on the lower level.(W. Provided yet further, that we pray earnestly to God for His gracious help, for His merciful comfort and support under sufferings; that He would be pleased to strengthen our faith, and lengthen out our patience, in proportion to the degree and duration of our sufferings.5. Though we may sometimes deem it a mystery we may readily see that it is a mercy — it is according to the will of God — both as to the end to be answered by it, and as to the measure and degree.II. Johannine Writings I mean such as are involved in the following sayings of the Master: — "If ye forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. When they suffer for the maintenance and defence of any necessary and fundamental article of it, though they be not required to renounce the whole Christian religion.5. Obedience a sign of resignation. Alexander. Many are not aware of the labour necessary to get rid of the influence of a bad education. But take heed of walking in any way of sin, for that will unsettle thy confidence. We see, also, why the Christian is to pray always. AND THIS HELPS US TO RECONCILE THE DIFFICULTY OF SALVATION WITH THE EASINESS OF THE TERMS OF THE GOSPEL. That the people of God shall be saved. SHOW HOW AND WHY THE SALVATION OF THE WICKED IS IMPOSSIBLE. Bernard saith sweetly, "Oh, body, thou hast a noble guest dwelling in thee, a soul of such inestimable worth that it makes thee truly noble." But take heed of walking in any way of sin, for that will unsettle thy confidence. For infidelity in sonic degree, practical or avowed, is everywhere manifest. GOD THE CREATOR IS FAITHFUL IS HIS RELATIONS TO US HIS CREATURES. A. Clark.I. De Witt Talmage. And surely God is faithful also in responding to the claims of man. But herein mankind are apt to be deceived, as though all the difficulties lay in a suffering condition; whereas a soft and careless life is rather more dangerous to their souls, because persons are less apt to suspect their danger. AND THIS HELPS US TO RECONCILE THE DIFFICULTY OF SALVATION WITH THE EASINESS OF THE TERMS OF THE GOSPEL. The one has fellowship with the Father; the other has not.Learn: —1. When then they are persecuted only for making an open profession of the Christian religion, by joining in the assemblies of Christians for the worship of God.3. He has furnished the world as the fitting nursery and schoolhouse for the family of man that He is educating for an immortal and perfect life.II. It is readily admitted that they are surrounded also with the helps of the Church. Would I have the sinner despair, lie down and die? The Old Testament After a conflicting life peace is welcome; heaven is heaven indeed after trouble. How often are they driven back to their old point! Besides, it is a hard matter in regard of Satan; for he is a great enemy to the peace of God's children. Because they live among those that they cannot but suffer from, wheresoever they live. And what is most grievous, is, that, by their unwary walking and the prevailing of some corruption, believers grieve the Spirit of God, and provoke Him to hide His face and withdraw His comforts. But his iniquities must all be uprooted.4. Hence we learn what a miserable disappointment many meet with, who, instead of getting to heaven, fall into hell.3. The injurious influence which your unbelief may have produced on the minds and destiny of others.II. They are righteous in the righteousness of Christ, who is called the Lord our Righteousness (Jeremiah 23:6; 1 Corinthians 1:30). In their liberty and life. (The Christian Magazine. This is an act of faith resting on His promise of salvation through a Mediator.2. For although the difficulties be not alike in all, yet, of one kind or other, they are such as cannot be overcome by ourselves without the power of Divine grace exciting, preventing, and assisting of us. Adams. (2) That there must be a careful and attentive mind to pursue this design. THE INTEGRITY OF THAT SUFFERANCE. Again, some have had the advantage of a pious and religious education. How, then, can the ungodly and sinners be meet for heaven?3. In case of a temporary fall and miscarriage, to raise us up by repentance, and a greater resolution and constancy under sufferings.III. It is a mystery that God should be pleased to subject His people to suffering.2. THE CONDUCT OF CHRISTIANS UNDER SUFFERINGS.1. WHAT GROUND AND REASON THERE IS FOR GOOD MEN TO EXPECT THE MORE PECULIAR AND ESPECIAL CARE OF GOD'S PROVIDENCE IN CASE OF SUCH SUFFERINGS. When he would mount up, he finds himself as a bird with a stone tied to its foot; he hath wings that flutter to be upwards, but is pressed down with the weight fastened to him. Human nature is ruined, but not left to decay, not simply kept from getting worse. Sibbes. If saints are so sorely chastened, what will justice mete out to the openly defiant sinner?III. (5) O ye swearers! H. Because there is much ado to get Lot out of Sodom, to get Israel out of Egypt.2. No! It could have been for no insignificant position and service that He did actually make men in His own likeness, giving them the high honour of resembling Himself in those spiritual characteristics which constitute the essence of His being. God's people, like those in the shipwreck with Pard, escape all safe to land, yet it is with a scarcely, they get over the turbulent sea of this world. And so in all duties the flesh is dragging downwards! To death (Psalm 9:17).3. )The keeping of the soulThe Evangelist.I. (2)Alienated from the love of God (Ephesians 4:18). Sin introduced another law — the law of self-indulgence. In their property. — "Scarcely saved" points out the difficulty of salvation. There is a man chained to a wife who is a constant source of temptation and trial to him. A lazy man cannot Bet to heaven. He may have taken a more wayward course.3. And their exposedness to this may hardly be obviated by the frequent calls they may have to the healthy and invigorating exercises of devotion. Commit the keeping of their souls. It seems, then, there is some excuse for those that persecute the saints. Again, the holiness of the righteous is exposed to failure through trials. He may have yet more corruptions. (1) Why God's children must suffer here. where will you appear — you that waste your time and estates, that spoil your constitution, and abuse the good creatures of God? )A faithful CreatorW. (3)Worldly mindedness.(4)Self-righteousness.3. 2. An object, what we must commit, the soul.3. To the day of judgment. OBSERVE BOTH THE MYSTERY AND THE MERCY OF THE BELIEVER'S SUFFERINGS IN THIS WORLD.1. Experience discloses to some extent these spiritual methods of the faithful One; and there is life, hope, and peace in submitting our souls to them. IV. In a word, let them "work out their own salvation with fear and trembling," and "give all diligence to make their calling and election sure."(C. HOW FAR THEY MAY RELY UPON THE PROVIDENCE OF GOD TO BEAR THEM OUT IN THESE SUFFERINGS. It is not God's commanding will, but His suffering will. Provided furthermore, that, according to our ability, we have been much in the exercise of alms and charity.7. If He was able to give them being, surely He is able to keep them from perishing. So much sin as gets in, so much peace will go out. Where shall the ungodly and sinner appear? Sedgfield.To be saved is what the generality of persons in the world wish for. Faithfulness is fidelity to one's aim or object. But, positively, one difficulty is found in the nature of God's government, and in the nature of free agency in this world. It affirms nothing, but by its own species of argument causes us to gather some very striking lessons.I. Leighton. It is so, indeed, for we must be new moulded before ever we can come to heaven. How anxious, too, should the Church be that sinners might live!(D. Particularly they are such —(1)Over whom Satan exercises an uncontrolled dominion (Ephesians 2:2). )A faithful CreatorW. The other particular which I would bring out from this general truth of the methodicalness which the faithful Creator observes is this: a good method, as we know, is not to be set aside every now and then because it may seem not to meet exactly all cases and contingencies. Coleman. Being faithful to us, can we not trust Him and commit our souls to Hint?(W. If the soul be not well, the body will not continue long in a good estate. His sense of propriety forbids that He should give you a place among His pure and trustful children.III. He is the faithful One. Sibbes.The way to come to salvation is full of difficulties —1. H. Coleman.1. I observe, the holiness of the righteous is maintained with difficulty in resisting and overcoming the evil dispositions which are inherent in their fallen nature. )The support of good men under their sufferings for religionAbp. Certain limitations are fixed in the divine wisdom to the amount of moral influence which God shall employ in the case of a sinner. CHRISTIANS MUST EXPECT TO SUFFER.1. What can they plead in their own behalf at the bar of the eternal Judge? The temptations to such neglect are many and great. It is no easy matter for the righteous, depraved as they are in nature, to perform their various duties in their entirety. Provided, also, that we do trust the providence of God, and do indeed commit ourselves to it; relying upon His wisdom and goodness, and entirely submitting ourselves to His will and disposal, both as to the degree and duration of our sufferings.4. This one feature lifts it up above all the literature of the ancient times, as a clear mountain above a jungle; this feature renders it an inspiring Bible for the world, that it exalts the Lord God as having character — true, holy, righteous, merciful, supremely moral character. True, if the righteous are exposed to temptation to neglect the exercise of faith, they have incentives to attend to the duty. If God will have our liberty, if He will have our life and all, we must hate all for Christ's sake; but we must not be at such a point with our souls, we must keep them close to God, and desire Him to keep them in well-doing. God gave you and them power to live together in common affections and pursuits. When we are tempted to any sin or unlawful course, consider thus with ourselves: "Shall I, for a pleasure that will end, have a judgment that shall never end? But the ungodly and sinners neglect them altogether. He would subdue your selfishness and self-will. Further, the righteous are saved with difficulty, because they are exposed to failure, in measure, in holiness, through difficulty in certain parts of obedience. (2) Let us now consider the difficulties relating to salvation, or that happiness which Christians expect. The soul is the more excellent part, witness He that purchased the same with His dearest blood. (1) How certain! He may have accomplished little which men will remember; but he has kept on his way faithfully. THERE IS ONE SUPREME SUBJECT WHICH IN ALL OUR SUFFERINGS SHOULD BE OUR CHIEF CARE — THAT IS THE SOUL.1. If you are only the offspring of a blind, unintelligent, unknown force; if you are the product of something that men call "a tendency" or law, are you not immediately let down from a conscious dignity, which has been one of the most ennobling factors and influences of your life? In case of a temporary fall and miscarriage, to raise us up by repentance, and a greater resolution and constancy under sufferings.III. We must desire God to preserve our souls, whatsoever becomes of these; our principal care must be that that be not blemished in the least kind; for, alas! Adams. God's will concerning our suffering is permissive in respect of those that do us harm; but in regard of our patient enduring injuries, it is His approving and commanding will. 2. What can they plead in their own behalf at the bar of the eternal Judge? That the people of God shall be saved. No! First, to prepare for evils before they come; next, to make them welcome when they are come. (The Lay Preacher. )Salvation difficult to the ChristianC. And so the "faithful Creator" becomes the merciful Redeemer. It remains now to ponder the inference which the apostle chiefly designs to impress on our minds, "If the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?" Faithfulness is fidelity to one's aim or object. We see, also, why the Christian is to pray always. If, with heavenly shield and sword, the righteous are only scarcely saved, where, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?(T. For the more excellent and desirable the happiness is, the more it is worth the while for us to take pains about it; especially when there is a certainty of attaining it(2) The difficulties in our way to salvation are not such but we may reasonably hope to overcome them; i.e., if we set ourselves about it; otherwise a very mean difficulty will appear too great for us.And there are two things to show that we may hope to overcome them. Considering therefore that it is Satan's aim to unloose our hold from God, by defiling our souls with sin, oh! We can relish it then. Sometimes we are quite inadequate to judge of the strength of this attachment, except as we may see what strange and terrible means God is compelled to use to sever it. Nothing at all. This is an act of faith resting on His promise of salvation through a Mediator. Finally, let us take this same truth into our daily thought of ourselves, and of those with whose lives ours are bound in this world and beyond. Again, we must notice, among the difficulties in question, the entanglements of a multitude of circumstances. This likewise belongs to the faithfulness of God. Were a man to meet disgraces and sufferings for Christ, how easily would he go through them, yea, and rejoice in them, were he rid of the fretting impatience, the pride, and self-love, of his own carnal heart! Carrying our thought of this character a step further, observe, secondly, that in this Biblical phrase is included the truth that God has some regular method in whatever He does. Those who "obey not the gospel of God."II. If saints are so sorely chastened, what will justice mete out to the openly defiant sinner?III. So that all were agreed that it was impossible to attain to anything that looked like happiness without some real difficulty, which was necessary to be undergone, although the success Were uncertain. To get there costs toil and labour. )Judgments of graceJ. The text admits that the righteous shall be saved; their salvation is certain upon their being found faithful unto death. And their exposedness to this may hardly be obviated by the frequent calls they may have to the healthy and invigorating exercises of devotion. How much pain to attain anything, any particular grace of humility, or meekness, or self-denial! The providence of God extends to all His creatures, according to that of the Psalmist: "The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works." Finally, the greatness of the change requisite in passing from sin to real holiness — from Satan's kingdom into full fitness for Christ's, creates no small difficulty in the way of saving even the converted, Remarks: We see why the Scriptures are so full of exhortations to the Christians to run, run, and especially to run by rule. (3)Worldly mindedness.(4)Self-righteousness.3. 2. Provided always that we neglect no lawful means of our preservation from sufferings, or our deliverance out of them.2. Clark. (2) In their progress on the way to heaven they meet with so many oppositions that they are but scarcely saved. OBSERVE BOTH THE MYSTERY AND THE MERCY OF THE BELIEVER'S SUFFERINGS IN THIS WORLD.1. When they suffer for maintaining the purity of the Christian doctrine and worship; and for opposing and not complying with those gross errors and corruptions which superstition and ignorance had, in a long course of time, brought into the Christian religion.6. THE RUINOUS CONSEQUENCES OF YOUR DISOBEDIENCE.1. Being faithful to us, can we not trust Him and commit our souls to Hint?(W. Many are not aware of the labour necessary to get rid of the influence of a bad education. There would be indeed no use and no hope for anything we may do or say to make things human better were it not for this prior and this final responsibility of God, the faithful One from eternity to eternity. H. ANOTHER INFERENCE. We reason from analogy — we say, in the common arrangements of society, that parentage involves the idea of obligation. (3) At their exit out of the world they meet with abundance of difficulty, so that though they be saved, yet it is with a scarcely; their enemies would not suffer it if they could hinder it. And this the Lord doth out of mercy to His poor creatures, that they might not sink before Him, but gather strength of grace, and be the better fitted to bear further crosses afterwards. Tillotson. For happiness is not a thing of chance or necessity, but a matter of choice and design. Men who have won the prizes of life have cause to wear their honours meekly when they recall the errors of judgment, the lack of courage, the acts of rashness, the ignorance, the credulousness, the hesitation, which so nearly deprived them of fame and fortune. You know in the firing of an house, that which a man chiefly looks after is his jewels and precious things, "I have some wealth in such a place, if I could but have that I care for no more, let the rest go"; so it is with a Christian, whatsoever becomes of him in this world, he looks to his precious soul, that that may be laid up safely in the hands of God. Mark, also, why Christians are exhorted to spend the time of their sojourning here in fear, and to walk softly and carefully, as before God, through all the meanderings of their pilgrimage. It requires that the goal be kept in sight. Alexander. Our chief care must be over our souls. And surely, if He is thus faithful in adhering to His own purpose concerning you, He is faithful also in the sense of being worthy of your trust. So much sin as gets in, so much peace will go out. That may be understood two ways. Their parents have held erroneous opinions, and they have had their moral constitution saturated with this influence from their cradle and upwards. Only those who live a life of faith, and make their calling and election sure. When we make it clear by managing anything, that we are led with the cause and conscience of our duty, it works mightily upon them that wrong us. THE COMFORT OF THIS INTEGRITY. A faithful life resembles the sure, unceasing roadway, which runs on and on over the hills, and through the woods, and by the homes of men, into which we may always come back at evening time, no matter how far we may have wandered afield or how long we may have followed the winding brook, at our own sweet will during the day. But it is equally true of both. (5) O ye swearers! To build a church is a good work; yet if the foundations of it be laid in the ruins of the poor, their children come not to pray for, but curse the builder.(T. Where, then, shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? )The end of the ungodlyPryce Thomas.This is a verse of implication. Major Prophets THE DIFFICULTY OF THE SALVATION OF THE RIGHTEOUS.1. (3)To resist the world, with its blandishments, threats, and customs. Coals of confusion.Some will say, Christianity is a strange condition, that enforceth such things upon men, that are so contrary to nature. (4) Because after death is the judgment. (2)Idolatry. A third element goes with those just mentioned. The being saved from sin must come first in order. It is so, likewise, in the kingdom of heaven. GOD IS FAITHFUL IN ADHERING TO HIS ORIGINAL PURPOSE IN CREATION. THE TEXT SHOWS US WHO ALONE IS QUALIFIED TO BE THE KEEPER OF THIS INVALUABLE TREASURE — OUR IMMORTAL SOUL.1. Which chiefly happens when a religion appears new, or goes about to reform the old; for then it is sure to meet with all the opposition which the passions and interests and prejudices of partial men can raise against it. But the ungodly and sinners neglect them altogether. De Witt Talmage.Peter means this, "If Christians have such a hard tug to get into heaven, there is no chance at all for anybody else." We are enjoined to suffer, and they are permitted to wrong us. We are enjoined to suffer, and they are permitted to wrong us. De Witt Talmage.Peter means this, "If Christians have such a hard tug to get into heaven, there is no chance at all for anybody else." Not surely in a saved state. Sibbes. Hence they are tempted not to find time for the exercise of faith. Comfort is nothing else but reasons stronger than the evil which doth afflict us; when the reasons are more forcible to ease the mind than the grievance is to trouble it. Sent a Saviour for them — engaged to accept and keep them.IV. (1)It wins those that are indifferent. How, then, can the ungodly and sinners be meet for heaven?3. Particularly they are such —. When candid men come to consider all these things — the human constitution, the tendency to unbelief, the impulses towards self-indulgence, and the strength of temptation — they cannot but see that there is abundant occasion for all those faults in Christian character and conduct which they are wont to criticise so stringently. If even the true coin is so severely tested, what will become of the "reprobate silver"?2. Now I have two inferences to draw from this solemn subject.1. (1) That the most difficult duties are in themselves reasonable to be performed by us. Being faithful to us, can we not trust Him and commit our souls to Hint?(W. Nothing at all. Note the folly of those who persecute the Church of God (Isaiah 54:17). )Commit the keeping of their souls to HimThe saint's hiding place in the evil dayR. To serve God is doing good, but after their own lusts, is not doing well. Sibbes. We should have an eye to God, and an eye to ourselves, and an eye to others, and an eye to the cause in hand; so we shall do well. Adams.I. There is much in a persuasion of the power of God. You have known some man who had this character of faithfulness. The Christian has to contend against temptations which made Adam disobey, and Abraham lie, and Moses get angry, and Job swear, and David sin against chastity, and Peter deny his Master. The gate of conversion is strait, and a crowd of oppositions meet them at their entrance. If they did, its discouraging effect might be disastrous. Finney. GOD IS FAITHFUL IN ADHERING TO HIS ORIGINAL PURPOSE IN CREATION. When they rashly expose themselves to danger and run upon sufferings for the sake of religion.2. 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