Ichabod Spencer (1798-1854) on Ezekiel 33:11 (Part 2)

   Posted by: CalvinandCalvinism   in Ezekiel 18:23, 32; 33:11


God no Pleasure in the Death of the Wicked

(Shown From the Nature of Religion.)

As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death or the wicked.–Ezekiel xxxiii.11.

WE said, on a former occasion, when we addressed you from these words, that there were, with some people, three matters of difficulty in religion, against which this text is uttered:–

I. The Purposes of the Deity.

II. The Nature of Religion.

III. The Condition of Man.

From all these sources an unbeliever is sometimes accustomed to draw conclusions unfavorable to his salvation. The partial view he takes, as well as the erroneous opinions he entertains, is apt to sustain the misfortune of his conclusions. He beholds, in the purposes of the Deity, as he believes or half-believes, an insuperable obstacle to his salvation. In the Nature of Religion–that religion which the Bible teaches him is necessary to his salvation–he finds difficulties which he is unable, as he imagines, to overcome. The condition in which he finds himself, as a sinner, is made to plead his excuse for neglect of salvation, and speaks to him a comfortable solace, even while he continues in his sins. These are his difficulties–these the sources of his objection–these his errors.

To the first of these, the Purposes of God, we have already attended. The second, the Nature of Religion, occupies us in the present hour.

Those whose minds have surmounted one difficulty in religion often meet with another. Driven from one stronghold of error, we are apt to betake ourselves to another. Such creatures we are. One mistake is corrected, but we are not safe. One delusion is dispelled, but another delusion rises before us. Thus we are beset with hinderances. When we have learnt that the Purposes of the Deity do not infringe upon our liberty, and oblige us to be lost, the Nature of Religion comes up to lend to our mistake a lame apology.

Nor can we be surprised at these frequent difficulties, when we find them in our own mind, or in the minds of other people. What is there that is valuable, whose acquisition is not attended with some trouble? The riches you covet cost you many a day of laborious diligence, and many a weary pain. The learning you value has been acquired only by laborious study, careful attention, diligence, and self-denial. There is scarcely anything of value, whose acquisition is perfectly easy and unattended with difficulty. Difficulties will arise, either from the nature of the object sought, or the imperfection of the creature that seeks.

It is in the latter method that the difficulties of our salvation assail us. Our obstacles lie in our own nature–in that inherent wickedness which we love to foster, and are unwilling to eradicate.

But, if we are inclined, after all, to murmur that Religion–a thing so indispensable–is beset with so many difficulties, let us hush the murmur with two reflections –the one humbling to our pride, the other complimentary to our nature.

The first one is, that the difficulties which beset us in our attempts after religion are mostly, if not altogether, placed there by ourselves, through our own wickedness and folly. The other is, that that very characteristic of our nature which renders us capable of religion, or of sensibility to its difficulties, is the very characteristic which distinguishes us from the lower order of creatures. Our Creator, in forming us such as we are, has given us an exaltation. “We are not created merely capable of enjoyment; we are created for attaining it. We are not formed to be the mere passive recipients of good; but formed with a far more exalted nature; formed with capabilities for seeking and attaining good. And when we complain that all needful religion is not bestowed upon us as a free gift, without any efforts or attention of our own, we are, in reality, complaining of our high station in the scale of existence. God requires of us a religion suitable to our nature; and by it he would lead us to excellences of duty and of enjoyment, of which that nature is capable. Had he enjoined upon us no such religion, we should not have in prospect any higher kind of felicity than that of which the brute is susceptible. And if we still complain that we have so much to do in the religion that God requires, let us remember that this activity is absolutely to the enjoyment of that felicity which religion proposes. We are moral being and religion treats us as such. We are moral beings, and religion rewards us as such. In the nature of things, it is wholly impossible (as I apprehend) that one should be the mere passive recipient of the enjoyment that religion proposes to man. And if you complain of this state in which you are placed, then envy the brute–covet the enjoyment of the reptile in his dust–take from the beast his stall–and envy the stupidity of the ox or the oyster.

Still, men are accustomed to render a sort of apology for continuing in their unbelief, by alleging the difficulties of religion. And we are not surprised to find it so. It is the very nature of criminality to excuse itself; and you know the religion of the Bible supposes all men to be criminal–guilty before God. You can charge iniquity upon scarcely any being deserving the charge, who will not strive to invent some apology for it. And though the apology may not be expected fully to justify, yet it is relied upon at least partially to excuse. There is but one exception–that is, when the transgressor is either reclaimed, or so powerfully convinced of his need of reformation that he fears to add to that necessity by denying it. Always, when the evil of sin is not deeply felt, there is a secret, if not a manifest disposition to palliate it and apologize for it. And I am persuaded that if we should thoroughly examine our own hearts, we should find this disposition often influencing us when we little suspect it. We are not to be surprised, therefore, if we find men alleging the difficulties of the religion that God enjoins upon us as a kind of excuse for the neglect of it. If they do not suppose these difficulties will justify them, they have a sort of secret hope that they will render them more excusable, and relieve them from any punishment. Here, then, is one reason why such apologies are uttered–to soothe fear by pacifying conscience. There always is, and must be, a kind of tormenting fear attending known and acknowledged sin. And the sin is palliated to diminish the torment of the fear.

Another reason is found in the power of pride. There is something humiliating in the feeling of guilt. Guilt is degrading; and every guilty creature feels that moral beings look upon him as more unworthy and mean by reason of being criminal. He cannot bear the contempt (and perhaps cannot bear the pity) of those who behold him. Hence the unconscious blush of even the uncontrite culprit at the bar; and hence even innocence, suspected of evil, is compelled to wear the burning blush of shame. And, therefore, both are disposed to plead some apology.

Another reason is found in the disquietudes of conscious sin. Sin is a great tormentor of our peace. When we feel ourselves guilty, it is not in our nature to be undisturbed by it. The Author of our existence has stamped upon our soul itself this testimony to his own holiness, and his abhorrence of sin. We may turn away from it–we may forget it–we may obscure it and cover it over; still it is there, living in the hand-writing of the Creator and cannot be blotted out. Conscience is as immortal as the soul. And though for a time she may sleep, yet she never dies; and when in the light of eternity she shall unroll her scroll, the record of even her slumbering moments will be found to wear a most fearful accuracy. But, to avoid the torment of her present reproaches, men are accustomed to make some apology for their present wickedness. This apology may comfort for a moment, and we render it instinctively. But when it is torn away from the heart, our unhappiness returns. And T suppose in this consists much of the supreme infelicity of devils and lost spirits. They are unable to quiet conscience with an excuse. Their guilt, in burning lines, is drawn upon the spirit! Nothing can hide it from their view. No sophistry can conceal it, and no apology excuse! How much better to feel it now, than vainly lament it then.

These are some of the reasons which lead men to excuse themselves. And when, by false reasonings, they cannot force the Purposes of God to plead for them, they bring in the Nature of Religion to perform this office, and pretend that the religion which the Bible imposes is so difficult that they cannot attain it and be saved. They will not, perhaps, boldly contradict this text, but they will speak in such a manner of the religion of the Bible, of the obscurity of its instructions, of the multitude of its mysteries, the absurdity of its doctrines, the difficulty of its duties, the rigidity of its morals, that they almost persuade themselves to believe that, although the decree of the Deity may not have bound them over to destruction, his religion has.

But now, in the face of all these prejudices, let us vindicate the religion of the Gospel. Let us show that it contains nothing to contradict our text, and by its difficulty to prove that men do not destroy themselves.

We are far from saying there is no difficulty in religion. We only contend there is nothing insuperable. Some have sadly erred on this point, when they have tried to vindicate religion from the aspersions of unbelief. They have made it more easy than the Gospel makes it; and while they supposed they were smoothing the path to heaven, were really widening the road to hell! There are difficulties in religion. We would have you all believe it. We would not persuade you it is so easy a matter, that a few moments’ attention will be abundantly sufficient. We dare not tell you that you need devote to this subject only the last energies of an exhausted body, and the last sighs of an expiring life. But there are no difficulties which are insurmountable. There are no obstacles which may not be overcome. There is nothing in the nature of religion to justify your gloomy opinion that you cannot be saved–that, somehow, religion lies beyond your reach.

What is there, then, in the religion which God proposes–(not in his anger to bind you over to hell, but in his compassion to guide you to heaven)–what is there in it, that makes it an impossible thing that you should attain it and be saved?

Take any item you will.

I. Do you allege its mysteries? Do you say it contains and claims to contain many things mysterious, of which you know not what to think? Then let us examine this.

Its mysteries perplex you. But what have you to do with its mysteries? Are you required to understand them? No, not at all–you have simply to believe them; that is, to believe what is recorded concerning them. Are you required to regulate your practices by them? Not an item, not a single item, any further than they are plainly revealed, and have thereby lost (so far) the character of mysteries.

But you say you would have no mysteries in religion–you would have everything plainly revealed–and you are doubtful of a religion which contains anything high and mysterious. Before replying to this objection, I will only say it deserves no reply. It contains the impiety of pointing out to God what kind of a religion he ought to have given to man! This is impudent daring!

But we are vindicating religion, and will therefore answer,

1. If a religion required of me to practice upon its mysteries, the meaning of which I did not understand so far as my practice must extend, I should be doubtful of its truth. My mind is so constituted, that I always require to understand what is the meaning of the conduct which I am commanded to pursue. And I could receive no religion as coming from my Creator which did not agree with this original principle which my Creator has implanted in the soul. The reasons for that conduct I can dispense with. If God speaks, I confess I ought to obey, whether he tells me reasons or not. The highest of all possible reasons for believing anything or doing anything, is simply this–God has said so.

2. I confess the mysteries of a religion would render me doubtful of its truth, if they were contradictory to reason. I never could believe that true which contradicted the reason which God has given to me. I avow my readiness to receive a religion which contains many things wholly superior to the highest efforts of unaided reason–wholly above it, beyond–but I can receive nothing which I know to contradict it, and hence, nothing which contradicts my senses. I require my religion to agree so far with my nature as not to show that it cannot proceed from Him who is the Author of my nature. And if it contained that which I could prove to be contrary to reason, I could not but reject it. At the same time my religion might contain many things so mysterious, that I could not prove them agreeable to reason, though nothing which I could prove contrary to it.

3. I confess that mysteries would render me doubtful of a religion, if its mysteries were favorable to immorality and vice. Nothing could convince me that the Author of my existence looked with approbation upon vice, especially when I behold his standing testimony against it, written out in that wretchedness to which I see it leads. Vice is ruinous and degrading. The attributes with which my mind is compelled to clothe the Deity, oblige me to believe that he would enjoin no religion productive necessarily of such effects: on the contrary, that a religion coming from him would have a tendency to reform and exalt. If, therefore, the mysteries of a religion were favorable to immorality, I could not receive it.

Here, then, are three classes of mysteries, any one of which (to say the least) would render me doubtful of the truth of a religion, and constitute an insurmountable difficulty to my receiving it. In compliment to skepticism and infidelity we will add a

4th. I confess, then, I should doubt the divinity of that religion which contained such mysteries that I could reject the religion and not involve myself in still greater difficulties. Prove to me that the difficulties of infidelity are not still greater than the difficulties of Christianity, with all its mysteries, and I promise to you never will I attempt again to persuade you to be Christians. For, by the constitution of my mind, I must believe that the Deity could never propose to man a religion, the reception of which would involve him in greater difficulties and uncertainties than the rejection of it; and if the religion is not from God, of course I could not receive it.

In all these four cases of mystery, I confess I should not be able to become a believer. But there is nothing like any one of these cases in the religion of the Bible. Still, you would have a religion that contained no mystery. Let me tell you, then, it would be a religion which you could never receive. Could you receive a religion as coming from God, which was manifestly discordant with the works of Creation and Providence? Must you not have the God of your religion and the God of Creation correspond? You allow it, and so will every man of any respectable intelligence and candor. But the works of Creation and Providence embody many mysterious things. Every where we are meeting with things we cannot unfold–depths we cannot fathom. Tell me why is that young man cut down in the vigor of life, while the aged is spared? Why is the house of the widow burnt up, while that of the strong man (able to erect another) stands safe by the side of it? Not to trouble you with examples, let me say to you, that if your religion contained nothing mysterious, you would reject it: you would say it did not agree with the aspect of Providence and Creation. You would say, that where, God speaks to you in creation, his language brings up that which is mysterious: looking at your own frame you would exclaim, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”

You would say that when God speaks to you in Providence, his language brings up that which is mysterious: looking at the bereaved, (for example.) you would exclaim, why should the mother weep for her darling daughter, and the father live to build the sepulcher of his sons? You would demand, therefore, that when God speaks to you in religion, his language shall sometimes bring up that which is mysterious–that it must sound like the same voice which speaks to you in nature, and have at least a general correspondence with the language of Creation and Providence. And if it did not so correspond you would be obliged to reject it; you could not worship one God in nature and another in religion. For immortality, for the great and amazing matters of an eternity to come, for the unseen spirit that tabernacles within you, soon to be out on the fields of a spirit’s existence, you can not only afford to have God more high and mysterious, but your mind demands to have him more mysterious and high above you, than he is on these fields of matter, and for the little lapse of your three-score years and ten. Religion is a deeper system than nature, reaches further, lasts longer. You need to have him here more grand, mysterious and amazing.

True reason, therefore, instead of being staggered at a religion containing mysterious things, is compelled to reject a religion which contains none.

And, after all, what are these mysteries? They are not things needful for us to understand–desirable to be known–perhaps not things which, from our limited minds, we could understand if they were unfolded before us. Who can understand God to perfection? There is nothing, then, in the darknesses of our religion, which ought to trouble you; nothing that excuses you from embracing it; or proves by its difficulties that God has any pleasure in your death.

II. You are troubled with the obscurity of its doctrines. You cannot embrace them. There are some things hard to be understood, which you are required to believe; and some things, you say, apparently inconsistent with one another; and this renders Christianity so perplexing to you, that to require you to accept it, you think is little less than to delight in your ruin. Let me answer this.

I grant that the Bible contains some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable do wrest, as they do also the other Scriptures, unto their own destruction. But everything necessary for us to know is fully revealed, as far as it is necessary that we should know it. There is an extent, indeed, to most, if not to all the doctrines of Christianity, which we are unable to measure; for there are connections, and combinations, and applications too numerous for our limited powers of mind. But the fact which we are to receive is fully set before us; the doctrine itself is clearly taught; and we are, therefore, acquainted with it as far as necessary for us.

The object of the instructions of our Bible is our sanctification; and in giving us instruction, God has pursued that mode best adapted to promote our sanctification. It might gratify our curiosity, and perhaps our pride, to have the deep things of God more fully unfolded to us. But it would not advance our holiness. Indeed, we should find ourselves injured by having these deep things presented as objects of study and necessary knowledge. Suppose the Word of God contained a full illustration of all those abstruse points which so often trouble you; suppose it revealed to you the reason of every act of God–unfolded to you the whole counsels of the Godhead respecting our world–gave you the rule by which you could trace out everything mysterious–and left out nothing for you to ask; what an immense volume your Bible would become! You could not lift it! Your life would be too short to read it! much less would your life suffice to understand it! Even now, though our Revelation records nothing useless, how extremely imperfect is that understanding of it which the best of us ever attain! “Were we to enter upon the study of those deep things of God which he has mercifully concealed from us, and were it needful for us to comprehend them in order to be saved, we should at once sit down in despair! How much time, and attention, and careful study it requires for us to attain any considerable knowledge of an earthly science; even with all the assistance which the best books and the best teachers can give us! We are forced to labor year after year, and yet how small is the portion of knowledge that we attain. And where is the perfect master of even the simplest science? Where is the professor who will pledge himself to solve any problem in his favorite department that I will propose to him? pledge himself to clear up any obscurity that I will name, and satisfy the longings of my utmost curiosity? Should any one avow himself adequate to such a task, you would smile at his conceit, and say that his presumption was equaled by nothing but the stupidity which allowed it. It takes much time and study to understand things intricate and perplexed. And if we are unable, in the few days we have to spend, to attain a perfect knowledge of earthly science; how should we be able, in the few years we stay on earth, to attain a perfect knowledge of those eternal truths which God has wisely and mercifully concealed from us? This, probably, will be a work for eternity. Here it may be commenced. God has furnished us the means for knowing all we need to know here, in order to secure our salvation. The rest he has wisely concealed. Had he called us to plunge into the deep things of God–to study the infinite combinations and dependencies of things, and lose ourselves in intricacies which it may take as age after age of our eternity to comprehend, what time should we have left for the common duties of life? what moment could we spare for the duties of charity to the poor, for the consolations we owe to the sick, and for the relief our religion sends us to carry to the distressed? Indeed, what hour could we devote to our own hearts, to study their dispositions and eradicate their evil propensities?

It is of God’s goodness that he has called us to study only those things which tend to promote our holiness and comfort, and thus prepare us to study more deeply the world to come. If he has taught us any doctrine, he has told us all in relation to it that would be of any avail for us to know. The fact we are taught. The manner of the fact would do us no good. Hence, God has concealed it. Everything necessary to our present duty is placed before us. More might flatter our pride, but could not promote our piety.

There is nothing, therefore, in the obscurity of our doctrines which conflicts with our text. Our Revelation on the darkest side wears the light of that glorious truth, that the Lord God has no pleasure in the death of the wicked.

III. It is worthy of remark, that Christian morality is extremely plain. All those things which concern our present and immediate conduct are not difficult to be understood. It is only those things, the knowledge of which could do us no good, and the study of which (as it would draw us off from more important matters) would probably do us much hurt–it is only such things that are concealed from us. What we ought now to do and how we ought now to feel toward God and toward man, are things too plain to be misunderstood. And if we still complain that our Revelation does not lead us further, let us hush the complaint with one reflection. It is this: that the religion of the Gospel is so practical and progressive, that the further we advance in it, the more perfect will the guidance of our revelation appear. The Bible will scatter the doubts of that man who will reduce the Bible to practice. It will unfold itself more and more to him. If he will not be a, forgetful hearer, but a doer of the word, he will find it will lead him much further than at first he anticipated. The novice in Christianity may not be able to decide in advance those questions which concern one only who has been going on year after year in the growth of grace and knowledge of his Lord and Savior. But let the novice in Christianity pass beyond his novitiate: following the light he now has, and performing the duties which now concern him, let him grow up to such an age and such a stature that those questions shall concern himself and he will find little difficulty in deciding them; he will find the Bible a more perfect guide than he supposed. The cloud so dark at a distance will brighten as he approaches it. The light that tinged its edge will grow broader and bolder, till, all luminous with Deity, it pours a flood of light upon the path once so dimly seen.

Let no man, then, complain of the obscurity of our doctrines. Let him put duty before curiosity or captiousness, and reduce the doctrines to practice so far as they now concern him; and, as he advances in religion, their obscurity will be done away as fast as his necessities require it–and his pathway, like that of the just, will shine brighter and brighter unto the perfect day.

The manner, therefore, in which all Christian morality is taught, bears its full testimony that God has no pleasure in the death of the wicked.

IV. There is self-denial in religion. Men often think it too severe. An idea of blended folly and sin floats around their mind, that if God had been sincerely desirous of their salvation, he would have made the way into heaven more easy, and sinners might have walked in it without finding it to cross their inclinations at every step. But whence does the necessity of this self-denial arise? It arises wholly and in every part of it from sin. It is benevolence, therefore, which imposes it. I grant it is severe, (if you choose to employ such a word to describe it.) It is the plucking out of a right eye, and cutting off of a right hand. But for what purpose? To preserve the whole man from hell. The necessity of it arises from corruption alone. We are required to deny ourselves in that which is sinful, and God requires this self-denial in love. He would lead us from sin, and thereby lead us from misery. Sin is the great destroyer of happiness, and God would have us forsake it. He would not have us forfeit heaven for the pleasures of sin for a season. He does not require us absolutely to hate ourselves, but, in reality, directly the contrary. He would have us love ourselves, and by a wise mortification, for a little time, of those appetites which plunge us into misery, he would have us secure to ourselves pleasures for evermore.

This is the reason for the self-denial of religion. And what less would you have? Would you have a religion proposed to you which should leave you at liberty to sin? a religion which should impose no restraint? a religion which should plunge you into immorality and vice? a religion which would multiply your crimes thick upon you, and promise to take you to heaven at last? You would reject such a religion. You would say it was an absurdity–an impossibility. You would declare that a religion which left you to delight in sin here could not prepare you to delight in holiness hereafter; you would affirm that such a religion could not make you relish heaven, and it would be no heaven to you. You would say it was unworthy of God and unworthy of yourself. You would say it was contrary to the constitution of things, for you could everywhere behold the proof, that the tendency of sin is to lead to misery. And much sooner would you accept the self-denial of the Gospel, and by a few acts of transient mortification prepare yourself for a superior felicity.

V. But perhaps you are troubled with the humility of our religion. But why should this trouble you? Does the requiring of this prove to you that the Deity would confine you in sin, taking pleasure in your destruction? Then, what is humility? Is it a thing degrading to your nature? Is it shocking, revolting to reason? Is it anything more than justice? Not at all. It only demands of us to be just and reasonable; to estimate ourselves according to truth–not to think of ourselves more highly than we ought to think. More than this. The very aim of this humility is to exalt us. It would have us put together the knowledge of what we are and the knowledge of what we are capable of being, and, by the comparison of the two, teach us to think meanly of what we are, and learn to aim at being more exalted, more useful, and more happy. God would have us humble, because he would have us just, and wise, and happy. Pride is not just. Pride is not wise. Pride is not happy. It us not just, because it leads us to exalt our present worth beyond its value. It is not wise, because it leads us to rest in what we are, instead of aiming at something better. It is not happy, because it feels its claims disputed, or fears they will be; and because its aims are so often defeated. And God, in requiring us to be humble, only requires us to be just and reasonable, and aim at the highest good. There is nothing, then, in this feature of our religion which goes to show that God would not have us accept it and be saved. But,

VI. Repentance. Men must repent; and this troubles you. You ask, if God had not been willing that I should perish, would he not have dispensed with such difficult thing as my repentance? What, then, is repentance. It is sorrow for sin–hatred, abhorrence of it, and forsaking of it. Very well: if you have sinned, erred, done wrong, should you not be sorry for it? If your sin has already destroyed much of your felicity, and threatens to destroy it all, ought you not to abhor it? If, by transgression, you have offended the best and wisest of Beings, ought you not to confess it, and forsake it? “What less could justice, propriety, truth, order, demand? What less would you yourself be satisfied to render? A religion that did not require repentance, you would not hesitate to reject. You would say it was not consistent with justice, propriety, truth. But,

VII. You are troubled because God requires you to trust in his mercy–to believe in Jesus Christ. But if you can not trust in Jesus Christ for salvation, where can you trust? Can you rely on your own righteousness? Can you lift up your voice to heaven, and say, I am pure, oh, Lord thou knowest? You shudder at the idea. What, then, can you trust? Would you have religion propose to you a more precious and exalted Savior? You dare not pretend it. And does the free gift of such a Savior–the free offer of pardon and eternal life, peace and heaven, through his blood, prove to you that God has pleasure in your death? And,

VIII. Finally. Do not the motives of religion compel you to believe that God has no pleasure in your death? What can you soberly and really desire, that religion does not offer to you? Do you pant for exaltation? Religion offers it to you: not the exaltation of a moment of life, but that of eternal ages. Do you love pleasure? Religion proposes it to you: not that which you drink from a poisoned bowl, and imagine felicity in the deadly delirium which drinks up your spirit, but that which is worthy of a human soul–that which is gathered from converse with the Deity–joy unspeakable and full of glory. Do you pant for riches? Religion proposes to you the acquisition of such riches as no earthly charter can secure–durable riches, laid up in heaven, safe from the vicissitudes of time, and secured by the promise and the pledge of Jehovah.

Such are some of the articles of that religion which the Lord proposes to you. We have spoken only of those from which the unbelieving are apt to recoil; we have taken only those items which they imagine uninviting. And now let me ask, is there anything in all this which makes you look upon the religion required of you as a thing so difficult that you cannot be saved–so difficult as to contain any indication that God, while he enjoins such a religion, is not sincerely willing that you should be saved? Indeed, I put it to your own reason and conscience, what less could God have required, and what less would you be willing to receive? I do not believe there is one ingenuous mind in this assembly that does not confess that nothing but wickedness can reject such a religion.

The most difficult features of our- religion, and those of which we are most apt to complain, prove to us, most conclusively, that God has no pleasure in the death of the wicked. And if we are lost, we are not lost because the conditions of our deliverance are hard. The mysteries, the doctrines, the morality, the mortification, the humility, the repentance, the faith, the motives of Christianity, will all bear the examination of the most difficult mind. There is not one appearance of severity or rigor in all the religion of the Bible, which is not absolutely indispensable in the nature of the case, and which is not proposed in love, and to exalt our felicity. In conclusion, then, I have but this one question to propose to you: What degree of misery will he deserve who will reject such a religion, in order to lose his own soul? Ichabod Spencer, Sermons of the Rev. Ichabod Spencer (Philadelphia: Presbyterian Board of Publication. 1855), 1:305-324. [Some spelling modernized; italics original; and underlining mine.]

This entry was posted on Thursday, February 17th, 2011 at 10:27 am and is filed under Ezekiel 18:23, 32; 33:11. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

One comment


Took a break from Bible studies, came across this and really enjoyed reading.

January 21st, 2012 at 12:57 pm