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right to become children of God.” Again: “He that believeth on the Son hath eternal life; and he that obeyeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” Again: "God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God sent not the Son into the world to judge the world; but that the world should be saved through him. He that believeth on him is not judged; but he that believeth not hath been judged already, because he hath not believed on the name of the only begotten Son of God." Again : “He that believeth on the Son of of God hath the witness in him; he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he hath not believed in the witness that God hath borne concerning his Son. And the witness is this, that God gave unto us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath the life, and he that hath not the Son of God hath not the life. These things have I written unto you, that ye may know that ye have eternal life, even unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God."
The one condition.-If I wanted to deliver a
I prisoner out of Sing Sing how would I set about it? I might chloroform the guards, pick the lock and bid the prisoner come out; but if he did, would he be free? Not at all. There is something stronger than iron bolts and bars and armed guards that hold him, namely, the Law. He would not even be a "ticket-of-leave man"; for at every step the Law would still be hounding him. Or suppose I were to go to the Governor and secure a pardon, and presenting that pardon at the doorway of the cell, bid the prisoner come out: would he then be free ? Certainly not until he came out. The one thing vitally necessary to his freedom must be done by himself and by nobody else. He must come out! If he declines to do that, his pardon is unavailing; and, to all intents and purposes, he will remain a prisoner all his days.
The conditions of salvation have been met by our Lord Jesus Christ; all but one, namely, personal faith or acceptance; and that must be met by the sinner himself if he would ever be saved from the bondage and penalty of sin. Only believe! That is, accept God's plan of salvation in Christ. Dip down into the water of life and drink it! "He that believeth hath eternal life.” Everything depends on a man's saying, "I will! I do!”
I have heard of a man who, having captured an eagle, tethered it to a stake; and it walked around and around until it wore a pathway. At length, moved by compassion, he broke the captive's chain; but habit was so strong that it kept on going around and around in the old groove. Of what value was freedom to it? But there came a moment when it suddenly seemed to realize that its chain was broken; then it looked aloft, spread its wings and mounted into the air. So is it with the soul that falls in with the divine plan of Redemption; to accept of Christ is to leave the bondage of sin and enter into the glorious liberty of the children of God!
THE DOCTRINE OF THE
Mistakes as to parentage.—Mary was the mother.
What of Joseph?—Who then was the father of
Kingdom.- Our personal salvation.-A mystery? Mistakes as to parentage.—The shepherds who first received the annunciation of the Saviour's birth were told that they would find him "wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger"; and going in haste they saw the thing that had come to pass.” On their return they “made known” the wonderful event. When asked if they had seen the parents of the Child they would naturally answer, "Yes; we saw them standing by the manger-a carpenter named Joseph and a peasant girl named Mary.” But that was their mistake. There was another in the group at Bethlehem whom they could not see.
If the people of Nazareth had been asked as to the parentage of Jesus, they would have made a similar answer. He had grown up among them. They had seen him in his boyhood playing about the doorway of his mother's house. They had seen him in the carpenter shop of Joseph learning to make plows and ox-yokes. What would be more natural than for them to say than that he was the son of Joseph and Mary? But that was their mistake. At the beginning of his ministry when, returning from his itinerary among the villages of Galilee, he entered the synagogue and announced to his townsmen that he was the long-looked-for Messiah, they were amazed beyond measure. They had heard rumors of his miracles and of his wonderful preaching, but they were not prepared for this preposterous claim. They were more than amazed; they were "scandalized,” exclaiming, “Is not this Jesus whose father and mother we know ?”
The multitudes who heard him by the Lake of Gennesaret made the same mistake. On his repeating his claim to Messiahship they answered, "What doest thou for a sign, that we see and believe thee?” He answered, “I am the bread of life! I am come down from Heaven to do the will of him that sent me; and this is his will, that every one that beholdeth the Son and believeth on him shall have eternal life!" And they murmured, saying, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know ?!!
The rejection of the gospel has always been due to a misapprehension respecting the parentage of Jesus. And this is the source and fountain of nearly all the heresies which are current in the world to-day. The man who begins his wrong thinking at Bethlehem will find himself immeasur