It was in the days of his glory, ere sin had darkened his sun, that Solomon collected and composed the Book of Proverbs, which is a mine of wisdom, and a treasure-house of instruction. Let us read—Proverbs 1:20-31.
The right way is not kept a secret, or mentioned only to a few. Everywhere, in these favoured gospel days, we meet with instructions and admonitions. The Bible is in every house, and the preachers of the word are many: if any perish, it will not be because the plan of salvation was not made public. Wisdom is among us, and speaks with earnestness and plainness of speech.
Thus wisdom, in the person of the Lord Jesus, calls upon the sons of men in pathetic accents. Men are foolish, and love their folly; some of them are so besotted by sin that they scoff at the instruction which alone can save their souls; therefore the Lord expostulates and pleads with them. It is not the will of the Redeemer that the sinner should die, and in infinite love he interposes to prevent their becoming suicides. Note how earnestly he pleads,—”How long”? and how graciously he promises the aid of his Holy Spirit that they may understand his instructions. Jesus thus pleads with each one of us; have we obeyed his call?
Not until calls of love have failed does the Lord assume the language of stern rebuke; but when grace has been neglected, and even insulted, justice must speak in tones of thunder. The Lord Jesus wept over sinners in the days of his flesh, and still does he by his Church entreat and warn them, and yearn over them; but it will not always be so, for the time cometh when he will have no pity, but will utterly reject the cries and petitions of his enemies. They say that the sweetest wine makes the sharpest vinegar, and so the very gentleness and tenderness of Jesus will make him the more terrible when his patience at length turns to wrath. Oh! may none of us ever have addressed to us the terrible words which we have just read, for they are full of weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth. Is it not right that those should perish who refused to be saved? Should not those be rejected at the last who wilfully rejected the Redeemer throughout their day of grace? Is it not a most righteous rule that men should reap what they sow, and that those who choose their own delusions should find their choice confirmed? Shall any one member of our family be so madly wicked as to refuse attention to the invitations of grace? God forbid that it should be so.
How they deserve the deepest hell
That slight the joys above!
What chains of vengeance must they feel
Who break such cords of love.
Draw us, O God, by sovereign grace,
And make us wise to-day,
Lest we provoke thy fiercest wrath
By impudent delay.