25 SEPTEMBER (PREACHED 22 SEPTEMBER 1782)
The value of a soul
‘Zebulun and Naphtali were a people that jeoparded their lives unto the death in the high places of the field.’ Judges 5:18
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: Romans 10:1–15
Methinks I have a still more important and prevailing argument to excite your benevolence to provide Bibles for those who make jeopardy of their lives in fighting our battles, if we consider their situation as it respects themselves. They hazard their lives, they rush into danger—they fight, they die—cut off in a moment, they launch into an invisible, an unchangeable state—who can estimate the consequence? Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord [Revelation 14:13]; though they should fall by sword, pestilence or famine, they are blessed. The righteous hath hope in his death, but hope, to deserve the name, must be built by faith on the Word of God. How shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? Indeed they often hear of the name of Jesus, but it is only when they hear it blasphemed. If they knew the dignity of his person, the greatness of his love to sinners, the nature and design of his sufferings—if they knew the greatness of his power and the riches of his grace—surely they would blaspheme him no longer. Furnish them with the means of this knowledge. Procure them Bibles and accompany your gift with your prayers. Whenever you succeed, you will be instrumental in saving a soul from death. This is an endeavour worthy of your ambition. To save a soul from death is of more real importance than to save a kingdom, or many kingdoms, from temporal ruin. Can you estimate the value of a soul? It is beyond the reach of natural members to express. It consists chiefly in two things—an immense capacity—an endless duration. Capable of possessing the power of God, or of being filled with an exquisite sense of his wrath, and that, for ever. It is not only the bodily life, but the precious soul is exposed to jeopardy in the high places of war. What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul? What shall he give in exchange for his soul?
FOR MEDITATION: ‘For every living soul belongs to me …’ (Ezekiel 18:4).
‘… and he who wins souls is wise’ (Proverbs 11:30, NIV).
SERMON: JUDGES 5:18 [4/4] [FOR THE BIBLE SOCIETY AT ALDGATE]