See that you refuse not him that speaks. For if they escaped not who refused him that spoke on earth, much more shall not we escape…
1. We need it, not only for reformation and change of character, but also for the preservation of character when good and upright. It must be admitted that early discipline and long-established habit may do much to mould the heart and the mind; but that these things are enough to keep the character from harm, and to plant around it an invincible protection from sudden and unexpected contingencies of trial, is contradicted by experience and by the past and present history of man in every form and condition of his existence. But look at the case in a religious point of view. I say religious, because that involves the higher purposes of being, the exercise of the nobler powers, and the destinies which reach onward through an endless futurity. When referring to this subject, virtue, in all its various aspects of loveliness and usefulness, is not only to be regarded as virtue simply, but virtue produced, upheld, and protected by a power superhuman. Under a religious influence, any one of the virtues you might name is turned into new and heavenly channels; and while it retains all its natural elements, it becomes changed in the nobleness of its motives, in the grandeur of its purposes, and in the glory of its objects. What can bring about this change but Divine grace?
2. It is obtainable. It is freely given simply upon the condition of being asked for in Sincerity and faith. As the weary traveller can freely partake of the stream of water by his side, though he be penniless, so the man burdened by guilt, without God and without hope in the world — an alien from the commonwealth of Israel, homeless, and without a guide on the broad and desert-wastes of the world — can partake freely of the grace of God, as a Fountain opened for sin and uncleanness.
3. Consider, in the time of any sore trial, what a source of strength and comfort may be found in the Divine grace. At such times we sink under the weight of our own suffering. Overpowered by the affliction, we find no strength within us to bear us up against it. We try according to our means to counteract the suffering; but memory, ever busy, calls up to our minds, in defiance of our earthly resources, a thousand painful associations; and the deep mourning thoughts of the heart linger where the pain arises. In vain we look around us for help — help enough to break down the agony and to crush it. But the grace of God can bring to the wounded and crushed heart a remedy. It, and it only, can blend feeling with precept; bind up in one the soothing power of sympathy with the earnestness of hope; the assurance of faith with the anticipation of rest for evermore.
(W. D. Horwood.)
Parallel VersesKJV: See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: