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Salvation is not getting into a good place, but into a good state. It is not being where you cannot sin, but it is being so you will not sin. Lock a man up in jail and he cannot steal, for there is nothing there to steal. He is where he cannot sin the sin of stealing. God does not propose to save us from sin by locking us up in heaven.
Make a man thoroughly honest and he will not steal, no matter how much there may be to steal. He is saved from the disposition to steal. Salvation, therefore, is such a state of moral perfection as delivers us from all wish or desire to sin. God proposes to save us by so educating our minds and hearts that we will not choose to sin. To the degree, therefore, that we obtain this moral education we are saved, and we are saved to no greater degree. No matter where we are, in this world or some other, we are saved only so far as we are able to reject the wrong and choose the right. It is of vast importance, therefore, that we seek this moral education now; that we seek salvation from sin now. The more of this salvation we get now the better -- the better for us here and hereafter. Seek salvation -- seek moral education, therefore, now, for in it is the promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.
You must be saved. God wills to save you. Why do you not obey his will and seek salvation now? Sometime you must believe in and confess Christ. Why do you not believe in and confess him now? Sometime you must repent of your sins. Why do you not repent of your sins now? Sometime you must learn the truth of God. Why do you not learn that truth now? Sometime you must obey God's truth. Why do you not try to obey that truth now? Sometime you must experience the purifying and saving influence of Divine grace. Why do you not try to experience that influence now? Can you tell?
It has sometimes been claimed that the doctrine of probation, or repentance after death, has a tendency to cut the nerve of religious efforts. Not so, however, thinks Rev. Mr. Williams, editor of the St. Louis Central Baptist. He says: --
"Could it be known that there is probation after death, the knowledge would not make less urgent the business of saving souls."
So we say. What people need to be taught, is, that sin is an evil and a bitter thing. That the longer it is persisted in, the longer we make ourselves miserable. and that the sooner we repent and turn to God, the better.