What Is The Price





that you put upon your soul? You say you do not know. I will tell

you. It is the sin that keeps you from God. It may be whisky;

there is many a man who will give up the hope of heaven and sell his

soul for whisky. It may be adultery; you say:



"Give me the harlot, and I will relinquish heaven with all its

glories. I would rather be damned with my sin than saved without

it."



What are you selling out for, my friend? You know what it is.



Do you not think it would have been a thousand times better for

Herod to-day if he had taken the advice of John the Baptist instead

of that vile, adulterous woman? There was Herodias pulling one way,

John the other, and Herod was in the balance. It's the same old

battle between right and wrong; heaven pulling one way, hell the

other. Are you going to make the same mistake yourself? We have ten

thousand-fold more light than Herod had. He lived on the other side

of the cross. The glorious gospel had not shone out as it has done

since. Think of the sermons you have heard, of the entreaties

addressed to you to become a Christian. Some of you have had godly

mothers who have prayed for you. Many of you have godly wives who

have pleaded with you, and with God, on your behalf. You have been

surrounded with holy influences from year to year, and how often you

have been near the kingdom of God! Yet here you are to-day, further

off than ever!



It may be true of you, as it was of Herod, that you hear your

preacher gladly. You attend church, you contribute liberally, you do

many things. Remember that none of these avail to cleanse your soul

from sin. They will not be accepted in the place of what God

demands--repentance and the forsaking of every sin.



A child was once playing with a vase, and put his hand in and could

not draw it out again. His father tried to help him, but in vain. At

last he said:



"Now, make one more try. Open your fingers out straight, and let me

pull your arm."



"Oh, no, papa," said the son, "I'd drop the penny if I opened my

fingers like that!"



Of course he couldn't get his hand out when his fist was doubled. He

didn't want to give up the penny. Just so with the sinner. He won't

cut loose from his sins.



Your path and mine will perhaps never cross again. But if I have any

influence with you, I beseech and beg of you to break with sin now,

let it cost you what it will. Herod might have been associated with

Joseph of Arimathea, and with the twelve apostles of the Lamb, if he

had taken the advice of John. There might have been a fragrance

around his name all these centuries. But alas! when we speak of

Herod, we see a sneer on the faces of those who hear us. If one had

said to Herod in those days, "Do you know that you are going to

silence that great preacher, and have him beheaded?" he would have

replied, "Is thy servant a dog that he should do such a thing? I

never would take the life of such a man." He would probably have

thought he could never do it. Yet it was only a little while after

that he had the servant of God beheaded.



Do you know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ proves either a savor of

life unto life, or of death unto death? You sometimes hear people

say: "We will go and hear this man preach. If it does us no good, it

will do us no harm." Don't you believe it, my friend! Every time you

hear the Gospel and reject it, the hardening process goes on. The

same sun that melts the ice hardens the clay. The sermon that would

have moved you a few years ago would make no impression now. Do you

not recall some night when you heard some sermon that shook the

foundations of your skepticism and unbelief? But you are indifferent

now.



I believe Herod was seven times more a child of hell after his

conviction had passed away than he was before. There is not a true

minister of the Gospel who will not say that the hardest people to

reach are those who have been impressed, and whose impressions have

worn away. It is a good deal easier to commit a sin the second time

than it was to commit it the first time, but it is a good deal

harder to repent the second time than the first.



If you are near the kingdom of God now, take the advice of a friend

and step into it. Don't be satisfied with just getting near to it.

Christ said to the young ruler, "Thou art not far from the kingdom,"

but he failed to get there. Don't run any risks. Death may overtake

you before you have time to carry out your best intentions, if you

put off a decision.



It is sad to think that men heard Jesus and Paul, and were moved

under their preaching, but were not saved. Judas must many times

have come near the kingdom, but he never entered in. I saw it in the

army--men who had





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