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Sermon believed written by G. W. Welker,
pastor of Brick Church from 1841 to 1893.

The below sermon was discovered by the husband of Mary Wrenn Ellis of this mailing list.
He found this in the house once belong to Rev. Welker as the house was being demolished.
The date in the upper left hand corner indicated that it had been delivered at Cobles Church
on 12 June 1842 and the upper right hand corner appears to have a date in 1843. Pastor Boyd,
who transcribed this sermon believes that the right hand date refers to Noe's Church. I personally
know of no church at that time by the name of Noe or Noah. I believe that the word taken as
Noe's is actually "Notes" and written as a title to the pages.

Rev. Bob Boyd, current pastor of Brick Church, transcribed this sermon and delivered it on 13 June 1999
to the congregation of Brick Church. Rev. Boyd gave Mary Ellis permission to post his transcription on this site.

It has not been proven that this was actually written by Rev. Welker, but it was found in his house and the
handwriting appears to be the same as his.


Epistle to the Hebrews 2 chap & 3 verse "How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation"

The author of the epistle to the Hebrews, stops short in his train of reasoning in which be is proving the pre-eminent dignity of the Lord Jesus and proceeds to deduce some conclusions from the great truths of the Superiority of Christ over all the created ministries in heaven. He had asserted in the opening of his letter that Christ was the Author of the (means of) Salvation which God had announced by him to the world and there after establishing his superiority to angels he infers the greatness of the salvation which he came to effect for the world. The inspired author is as it seems quite animated by the view which thus presents itself to his mind of the work of the friend of sinners. The apostle knew and felt how frequently men neglected to give heed to these great truths of the gospel and even if they would for a moment give them the proper consideration they would soon let them slip and have their minds filled with less important affairs - let worldly matters assume the stead of eternal interests. How could it be otherwise then that the attention and feelings of the writer of the epistle should be roused by such conduct. He was writing to his brethren according to the flesh and could not help but become impassioned in his address to them on a subject of so much importance to themselves. He neglects his arguments - breaks his series of Old Testament proofs and makes a pointed address such as no one was so well able to do as the (page 1) writer of this epistle. He holds up the gift of God's mercy in Christ Jesus as an object of supreme importance to all whom he addressed. The word which was spoken by angels - the injunctions and demands of the law were immovable in their exertions and no one could escape from the penalty annexed to their violation. If God in the most miscast justice recompensed each one as they deserved under the word spoken by angels will he not also in case contempt is done his love in the offers of salvation which he makes not by angels, but even by his own son, exact a still severer punishment. If God let none escape under the circumscribed provision of Mosaic dispensation salvation, who neglected its provisions, think you he will let you escape who have the fuller and clearer light of the gospel dispensation. What constitutes the salvation of the Gospel a great Salvation.

1. The very nature of the salvation itself-It is a moral salvation.

When immanent danger threatens the destruction of the life of a fellow being his rescue does honour to its author and is esteemed an achievement splendid in proportion to the danger and labour involved in the work of relief. When a nation lies groaning under a slavery more degrading than death and more painful in its inflections of mental anguish than any grief of body he whose ability and courage fit him to become a successful leader in the career to effect their freedom and is instrumental in elevating them to a condition of national freedom and honour will ever be lauded highly as a mighty deliverer and as the author of salvation to a fallen and much injured people in a political sense. A deliverer from any kind of great peril of degrading slavery would be a source of inconceivable comfort to the reward of great honour to the one so much a benefactor. The act should and is universally esteemed and lauded of men. But what is the preservation of a life or of many lives? But a few days more will be granted at farthest. What is freedom from a slavery that must soon end in the freedom and quiet of the grave? But there is an anguish created by spiritual slavery (page 3) which is undying in its nature. A death which is moral and eternal in its agonies and throes? From these no human agency can save - no power could ever be found to save from the gnawing of a guilty conscience and destroy the worm that ceaselessly torments. No one to rescue from spiritual slavery had ever been found! Well then would a salvation which can effect these be called great! Man's moral nature when redeemed from its bondage is a far more splendid trophy of love and power then the world ever saw. It is the salvation of which the apostle here speaks that alone has respect to the internal nature of man. It has no direct bearing on his physical nature, but is eminently adapted in its very nature to reach the physical wants of man. The soul of man should ever be looked on as of very superior importance to men and as of infinitely more value then the body. As much as eternity is superior in its claims on our attention to time so much is the soul and its interests extended beyond those of the body. It is the soul with its godlike faculties that gives man his superior dignity on our world over the brute that perisheth. The moral or spiritual capabilities of man exert themselves not only in an infinite variety of forms but to an infinite extent and with this is connected by the will of God their necessary eternity. A salvation which has respect to an immortal spirit with such exalted and refined capabilities as that of man is represented in God's word as possessing must derive a value from the very object of its salvation or on which it expends its power. We judge of the greatness and value or anything else from the character of the object which it is designed to effect and when (page 4) we find that it is calculated or is efficient to secure when has never and cannot in the nature of things be effected by anything else we consider it very valuable and we are justified in applying to it the epithet "great." The Apostle then was most happy in his term when he called the salvation of Christ a "great" salvation for it is designed to save the moral nature of men and in that respect has and does effect what never has been or can be done in or by anything besides. The salvation of Christ then is great because it is a moral salvation and has respect to man's immortal nature - to the redemption of the will.

II. From the greatness of the ruin from which its saves!

1. Our ruin was complete!

When the word of God, that infallible record is consulted on this subject we have the most conclusive evidence of the fact that man's nature was totally wrecked. That his soul lay crushed down to earth by carnality and sin, a prostrate heap of the ruin of its former grandeur and beauty. When we speak of a state of ruin of degradation we always imply that those thus fallen once were happy and good. That they once were superior to the condition in which they now are. Once man was upright and constituted morally in God's own image. And God in respect to man could say that his work of creation was good. Then man's moral condition was perfectly happy and in the vigour of his nature integrity and holiness he stood forth among the works of creation as God's crowning effort, that adorned the whole work of His (page 5) hands. He enjoyed the approbative smile of his Maker - peace, joy, love truth, happiness and holiness dwelt in his bosom and he was capable of pleasing his Maker -of obeying his will and meriting his favour and love. Happy being thus like his Maker - so full of unalloyed bliss, he would never imagined what sin was - never felt the sting of sorrow or the pang of remorse. But a short time passes away and the picture of man's soul is thus painted in the word of God: And God saw the wickedness of men was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. What a fearful change is here noted. He that once was good and upright is now so wicked that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart is continually evil. We now hear men say behold I was shapen in iniquity and in sin did my mother conceive me. What fearful power equal to effect such a dire change. It was sin! Pride gaining admission into the heart of men caused him to rebel against God. Throw off all allegiance to his Lord and then the devil - the father of all that is abominable - wicked and false took possession of the empire of men's souls and made it the filthy source of all that is bad. This is the ruined state in which we find the once pure, beautiful and free soul of man. He once was endowed with an immortality of life. He once was cloaked with moral purity as with a spotless garment. He once governed himself according to the will of God, by the determination of his own free will. His body once was immortal and the seat of purity and the light of God's countenance was lifted on him. (Page 6) But when sin came into the world it brought with it spiritual and temporal death and all our woe. He no longer could clothe himself in innocency for his body was now the home of evil passions and vile lusts. His will had lost all the energy of its freedom. The lusts and passions of the heart rebelled against it and it had to yield by reason of impurity and itself became an unhallowed panderer to sin. No longer was it governed in its decisions by the will of God, but the suggestions of pride and lust influenced all its determinations and self was the only authority that was recognized. And even that self changeable at the whims of the heart of which it is clearly testified that it is desperately wicked who can know it. The consequences of this were death to the body - pain, sorrow, sickness, the unavoidable ills of life and these increased by the harassing of guilty fear of God's just vengeance in the future - with the fearful and frantic upbraidings of conscience for ingratitude done against the best of beings - while the torment of the undying soul in hell was the completion of the whole awfully tragic scene. What a vast-deep and entire ruin of the prospect of the soul of men it is. What a devastation of the stability and virtue of his moral nature. Every power of man's body and soul were completely destroyed as far as moral decision is concerned and the fearfully growing seeds of death were ruling in both. Man's life once bloomed as a fruitful field in which was every fruit beautiful to the eye and sweet to the taste and no weed or tare or noxious plant was there and surrounded by a beautiful hedge lasting and strong. Plenty of rain, dews (page 7) and sunshine so as to produce spontaneously its fruits in due season. But now the hedge was gone - briers, thorns and noxious weeds growed in luxurious (abundance) {canthess?} producing a poisonous air around bringing death and disease. No rains as gently to moisten - no dews to refresh - no sun but to scorch all was waste and desert and the weed of sin cannot be eradicated and no laborious toil or sweat can produce good fruit.

2. Man's ruin was not only complete but there was no possibility of recovery from it!

This great truth in the theology of the Bible is taught in that expressive sentence when men are all represented as dead in trespasses and sins. And at another place can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots, nor may ye also do good that are accustomed to do evil. This one truth in the Bible is more fully taught and yet finds more difficulty of belief than this that man is totally depraved and cannot move himself to do good. Yet may we not inquire how can the dead mourn? How can that which is cold and stiff and without life renew itself? The Bible says that all our power to do any thing good or anything to please God is deadened by sin and by guilt. How then can dead moral powers restore themselves to newness of power and activity - as well might we hope to see a dead person by his own strength bring himself to life as to expect a lost and ruined sinner by his own moral strength restore himself to newness of life. Who ever heard of any African changing the color of his skin by his own power - or of the leopard laying aside his spots and taking one color? None ever surely! Now then the word (page 8) of God represents it as equally impossible for sinful to do anything good. So deeply is sin sunken in the soul and so entirely is the nature of man as a moral being perverted by sins. Then how great our ruin. Not only is it complete in the destruction of all true virtuous principles in the soul, but so powerful is the chain that binds the soul that it makes the ruin also in all respects hopeless - ruin complete and also hopeless of the soul of man - must it not then be great salvation which reinstates the soul in more than its pristine condition - strong must be the arm which can save and full of care the eye which will pity such degradation as man. Yet the salvation of the cross has done this and who will not exclaim "a great salvation."

III. Because of the obstacles in the way of our salvation!

I. In the character or mind of God.

The Lord our God is full of truth, justice and unchangeable holiness. The law he gave roan as the rule of his life and the test of his obedience was in most strict conformity with all his glorious attributes. That law was sanctioned by his own name and the reward of obedience would have been to reverse of its penalty - vis. life. The penalty was dying - thou shall die in the day that thou dost violate its prohibitions. God with the law gave ability to observe its precepts -avoid its punishment and could then (page 9) justly expect obedience in the suffering of the penalty if violated. It was disobeyed and the consequence meant a total change of the relation existing between God and man. A barrier is now raised to man's favour with God. That relation which was obedience and love is gone and in its stead disobedience and displeasure. God knows no change in his character or mind. His law is part or a transcript of his will and nature. It cannot then change but must inflect its punishment. Here then was not ground for pity or for pardon on either hand - man has no ground on which to plead for pity for he had no excuse for his guilt. He had power to do his duty - no enticement to sin in his own soul - and bad all the bitter consequences of sin before his mind - God could not change without a compromise of the authority of his law and lowering its dignity - He could not pardon under the law without setting aside his own action - his own authority. It would be to leave his truth and his justice unsatisfied and make his truth changeable and leave his character imperfect. We speak after the manner of men. God could not pardon man. His law must first have its righteous demands met. No reconciliation can at all take place between sinful man and an offended God until satisfaction is made to the honour of the violated majesty of his law. Here was the obstacle to the reconcilement of men to God on the part of God. This is one of the great obstacles that must be overcome before the salvation of man can be achieved - until this is removed God will be a consuming fire and man still hopeless and helpless.(page 10)

2. Another obstacle exist in the moral constitution (or rather perversion) of man.

We have stated before that the prejudice that was done to man by sin was most disastrous to his moral constitution. His whole moral nature underwent a radical change. In this sad catastrophe all the moral purity of man's nature was destroyed - Love to God was banished, his regard for holiness went with it as well as truth and obedience. Yet this was not all. Had eradication of the image of God been all the injury that was done man's soul it were comparatively a lesser injury. Had the soul then been left a void without any activities there would have less harm, but instead of the defaced image of God engraven on the soul there was placed the image of satan and the throwing off the allegiance due to the God of Heaven was but an exchange for the dominion of sin and curse of the law. Here then the second grand obstacle presents itself to increase the labour of man's redemption. He has a nature that must be brought back to is pristine love to God and that which is good and the dominion of sin over him must be destroyed before he is ready to be reconciled to God. To new-create the soul of man is a greater cause of astonishment to heaven no doubt then the calling into existence the light that falls on our earth. It is a far greater exertion of divine power than was the creation of our world in the beginning, for that was the result of the feat of the Almighty.(page 11) But man's salvation - man's moral regeneration required that his soul be washed in blood in order to take away all the guilty stains. The poison of sin has sunken itself into the very blood and marrow of man's soul - it has become natural for him to love sin and hate righteousness. This inbred evil is more than habit and no form of education or training - no punishment - no suffering can extinguish its power. It cannot this be done, for God says not by might nor by power but by my Spirit saith the lord. It is a total and entire revulsion of the nature. All that sin introduced must be driven out. All that sin drove from the soul must be restored. The man must become a new creature in Christ Jesus. He must pass from death into life in the language of the Bible. Here lies in a word the weight of the difficulty on the part of man - can the dead live again - To raise up a new spiritual life those dead in trespasses and sins is just the work. This the labour - the work is not to save from spiritual death for all are dead - all are condemned to Hell. But the work is to raise the dead and restore them to eternal (life) and to have those condemned released from their condemnation - the salvation of which the Apostle in the text speaks is a salvation which removes or overcomes this obstacle - reconciles God by undoing all the punishment due to the law as it violation. By the excess of the power of the Spirit of all grace on the soul of the sinner a conversion is provided in his soul, by faith as a ( page 12) receptive medium of the past of the sinner - a new life is implanted - the old is crucified. The power of sin is deadened and the soul of man is purged from guilt and made holy by the blood of the sacrifice so that he can approach God and being also in condition to love God he is prepared for a reconciliation and a complete salvation from all the curse of the law - the dominion of sin and the slavery of the devil. Well may not such a salvation be esteemed great - May it not challenge our attention. Great it surely must be and transcendently glorious it is also for it can reconcile a holy and justly offended God and a wicked and offending creature and proffer love and joy and peace as the result of all that which is itself is an act of divine love.

IV. Because of the glorious results or the happiness it secures.

1. It secures temporal happiness.

We are told that the godly have peace and joy in the Holy Ghost - and as in believing. This salvation saves from fears and apprehensions for the future. Fear is the producing cause of most of the unhappiness of life. But this salvation having removed the ground of all foreboding in respect to the future gives happiness or peace in its stead - consciousness of fault and the necessity of the punishment being inflicted is the ground of fear but when once this salvation has taken its place in the soul and removed the (page 13) conscious self of guilt all fears are gone and happiness marks the life and progress of such an one. But consciences too that law of God in the soul is purified of dead works and ceases to lash the soul for ingratitude and willful neglect - so long as conscious in ever active as an inflictor of castigation no happiness can be enjoyed. But when conscious and the desire of the new born soul harmonizes new order is restored and from this leaning happiness flows. But from the fact of knowing that the God so long offended and an enemy, is now a reconciled friend flows the sweetest rill of pleasure that refreshes the soul. Rill did I say, no rather flood of happiness that overwhelms the soul. God reconciled on the grounds of the atonement and it blessed consequences to the souls of the Redeemed makes even this vale of tears look pleasant -and causes the beams of the sun of joy to break through the clouds that hang over men as they march in their narrow path to their home. Religion is profitable for the life that now is - will be the testimony of all who have felt its power. It is produces joy and consolation in the Holy Ghost. The body too, though not saved from the pains of life is strengthened through the soul. Though it must die yet that is but a transition to purer realms of peace for the soul and a quiet rest for itself, but it receives direct benefits in today for it is freed from lust and no longer the reason of sin and of shame. (Page 14) But the happiness religion gives is also eternal. The soul of man was doomed to the second death with all it horrors in the eternal world, but the salvation of the cross as secured for the soul in the stead of that misery in hell all the happiness that heaven affords. It refines and elevates all the capacities of the soul to enjoy happiness and that on leaving earth transports it to the joys of heaven. What a marvelous transition for the redeemed soul-to find that it is raised from a state of sins, shame and misery to one of inexpressible happiness. An apostle in speaking of the bliss of heaven on finding words to be inadequate to express his views of perceptive feelings of that heavenly state, says Eye hath not seen, ear hath not heard neither bath it entered the heart of man to count the joys which God has in reversion for those that love him. Shall we then attempt longer to delineate scenes that we could not tell did we see and feel them. It is enough for us to know that we shall there be with Jesus, which is as much bliss as the redeemed soul can contain one would think. That we shall there (did) drink of the waters of the river of life that flows forth from the throne of God and that we shall earn of the fruit of the tree of eternal life that grows in the paradise on high and never die. (Page 15)

Doctrines taught in the text or sermon.

1. Christ the only way of salvation and all other ways wrong - Pardon without an atonement - or by the merit of works.
2. Christ's salvation all of grace and only can be received by the humble.
3. The sin of neglect in the sight of God is heinous in proportion to the greatness of the grace or the clearness of the means that we slight.

Conclusion: The fearful destruction that awaits those who pass by or neglect the salvation that is offered through Christ is the gospel and which Paul calls a great salvation.