Reader, is this vile viper lurking in your heart?

(Henry Law, "The Gospel in Numbers")

"The LORD said to Moses: How long will these people treat Me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in Me, in spite of all the miraculous signs I have performed among them?" Numbers 14:11

"They could not enter in because of unbelief." Hebrews 3:19

Reader, survey the Israelites in the wilderness—will they ever reach the promised land?

Alas! two, and two only, steadfastly adhere. The multitude distrust the Lord. They willfully provoke Him. Therefore just indignation dooms them to exclusion from the promised land. Their corpses strew the desert. One by one they dot the sand with graves. They fall, a solemn proof, that outward privileges alone do not save. Unbelief nullified their many means of grace. It poisoned their cup of blessing!

Ah, unbelief! It is the sin of sins—the misery of miseries—the hopeless malady—the death of souls—the bar which shuts out Christ!

Reader, is this vile viper lurking in your heart?

Oh! drag it to the cross, and slay it there!

Implore the Spirit, by His mighty sword, to hew it into shreds! If it survives, you die!

Can he be healed, who scorns the only cure?

Can he reach home, who leaves the only homeward path?

Can he be cleansed, who flees the only cleansing stream?

Can he escape from the fast-sinking wreck, who spurns the life-boat?

Who can reach God, who puts aside the only Mediator?

Who can be saved, who tramples down the only Savior?

Unbelief rejects the Gospel, and so perishes. It turns God's truth into a lie, and it goes hence to learn its folly, where faith never comes.

"He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him!" John 3:36