The New Road
James Smith, 1860
Some time ago, as I was walking in the country, I saw a number of men at work near the road, and said to one of them, "Well, friend, what are you doing?"
"Why, sir," said he, "we are making a new road to the great house. The old road you will see winding round the hill is very crooked and rather dangerous, beside which you see there's a tollgate at the bottom of it."
"Then you are about to make a straight road that will be shorter, easier, safer, and will avoid the tollgate."
"Yes, sir; that's just it."
"That," said I, "is just what the Lord Jesus Christ came into the world to do, and what He has done; He has made a new road to His Father's house, a road that is just suited to sinners."
Now I want to talk abut this road a little. The old road of the law, which ran round the bottom of Mount Sinai — was a long, crooked, rough, dangerous, and difficult road. Indeed it was such a road, that no sinner could take and reach Heaven in safety.
The Lord Jesus Christ knew this, and out of pure love, He came and at wondrous expense, prepared a new road; and He did the work Himself, and therefore He said, "I am the way — no man comes unto the Father, but by me." Many will try the old road still — but they all fail; let us therefore look at, and betake ourselves to the new.
A road, you know, is a path or way by which we reach some distant place, or object. Now Heaven is at a distance from us, and, in consequence of sin, we can never reach Heaven by the old road of the law, for there is so much to be done in journeying along that way, and we have no strength; we cannot do anything perfect, or as the law requires it to be done, and therefore must fail.
Our Lord Jesus Christ, therefore came into the world to do all that God required, and to suffer all that sin deserved, in order to open for us a new way to Heaven. Everything is done which is required to be done, in order to entitle us to enter Heaven; and everything is provided that we can need to enable us to go there. Christ in His person, work, death and resurrection — is the new way to glory. Believing in Christ, is coming to Him, and making use of Him, in order to be saved by Him. Just as I must come to, enter upon, and pass along a road, in order to reach the end to which it leads. We have nothing to do with the expense of the road, or with the making of the road — we have only to make use of it, and as reach Heaven by it.
Jesus is a NEAR way to Heaven. We have not in our journey heavenwards, to go all through the commands of the law, keeping every one of them, and every one of them perfectly. We have only to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and we shall be saved. He does all for us, and He provides all for us; so that the moment we believe, our sins are pardoned, our persons are accepted of God, and everlasting life is awarded to us on account of what Jesus has done and suffered. Hear His own solemn words, "Truly, truly, I say unto you, he who believes on me has everlasting life." Hear the apostle, "By him all who believe are justified from all things." What a near way to Heaven: the poor thief upon the cross found this, he stepped out of self into Christ, and that very day he was in paradise.
As it is a near way, so it is an EASY way. Instead of having to toil at the law for thirty, sixty, or seventy years — we have simply to believe the good news of salvation by Jesus; trust solely and entirely in Him, and we are saved. Our nature finds it difficult to enter upon this way — but it arises from ignorance, or prejudice, or unbelief. The moment we are stripped of self, see the nature of the work of Jesus, and the free welcome he gives to all comers — we simply cast ourselves on Him, and are saved by Him. No difficult work, no painful penances, no costly sacrifices are required; it is simply, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved." Or in the Savior's own precious words, "Look unto me, and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is none else." When we ask and receive the Holy Spirit, it is easy to believe or to pass along this new road to Heaven.
It is also a STRAIGHT way. There is no turnings in it. We enter it, by looking to Jesus. We pass along it, looking to Jesus. We reach the end of it, looking to Jesus. Jesus is a perfect Savior, He is the entire way; we have not to begin with believing in Jesus, and then turn off in some other direction; but we are to walk by faith, and to live by faith in the Son of God, who has loved us and given Himself for us. This is the way Paul traveled, this is the kind of life he lived; and who ever doubted whether he arrived safe at the great house or not?
This road is as straight as a line, therefore we should follow the advice of Solomon, "Let your eyes look right on, and your eyelids straight before you. Turn neither to the right hand nor to the left; remove your foot from evil." Run with patience the race which is set before you, looking unto Jesus. Look straight to Jesus at all times, and in all circumstances, through all opposition, and for all you need.
It is a SAFE road. No lion shall be there, neither shall any ravenous beast go up thereon — but the redeemed shall walk there. There are none of the officers of justice ever seen on the road. No one was ever punished for sins — who was found traveling on this road from earth to Heaven. The lion may be by the side of the road, and may alarm the timid by his roaring — but he can never reach us on the path while we are really looking to Jesus. The great accuser may get near enough to frighten us with threats of apprehension for debt, or being punished for our sins; but he cannot lay a hand upon us, or send an officer after us.
In Jesus we are safe, for "there is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus." In Jesus we are safe, for we "are persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." O admirable road for the poor, feeble, timid travelers to our Father's house!
Once more, there is no tollgate on this road; it is a free grace road front the beginning to the end of it. Jesus planned it in His infinite wisdom; and Jesus provided it at His own expense. Whoever
will may enter, pass along it, and get to Heaven by it. None can be too poor — for there is nothing to pay. None can be too feeble — for daily strength is promised to every traveler. Even the fainting and dying man may get to Heaven by it, for it is a living and life-giving way. It leaves the slough of despondency on the right-hand, and the rock of presumption on the left, going just between them.
O what a mercy to have a free way to Heaven — a way to which all are welcome — a way from which no one is excluded who does not exclude himself — a way by which millions have arrived safe at home, and not one sincere soul has ever missed it. Whoever will may come, and no one that comes shall ever be turned back. This is God's highway, and the wayfaring man shall not err therein.
It is no use trying to get to Heaven by doing or suffering, or in any way but by Jesus Christ: for it is plainly and unequivocally declared — too plainly to be misunderstood, "Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is no other name under Heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved." There is one way of salvation, and but one; and that way is by faith in Christ. This way leads us . . .
from the curse of the law — to the blessings of the gospel;
from the wrath of God as a lawgiver — to the love of God as a Father;
from the love, power, and guilt of sin — to the love, power, and pleasures of holiness;
from the slavery of Satan — to the liberty of the children of God;
from the gales of Hell — to the heights of glory!
O blessed, blessed way! if you are not in it, my friend, enter it at once; it is just before you. The gospel reveals it. The gospel welcomes you to it. The gospel holds out the most powerful reasons to induce you to betake yourself to it. All who have arrived in Heaven, have gone by this road, the patriarchs and prophets traveled it in the twilight — but now the sun shines on it, and fills it with the purest light.
Well, reader, what say you — shall Jesus come down from Heaven on purpose to make this road, shall He spend His time, His riches, His very life, to do so — and will you refuse to make use of it? It is . . .
the only way to eternal bliss,
a near way to glory,
a free way to Heaven,
a straight way to our heavenly Father's house!
Is it a safe road, a pleasant road, and free from beginning to end — and will you refuse to travel to Heaven by it? If you do, you must perish — you perish justly — you perish with your eyes open — you perish through your own willful neglect.
Lost sinner, let me reason with you; allow me to put God's own question to you, "Why will you die?"
What is there in the wrath of a holy God;
what is there in the society of devils and lost souls;
what is there in the quenchless flames of Hell —
to induce you to refuse to walk in this straight and safe road to glory, and prefer walking in the broad and crooked road to Hell? Under what infatuation are you laboring? To what lying spirit do you listen? "Why will you die?" Yonder is everlasting life, life in honor, life in happiness, life in the best society, and Jesus is the way to it — an open way, en easy way, a short way, a new and living way.
Come, O come to Jesus, and so flee from the wrath to come! Come, O come to Jesus, and so acquire through his infinite merits a title to the inheritance of the saints in light! Come, O come to Jesus, and by so doing . . .
taste of true pleasures,
enjoy solid peace, and
escape the terrors of the wrath to come.
Reader, are you acquainted with God's new road to glory? The new way of grace, in opposition to the old way of works? Are you in the way, traveling along it? If so you are safe; if not enter it without delay. It is just before you, open to you, provided for you, and just adapted to you. Enter, press on, and you will surely arrive in Heaven at last!