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ing the natural use of the women, burned in their lust one toward another ; men with men working that which is unseemly." They were proud, luxurious, idle, and uncharitable." This was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hands of the poor and needy."
3. Lot, a righteous man, dwelt amongst them before the overthrow; and, it is probable, often reproved and warned them of approaching danger. “ That righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds.” And can we suppose that he never opened his mouth? Could he possibly remain a silent spectator of their evil deeds? We read of one tender reproof which he gave them the evening before the overthrow. He went out to a filthy rabbte; which had assembled before his door for vile purposes, and said, “I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly.” But they treated his mild reproof with contempt, saying, “ This one fellow came in to soourn, and he will needs be a judge." - 4. God mude particular enquiry into their conduct. Human conduct is reported in heaven. . Angels, though invisible, mix with men, and carry intelligence of alltheir proceedings to the the throne of God. In allusion to this, God said to Abraham, “ The cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous, I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come up unto me ; and if not, I will know." God, who knows all things, has no need of information from others, but, throughout his vast empire, he employs agents to carry on his various purposes, and thereby promotes their happiness. He has no need to come down from his glorious throne; but he is pleased to represent the subject in this light to make a deeper impression upon the mind of man.
5. The 'destruction was made known to Abraham before it came to pass. We seldom undertake any thing important without making it known to our friends. Abraham was a friend of God; and God said, “Shalli I hide from Abraham that thing which 1 do?” Can I keep him ignorant of my designs? “ The froward is abomination to the Lord; but his secret is with the righteous." Pious men have early notice of approach-. ing judgments; but when they publish the thing they are viewed as fools and madmen.
6. Abraham interceded for Sodom. Good men are inspired with God-like principles,
and are unwilling that any should perish. The intercession of Abraham was humble, modest, and successful. The Lord engaged that if ten righteous persons should be found, he would spare the whole for the sake of them; but, alas, that number was not found ! :
9. Angels were sent to warn Lot, to aid his escape, and to destroy the place. When they came to Sodom, Lot knew not, who they were; but, as strangers, they were invited to take shelter under his hospitable roof. At first they positively refused his generous offer, saying, “We will abide in the street all night.” This no doubt was their intention; but being pressed greatly, they at last consented. They cannot, therefore, be charged with a lie, having no intention to deceive their hospitable friend. Christianity recommends hospitality: "Be not forgetful to entertain strangers ; for thereby some (Abraham and Lot) have entertained angels unawares.” These angels soon informed Lot what God was about to do, and prepared him for the escape. They also directed him to warn his sons-in-law; but he seemed unto them as one that mocked. Little did the sottish people imagine that the angels of God, with a full commission to destroy the place, were even then in their city! They slept secure in their sins; but it was not a night for Lot
to sleep. Very early in the morning he was hurried away by the angels; for the command to destroy the place was urgent, and they could do nothing till Lot was out of danger. And, now, Lot having left the place, the awful work begins; which leads us to consider
II. THE DESTRUCTION ITSELF.
My soul trembles while I write. O dreadful day; and yet but a faint emblem of that day in which God will destroy the world by fire! On the destruction we may observe the following things: It was sudden, awful, universal, and without remedy.
1. The destruction of Sodom was sudden. Many, probably, were sleeping in their beds quite secure: a few, perhaps, were rising up, and about to enter upon the affairs of the day. In an instant a black cloud gathered, and the storm of vengeance rushed upon them like a mighty whirlwind. They had no time to flee: no time to implore mercy: not a moment allowed to prepare for eternity! Thus, they who neglect to improve time and opportunity, may look for sudden judgments in the end.
2. The destruction of Sodom was (reful. Fire and brimstone were the instruments of the divine wrath. It is probable that it was a storm of thunder and lightning, of fire and hail; the earth at the same time cracking and opening beneath their feeto
Their lusts had burned like fire, and fire was employed to burn both them and their lusts. Hell is a place of fire and brimstone; and Sodom, being like hell in wickedness, was burned with fire and brimstone. How justly may we exclaim, “O God, thou art terrible out of thy holy places !”
3. The destruction of Sodom was universal. Not one soul escaped. Parents and children were all destroyed. The cities of the plain, the cattle, and that which grew upon the ground, all perished. Even Lot's wife, who lingered, and looked back, fell a victim to the flames. How awful to think of this complete destruction! How soon can God rid himself of his enemies! They were all living in the morning, and all dead and gone before noon. Thus all the enemies of God will perish. No distinction was made in Sodom between the rich and the poor, the young and the old, the wise and the ignorant; nor will God make any distinction on account of outward circumstances in that day when the world will be judged by Jesus Christ. : 3. The destruction of Sodom was without remedy. They suffered the vengeance of eternal fire. When God appears, who can provide a remedy against his plans and purposes of judgment? The overthrow was everlasting. There never could be another Sodom in that place. The vile wretches