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Such was the admonition,, such the injunction, which God delivered by His angels to the sons-in-law of Lot.;
Is there not a real, is there not a near resemblance between the outward condition of those unhappy men and your own? You dwell in a world which the Scriptures pronounce to be under the dominion of fin; a world subject to the power of Satan, the prince of this world, the God of this world; a world to which you are not to belong, a world to which you are not to be conformed, a world which you are not to love, a world to which you are to be crucified, a world whose friendship is enmity with God. You, like the sons-in-law of Lot, are incessantly obnoxious to the contagion of pestilent example. You are encircled by multitude* living in wickedness; regardless of God, transgressing His commandments, neglecting His ordinances, wilfully ignorant of His written word, profaners of His day and of His name. With persons of this description you are constrained, more or less, by the business of life to associate. You witness their practices ; you hear their sentiment*; you become conversant with their principles. To the infectious influence of these practices, of these sentiments, of these principles, you are ex
3 posed posed day by day. You dwell in a world deserving of destruction; and condemned, if the appointed season of repentance shall have passed away in vain, to destruction for ever and ever, to the vengeance . of eternal sireTo you, as to the sons in-law of Lot, Use and the means of salvation are afforded. To you the exhortation is still addressed; "Arise, "and flee for your lives. Flee from the '**' wrath to come. Save yourselves from this ** untoward generation. Come forth, and **" be ye separate. Keep yourselves unspotted ** from the world, that ye be not condemned . ** with the world.''
Such then is your situation. Such is the situation of every oner who he^rs the found of the gospel. Contagion surrounds you: destruction lies before you. You are defiled, miserable, and helpless. Yet still there is a call of mercy; still there is a way to escape. The God whom you have offended places deliverance within your reach. The Son of God becomes man, and gives' his life to purchase your salvation. He commands, he invites, he encourages you to fly to Him for salvation. He promises to you not only ihe pardon of sin, not only the enlightening and supporting grace of the Holy Ghost; but a crown of glory that fadeth not away,
a kingdom of blessedness ii\ his presence, at his right-hand; throughout .eternity. This i& the blessed hope which he sets before you, provided that your life &a'.earth be dedicated to Him: that you renounce the worlds the fleih, and the devil ;.' that you live not unto yourselves, but unto Him who^died for you; At the fame time He forewarns you in. terms as strong as language can supply that, if you refuse his offered grace, the punishment into which the sentence of divine justice is prepared to plunge you will be proportioned to the happiness which you have obstinately and ungratefully renounced: that there remaiheth no more sacrifice for sin: there remaineth nothing for you to eternity but wrath, tribulation and anguish, weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth; the lake of which the burning flood wherein Sodom and Gomorrah were engulphed was an emblem, the lake of fire and brimstone, where the worm dieth not, and the fire is never quenched.
II. Consider, in the next place, the manner in which the sons in law of Lot received his aweful admonition.
He seetned unto them as one, that mocked.
Their conduct discloses to us their character.
They had evidently set their hearts on the
:. I - worldly worldly advantages which, in their apprehension, attended the place where they resided: and they made little account of its wickedness. They saw that the surrounding country, even all the plain of Jordan, was well watered and luxuriant; offering abundant pasturage at all seasons for their flocks and herds; and promising a great and continual increase of wealth. They beheld with complacency the licentious manners of the city devoted to constant revellings and riot. Like the men of Athens when St. Paul discoursed of Jesus and the resurrection; "Thou ** bringef" said they to their father, "Jlrange "things to our ears," When he described to them the sudden appearance, of the angels; they perhaps exclaimed, like Festus, when Paul related the manifestation from Heaven of Jesus Christ for his conversion, " Thou art *.* beside thyself: much learning doth make thee "?nad." When he testified to them, that God was about to overwhelm the city with terrible and extraordinary judgements: they probably replied in language like that of the scoffers mentioned by St. Peter; «* Where it ** the promise of his coming I For all things con**. tissue as they 'werefrom the beginning of th& "creation" The love of profit, or of pleasure, blinded their, understandings and feared b; .c;^< .;.; their
their consciences. They were puffed up with self-conceit. They were hardened in unbelief. They treated the messenger, whom God had commissioned to warn them of their danger, and to point out the method of escape, as one that was ignorant or an impostor; as one who was himself deceived, or desirous of imposing upon them ; as one who pretended to knowledge beyond his reach, and held forth a false representation of his Master's will. They gave not themselves the trouble to enquire and examine into the truth of Lot's declarations. They did not return with him to his house to satisfy themselves whether in reality two angels were there; whether any communication as to the purposes of God had been vouchsafed to their father-inlaw ; whether the city, as he affirmed, was about to be destroyed. They listened to him with carelessness and contempt. His message did not suit their inclinations and their prejudices: and they at once rejećted and despised the monitor, and the warning. . 'My brethren! In many respects the condućt of a large portion of the world bears at this day a close resemblance to that of the sons-in-law of Lot, and arises from the same principles. When the great doćtrines of the gospel are proposed as comprehending and disclosing the of - appointed