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cause of all God's indignation and of all his judgments, that moreover his wrath is always roused by it, and that he will not suffer it to pass without notice and without punishment. Sin has a voice, as well as the blood of the saints which is shed upon the earth, and it cries aloud to heaven, testifying against those who commit it, and calling for their punishment. Such a voice from Sodom entered into the ears of the Lord, and he said, in language very similar to that used in the case of the builders of Babel, “ because 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 unto me; and if not, I will know.”

II. But let us observe in the next place, that if the Lord notices the vices and crimes of the wicked, he is at the same time mindful of his servants who are not partakers of other men's sins, but keep themselves pure

in the midst of an evil and adulterous generation, among whom they shine as lights in the world. Although there had been something

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reprehensible in Lot in choosing so wicked a place for his residence, yet an honourable testimony is borne to him by the inspired word of the Apostle Peter, who calls him just Lot, and tells us that “ that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds.” Therefore he who “ knows how to deliver the godly,” shewed a similar mercy to Lot, as he had before done to Noah, and sent his angels to warn him of the approaching destruction, and to secure his

preservation. They were sent indeed to examine the state of the city; and a manifest proof was speedily given them of its dreadful depravity. They were sent to destroy it, “ because the cry of them was waxen great before the face of the Lord.” But they were sent on an errand of mercy as well as of judgment. Having therefore first preserved him from the violence of the men of the city, by a miraculous exertion of their power, they next sent him to warn his relatives and connections whom he had in the place, that they might flee from the impending ruin. It is

66 Lot

good to be connected with a righteous man; had there been ten such in the city, it had been spared for their sake; and now the relations of Lot have a special warning communicated to them through him; and well had it been for them if they had taken it at his mouth.

III. But let us wonder, in the third place, at the reception which they gave it. went out, and spake unto his sons-in-law, which married his daughters, and said, up, get you out of this place, for the Lord will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons-in-law.” Alas! how sin blinds the mind, and sears the conscience, and hardens the heart, and destroys the moral principle. They treated the venerable man as an enthusiast and a dotard. Like the sinners in the days of Noah they rejected his warning, and added insult to their rejection, by laughing him to scorn. Alas! that contempt of God's messages of mercy calling sinners to repentance, should still be so com

Alas! that so many should still sit in the seat of the scornful, that others should

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despise all his counsel, and take none of his reproof, and that others again, when graciously invited to come to the spiritual blessings which God has prepared in his word and his ordinances, should all with one consent begin to make excuse.

IV. But now, while these sinners against their own souls are left to perish in the ruin which they have chosen, let us notice, in the fourth place, the deliverance of Lot.“ When the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city. And while he lingered the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters, the Lord being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.” Here are not only watchful care, seasonable haste, and urgent admonition, but a gracious violence is put upon him. He lingered, being himself somewhat loth to leave his house, his goods, his connections, and all that he had behind him; but they laid hold on him, and on his wife, and on his daughters, and thus was he snatched, “ the Lord being merciful to him,” like a firebrand from the buming. When he was placed without the city, he was again hurried onward. “Escape for thy life, look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain ; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.” They warn him that he has no time to lose, that he must not trifle nor delay, and that he must flee to a mountain seen in the distance, far from the contamination of the devoted plain. Yet he begs for a habitation ; he prays that one small city may be spared for his reception ; grateful for the mercy already shewn him, and encouraged by it to ask for further favour, he thus plea, “ Behold now, thy servant hath found grace in thy sight, and thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou bast shewn unto me in saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me, and I die; behold now, this city is near to flee unto, and it is a little one: oh! let me escape thither, (is it not a little one ?) and my soul shall live." He was accepted concerning this

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