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and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone : which is the second death.” Then indeed, if not before,« upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest ; this shall be the portion of their cup." Oh! let every soul among us fear lest we should “ dwell with that devouring flame,” with those “everlasting burnings.”
3. This subject affords us a third improvement; for it strikingly sets forth the way of salvation. We must be taught to perceive ourselves to be, like Lot, in a state of great and imminent danger, much greater than that from which he was delivered, even a state of spiritual danger, in which our souls may perish. We must make haste to escape for our lives, and flee with all possible speed and earnestness from the wrath to come. We must not look upon the pursuits and pleasures, the sins and follies, of the world, nor stay in any part of “ the vain conversation received by tradition from our fathers.” We must flee for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us, without stopping a moment in
our flight for safety, until we “ win Christ, and are found in him.” He is that city of refuge, to which we must direct our course. His name is as “ a strong tower, the righteous runneth into it, and is safe ;” for “ there is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus."
Here let me conclude with a still more direct application of this subject. I warn you of the judgments and persuade you by the terrors of the Lord. Why should you expose yourselves to his indignation ? Why will
ye die? Up, I beseech you, and hasten to quit the practice of sin, and the society and haunts of sinners. Separate yourselves in spirit and character and conduct from an evil world that lies in wickedness, and is doomed to destruction. Depart, I pray you, from the tents of all evil men, lest you be consumed in their sins. In penitence, and prayer, and a new and holy course of life, seek mercy at the hands of God through the atoning sacrifice of his blessed Son. Apply to him if you would be safe in the last judgment, a judgment which both in its first terrors and its eternal effects will more largely surpass this of Sodom and Gomorrah, than the magnitude of the whole earth exceeds the extent of that desolated plain.
In this warning which I am giving you do I seem unto you as one that mocketh? Do you treat these true sayings of God as idle and unnecessary alarms? Alas, you are in the utmost danger then of continuing and dying in your sins. A thousand times, may we say, have you heard of this, and similar judgments of the Lord, upon the sinful and the careless; as many times have you been called to repentance; as many times has the way of safety been set before you. And are you still unconcerned and unbelieving? Do you make light of such awful subjects and important realities? Oh! beware lest that fall upon you which is written in the prophets, “ Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish.” Fear lest it be “ more tolerable for even Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for you.” Beware lest
sin against greater light, against more frequent and pressing entreaties, against a dispensation of far greater clearness and mercy, and so fall under greater condemnation.
Are any of you lingering, as Lot was disposed to do in Sodom? There are those who put off their convictions, and seem wishful to delay as long as they can what they appear to think an evil day, yea, almost as evil as the day of their death, namely, the day in which they shall quit their sins, their evil companions, and the vanities of the world. Ah, foolish people and unwise! You have no time to trifle away in procrastination, for you know not what a day may bring forth. Escape for your lives even to-day, while it is yet called to-day. Rescue your souls from impending destruction by one instant and vigorous effort to break from the enticements by which you are held. May you be enabled, the Lord being merciful” to you, and helping you by his grace, to quit every work and way of Satan, every unhallowed pleasure and pomp of the world, and every sinful lust of the flesh, without further hesitation and regret.
Finally, are any of you drawing back ? Oh ! remember Lot's wife. She still stands
as a beacon, in the page of sacred history, to warn the backslider, even though he be a backslider but in heart. And if you would not draw back, do not even look back. Think of the many awful declarations of the word of God on this case: “if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him :" "no man having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God :" “ if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning." Oh! be afraid lest these scriptures should apply to you, and you be finally condemned under such aggravated sin.