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related, and act accordingly. Deduce the doctrine which every Old Testament type and ceremony darkly preached, but preaches no longer darkly, since the light of the Gospel has shone
them. Especially regard the admonition of Jesus, "search the Scriptures, for in them ye
think ye have eternal life, and these are they which testify of me.” He spake of the Old Testament writings: they testify of Him. Search them that you may see in what manner they lead to him, and how they bear witness of his great salvation. To believe in his name, to depend upon his sacrifice, to love, and serve, and honour him, is now the great duty required of men, and the sure way to mercy and to heaven. Think then that you know nothing yet as you ought to know, till you have read the Scriptures so as to understand how to make every part of them bear upon the work and office of our divine Redeemer. Nor
yet be satisfied even with this understanding : but give him a sincere reception, with your whole heart, in both his priestly and his kingly office. That knowledge of the
Scriptures, which does not render him more necessary and more precious, is altogether unprofitable : it may gratify the curiosity, but it cannot save the soul. This can be effected, only as the blessed Jesus is truly received. But “ to as many as receive him, to them gives he power to become the sons of God, even to them which believe on his name." May the God of all grace enable each of you to believe in him with your whole heart, and to shew forth the power of that faith in every part of your own character and conduct.
SODOM AND GOMORRAH.
GENESIS xix. 24, 25.
Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon
Gomorrah, brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven ; and he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.
The prophet Isaiah says, “when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness." In one respect this will be the effect of all God's judgments which are sent upon guilty nations, cities, or individuals; for those upon whom they fall will see and feel in them his righteous indignation against sin. In another respect this should be the effect of all God's judgments which we see, or of which we hear or read, for these proofs of his power, and of his holy abhorrence of the wickedness of men, should make us to abstain more entirely from whatever may provoke his wrath, and to walk, without deviation, in the paths of righteousness which he has enjoined.
A short time ago we read in the sacred history how the Lord overwhelmed the whole earth with a flood ; and I endeavoured to improve that awful subject for your warning. Now we have to consider another tremendous visitation from heaven, more confined indeed in extent, but not less terrible to those
upon whom it fell. It is the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, with other neighbouring cities in the same plain, a plain full of beauty and fruitfulness, previously to this destruction, as the garden of the Lord, but alas full of wickedness through its inhabitants. Fire and brimstone were rained upon it from the Lord out of heaven: the cities and their inhabitants were destroyed; the plain itself became subject to sterility and noxious vapours arising from it, and such it remains unto this day; the whole land became “brimstone, and salt,
and burning, that it is not sown, nor beareth, nor any grass groweth therein ;” it is “ the breeding of nettles, and salt pits, and a perpetual desolation.”
I. We may well enquire in the first place, “wherefore hath the Lord done thus unto this land? What causeth the heat of this great anger ?” The answer is given by the sacred history itself; “ the men of Sodom were wicked, and sinners against the Lord exceedingly.” This city, being the chief of the five, is principally mentioned, but the rest were similarly polluted with its evil deeds, and God afterwards describes them by, the mouth of his prophet Ezekiel thus, “Pride, fulness of bread and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me ; therefore I took them away as I saw good.” We read further of their wickedness in this chapter wherein is the text, and in the epistle of St. Jude. Now let me reiterate, and be not you weary of the repetition, that sin is the sole