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6 and whatsoever thou hast in the city, 6 bring them out of this place!.” Thus beneficial is it for wicked men to be connected with the people of God. Had Lot's sons-inlaw, with their wives, listened to his warning voice, when he went forth according to the angels' word, they would have escaped : but he seemed to them “ as one that mock“ ed.” “ Sodom destroyed! impossible!” they think and say. “ Our father must be “ beside himself, or he could not have dreamw.ed of such an event.” It is thus that the remonstrances of piety are treated by the profane and ungodly. Scoffers, in Scripture, are introduced as asking, when threatened with judgment, “ Where is the promise “ of his coming"?” All scoffers are actuated by the same spirit, and act in the same manner towards God and his cause.

The obstinacy of his sons-in-law seems to have made Lot loth to quit Sodom; at least we must ascribe his lingering to that, as the least exceptionable cause. The angels, however, hastened him out, laying “ hold upon “ his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, “and upon the hand of his two daughters; the 1 Gen. xix. 12.

m 2 Pet. iii. 4.

VI.] THE CHARACTER OF LOT

“ Lord being merciful unto him; and they “ brought him forth, and set him without “ the city. And it came to pass, when they “ had brought them forth abroad, that He “ said, Look not behind thee, neither stay “ thou in all the plain ; escape to the moun

tain, lest thou be consumed".” At Lot's pressing request, one of the five cities of the plain, called Zoar, was saved for his sake, and he was directed to flee to it for safety. “ Haste thee, escape thither,” said the Lord, « for I cannot do any thing till thou be come 66. hither."

• The sun was risen upon the earth, when " Lot entered into Zoar.” It was morning; · ature was revived ; man and beast were refreshed by sleep. In Sodom the bustle of the day was commenced. “ They did eat,” saith Jesus Christ,“ they drank, they bought, “ they sold, they planted, they buildedo.” Careless and secure, they each attended to his own business, his own pleasure, and his own sin—when, suddenly, in a moment, they were overtaken with destruction! The heavens from above poured down upon them streams of fire and brimstone! Their houses

n Gen. xix. 16, 17. 0 Gen. xix. 22. p Luke xvii. 28.

CHARACTER

CHARACTER OF LOT. (ser. Vur. and property around them were enveloped in desolating flames! The earth beneath them changed its nature, and became a lake of fire! What a moment was this! how full of terror, of horror, of agony! Where now are the stout-hearted, the mockers whose hands are strong, the sons of Belial ? Cut off, as cumberers of the ground, by the signal and unexpected vengeance of Almighty God; their cities reduced to ashes; their country sending up a smoke, like the smoke of a furnace; and they themselves perished from the earth, present an example terrible beyond description, to all who should live ungodly. In that place, where once existed the lovely and fertile plains of Jordan, the Dead Sea now presents to view its stagnant and offensive waters'. What an awful catastrophe was this! It baffles imagination to conceive its horrors!

Lot did not long remain in Zoar: the spectacle of desolation before him in the plain of Jordan, and the conduct of the inhabitants of Zoar, who were as wicked as those of Sodom, and were only spared on

9 An account of this Sea will be found in the Travels of Shaw, Volney, Chateaubriand, and others.

CHARACTER

VII.] THE CHARACTER OF Lot. Lot's account, influenced him to remove to the mountains. But why did he not return to Abraham? It is to be feared, that a proud shame at his destitute state, and a fear of contempt on account of it, from those who had seen him in more prosperous days, were the reasons which prevented. He, however, in thus doing, forsook his own mercies. Abraham would, no doubt, have gladly received him, and assisted him to retrieve his condition. That he was poor now, is evident; for he left all his property behind him. His herdmen perished with the rest of the inhabitants of the cities. He was even deprived of his wife. She had left Sodom with him ; but, contrary to the divine command, she looked back, most probably with a desire and intention of returning. At all events, her motives were as criminal as her conduct was fatal. She was converted into a pillar of salt. Thus reduced in his family, having lost his wife and his married daughters, by reason of their rebellion against God; beggared in his worldly situation, being stripped of his substance, he settled in the mountains with his two daughters.

But even here, in a cave, removed from the seductions of society, as well as its enjoyments, his misfortunes followed him. His family had been too long in Sodom, had been too long exposed to temptation. The effects of this displayed themselves in his retirement. Unawed by the recent punishment of ungodliness, unrestrained by the checks of conscience, his two daughters, having first intoxicated him, committed an evil and an abominable thing with him. With the account of this crime, ends the Scriptural history of his life. From what the apostle Peter says of him in his second epistle, we have undoubted reason to believe he repented of his crimes, and died in the Lord. Of his daughters, however, we have no such assurance. The probability is, that they died as they had lived. Solemn warning to all parents, that they take heed of exposing their offspring to the influence of evil examples!

Thus ended the days of Lot! They began with a prospect of happiness--they closed with a retrospect of misery. From his example, we learn many important lessons, which have been incidentally introduced

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