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SER MON IV.
THE CONDITION AND END OF THE IMPENITENÍ.
GENESIS XIX. 14.
And Lot went out and spake unto his sons-in-laru,
which married his daughters, and said, Un, get you out of this place, for the Lord will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons-inlaw.
THE city, here mentioned, was Sodom. A city which, for its wickedness and awful destruction, is held up in scripture, as a warning to the ungodly, and as an emblem of the destruction, which awaits the finally impenitent. Says an apostle, “ And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes, condemned them with an overthrow, making them an example, unto those who should afterwards live ungodly.” Again, it is said, “ Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them, in like manner, are set forth, for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire."
Perhaps there is no one event more frequently mentioned in scripture, and held up, as a warning to sinners, than that of the destruction of Sodom. In this city, Lot, the person mentioned in the text, had taken up his residence. His character, as described
in the holy scriptures, was pious, friendly, and hospitable. He was pious. He was vexed with the conversation of the inhabitants, among whom he dwelt. “ That righteous man, says the apostle Peter, dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul, from day to day, with their unlawful deeds.” He was friendly. Witness his sojourning with Abram, and his amicable settlement and separation from him, when their herdsmen strove togeth
He was hosfritable. Witness the account in the beginning of the context, of his treatment of the angels whom he, at first, supposed to be men and strangers. “ And there came two angels to Sodom, at even, and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom ; and Lot, seeing them, rose up to meet thein, and he bowed himself, with his face towards the ground, and he said, behold now, my Lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant's house, and tarry, all night, and wash your feet, aad ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways. And they said nay, buê we will abide in the street all night. And he pressed them greatly, and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house ; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat."
As the Lord had determined to destroy Sodom, and the cities around it, tiese angels were sent to give inforrsation to Lot, and to warn him to flee with his family, to a place appointed for their refuge. After they had been received, and treated as abovementioned, by Lot, and together with him, had been abused and imposed upon, by the inen of the city, it is recorded, that the men said unto Lot, “Hast thou here any besides ? Sons-in-law, and thy sons and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast, in the city, bring them out of this place. For we will desiroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great, before the face of the Lord, and the Lord hath sent us to destroy it. And Lot went out, and spake to kuis sons-in-law, which had married his daughters,
and said, Up, get ye out of this place, for the Lord will destroy the city. But he seemed as one that mocked, to his sons in law."
The design of this discourse will be,
1. To consider the situation, conduct, and destruction of Lot's sons-in-law, the persons addressed in the text. And,
II. Shew that it is a striking emblem, or representation of the ungodly and finally impenitent.
I. We shall briefly consider the situation, conducto and destruction of Lot's sons-in-law. And in the first place, we may observe that they dwelt in a place, wicked beyond description. A place, peculiar for every abomination. They were favored with a most heathful climate, and a happy and fruitful soil. It is compared, in scripture, to the garden of Eden. “ And Limou up his owo, aciu peneid a!l the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrha, even as the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest to Zoar.” But they abused their advantages, were ungrateful to God, and practised every species of wickedness. It is written of them, that the men of Sodom were wicked, and sinners before the Lord exceedingly.
2. Lot's sons-in-law were, also themselves, vi. cious and ungodly. They joined with the rest of the inhabitants of Sodom. They despised the invitations of the angels, and the earnest exhortation of Lot, whom they knew to be a just man, a man of integrity. They chose the portion of the wicked, rather than the portion of the righteous.
3. Notwithstanding life was offered them, and they had permission, and were exhorted and urged to accompany Lot from Sodom; yet it was not on account of any thing in them, that they were divinely noticed. They justly deserved to be destroyed with the rest of the Sodomites. They were no better, than the other inhabitants. They were invited, on account of their connection with righteous Lot. Had they owned that connection, and joined his family in their flight, they would have been saved, though, in themselves, they were perfectly ill-deserving.
4. When Lot addressed to them the message from the angels, and the exhortation in the text, they were in the most imminent danger. The city was doomed to destruction. The angels were sent, to execute the awful judgment of God upon it, and but a few moments delay was sure to involve them in its destruction.
5. Iney rere anprized of their danger, and were warned and invited to leave the place. Lot was expressly sent by the angels, to give them the information and warning: « And he said unto them Up, get ye out of this place, for the Lord will destroy this city.” He, doubtless, informed them, that angels were at his house, that they had given him, the intelligence of Sodom's ruin, and sent him on this message, and that they had proved their divine mission, by the miracle which they wrought, for his deliverance, in smiting the men with blindness, who attacked and surrounded his house. But,
6. They were unbelieving. They discredited his words. It is said, “he seemed as one that mocked, to his sons-in-law.” That God should destroy such a flourishing, magnificent city, with all its wealth and inhabitants, that he should destroy it so suddenly that none could escape, after its destruction had com
menced, they thought impossible, and inconsistent with the goodness of God. They considered Lot as mocking them, or as being delirious, in addressing them in such a manner, and probably scoffed at his message, and ridiculed his earnest entreaties, as a mark of weakness and enthusiasm.
7. They were, however, actually destroyed, according to the prediction of Lot, and buried in the ruins of the city. No sooner had Lot arrived at the little city of Zoar, which was appointed for his rcfuge, than the Lord rained brimstone and fire out of Heaven upon them. They were seized with consternation, terror, and despair. Repentance was in vain. They were consumed, by the devouring element above, and the ground, on which these abominable cities were built, sunk beneath them, and was changed into a dead sea, which remains to the present day.
8. Those sons-in-law of Lot, perished by their own folly. Even after the city was doomed to destruction, an opportunity was granted them, to escape. They were apprized of their danger, and were told that the city would be destroyed ; but they disregarded. They had an important price put into their hands ; but they were fools, and had no disposition to improve it. They despised and wondered, and therefore perished by their own folly. I proceed,
II. To shew that the situation, conduct, and destruction of Lot's sons-in-law, are striking emblems of the situation, conduct, and destruction of the ungodly and finally impenitent.
This will appear, from the following considerations.
1. The impenitent live in a wicked world ; a world, whose inhabitants, although greatly favored of God,