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when God arose and slew the wealthier of them.
people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play,' says St. Paul; and there fell of them that day about three thousand men,' by a fearful judgment of God. Yea, the very sin of Sodom is said to have been indulgence and fulness of bread at first,-Epicurism naturally leading into all debauchery and excess. Whether, therefore, you dig your grave with your teeth, and entomb in your own bowels that which should be the support of your family and of the poor; or whether, to indulge the lust of the flesh, or only to please and countenance your carnal acquaintance, you can spend the best part of a day in pouring drink-offerings into the shrine of Belial which you carry about you; St. Paul describes your sins, and tells you your danger, in Phil. iii. 18: 'For many walk, of whom 1 have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.' Observe the words, whose end is destruction.' Walk on then, O man, according to the desire of thy heart, the lust of thy eye, and the way of the world; pull down the judgments of a righteous God upon the land, upon thy family, and thyself, by the cords of surfeiting, drunkenness, or indulgence; 'but remember, that for all these things, God will bring thee to judgment.' O might we all, on this grand day of humiliation, humble ourselves, call for the atoning blood of Jesus Christ, and be washed from this iniquity, before it be our eternal ruin of body and soul.
6. I cannot pass in silence the detestable, though fashionable sin, which, joined to the last I spoke against, has brought down the curse of Heaven, and poured desolation and ruin upon the most flourishing kingdoms: I mean, pride in apparel. Atter the fall, God gave our first parents coats to cover their shame, but their children use them to declare their pride: and even in this place, where poverty, hard labour, and drudgery, would, one should think, prevent a sin, which Christianity cannot
tolerate even in kings' houses, there are not wanting fool. ish virgins who draw iniquity with cords of vanity, and betray the levity of their hearts by that of their dress. Yea, some women that should be mothers in Israel, and that should adorn themselves with good works as holy and godly matrons, openly affect the opposite character. You may see them offer themselves first to the idol vanity, and then sacrifice their children upon the same altar. As some sons of Belial teach their little ones to curse, before they can well speak; so these daughters of Jezebel drag their unhappy offspring (before they can well walk) to the haunts of vanity and pride. They complain, perhaps, of evening lectures, but run to midnight dancings. If you believe them, it is almost abominable, to meet a minister, to seek the Lord, and sing his praises; but they can, with a good conscience, meet a harper, and, at the sound of his harp, make their children go through the fire of Vanity, that Moloch of our days! O that such persons would let the prophet's words sink into their frothy minds, and fasten upon their careless hearts: Because the daughters of Sion are haughty,' says the Lord, and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, the Lord will smite with a sore the crown of their head, and discover their shame: Instead of well-set hair, there shall be baldness, and burning instead of beauty.' Nor will the punishment stop here; for this abominable sin of vanity and pride calls for the judgments of God upon the whole nation that indulge it; and therefore the prophct adds immediately: Thy men shall fall by the sword, and thy gates shall lament and mourn.' (Isai. iii. 25.) Thus, this fashionable sin, which the God of this world represents as a piece of good-breeding, according to God's words, will end in burning for those who commit and encourage it, and in destruction for the city or kingdom that suffers it, if speedy reformation, and the intercession of Christ, do not prevent the operations of the avenging sword.
7. Will you give me leave, my brethren, to lay Before you another mark which shows that the man on
whom it is found is certainly wicked' before God, though in the account of men he may be religious and upright;—I mean no less a sin than that of perjury, which implies, first taking an oath rashly, and then breaking it wickedly. I question whether any thing under heaven can be more solemn than taking an oath, and any thing on this side hell more abominable than falsifying it. And yet, what is more common ! How many perjured persons do the flaming eyes of Almighty God see throughout the kingdom! 'Because of swearing the land mourneth,' said a prophet of old; but had he lived in our degenerate days, be would have added, 'because of perjury the land groaneth.' To go no farther than that spot which we inhabit;-how many of us, who have been from time to time entrusted with public offices, have wilfully broken the oaths administered unto us; I shall not say in one, but perhaps in a hundred instances ! How many open and notorious drunkards, fighters, sabbath-breakers, blasphemers of God's word, cursers of men, and other notorious sinners have escaped deserved censure, I shall not say by the accidental neglect, but by the downright perjury of officers! And if those that should repress wickedness make no conscience of breaking their oath, that is, of committing themselves the greatest piece of wickedness under heaven, how will they make conscience of repressing lesser abominations in others! Nor does the generality of this atheistical and damnable sin make it more excusable in the sight of God. It would have been no excuse for Satan, or for the inhabitants of Sodom, to say that they hoped their rebellion was trifling, because thousands of wicked angels, or wicked men, shared in it. And it will be no cloak for the forsworn person to say, "I am not alone, and, if perjury be a damning sin, God help us all!" The very Heathen have punished perjury with death; and how the righteous God will punish it in professed Christians, I leave you to infer from these words of the prophet, I turned and lift up my eyes,' says he, and behold a flying roll. And he said unto me, What seest thou? And I an
swered, I see a flying roll, the length whereof is twenty cubits, and the breadth thereof ten cubits. Then said he unto me, This is the curse that goeth forth over the face of the whole earth; for every one that sweareth shall be cut off according to it. I will bring it forth, saith the Lord: It shall enter into the house of him that sweareth falsely by my name, and it shall remain in the midst of his house, and shall consume it, with the timber thereof, and the stones thereof.' If you want to know what that roll of cursing is, according to which the perjured sinner shall be cut off, I answer, that it includes all the plagues written in the Book of God. "So help me God," says he who takes an oath; and then he bows and kisses the Bible: That is to say, "Let God so truly help me, according to the promises of this book, as I will be true to my oath;" which implies that if he falsify it, he prays that all the lamentations, curses, and woes, written in that book, may fall upon his perjured head: And the angry God will answer his horrible prayer, if the perjurer do not speedily repent of his sin, and seek shelter in the wounds of a crucified Saviour.
8. For the sake of brevity, I shall crowd into another article many classes of wicked men; as the day would be too short to give you a particular account of their guilt and danger.
At the head of these I would put the hypocrites; they that appear, or try to appear to be godly, out of vain glory and for private interest, or some selfish and sordid end. These are the very spawn of the crooked Serpent, and, like him, attempt to transform themselves into angels of light, in order more effectually to promote the interests of the kingdom of darkness. From these pests may God deliver our church and state! These bring a curse upon us, as Achan did upon the Israelites of old. If any such be here, may the dagger of conviction make a wound in their seared consciences, and pierce their callous hearts!
Next to these, I would put enthusiasts; that is to say, those people who dare to talk of the workings of
the Spirit of God on their minds and hearts, when yet, by their words or works, they show that they are possessed by the spirit of pride and malice, or of covetousness and lust, in short, by the spirit of the Devil. Wherever God begins to work, Satan will counterwork; and he does it, often by dressing up some of his children as Christians, teaching them something of the language of Canaan, and then putting them upon doing the works of darkness, that the children of the world may conclude that all pretenders to the workings of God's Spirit are either fools or knaves, mere enthusiasts, and no better than these deceived ones. O let none of us countenance these first-born of Satan: Let us try to detect them, and turn out the wicked from among us; lest they make spiritual Christians stink for ever, in the nostrils of them that are without, and bring a curse upon us and our Church.
Next to these, I would place the followers of Judas and Demas;-people who make profession of Christianity, come to church, are strict in some points, and regularly receive the bread and cup at the altar. They kiss our Saviour with their lips, as Judas; but they hug the bag in their hearts. They call themselves Churchmen, as Demas; but they love this present world. These 'wicked' persons, though they do not pretend to spiritual Christianity, yet because they pretend to Christianity in general, shall have their portion appointed them with hypocrites, unless their hearts be wounded by true repentance, and healed by the balmy blood of the Saviour.
In the fourth rank, you may place all the busy agents of the Devil. And who are these? I answer,-(1.) All lying, envious, spiteful, wrathful, revengeful people:(2.) All those who speak evil of any one, unless in order to give necessary cautions and useful information to Magistrates, Ministers, and Officers :-(3.) All those that fight, quarrel, or willingly live at variance with any The Christian has many enemies; but is himself an enemy to none. If at any time he speaks of the