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contempt of God's threatnings; he dares the thunder of heaven, and bids defiance to the tempest which threatens him.

3. The evil from which Lot's wife was warned to escape, was the destruction of her city. This was the declaration of the angels, “ We will destroy this place, because the cry of it is waxen great, and the Lord hath sent us to destroy it.” It was a temporal destruction, from which she was commanded to flee. Jude in

“ Sodom and Gomorrha are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.” The fire which consumed these cities is called eternal, because it gave them a total overthrow, and they never could be restored; as it was said of Amalek, “ His end shall be that he perish forever”—and as it was said of the idolatrous city ; " It shall be burnt with fire, and shall be an heap forever, and shall never be built again.”

The destruction from which the gospel warns sinners to flee, is more terrible than this. It is the vengeance of eternal fire ; not in the sense in which the fire of Sodom was so called, because it made an end of the subject; but in a more solemn and awful sense, because it will burn for ever, and none can quench it-neither the sufferers will die, nor the flames be extinguished.

4. The destruction of which this woman was warned, was near at hand. There was, in her case, no time for debate or delay. What she had to do, she must do immediately. The angels declared, that God had sent them to destroy the city; and they were now come on the busir.ess. They did not fix the moment when execution was to begin; but they plainly signified that the day was come, and that before they left the ground, they should perform their work.

This circumstance in the case of Lot's wife, sinners in general ought to remember and apply.

God has not seen fit to inform you, how long his patience will wait on you; but he assures you, that there is only a day of salvation, a limited time of acceptance, and that this time is short. Your days are an hand-breadth; your age is as nothing. A few more giddy rounds of sin and pleasure will close this mortal scene, and put an eternal period to your space of repentance. If you should spin out the tender thread of life to its utmost extent, yet, in the review, it will appear to be what the Psalmist calls it, a span-vanity-nothing. You know not the time of your death. It may be nearer than you imagine. Lot's wife was allowed only one day to prepare for her flight. You cannot boast of so much. Your souls may this night be required of you. The destroying angel may be already on his way to your dwelling. The storm of brimstone and fire may be now gathering in your sky. Snares and destruction may, in a few hours, or moments, be rained on your guilty heads. “The day of the Lord so cometh, as a thief in the night; for when men shall say, peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them. But ye are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are the children of light and of the day. Therefore, sleep not as do others; but watch and be sober."

5. The warning sent to Lot's wife was not only given her plainly, but repeated to her, and pressed upon her earnestly and affectionately. “When the morning appeared, the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, who are here, lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city. And while he lingered, they laid hold on his hand, and on the hand of his wife, and on the hands of his two daughters, the Lord being merciful unto him, and they brought him forth and set him without the city, and said, Escape for thy life.”

As frequent and urgent are God's warnings to sinners in general. If he had only pointed out to them their danger and the way


escape, their inattention must have been without excuse, and their destruction must have been chargeable on themselves. But being merciful to them, and not willing that they should perish, he, from time to time, renews his applications to them, and urges them with compassionate vehemence. He warns them by his standing revelation, and the ordinary dispensations of his providence. He sends among them his ministers to instruct them in their duty, admonish them of their danger, and call them to repentance. He often orders events, in his providence, with a particular design to awaken and alarm them. To external means he

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adds the kind and seasonable motions of his good Spirit, by which convictions are awakened, warnings are impressed, and new resolutions are excited. Thus God takes them as by the hand, leads them without the devoted city, and commands them to escape for their lives. While they linger, he still strives with them, and urges their flight. With some, yea, with most sinners, he strives repeatedly. He begins with them early, even in the morning of youth; and he stretches out his hand to them all the day long. This is the language of Divine mercy, “How shall I give you up, and deliver you to deserved destruction? How shall I make you as Admah, and set you as Zeboim ? My heart is turned within me; my repentings are kindled together.” “Turn ye, turn ye, for why will ye die? I have no pleasure in your death; wherefore turn and live." “Repent and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.” After an unavailing repetition of his calls and warnings to sinners, he speaks as one desirous of their repentance, but in doubt what further

"O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? O Judah, what shall I do unto thee? For thy goodness is as the morning cloud; as the early dew it goeth away.”

Such were the warnings given to Lot's wife; and these are worthy to be remembered and applied; for the same, yea, more solemn warnings, are given to others, and they who despise these are doomed to a more marvellous destruction.

I proceed to say,

II. This woman was not only warned of her danger, but instructed how she might escape it.

Let us recollect the instructions which were given her. When the angels had brought Lot and his family without the city, they said to him, “ Escape for thy life, look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain ; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.” When Lot, doubting whether he could reach the mountain, begged that he might find security in a little city near at hand, he received this condescending answer; “See, I have accepted thee in this thing also, that I will not overthrow this city, for which thou hast spoken : Haste thee, escape thither."

Here are several things which deserve notice.

1. You ought to remember, that Lot’s wife was to flee from Sodom, leaving her substance and her friends. Your flight must be like her's.

If you would save your souls, you must renounce your sins. As Lot's family were to leave this guilty city, lest they should be consumed in it, so you must renounce your sinful course of life, lest you perish in that. Pride, luxury, and idleness, or any other sin, indulged and cherished, will be as fatal here, as they were in Sodom. The apostle, speaking of the abominations of the heathen, says, " Come out from among them, and be ye separate, and touch not the unclean thing. Cleanse yourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”

Sodom was a place of great riches. Lot's family forsook all they had, to save their lives. We must also renounce the world. We must mortify our inordinate affections, shun every dishonest and unworthy art, dismiss all anxiety and solicitude about the events of time, and seek first the kingdom of God.

Lot's wife probably was a native of Sodom. There, she had many relatives and friends, sons-in-law who married her daughters and children too of her own flesh. The angels say to Lot, “ Take thy daughters, which are here,” intimating that there were others elsewhere. These she was to leave behind. In like manner Christ requires those, who would be his disciples, to forsake all and follow him. He who loveth father or mother more than him is not worthy of him; and he who forsaketh not all that he hath, cannot be his disciple. The gospel, indeed, does not require us, under ordinary circumstances, to withdraw from our natural and civil connections; but when the friendship of the world is inconsistent with our duty to Christ, we are to renounce the former. And in no circumstances may we have fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but we must rather reprove them.

2. Lot's family were commanded to escape for their life.

The command, though given immediately to Lot, respected the whole family; one as much as another. The expression de

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notes great earnestness. All that a man hath will he give for his life. Let sinners remember, that their life, not the life of their bodies, but the life of their souls, is in hazard. Let them flee from the storm which pursues them. Let them take refuge in the mercy of God. That they may save their souls, they must exert themselves, as men who are struggling for their life. "Strive to enter in at the strait gate,” says our Lord, “ for many will seek to enter in and shall not be able.”

3. Lot's wife was forbidden to look behind her.

Sinners, remember this caution. It is as necessary in your case, as in her's. “He who putteth his hand to the plow and looketh back, is not fit for the kingdom of God.” If you are once convinced of the danger of a guilty state; if once you begin to realize the necessity of repentance and a religious life, then immediately obey these convictions and sentiments, and pursue them until you find their proper effects wrought in you. Indulge no self-flatteries, yield to no delays ; what your hands find to do, do it with your might. “Let your eyes look right on, and your eye-lids look strait before you; ponder the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established. Turn not to the right hand, nor to the left; remove your feet from evil.”

4. Remember and apply the caution farther given by the angel, stay not in all the plain. You must make no stops by the way, but continue your course without intermission. Run with patience the race set before you; run and be not weary, walk and faint not. Let your religion be, not an occasional, but a stated business, and make all your temporal concerns give way to this one thing needful.

This order, stay not in all the plain, imports, that the family of Lot were to make no stand, until they had reached the appointed place of safety. They who enter on a religious course, must continue in it with patience and perseverance; they must not reckon their life dear to them, that they may finish their course with joy; they must be faithful to the death, that they may receive the crown of life.

5. Remember, farther, God's great condescension to this family. When Lot expressed his fears, that he could not escape to the


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