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world. Where there is a fault in the heart, there will always be fault in the life. And if the word of God is not believed on in the heart unto righteousness, the outward acts of obedience and confession unto salvation will always be wanting in some point. It might .seem a small act of sin to be punished for, to be lost for one look behind her. But the smallest act is sufficient to prove what the heart is. Had her heart been weaned from the cities and their iniquity, her face would not have been turned to them. Had her affections been on what was put before her in God's salvation, and His promises, she would not have looked behind her, but reached forth to the things set before her.
And so it ever is, a faulty heart will lead to a faulty life, and disobedience to God's word, is the result of unbelief in that word. It may seem a small sin to be the ruin of the soul, that it has not placed all hopes in the “righteousness of faith,”—in the merits of Christ, especially when men have a zeal of God, and are earnest in establishing their own righteousness. But the truth is ever in such cases, there is something wrong in the heart that leads to this wrong way of seeking life. There is a pride which will not stoop to God's way of saving, or there is a self-righteous spirit that will not
submit, or a worldliness that will not be given up. And this too, accounts for those who seem to go a great way in religion, and then after all, look back to the world they seemed to leave, and are drawn again into its sins, and into its damnation. They never walked in God's appointed way of salvation, and never did really use those means which would have made them safe, because their heart was not yet where it should be, and God's word not believed on with the heart unto righteousness. Hence it is said, “No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke ix. 62.)
Thus then, do we learn how great is our need to remember Lot's wife.
If our religion be a thing of name and not a matter of heart, we have need to remember her who went so great a way with the righteous, and yet after all, was destroyed with the ungodly. Take heed that your heart be affected with the things of God, and not your mind and understanding only. See that your faith be a real act of laying hold on Christ and His promises, and not a barren assent to the truth, or unfruitful knowledge of His grace. See that the Spirit of Christ acts as great a part as your own spirit in all your devotions and religious exercises ; that your prayers be in spirit and truth ; and that the Spirit help your infirmities also in your reading and hearing of God's word.
If any be undecided in the matter of giving up themselves to the Lord,—if any waver between the world and God,-if any be waiting for a more convenient season to live wholly for God, then let such remember Lot's wife, and take heed, lest while thus looking back with lustful heart to the world, they be cut off in their sins, and one lingering look shall be their ruin.
And if any are growing lukewarm or cold in God's ways,-if any seem to make no progress, but, if anything, to go back in things spiritual, let them also remember Lot's wife, and fear. They may not yet have turned back, but their next temptation will be to do
The word is to them, and let them fear disobedience to it, “Escape for thy life, look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain, escape, lest thou be consumed.”
PRAYER O Lord God, who hast graciously given me warning by the examples of thy word, I ask for grace to profit by thy warnings.
Lord, thou hast set before me a way to escape the wrath to come, thou hast commanded me to flee for my life. But, O Lord, how strong are the temptations to linger, to lust after the world, and to disobey thy word. Therefore do I come to thee for grace, that I may resist these temptations, and may
not look behind me. Turn away mine eyes, O Lord, from beholding vanity, and quicken me in thy way. Keep my heart, and fix my faith on the Lord Jesus, that I may count all things but loss, for the excellency of His knowledge,that I may be willing to lose all things for Him,—that I may win Him, and be found in Him.
Grant that I may never look back with longing eye, on anything thou dost command me to leave. Teach me more and more to forget those things that are behind, and to reach forth to those things that are before. Leave me not, O Lord, though I be tempted to leave thee. Draw me, and I will run after thee. Lead me by the right way, till I come to the heavenly Sion, through Jesus Christ my Saviour. AMEN.
JUST LOT DELIVERED.
“And Abraham gat up early in the morning to
the place where he stood before the Lord : “And he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah,
and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the country went
up as the smoke of a furnace. “And it came to pass, when God destroyed the
cities of the plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the milst of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cities in the which Lot dwelt." Gen. xix. 27-29.
A DISMAL sight was this for Abraham! Where lately had stood large numbers of massive buildings, long walls, lofty houses, mansions of the great, streets, and rows of dwellingplaces for the people, there now was beheld nothing but the last embers of a mighty conflagration, beneath which were buried the ruins of these great cities, and above which was ascending up to heaven the last offensive savour of iniquity—the smoke of that furnace which had done such work of destruction. Where lately had been heard the din and