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he hath done and suffered, is one principal reason why you set nothing by him. Consider how provoking this must needs be to God the Father, who has given his only begotten Son for your salvation ; and what wrath it merits from the Son whom you thus treat. And consider how you will hereafter bear this wrath,
Consider that however Christ be set at nought by you, yet he shall be the head of the corner, and that even with respect to you. Though you set him low, yet he shall be exalted with respect to you. It is but a vain thing for you to make light of Christ and treat him with contempt. How much soever you contemn him, you cannot break his bands asunder, nor cast his cords from you. You will still be in his hands. While you despise Christ, God will despise you, and the Lord will have you in derision. God will set his king on his holy hill of Zion in spite of all his enemies ; Psalm ii. 1.....6. Though you say we will not have this man to reign over us, yet Christ will rule over you ; Psalm cx, 2. "Rule thou in the midst of thine enemies." If you will not submit to the sceptre of his grace, you shall be subject to the rod of his wrath, and he will rule you with a rod of iron ; Psalm ii. 9, 10, 11, 12,
3. You may hence be led to see how worthless many of those things in yourselves are, that you have been ready to make much of. Particularly if it be so that you set nothing by all the glory of Christ, then what are those desires that you have after Christ good for? And that willingness that you think you
find to come to Christ?.... Sinners are often wont to excuse themselves in their unbelief with this, that they see not but that they are willing to come to Christ, and would gladly come to him if they could, and have great desires to come to him. And they make much of such a willingness and such desires, as though God were unjust to punish them for not coming to Christ, when they would gladly come to Christ if they could. But this doctrine shows that your willingness and desires to come to Christ are not worthy to be mentioned as any excuse : For they are not from any respect
VOL. VII. 3 I
to Christ, but are merely forced : You at the same time sot Christ at nought; or set nothing by all his excellency and glory.
So you may hence learn the worthlessness of all your pairs and endeavors after Christ. When sinners have taken a great deal of pains to get an interest in Christ, they are wont to make a righteousness of it; little considering that at the very time they are taking so much pains to get an interest in Christ, they set nothing at all by Christ for any glory or excellency that there is in him ; but set him wholly at nought, and seek him out of respect to their own interest.
4. Hence learn how justly God might for ever refuse to give you an interest in Christ. For why should God give you any part or interest in him whom you set at nought, all whose glory and excellency you value not in the least, but rather trample it under your feet, and prefer the dirt before it.
Why should God ever give you any interest in him whom you so despise ? Seeing you despise him, how justly might you be obliged to go without any interest in him! How justly might you be refused any part in that precious stone, whose preciousness you make no account of, and esteem no more than that of the stones of the street !.... Is God obliged to cast such a pearl before swine who will trample it under their feet? Is God obliged to make you possessors of his infinitely glorious and dear Son, when at the same time you count him not worth the having, for the sake of any worth or excellency that there is in him ; but merely because you cannot escape hell without him ?
The Folly of Looking Back in fleeing out of Sodom,
LUKE xvii. 32.
REMEMBER LOT'S WIFE.
CHRIST is here foretelling his coming in his kingdom in answer to the question whịch the Pharisees asked him, viz. When the kingdom of God should come, And in what he says
of his coming, he evidently has respect to two things, his coming at the destruction of Jerusalem, and his coming to the general judgment at the end of the world. He compares his coming at those times to the coming of God in two remarka. ble judgments that were past ; first, to that in the time of the flood ; " and as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of Man." Next, he compares it to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah ; " likewise also, as it was in the days of Lot, even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.”
Then he immediately proceeds to direct his people how they should behave themselves at the appearance of the signal of the approach of that day, referring especially to the de. struction of Jerusalem. “ In that day, he which shall be up. on the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: And he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back.” In which words Christ shows that they should make the utmost haste to flee and get out of the
Dated May 1736.
city to the mountains, as he commands. Matth. xxiv, 15. &c, « When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet stand in the holy place, then let them which be in Judea flee to the mountains ; let kiin which is in the housetop not come down to take any thing out of the house, neither let him which is in the field turn back to take his clothes."
Jerusalem was like Sodom, in that it was devoted to de. struction, by special divine wrath, as that was; and indeed ta a more terrible destruction than Sodom was. Therefore the like direction is given concerning fleeing out of it with the ut. most haste, without looking behind, as the angel gave to Lot, when he bid him flee out of Sodom. Gen. xix. 17. " Escape for thy life ; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain.”...And in the text Christ enforces his counsel by the instance of Lot's wife, He bids them remember her, and take warning by her, who looked back as she was fleeing out of Sodom, and became a pillar of salt,
If it be inquired why Christ gave this direction to his people to flee out of Jerusalem, in such exceeding haste, at the first notice of the signal of her approaching destruction ; I answer, it seems to be, because fleeing out of Jerusalem was a type of fleeing out of a state of sin. Escaping out of that unbelieving city typified an escape out of a state of unbelief. Therefore they were directed to flee without staying to take any thing out of their houses, to signify with what haste and greatness of concern we should fee out of a natural condition, that no respect to any worldly enjoyment should prevent or delay us one moment, and that we should flee to Jesus Christ, the refuge of souls, our strong rock, and the mount of our de: fence, so as in fleeing to him, to leave and forsake heartily all earthly things.
This seems to be the chief reason also why Lot was directed to make such haste, and not to look behind; because his fleeing out of Sodom was designed on purpose to be a type of our fleeing from that state of sin and misery in which we nat; prally are.
We ought not to look back when we are Aeeing out of Sodom...... The following reasons may be sufficient to support this doctrine:
1. That Sodom is a city fullof filthiness and abominations. It is a filthy and abominable city ; it is full of those impuri. ties that are worthy to be had in the utmost abhorrence and detestation by all. The inhabitants of it are a polluted company, they are all under the power and dominion of hateful lusts. All their faculties and affections are polluted with those vile dispositions that are unworthy of the human nature, that greatly debase it, that are exceedingly hateful to God and dreadfully incense his anger. Every kind of spiritual abomination abounds in it : In Sodom there is all filthiness that can be thought of. There is nothing so hateful and abominable but that there it is to be found, and there it abounds.
Sodom is a city full of devilsand all unclean spirits ; there they have their rendezvous, and there they have their domin. ion. There they and those that are like unto them, do sport and wallow themselves in filthiness, as it is said of mystical Babylon, Rev. xviii. 2. Babylon, is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and the cage of every unclean and hateful bird : Who would be of such a society? Who would not flee from such a city with the utmost haste, and never look back upon it, and never have the least inclination of returning, or having any thing to do there any more!
Some in Sodom may seem to cary a fair face, and make a fair outward show; but if we could look into their hearts, they are every one altogether filthy and abominable. We ought to flee from such a city, with the utmost abhorrence of the place and society, with no desires to dwell longer there, and never to discover the least inclination to return to it; bot