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"Haste thee, escape thither, for I cannot do any 66 thing till thou be come thither. Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar," that is, the little city.
Thus, in times of public calamity, there is often some little Zoar provided for them that love God, where they are wonderfully preserved from the judgements that fall on their country and their kindred. The Roman armies, which surrounded Jerusalem to execute on it the vengeance predicted, drew off, in an unaccountable manner, as if their design had been to give the Christians, contained within its walls, an opportunity of withdrawing to a little adjoining city, called Pella, which proved a Zoar to them, from whence they beheld the Roman eagles fly again to the destined prey, to be left no more till they had devoured it. And what is the church upon earth, but a Zoar, a little city (is it not a little one?) spared at the intercession of its Lord? Here the penitent, not yet strong enough to escape to the heavenly mountain, findeth rest and refreshment, and is invi gorated to pursue his journey. Hither let him escape, and his soul shall live.
But let him bear in mind, that in making his escape, perseverance alone can secure him. "He "that endureth to the end," and he only, "shall be "saved." Of the four who left Sodom, one perished by the way, in heart and affection turning back to the forsaken city. Within sight of Zoar stands a pillar of salt, "the monument," saith the author of the book of Wisdom, "of an unbelieving soul'." No 1 Chap. x. 7.
man having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God"."
"member Lot's wife","
The hour was now come, when Sodom, the gay, the haughty Sodom, should be no more. "The sun "was risen upon the earth, when Lot entered into "Zoar. Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and 66 upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord "out of heaven. And he overthrew those cities, "and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the "cities, and that which grew upon the ground." In this manner, to use the words of the above-cited author, "When the ungodly perished, wISDOM deli"vered the righteous man, who fled from the fire "which fell upon the cities, of whose wickedness, even to this day, the waste land that smoketh is a "testimony, and plants bearing fruit that never come "to ripeness."
"As it was in the days of Lot, so shall it be also "in the days of the Son of man";" when that last morning shall dawn, and the Sun of Righteousness shall arise in glorious majesty upon the earth. No sooner shall he make his appearance, than the heavens, being on fire at his presence, shall be dissolved, and pass away with a great noise; the earth also, with the works that are therein, shall be burnt up. Then shall be fulfilled that which was spoken by the Psalmist, in terms evidently borrowed from the history before us: "Upon the ungodly he shall rain fire and
brimstone, storm and tempest; this shall be their " portion?." And it may be observed that St. John, at the conclusion of his prophecy, describing the destruction of the ungodly, referreth likewise to the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah, which, as St. Jude informeth us, "are set forth for an exam
ple," or figure, "suffering the vengeance of eter"nal fire." In the xxth chapter of the Revelation, we view the Antichristian powers making war against the church, "encompassing the camp of the saints, "and the beloved city," the habitation of the great King, as the men of Sodom surrounded the house where the sacred guests were lodged. After which it is said " And fire came down from God out of "heaven, and devoured them. And the devil that "deceived them, was cast into the LAKE OF FIRE
AND BRIMSTONE," an expression plainly alluding to the LAKE Asphaltites, or the Dead Sea, "where "the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be "tormented day and night for ever and ever." What Sodom is, the world shall be: and the last day when we shall arise, and look towards the place where its enchanting pleasures and delights, its dazzling beauties and glories, once existed, as " Abraham arose in "the morning, and looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the cities of the plain,' we shall behold a sight like that which presented itself to the patriarch, "the smoke of the country going up as the smoke of a furnace!"
But the same all-gracious and merciful God, who,
"when he destroyed the cities of the plain, remem"bered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of "the overthrow," when he shall destroy this place wherein we dwell, will remember the true Abraham, "the Father of us all," our dear Redeemer and Intercessor; and, for his sake, if we now repent and believe in him, will save us, in that day, from the ruins of a burning world, and from those fires which are never to be extinguished; that so, being delivered from the wrath to come, and admitted to a participation of the felicities of his kingdom, we may there, with angels and archangels, and the whole company of the redeemed, glorify him for his mercy, through the endless ages of a blessed eternity; ascribing, as is due, to the most holy and adorable Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, three persons co-equal and co-eternal, all honour and power, might, majesty, and dominion, for ever and ever.
THE SINNER CALLED.
EPHESIANS, V. 14.
Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead; and Christ shall give thee light.
WE are now in the midst of that hallowed season, when the church, by the voice of all her holy services, calleth the world to repentance, from the ris-: ing of the sun to the going down thereof. And if ever there was an institution calculated to promote the glory of God by forwarding the salvation of man, it is this appointment of a certain set time for all persons to consider their ways, to break off their sins, and to return from whence they have fallen through the infirmities of the flesh and the prevalence of temptation. For though most certain it is, that sorrow should be the constant attendant upon sin, and daily transgressions call for daily penitence, yet fatal experience convinces us of another truth no less certain, that in a body so frail, and a world so corrupt, cares and pleasures soon oppress the heart, and insensibly bring on the slumbers of listlessness and negligence as to its spiritual concerns, which,