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be understood as a sign or prophetic figure of the. future destruction of the world by fire, together with the deliverance of the faithful after the example of Lot. This history is referred to in the 11th Psalm, where the wicked are threatened With fire and brimstone to be rained upon them from the Lord, as formerly upon Sodom. St. Jude'm his Epistle warns us that Sodom and Gomorrah are set forth Jor an example *, suffering the vengeance of eternalfire. And that short admonition of our Saviour, in one of his discourses, Remember Lot's Wife, teaches us what we ought to learn from the particulars of the story; that as the world shalj be destroyed by fire like Sodom, so a remnant shall be saved by the divine mercy; and that of those who are taken by the hand to follow their deliverer' and to fee from the wrath to come (which is another allusion to the same event) some shall turn back in their hearts and affections toward this wicked world, and so be unfit for the kingdom of God: a circumstance which should be thought upon with fear and trembling: for consider bow that unbelieving soul, by favouring what was evil, lost all that was good, when it was in her power to. escape ; as they will not /ail to do, who.either disbeHeye God's judg
,« ment ment upon the world, or think the world undeserving of it, and so take part with the wicked against the justice of God. When times and places are evil, and wickedness prevails with a high hand,- the universality and power of corruption is dreadful to think of. When the world was drowned,/^, that is, eight Souls only were saved in the ark; and when Sodom was overthrown, a small remnant only were delivered; whence we are to expect, that as it was in the days of Lot, so shall it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed: confidence in this world, and insolent disregard of truth and godliness shall generally prevail, and few indeed shall be left to receive him and escape with him when this Sodom wherein we now live shall be visited.
From a likeness of character in the Jewish people when they became abominable in their sins, the name of Sodom is given to their city, and they are threatened with the same fate. Hear the word of the Lord, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God ye people of Gomorrah; saith the prophet Isaiah *. The prophet's message is to Judah and Jerusalem; the rulers and people of which being fallen into great corruption, and strengthening themK 2 selves
* Chap. i. 10.
selves in their wickedness, are addressed by the prophet as the rulers and the people of the abominable Sodom; and he pronounces that they would have met with the judgment of Sodom, but for the sake of the faithful who were si ill left amongst them, such as Abraham hoped to find when he interceded for Sodom: except the Lord of Hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and ice should have been like unto Gomorrah *, that is, as like unto them in their punishment as they were in their manners. And now we shall see the reason why the Evangelist in the book of Revelation speaks of a great city, , , which spiritually is called Egypt and Sodom, where our Lord was crucified; for certainly our Lord was crucified at Jerusalem, and Jerulem for its apostacy and the judgment that was to overtake it, is called by these names in the prophets: though the passage as it stands in the Revelation may be extended from the example of Jerusalem to-the world at large.
I pass over the allegorical history of Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar, the bond-woman and the free, because it hath been so fully commented upon by the apostle as a figure of the Jewish and Christian covenants. I cannot add
* Isaiah i. 9.
to his explanation; and as I should be unwilling to contract it, I rather chuse to refer you to the consideration of it, as it stands in the fourth chapter of the epistle to the Galatians; and shall proceed to the deliverance of Israel out of Egypt, which is one of the most interesting and edifying histories of scripture; as it gives us an example of all the dangers, temptations and deliverances that can happen in the life of man, during his progress and pilgrimage through the wilderness of this present world. For, in the first place, the translation of the church from Egypt to Canaan is applied in all its circumstances as a pattern of the translation of us Christians from the bondage of sin, to the enjoyment of our freedom in the kingdom of Christ. Out of Egypt, saith God by the prophet, have I called my son * : a declaration which is as truly verified in every child of God at this day, as when Israel was delivered from Pharaoh, and when the infant Jesus was brought back in safety from Egypt to his own kingdom and people.
Thus the redemption of the people of God from Egypt as a sign of a greater and more universal redemption, is a doctrine with which few readers of the scripture can be unacK 3 quajnted. * Hosea Xi. I.
quainted. The prophets warned the people not to rest in the. redemption that was past, but to look.for another, and that so much more excellent in its nature, that the former should in a manner be forgotten in comparison of it: Remember not the former thing, neither consider the tilings of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, saith the Lord, I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert *. He promised also in one of the psalms, that he would bring his own people again from the depths of the sea; which can signify nothing but that universal redemption from sin and death in which all the nations of the world have an equal interest: because this Psalm is not addressed to the Jews, but to all the kingdoms of the earth; and is applied by the apostle to the victory of Jesus Christ over death, and to the miraculous gifts bestowed on the first preachers of the gospel f: so there can be no doubt as to the intention of the expression in question; it must have the same signification in figure as is expressed in the letter at v. 20.—to the Lord our God be* long the issues from death.
But the figurative application of the history of the Exodus is much plainer in the new testament.
* Jsaiahxlii. 18. f Compare Psalm lxviii. 18. and Ephesians iv. 8..