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friendship of the LORD God. And if, after all our supplications, we see his judgements in the world; nay, even if we suffer by them ourselves, let us acquiesce in Abraham's sentiment, that the Judge of all the earth doeth right, on which we may build a confident hope, that what is a punishment to the wicked, will ultie mately prove a blessing to the righteous.

It is plain from the expression, the LORD went his way after he had done talking with Abraham, that this was no visionary scene, but a real transaction.

SECTION XXIII.

THE DESTRUCTION OF SODOM AND GOMORR AĦ.

From Genesis, Chap. xix.

And there came two Angels to Sodom at even ; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them, rose up to meet them : and he bowed himself with his face towards the ground; and he said, behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, unto your servant's house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall: rise up early, and go on your ways.

And they said, Nay, but we will abide in the street. all night. And he pressed upon them greatly ; and. they turned in unto him, and entered into his house : and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat.

But before they lay down, the men of Sodom com. passed the house sound, both old and young, all the

people

people from every quarter. "And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are those men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto 08..

And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him, and said, I pray you brethren, do BOE so wickedly.

And they said, Stand back. And they said again, This one fellow.came in to sojourn, and he will needs. be a judge : Now wilt we deal worse with thee than with them. And they pressed sore upon the many eren upon Lot, and came near to break the door.

But the Angels put forth their hands, and, polled Lot into the house to them, and shut the door. And they smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great :: 80 that they wearied themselves to find the door.

And the Angels said unto Lot, Hast, thou, here any besides ? Sons in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place ; for we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the LORD: and the LORD hath sent us to destroy it.

And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and sait, Up, get ye out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city : but he seemed as one that mocked, unto, his suns in law.

And when the morning arose, then the Angels hase tened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters which are here, lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city.

And while he lingered, the Angels laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the Lord being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.

. And

And it came to pass, that when they had brought them forth abroad, that He said, Escape for thy life ; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain ; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.

And Lot said unto him, Oh! not so my LORD.. Behold now, thy servant hath found grace in thy sight, and thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou hast shewed unto

me in saving my life : and. I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me and I die.

Behold now, this city is near to flee unto, and it is a little one : Oh let me escape thither, is it not a little one ? and my soul shall live.

And He said unto him, see I have accepted thee concerning this thing also, that I will not overthrow this city, for the which thou hast spoken. Haste thee, escape thither, for I cannot do any thing till thou be come hither.

T'herefore the name of the city was called Zoar. The sun was risen' upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar,

Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and 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.

But Lot's wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.

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 behold, 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

Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when he over. threw the cities in the which Lot dwelt.

And Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountain, and his two daughters with him, for he feared to dwell in Zoar; and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters.

And the first born bare him a son, and called his dame Moab; he was the father of the Moabites : and the younger she also bare a son, and called his name Benammi ; the same was the father of the children of Ammon.

ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS. - From comparing this section with the foregoing one, we may know, that the Angels who came to Lot were the same who had accompanied the LORD to Abraham's tent.

Of the nature and office of Angels we can form no perfect conception, for they are invisible to us at present; our ideas of them must be collected from the Scriptures, which acquaint us, that, in comparison of the LORD God, they are imperfect beings*: that they are appointed as guardians to good ment; that they conduct departed souls to paradise $ ; that they desire the welfare of mankind ♡ ; and will, at the last day, be employed in separating the wicked from the good. We are also taught, that Angels are not to be worshipped ||.

Lot, as well as Abraham, supposed, from the form in which the Angels appeared, that they were men; and he was equally ready to shew courtesy to them, which they (purposely, as we may suppose) give him an opportunity of doing, that the goodness of God might be

* Job iv, 18. Matt. xxiv, 36. Heb. i. 4, 13. + Ps..lj. i1. Matt. xviii. 10. Heb. i. 14. Luke xyi. 22. Luke ii. 15. xv. 10. Rev. xix, 10, xxii. 8, 9.

vindicated,

.

vindicated, in saving a man, who utterly disclaimed the crimes, which brought Divine judgmetits on the nativet of the place

So great was the licentiousness of the inhabitants of Sodom, and its environs, that the weary traveller could not be invited to take refreshment in a private house, without being subject to the insults of a rade rabble. All that Lot could do towards protecting the strangers that came in co lodge with him, was, to expose himself to tre outrages of his wicked neighbours, which he did without hesitation. His heavenly guests, who were sent to save him, delivered him out of their hands, and. punished his impious adversaries, as their crimes de

. .. served.

Sodom, and the cities and country connected with it, were notorious for many sins. The prophet Ezekiel informs ust, that their iniquity consisted in pride, luxury, idleness, and want of charity to the poor, That the inhabitants were haughty, and abominable for the most detestable vices, and there was no good practised by them.

It seems that Lot did not make such expedition to depart, as the exigency of the case required. Perhaps he was solicitous to preserve his goods; but his angelic. friends hastened him and his family away, and conducted them safely out of the city: here the commission of the heavenly messengers ended; for we find it said in the next verse, that “when they had brought them forth “ abroad, He said, escape for thy life," &c. ; and by Lot's: answer it is evident, that the LORD manifested HIMSELF to him, and received the prayer, which would have been very improperly addressed to the Angels.

We are nct to suppose from the expression, “ I cannot : “ do any thing, &c." that God's power was limited. It * 2 Pet. ii. 7, 8.

'+ Ezek. xvi. 49,&c.

refers

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