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Moses indeed prayed for the People, and God did not deítroy them, though many of the Idolaters by his Appointment were Nain.
Moses bewailed their Idolatry, and said, O this People have finned a great Sin, v. 27, 28.- And the Lord plagued the People, because they made the Calf which Aaron made.
Surely the sad Examples of the Israelites herein, and the Manifestations of God's Wrath against them, should make all Men ever after afraid of worshiping even the true God by Means of any Images whatever.
It was the same Sort of Idolatry which Jeroboam, King of Israel established by his Authority. He took Counsel and made two Calves of Gold, and said unto them, (i. e. his Subjects) It is too much for you to go up lo Jerusalem: Behold thy Gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the Land of Egypt. And be set the one in Betbel, and the other put be in Dan. 1 Kings xii. 28, 29.
And thus did Jeroboam bring the Children of Ifrael to sin against the Lord their God.
And whoever, to express, or signify their Reverence or Worship of the most high God, shall
per• form Acts of Homage, Reverence, and Worship to any Image, molten, graven, or painted, is guilty of the like Idolatry.
God has, in very many Passages of his Word, threatned to punish Idolaters in the Day of his Visitation for Sin. And there are many Instances upon Record in the sacred Scriptures of his having done so ; and it concerns every one that is guilty of this Sin, to consider that Idolaters shall not inherit the Kingdom of God. 1 Cor. vi. 9.
IV. Proud Persons are another Sort whom the holy God has threatened to punish in the Day of his ViGitation for Sin.
Various is the Fuel for Pride, viz. fine Houses, the Ornaments for Apparel, Furniture, Gardens,
Riches, and Equipage, Beauty, Learning and Honour, and divers other Things.
Pride is a Man's overvaluing himself on Account of some natural, or acquired, or imaginary Gifts, or Excellencies; it is when a Man thinks of himself more highly than he ought to do.
Proud Persons are Idols to themselves, and Transgressors of the first Commandment, and have not that Love to God, that Reverence of him, or that Humility of Mind which are their Duty; and God admonishes them by awful Threatnings.
In Isaiah ii. 11, 12. the Prophet says, The lofty Looks of Man shall be humbled, and the Haughtiness of Men shall be bowed down, and the Lord alone fball be exalted in that Day. For the Day of the Lord of Hofts shall be upon every one that is proud and Lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up, and he shall be brought low. And in Confirmation of this it is added v. 17. And the Loftiness of Man shall be bowed down, and the Haughtiness of Men shall be made low : and the Lord alone Mall be exalted in that Day, i. e. in the Day wherein he visits for Sin.
And concerning Women it is declared in Isaiah iii. 16. Moreover the Lord faith, Because the Daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth Necks, and wanton Eyes, walking, and mincing as they go, therefore the Lord will smite with a Scab the Crown of the Head of the Daughters of Zion: v. 17
And the Prophet declares v. 18. In that Day (viz. of Visitation for Sin) the Lord will take away the Bravery of their Ornaments, and greatly affict them (read v. 18. to the End of v. 24.)
Pride goeth before Destruction, and an haughty Spia rit before a Fall, it is said Prov. xvi. 18.
The Prophet Ezekiel (in Ezek. xvi. 49.) faid to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, Behold this was the Iniquity of iby Sister Sodom, Pride, Fulness of Bread (i. e.
Luxury) and abundance of Idleness was in her, and in
This Example of the divine Vengeance (with the -ws that Threatnings mentioned, they who indulge them
selves in Pride, Luxury, and Idleness, have Reason to be afraid, when the righteous God executeth his Judgments for Sin.
V. Persons who are Lovers of Pleasures more than Lovers of God, are another Sort that have Reason to expect a terrible Feeling of the Wrath of the Almighty, when he visits for Sin.
Sensual Delights engross the Affections of many People. It is the chief Thing they seek after ; for which they take unwearied Pains, and are at Expences far beyond what their Incomings will allow; and for the Enjoyment of which many impoverish themselves and their Families.
And are not they who love Pleasures more than they love God, are they not in a black List ? and placed with Blasphemers, falfe Accusers, incontinent, fierce, Despisers of those that are good, Traitors, &c. See 2 Tim. iii. 2-4.
And do not they love their Pleasures more than they love God, who neglect the Duties they owe to God, for the Sake of being pretent at places of publick Diversions and Entertainments ?
If a Man takes all Opportunities of being in the Company of one Acquaintance, and industriously shuns the Company and Conversation of another, it is plain, to a Demonstration, that he loves the one, and disikes, and hates the other,
And thus, as to the Lovers of Pleasure, it is most evident, that they are Haters of God, and some of his Enemies.
They go with ardent Desires to Plays, Operas, and other Places of sensual Delights, but will not - 4
endure the Performance of religious Exercises in their Families, or Closets, nor will go to the Places of publick Worship
And will not the Most High shew his Indignation against those, when he is risen out of his Place to punish People for their Iniquities?
What God said concerning Babylon, manifefts his Indignation against this Sort of Sinners; and that they have Cause to expect the bitter Fruits of ic. Therefore bear now this, tbou that art given to Plea. fures, that dwellest carelesly-----these twa Things hall come to thee in a Moment, in one Day, the Loss of Children, and Widowhood, they hall come upon thee in their Perfeétion. Ifa. xlvii. 8, 9.
The Prophet says, Woe unto them--the Harp, and the Viol, and Tabret, and Pipe, and Wine are in their Feasts, but they regard not the Work of the Lord, neither consider the Operation of his Hands. Ifa. V. II.
And the Prophet Amos fays, Woe to them that are at Ease in Zion--re that put far away the evil Day, and ccuse the Seat of Violence to come near ; that lie upon Beds of Ivory, and stre:ch themselves upon their Couches, and eat the Lambs out of the Flock, and the Calves out of the midst of the Stall; that chant to the Sound of the Viol--that drink Wine in Bowls, and anoint themselves with the chief Ointments ; but they are not grieved for the Affliction of Joseph. See Amos vi. 1-7. and read Deut. xxvii. 15. ad finem.
The holy, God will put an End to their Pleasures, and bring them to weeping, and howling, and bitter Lamentation, when he visits, a People for their Iniquities.
The Prophet says, in Ifa. xxviii. 21, 22, For the Lord fall rise up as in Mount Perazim, he bull: be wroib as in the Valiey of Gibeon, ibat be may do bis Work, bis strange Work; and bring to pass bis. Ai, his stronge Aet. Now therefore be ye not Mockers, left your Bands be made strong ; for I have heard from
the Lord God of Hofts, a Consumption even determined upon the whole Earth.
Then the Mirth of Tabrets ceaseth, the Noise of them that rejoice endeth, the Joy of the Harp ceaseth All Joy is darkened, the Mirth of the Land is gone, (Isaiah xxiv. 8, 11.) Thus it will be, when God is punishing the Inhabitants of a Land for their Iniquities.
Then will I cause to cease from the Cities of Judah, and from the Streets of Jerusalem, the Voice of Mirth, and the Voice of Gladness, says the righteous God, speaking of the Time when he would inflict his Judgment for the Iniquities of his people.
These Declarations of the Almighty deserve the Notice of them who indulge themselves in sensual Pleasures.
VI. PRoFaners of the holy Name of God, are another Sort of Sinners that have Reason to expect Punishment in the Day of Vification for Sin.
I understand by Profaneness, an irreligious Treatment, by Words or Actions, of somewhat sacred, in Violation of the divine Laws concerning it.
God is greatly to be feared in the, Asembly of the Saints : and to be bad in Reverence of all them that are about bim, (Psalm lxxxix. 7.) Holy and reverend is bis Name, (Psalm iii. 9.)
All the Names, the Titles, Attributes, the Providence and Word of the Most High, even every Thing by which he has made himself known, ought always to be mentioned and treated with Seriousness and Reverence.
But all those words and Actions of Men relating to them, which signify a Contempt of them, or a Want of Reverence to God, are Instances of Profaneness.