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parents, unthankful, unholy, \£c. The world lying in wickedness lays snares for them, that hy drawing them into their courses, they may make them like themselves. And at all times they are in hazard by them, either by omission of necessary duty, or commission of sin.
4. It is a world wherein wickedness thrives apace as in its native foil, but any good has much ado to get up its head, Jer.iv. 22. " For my people is foolish, they have not known me, they are sottish children, and they have none understanding; they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge." The grouid being cursed, thistles and thorns grow up of their own accord; but aster much labour for the seedoom, the husbandman has but a sorry increase. So the work of wickedness goes on with speed; but O how hard is it to make a good work take! The most prudent management can hardly carry a good work, bat one sinner destroyeth much good, Eccl. ix. ult.
Sixthly, This accounts for the frightful end this visible world will make, by the general conflagration, 2 Pet. iii. ro. There is a curse on it, for the wickedness in it, that once deluded it, it will in the end burn it up. It has been a stage of wickedness, and will be palled down; a sink of abomir.ations, and will be overthrown. The creatures groan in it, under the abuse os them to the serving of the lusts of men ; they must be delivered.
La/lly, This shews the dangerous state of the unregenerate world; they lie in wickedness. Therefore,
1. They now lie under wrath, hanging in the threatening and curse, which is over their heads, Eph. ii. 3. Being the region of wickedness, it is the region of wrath, John iii. ult. They are in a state of wrath, it is on them and theirs.
2. They will perish under that wrath, whoever continue and come not out from among them. For the world now lying in wickedness, will sink down into the pit, and lie eternally under their guilt and silth, Matth. xxv. ult. Rev. xx. 14,15.
Use II. Of exhortation.
1. To all I would say, Search and try what society ye belong to, whether ye are still of, or separated from, the world lying in wickedness. It is certain, we are all naturally of the world; there is no coming out of it, but by regenerating grace; and being come, ye will have taken another route. What has been already said, particularly on the sirst clause of the.verse, touching the marks "and characters of those that are of God, and so separated from the world, may serve to discover your state in this point.
2. To saints separated from the world, I would say, (1.) Do not much wonder at the harsh entertainment ye meet with in it. Value not the frowns of the world lying in wickedness; and think not strange of frowns of providence on you while ye are in it. For it will never be quite well with the family of God, while they are here in the fame place with the world.
(2.} Watch against it while ye are in it, as being in hazard of sins and snares in a world lying in wickedness. Be not secure; knowing that your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about seeking whom he may devour, 1 Pet. v. 8.
(3.) Look homeward, and long to be with Christ ;where you shall be for ever out of the reach of all evil, and enjoy such peace and freedom as your enemies can disturb no more.
3. Lastly, To sinners of the world lying in wickedness, I would fay, Come out from among them, and be separated, as ye would not be ruined with them, and perish eternally in their destruction. But of this in the next discourse.
Among The World Lying In Wickedness, ExPlained AND URGED.
Several Sermons preached at Etterick, in 1729.
1 J0HN v. 19. The whole world Heth in wickedness.
2 Con., vi. 17. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, faith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.
YE have had a frightful description of the world lying in wickedness. We come now to press the exhortation to come but of it, in the words of this compared text. In which we have,
1. The gospel call to sinners, Come out from among them. For whereas the words are taken out of Isa. hi 11. it is plain the prophet there speaks of the days and preaching of the gospel, tho' with an eye to the deliverance from Babylon, ver. 7,-10. In it we have,
(1 ) The substance of the duty that sinners are called to, Come out from among them, viz. the world lying in wickedness, whereof Babylon was an emblem as the Tews were of the elect. Babylon was the mother of abominations, and devoted to destruction; so the world lying in wickedness is. To come out from among them, is to come out of your natural state, unto Christ by faith; that is the only way to come out srom amonjr them. And that the text aims at no less, is evident,—that adoption into God's family is thereupon promised. . . . „ r x
(2.) The touchstone of sincerity in it. Beyefepa. rate. Right coming out from among the world lying in wickedness, is a coming out from among them freely and for altogether. A withdrawing for a time, the relation ?s«tfcig -xiH act do; nor a baking be. tween two; tiere anal be 2 total separation, by going quite to the other side, s=d setting up against them. Thus the apoftle explains die doable cast to depart, Isa- HiL 11. Depart ye, depart ye, going still sarther and farther 60— ihi ■, tiQ. the great gals be sixed betwixt Too ard them.
(3.) A necefiary fHrrrtinQ sor the right managing of your coming away, Touch not the andean thing. They are aa —am society, Kke a leprous person: confab: not with them, bat be resolute without tampering with thou. Every thing among them is unclean; take up none of it to carry with you, as Rachel did her father's images. Be asraid of every person and thing in the world lyreg in wickedness, as of sire.
2. The gospel oSer and promise, to be accomplished •n complying with the call, I will receive you. I the Lord Christ will take you in. Be not asraid that y« shall be at any lose in the ease; such refugees shall have the borders of the Lord's land, the gates of his house opened to them.
Now the doctrine of these texts thus compared, is,
DocT. There is a caUfrom the Lord tojinneri^ to tome out from among the world tying in wicAfditffs^ and leave them.
Iw handling this point, I shall,
I. Shew some things implied in it.
II. Shew what is the sihner's coming put from among the world lying in wickedness.
III. Consider the call from the Lord to come out from among them.
IV. Lastly, Apply the whole.
I. I shall shew somethings implied in. the doctrine. It implies,
1. The world lying in wickedness is. a society hate, ful to the Lord, else he would not call to come out fcom among them. They may please themselves, as if they only were the people. The region of a natural state has the cloud of wrath abiding on it, John iii. nit. They are a society, whom God abhors as unclean: a people of God's indignation, as being his enemies; and against whom he will have war for ever that shall end in their destruction, dr rather neves end.
2. Sinners, ye are all by nature in among them, and of them; else, why is the call, Come out from among them? Whoever has not heard this call, and come out from among them, in conversion, is among them yet, John viii. 44. I told-yon there are in the world lying in wickedness, the lower and the upper world; but both these make but one world, the devil is the head of both; and if a sew years were gone, they will be both turned into one, and all the inhabitants housed under one rods, Matth. xxv. 41. Therefore unconverted sinners are as sure among them, as the damned.— Sinners, ye are children of hell, a prison-house, a dark house, a miserable house, Matth. xxiii. 15. As long as ye are among them, ye are like the house, and like the father of it: he is a fallen creature, lying in wickedness, his nature is enmity against God; so art thou and thine: and though thou put a fair face on it, by a form of godliness: no marTel, for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light, 2 Cor. xi. 14.
3. Great is the danger of abiding among them, Isa. Iii. I1. Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing, go ye out of the midst of her. There are three special emblems of the wretched world lying in wickedness, and the danger of abiding among them, to which this call may have reserence. One is Babylon doomed to destruction, Psal. cxxxvii. 8. See the call to leave her, Jer li. 6. Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and deliver every man his foul; be not cut osf in her iniquity; for this is the time of the Lord's vengeance; he will render onto her a recompence. Rev. xviii. 4. Come out
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