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Moral Cowardice.

Moral Cowardice.

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Published by glennpease
BY I . L. MOCATTA.




Gen. xix, 19, " O/i, not so, my Lord, I CANNOT escape to the mountain
lest some evil befal me.""
BY I . L. MOCATTA.




Gen. xix, 19, " O/i, not so, my Lord, I CANNOT escape to the mountain
lest some evil befal me.""

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Published by: glennpease on Jun 26, 2013
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MORAL COWARDICE.BY I . L. MOCATTA.Gen. xix, 19, " O/i, not so, my Lord, I CAOT escape to the mountainlest some evil befal me.""HAD LOT'S trust in the Lord been firm, these words wouldcertainly never have been uttered by him, but he would un-hesitatingly have followed the injunction of that protectingangel who had been sent for the express purpose of rescuinghim from, the impending catastrophe. Lot's character,however, was full of blemishes ; his past conduct had beenmost faulty, and the concluding scriptural passages in refer-ence to him plainly prove that, although by the favour of the Supreme he was afforded ample opportunity for re-trieving his former errors, he in no way availed himself of it. Indeed, his every act on and after quitting Sodom de-monstrates his vacillating disposition, his intense selfishness,his want of moral courage and want of faith.Firstly, we find that although urged by the angel to quitthe devoted city with all expedition, he yet lingered, so thatit became necessary for the messenger of God to lay hold onhis hand to bring him forth, and, when without the city, tobid him " escape for his life and flee to the mountain lest hebe consumed". But he again demurred, allowing his judg-ment, or rather his wishes, to stand in the place of the wisecounsel of that guardian angel, whose object, as he shouldwell have known, was not only to rescue him from impend-ing destruction, but also to point out the surest and bestplace of refuge. Had faith been uppermost in the mind of Lot, he would not, he could not, have entertained any cri-minal fears or apprehended any danger. But his heart waswith the treasures he had been forced to leave behind him,
 
MORAL COWARDICE. 127and it is more than probable that he hoped to recover themby abiding near the spot. Such a consideration with so self-ish a man would be quite powerful enough to induce him torun counter to the commands of the angel, and account forhis seeking permission to fix his residence in the small citythat was near by on the plains. Yet even after his unad-vised petition was granted he still lingered, and had to beonce more urged forward by the angel, who again repeated,"Haste thee, escape thither". But having once arrived atthe city which he had been the means of saving from de-struction, it was to be supposed he might have settled him-self there and given his individual exertions towards pro-moting the knowledge of the true God among the inhabitants.And assuredly, had he been so disposed, this was an oppor-tune moment. He could have called their attention to Thatpower the magnitude of which had been signally displayedin the overthrow of the neighbouring towns, also havepointed out their own wonderful escape, and thence soughtto instil both the love and fear of God in their hearts. Fardifferent, however, was his conduct, for the next and lastdata we have relative to his movements* proves that heshortly after abandoned the city which he had himself chosen for his residence, and retired unbidden to that veryspot which had before inspired him with so much alarm, andof which he had spoken to the angel in these words, " Icannot go thither lest I die". Whence this sudden changeof views, Scripture fails to enlighten us. Suffice, it evincesa fickle, vacillating disposition, while a high degree of moral cowardice is indicated by the fact of his not quietingall vague fears and implicitly following the injunction of hisheavenly adviser to proceed direct from Sodom to the moun-tains. Surely, his residence in Zoar once sanctioned by theheavenly guide vouchsafed him, Lot should have been con-tent to abide there, though some discomforts, or even trials,might have attended him in his new abode. Sensible that* Gen. xix, 30.
 
128 MORAL COWARDICE.an All-Gracious Being had watched over and saved himin time of danger, he should assuredly have reposedhis trust in that same Benign Protector, have dismissedall apprehension, become reconciled to his new life andposition, and endeavoured to make it subserve somepurpose which might testify his gratitude to his HeavenlyFather. But to these considerations he showed not theslightest regard. The boon for which he had so recentlyand successfully petitioned became valueless in his eyes, sinceit did not enable him to recover his lost wealth; thencedoubtless his change of pui'pose and wilful departure withhis daughters from the city which the angel had appointedfor their future residence. How entirely, how sadly, wassuch conduct at variance with his duty to the Supreme.When he might well have feared resorting to the moun-tain, since it was no longer at God's bidding, but ratherin contravention of it, he had no fear ; he was bold whenthere was ample cause to be timid, while he lacked moralcourage and faith when safe in the guidance of an All- WiseDisposing Hand. ow though this gross and almost cri-minal perversity brought its natural evil consequences, andmisfortunes fell thick upon him, they yet failed to movehim to serious thought. Had he but asked himself con-scientiously why so merciful a Heavenly Father sufferedthem to befal him, he must surely have discovered howfaulty had been the tenor of his life. But he regarded themnot as monitors, their teachings served not to change hismind or disposition, thence ensued his last overt act of dis-obedience, which still further tended to embitter his de-clining years.ow, had Lot's past life been useful to his fellow-mortalsand pleasing to his God, he might have found some solaceeven in the lonely cave wherein he afterwards took refuge,but as it was, if ever his mind reverted to bygone years, hisreflections must have been attended with compunction of 

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