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Sinners Destroy Themselves by Their Own Blindness

Sinners Destroy Themselves by Their Own Blindness

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Published by glennpease

BY NATHANAEL EMMONS, D. D.



PROVERBS iv. 19.

The way of the wicked is as darknesi : they know not at what they
stumble.

BY NATHANAEL EMMONS, D. D.



PROVERBS iv. 19.

The way of the wicked is as darknesi : they know not at what they
stumble.

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Published by: glennpease on Aug 29, 2013
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SIERS DESTROY THEMSELVES BY THEIR OW BLIDESSBY ATHAAEL EMMOS, D. D.PROVERBS iv. 19.The way of the wicked is as darknesi : they know not at what theystumble.All men are either saints or sinners, either holy orunholy, either righteous or wicked ; and they are allwalking in paths as different as the characters they sus-tain. The saints are walking in a straight and narrowpath ; the sinners are walking in a crooked and broadpath ; the saints are walking in a path that leads toperfect light, and the sinners are walking in a paththat leads to perfect darkness. This is the representa-tion, which Solomon gives of all mankind. He says," The path of the just is as the shining light, that shi-neth more and more unto the perfect day." But heobserves by way of contrast, " The way of the wickedis as darkness : they know oot at what they stumble."His plain meaning is this :Sinners are in such darkness, that they are insensi-ble of the objects, which are leading them to ruin.1 shall first consider the darkness in which sinnersare involved ; and then illustrate the general observa-tion, that they are insensible of the objects, which areleading them to ruin.I. Let us consider the darkness in which sinnersare involved. We find much said in scripture con-cerning their peculiar blindness and darkness. Mosesrepresents them as " groping at noon-day." Job says," they meet with darkness in the day time, and grope
 
in the noon-day as in the night." fsaiah says, " Theyhave made tljera crooked paths; they grope for the206 SERMO XIII.wall as the blind, and grope as if they had no eyes ;they stumble at noon day as in the night." David re-presents their way " as dark and slippery ;" and Jere-miah represents them as walking " in slippery ways indarkness." The royal preacher says, " The wiseman's eyes are in his head; but the fool walketh indarkness." It appears from all these representations,that all sinners are involved in gross darkness. Butto what is this darkness owing, or in what does it con-sist ? It cannot be owing to any deficiency in their na-tural powers ; nor to any want of intellectual informa-tion. They enjoy the same means of instruction thatsaints enjoy, and are as capable of understanding thedoctrines and duties of religion. The bible points outthe way to heaven as clearly to them, as to others ; andsets the same motives before them to walk in the samestraight and narrow path to eternal life. Their dark-ness, therefore is not natural, but moral darkness whichlies not in their understandings, but in their hearts,which are entirely depraved. Moral depravity alwaysproduces moral blindness. Our Saviour says, " Thelight of the body is the eye, if therefore thine eye besingle, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thineeye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness."The heart is the same to the soul, that the eye is to thebody. As a good eye lets in natural light, so a goodheart lets in moral light ; and as a blind eye shuts outnatural light, so a bad heart shuts out moral light. Ac-cordingly, the apostle expressly ascribes the darknessof the understanding to the blindness of the heart. Herepresents all unrenewed men, ^' as having their un-derstanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of 
 
the blindness of their heart!''' While sinners remain un-der the entire dominion of a wicked heart, they are al-together blind to the moral beauty of the character, of the works, and of the providence of God. Their blind-ness to these divine objects the psalmist describes invery strong and impressive terms. " They know not,neither will they understand : they walk in darkness:SERMO XIII. .207all the foundations of the earth arie out of course."God is a being of pure benevolence, he constructedthe world upon benevolent principles, and he governsit to answer benevolent purposes. This is all dark tosinners, who view all things with a selfish eye. Theycan trace nothing into light, but all things into dark-ness. The present and future state of the world is alldarkness, and they see no light in their own, nor in anyother creature's existence. otwithstanding all Godhas said about himself, and about his creatures, andabout his designs, the whole universe still appears tothem dark and mysterious. Being alienated from thelife of God, and opposed to all true benevolence, theirminds are totally involved in moral darkness. Whenthey extend their views to the end of life, to the endof the world, and to the boundless scenes of eternity,they cannot discover a gleam of light. They are amystery to themselves ; and all the changes and revo-lutions in the natural and moral world are dark andunaccountable»to them. The foundations of the earthare all out of course in their view, and the nature andtendency of all things are utterly repugnant to theirwishes and desires, and appear to counteract all theirhopes and purposes. And if God is pursuing and willaccomplish perfectly holy and benevolent designs,these will counteract and defeat all their selfish in-terests and promising prospects, and involve them intotal darkness and hopeless ruin. But yet,

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