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Lot Flying From Sodom; Or, What Repentance is.

Lot Flying From Sodom; Or, What Repentance is.

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Published by glennpease
BY THE REV. T. T. CASTLEMAN.


Escape for thy life. — Gen. xix. 17.
BY THE REV. T. T. CASTLEMAN.


Escape for thy life. — Gen. xix. 17.

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Published by: glennpease on Sep 07, 2013
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LOT FLYING FROM SODOM; OR, WHAT REPENTANCE IS.BY THE REV. T. T. CASTLEMAN.
Escape for thy life. — Gen. xix. 17.Without repentance no man can be saved. Our LordHimself hath said, "Except ye repent, je shall all likewiseperish" When he sent out his apostles to preach the gos-pel, they went forward in his name, and *' preached thatmen should repent." lYherever they went, they told thepeople that God had raised up Jesus from the dead, andexalted him at his right hand, " to give repentance to Israel,and forgiveness of sins." And St. Peter says, that *' Godis not willing that any should perish, but that all shouldcome to repentance." Almost every part of the Bible tellsus something about the importance or the nature of repent-ance. Ministers of the gospel preach of it, and Christianstalk about it ; but there are very few persons who under-stand what it is. I once overheard a conversation betweentwo servants — one was a professing Christian, the otherwas a sinner, inquiring the way to heaven. Said the in-quiring sinner, " What shall I do to be saved ?" Theanswer was, " You must repent of your sins." " Oh, yes,"(102)WHAT REPENTANCE IS. 108said tte inquirer, " I know this ; the minister told me so,and so have all mj friends whom I have talked with. ButI do not know whether I repent or not. I wish you wouldtell me what it is to repent." Here the Christian seemedsomewhat puzzled. But at last he said to him, " Why, youmust go and fast and pray ; you must he sorry for youisins, and then go and be baptized and join the church."They talked a long time on the subject, and I felt, everymoment, as if I must step forward and give them all theinstruction I could. Presently they both rose from theirseats. As they were about to move off, the inquiring sin-ner said, " Well, the minister is to preach a funeral sermonto us this evening, may be he will tell me something aboutthe way to heaven." It was a clear, still day in Septem-ber. The large oak trees spread their long branches overthe yard, and cast a soft and beautiful shade all round us.Benches, chairs, and planks, were placed in every direc-tion under this shade, and at three o'clock a large congre-gation assembled, from the different plantations around, tohear the funeral sermon of their fellow-servant. As Iwalked out on the portico, which was my pulpit for theday, a tall and intelligent looking servant rose from hisseat, and with a full, clear voice, gave out the hymn,** Vain man, thy fond pursuits forbear,Kepent, thy end is nigh ;Death, at the farthest, can't be far ,
 
Oh, think before thou die."When they had sung this hymn, and I had prayed, I tookas my text, "Escape for thy life." As I looked over thatlarge congregation, I saw the same Christian and the sameinquiring sinner, whom I had heard talking in the Inorn-104 SERMON VIII.ing. I thought of the answers that had been given to theinqmrer's questions I remembered that he had expressedthe hope that I might say something about the meaningand nature of repentance. I do not remember now all Isaid in that sermon. But it gave me great pleasure toknow that God blessed it to the instruction, the comfort,and the salvation of that inquiring sinner. He soon after-wards came to talk with me on the subject of his salvation..He told me of the conversation which I had overheard, andsaid he had fasted, he had prayed, he had talked withfriends, he ^lad suifered great distress of mind, but that hehad never known what repentance was, had never brokenoff from sin, until after he had heard that sermon. MayGod grant us the blessing of his Holy Spirit, and teach usall, before we separate, the nature of that true repentancewhich need not be repented of, and which is unto salvation.To repent of sin is something more than to fast and topray — something more than to be baptized, and to join thechurch — something more than to sorrow and to mourn overyour sins — something more than to shed tears and to feelfear. You may do all this, and yet not repent. St. Paulsays, there is "a godly sorrow that loorheth repentance.''*Repentance, then, is something more than sorrow. Thissorrow must work something in you. That work must besomething in your hearts and in your lives. There is asmuch difference between mere sorrow for sin, and true re-pentance, as there is between a tree and the fruit it bears.Sorrow for sin is the tree, repentance is the fruit. As thepeach, or the fig, or the orange tree, would be of no use, if they did not bear their fruit, so sorrow, or fear, or tears forsin, would be of no use, if they did not bring forth the fruitof repentance. You must not flatter yourself, that becauseWHAT REPENTANCE IS. 105you are sorry for your sins, and abuse them, and condemnthem, you have done the whole work of repentance.But I hear an inquiring sinner ask, " What then is it torepent of sin ?" Listen to me, and I will try and tell you.A great many years ago there lived, in the city of Sodom,a good man, whose name was Lot. That was a wicked city,and God was about to destroy it, with fire and brimstone,out of heaven. But he would not destroy Lot. So hesent his angels, to warn him to escape for his life from it.
 
When they came to Lot, they did not say to him, ^' Sitdown, and be quiet, and weep and mourn over; the sins of Sodom." Had Lot done nothing more than this, he wouldhave perished in Sodom, just like all the sinners there.But the angels took him by the hand and led him out of thecity. They then said to him, in the most earnest andsolemn manner, "Escape for thy life — escape to the moun-tains — tarry not in all the plain, lest thou be consumed."Now, if you truly repent of your sins, you will fly fromthem, just as Lot did from Sodom. However dear theymay be, you will leave them all behind. You will take nopleasure in them. You will not tarry in their neighbour-hood. If you see that you are in any great danger, youwill fly from it. If you are suffering any painful illness,you do all you can to be cured of it. And the greater yourdanger, the keener your pain, the more anxious you are tobe rid of them. It is just so with true repentance. If yoursorrow for sins be a godly sorrow, you cannot willingly re-main in those sins; you cannot take pleasure in them.They will be painful to your soul. You will do all you canto put them far away from you. You may search the Biblethrough, and everywhere you will find that this is what ismeant by repentance. If you think that you truly repent,106 SERMON VIII.while you go on to sin against God, or against man, youare most sadly deceiving yourselves. Such a repentance•will be unto damnation, not unto salvation. If you fly notfrom sin, you will be destroyed along with it, just as Lotwould have been destroyed with Sodom, if he had notescaped from it. You have heard a great deal about thegood old prophet Isaiah. He was a man of the highestorder of piety. His mind and heart were full of the know-ledge and the love of God. He had repented truly of sin,and he knew all about its nature and importance. Hearwhat he says about it. "Wash you, make you clean,put away the evil of your doings ; cease to do evil, learn todo well." You know something, too, about that good andself-denying man who lived upon locusts and wild honey,and wore a leathern girdle about his loins. I mean Johnthe Baptist. That man who baptized our Saviour ; whowent down with him into the water, and came up out of thewater. He was the great preacher of repentance. Do youremember what he says about it ? When the people cameto him to be baptized, he told them that something morewas necessary for them than merely to confess their sins.He said to them, bring forth fruits, or works, meet for re-pentance ; prove by your lives that you hate and forsakesin. "Every tree," said he, "that does not bring forthgood fruit, shall be cut down and burned in the fire."Every man, whatever may be his hopes, or appearances, orpretensions, whose repentance docs not work in him thefruits of righteousness, shall be cast into hell fire.I once walked into a garden, with a lady, to gather some

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