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The Mockery of Fools

The Mockery of Fools

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY ISAAC MILNER




PROV. xiv. 9.
Fools make a mock at sin.
BY ISAAC MILNER




PROV. xiv. 9.
Fools make a mock at sin.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Apr 16, 2014
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THE MOCKERY OF FOOLSBY ISAAC MILER PROV. xiv. 9. Fools make a mock at sin. The original of this passage will bear another translation, not, indeed, materially different in sense : nevertheless, it may deserve to be men^ tioned, as it has a tendency to illustrate the views of the inspired writer. ^^ Fools make a mock at sin.*' The other translation is, " Fools have a method of interpreting, palliating, excusing, or explaining away their sins." o doubt this me- thod of treating sin, by which men strive to hide its real enormity from their own eyes, as well as from the eyes of others, is, to all intents and pur-^ poses, treating sin with levity, making a mock at sin, turning it into a jest, and making the most serious subject in the world a matter of diversion and merriment. To hear a man, for example, 266 SERMO VIII. undertake to defend falsehood^ debauchery, dael- liDg, under the specious names of discretioDy address, spirit, and courage, what is all this but making a mock at sin ? I propose not, hoMrever, to insist on any altera- tion in the translation ; for the more usual sense of the words in the Book of Proverbs, where they occur in various places, is, to make a mock at sin, or to sport with sin ; to deride or scorn sin ;
 
and the like. The other sense, however — to excuse, to interpret, and explain away sin — may very well be included, as it seems to illustrate the manner in which foolish men make a mock at sin. Such men see nothing of its destructive nature. Sin appears to them a trifle : and their own personal sins are very slight matters indeed; there is in them nothing on account of which they think it worth while to be very uneasy* Then they have very much, to say in defence of them, or at least in their palliation. There are scarcely any en(»r- mities, however dreadful, but they can put some plausible colour on them. ow all this is really making a light thing, a jest, a mock of sin. Such men scorn and deride those who view sin in a serious light, as a great evil, offensive to God 3 6 RBI O VIII. 9» and destructive of human happiness* Moreover, at bottom it is a detestable a^d most unholy pride of heai^ty attended with much ccmtempt and much ignorance of God's attributesi which leads men to this conduct: aild in thisi way it is that '^ fools make a mock at sip." I kbovf not that 1 3hould go too £eur, were I to affirm that this method of treating sin was nev^r more fashionable than at present. Certainly there are not many sinful, practices you can mention, but they have some advocates, aome vouchers^ some who sciliple not to <fefbnd or palliate them; They find out that either the thing itself is not so enormous, but admits of much extenuation ; or the circumstances under which it, was committed were very unusual, and very tryingi^ ,. ^^ It was an un* happy thin^i^'' say. they j "it was unfortunate;
 
but the temptation was great : we must not be harsh judges of one another ; |Jbe best of us might have fallen into the same sins, had we been in the same isituation.'*— There is no end of this way of talking and reasoning; there is no length to which it may not proceed ; and it is the effect of that deplorable,, common ignorance of Scripture a6B SERMO VIU. prificiples which prevails among both the higher and Jower orders of people; the eifoct of that, neglect and contempt of catechising youths and of discii^ining them by J^ble rules from their infiGUit years. Hence it is that4he consdenoes iof men are become so stupid and senseless, notmthH standing all the affectation of extreme smsibiHty. Hence the fear of God is looked on as supecstii- tion, and the love of God as enthusiasm. Alas \ brethren^ what can I say , to induce manyof thoae who have had opportunities for years of openmg their eyes to Gospel light, yet still go on^aod ^* make a mock at sin" — ^what can I say, to in- duce them to consider seriously the subject -b^orer us ? There is no want of charity in the charge which I now venture to make : one may alw|iys( make the very same charge upon any^ considerable congregation throughout this whole country, which nevertheless calls itself Christian, — so little is there among us of true practical Christianity. God be praised ! the light of the everlasting Gospel has shone into many hearts ; yet not so but that there is yet too much reason to ask, ^^ Lord, are there few that be saved ?" and too much reason to SBRMO VIIT; SM

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