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Religion is Not a Source of Evil to Those Who

Religion is Not a Source of Evil to Those Who

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Published by glennpease
THE REV. C. SIMEON, M.A.


Jer. XXV. 5,6. Turnyenoiv every one from his evil way , and from
the evil of your doings and I will do you no hurt.
THE REV. C. SIMEON, M.A.


Jer. XXV. 5,6. Turnyenoiv every one from his evil way , and from
the evil of your doings and I will do you no hurt.

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Published by: glennpease on Jun 24, 2014
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RELIGIO IS OT A SOURCE OF EVIL TO THOSE WHO EMBRACE IT. THE REV. C. SIMEO, M.A. Jer. XXV. 5,6. Turnyenoiv every one from his evil way , and from the evil of your doings and I will do you no hurt. SI is the greatest of all evils ; because it is the source from which all evils flow. or can the miseries which it has introduced be ever remedied, but by a thorough turning unto God. This, Jeremiah, tells us, was the remedy prescribed by all the Pro- phets'": and certainly it is the only one that can ever prove effectual. The passage, from whence the text is taken, con- tains, in addition to the words which we have cited, a dehortation or dissuasion from idolatry ; together with an intimation, that a continuance in that sin would accelerate their ruin, and insure their ex- clusion from the Promised Land : they would persist, in it " to their hurt^. On the contrary, if they would return to God, he would forbear to inflict upon them his threatened judgments, and " do them no hurt" But we omit that which related to the temporal state of the Jews, in order that we may fix your attention more immediately upon that part of the subject which is applicable to all persons in all ages of the world. The text consists of, I. An exhortation — As idolatry was at that time the national sin of the Jews,
 
' ver. 4. with the text. '¦ ver. 7. 1^ JEREMIAH, XXV. 5, 6. [562. Jews, so every one has some evil way to which he is more particularly addicted. We cannot pretend to trace all the shades of difference that are found in different men : we will rather arrange the whole tinder three great and comprehensive classes; to one or other of which, all, except true Christians, belong. We therefore say, Turn, 1. From profaneness— [That this is a common sin among;st us^ needs no proof : we cannot open our eyes or our ears, but we must be speedily convinced of it Let then as many of you as have entertained licentious princi- ples, or indulged in vicious practices, " turn from the evil of y<jur doings," yea, turn from it speedily, and with utter abhor- rence.] 2. From worlfiliness — [While the young and gay are rushing into vice, and pour- ing contempt upon every thing that is. serious, a great part of mankind are immersed in worldly cares, and as regardless of re- ligion as their more d s^ipated brethren True it is, that these persons have more specious grounds on which to vindicate their conduct, inasmuch as it seems nearly allied to prudence and diligence. Still, however, while we highly approve of those virtues, we cannot but condemn a vvordly spirit as evil ; since it is declared to be incompatible with the love of God^ : and therefore we say to all, " Turn from it," lest you
 
deceive yourselves to your utter ruin.] 3. From formality — [There is a very considerable number of persons, whose strictness of principle, and correctness of manners, screen them effectually against any charge of profaneness ; while their indif- ference to riches and aggrandizement shews that they are not open, in any great degree, to the imputation of worldliness. But their religion consists in a mere round of duties, in which they have no real enjoyment of God, but only a self-righteous, self complacent approbation of their own minds That this also is evil, we cannot doubt, if only we bear in mind that God requires our hearts'^; and that every service, in which the heart is not engaged, is declared to be vain and worthless in his sight*. In exhorting such persons to turn from the evil of their doings, we would by no means be understood to discourage diligence in attending on divine ordinances, whether public or private; but only •^ 1 John ii. 15 — 17. ^ Prov. xxiii. 26. * Matt, XV. 8, 9. Compare 2 Tim. iii. 5. 562:] RELIGIO OT A SOURCE OF EVIL. 81' only to guard against a resting in the performance of duties, and a substituting of that in the place of Christ. In appreciating our religious observances^ let us judge of them by their spiri- tuality, and by our enjoyment of God in them : and, if they be ever so devout, still let us remember that they make no atone- ment for sin, nor do they confer any obligation whatever upon ' God : yea, rather, the more devout they are, the more we are indebted to God for that grace whereby we are enabled so to

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