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him not ;" for the Lord gave him up into the handof his enemy, the king of Babylon, who had the eyes of his sons put out in his sight; they then put out the eyes of Zedekiah, and bound him with fetters of brass, and carried him to Babylon.

The Jews rejected Christ, they chose Barabbas, and their sin "profited them not:" for that once favoured people are degraded as low, in consequence of their sin, as the prophets of God had foretold. Even unto this day blindness rests upon Israel, and the people "to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory and the covenant, and the giving of the law and the promises, whose are the fathers, and of whom, as concerning the flesh, Christ came ;"-this people, the ancient people of God, have fallen so deeply by their unbelief in the rejection of Christ, as to show to us that having "sinned, and perverted that which is right, it profited them not."

My friends, there is another proof before us of the unprofitableness of sin, which if not understood, no other acknowledgment will be acceptable to God, nor regarded as more than the vain expression of the lips alone. It is the experimental confession of our own sin. What has it done for us? any thing but profit. Let us review the leading actions of our past lives and their motives, then shall we be compelled to own, whether with penitence or not, "I have sinned, and perverted that which is right, and it profited me not."

III. The text promises to the true penitent that the Lord "will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the light."

What is meant by "the pit," but hell? and what by "the light," but heaven? The word of God can alone illustrate itself; and in order by the Divine assistance to understand these important truths, suffer me to direct your attention to a few passages to that end. In Psalm lv. 23, it is written of the wicked who perish in their sin, "Thou, O God, shalt bring them down into the pit of destruction: bloody and deceitful men shall not live out half their days." In the consideration of our own sin, let us think what would be its just desert. Is it not eternal banishment from God? exclusion from the blessedness to which we have no claim? To be shut from the society of heaven for which we are unqualified? Is it not a refusal of admission unto the "holy of holies," which a sinner cannot enter in his pollution, and which he has in himself neither will nor power to seek, nor to enjoy? For in what respect are we better than those who perish? We are evil branches of the same corrupt tree. Hence, as none will perish innocent, and at the last day the Judge will say those on the left hand, "Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels;" it follows, that if we be saved it will be "by grace through faith, and that not of ourselves." Christian, thou standest by faith. Thy deliverance from going into the pit is effected by the covenant work of mercy in the mediation of Jesus Christ.


The promise of enjoyment which is connected with that of deliverance, as certainly means heaven. "He will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the light.”


is to see God; for it is written of the blessedness of heaven," they shall see his face ;" and, "God is light." The blessing of enjoyment is the infinite reverse of the evil from which deliverance is effected. It is written of the glory of heaven, "The city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof." Ah! my friends, the loftiest feelings of joy which true believers know, even here, though inferior in degree, are in their nature akin to the joys of heaven; hence they are as superior in degree as they are essentially different to any thing conceived by an unconverted man. The best pleasures of the worldling consist in nothing but the enjoyments of time and sense; in wealth, friends, learning, a sumptuous table, costly apparel, and vain pleasures.

Even such of these things as may be gratefully received, and lawfully enjoyed, are perverted by the sinner; for instead of using such as were suited to the support of natural existence to that end, they are put in the place of God, for he the Giver is forgotten, and his gifts made the instruments of sin. The soul of the worldly man is in the dark; talk to him of God and heaven, and he hears as a dreamer: his imagination is elevated, for the moment, at the Divine sublimity of the truths which are set before him, but soon sinks and rests on things below; then he resolves to have his portion here, "to eat, drink, and be merry."

Such is the immense difference between the believer and the unbeliever. Being saved by

faith from "going into the pit," the Christian's hope blooms with immortality; but the wicked are called "wandering stars, unto whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever."

The pit refers to, or is a name for, that darkness, that absence of the light of God's countenance, which makes it hell. Even in this world, the servants of Satan "sit in darkness, and in the shadow of death;" whilst believers have been "called out of darkness into his marvellous light," the wicked are subject to a reign of sin, and it is written of him whom they serve, Rev. xvi. 10, "His kingdom is full of darkness;" but the saints of the Most High have, as ancient Israel had, when the Egyptians were surrounded with darkness, "light in their dwellings." His Spirit enlightens their understanding, his "word is a lamp unto their feet." In the providences of life, in the circumstances of each day, they see his wisdom, his goodness, and his love. Jesus is both their Deliverer, and their faithful Guide. Their "God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all."

My friends, what improvement shall we make of this important subject? Have we not sinned, and perverted that which is right; and do we still love darkness? Do we desire to go into the pit? Sin is the darkness which we have chosen. God is the light which we have rejected. Yet the mercy of the Redeemer has still spared our lives. "Korah and his company," as recorded in the book of Numbers, "went down alive into the pit ;" and who can save our souls from perishing, if we are in sin?--if, whilst God looketh down

upon us from year to year, and from hour to hour, our days depart without confessing our sin, and finding deliverance from hell? May the words of this sacred text be applied to each of our hearts with saving power. "He looketh upon men, and if any," etc. etc.

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