Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.
Proposition. That though by no means exclusively, yet in cities that are great and luxurious, integrity is exposed to peculiar snares, and depravity cherished to an extraordinary growth.
I. EXPLAIN THIS PROPOSITION.
1. We confine human depravity to no combination of circumstances. In some situations, it is true, the poison may evolve its noxious qualities more fully and freely than in others; but in one way or another it makes itself manifest in all. It is not intended to represent this depravity as in itself essential to our nature. Sin is not essential, but accidental, to our nature.
2. It should also be observed, that in great cities there are even advantages which are nowhere else to be so fully enjoyed. The children of this world, wise in their generation, instantly discern the advantages of city situations, in reference to their particular pursuits. Beside the civil and intellectual, there are moral and religious advantages which, in more sequestered situations, we can scarcely hope to enjoy. In cities there is an easy and regular access to the ordinances of grace.
3. There are peculiar temptations, to which more obscure situations are liable. In solitude the mind is in danger of being filled with prejudices, and the heart with passions, which at once destroy present tranquillity and endanger future well-being.
II. ILLUSTRATE THE SUBJECT BEFORE US. That in populous cities corruption peculiarly prevails. Consider —
1. The multitude of transgressors.
2. The aggravated nature of the sins there particularly indulged.
3. The individual sinner usually attains a degree of presumptuous hardness, not common in less frequented scenes.
III. THE CAUSES FROM WHICH THIS PECULIAR DEPRAVITY PROCEEDS.
1. The depravity of the heart is the groundwork of the whole.
2. Neglect of parental instruction.
3. The infectious power of example.
4. The chilling influence of the world.
5. The seducing influence of luxury.
Parallel VersesKJV: Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.