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own nature, more hainous than others. There are some capital offences as it were, which God's wrath does in a special manner burn against, and which are most provoking to the eyes of his glory : such as murder, Gen. iv. 10. oppression, Hab. ii. 11. which are noted to be crying sins; blasphemy and contempt of God, Exod. v. 2.; idolatry, Ezek. viii.; unbelief, rejecting of Christ, and disobeying the gospel, Matth. xxii. John iii. 19. 2 Theff. i. 8. But of all sins the most hainous is the sin against the Holy Ghost *, Matth. xii. 31.
Secondly, Some fins are more hainous than others by their aggravations; and the greater and more numerous the aggravating circumstances be that attend any fin, it is the more hainous. Now, fins are aggravated, or made greater or more hainous than others,
1. From the persons offending; the more notable they are, the more hainous are their fins; as the the greater the fire is, the more mischief will it do, if it go out of its place; the greater the tree is, the more mischief will it do by its fall. Thus one and the same sin is greater in magistrates, minifters, paTênts, and the aged, than in subjects, people, children, and the younger fort. For mens places and offices, which respect the government of others in the way of holiness and juitice, aggravate their fins, Rum ii. 21. Thou which teachest another, teachest thou not tyfelf? thou that preachest a man should not steal, dot thou steal? And so do the greater gifts and profesfion that one hath, Luke xii. 47.48. That servant which krew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many ftripes. But be that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of bim shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him will they will ask the more.
And fo doth the * See the nature of this sin explained, vol. ii. p. 135.-139. Vol. III.
greater experience of God's goodness which they have had, as in the case of Solomon, of whiom it is. faid, '1 Kings xi. 2. The Lord was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the Lord God of rael, wbich bad appeared unto him twice. For such advantages make their fins more pernic¡ous, in respect of the influence of their example on others, as in the effect of Peter's diffimulation at Antioch, Gal. ii. 13. of whom it is faid, And the other Jews diffembled" likewise with him ; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation. And these advantages carry them over greater obligations they are under to the Lord.
2: From the parties offended. Let men consider whom their fins ftrike against, if they would see how hainous they are. For as a thrust in à leg or arm is not so much grievous as one at the heart ; lo is it in this case.
1tSins immediately againft God, lis Son, and his Spirit, are more hainous than such fins against inan, any man whatsoever, i Sam. ii. 25. If one man Jin against another, the judge shall judge him: but if a man sin against the Lord, who shall entreat for him? Thus lying and diffembling to God, is more hainous than lying to men, as appears in the case of Ananias and Sapphira, Acts v. 4. because of the infinite dillance of the immediate objects of the fin. Thus, whereas in all fins of the second table, there is a fault against God, and against man too; yet the fault against God, and the injury done to his glory, is the bitterest ingredient ia it. Thus David's sin in the matter of Bathsheba and Uriah was a great fin in relpect of thele perfons; but fee how he confesses its Pial. li. 4. Against thee, thee only have I finned, and dene this evil in thy fight.
2dly, Sins against fuperiors in the church, ftate, and family, are more hainous than such fins are, being done against persons of their own rank and condition. The realon is, because superiority given
of God is such a divine impress on a man, that it makes his character in fome fort facred, as in the case of Mofes, Num. xii. 8. Hence it is that dif. obedience to parents is so hainous a fin, Prov. xxx.
that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley fixail pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it.
3dly, Sins against those whom we are under fpecial engagements and obligations to, are more hai. nous than such fins against others we have no such concern in. Religion teaches gratitude, and fets a black mark on ingratitude, Pfal.lv. 12. For it was 1106 an enemy that reproached me, then I could have borne it; neither was it be that hated me, that did magnify himself against me, then I would have bid myself from bim.
4thly, Sins against the saints and people of God are more hainous than against others, because of their relation to God, as being those in all the world dearest to him, Matth. xviii.; 6. Wboso sisall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for bim that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that be were drowned in the depth of the sea. Such are fins against weak saints, as being more liable to get harın by them, than those who are strong, Ron. xiv. 15. If thy brother be grieved svith tby meat, now walke;l thou not chari'ably, Dejlroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died,
Lastly, Sins against the common good of all, or of many, for the wider the effects of one sin go, it is ftill the worse, Joih. xxii
. 20. Did not. Achan the for of Berab commit a trespass in the accursed thing, and man perished not alone in his iniquity, One finner, says Sulinon defroyeth much good; and the more, the greter is his fing
är From the quality of the offence. A fin may besvelted; with suche qualities, as will make it much more hainous than when divelled of them. These
evil qualities are many ; I will reduce them to two heads.
(1.) Intrinsic qualities. Thus fins against the letter of the law are more hainous than others; motherdins, which are big and bring forth many others, than simple ones ; fins consummated by action, than while merely in the heart, Jam. i. 15.; fins that are fcandalous, than others not fo; fins the injury in which to men admits of no reparation, than that of others in which it does. This was the reafon why death was the punishment of adultery, not of fornication, because in this last case the man was obliged to marry the woman.
9201 (2.) Extrinsic qualities ;'which again are of two forts.
[1.] Being done againft means whereby one might be with-held from fin, Mattb. xii 21. 22. W unto thee, Chorazin, wo unto thee, Bethsaida : for if the mighty works which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in fackcloth and vashes, But I say unto you,d It Shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgement, than for you. Thus one's finning against mercies drawing them from their fin, judgements and rebukes from the word or providence, from God or men, finning against the light of one's own confcience, do all of them aggravate fin, ila
[2.] Being done against bonds one has taken on him against the fin, when men fin against purposes and resolutions of amendment, against their cove. nants and engagements to the Lord, whereby they are bound to ftand off from such courses, Ezek.
4. From the manner of committing it. Who can imagine but fin done deliberately, and wilfully, and presumptuously, is more hainous than sin committed through inadvertency and weakness ? if one Þe impudent in his sin, delight in it, and boast of it; if he go on in it obstinately, fall in it frequently, and
relapse in to it after convictions and humblings for
Lastly, From the place of it. Thus in a place
Inf. 1. Never think light of fin, nor flightly of Christ, and your need of him, since all fin is hainous in God's fight, and exposes the finner to his just vengeance.
4 2. There will be degrees of torment in hell, though the least degree will be dreadful, Matth. xi, 21. Since there are degrees of finning.
2. No wonder God's anger. go out against us, and the land wherein, and the generation among? whom we live. For hainous are our fins beyond those of many, and a frightful look inay we get of them in this glass. Magiitrates, ministers, parents, the aged, professors, tons and daughters of the Lord, have corrupted their ways, as well as others.