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Concerning National Sins, Edward Leigh.


Sins though committed by particular persons, may be national:


First, when they are interwoven into the policy of a State:


Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee,

which frameth mischief by a law?

Psa. 94. 20,


Secondly, when they are universal and overspread the whole Kingdom:


Oh that I had in the wilderness a lodging place of wayfaring men;

that I might leave my people, and go from them!

for they be all adulterers, an assembly of treacherous men.

And they bend their tongues like their bow for lies:

but they are not valiant for the truth upon the earth;

for they proceed from evil to evil,

and they know not me, saith the Lord.

Jer. 9. 2, 3.


Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough,

and they are shepherds that cannot understand:

they all look to their own way,

every one for his gain, from his quarter.

Isa. 56. 11.


Thirdly, when the people that profess the name of God are infected with those sins:


That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.

Gen. 6. 2, 3, 4.


Fourthly, when few or none in the Nation bewail them,


The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?

Jer. 5. 31.


Fifthly, when they are openly countenanced and tolerated,


And there were also sodomites in the land: and they did according to all the abominations of the nations which the Lord cast out before the children of Israel.

1 Kings 14. 24.


and when there are no masters of restraint,


Then the five men departed, and came to Laish, and saw the people that were therein, how they dwelt careless, after the manner of the Zidonians, quiet and secure; and there was no magistrate in the land, that might put them to shame in any thing; and they were far from the Zidonians, and had no business with any man.

Judg. 18. 7.


Sixthly, when they are the predominant disposition of the Nation at that time.

The sins of God’s people which commonly provoke him to break a Nation.


1. Their omissions, that they stand not in the gap:


Then the five men departed, and came to Laish, and saw the people that were therein, how they dwelt careless, after the manner of the Zidonians, quiet and secure; and there was no magistrate in the land, that might put them to shame in any thing; and they were far from the Zidonians, and had no business with any man. Ezek. 22. 30, 31.


2. When their hearts are inordinately set upon the things of this world:


And he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord his God, and humbled not himself before Jeremiah the prophet speaking from the mouth of the Lord.

2 Chro. 36. 12.


For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

Mat. 24. 38, 39.


3. When there is a great unfruitfulness and lukewarmness in the things of God:


Israel is an empty vine, he bringeth forth fruit unto himself:

according to the multitude of his fruit he hath increased the altars;

according to the goodness of his land they have made goodly images.

Hos. 10. 1.


4. When divisions are still fomented amongst those that fear God, desolations in a State follow divisions in the Church.


Manasseh, Ephraim; and Ephraim, Manasseh:

and they together shall be against Judah.

For all this his anger is not turned away,

but his hand is stretched out still.

Isa. 9. 21.


The sins which may provoke God against a Nation:


1. Idolatry, when the true God is worshipped in a way that he hath not appointed:


Manasseh, Ephraim; and Ephraim, Manasseh:

and they together shall be against Judah.

For all this his anger is not turned away,

but his hand is stretched out still.

Jer. 5. 19.


2. Divisions:


Compare Isa 9.21 with Isa 10.6


Manasseh, Ephraim; and Ephraim, Manasseh:

and they together shall be against Judah.

For all this his anger is not turned away,

but his hand is stretched out still.

Isa 9.21


I will send him against an hypocritical nation,

and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge,

to take the spoil, and to take the prey,

and to tread them down like the mire of the streets.

Isa 10.6


3. Incorrigibleness under lesser judgements:


Therefore the Lord shall set up the adversaries of Rezin against him,

and join his enemies together;

Isa. 9. 11.


4. Wearying of God:


And he said,

Hear ye now, O house of David;

Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also?


And it shall come to pass in that day,

that the Lord shall hiss for the fly that is in the uttermost part of the rivers of Egypt,

and for the bee that is in the land of Assyria.


Isa. 7. 13, 18.


5. Unworthy and wicked compliances:


When Ephraim saw his sickness,

and Judah saw his wound,

then went Ephraim to the Assyrian,

and sent to king Jareb:

yet could he not heal you,

nor cure you of your wound.


Hos. 5. 13.

Extract from A System or Body of Divinity Consisting of Ten Books: wherein the fundamentals and main grounds of religion are opened, the contrary errors refuted, most of the controversies between us, the Papists, Arminians, and Socinians discussed and handled, several Scriptures explained and vindicated from corrupt glosses: a work seasonable for these times, wherein so many articles of our faith are questioned, and so many gross errours daily published Leigh, Edward, 1602-1671.

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