Sunday, February 1, 2009

Crying Sins

All sins equally merit the condemnation of God, but not all sins are equally heinous in his sight (Westminster Shorter Catechism 83-84). Some sins are said to be "mighty sins" (Amos 5.12), while others are said to cry out to God for justice by reason of their particular heinousness. These include murder (Gen. 4.10); sodomy (Gen. 18.20-21); and oppression (Ex. 3.9; Ex. 22.21-23; Hab. 2.11; James 5.4). The Lord is slow to anger, and abundant in mercy, Numb. 14.18; Ps. 103.8; Nah. 1.3 (yet "great and heinous sins are capable of forgiveness, upon true repentance; Isaiah 1:18. Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." -- John Flavel) but judgment will come, and how fearful a thing that is for those who will not betake themselves to the mercy of Jesus Christ. Rather than store up wrath against the coming day of judgment, may God yet grant repentance to our land. O Lord, remember us in mercy, and save us from ourselves.

Lewis Bayly, The Practice of Piety, p. 158:

And we beseech thee, O Lord, to be merciful likewise to thy whole church, and to continue the tranquillity of these kingdoms wherein we live, turning from us those plagues which the crying sins of this nation do cry for.

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