A Practical Exposition of the Book of Proverbs

By George Lawson, 1821

Chapter 6.


In this chapter we are cautioned by the wise man, against rash suretyship, idleness, mischievousness, and especially against impurity, together with a variety of other sins, exceedingly hateful to God.

The first five verses contain a warning against suretyship.

Verse 1, 2. "My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor, if you have struck hands in pledge for another, if you have been trapped by what you said, ensnared by the words of your mouth" God graciously directs our temporal affairs by his providence, and condescends, in his word, to give us instructions concerning them. If we do not regard these instructions, we need not be surprised though his providence convinces us, by dear-bought experience, of our folly and sin.

God forbids us to become a surety, even for a friend, (except for some weighty reason,) and to strike hands with a stranger, in token of our becoming bound for our friend's debts. Men who think only of the present time, are generally too rash in undertaking; but they ought to remember, that the time to come is before them, and will be present time when the time now present is past. If the money were to be paid just now, they would hesitate and deliberate before acting, lest they should wrong their families; but Solomon tells them, that men may ensnare and entangle themselves with the words of their mouths, as well as with the works of their hands. This consideration may alarm those who have already implicated themselves by such engagements. This kind teacher, therefore, puts them on a plan to get free.

Verse 3. "then do this, my son, to free yourself, since you have fallen into your neighbor's hands: Go and humble yourself; press your plea with your neighbor! By rash suretyship, you put yourself into the power, not only of the creditor but of the debtor, for whom you are bound. You lie at his mercy. He has it in his power to make you hurt severely for your foolish kindness to him.

The world is full of complaints about ungrateful men, who have basely abused, to the hurt of their benefactors, the goodness they have experienced. Endeavor, therefore, by the humblest behavior toward your friend, to induce him to take the proper steps to bring you out of your present embarrassed situation; for if you peevishly reflect on him as the means of bringing you into it, he may be provoked to use his advantage to your loss. The wise man is very urgent with his scholars to take this step.

Verse 4, 5. "Give not sleep to your eyes, nor slumber to your eye-lids. Deliver yourself as a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, and as a bird from the hand of the fowler." A gazelle and a bird are creatures destitute of reason yet when entrapped by the arts of the sportsman, they will try every method of escape, and make no delay in using every effort for regaining their freedom. May not equal prudence and attention to their own interests, be expected from reasonable creatures!

But what is the great importance of this precept, that Solomon will not allow his disciple to rest until he is free from these rash engagements? Has this precept any connection with our spiritual interest? It has! It is a part of the eighth commandment, and though men regard it rather as a loss than a sin to endanger their outward estate, it is both a sin and a temptation. Men who once seemed upright in their dealings, have brought reproach upon religion, by living and dying in other men's debt, and by having recourse to unjustifiable methods, suggested by distress, to relieve themselves.

The effect of suretyship, even with the most upright men, has often proved hurtful to their souls, embittering their days, and unfitting them for the cheerful services of religion. It has frequently rendered them unable to perform those services to God and to his church, for the sake of which a competency of the good things of life is to be valued. We are the servants of Christ, and must not disqualify ourselves for his service, by making ourselves needlessly the servants of men.

The precept here given may remind us, how foolish it is for us to make ourselves debtors to divine justice, to please any friend in the world. When one tempts you to commit any sin, however small, consider whether it would be wise in you to make yourselves debtors even to man on his account. As we are all in debt to God, let us give no sleep to our eyes, until we implore his mercy. How powerful must be that lethargy which closes in sleep, eyes that shall awake in Hell, if another day of life is not granted by the abused long-suffering of God!

We may be ashamed to humble ourselves to our friends, or our applications to them may be fruitless. But God is equally glorious in majesty and mercy. He delights in forgiving thousands of talents. The wise man next proceeds to warn us against the vice of slothfulness, to which he was a constant enemy.

Verse 6. "Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise." God has taught us more than the beasts of the earth, and made us wiser than the birds of Heaven. But the sluggard does not equal in wisdom the least of insects! He complains that he is not able to work but has he less strength than an ant? "The ants, (says another wise man), are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer" they therefore shall be his judges.

Why has God made such a multitude of creatures, that are of no use to man? Why has he made some that destroy his property? This is a vain question. We are sure that God has made them all in wisdom, and that he has made some of them teachers of wisdom to us. The ant devours some part of our sustenance but it will pay us well for it, if we are wise enough to improve by its lessons. Every ant-hill is a school, and the wisest of men gives these little animals a testimonial, recommending their instructions to us.

That man makes a god of his belly who thinks no creature of any use to us but such as gives us its flesh to eat, or its labor to provide for our sustenance or comfort. The wisdom which some of them teach is far more valuable than the food with which they supply us.

Other creatures are teachers to us as well as the ant. Look on the whole brute creation, O atheist, and confess their Maker! Go to the oxen and the donkeys, O unthankful man, and be wise to acknowledge your Benefactor! Consider the birds of the air, you who are of little faith, and trust the providence of God!

Why does the wise man single out the ant as a teacher of wisdom to the sluggard? Agur gives us one reason in the 30th chapter of this book their weakness, which may render the sluggard ashamed of his silly excuses. Another reason we find assigned by Solomon in this place.

Verse 7, 8. "It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest."

The bees are a very industrious people but they have a queen to require their labor, and if she dies they will work no more.

The ant has no guide to set her example, no overseer to inspect her work, no ruler to exact her task and yet she does not neglect a day in summer, when the sky clear; or in harvest, when the grain can be had in plenty. She improves every opportunity to store up provisions, that she may spend the days of cold and scarcity in comfort.

And what is the result of all her toil? In winter she enjoys plenty, when other creatures are pinched with poverty, or perish with cold and hunger.

We have guides to set us a good example. We have overseers and rulers appointed us by the King of nations and the King of Zion. Yet how many sluggards are to be found among us, who spend their days in vanity! They are like butterflies, which fritter away the best days of their existence, when they ought to be like ants, allowing no summer day to pass unimproved.

These little animals have knowledge of the times, and are wise to improve opportunities. They join with the stork, and the crane, and the swallow, in reproving those who know not the judgment of the Lord, and neglect the duty of the day in its day.

There are sluggards who bring misery upon themselves in this world. There are far more who bring eternal misery upon their souls, by neglecting the happy opportunities afforded them by the long-suffering of the Lord, of securing their everlasting interests.

They see many days of the Son of man, and enjoy the beams of the Sun of righteousness. They are called with a loud voice to arise and shine but they are less concerned about an everlasting duration of happiness or misery than the despised ant about the provisions of a few months! How will they mourn at the last, and say, "The summer is past, and the harvest is ended and we are not saved!" The sluggard will not awake from his sleep to go and learn wisdom but the wise man goes to him to break his slumbers.

Verse 9. "How long will you sleep, O sluggard! When will you awake out of your sleep?" It is a great waste of time, to spend more hours in sleep than are necessary. Yet from the practice of how many does it appear, that they have adopted the maxim of the Indians, that:
Rest is better than work,
and lying is better than sitting,
and sleeping is better than waking,
and death is better than life!

It is a shame for men to give up to sleep, more than a third part of their time but it is not less so to spend our waking hours in doing nothing, or in doing what is frivolous or unprofitable. All the world would despise a man who would keep his bed from morning until night, though in the possession of perfect health. But in what respect is he better employed, who trifles away in idleness every hour of the day?

He is still worse for lack of employment and weariness of life will lead him to seek relief in impertinent and mischievous talk, or in sensual indulgences, or in meddling with the matters of others. If a man of rank should come to the sleeper's bedside while he is dozing away the morning-hours, and should call him to rise, it might be expected that he would be covered with confusion, and instantly shake off the bands of slumber. But here the wise king comes and draws aside his curtains, and expostulates with him, "How long will you sleep, O sluggard!" The sluggard's ears are heavy with sleep, and cannot hear. Solomon cries again, "When will you awake out of your sleep?" Does the sluggard now hear? The voice is loud enough to pierce his ears but he hears as if he heard not. He is nailed to his bed by sloth and though conscious that he should arise and walk, he pleads hard for a little delay.

Verse 10. "Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep." He forms some faint resolutions to awake, and it is only a short respite from that torment that he begs, "a little sleep." If that is too much, "a little slumber;" or if even that cannot be granted, "a little folding of the hands to sleep," is but a moderate request. The sluggard himself cannot vindicate his sloth, and is resolved to shake it off only he will not do it presently. From time to time he defers the hated reformation, and what is the consequence?

Verse 11. "So shall poverty will come on you like a bandit, and scarcity like an armed man." The house of the sluggard is the haunt of poverty, and it comes not like an invited guest, whose visit is expected but like a bandit, whose approach is unforeseen. It comes like an armed man, and gains an easy victory over the slumbering sluggard. Had he been awake and busy, he might easily have defended himself against its assaults.

Sleep, sloth, and delay, are the thieves of time. By them vigorous bodies have been often enervated, shining talents covered with rust, estates melted into nothing! And what is a thousand times worse, millions of souls have been betrayed into endless perdition!

The Spirit of God says, "Today, if you will hear his voice." The sluggard is not at leisure today but he will hear it tomorrow. Tomorrow comes but the cause of this delay still exists. A thousand tomorrows pass away, and the sluggard is never awakened to wisdom.

At last the king of terrors seizes him with irresistible violence, and hurries him to that place of darkness where there is no work, nor device, nor counsel. The soul must then appear before the solemn all-knowing Judge; and what excuse can be made for these delays of complying with the voice of the great God?

If a king were to call us to come to him, in order to receive some great favor at his hands, we surely would not show so little respect to royalty, and so little regard to our own interest as to defer compliance with the kind invitation from day to day. Is the majesty of earthly princes so much revered by us? Yet to the majesty of Heaven's great Lord, it bears only the same proportion that a spark does to the sun.

The idle man is bad but the mischievous man is still worse. Indeed it generally happens, that he who is enslaved by the one of these vices, becomes in process of time the slave of the other also.

Verse 12-15. "A scoundrel and villain, who goes about with a corrupt mouth, who winks with his eye, signals with his feet and motions with his fingers, who plots evil with deceit in his heart he always stirs up dissension. Therefore disaster will overtake him in an instant; he will suddenly be destroyed without remedy." The mischievous person casts off the yoke of God but he remains the willing and active servant of the devil. He rebels against God beyond his might, and beyond nature presses the members of his body into the service of iniquity.

He not only speaks but walks with a corrupt mouth, making a constant trade of slandering his neighbors, and spreading dissension. His tongue is a world of iniquity and yet it does not serve him sufficiently for expressing the wickedness of his heart. To supply its defects, therefore, he makes artificial tongues of his eyes, his fingers, and his feet. By winking with his eyes, by stamping with his feet, and by pointing with his fingers he shows the scorn and the malice which he bears towards others, and conveys his instructions to his accomplices in wickedness.

It is the malice of his heart which employs all the members of his body, as the instruments of his unrighteousness. His heart overflows with malignity, and is still running over into the words and works of mischief.

The greatest miser takes some rest for his body, from the toils by which he expects to enrich himself; but the heart of this profligate wretch takes no rest from the contrivances of wickedness. He is perpetually torturing his own brain, in devising methods for destroying the happiness and the peace of others.

What will be the end of a fiend like this? He shall, while dreaming of success in his hellish plans fall a prey to some unexpected calamity. He may possibly flatter himself with the intention of repenting of his misdeeds, before called to that war in which there is no discharge but he is suddenly and irremediably broken!

He lived like a devil clothed with flesh, and his soul shall be chased out of his body, to dwell with its kindred devils! He who does evil to others does a thousand times greater hurt to himself. O my soul! Do not enter into the secret of such creatures.

Blessed be God, who checks that corruption which abounds in the hearts of men, and makes the earth a habitable world. Who could live an hour in peace, if God did not provide for our safety, by his all-governing providence? To God must our safety be all ascribed, since evil spirits, numerous and crafty, constantly traverse our earth, and men whose hearts are filled with all iniquity, abound on the face of it. The mischievous man is a compound of vices abhorred by the Lord!

Verse 16-19. There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him:
haughty eyes,
a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood,
a heart that devises wicked schemes,
feet that are quick to rush into evil,
a false witness who pours out lies and
a man who stirs up dissension among brothers!"

Every sin is hateful to God. The sins enumerated in this passage are not mentioned, because there are not others as hateful to God but because they are nearly allied to that vice which had been last reprobated by the wise man, and are generally found in the character of the mischievous person. They are all abhorred by him who is the guardian of his creatures, and the avenger of injuries done to his saints.

Pride leads the van of this troop of iniquities. Its palace is the heart but its throne is erected in the eye, whence it looks with disdain upon men, and pours defiance towards Heaven. The proud man is not only a rebel to God but a usurper of his dignity. He would be a God to men but the living and true God looks upon him with contempt and indignation, and spurns him into Hell.

A lying tongue is abhorred by men, because it tends to the dissolution of society. The devil was a liar from the beginning, and is the father of lies. It is by means of lying, that this adversary of man carries on his work. The God of truth hates liars. He has barred the gates of Heaven fast against them, for none of them are his people.

Murder is a crime against which the first law enacted after the fall was passed. Providence seldom allows it to escape unpunished in this world. Mighty tyrants, who shed the blood of the innocent without fear of human vengeance do not escape punishment from the King of nations. The wicked Emperors of Rome; and many persecuting and bloody kings, are instances of this truth. They shed the blood of men and God gave them blood to drink.

A heart that devises wicked schemes. That murder which lies hidden in the heart, or breaks forth only in the tongue does not escape the eye and the vengeance of the Almighty God. The first motions of sin in the hearts of men, are offensive to God. How greatly then must he abhor that heart, which employs itself in contriving wickedness, and forms deliberate purposes of sin!

A royal chamber, filled, like that of Pharaoh, with frogs and vermin, is not so loathsome as a human heart which should be the residence of God, but is filled with evil imaginations and hellish contrivances. It may well be called, like Babylon in ruins, a habitation of devils, and a house of every unclean and foul spirit.

Feet that are quick to rush into evil. Sin is bad enough when men venture upon it with reluctance and fear but when they are cheerful in the practice of it, and thus run swiftly to mischief, it is a sign that they are veterans in the devil's army, and have in a great degree conquered their consciences.

The feet of such transgressors shall slide in due time, for the things that shall come upon them make greater haste than their feet can possibly do, either to do evil, or to escape the punishment which is their due.

A false witness who pours out lies. A man who speaks lies is the most dangerous pest of human society. Who can insure any man's life or fortune, or character against his tongue which is like a two-edged sword; or against his throat, which is an open sepulcher, to swallow up everything dear to men?

But the God whose solemn name is profaned by these enemies of mankind, holds them in abhorrence, and will by no means permit them to escape punishment.

A man who stirs up dissension among brothers. The sowers of discord among brethren, are worse than those who set fire to the houses of their neighbors! They kindle flames which burn with unrelenting fury, and set on fire families and provinces, and sometimes even nations themselves. They not only sin, but, like Jeroboam the son of Nebat they cause multitudes to sin, destroying that love which is the soul of every commandment, and disseminating those corrupt passions, which prove incentives to all the works of mischief.

The God whose commandments are all included in love, and who sent his Son to be our peace cannot but abhor these sons of Belial. Surely he will make their mischiefs to recoil with an awful vengeance upon their own heads.

The wise man proceeds again to warn us against the snares of the immoral woman; but first he renews his call to attend to those instructions which are the only effectual preventives from her dangerous artifices.

Verse 20-21. "My son, keep your father's commandments, and forsake not the law of your mother. Bind them continually upon your heart, and tie them about your neck." The inspired writer takes it for granted, that the instructions of parents will correspond with the law of God. Can it be supposed that parents will give stones instead of bread, or serpents instead of wholesome nourishment to their children? If they do, they are not to be obeyed, for they act not as parents but as enemies!

The children of Jonadab denied themselves, for many generations, some of the pleasures of the land of Canaan. This they did from a regard to the advice of their progenitor. But when the commands of our earthly parents only enforce those laws of our heavenly Father which are designed for our own benefit every motive of interest and duty, whether divine or human, concurs to enforce our obedience. These laws ought to be bound continually upon our hearts, that they may be ever present to our souls.

The ancient Israelites wore them on their garments but let us wear them on our hearts, and tie them about our necks as the most precious ornament. We must read the instructions of God, and hear the good instructions of men, with attention. We must transcribe them into our hearts, and meditate upon them, and make them the guide of our lives. Hereby much good shall come unto us.

Verse 22. "When you walk, they will guide you;
                  when you sleep, they will watch over you;
                  when you awake, they will speak to you."

We derive much enjoyment and security from having a companion who can entertain us with agreeable conversation, guide us in doubtful paths, and protect us from impending dangers. All these valuable purposes are served by the word of God.

When we walk, it will be our guide, and enable us to avoid every bad step. It will lead us in safety to the land of uprightness, at which none can arrive, who walk according to the course of this world, fulfilling the desires of their flesh and their mind.

When we sleep, it will keep us. There is nothing improbable in supposing that foolish and distressing dreams may be prevented, by the sweet composure which God's word imparts to the spirit. But be this as it may, we know well that the providence of God will perform the promises of the word of God.

By it we shall be preserved from the pestilence that walks in darkness, and from the malicious snares of those invisible enemies who are awake when we sleep, and who, when not checked by the power of God, have methods of disquieting our minds and destroying our peace in the season of rest.

Job's imagination was harassed by the devil in his sleep. That, however, was an extraordinary case, and even then, the rage of that cruel enemy was under restraints.

The word of God will be an entertaining and useful companion to us, when we awake from sleep. It will talk to us of the loving-kindness of the Lord, and the grace of our Redeemer. It will give us the best advices about the business of the day, and teach us to order every step with discretion. If we cannot sleep in the night, it will suggest meditations far more pleasant to our minds, than is refreshing sleep to the body of the worn-out laborer.

How does the law of the Lord answer all these purposes?

Verse 23. "For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light, and the corrections of discipline are the way to life." It is necessary to have a lamp, when one is in a dark place. The law of God is a lamp to dispel the darkness of this world, and to guide our steps in safety.

But as it may be compared to a lamp, because it gives us light in the night so also to the sun, because it is the light of the world. Christ, who is the Sun of righteousness, shines upon us by the word of his grace, enlightening our minds in the knowledge of every useful truth, and guiding us in safety to a better world.

If we shut our eyes on this light, we walk in darkness; but those who walk under its beams, have the light of Heaven shining on their paths.

The places that lack this light, are the dark places of the world; and the souls that receive not the rays of this luminary, are but dungeons in which the day-star has not risen.

It will be allowed, that the doctrines and precepts of the word of God are useful and pleasant as the light but are not the reproofs of it very disagreeable? No; the reproofs of it convey necessary and most beneficial instruction. They are like the admonitions of a kind father, who will not allow his son to follow those courses which he knows would be his ruin. The reproofs of the law may alarm and terrify but they are not to be less valued on that account. The threatenings of Hell guard the way to Heaven, and strongly urge us to keep the King's highway, the only way of safety. The admonitions given us against sin, have a powerful tendency to keep us from the paths of the destroyer!

Verse 24. "To keep you from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a immoral woman." The insinuating language of a wicked woman is nothing but flattery. She professes the fondest love but she designs the gratification of her own detestable passions, and the serving of her interests, at the expense of what is most valuable to her fond admirer.

Her tongue is full of falsehood. By her fair speeches the unwary youth, whom she wishes to seduce, is in great danger of being entangled, and is therefore in great need of some effectual preservative.

Now, the only effectual preservative against the dangers of temptation is the word of God. A good education, a sense of honor, the principle of self-interest may have some efficacy towards this end; but the great means blessed by God for this purpose is his own word, which is the sword of the Spirit, by which he enables us effectually to resist and baffle, not only flesh and blood but principalities and powers.

Every part of the word of God serves to promote purity in all its branches. No passages of it are more effectual to preserve us from fleshly lusts, than the warnings of Paul to the Corinthians, and those of Solomon in various parts of this book. Solomon knew well from experience, that it is extremely dangerous to give sin indulgence in the heart, though we design not to practice it. He therefore warns us against lusting after the beauty of the immoral woman in our heart.

Verse 25. "Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes!" The beauty that sparkles in the eye of a virtuous woman is a lovely ornament. The beauty of the immoral woman is a temptation to the foolish yet to others it appears like a beautiful garment on a body covered with loathsome sores, or a jewel of gold in a swine's snout. The lust of the heart is adultery in the sight of God, and it were better to have our eyes plucked out, than to have our hearts inflamed with lust! But impure imaginations do not ordinarily rest in quiet. They push on the man that harbors them, to outward acts of sin. When lust has conceived, it brings forth sin; and sin, when it is finished, brings forth misery!

Verse 26. "For the prostitute reduces you to a loaf of bread, and the adulteress preys upon your very life!" Poverty is an object of horror to the greater part of men. The desire of removing or preventing it, is the grand spring which keeps the world constantly in motion. But the adulterer drives on furiously towards it, for though as much afraid of it as other men, he is hurried along in his wild career by tyrannizing passions that have blinded his eyes, and taken possession of his soul to such a degree, that he must have them gratified, though ruin is the inevitable consequence!

Life is so precious, that a man will give all that he has for it. Yet the infatuated immoral man sells his life at a cheaper rate than a wise man would sell his dog! He flatters himself indeed that he shall escape vengeance; but the scripture assures us that such hopes are self-delusions, and that a man may as well expect to remain unhurt though he takes fire to burn himself; or walks on burning coals.

Verse 27-29. "Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned? Can a man walk on hot coals without his feet being scorched? So is he who sleeps with another man's wife; no one who touches her will go unpunished."

Sodom and Gomorrah are standing illustrations of this solemn truth. You say, "The burning of these cities was a strange act, scarcely anything similar to it has happened since." But God has set forth these cities as an example, making them to suffer the vengeance of eternal fire; and impenitent sinners will find at the last, that those who despised the words of Solomon, and of Christ himself shall suffer more severely than the cities of the plain, whose iniquities were not so terribly aggravated by despised means of instruction and reformation. Stealing is a detested sin, and exposes men to severe punishment; but it is much less heinous than adultery, nor will the punishment of it be so great.

Verse 30-35. "Men do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy his hunger when he is starving. Yet if he is caught, he must pay sevenfold, though it costs him all the wealth of his house. But a man who commits adultery lacks judgment; whoever does so destroys himself. Blows and disgrace are his lot, and his shame will never be wiped away; for jealousy arouses a husband's fury, and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge. He will not accept any compensation; he will refuse the bribe, however great it is."

Theft is a sin deservedly abhorred, and those who are guilty of it expose themselves to contempt and indignation. Yet when necessity tempts a man to steal, he is the object of pity rather than of scorn. No necessity can excuse any sin but apparent necessity may extenuate it.

This plea, however, cannot be urged to palliate the crime of adultery, which is always the effect of a wicked disposition, and an impure imagination.

When a man steals, it is perhaps to appease the cravings of hunger, which is an appetite too fierce for human nature to oppose. But immoral actions are the gratifications of brutal lust, and tend not to the preservation but to the destruction of the life.

Yet a thief must suffer, although he is pitied when hunger urges him on to steal. He shall restore manifold, according to the law; and if he cannot make the ample restitution required, he must give all the substance of his house.

How then does the adulterer hope to escape a much more grievous punishment, for a crime which can admit of no reparation? A thief may steal for lack of bread but the adulterer sins because he immoral. He exposes himself to a deadly wound from a jealous husband, or an avenging magistrate. He contracts a blot upon his name which adheres to it indelibly, and spreads itself even to his children. He may give all the substance of his house to the man whom he has injured but it will not be accepted as an atonement for his life; for a fire of jealousy is kindled, which can be quenched only in his blood.

This argument may be supposed to have little weight among us, who punish theft more severely than adultery. But when crimes that deserve death escape punishment from men then God, the King of all nations, punishes them by his providence, and sometimes with greater severity, because his earthly ministers neglect to show his resentment of them.

Earthly magistrates often punish thieves and highwaymen more severely than adulterers but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge! We may without presumption suppose, that even in this world he often brings them to a gibbet, by allowing them to imbrue their hands in blood, or to commit other capital crimes.

The Bible assures us, that God often punishes one sin, by permitting the transgressor to fall into another; and particularly, that God has given up men to immorality, for the indignities they have done to his own name, and along with it, to other iniquities that bring vengeance in their train.

If these sinners escape outward punishment, let them remember how terrible that destruction is, which God has designed for them, and how impossible it will be to escape from the Judge of all. They complain that they cannot extinguish their burning lusts but it shall be more impossible to extinguish the fire that shall never be quenched!