And the remnant that is escaped of the house of Judah shall again take root downward, and bear fruit upward.—Isaiah 37.31.

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How the Americans became Sodomists,

And what Other Nations Must Remember,

So that they Become Not So Vile:

Being the Conclusion of an Old Sermon

Upon the 23rd Chapter of Deuteronomy,

By John Calvin.


Isaiah 1.10: Hear the word of the LORD, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah.

Psalm 94.20: Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee, which frameth mischief by a law?

X

TrueCovenanter.com Editor’s Introduction.

On June 26th, 2015, the pretended Supreme Court of the United States, presumed to adjudicate in favour of what they, as many others, choose to call “same-sex marriage.”  The institution contemplated is, of course, nothing less than a contract of sodomy, a crime abhorrent in its nature, and too filthy to be described.  Pretense, as in the case of many other crimes, is used to divert attention from the nature of this contract, as if it were devised for sincere and honourable intentions.  And, it must be admitted, the obvious defects of the U.S. Constitution have given occasion for such a judgment to be made as a matter of inevitable conclusion on a technical basis.  The court would not have us to think they are the enemies of traditional marriage, or intend to hinder Christians from having and declaring their own opinions on the subject.  Though truly they speak as the Dragon, yet still they desire to emphasize “that religions, and those who adhere to religious doctrines, may continue to advocate with utmost, sincere conviction that, by divine precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned.” (U.S. Supreme Court, Decision June 26, 2015, Opinion of the Court, Section IV.)

But how is it that Sodomy has been licensed?  How is it that institutions which pretend to serve the purpose of government have come to require themselves to recognize and approve such a filthy crime?  How is it that even a small number of residents in the territories of these states have come to desire such a ruling?  Why is a crime, plainly declared in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be “worthy of death,” (Romans 1.32,) now given license as no crime at all, among a people who formerly counted it a heinous crime?

Admittedly there is some difficulty in seeing how these questions could be answered.  But we might say so of many sins really.  Are there not many sorts of sins and crimes counted as non-criminal, or no offense whatsoever, in western nations such as the United States?  A Christian, who sincerely desires to answer the above questions, will find his mind settled by a thorough examination of the first chapter of the Epistle to the Romans, and a general consideration of all that the Holy Scripture says about the sinful nature of fallen man.

Are there no enormities in your life which you have gradually come to regard as trifles?  Perhaps you always regarded them as trifles.  But does your father? or would his grandfather, if he were alive today?  To be sure, sin has always been in the world; but ought we not to hear the voice of our fathers and mothers of former generations, if they were able to see more clearly what our eyes perceive by the dim light of an age that has been worn out with sin and willingly conditioned to its offensiveness until it seemed ordinary and harmless?

Alas, we cannot speak to them now, nor know everything they would speak to us.  But some, much better than the American “Founding Fathers,” (who overthrew the Christian institutions of their predecessors,) have left us on record plain warnings about what would come upon us, if we would not submit to be ruled by the Law of God.  And so, the following is commended as of great use in answering many of those hard questions which presently trouble the minds of good people.

2015.07.29::JTKer.

MOSES in the third place saith: Let there be no whore in Israel, nor any filthy and infamous fornicator.  And whereas he speaketh here, of fornicators, it is not meant of common fornication, but of that outrageous filthiness which is contrary to all nature.  And verily it is a dreadful thing to consider that the people which was dedicated unto GOD, should [need to] be forbidden such wickedness: and especially that they should at that time so exceed in villainous behaviour, that they had not only stews for strumpets [houses of prostitution], {818:A} where women abandoned themselves unto filthy lusts, but also that men with men were given to such filthiness.  Is not this a thing which ought to make every hair of our head to stand on end?  But hereby we are warned what men of themselves are, except GOD hold them back and govern them by his Holy Spirit.  We must not think that these corruptions never came into the world before this day.  They have been in it from all time.  For since the time that Adam estranged himself from GOD, it was of necessity, that he should bear the punishment of his sin, and that all his posterity should be abandoned unto wickedness.  For the root of all vices, yea of all outrageous crimes, doth then bud forth when man is forsaken of GOD, and hath the bridle laid loose on his neck as it is to be seen here.  For we see that natural fornications suffice not, but more than beastly enormities are committed.  Common filching thieveries suffice not, but there are robberies and piracies: there are inventions and practices more wicked than all the thieveries in the world.  Men are grown so far out of kind, that they are daily inventing of strange fashions, they think it not enough to have put their enemies to death, except they extend their cruelty yet farther.  To be short, if we consider well of all that is in man until GOD govern him; we shall find within him even a sink and gulf of hell.  And as every man nourisheth [fosters] in himself much wickedness, so must it needs be that the mischief thereof shall increase, except [unless] GOD provide a remedy for it.  And whereas among the Pagans themselves there was always kept some honesty [order of decency]; it came so to pass through the wonderful providence of GOD, who meant still to reserve some honesty among mankind.  Indeed the Pagans had never this intent of serving GOD, as was reason they should, but yet although none of their works were accounted pure before GOD, he notwithstanding so ruled them, as things might not be utterly confounded.  Since we see this, let us learn that when God sheweth us any signs of his providence by retaining men in some order and honesty, it is to make us perceive thereby, that he watcheth over mankind.  And on the other side, let us know also, that if he held not out his hand to keep men under some order, we should see such villainous and detestable things, that even the brute beasts should behave themselves more honestly than men.  See (I say) what we are to consider of; to the end we may pray God to receive us, and not to suffer us to fall into any such enormities as even ourselves should be constrained to abhor them.  And for as much as we see that examples of these things have been given so long time since; and perceive by experience that the world ceaseth not to grow worse and worse: what would come of it if God should not redress it?  What would be the end of it?  Questionless, were it not for God’s wonderful providence in this behalf, it {818:B} must needs come to pass that all honesty among men should be clean wiped out.  Thus ye see what we have to consider upon the forewarning which GOD maketh in this place.  And moreover let us note that this law of GOD himself could not utterly disappoint the reigning of such abomination even in the people which named themselves holy and elected above all the rest of the world.  Insomuch that sometimes the holy Scripture speaking of Kings which were not over diligent in doing their duties, saith that there were Stews, yea even against nature, not only of harlots which were at hire, but also of other shameful filthiness not to be named: and that this wickedness reigned.  And where? In Judah.  Therefore when we hear this rehearsed unto us, we ought to tremble and walk in fear and wariness, praying GOD to hide us under his wings, and not to suffer such corruptions to happen unto us.  And let us note that from the one [step] we step to the other.  For when loose behaviour is once permitted, men bear themselves in hand that everything is lawful.  When such infamous things are suffered [tolerated], and lawless liberty of using them is granted in any country, men not only give themselves to lechery like dogs, but also in the end do fall into greater and more outrageous filthiness.  Therefore seeing it is so, let us learn in general to have such a care among us, as all infections of whoredom may be removed, and we clean purged from them.  For that is the very thing which GOD aimeth at.  Now indeed it is true that this is a civil law [judicial law]; but yet for all that, it belongeth unto the third commandment of the second table [of the moral law]: where it is said: Thou shalt not commit adultery.  Why are the people of GOD forbidden to have stews [brothels] among them?  Because fornication is a detestable thing in his sight: for his will is that we should be wholly dedicated unto him both in our souls, and in our bodies.  So then whereas God detesteth whoredom, what shall we think when open stews are suffered [tolerated or licensed], and no punishment or chastisement appointed for adulterers?  What shall we think thereof, but that men in the end will defy God and persuade themselves that whoredom is nothing?  We see then whereunto God meant to lead us, namely, that we should know how profitable a thing it is for us to think on the wretchedness of some men, that is to wit, that they fall into so outrageous things, that they forget all honesty of nature; and that there would be nothing but beastliness in them, except they were withheld by the hand of God.  Let this put us in fear, and quicken us up to pray God to withdraw us from these corruptions whereunto we are overmuch inclined, or rather wholly given over.  And let us yield ourselves fully unto Him, and not behave ourselves as horses which are broken loose.  Let us take heed of seeking occasions of wickedness, [i.e., dancing, movies, and unsupervised circumstances,] or of granting unto ourselves leave of lawless liberty to {819:A} do wickedly, either in adultery or otherwise: and let us keep ourselves in such pureness, as every [one] of us may be ready to frame himself unto the righteousness of God, and to keep and maintain ourselves in all innocency before him.

NOW let us kneel down in the presence of our good God with acknowledgement of our faults, praying him to make us to feel them more and more.  And because it hath pleased him to call us unto himself, yea and to declare oftentimes that he is our God, and to make us also to perceive the power of his help, not only touching our bodies, but also touching our souls: let us beseech him that we may be provoked {819:B} hereby to yield ourselves wholly unto him, and that all of us examining ourselves more narrowly, and perceiving our own defilements, may resort unto the holiness and pureness of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying him so to purge us by his Holy Spirit, that our only seeking may be to offer ourselves up unto our God both soul and body, and that therewithal we may learn to live one with another in all uprightness and honesty, so as it may always serve us to mortify our wicked affections, and not hinder us from enjoying those benefits which he daily bestoweth upon his Church.  And that it may please him to impart these things not only to us, but also to all people and nations of the earth, [let us pray,] &c.


The Remedy for National Sodomy.

We think the poor souls of pious saints now languish in consideration of the manner in which our nation’s disorders are lengthened out further and further in opposition to the laws of God and man.  How can we not act in response?  And when we act, how can we act in any way which will not be effectual?  Christians have told their “opinion” on these matters, and the enemy is ready to bury it, simply because it is the “opinion” of “Christians.”  Will this effort work?  Can the truth be buried by those who suppress it of evil intent? (Rom. 1.18.)  Is it possible that Divine Law and the universally received law of nature can be arbitrarily re-identified as the “opinion” of “private individuals,” simply because a confused company of bad men desire to impose their virtual reality on the world?  They are a generation of those that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! (Isa. 5.20.)  Clearly we are at the point that it is not sufficient to only tell men what the dictates of Christianity are, or what the words of God’s Holy Scriptures express.  We must continue to do so, but we must also do more.  What other remedies are at hand?

A long list of particulars might be proposed to remedy the present situation, but for the present it is best only to put these in a summary form, under general headings.  All of these have their right uses and wrong uses, so the reader should be careful to remember that every remedy must be regulated by the precepts of God’s law.  Discernment is necessary in considering what laws apply in which circumstances; and when circumstances require actions of an extraordinary character, yet we must always be under the law to Christ and avoid all contradiction of his holy precepts. (1 Cor. 9.21.)  Let us remember this, and take these general heads.  They are set forth here in order of what is assumed to be their popularity with American society, from greatest to least:

  1. Political Remedies by being “involved in the system” through the use of “legal means.”
  2. The Preaching of the Gospel, Prayer, and Fasting.
  3. A Diligent “Activism” in all circumstances, Public and Private.
  4. Resistance, Force, and Violence.

The first of these remedies, which even the enemy would encourage us to employ, is little more than a ruse.  For over 200 years, Reformed Presbyterians have testified against the U.S. political institutions as void of moral authority.  It was fundamentally defective from its beginning, and the fruits continue to expose the badness of this tree.  As many Christians doubted our conclusions at first, we must admire the Lord’s providence in giving his enemies leave to convince our brethren how necessary it is to oppose the rule of Man’s law when it is put in the place of God’s Law. 

The second and third remedies above should have a prominent place in the public life of the Church, and the private lives of Christians.  They have had their part in the remedy of many moral evils, and all of the Church’s troubles through the centuries.  But again, Preaching, Prayer, Fasting, and all Activism must be directed according to God’s commandment.  The Lord does not authorize compromise or the bargaining of priorities in our exercise of these.  Use them well, and He will bless them in due time. (Deut. 26.7-9.)

The last remedy must also have its place.  Some will resist by suffering.  Others will resist by disobeying men.  Still others will resist by more active means.  All Christians should have careful regard to God’s law in the use of force or violence.  But as there is to every thing a season and a time to kill as well as a time to heal, and a time to break down as well as a time to build up; so we should neither fear, nor be ashamed, to see the sort of zeal which led our Saviour to drive men out of the temple with a scourge and overturn their tables, nor misregard that zeal which led Phinehas to execute justice upon those who gave public honour to perverse lust in his day. (Eccles. 3.1-3; John 2.15; Num. 25; Psalm 106.30-31.)

But make no mistake: Our remedies, and God's remedy, are two different things.  If there is difficulty in the first, or anxious fear about what it will involve, we may be sure the latter will have little of ease, comfort, or safety written upon it.  Our nation is young, but it is old enough to have learned something about this by now.

And in his glory excellent

let all his saints rejoice:

Let them to him upon their beds

aloud lift up their voice.


Let in their mouth aloft be rais'd

the high praise of the Lord,

And let them have in their right hand

a sharp two-edged sword;


To execute the vengeance due

upon the heathen all,

And make deserved punishment

upon the people fall.


And ev'n with chains, as pris'ners, bind

their kings that them command;

Yea, and with iron fetters strong,

the nobles of their land.


On them the judgment to perform

found written in his word:

This honour is to all his saints.

O do ye praise the Lord.

—Psalm 149:5-9.