Summary: This Sermon is #10 from Rev. Andrew Lee’s SERMONS published in 1803 by Isaiah Thomas, Jr. at Lisbon, Connecticut.
The entire book Andrew’s Lee’s Sermons is available free at Project Gutenberg as e-Text #15031.
David’s Sin in the Matter of Uriah.
2 Samuel xii, 13.
"And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord. And Nathan said unto David, The lord also hath put away thy sin; then shalt not die."
THE sin here referred to is that of David in the matter of Uriah. A strange and sad event--taken in all its circumstances and connections, it is without a parallel. But the circumstance most to be lamented, is that mentioned by the prophet, in the close of his message--"By this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme."
THE justness of this remark, doubtless appeared at that day, in the triumph of sinners and exultations of scoffers; and the story brought down to us, "on whom the ends of the world are come" is still abused to keep vice in countenance.
"LOOK to David, your man of religion! Your man after God’s own heart! and witness his complicated crimes! and his long continued security and unconcern under guilt, which cannot be charged on us, who view religion as a dream!"--So the infidel.
WHILE people of another description, wound God’s cause yet more deeply, by the argument which they draw from this fall of David; namely, those who are allowedly vicious, yet call themselves "of the household of faith--who are pure in their own eyes, though not cleansed from their filthiness." These, when reproved, especially if their piety is called in question, often recur to David for support --tell us, that "though eminent for piety, he was guilty of greater sins than their’s, and long continued in them--that he remained impenitent till visited by Nathan, after the birth of his child by Bathsheba. If, say they, be could continue so long secure and unconcerned, why not longer? And why may not others fall into sins and continue in them months and years after having received the grace of God, and after they are numbered among the saints?"
THIS, we conceive, to be the most baleful conclusion which is drawn from this history. And could it be made to appear that such was David’s state, for so long a term, we see no way to avoid the conclusion--see not but the idea which the scriptures give of religion as a holy principle, productive of a holy life, must be relinquished.
SUCH is the idea which the scriptures do give of religion--they teach, that it changeth the heart, and forms the new creature--that "in this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the Devil; that whomever doeth not righteousness is not of God; that by their fruits we are to know men."
THUS speaks that holy book which we believe to be from God, and to shew us the way of salvation. But if the children of God are not made to differ from others, if they may live in allowed disregard of the law of God, like others, these distinctions are idle and unworthy our regard. This matter demands our attention.
FROM the subject before us, the errors now mentioned draw their chief support.
WE do not flatter ourselves that we can stop mouths of scoffers, or so clearly elucidate this dark part of the book of God, that it will no more be abused to the purposes of depravity; but believe that it may be made apparent that it hath been mistaken and perverted; and thereby rendered the more mischievous. This will now be attempted.
THAT David remained unconcerned and devoid of repentance for the sins which he committed in the matter of Uriah, till awakened to consideration by the ministry of Nathan, seems to have been taken for granted, and to have been the ground of these abuses. This may have been the common opinion. Whether it is founded in reality, we will now inquire.
OR those who argue from a supposition that this was the case, we ask evidence that it was so. That we have no express declaration that Nathan found him a penitent, we conceive to be all that can be alleged as evidence that he remained till that time impenitent. To which may be rejoined, that we have no express declaration that Nathan found him impenitent. The fact is, both scripture and profane history are silent respecting the state of David’s mind from the commission of the sins, till he was visited by the prophet. We are left therefore to judge the matter on other grounds. And on what grounds can we form a more profitable opinion than by considering _the general character of the man--the nature and effects of renewing grace--and the temper and conduct of the delinquent when he was reproved by the prophet_? From a consideration of these we may derive the most probable solution of the question, or judge what was probably the state in which David was found by Nathan.