Sketches of Sermons
You shall not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shall you speak in a cause to decline after many to wrest judgment:
I. EXPLAIN THE NATURE OF THIS PRECEPT.
1. It is here assumed that the multitude do evil. This may be inferred —
(1) From the review of past ages.
(2) From the cruel persecutions which have been raised against the righteous in various ages of the world.
(3) From the common conduct of mankind. Is not vice more general than virtue?
2. Secondly, the precept in the text supposes that we are in danger of copying the example of the multitude. We may infer this —
(1) From the innate tendencies we have to evil.
(2) From the prevalence of bad example.
3. From a variety of melancholy facts. The multitude who now do evil were not always such adepts in depravity; when they first entered into the broad way their feet were not swift to do evil; they proceeded with hesitating steps, but by practice became hardened in crime.
II. URGE REASONS TO INDUCE US TO OBSERVE IT. The multitude doing evil should not be imitated, because they are —
1. Unlawful and unconstituted guides.
2. Bad guides.
3. Dishonourable guides.
4. Unprofitable guides.
5. Dangerous guides.
III. IMPART ADVICE FOR THE DIRECTION OF THOSE WHO WISH TO ESCAPE THE ENSNARING WILES OF THE MULTITUDE.
1. Get your minds deeply and thoroughly impressed with the awfulness of your situation. Dangers unseen will be unavoided.
2. Seek the regenerating grace of God.
3. Be on your guard against the seductive wiles and insinuating influence of the multitude. Sinners will entice you; but come out from among them; have no communion with the unfruitful works of darkness (Psalm 1:1).
4. Follow the happy few who strive to do good. Show that you are with Christ by being with His people. Oh, say, "This people shall be my people, and their God my God." Inferences —
(1) That the measures of right and wrong are not to be determined by the majority. Good and evil are fixed immutable principles; and their natures are unchangeable, whether many or few follow them.
(2) What gratitude is due to God for the revelation of His will, which marks the boundaries of right and wrong; and for the gift of His Son to redeem us from this present evil world: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
(Sketches of Sermons.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shalt thou speak in a cause to decline after many to wrest judgment:
WEB: "You shall not follow a crowd to do evil; neither shall you testify in court to side with a multitude to pervert justice;