Genesis 34* Dinah defiled by Shechem. (1-19) The Shechemites murdered bySimeon and Levi. (20-31)1-19 Young persons, especially females, are never so safe andwell off as under the care of pious parents. Their ownignorance, and the flattery and artifices of designing, wickedpeople, who are ever laying snares for them, expose them togreat danger. They are their own enemies if they desire to goabroad, especially alone, among strangers to true religion.Those parents are very wrong who do not hinder their childrenfrom needlessly exposing themselves to danger. Indulgedchildren, like Dinah, often become a grief and shame to theirfamilies. Her pretence was, to see the daughters of the land, tosee how they dressed, and how they danced, and what wasfashionable among them; she went to see, yet that was not all,she went to be seen too. She went to get acquaintance with theCanaanites, and to learn their ways. See what came of Dinah'sgadding. The beginning of sin is as the letting forth of water.How great a matter does a little fire kindle! We shouldcarefully avoid all occasions of sin and approaches to it. 20-31 The Shechemites submitted to the sacred rite, only toserve a turn, to please their prince, and to enrich themselves,and it was just with God to bring punishment upon them. Asnothing secures us better than true religion, so nothing exposesus more than religion only pretended to. But Simeon and Leviwere most unrighteous. Those who act wickedly, under the pretextof religion, are the worst enemies of the truth, and harden thehearts of many to destruction. The crimes of others form noexcuse for us. Alas! how one sin leads on to another, and, likeflames of fire, spread desolation in every direction! Foolishpleasures lead to seduction; seduction produces wrath; wraththirsts for revenge; the thirst of revenge has recourse totreachery; treachery issues in murder; and murder is followed byother lawless actions. Were we to trace the history of unlawfulcommerce between the sexes, we should find it, more than anyother sin, ending in blood.
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