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Wiliam Guthrie -- When is sympathy a duty?

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  • weeping_calvinist
    In what cases is sympathie a dutie? I answer, sympathie is not a dutie in every case, and to every parti or person; for, 1. We are not called to sympathise
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 13, 2003
      In what cases is sympathie a dutie? I answer, sympathie is not a
      dutie in every case, and to every parti or person; for,

      1. We are not called to sympathise with the devils, they are not to
      be pitied; neither,

      2. Are we to sympathise with the desperat enemies of God, when the
      vengeance of God lights on them, tho there be that much naturalty in
      us to pity both, yet we will get no thanks for it from God: for it's
      both a promise and a prophesie, that the righteous shall rejoyce when
      he sees the vengence, and shall wash his feet in the blood of the
      wicked, (Psal. lviii. 10.) In what cases then is sympathie a dutie? I
      answer, it is a duty in these cases,

      1. When multitudes of people are perishing for want of the knowledge
      of God - that s a kindly case of sympathie. (Rom. 9:2) When the Jews
      were perishing, and would not receive the gospel, sympathie rose in
      the apostle Paul to as great a height as ever it was in a sinful man,
      which made him say, "I have continual sorrow and heaviness in my
      heart, and could wish I were accursed for my brethren, my kinsmen
      according to the flesh." So we may see it in Christ, when the people
      were standing white befor him, and there were none to stryken and
      cutt down the harvest, (Matth. ix. 36, 37;) wherefore it s said, "He
      had compassion on them, because they fainted as sheep without a

      2. Another case is, - the personal sufferings of God's people, either
      inward in soul exercise or else, outward and bodily trouble on their
      person, name, goods, or interests; wherefor, (Job ii. 11,)" When
      Job's three friends heard of the evil that was come upon him, they
      made ane appointment, and caine together to murn with him, and to
      comfort him."

      3dly, A third, and the great case is, the sufferings of the Church of
      God. When it fairs ill with Zion, that's the case in all the world
      that we are most oblidged to sympathise in, and in which the saints
      have ever been most in sympathising; and these being the cases
      wherein we are called to sympathise, if ye consider them, ye will
      find this is the season, if any of these cases call for sympathie,
      much more when they all concurr in our condition, as after we may
      hear. But,

      2dly, Ye would know that there are degrees of sympathie according as
      the case requires; some cases require more sympathie, some cases
      require less sympathie, and sometimes the saints have engrossed one
      degree of it, sometimes another; but when all the three cases runs
      together, and when they are together in such a height, sympathie in
      all the steps we named befor is called for, and to want sympathie at
      such a time, and in such a concurrence of cases, speaks out a bad
      condition. And,

      3dly, You would know that every time is not fitt for all expressions
      of sympathie, for to vent sympathie in all its effects; sympathie
      hath its own times and places for the expressions of it; as for
      instance, sympathie requires that I should look sad from a heart
      inwardly affected, but when I meet with a profain lown that's blaith
      to hear of the trouble of God's people, it were a sin to look sad and
      not my duty, for in so doing, I should make his heart glad which God
      would have made sad; and, therefor, at such a time, I am to evidence
      that I believe that God is the light of the countenance of his
      people, and to bod well, and to look out blyth; for as sympathie hath
      its degrees and measures as the case calls for, and every case calls
      me not to be dead to my injoyments, so wisdom is to dwell with
      prudence, and order sympathie in the expressions and venting of it.


      taken from A Sermon On Sympathie, found here:

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