Sin Of Tempting

R.L. Dabney makes some observations on Habakkuk 2:15 (not a promotion or endorsement of Dabney as a true Christian, but he makes some observations that true Christians may benefit from).

“Woe unto him that giveth his neighbor drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness” (Habakkuk 2:15).

R.L. Dabney writes:

“My subject, then, is the sin of tempting a man to transgression. For the sake of brevity, I must classify the multifarious forms in which this sin is committed, under four heads.”

Under these four heads Dabney speaks of classes (or gradations) of guilt. Regarding the second class, he writes:

“The second class is of those who provide for their fellow men the means and appliances of vice from motives of gain or other selfish good to themselves. Their immediate object is not to ruin the virtue of others, but to secure for themselves advantage from the employment of the apparatus of transgression, while they well know, and coolly disregard the fact, that the use of the appliances they provide usually and surely results in sin, guilt, and injury to their victims. If it were equally convenient to secure from those victims the selfish advantages which they desire, by some more innocent expedient, they would have no objection to doing so; but as interest and convenience dictate it, they deliberately plan to make their ends out of the ruin of their neighbors’ morality. To this class belong those who offer to the community the common means of drunkenness; to it belong all the varied troops of harpies, the gamesters, the thespians, the ‘singing men and singing women,’ who live by the dissipated and corrupting amusements of society.

Here, likewise, must be classed all those literary caterers, whether the Grab-street hack who spins out of his sordid brain the penny fiction for the million or the towering genius who seeks readers and applause (objects as sordid, when prized as he prizes them, as the rusty shilling that is craved to relieve the hunger and purchase the dirty debauch of Grub-street) by painting vice or inflaming unholy emotions; whether the merchant prince at whose golden wand steam presses whirl to print the mental poison or the smaller dealer who scatters them for a penny profit through the land. We denounce the unfeeling man who for filthy lucre will offer his fellow man the stupifying anodyne or the fiery draught which steals away the brain. By what argument do we judge him a less sinner who perverts the heavenly gifts of intellect in order to debauch the conscience or to burn in on the mind the images of lust and vice with the fires of eloquence or fancy till the brain is intoxicated with a worse phrensy than that of wine?” (R.L. Dabney, Discussions).

Some related Scripture:

” … who knowing the righteous order of God, that those practicing such things are worthy of death, not only do them, but also approve those practicing them” (Romans 1:32).

“Do not be led astray; bad companionships ruin good habits” (1 Corinthians 15:33).

“I am a companion of all who fear You; yea, of those who keep Your precepts” (Psalm 119:63).

“Depart from me, O evildoers, for I will keep my God’s commands” (Psalm 119:115).

“I will set no wicked thing before my eyes; I have hated the work of those who turn aside; it shall not fasten upon me. A perverse heart shall depart from me; I will not know evil” (Psalm 101:3-4).

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