For every one that does evil hates the light, neither comes to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.…
I. IT IS AN ACTUAL HATRED (Proverbs 1:22).
II. IT IS A PASSION OF THE HEART.
III. IT IS A PASSION WHEREBY THE HEART RISETH UP AGAINST A UNION WITH THE WORD. A wicked man hates not the Word so long as it keeps within itself; but if it begin to pluck sin from him and his pleasures from him, then he hates it. I put this union of the Word in opposition to four things.
1. Against general preaching. A wicked man may hear a thousand sermons and like them all, but let one of them come in particular to him and tell him this is thy sin, and thou must go to hell for it if thou repentest not, then he hates it. John the Baptist was heard by Herod gladly so long as he kept off his personal sin.
2. Against merciful preaching, which can never stick a sermon on to a profane heart. Ahab loved his 400 prophets well enough, but when Micaiah came, "Oh, I hate him, for he never prophesieth good unto me!"
3. Against preaching when the minister is dead. A wicked man can endure that, because there is none to urge a union of the Word with his conscience. He can read St. Paul, St. Peter, St. John, etc., and the books of dead ministers, but if they were alive to tell him if this be the Word of God then thou art a damned man, they would not be loved.
4. Against now and then preaching. The wicked can endure the word so long as it doth not stand digging in their conscience and galling their hearts day by day. Occasional rebukes they can stand, but to be convicted every Sunday for condemned men, this they hate.
IV. As it is an actual affection whereby the heart riseth up against a union, so IT IS AGAINST THAT WHICH IS DISSONANT AND REPUGNANT TO HIS LUST. Therefore wicked men may love three kinds of preaching.
1. Quaint preaching that savours more of humanity than of divinity. Dainty phrases, acute stories, eloquent allusions are heard well enough.
2. Impertinent preaching, when, though it be never so pertinent to some in the church, yet if it be not pertinent to him, he loves it. The drunkard does not cavil at a sermon against hypocrisy, nor the profligate at one against covetousness; but if the Word strikes his own particular corruption, he hates it.
3. So much preaching. A wicked man's conscience tells him that he must have some religion, and therefore so long as the minister calls only for some hearing, he responds. The vilest drunkard will be content to hear of calling on the Lord Jesus at his death; otherwise their consciences would not be quiet.
V. THUS YOU SEE THAT WICKED MEN HATE THE WORD OF GOD. They hate it because —
1. They hate the truth, and being of the Word, a man hates the being of that which he hates, and he would destroy it. Now, though a wicked man cannot destroy the Bible from being in itself, yet he would destroy the Bible from being in his life.
2. They hate the nature of the Word (Romans 8:7).
3. This being the case, he hates the being of the Word in his understanding (Job 21:14).
VI. USE IS TO REPROVE THE WICKED AND INVITE THEM TO REPENTANCE.
Parallel VersesKJV: For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.