The Dog Returned to His Vomit
2 Peter 2:17-22
These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.…

I. A conclusion.

1. The verity of the proverb. Good proverbs aye commended to us for five special excellences, wherein they transcend other discourses.

(1) For their antiquity." The sayings of our fathers and ancestors have a reverend estimation among us; nor do we wrap them up in the bundle of our ordinary lessons, but preserve them as dear relics of their happy memories.

(2) For their brevity. They are concise and compendious, and so more portable for the memory.

(3) For their significancy, comprehending much matter in few words.

(4) For experience. The sages have tried that doctrine themselves, which they commend to others.

(5) For their truth. False proverbs are Satan's logic, which he hopes will be received for their wit, though they savour not of honesty or verity.

2. The verification of the proverb. "It is happened unto them." Swine and dogs will return to their old filthiness; but woe unto those men that shall degenerate into such brutish qualities! It becomes them worse than those beasts, and a far worse end shall come unto them than unto beasts.


1. Consider the two creatures together.

(1) Sin doth liken men to beasts, to sordid beasts, and that in their basest filthiness.

(2) God made us little inferior to angels, and we make ourselves little superior to beasts.

2. Severally.

(1) The dog hath many good qualities, and is divers ways useful and serviceable to man; yet still he is a dog. A wicked man loseth not his substance, or faculties, so that he ceaseth to be specifically a man; but he ceaseth to be a good man. There is such a corruption diffused through all those powers and faculties, that he is a wicked one.

(2) The hog is not without some good properties. There is no creature not endued with some goodness in its kind; though nature be corrupted, it is not abolished. But my argument is their filthiness(a) The hog is a churlish creature, grudging any part of his meat to his fellows. And have we no such covetous men, whose insatiate eye envies every morsel that enters into their neighbour's mouth?

(b) The swine is ravenous, and devouring all within his reach: a fit emblem of worldly men, who because they have no inheritance above, engross all below; nor is there any means to keep them quiet, till they see no more to covet.

(c) Swine are ever rooting in the ground, and destroying the very means of increase. If the covetous could have their will, the whole earth should not yield a handful of corn, but that which grows on their own lands, or lies mouldering in their garners.

(d) If the swine be troubled, he sets up his bristles, and foams with anger. Such a savage impatience possesses many hearts, that with fierce wrath they foam at their mouths, and strike with their tusks, and supply the defect of words with wounds.

(A. Symson.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.

WEB: These are wells without water, clouds driven by a storm; for whom the blackness of darkness has been reserved forever.

The Danger of Relapsing
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