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LXX.—No respect of persons with God.
LXXV.-The nativity of our Lord, tidings of great joy.
PAG e IV.-The fruitlessness of sin. Roma Ns vi. 21.—What fruit had ye then in those things whereof you are now ashamed 2 for the end of those things
. . ~ ---- * * * V.—A Fragment. On the dispensations of God in this life. 2 Job 11. 10.—Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? . - - - - . 414
MEN are too often afraid or ashamed of religious practice, whilst profaneness and wickedness grow outrageously bold. It is thought wisdom to compound with God, and conform to the world. Such proceeding shown to be built on very fallacious, absurd, and inconsistent grounds; whereby men abuse themselves, and would impose on others; it being the worst sort of hypocrisy, of vain-glory, of courage, &c.; such practice is particularly prejudicial to religion and virtue. The words of the text imply a precept of very large extent, touching all that part of our duty which is public and visible; for which we are accountable to the world ; whereof man can take cognisance.
Its meaning and design first considered; which is, that we should have a special care of our external demeanor and conversation; so that it be exempted from any offence or blame; yea, rather that it be comely and commendable. The terms in which this duty is expressed are notably emphatical ; we are directed trpovoeir, to provide, to use a providence and forecast in the case; to deliberate ere we undertake any design; to consider who will be our spectators, and what influence our acts may have on their opinions: we are to provide; what
BAR. VOL. IV, A
things? kaAa, things fair and handsome, not only good, inno-