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cency passes off for wit, and infidelity for reason.
Answerable to and worthy of these most excellent private studies, is the polite Conversation of the present age, where Noise is Mirth, Obscenity Good-humour, and Profaneness Wit. Decency and Good sense, which were formerly deemed necessary to give a grace to and season Conversation, to join Pleasure and Improvement together, are become mere antiquated notions, words without meaning; and all that the pert and poliţe finner need to do now to establish his reputation of wit, and be deemed the hero of all polite Assemblies, is to get
rid of Religion as soon as possible, to set Conscience at defiance, to deny the Being or Providence of God, to laugh at the Scriptures, deride God's Ordinances, profane his name, and rally his Ministry. Thus
qualified, qualified, the world is his own, he carries all before him, and if he should meet with opposition from some sincere Christian who is truly Religious, and cannot brook to hear the name of his Maker treated with contempt, why he despises and derides the poor superstitious Fool, and superlatively happy in himself laughs at the Argument which he cannot answer,
Much were it to be wished that the Character here drawn was imaginary, or at least uncommon, but I am afraid the experience of all present will affure them it is too real, too frequent.
I shall dismiss my Consideration of this petition by seriously exhorting every Good Christian to extend his regards to his fellow-creatures, to endeavour to propagate a due veneration of God's holy Name, not
only by the goodness of his life, and the sincerity of his Prayers, but also by giving his advice, and exerting his authority. It is naturally implied in the words of this petition, that we hallow God's name our. selves, and promote it in others, as much as lies in our power; and if we are deficient as to ourselves, or negligent as to others, every time we repeat this petition, we incur the censure and punishment due to hypocrisy.
There are it is to be feared, many wellmeaning and sincere Christians, who thro’ fear of laughter, imputation of singularity, and censure of hypocrisy, forbear to rebuke and express their dislike to those many ways, by which God's name is dishonoured in most conversations. But surely if it is becoming, if it is the duty of a man to vindicate the character of his friend, still more becoming, still more the duty must it be of every Christian to defend the honour of his God; especially as those who profane it will be apt to construe silence into approbation, and think those secretly for them, who are not openly against them. Now that religion is at so low an ebb, every disciple of Christ, who hath at heart the honour of his Master, ought to display the banners of Christianity abroad, to declare open war against wickedness and vice, to consider himself as accountable to God for his backwardness in rebuking his profest enemies, and to look upon himself as a light which is to give light to all that are in the house, and in consequence of such considerations, to let his light so shine before men, that they may see his good works, and glorify his Father which is in Heaven.
ERE we but once thoroughly con
vinced of the existence of a God, and of the great benefits which we have received at his hands, did we but consider, know, and acknowledge him to be our Father which is in Heaven, and suffer fuch considerations to have their due weight and proper effect upon us, to incline us to reverence his name, and render it holy and respectable among men, the next step would be our repeating as we ought, this petition.