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There is no surer mark of a low and unregenerate nature than this tendency of power to loudness and wantonness instead of quietness and reverence. To souls baptized in Christian nobleness the largest sphere of command is but a wider empire of obedience, calling them, not to escape from holy rule, but to its full impersonation.
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A SWEET disorder in the dressKindles in clothes a wantonness :A lawn about the shoulders thrownInto a fine distraction :An erring lace which here and thereEnthrals the crimson stomacher :A cuff neglectful, and therebyRibbons to flow confusedly :A winning wave (deserving note)In the tempestuous petticoat :A careless shoe-string, in whose tieI see a wild civility :Do more bewitch me than when artIs too precise in every part.
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When either grace is turned into painted, but rotten nature, as Arminians do, or into wantonness, as others do, the error to me is of a far other and higher elevation, than opinions touching church government. Tenacious adhering to Antinomian errors, with an obstinate and final persistence in them, both as touching faith to, and suitable practice of them, I shall think, cannot be fathered upon any of the regenerated; for it is an opinion not in the margin and borders, but in the page and body, and too near the centre and vital parts of the gospel.
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We are in a war of a peculiar nature. It is not with an ordinary community, which is hostile or friendly as passion or as interest may veer about: not with a state which makes war through wantonness, and abandons it through lassitude. We are at war with a system, which by its essence, is inimical to all other governments, and which makes peace or war, as peace and war may best contribute to their subversion. It is with an armed doctrine that we are at war. It has, by its essence, a faction of opinion, and of interest, and of enthusiasm, in every country.
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There may be some truth (atheists) do not need to believe in a god to be good, but then if they do not believe in a god, who do they believe gives the Universal Law of following good and shunning evil? Obviously, mankind. But then that is a dangerous thing, for if a man does not believe in a god capable of giving perfect laws, he is in the position of declaring all laws come from man, and as man is imperfect, he can declare that as fallible men make imperfect laws, he can pick and choose what he wishes to follow, that which, in his own mind seems good. He does not believe in divine retribution, therefore he can also declare his own morality contrary to what the divine may decree simply because he believes there is no divine decree. He may follow his every whim and passion, declaring it to be good when it may be very evil, for he like all men is imperfect, so how can he tell what is verily good? The atheist is in danger of mistaking vice for good and consequently follow another slave master and tyrant, his own physical and mental weakness. Evil would be wittingly or unwittingly perpetrated, therefore, to recognise the existence of a perfect divine being that gives perfect Universal Laws is much better than not to believe in a god, for if there is a perfect god, they will not allow their laws to be broken with impunity as in the case with many corrupt judges on earth, but will punish accordingly in due time. Therefore, to be pious and reverent is the surest path to true freedom as a perfect god will give perfect laws to prevent all manner of slavery, tyranny and moral wantonness, even if we do not understand why they are good laws at times.
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