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The Blameless Pair.

The Blameless Pair.

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Am they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandment* and ordinances of the Lord blameless. — Luke l

Am they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandment* and ordinances of the Lord blameless. — Luke l

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jul 13, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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THE BLAMELESS PAIR.REV. EDWARD PAYSO, D. D.Am they were both righteous before God, walking in all thecommandment* and ordinances of the Lord blameless. — Luke lThe persons of whom the Holy Ghost has borne this honor-able testimony are Zacharias and Elizabeth, the parents of Johnthe Baptist The character here ascribed to them, so excellentand desirable in itself, is especially deserving the regard andimitation of all who are united by conjugal ties. As this unionis the source and basis of all the social relations, the characterof those who "are no more twain but one flesh" must necessa-rily exert a powerful influence, not only over the domestic circle,but through all the ramifications of human society. It will bethe object of this discourse,I. To consider and illustrate the character described in thetext; and,II. To present some reasons why all who have entered themarriage state should endeavor to make it their own.I. The first thing which demands attention in the characterof this truly excellent and happy pair, is, that they were right-eous before God. This, my hearers, is a great thing. It is,indeed, very easy to be righteous in our own estimation ; nor isit very difficult to be righteous in the estimation of our fellowcreatures; but it is by no means equally easy to be righteous inthe estimation of God. He is constantly with us ; he sees ourTHE BLAMELESS PAIR. 281
whole conduct ; nay more, he reads our hearts. To be righteousbefore him, then, is to be really, inwardly, and uniformly right-eous. It is to be the same persons in every situation, and on alloccasions ; the same at home, and abroad, in solitude and insociety. But much less than this will suffice to make us right-eous in the estimation of our fellovr creatures. They are notalways with us ; they do hqt see the whole of our conduct; andof our hearts, our motives, they know almost nothing. Of course, they know very little of our real characters. How little,for instance, do the nearest neighbors really know of each other.How many characters, which now stand fair, would be blastedin a moment, were every part of their outward conduct only,laid open to public view V And how many husbands and wives,who are generally supposed to live happily together, would befound mutual tormentors, were they fully known to the world !How wretchedly then are those pcrsoos deceived, who flatterthemselves that they are righteous before God, iberely becausetheir characters stand fair in the estimation of men. And yethow many flatter themselves in this manner. How many feeland act, as if they were to bo judged by men only, and not bythe heart-searching God; — as if that part of their conduct only,which is known to the world, was to be brought into judgment;and not every secret action, thought, and feeling.My hearers, permit me to warn you against this ruinous delu*lion. Remember that, in order to be really righteous, you mustbe righteous before God. Remember, that no man, who wouldnot be thought righteous by his fellow creatures, if his wholeconduct and his whole heart Were laid open to them, is righteousbefore God. Do you start at this assertion ? A moment's re-flection will convince you that it is strictly true. The wholeconduct, and the whole heart of every man, is perfectly knownto God. ow if God, knowing a man thus perfectly, judgeshim to be righteous, then his fellow creatures, did they knowhim as perfectly, would judge him to be righteous. Hence itfollows, that every man is unrighteous, -whom his fellow crea^tores would judge to be unrighteous, were they perfectlyacquainted with his conduct and with his heart. Try yourselvesby this rule. Would men think you righteous, did they knowyou as perfectly as God knows you? Then you are righteous.
Would men think you unrighteous, did they know you thusvol. in. 36282 THE BLAMELESS PAIR.perfectly ? Then you are unrighteous. It may, however, benecessary to remark, that in making these assertions, I proceedon the supposition, that men should judge of you by the rule of.God's Word, the rule by which God himself judges of yourcharacter. With this qualification, the truth of these assertionsmust, I conceive, appear evident to alLAnd is it not, to some of you at least, an alarming thought,that if men, did they know you perfectly, would think you un-righteous, then God certainly does think you so ? And that hewill treat you accordingly, unless you repent ? If this thoughtdoes alarm any one, let me entreat him not to dismiss it hastily.Keep it in mind, make use of it to regulate your conduct, andto try your character ; and when your heart and life becomesuch, that an impartial jury of your fellow creatures, perfectlyacquainted with both, and judging of them by the rules of God's Word, would pronounce you truly righteous, then, andnot till then, may you venture to hope that you are righteousbefore God.But the opinion of men, if they knew us perfectly, and judgedus by the Word of God, would be according to truth; and, of course, deserve our regard. Yet while they know so little of us,as they actually do, their good opinion can prove nothing in ourfavor, except it be, that our outward conduct, so far as it comesunder their notice, is correct. Still less can our own opinionthat we are righteous prove us to be so. Agreeably, we findSt Paul saying, It is a very small thing with me to be judgedof man's judgment, yea, I judge not mine own self; but he ,that judgeth me is the Lord. And is it not wonderful, myhearers, that every man who believes there is a God, does not,like the apostle, feel as if the opinions of other beings respecting

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