The Folly and Danger of Being Not Righteous Enough

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Blueridge Believer

Puritan Board Professor
Ecclesiastes 7:16 — “Be not righteous overmuch, neither make thyself over- wise: why shouldst
thou destroy thyself?”
Nothing is more frequent, than while people are living in a course of sin, and after the fashion
and manner of the world, there is not notice taken of them; neither are their ways displeasing to
their companions and carnal relations: but if they set their faces Zion-ward, and begin to feel the
power of God on their hearts; they then are surrounded with temptations from their friends, who
thus act the devil's part. The enemies, the greatest enemies a young convert meets with, my dear
brethren, are those of his own house. They that will be godly, must suffer persecution; so it was in
Christ'' time, and so it was in the Apostles time too; for our Lord came not to send peace, but a
sword. Our relations would not have us sit in the scorner's chair; they would not have us be prodigals,
consuming our substance upon harlots; neither would they have us rakes (a dissolute [loose in
morals or conduct] person) or libertines, but they would have us be contented with an almost
Christianity. To keep up our reputation by going to church, and adhering to the outward forms of
religion, saying our prayers, reading the word of God, and taking the sacraments; this, they imagine,
is all that is necessary for to be Christians indeed; and when we go one step farther than this, their
mouths are open against us, as Peter's was to Christ: “Spare thyself, do thyself no harm.”

GEORGE WHITEFIELD
 
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