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Rule xv. Exemplary walking in all holiness and godliness of conversation, to the glory of the gospel, edification of the church, and conviction of them which are without.

Ps. xxiv. 3, 4, “Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or 86who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.”

Matt. v. 16, 20, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.”

Matt. xxi. 19, “When he saw a fig-tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever,” etc.

2 Cor. vii. 1, “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”

2 Tim. ii. 19, “Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”

Tit. ii. 11, 12, 14, “The grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world … Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”

Eph. iv. 21–23, “If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: that ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind.”

1 Pet. iii. 1, 2, “Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; while they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.”

Heb. xii. 14, “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.”

Eph. v. 15, 16, “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”

2 Sam. xii. 14, “Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.”

Explication xv. Holiness becometh the house of the Lord for ever; without it none shall see God. Christ died to wash his church, to present it before his Father without spot or blemish; to purchase unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. It is the kingdom of God within us, and by which it appeareth unto all that we are the children of the kingdom. Let this, then, be the great discriminating character of the church from the world, that they are a holy, humble, self-denying people. Our Master is holy; his doctrine and worship are holy: let us strive that our hearts may also be holy.

87This is our wisdom towards them that are without, whereby they may be guided or convinced; this is the means whereby we build up one another most effectually. Examples are a sharper way of instruction than precepts. Loose walking, causing the name of God to be blasphemed, the little ones of Christ to be offended, and his enemies to rejoice, is attended with most dreadful woes. O that all who are called to a holy profession, and do enjoy holy ordinances, did shine also in holiness of conversation, that those who accuse them as evil-doers might have their mouths stopped and their hearts filled with shame, to the glory of the gospel! To this general head belongeth wise walking, in all patience, meekness, and long-suffering towards those that are without, until they evidently appear to be fighters against God, when they are to be prayed for. Hither, also, might be referred the patience of the saints in all tribulations, sufferings, and persecutions for the name of Christ.

Motives for the exercise of universal holiness, in acts internal and external, private and public, personal and of all relations, are, —

1. The utter insufficiency of the most precious ordinances for any communion with God without it.

2. The miserable issue of deceived souls, with their barren, empty, fruitless faith.

3. The glory of the gospel, when the power thereof hath an evident impression on the hearts, thoughts, words, actions, and lives of professors.

4. Scandal of the gospel, the advantage of its adversaries, the shame of the church, and fierce wrath of God, following the unsuitable walking of professors.

5. The sweet reward which the practice of holiness bringeth along with it even in this life, with that eternal weight of glory whereunto it leadeth hereafter; — unto which the holy Son of God bring us all, through the sprinkling of his most holy blood!

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