Calvary Road Baptist Church

“BLAMING GOD”

James 1.13-16

In fulfillment of many Old Testament prophecies, the Lord Jesus Christ was born of the Virgin Mary in Bethlehem, grew to adulthood and was baptized by John the Baptist, thereby beginning His earthly ministry. He lived a sinless life, died a sacrificial death on the cross, was buried, rose three days later and was seen by hundreds before His ascension to His Father’s right hand on high. As per His instructions, His disciples tarried in Jerusalem until they received the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

A Jewish man’s religious pilgrimage to first century Jerusalem to observe the Feast of Pentecost turned out differently than he could ever have imagined. The Spirit of God was then poured out on the few Christians who had gathered to wait for the baptism of the Holy Spirit and miracles were wrought. The sound of rushing wind and the sight of tongues of fire were seen. A large crowd gathered at the foot of the steps leading up to the Temple courtyard, and Galilean fishermen spoke in languages that only those from remote parts of the world would normally know. Then, a large man named Peter preached a heart-pricking sermon in a booming voice, and when he has finished some 3,000 were wonderfully saved. Jerusalem convulsed with spiritual upheaval as pools were used to perform baptisms of the newly converted believers. Those who followed the Lord Jesus Christ throughout His earthly ministry were suddenly emboldened and energized to teach and preach to whoever will listen. It was then that thousands more Jewish men became Christians over the succeeding weeks. Rather than return to their homes, they remained in the city for instruction and training. It was several years later, when persecution drove them from the region, that they resettled in other locations, where trials associated with poverty and relocation were accompanied by renewed persecution where they resettled.

It was in the cities they had fled to that Jewish Christians began to be discouraged by the nonstop difficulties that seemed to crash in on them like waves cascading on the beach during a time of violent storm. As soon as they recovered from one staggering assault, it seemed that they were confronted with another one. Would it ever end? Though James instructed believers to count it all joy when such things happened, pointing out the short-term benefits and the prospect of future rewards at the Savior’s hand for faithful endurance when divers temptations came upon them, there were some whose dispositions were turning to blaming God. It was subtle, at first, like Adam ultimately blamed God for his sin when he pointed the finger of accusation at Eve, “The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.”[1] However, Adam’s attempt at blame shifting was really a subtle accusation directed to God, since He had given the woman to Adam to be his wife. Ever since Adam, ours has always been a race of blame shifters, of responsibility dodgers, and even Christians can succumb to the temptation of blaming God, as we see in our text for today.

Turn to James 1.13-16, a portion of scripture that James wrote because he knew there would be readers of this letter who would not respond by counting it all joy when they fell into diverse temptations, would not see the good that can come even in affliction, but would instead misread the situation and try to lay the blame on God. Stand and read with me:

13     Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:

14     But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.

15     Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

16     Do not err, my beloved brethren.

The Christians James wrote to are those who did not respond by praying to God for wisdom that they might understand both Who was allowing their trials to happen and why He was ultimately allowing their trials to take place. These believers would not be motivated by God’s offer of reward for faithfulness. They would not be moved by understanding that from all walks of life, from the uttermost to the guttermost, the Christian’s faith is going to be tested. The readers this passage is directed to would not be moved by such facts. James knew some of Christ’s own have times when we are not moved by truth, when we are not responsive to it, nor are we interested in assuming personal responsibility for our actions and reactions. At times, we would rather go through life blaming others, which is to say, blaming God. Therefore, he wrote these four verses, and to sum these four versus in one phrase, they mean, God is not responsible for your sins.

“Well, it was the kind of home I was raised in. You see, it was hard at my house.” No, no, no, no, no! No! God picked your mother and God picked your father, so if you try to blame your hang-ups on how you were raised, then you are blaming God, because He picked your mommy and daddy. He chose the kind of home you were to be raised in. Perhaps you are a Christian who responds, “Yeah, well you don’t understand. I was in a very bad circumstance.” You should praise God that He could reach you even in your circumstance and save you, if you are saved today, by giving you His Son, giving you the Holy Spirit of God, and giving you victory over your problems, Christian. Do not blame God. Do not blame God for anything. We know that God is not responsible for your sins. You are. He is not responsible for mine. I am.

We know this for two reasons:

First, BY REASON OF THE ERROR THAT MEN SUBSCRIBE TO

Many people, whether they are Christians or non-Christians, are errant in their thinking. They just misunderstand. You misunderstand both God and man. You do not understand some things about both God and man. Well, let me show you, in verse 13, some things about God and man. Look at what it says. “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God, for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man.” I should note that whereas in verses 2-12 temptation refers to testing, from this point, tempting refers to the solicitation to commit sin, what we normally think of as temptation.

The first problem that people have is a wrong view of their own ability. A wrong view of man’s ability. You know something? Lost people think much of themselves. They think they are capable of striving to higher peaks and attainments, and that they are members of an essentially noble race. Excuse me, but the human race is not a noble race. Does a noble race murder millions of their own unborn? Sometimes people ask why good men do wrong. Good men do not do wrong. If I have said it once, I have said it a thousand times. Good men do not do wrong. Wrong men do wrong. Nasty people do nasty things, and we look around and think that the world is getting better. You would have to be blind and naive to think that this world is getting better. Let us not kid ourselves about the abilities of men. Whether a man is saved or whether a man is lost, he is still incapable of doing anything good. Men cannot avoid, altogether, temptation to commit sin. It says in verse 13, “Let no man say when he is tempted . . . .” Christian, you know what that means? You are going to be tempted. You will never reach a time in your life when you are above it all. You are going to be tempted to commit sins. If that surprises you, you have an unrealistic understanding of the Christian condition. However, when you are tempted, be careful that you do not misunderstand what is happening to you. “Let no man say when he is tempted . . . .” Notice, also, that man cannot hold God responsible. “Let no man say when he is tempted,” because he is going to be tempted, “I am tempted of God.” Do not ever blame God for the temptations you have to commit sins. “For God cannot be tempted of evil, neither tempteth he any man.” That brings me to the next problem people have with their wrong views.

The second problem that people have is the wrong view of God’s attributes. You have a problem. You have some error in your thinking. You do not understand some things. You think Christians are more capable than the Bible ever said you are or could be, and you think that God is less capable than the Bible says He was, is, and ever will be. Regarding God’s attributes, what is being taught to us in verse 13 is that God is holy. The reason God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth He any man, is because He is the thrice holy God. Evil cannot tempt God, yet even some Christians are mistaken on this point. You know the word “holy.” When applied to God, it means something different than the word “holy” when it is applied to believers. When the word “holy” is applied to believers, to saints, it refers to “that which is set apart from something to something.” However, when considering the holy, holy, holy LORD of hosts, what is He separate from and unto? Recognize that God is the ultimate reality. Before there was anything in existence there was God, and when the triune God was all alone God was holy. Therefore, what was God separate from when He was alone? What was God separate unto when He was alone? Nothing, because, when applied to God, the word “holy” does not mean separated from something and separated unto something. When it is applied to God, the word “holy” refers to an essential attribute of His nature. “Holy” is something God is. Just as surely as God is love, God is holy, and just as surely as God’s love motivates Him and moves Him to do those things which result in the salvation of the lost, so the holiness of God motivates Him and moves Him in the direction of holiness and away from that which has the slightest hint of sin. Therefore, it is actually blasphemy for someone to blame God for any temptation to commit sin he has in his life. “Well, if God would have simply, or if God would have . . . . ” No. Is that not the same thing as saying that God tempts you to commit sin? We need to understand something about God’s attributes. Holiness cannot be tempted by evil. Holiness cannot tempt anyone to do evil. We cannot blame our background or our present afflictions for the temptation to sin. We cannot blame God, Who gave us our background or placed us in our present situation. By blaming one’s past or by blaming our present situation, we are ultimately blaming God. Conclusion? God is not responsible for your sins. He is not responsible for mine. Who is? You are responsible for your sins, and I am responsible for my sins. There is another reason we know that God is not responsible for your sins.

IT IS BY REASON OF THE ENTICEMENT TO WHICH MEN ARE SUBJECTED

This is the reason why you and I commit specific acts of sin. This is the death cycle.

In verse 14, James tells us we have a problem. He writes, “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.” Every person is tempted to commit sins. Other than the Lord Jesus Christ, there is not a single person that has not been tempted to commit sins. What are you tempted by? What are you tempted because of? Your lust. You know what lust is? Lust is a strong desire. It is a strong desire. What that strong desire does, according to the Word of God, is drag someone.[2] Like dragging a net from the water. It means to drag you inevitably in that direction. Your lust, your powerful, overwhelming desire, will draw you in the direction of temptation and you will be tempted. The problem most people have is they do not act like sailors. Think of the wind as doing much the same thing lust does. It seeks to drive you in a direction. However, a sailor outfits the vessel that he is in with a rudder and a sail, and he uses that strong wind, regardless of the direction it is blowing, to tack into the wind to get him to the destination of his choice. The difference between a Christian who is highly motivated to do what God wants him to do and one who is not, is not whether or not the one has a strong and passionate desire that can possibly lead to sin and the other does not. No. It is whether or not he harnesses that desire by means of scriptural truth and God’s grace to do right, or just allows that wind, that lust, to drive him which ever way it chooses to drive him. See the difference? Consider a young unmarried man. Must that young man allow his passions to drive him to sexual sin with the woman he desires? No. He can use his passion as motivation to become spiritually and materially qualified to first become her suitor, then to become her fiancé, and finally to become her husband.

Look at verse 15, the process that you handle. “Then when lust has conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” I use the word “handle” because that is what most Christians do with sin, play with it instead of deal with it seriously the way God commands. Most have the temptation to commit sin and they will handle it and play with it. You know what you should treat sin like? Like it is a highly contagious disease. Like, if you allow it to touch you once, it will destroy your whole life. You know why? Because it can. It can. Notice what James conveys in this verse that treats sin almost like biological reproduction. First of all, there is conception. The conception stage. This is lust plus temptation. When lust gets together with temptation, when the strong desire that you have gets together with the way of fulfilling that desire by committing sin, that is what temptation is. It is the incitement to satisfy the hunger, to satisfy the appetite, in a sinful way. Let me give you an example having to do with sexual temptation. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the strong physical appetite God has given to young men and women. There is nothing wrong with that at all. That said, a young man walks down the street. He looks. There is a physically attractive young lady. Okay. Nothing wrong yet. However, he is a normal young man, and the way God has worked things out, strangely enough, is that at that point in time in his life when the young man’s physical appetite is more powerful than it will ever be in his life, is likely not the same time when he is in a position to satisfy that desire without committing sin. At that point in time God wants to teach the young man self control. Self-control. However, what happens? He is walking down the street and he sees, and he looks. It has often been said, “Look once, no problem, look again and then there is sin.” That is because what has happened is the lust, the powerful appetite, is now coupled with the temptation to either think the wrong thoughts or do the wrong things. That is the conception stage of the death cycle. Secondly, there is gestation. This is what happens after conception in the womb of a mother when the child is forming prior to birth. You know what this is with regard to sin? It is the thought life of a Christian. Young man walks down the street. He will look, and then look again. He will then walk down the street and he will be thinking, maybe not consciously, but he will be thinking and the gears are now turning. The hormones are kicking in. Next stage in the death cycle is fruition. He is walking down the street, he is not thinking about anything consciously, but he is allowing some stray thoughts to bounce around inside his noggin. An opportunity to commit sin presents itself. The opportunity to fulfill and to satisfy that powerful appetite, in a way that is not pleasing to God, presents itself and he commits a sin. What is the next stage? There is separation. Death. This is significant. When lust has conceived it bringeth forth sin. Sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

Let me give you another example. A young man is walking down the street. He is a married young man, and he sees a young lady, very attractive to him. He looks. He turns back. Something absolutely non-conscious occurs. A completely physical phenomenon begins taking place. He is reminded of the fact, as a normal healthy young man, that he has a physical need that must be meet. The difference between this young man and the man before, who allowed desire to develop into the conception of sin, gestation of sin, the fruition, where he actually commits the sin, is that instead of this young man traveling the shortest distance between desire and fulfillment (the closest young lady at hand), he goes home. He fulfills his need in a God ordained, God pleasing, way with his wife. What is the difference? Not in the desire, but in the thought processes, and in the way in which that person allows that appetite to be satisfied. Of course, the temptation issue is not only a sexual issue in its nature. This process can occur with any lustful desire. As well, note that the difference between the person who does that which is pleasing to God and the person who does that which is not pleasing to God has absolutely nothing to do with the original appetite that is involved. It has nothing to do with the natural physical appetite which has started in motion. It has to do with the way you have trained your mind, and the way you have trained your thought life, and the way you have trained your body to fulfill those natural, normal, healthy, God-given desires.

James wanted those he was writing to to know that the way to stave off the tendency to blame God for the temptations we have to commit various sins is to recognize the nature of God and the nature of man. God cannot be tempted with sin, neither does He tempt any man. God is holy, and His goals and desires are always pure. Man, on the other hand, even Christian men, are sinners who have a sinful nature that is not only prone to succumbing to temptations to commit sin, but is also prone to shifting responsibility for succumbing to temptations by blaming others. This was apparently happening among those Jewish Christians James wrote to who had escaped the persecution in Jerusalem, only to find that they faced harrowing difficulties elsewhere. Some could not rightly distinguish between God testing their faith to help them and their own sinful tendency to be tempted to commit sins. God does test His children, but He never tempts anyone as an enticement to sin. Let me conclude by pointing out that James finishes his thought in verse 16, by saying, “Do not err, my beloved brethren.” You can almost hear him pleading at this point. Whatever excuses have been thrown his way, whatever things he had heard from people in the region of Asia Minor that he was writing to these people, he wants them to understand. Do not be mistaken on this point. God holds you responsible for your sins.

Why are some Muslim women forced to wear burkas, and others are forced to cover most of their faces with a veil? It is because Islam puts all the responsibility for the temptation to commit sexual sin on the woman, with men bearing no responsibility. Secular humanism, on the other hand, with scantily clad women wearing clothes with plunging necklines and raised hemlines, assigns virtually no responsibility to women when it comes to enticing temptation. The fact is that both men and women need to recognize that temptation begins in the sinful heart, and that both men and women have a responsibility in this matter, while God bears no responsibility when it comes to the temptation to commit sin. However, the way someone chooses to dress can serve to provoke another person if the attire is suggestive or too revealing. That is something we simply do not need here. Our goal is to magnify God and exalt Jesus Christ. Therefore, let us not blame God for any temptation that we experience. Neither let us find ourselves guilty of careless or provocative attire that distracts anyone from God and the gospel of God’s grace as it is revealed in His son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

I hope you forgive me for taking the liberty to interject into this argument the sexual component. Though it is not likely that the issue James was dealing with was in any way related to his readers normally being met with divers temptations and any enticements to commit sexual sins, such is frequently the case in our day. We live in a culture that bombards us with sexual innuendo and blatantly suggestive advertising. As well, we find ourselves surrounded by women who have been brainwashed into thinking that it somehow benefits them to present themselves in a sexually suggestive way, either by wearing garments with plunging necklines, wearing skirts and dresses that are way too short, or wearing attire that leaves nothing to the imagination regarding their figures. Of course, Christian women who are spiritually mature have opted out of that provocative game, and present themselves modestly and respectfully. I remember as a new Christian decades ago being overwhelmed by the wholesome appearance of young Christian women in church. I was very favorably impressed to observe what those young ladies did not put on display.

Sadly, the Christian community these days seems not to be generally well informed about this death cycle of sin’s development and the part a woman’s modest attire plays in the dynamic. Therefore, I have printed a sermon by Richard Baxter that I would like to provide for anyone who wants it, titled Your Clothing Reveals Your Heart. It speaks to both men and women about their chosen attire. It is found below.

 

 

YOUR CLOTHING REVEALS YOUR HEART

Richard Baxter (1615-1691)


THE care that people have about [clothes],[3] the cost they bestow on superfluities, their desire to go with the highest of their rank, to say nothing of mutable[4] and immodest fashions, do show to what end they use it. I desire these kinds of people to think of these few things that I shall say to them.

This vanity of apparel is the certain effect of the vanity of your mind. You openly proclaim yourselves to be persons of a foolish, childish temper[5] and poor understanding: among the most ungodly people, they that have but common wisdom do look upon this vanity of inordinate apparel as quite below them. Therefore, it is commonly taken to be the special sin of women, children, and light-headed, silly, empty men. Those that have no inward worth to commend them to the world are silly souls indeed, if they think any wise folks will take a silken coat instead of it! Wisdom, holiness, and righteousness are the ornaments of man—that is his beauty that beautifieth his soul. Do you think that among wise men fine clothes will go instead of wisdom, virtue, or holiness? You may put as fine clothes upon a fool as upon a wise man; and will that, think you, make him pass for wise? When a gallant[6] came into the shop of Apelles,[7] that famous painter, to have his picture drawn, as long as he stood silent, the apprentices carried themselves reverently to him because he shone in gold and silver lace. But when he began to talk, they perceived that he was a fool. They left their reverence and all fell a-laughing at him.

When people see you in an extraordinary garb,[8] you draw their observation towards you; and one asketh, “Who is yonder that is so fine?” And another asks, “Who is yonder?” And when they perceive that you are more witless and worthless than other folks, they will but laugh at you and despise you. Excess in apparel is the very sign of folly that is hanged out to tell the world what you are, as a sign at an inn-door acquaints the passenger that there he may have entertainment . . . If I see people inordinately careful of their apparel, I must needs suspect that there is some special cause for it: all is not well where all this care and curiosity are necessary. And what is the deformity that you would hide by this? Is it that of your mind?. . . You tell all that see you that you are empty, silly souls—as plainly as a morris dancer[9] or a stage-player doth tell folks what he is by his attire...

You also make an open ostentation[10] of pride, lust, or both to all that look upon you. In other cases, you are careful to hide your sin and take it for a heinous injury if you are but openly told of it and reproved. How then comes it to pass that you are here so forward yourselves to make it known that you must carry the signs of it open in the world! Is it not a dishonor to rogues and thieves that have been burnt in the hand or forehead or must ride about with a paper pinned on their backs, declaring their crimes to all that see them, so that everyone may say, “Yonder is a thief, and yonder is a perjured[11] man”? Is it not much like it for you to carry the badge of pride or lust abroad with you in the open streets and meetings?

Why do you desire to be so fine, neat, or excessively comely? Is it not to draw the eyes and observations of men upon you? And to what end? Is it not to be thought either rich or beautiful or of a handsome person? To what end desire you these thoughts of men? Do you not know that this desire is pride itself? You must needs be somebody, and fain you would be observed and valued! Fain you would be noted to be of the best or highest rank that you can expect to be reckoned of—what is this but pride?

I hope you know that pride is the devil’s sin, the firstborn of all iniquity, and that which the God of heaven abhors! It [would be] more credit for you in the eyes of men of wisdom to proclaim yourselves beggars, sots,[12] or idiots than to proclaim your pride! Too oft it shows a pang of lust as well as pride, especially in young persons. Few are as forward[13] to this sin as they. This bravery[14] and fineness are but the fruit of a procacious[15] mind: it is plainly a wooing, alluring act. It is not for nothing that they would [eagerly] be eyed and be thought comely or fair in others’ eyes! They want something: you may conjecture what! Even married people—if they love their credit[16]—should take heed by such means of drawing suspicion upon themselves.

Sirs, if you are guilty of folly, pride, and lust, your best way is to seek of God an effectual cure and to use such means as tend to cure it, not such as tend to cherish it and increase it, as certainly fineness in clothing doth. But if you will not cure it, for shame conceal it. Do not tell everyone that sees you what is in your heart! What would you think of one that should go up and down the street telling all that meet him, “I am a thief” or “I am a fornicator?” Would you not think that he was a compound of foolery and knavery?[17] And how little do you come short of this that write upon your own backs, “Folly, pride, and lust!” or tell them by your apparel, “Take notice of me! I am foolish, proud, and lustful”?

If you are so silly as to think that bravery is a means of honor, you should withal consider that it is but a shameful begging of honor from those that look upon you, when you show them not anything to purchase or deserve it. Honor must be forced by desert[18] and worth, not by begging; for that is no honor that is given to the undeserving . . . Your bravery doth so openly show your desire of esteem and honor that it plainly tells all wise men that you are the less worthy of it. For the more a man desireth esteem, the less he deserves it.

You tell the world by your attire that you desire it—even as plainly and foolishly as if you should say to the folks in the streets, “I pray think well of me and take me for a handsome, comely person, and for one that is above the common sort.” Would you not laugh at one that should make such a request to you? Why, what do you less when by your attire you beg estimation from them? For what, I pray you, should we esteem you? Is it for your clothes? Why, I can put a silver lace upon a mawkin[19] or a silken coat on a post or an ass. Is it for your comely bodies? Why, a wicked Absalom was beautiful, and the basest harlots have had as much of this as you! A comely body or beautiful face doth oft betray the soul, but never saveth it from hell. Your bodies are never the comelier for your dress, whatever they may seem. Is it for your virtues that you would be esteemed? Why pride is the greatest enemy to virtue, and as great a deformity to the soul as the pox is to the body. And he that will think you [more honest because of] a new suit or a silver lace doth know as little what honesty is as yourselves. For shame, therefore, give over begging for esteem, at least by such a means as inviteth all wise men to deny your suit.[20] Either let honor come without begging or be without it.

Consider also that excess of apparel doth quite contradict the end that proud persons do intend it for. I confess it doth sometimes ensnare a fool and so accomplish the desires of the lustful, but it seldom attaineth the ends of the proud. Their desire is to be [more highly] esteemed, and almost all men do think the [less] of them. Wise men have more wit[21] than to think the tailor can make a wise man or woman, or an honest man or woman, or a handsome man or woman. Good men pity them, lament their folly and vice, and wish them wisdom and humility. In the eyes of a wise and gracious man, a poor self-denying, humble, patient, heavenly Christian is worth a thousand of these painted posts and peacocks. And it so falls out that the ungodly themselves do frustrate the proud person's expectations. For as covetous men do not like covetousness in another because they would get most themselves, so proud persons like not pride in others because they would not have any to vie[22] with them or overtop[23] them and be looked upon and preferred before them...

Lastly, I beseech you, do not forget what it is that you are so carefully doing, and what those bodies are that you so adorn, are so proud of, and set out to the sight of the world in such bravery. Do you not know yourselves? Is it not a lump of warm and thick clay that you would have men observe and honor? When the soul that you neglect is once gone from them, they will be set out then in another garb. That little space of earth that must receive them must be defiled with their filthiness and corruption, and the dearest of your friends will have no more of your company, nor one smell or sight of you more, if they can choose. There is not a carrion[24] in the ditch that is [more loathsome] than that gallant, painted corpse will be a little after death.

What are you in the mean time? Even bags of filth and living graves in which the carcasses of your fellow-creatures are daily buried and corrupt. There is scarce a day with most of you but some part of a dead carcass is buried in your bodies,[25] in which, as in a filthy grave, they lie and corrupt—part of them turneth into your substance, and the rest is cast out [as dung]. Thus, you walk like painted sepulchers: your fine clothes are the adorned covers of filth, phlegm, and dung. If you did but see what is within the proudest gallant, you would say the inside did much differ from the outside. It may be a hundred worms [inside, consuming] that beautiful damsel or adorned fool that set out themselves to be admired for their bravery! If a little of the [foulness] within do but turn to the scab or the smallpox, you shall see what a piece it was that was [accustomed] to have all that curious trimming. Away, then, with these vanities—be not children all your days! ...Be ashamed that ever you have been guilty of so much dotage,[26] as to think that people should honor you for a borrowed bravery, which you put off at night and on in the morning! O poor deluded dust and worms’ meat! Lay by your dotage and know yourselves: look after that which may procure you deserved and perpetual esteem, and see that you make sure of the honor that is of God.

Away with deceitful [and showy] ornaments, and look after the inward real worth! Grace is not set out and honored by fine clothes, but clouded, wronged, and dishonored by excess. The inward glory is the real glory! The image of God must needs be the chiefest beauty of man: let that shine forth in the holiness of your lives, and you will be honorable indeed.

 

From “A Treatise of Self-Denial” in Baxter’s Practical Works, Vol. 3, reprinted by Soli Deo Gloria, a ministry of Reformation Heritage Books, www.heritagebooks.org .

 

 

Richard Baxter (1615-1691): English Puritan preacher and theologian; born in Rowton, Shropshire, England.



[1] Genesis 3.12

[2] James B. Adamson, The Epistle Of James - NICNT, (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1976), pages 71-72.

[3] Editor’s Note: The author's style of English is sometimes quite difficult for modern readers, even more so than other Puritan writers. The article has undergone more editing than usual in an effort to retain the power of his thought, but increasing its readability.

[4] mutable — changing.

[5] temper — character.

[6] gallant — a man of fashion and pleasure, well-dressed and showy.

[7] Appelles (4th century BC) — Greek painter, now known only from written sources, but was highly acclaimed throughout the ancient world.

[8] extraordinary garb — exceptional fashions that provoke astonishment or admiration.

[9] morris dancer — one who performed a grotesque dance in a fancy costume that had bells

attached to it; they usually represented characters from the Robin Hood legend.

[10] ostentation — display intended to attract notice or admiration.

[11] perjured — guilty of uttering false statement while under an oath to tell the truth.

[12] sots — those who stupefy themselves with alcohol; foolish, stupid people.

[13] forward — zealous; eager.

[14] bravery — showy apparel.

[15] procacious — insolent; shameless.

[16] credit — reputation.

[17] compound...knavery — mix of foolishness and trickery.

[18] desert — conduct that deserves reward.

[19] mawkin — mop.

[20] suit — earnest endeavor to obtain something.

[21] wit — good sense; wisdom.

[22] vie — be in competition with; rival.

[23] overtop — surpass.

[24] carrion — dead, rotting flesh.

[25] but some part...bodies — eating animal flesh.

[26] dotage — folly; stupidity.



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