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AND many there are who go thus far: ever since the Christian Religion was in the world, there have been many in every age and nation, who were “almost persuaded to be Christians.” But seeing it avails nothing before God, to go only thus far, it highly imports us to consider,

First, What is implied in being almost:

Secondly, What in being altogether a Christian.

I. 1. Now, in the being almost a Christian is implied, first Heathen Honesty. No one, I suppose, will make any question of this; especially, since by heathen honesty here, I mean, not that which is recommended in the writings of their philosophers only, but such as the common heathens expected of one another, and many of them actually practiced. By the rules of this they were taught, that they ought not to be unjust: Not to take away their neighbor’s goods, either by robbery or theft: Not to oppress the poor, neither to use extortion toward any: Not to cheat or overreach either the poor or rich, in whatsoever commerce they had with them: To defraud no man of his right; and, if it were possible, to owe no man any thing.

2. Again, the common heathens allowed, that some regard was to be paid to truth as well as to justice…

3. Yet, again, there was a sort of love and assistance, which they expected one from another…

II. 4. A second thing implied in the being almost a Christian, is the having a Form of Godliness, of that godliness which is prescribed in the gospel of Christ; the having the outside of a real Christian. Accordingly, the almost Christian does nothing which the gospel forbids. He taketh not the name of God in vain: He blesseth and curseth not; he sweareth not at all, but his communication is yea, yea; nay, nay. He profanes not the day of the Lord, nor suffers it ...

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