|Henry Craik, ed. English Prose. 1916.|
Vol. III. Seventeenth Century
|By Samuel Clarke (16751729)|
From Sermon on Hypocrites
BUT the Scripture frequently uses the same word (hypocrites) in several lower senses, which deserve carefully to be taken notice of; when it describes men, not indeed profligate as the foregoing, but yet, in their several degrees, justly charged with being guilty of hypocrisy.
| Secondly, therefore those who do not absolutely mean to cast off all religion, nor dare in their own hearts totally to despise it, but yet willingly content themselves with the formal part of it, and, by zealously observing certain outward rites and ceremonies, think to atone for great defects of sobriety, righteousness, and truth; these also the Scripture always includes under the character and denomination of hypocrites.|| 2|
| Of the same species of hypocrisy are they guilty in all ages, who make the advancement of religion, and the increase of the kingdom of Christ to consist chiefly in the external, temporal, or worldly prosperity of those who are called by his name; in pomp and splendour, in riches and dignities, in authority, power, and dominion. Not perhaps that they go upon the principles of atheism and infidelity (which is the case of the first and highest degree of hypocrites, mentioned under the foregoing head); but, by a secret deceitfulness of sin, and a love of this present world, their judgment is perverted to be more concerned for the authority of men than for the commands of God; and they judge of the state of religion by the measure of such worldly advantages as have perhaps no relation to true piety: whereas indeed the true prosperity of the church of God, or the increase of the kingdom of Christ on earth, can consist in nothing else but in the things which will increase the number of His subjects in heaven; and that can only be done, by the prevalency of truth, by simplicity of doctrine, and by righteousness of practice.|| 3|