Edward Payson Archive

Selected Thoughts

Grounds of False Peace

There is, perhaps, scarcely a person to be found, who does not, in his own opinion, exemplarily perform some part of his duty. On this he looks with no small degree of self-complacency, and flatters himself that it will atone for all obliquities in his temper and conduct. To this he flies for refuge whenever conscience reproves his deficiencies, and, instead of believing the apostolic assertion, that if a man shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all, seems to suppose that if he transgresses the whole law, and yet obeys one precept, he is guiltless. I have met with a person who, though guilty of almost every crime which could disgrace her sex, thanked God, with much apparent self-gratulation, that she was not a thief; and who evidently imagined that her abstaining from this one vice would secure her from the displeasure of heaven.

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