Pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly.
I. IN ORDER TO ILLUSTRATE THE EXCELLENCY AND IMPORTANCE OF THIS VIRTUE OF HONESTY, WE SHALL POINT OUT SOME OF THE FOUNTAINS FROM WHENCE THE OPPOSITE VICE FLOWS, OR SOME OF THE CHIEF CAUSES OF DISHONESTY. Opposites frequently illustrate each other to great advantage. The beauty and charms of Christian virtue gain strength by arousing in us an abhorrence of immoral practices. Honesty will appear more honourable by awakening a proper hatred of the odious deformity of dishonesty. With regard to the chief springs of dishonesty, they may be contemplated. Under a general consideration, dishonesty arises from the same common source with all other kinds of iniquities. It arises from the awful depravity of the human heart. But the more particular causes of dishonesty are such things as these —
1. Slothfulness, idleness, and an aversion to labour and the business of our calling.
2. Avarice or covetousness.
3. Luxury and extravagance.
4. Pride and selfishness.
II. SOME CONSIDERATIONS AND MOTIVES TO INDUCE US TO BE CONSCIENTIOUSLY HONEST IN ALL OUR EMPLOYMENTS, BUSINESS, AND CONVERSATION WITH OUR FELLOW-MEN. Can we now think a dishonest thought, contrive a dishonest scheme, or be guilty of a dishonest action? Consider the right every man has to enjoy his own, by the laws of nature, reason, religion and society, in respect to his person, property, and character. These blessings are the benefactions of heaven to all. Their right to the undisturbed possesssion of them is founded upon the grant of the God of nature and of grace.
1. Will the Almighty Sovereign see His creatures and His children rifled of their immunities and blessings, which His goodness and bounty hath conferred upon them, and not conceive resentment? Will He not whet His glittering sword, and His hand lay hold on vengeance?
2. Further consider, sincerity and honesty are the very bonds which hold society together. The religious observation of these virtues are the great means to advance its real interests. A dishonest person is a public nuisance, and may be viewed as a common enemy to mankind.
3. Consider the practice of dishonesty is prohibited in a thousand instances in the Word of God. The Divine wrath is revealed against it, both in His declarations, and in many examples recorded in the sacred history.
(A. Macwhorter, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly.
WEB: Pray for us, for we are persuaded that we have a good conscience, desiring to live honorably in all things.