Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and said of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!
I. TOWARD GOD. Our piety is, then, sincere —
1. When the chief reasons and predominant motives are religious. A religious or rational motive is that which regards God and another world in opposition to men and present temporal advantages.
2. When it is rooted in the heart, and is a living principle within us.
3. When men are religious in secret as well as in public.
4. When there is a constant tenor of goodness in the general course of fife.
5. When our obedience to God is uniform and universal.
6. When it holds out against persecution and the fiery trial.
II. TOWARDS MAN; and so it signifies a simplicity of mind and manners in our conversation and carriage towards each other; singleness of heart discovering itself in honest openness; speaking as we think, performing what we promise, and being what we seem to be.
III. Conclusion. Let us be sincere in our religion, never making use of it to serve any base or unworthy ends; and be straightforward in speech and conduct in our intercourse with men. To this end the following considerations are offered: —
1. That sincerity is the highest commendation and the very best character that can be given of any man (Joshua 24:14; 1 Chronicles 19:17; Psalm 15:1, 2; Psalm 32:2).
2. That this virtue is rare.
3. That the want of it will quite spoil the virtue and acceptance of our piety and deprive us of its reward.
4. Insincerity is a vain and foolish thing. It is designed to cheat others; it really deceives ourselves.
5. Truth and reality have all the advantages of appearance, and many more. It is hard to act a part long. A dissembler must be always on his guard. Insincerity is very troublesome to manage.
6. That it is not worth while to dissemble, considering the shortness and uncertainty of our lives.
Parallel VersesKJV: Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!