‘Let no pretence of the evil of hypocrisy make you so contented with your secret innocency, as to neglect the edification and satisfaction of your neighbours.’ When it is only your own interest that is concerned in the business, then it is no matter whether any man be acquainted with any good that you do; and it is a very small matter how they judge, or what they say of you; the approbation of God alone is enough. No matter who condemneth you, if he justify you. But when the vindication of your innocency, or the manifestation of your virtue, is necessary to the good of your neighbours’ souls, or to the honour of your sacred profession: the neglect of it is not sincerity, but cruelty.
Richard Baxter, William Orme, The Practical Works of the Rev. Richard Baxter, vol. 6 (London: James Duncan, 1830), 223.
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