That you may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the middle of a crooked and perverse nation…
This word probably means sincere, that is to say, pure, not mixed, not sophisticated, that is entirely of one kind, without the true and natural constitution having been altered by anything foreign. And it appears that, to set forth this simplicity and sincerity, God formerly forbade His ancient people to plant a vineyard with different kinds of plants, and to unite under the same yoke animals of different species, and to clothe themselves with a cloth of linen and woollen mixed together, to teach us by the enigma of these figures that He hates a mind and life double and variegated, in the composition of which enters vice and virtue, good and evil, piety and superstition. He wishes us to be entirely Christians, and that there should be nothing strange in the whole range of our conversation; that the outside and the inside should be of the same nature, the one exactly corresponding to the other; that the form, colour, and substance of our lives should be simple, and not mixed. And although this virtue is very extended, it may, nevertheless, be referred to four principal heads.
I. WITHOUT HYPOCRISY BEFORE GOD, acknowledging and confessing ourselves such in His presence as we are in truth, without lessening the good which there is, without also hiding interior defects with the paint and false colouring of our artifices, imitating the coarse fraud of our first father, who, having renounced the naked simplicity in which he had been formed, wished to disguise himself before that sovereign Majesty by covering himself with fig leaves.
II. NOT TO COUNTERFEIT BEFORE MEN, giving up frauds, pretences, and dissimulations, crooked and equivocal ways, which the people of the world use, to make their neighbours believe of them the contrary of what they really are.
III. GENTLENESS AND MEEKNESS OF MIND; it is not easily irritated, or if irritation should sometimes arise, it is soon appeased, and in reality loses the remembrance of the offences that have been committed against it.
IV. FREEDOM FROM CURIOSITY; it only employs itself on its own business; and, entirely turned within, does not observe very carefully what passes without, from whence it is neither suspicious nor distrustful.
Parallel VersesKJV: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;