That you may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the middle of a crooked and perverse nation…
As you see that in the world art counterfeits precious stones and drugs, exchanging them for others of little value, which they pass off for good by favour of some apparent resemblance which they have to the true; so also in the Church there has always been found a number of cheats, who, deceiving themselves and others, take the colour and form of the children of God, although in reality they are not so. And as there are certain means by which adulterated goods, such as the gold and stones of alchemy, are discerned from the true; so also in religion there are marks and certain proofs whereby those may be known who have only the name of the children of God from those who are so in reality. Those who sustain these trials, and in whom are really found all these marks, are they whom the apostle here very elegantly calls "children of God, without rebuke;" those whom the crucible cannot make to blush; those in whom neither the calumny nor the cunning of the enemy can find anything to lay hold of; such as the Scripture sets forth in a Job, who confounded all the artifices of Satan, and justified most fully by his trials the glorious testimony which God had condescended to bear to him with His own mouth.
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;