By Building Research Establishment Staff, E. Grant, Building Research Establishment
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There is no other certain Sign of our belonging to Christ; every other Sign may deceive us: All the external Parts of Religion may be in vain; it is only the State of our Mind and Spirit, that is a certain Proof that we are in a true State of Christianity. And the Reason is plain, because Religion has no other End, than to alter our Spirit, and give us new Dispositions of Heart, suitable to its Purity and Holiness. That therefore which immediately applies to our Spirit, which supports a wrong Turn of Mind, which betrays, our Hearts into impure Delights, destroys all our Religion, because it destroys that turn of Mind and Spirit, which is the sole End and Design of all our Religion.
I doubt not but you plainly see the Weakness and Folly of such a Pretence for Painting, under such Rules, at certain Times. And if you would but as impartially consider your Pretences for going sometimes to the Play-House, under the same Rules, you would certainly find them more weak and unreasonable. For Painting may with more Reason be reckoned an innocent Ornament, than the Play-House an innocent Diversion. And it supposes a greater Vanity of Mind, a more perverted Judgment, and a deeper Corruption of Heart, to seek the Diversion of the Stage, than to take the Pleasure of a borrowed Colour.
Your Mind will no more allow you to join Piety with the Behaviour of the Stage, than it will allow you to think two and two to be ten. And perhaps you had rather see your Son chained to a Galley, or your daughter driving Plough, than getting their Bread on the Stage, by administering in so scandalous a manner to the Vices and corrupt Pleasures of the World. Let this therefore be another Argument, to prove the absolute Unlawfulness of going to a Play. For consider with yourself, Is the Business of Players so contrary to Piety, so inconsistent with the Spirit and Temper of a true Christian, that it is next to a Contradiction to suppose them united, how then can you take yourself to be innocent, who delight in their Sins, and hire them to commit them?