Hanging out false colors

Daily Reading for October 22

They who take up religion on a false ground will never adhere to it. If they adopt it merely for the peace and pleasantness it brings, they will desert it as soon as they find their adherence to it will bring them into difficulty, distress, or discredit. It seldom answers therefore to attempt making proselytes by hanging out false colours. The Christian “endures as seeing him who is invisible.” He who adopts religion for the sake of immediate enjoyment, will not do a virtuous action that is disagreeable to himself; nor resist a temptation that is alluring, present pleasure being his motive. There is no sure basis for virtue but the love of God in Christ Jesus, and the bright reversion for which that love is pledged. Without this, as soon as the paths of piety become rough and thorny, we shall stray into pleasanter pastures.

From Practical Piety by Hannah More, volume 1 (London, 1812).

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