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I came across this text which shows how punctuation is so important. Beware New Testament and Old Testament scholars!

1. Without any punctuation:
He is a young man yet experienced in vice and wickedness he is never found in opposing the works of iniquity he takes delight in the downfall of his neighbours he never rejoices in the prosperity of his fellow creatures he is always ready to assist in destroying the peace of society he takes no pleasure in serving the Lord he is uncommonly diligent in sowing discord among his friends and acquaintances he takes no pride in labouring to promote the cause of Christianity he has not been negligent in endeavouring to tear down the church he makes no effort to subdue his evil passions he strives hard to build up Satan’s kingdom he lends no aid to the support of the gospel among the non-believers he contributes largely to the devil he will never go to heaven he must go where he will receive his just reward

2. Would this be a better reading:
He is a young man/ yet experienced in vice and wickedness/ he is never found in opposing the works of iniquity/ he takes delight in the downfall of his neighbours/ he never rejoices in the prosperity of his fellow creatures/ he is always ready to assist in destroying the peace of society/ he takes no pleasure in serving the Lord/ he is uncommonly diligent in sowing discord among his friends and acquaintances/ he takes no pride in labouring to promote the cause of Christianity/ he has not been negligent in endeavouring to tear down the church/ he makes no effort to subdue his evil passions/ he strives hard to build up Satan’s kingdom/ he lends no aid to the support of the gospel among the non-believers/ he contributes largely to the devil/ he will never go to heaven/ he must go where he will receive his just reward

3. Or probably this one might be more accurate:
He is a young man yet experienced/ in vice and wickedness he is never found/ in opposing the works of iniquity he takes delight/ in the downfall of his neighbours he never rejoices/ in the prosperity of his fellow creatures he is always ready to assist/ in destroying the peace of society he takes no pleasure/ in serving the Lord he is un-commonly diligent/ in sowing discord among his friends and ac-quaintances he takes no pride/ in labouring to promote the cause of Christianity he has not been negligent/ in endeavouring to tear down the church he makes no effort/ to subdue his evil passions he strives hard/ to build up satan‟s kingdom he lends no aid/ to the support of the gospel among the nonbelievers he contributes largely/ to the devil he will never go/ to heaven he must go/ where he will receive his just reward

Make up your mind which one you go for! A warning to preachers also!

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In 2007 Britain marked 200 years since the British Parliament passed the bill to abolish the Slave Trade, or what is otherwise known as the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act. As I was involved in marking this event, in particular throughout Scotland, I sought to inform myself about this issue. In addition to reading about the Slave Trade and the Scottish involvement with it (my friend Iain Whyte published his book just in time) I also sought to find out if there were any significant local links (where I live) with the slave trade. Well I did find that there were two buildings which were built with money from the salve trade, one of them is in Blackburn (Blackburn House) and the other one in Bathgate (Bathgate Academy).

I have also learned that Christians found themselves on both side of the argument in regards to slave trade and slavery: it is now clear that Christians played a very significant role in the abolition of the slave trade and slavery itself, but there were other Christians who sought to defend the slave trade and slavery (it took another 26 years before slavery was outlawed in the UK).

John Lampard a retired Methodist minister wrote an article in 2007 showing how Christians in particular in the American South argued for slavery on the basis of the bible. Lampard shows how Revd Thornton Stringfellow, a Baptist pastor born in 1788 and Ordained in 1814 argued that slavery was undoubtedly biblical. I recommend his article which can be downloaded from here (the Set all Free website).

More information about Slavery in Scotland can be found on Scotland and Slavery website which I helped create while working for ACTS, which is still hosted by them.

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