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Chrift

presented blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Q. Is not this then the very end for which God appointed teachers in his church?..

A. And he gave some apostles, and some prophets, and some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers; for the perfect. ing of the faints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ; till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the ftature of the fulness of Christ. .: Q. Seeing this is so much pressed by the holy men, doth not the scripture, which cannot lié, give none of the saints this teftimony, as being free from sin at some times, and so not always and daily finning, as is supposed

A. Noah was a just man, and perfect in his generations; and Noah walked with God. And the Lord said unto satan, haft thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil. There was in the days of Herod, King of Judea, a certain priest, named Zacharias, of the course of Abia ; and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth ; and they were both righteous before God, walking

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4, 5, 6.

in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

Q. That proves sufficiently. as to particular , persons ; but what-doth the scripture intimate of this nature, even of considerable numbers ?

A. But God, who is rich in mercy, for Eph. 2. his great love wherewith he hath loved us, 4.. even when we were dead in sin, hath quicke ened us together with Christ, and hath raised us up together, and made us fit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Heb.12.

But ye are come unto Mount Sion, and 22, 23. unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the first-born, which are written in heaven, to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect. Rev.14: 1 And I looked, and lo, a Lamb stood on 1. 4. 5.

the Mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his father's name written in their foreheads. These are they which were not defiled with wo. men; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the first-fruits unto. God, and to ihe Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile, for they are without fault before the throne of God.

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Queft.-IS it enough for a believer to be sure that he hath once-received true grace?

Or is there any further certainty requifite ? 2 Pet. I. A. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give

diligence to make your calling and election sure; for if ye do these things ye shall never fall.

O. May one that hath received true grace,

have ground to fear ; or suppose he can fall ? 1 Cor.

A. But I keep under my body, and 9. 27.

bring it into subjection, left" that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a cast-away. : .

.Q. That greatly contradicteth the doctrine of such as say, Once in grace, ever in grace : But doth the apostle Paul express this only out of an humble esteem of himself? Or dotb he

judge or fuppose the like of other saints? . Heb. 3. A. Take heed, brethren, left there be in 12, 13. any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in

departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called

to-day; left · any of you be hardened Heb. through the deceitfulness of fin. Let us 4. II.

labour therefore to enter into that rest, left any man fall after the same example of

unbelief.

unbelief. For it is impossible for those who Heb 6. were once enlightened, and have tasted of “, so w. the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to coine; if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance ; feeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

Looking diligently, lest any man fail of Heb. the grace of God, lest any root of bitterness **. 13 springing up, trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.

Q. Doth, he speak this only by supposition, or doth be assert it not only posible, but certain?

A. For the time will come, when they 2 Tim. will not endure sound doctrine; but after 4. 3. 4. their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears. And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

Q. Doth the apostle even judge it necessary to guard such an one, as his beloved fon Timothy, against this hazard?

A. This charge I commit unto thee, son 1 Tim. Timothy, according to the prophecies which to went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare, holding faith and a good conscience; which some having put away, concerning faith have made thipwreck. For the love of money is the tim

F 2

root 6. 10.

root of all evil; which while fome coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and

pierced themselves through with many for2 Tim, rots. And their word will eat as doth a 1%, canker; of whom is Hymeneus and Philetus,

who concerning the Truth have erred, saying, that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.

Q. Doth the apostle any where express his fears of this, as a thing that may happen to any number of people who once truly received the faith of Christ? .

A. Well; because of unbelief they were Rom. 11. 20. broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be

Tim not high-minded, but fear. Now the fpirit 4. 1. fpeakech expressly, that in the latter times I Thef. fome shall depart from the faith, &c. For 3. S. This com

this caule, when I could no longer forbear, I sent to know your faith, lest by fome means the tempter have tempted you, and our labour be in vain.

Q. What is the apostle Peter's mind? Does be judge, that such as have known the right

way, may forsake it? 2 Pet. 2. A. Curfed children, which have forsaken 14 10 18. the right way, and are gone astray, follow

ing the way of Balaam the son of Bofor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness, but was rebuked for his iniquity; the dumb afs speaking with man's voice, forbad the madness of the prophet. These are

wells

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