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12, 13

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? Eph. A. And he gave some apostles, and 4.11;. some prophets, and some evangelists, and

some pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, 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 stature 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 testimony, 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 Job God. And the Lord said unto fatan, 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

Gen.

6. 9.

1. 8.

Luke I.

5,6.

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4, 5, 6.

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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 confiderable numbers?

A. But God, who is rich in mercy, for Eph. 2. his great love wherewith he hath loved us, even when we were dead in fin, hath quickened 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:

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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CHAP.

arok

5

CHAP. VIH.

Concerning Perseverance, and falling

from Grace.

2 Pet. I. 10,

I Cor. 9. 27.

Queft.--IS it enough for a believer to be sure that he hath once-received true grace? Or is there any further certainty requisite?

A. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure ; for if ye do these things ye shall never fall.

Q. May one that hath received true grace, have ground to fear; or suppose he can fall?

A. But I keep under my body, and 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 contradičteth 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 doth be judge or fuppose the like of other saints ?

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

Heb. 3.

to-day; left any of you be hardened Heb. through the deceitfulness of sin. Let us

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

unbelief,

4. II.

unbelief. For it is impossible for those who Heb 6 were once enlightened, and have tasted of 4, 5, 6. 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 come; 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 12. 15. springing up, trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.

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

A. For the time will come, when they 2 Tim. will not endure found doctrine ; but after 4. 3, 4their own lufts sliall 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 necesary to guard such an one, as his beloved son Timothy, against this bazard ? A. This charge I commit unto thee, fon 1 Tim.

1. 18, Timothy, according to the prophecies which

19. 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 1 Tim.

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root 6. 10.

Rom.

1 Tim. 4. I.

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

pierced themselves through with many for2 Tim. rou's. And their word will eat as doth a 23.1%, 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 Chrift?

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

not high-minded, but fear. Now the fpirit

fpeaketh expressly, that in the latter times I Thef. fome shall depart from the faith, &c. For

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

Q. What is the apostle Peter's mind? Does he judge, that such as have known the right way, may forsake it?

A. Curfed children, which have forsaken 1410 18. the right way, and are gone astray, follow

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

wells

3. 5.

2 Pet. 2.

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