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wells without water, clouds that are carried 2 Pet. 2. with a tempest, to whom the mist of dark- 22. ness is referved for ever. For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lust of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world, through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the be ginning: for it had been better for them, not to have known the way of righteousness, than after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them, according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again, and the low that was washed, to her wallowing in the mire.
Q. Gives he any cautions to them that stand, as fuppofing they also may fall?
A. Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye 2 Pet. 3 know these things before, beware, lest also being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.
R. May a man be truly a branch in Chrift, or a real member of his body, and afterwards be cut off?
A. If any man abide not in me, he is John cast forth as a branch, and is withered.
F 3 Q. May
Ezek. 18. 26.
Rev. 3. 12.
Q. May a righteous man then depart from bis righteousness?
A. When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his ini. quity that he hath done, shall he die.
0. May a believer come to such a condition in this life, from which he cannot fall away?
A. Him that overcometh, will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out; and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is New Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God, and I will write upon hlin my new name.
Q. May such an one come to be assured that be is in this condition?
A. For I am persuaded, that neither Rom.8. death, nor life, nor angels, nor principali38, 39. ties, nor powers, nor things present, nor
things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall
be able to feparate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
CHAP. CHAP. IX.
Concerning the Church and Ministry.
A. But if I carry long, that thou mayest : Tim, know how thou oughtest to behave thyself 3. 15. in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of truth.
Q. Who is the head of the church?
A. Who hath delivered us from the Col. power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son. And he is the head of the body, the church, from which all the body by joints and bands, Col. having nourishment ministered and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.
Q. What kind of persons make the church?
A. They that are sanctified in Chrift: Cor. Jesus.
And the Lord added to the church daily Ads such as fhould be saved.
Q. Hath not Christ appointed any officers in the church, for the work of the ministry?
A. Wherefore he faith, When he ascended Eph. 4, up on high, he led captivity captive, and 2. gave gifts unto men. And he gave fome apostles, and some prophets, and some evangelists, and some paltors and teachers;
for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the miniltry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.
Q. What kind of men mould such be as are teachers and overseers of the church be?
A. A bishop then must be blameless, 3. 2 to the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober,
of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach ; not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre ; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; one that ruleth well his own house, having his children in fubjetion with all gravity ; for if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God? Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride, he fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must have a good report of them which are without; left he fall into reproach, and the snare of the devil.
For a bishop must be blameless, as the 70 8,9. steward of God: not self-willed, not soon
angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; but a lover of hofpitality, a lover of good men ; sober, just, holy, temperate; holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able, by found doctrine, both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.
Q. What is incumbent upon such to do?
À. Take heed therefore to yourselves, 20. 28.
and to all the flock, over which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God.
The elders which are among you I ex- 1 Pet. hort, who am also an elder, and a witness 5. 1, 2,
3. of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed : Feed the flock of God, which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy. lucre, but of a ready mind ; neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.,
Q. Though they be not to lord it over the fack, yet is there not a respect due to them in their place? A. Let the elders that rule well, be ? Tim,
5. 17. counted worthy of double honour, espe. cially they who labour in the word and doctrine.
Q. Albeit then, among true Christians, every one that believeth, is to have the witness in bimfelf, being perfuaded in himself by the Spirit ; yet is there not also a real
subjeftion to be to one anotber in the Lord ?
A. The spirits of the prophets are subo : Cor. ject to the prophets.
Obey them that have the rule over you, Heb, and submit yourselves; for they watch for 13. 17. your fouls, as they that must give account,