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20. 21. 22.
wells without water, clouds that are carried 2 Pet. 2. with a tempeft, to whom the mift of darknefs is reserved for ever. For when they fpeak great fwelling words of vanity, they allure through the luft of the flesh, through much wantonnefs, 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 Jefus Chrift, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worfe with them than the be ginning for it had been better for them, not to have known the way of righteoufnefs, 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 fow that was washed, to her wallowing in the mire.
Q. Gives he any cautions to them that ftand, as fuppofing they also may fall?
A. Ye therefore, beloved, feeing ye 2 Pet. 3. know these things before, beware, left ye also being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own ftedfastness.
Q. May a man be truly a branch in Christ, or a real member of his body, and afterwards be cut off?
A. If any man abide not in me, he is John caft forth as a branch, and is withered.
Ezek. 18. 26.
Q. May a righteous man then depart from bis righteoufnefs?
A. When a righteous man turneth away from his righteoufnefs, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done, shall he die.
Q. May a believer come to fuch 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 fhall 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 Jerufalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God, and I will write upon him my new name.
Q. May fuch an one come to be affured that be is in this condition?
A. For I am perfuaded, that neither Rom 8. death, nor life, nor angels, nor principali38, 39 ties, nor powers, nor things prefent, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, fhall be able to feparate us from the love of God, which is in Chrift Jefus our Lord.
Concerning the Church and Ministry.
Queft.-WHAT is the church?
A. But if I tarry long, that thou mayest 1 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 tranflated 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 perfons make the church? A. They that are fanctified in Chrift Cor. Jefus.
And the Lord added to the church daily acts fuch as fhould be faved.
Q. Hath not Chrift appointed any officers in the church, for the work of the ministry?
A. Wherefore he faith, When he afcended Eph. 4. up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. And he gave fome apoftles, and fome prophets, and fome evangelifts, and fome pastors and teachers;
for the perfecting of the faints, for the work of the miniftry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.
Q. What kind of men should fuch be as are teachers and overfeers of the church be?
A. A bishop then must be blameless, 3.2 to the husband of one wife, vigilant, fober, of good behaviour, given to hofpitality, 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 fubjection with all gravity; for if a man know not how to rule his own house, how fhall he take care of the church of God? Not a novice, left 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 fnare of the devil.
For a bifhop must be blameless, as the 7,8,9. fteward of God: not felf-willed, not foon angry, not given to wine, no ftriker, not given to filthy lucre; but a lover of hofpitality, a lover of good men; sober, just, holy, temperate; holding faft the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able, by found doctrine, both to exhort and to convince the gainfayers.
A&s 20. 28.
Q. What is incumbent upon fuch to do?
and to all the flock, over which the Holy Ghost hath made you overfeers, to feed the church of God.
The elders which are among you I ex- 1 Pet hort, who am also an elder, and a witnefs 5. 1, y of the fufferings of Chrift, and alfo a partaker of the glory that fhall be revealed: Feed the flock of God, which is among you, taking the overfight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy. Jucre, but of a ready mind; neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being enfamples to the flock..
Q. Though they be not to lord it over the flack, yet is there not a refpect due to them in their place?
A. Let the elders that rule well, be Tim, counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.
Q. Albeit then, among true Chriftians, every one that believeth, is to have the witness in himfelf, being perfuaded in himself by the Spirit; yet is there not alfo a real fubjection to be to one another in the Lord?
A. The fpirits of the prophets are fub. Cor. ject to the prophets.
Obey them that have the rule over you, Heb. and fubmit yourselves; for they watch for 13. 17. your fouls, as they that must give account,