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THE

EXPOSITION

OF THE

FIRST EPISTLE OF ST. JOHN.

THE PROLOGUE.

Ercept a man have the profession of his baptism in his heart, he

cannot understand the Scripture.

first learn

As a man can by no means read except he be We must first taught the letters of the cross row; even the proso it is impossible for a man, of whatsoever fession of degree or name he be of, to understand aught tism. in the Scripture unto the honour of God, and health of his soul, except he be first taught the profession of his baptism, and have it also written in his heart.

Which profession standeth in two things: the The profes. one is the knowledge of God, understanding it baptis four spiritually, as Christ expoundeth it Matt. v. vi. what it is. and vii., so that the root and life of all laws be this : Love thy Lord God with all thine heart, all thy soul, and all thy night; and thy neighbour as thyself, for his sake : and that love only is the fulfilling of the law (as Paul teacheth), and that whatsoever deed we do, and not of that love, that same fulfilleth no law in the sight of God.

And the other is, to know the promises of Gospel. mercy which are in our Saviour Christ : understanding them also purely without all leaven, after the mercifullest fashion as Scripture

All our sins for Jesus Christ's sake, and for his death and

soundeth them, and after all fatherly love and kindness of God, unto all that repent toward the law, and believe in Christ.

And to have this profession written in thine heart, is to consent unto the law that it is righteous and good, and to love it in thine heart, and

to submit thyself thereunto for to learn it, and to passion are rule and square all thy deeds thereby; and then clearly forgiven to believe in Christ, that for his sake all thy

sins, which thou diddest before the knowledge of this profession, are forgiven thee clearly, both a pæna et culpa, to use the pope's terms, and that for none other satisfaction to Godward than Christ's blood; and even so, that all the sin which we do after this knowledge, either of chance, ignorance, infirmity, negligence, or provoked and overcome of the flesh, is forgiven us likewise, both pæna et culpa, through repentance and faith in Christ, without our satisfaction of works to godward.

Notwithstanding we being all sons of one God, Every

and servants of one Christ, must agree among ourselves; and he that hath offended must

meekly knowledge his fault, and offer himself to brother.

make amends unto the utmost of his power; and if he have not wherewith, ask forgiveness for Christ's sake, the other is bound to forgive him. Neither, without reconciling himself unto his brother, may any man be at the first received unto the profession of Christ's faith, nor continue therein, nor be received in again, if he be for his

open offences put thereout. For how can a

Christian nian must reconcile himself unto his

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