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commanded to prove all things ?. 1 Thes. 5.21.
you try poison whether, it will kill you or no ? Therefore the meaning of this place must needs be, that we are to examine the Doctrines that are delivered unto us, by the Scripture, whether they are built thereon, or no. Like chose noble Bereans, Acts 17.11, who searched the Scriptures whether those things were so, that were delivered to them for the Truths of God. And let that place, Rom. 14.1. be considered by all such as are not throughly grounded in the principles of Christianity, Him that is weak in Faith, receive, but not to doubtful disputations, Every private Christian is not fic to cope with brereticks, and such as are skilful to destroy the Faith of others. You would not allow a man to come and undermine the foundation of your house; This do they, and worse, that go about to undermine your Faith, and labour to shake and unfet• tle you in the grand truths of the Gospel. Surely they tbat rob and rifle soules of Truth, are worse felons, than they that rob and rifle houses.
6. Forsake not the publick Ordinances, nor faithful Ministers of Christ, whose endeavours God hach born witneß to, by the real conversion of many thousand soules. 'Tis not safe co balk the known and ordinary waies, wherein God uses to dispense his spiritual blessings. Wisdom's dole is to be expe&ted at wisdom's gate. Eph.4.11.
And he gave some Apostles, and some Prophets , and some Evangelists, and some Paftours and Teachers, V.12. For the perfeeting of the Saints, for the work of the Ministry, for the edifying the body of Christ. v.14. That we henceforth be no more children tossed to and fro, el carried about with every wind of Doctrine, by the sight of men do cunning craftinesse, whereby they ly in wait to deceive. 7.
Remember thou are not only to be ftedfast in the truth, and to hold fast che truch, a to thine own particular, but also to be valiant for the Truth, Jer.9.3. To contend for the Faith once delivered to the Saints, Fude v.3. Thou muft shew thy self a Champion for Truch, when it is opposed. Truth 'cis one of che choicest treasures and greatest priviledges that ever Go bestowed on any people, And Thall we so easily and tamely parc wich ic? Shall we suffer crafty perfoms chat are now abroad, co rob us and steal from us oår best treasure ? Shall we suffer chem to cheat us, and our posterity of our richest Jewell? Not long ago, che great bickerings were about discipline: Now the Doctrine of che Gospel is in danger ; And Mall we suffer the ix. terest of our Lord and Master to be croden under foot ? Indeed we are not to be biccer against the persons of the erroneous, yet we are to be sensible how God is dishonoured, and thousands of soules endangered by their pernicious errours. And therefore ic deeply concerns us to
have a care of our felves to preserve our owne soules from this infection ; and not of our selves only, but to have a regard to our posterity also;
that we transmic truth down to them. We I would be willing to leave our estates to our chil
dren; And shall we not be more careful to leave them truth? Believe it, we are to perform the part of faithful Trustees, and to keep the Doct. rine of salvation pure and unmix'd (as much as in us lies) and so to leave it co those that are to come after us.
8. and Lastly, Consider how the Scripture has forewarned us there must be Heresies, 1 Cor. 4 11.19. Now there is a twofold neceffity; Absolute, Conditional,
1. Absolute, when a thing cannot possibly be othera wife ; as God must needs bejust.
2. Conditional, when a thing musi be, Suppofing such another thing to be before: As Juppose the Sun be risen, it muft be day; so bere, apon fuppofition of these two things, 1. Satans malice. 2. Mans Corruption, there must be Heresies, Far be ic from us ever co think chat Godimposes a neseffery on any to be Herecicks : but he permits them & suffers them to spring up in the Church; and chat for chese chree reasons.
1. That his glorious truths may be the more cleared up, and evidenced, and strongly confirmed and maintained: Many parts of true Doctrine have been but flenderly gwarded, till aliuled
by Herecičks; then old evidences have been searched and found out. Many truths have been occasionally most cleared and setled by the opposition of the Adversary.
2. That they that are approved man hereby be made manifeft. This is an effect the Devil never intended by raising Heresies; But 'tis the Chimistry of Heaven to bring good out of evil: That is pure gold that endures the trial of the fire. A quick smart wind fevers the solid grain from the chaff
. They are but chaff who are blown away with every wind of Doctrine : The good wheat re. maines fill in the foor of the Church. When you see an Army march, you know not who is valiant, and who not ; when the enemy approaches, then is the trial.
3. That the obftinace may be rendred inexcusable, who wilfully fhut their eies against these more open manifestations, and greater cleatings up of the Truth, which (uccasionally, by che opposition of the adversary, God is pleased to afford his Church.
fude v. 3. Beloved when i garde' all diligence të
write unto you of the common salvation it was needful for me to write unto you and exhort yox, that ge foald earnestly contend for the Faith mhich was once delivered into the saints. V.4. For there are certain men crept in 894wares, who were before of old ordained to this
condemnation, ungodly mex, turning the Grace of our God into lasciviousnesse, and denying the
only Lord God, and our Lord Fefus Chrift. 2 Pet.2.1. But there were false Prophets also de
mong the people, even as there shall be false Teachers among you, who privily sball bring in damnable Heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, aud bring upon themselves swift destruction. V.2. And many shall follow their pernicious waies, by reafon of whom, she way of truth shall be evil poken of V.3. And through Covetoufneffe fall theg with feigned words make marchandise of you ; whose judgment now of a long time lingreth not, and their damnation
flumbreth not. 1 Tim.4.1. Now the Spirit speaketh exprefly that
in the latter times fome shall depart from the Faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and
doctrines of devils. V.2. Speaking lies in hypocrisie, having their
Consciences feared with a hot Iron. 2 Tim 2 17. And their word will eat a doth a
Canker, of whom is Hymeneus and Philetus. V.18. Who concernir.g the truth have erred, sagi
ing the Resurrection is paft already; and over
throw the Faith of fome. 2 Tim.4.3. For the time will come when they will
not endure sound doctrine ; but after their own lufts shall they heap to themselves Teachers,
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