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St. Paul

seek yours unto us, that after we had, with wiles, robbed
preached
Christ and you of all ye have, we should exalt ourselves over you and
not himself.

separate ourselves from you, and make ourselves a several
kingdom, free and frank, reigning over you as heathen ty-
rants, and holding you in bondage to serve our lucre and
lusts, tangling your conscience with doctrine of man
which draweth from God and Christ, and fearing you
with the bug of excommunication against God's word.
Or, if that served not, shaking a sword at you.

And this is the tidings which we have heard of him, and

declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no
darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship
with him, and yet walk in darkness, we lie, and do not
the truth. But and if we walk in light, as he is in light,
then have we fellowship together, and the blood of
Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

all men.

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As the devil is darkness and lies, so is God light and
As God is
light, ko the truth only, and there is no darkness of falsehood and con-
devil is
darkness.

senting to wickedness in him. And the brightness of his light
is his word and doctrine, as the hundred and nineteenth
Psalm saith, Thy word is a lantern unto my feet, and a
light to my paths. And Christ is the light that lighteneth

And the apostles are called the light of the
world, because of the doctrine. And all that know truth

are light. Ye were once darkness saith Paul; (Eph. v.) Guoll

but now light in the Lord; walk therefore as the children
works are of light. And good works are called the fruits of light.
the fruits
of life. And all that live in ignorance are called darkness, as he

saith afterwards, he that hateth his brother walketh in
darkness. For if the light of the glorious gospel of
Christ did shine in his heart, he could not hate his brother.

By walking understand consenting, doing, and work-
Walking in
darkness or

ing. If then we walk in darkness, that is, consent and in light. work wickedness, and say we have fellowship with God,

we lie. For to have fellowship with him, is to know, and

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consent, and profess his doctrine in our hearts. Now if
the commandments of God be written in our hearts, our
members cannot but practice them and shew the fruit. So
whether light or darkness be in the heart, it will appear
in the walking. For though our members be never so
dead unto virtue, yet if our souls knowledge the truth,
and consent unto righteousness, we have the spirit of life
in us. And Paul saith, (Rom. viii.) If the Spirit of him If we have
that raised up Jesus from death be in you, then will he of God in
that raised up Jesus from death, quicken your mortal will he
bodies, by the reason of the Spirit that dwelleth in you. raise

with Jesus
So that it is not possible for him that knoweth the truth, Christ.
and consenteth thereto, to continue in sin. And then
finally, if we have the light in our hearts, and walk there-
in, then we have fellowship with God, and are his sons
and heirs, and are purged from all sin through Christ's
blood.

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If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and truth

is not in us.

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If we think there is no sin in us, we are beguiled and He that blind, and the light of God's word is not in us, and either saith he

hath no follow sin as beasts without conscience at all; or if we sin desee the gross sins, as murder, theft, and adultery, yet we

himself. have hanged a vail of false glosses upon Moses's face, and see not the brightness of the law, how that it requireth of us, as pure an heart to God, and as great love unto our neighbours as was in our Saviour Jesus, and ceaseth not before to condemn us as sinners.

Cruth .v.) drea ght

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If we knowledge our sins, he is faithful and just to
forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighte-

ousness.

ther. orkand God,

If we confess our sins, not in the priest's ear, (though that tradition restored unto the right use were not damna

OD

and

VOL. III.

If we confess our sins to God with true faith

ble,) but in our hearts, to God, with true repentance and fast belief; then is he faithful to forgive and to purge us,

because of his merciful truth and promise. For he proand repent- mised Abraham, that in his seed all the world should be ance, blessed from the curse of sin. And hath abundantly will for give us. renewed his everlasting mercy unto us in the New Testa

ment, promising that our sins shall be forgiven us in Christ's blood, if we repent and trust thereto.

he

If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and

his word is not in

us.

Allmen are sinners.

For his word testifieth agianst us, that we are all sinners, yea, and else Christ died in vain. Solomon saith, (3 Kings viii.) That there is no man that sinneth not against God. And Paul proveth by the authority of the Scripture, unto the Romans, that we are all sinners without exception. And the Scripture witnesseth that we are damnable sinners, and that our nature is to sin. Which corrupt and poisoned nature, though it be begun to be healed, yet it is never thorough whole until the hour of death. For the which cause, with all our best fruits, there grow weeds among. Neither can there be any deed so perfect that could not be amended. When a blind bungler wondereth at his glorious works, a cunning workman that hath a clear judgment, perceiveth that it is unpossible to make a work that could not be made better. Now the law requireth works of us in the highest degree of perfection, and ceaseth not to accuse us until our works flow naturally, as glorious in perfection as the works of Christ. And Christ teacheth us to pray in our pater noster, Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive our trespassers. Whereby ye may easily understand, that we sin daily one against another, and all against God. Christ taught also to pray that our Father should not let us slip into temptation; signifying that our nature cannot but sin if occasions be given, except that God of his special grace keep us back. Which

Nothing can be so well done, but it may be amando ed.

readiness to sin is damnable sin in the law of God. David prayed (Psm. Ixviii.) Let not the tempest drown me, let me not fall into the bottom, and let not the pit shut her mouth upon me: as who should say, First, keep me, O God, from sinning, then if I shall chance to fall, as

All the na

ture of man no flesh can escape, one time or other, then call me shortly is sinful. back again, and let me not sink too deep therein : and though I yet fall never so deep, yet Lord let not the way of mercy be stopped : signifying that it is unpossible to stand of ourselves, and much less to rise again. Which impotency and feebleness is damnable in the law of God, except that we saw it and repented, and were fled to

Christ for mercy.

CHAP. II.

MY little children, I write these things unto you, that

ye sin not. And though any man sin, yet we have an advocate with the Father, even Jesus Christ, which is righteous.

I write unto you on the one side, that God is light, and therefore that no man which willingly walketh in the unfruitful works of darkness, hath any fellowship with that light, or part in the blood of his Son.

And this I write We must and testify unto you my dear children, that ye sin not: resist sin

with all our that is, that ye consent not unto sin, nor should sin of power and

might. lust and purpose maliciously; but contrariwise that

ye fear God, and resist sin with all your might and power according as ye have promised. For whosoever sinneth of purpose after the knowledge of truth, the same sinneth against the Holy Ghost remediless. (Heb. vi. 10.) And on the other side, I testify unto you that we be

ness of our

Our advo.

always sinners, though not of purpose and malice after We sin the nature of damned devils, but of infirmity and frailty daily by the frailty

of our flesh, which flesh not only letteth us that our works and wenk

cannot be perfect, but also now and then, through maniflesh. fold occasions and temptations carrieth us clean out of

the right way, spite of our hearts. Howbeit (I say) if
when the rage is past, we turn unto the right way again,
and confess our sins unto our Father with a repenting
heart, he hath promised us mercy, and is true to fulfil it.
So that if we sin not devilishly against the Holy Ghost,
refusing the doctrine which we cannot improve that it
should not be true, but after the frailty of man, there is
no cause to despair ; for we have an advocate and an
intercessor with the Father, even Jesus Christ that is
righteous.

The name of our advocate is Jesus, that is to say, a cate Jesus. Saviour. Call his name Jesus, said the angel to Joseph;

for he shall save his people from their sins. (Matt. i.)
And this advocate and our Jesus, to save us from our sins,
continueth ever, as it written, (Heh vii.) and hath,
Sempiternum Sacerdotium, an everlasting office, to make
an atonement for sin; by the reason whereof (saith the
text) he is able ever to save them that come to God

through him, with repentance and faith, and liveth ever to Jesus that speak for us. And besides that, our Jesus is God and is God and almighty. He took our nature upon him, and felt all our eth unto infirmities and sicknessess, and in feeling learned to have thee o

compassion on us, and for compassion cried mightily in Father,

prayers to God the Father for us, and was heard. And the
voice of the same blood that once cried, not for vengeance
as Abel's, but for mercy only, and was heard, crieth now
and

ever, and is ever heard, as oft as we call unto remem

brance with repenting faith how that it was shed for our Chri:113.

sins. He is also called Christus, that is to say, king
anointed with all might and power over sin, death and
hell, and over all sins; so that none that Alieth unto him
shall ever come into judgment of damnation. He is

man, call.

for us.

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