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but ye have obeyed from the fieart that form of doctrine which was delivered you; being then made free from fin, ye became the servants of righteousness. I speak after the manner of men, because of the infirmity of your flesh; for as ye have yielded your members fervants to uncleanness, and to iniquity, unto iniquity, even so now yield your members servants to righteousness, unto holiness. For when ye were the servants of fin, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now alhamed ? For the end of those things is death. But now, being made free from fin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of fin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Q. It would appear then, that God requires of us to be perfect?
A. Be ye therefore perfect, ever as your Mat. Father which is in heaven is perfect.
Q. Is it then possible to keep the commandments?
A. My yoke is easy, and my burthen is Mat. light. For this is the law of God, that "I. 30. we keep his commandments, and his com
John mandments are not grievous..
Q. Is it necessary then for fpluation, ta
keep the commandments ? Rev. A, Blessed are they that do his com12. I4. mandments, that they may have right to
the tree of life, and may enter in 'through the gates into the city.
Q. Do you understand by this perfe&tion, that any have so kept tbe commandments, as
never ta bave finned? , John A. If we say that we have not singed,
we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
Q. Do you understand, that thofe wha axe perfect may fay, they have no fin; or only that þaving Sonned, and fo having fun, in respect they once sinned, as the apostle in the pasage cited mentions, nay, notwithstanding thereof, not only come to know forgiveness for the guilt,
but also cleansing from the filth? John A. If we say we have no fin, we deceive 1. 8, 9. ourselves, and the truth is not in us: if we
confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Q. This fcripture seems to be very plain, being compared with the other before mentioned: but because fome are apt to mistake and wrest the words of the apostle, what faith he elfewhere? Did he judge any could know God, or be true Christians, who kept not the command;nents?
3. 2 to
A. My little children, these things write 1 Joha I unto you, that ye fin not; and if any; 5; 63 man fin, we have an adyocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous : and hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that faith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected. Hereby know we that we are in him: he that faith he abideth in him, ought himself also fo to walk even as he walked.
Beloved, now are we the sons of God, 1 John and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know, that when he shall appear, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is: and every man that hath this hope in him, purifieth himself, even as he is pure. Whosoever committeih fin, transgrefseth also the law, for sin is the transgression of the law. And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no fin. Whosoever abideth in him finneth not.
Whosoever finneth, hath not seen him, neither known him. Little chil. dren, let no man deceive you : he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil finneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of
God was manifefted, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God, doth not commit fin; for his feed remaineth 'in him, and he cannot fin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil. · Whofoever doch not righteousness, is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.
Q. It is very plain by these pasages, that the apostles were far of another mind, than those that plead for fin during term of life; and much againf the deceit of those who will efteem themfelves good Christians while they live in their fins,
4. Not every one that faith unto me, 21.24. Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom
of heaven, but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Therefore, whosoever heareth thefe sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wife
man, which built his house upon a rock. John If ye know these things, happy are ye if
Q. What faith the apostle Paul further concerning the needfulness of this thing?
1. Circumcifion is nothing, and uncir. 7.19. cumcision is nothing ; but the keeping of
the commandments of God.
Q. Was not this, according to the apostle Baut's judgment, the very intention of Chrift,
to have his church and children to be pure, and without spot?
A. According as he has chosen us in Eph. him before the foundation of the world, 5. 4. that we should be holy, and without blame before him in love.
Even as Christ also loved the church, Eph. 5. and gave himself for it, that he might fanc: 25 to 27. tify and cleanse it, that he might present it to himself a glorious charch, not having spot' or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it should be holy, and without blemish.
Q. Doth not Paul press the same thing further, besides the other paffages' above-mentioned?
A. Having therefore these promises, 2 Cor. dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourfelves, 7. I. from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
Finally, brethren, farewell's be perfe&t. 2 Cor. Christ in you the hope of glory, whom wè 13. st. preach, warning every man, and teaclling 1. 28. every man in all wiklom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.
Labouring fervently for you in prayers; Col. that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. To the end he may · Thèf ? establish your hearts unblameable in holi- 3. 13. ness before God. And the very God of Ch. 5. peace fan&tify you wholly; and I pray God, your whole spirit, and soul, and body, be