« AnteriorContinuar »
11 done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
[Titus, iii. 1-7. Let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men libe. rally, and upbraideth not ; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering: for he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall re. ceive any thing of the Lord. A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways. Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted : But the rich, in that he is made low; because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away. For the sun is no sooner risen with a burn. ing heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth : so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways. Blessed is the man that endureth temptation : for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. Let no man say, when he is tempted, I am tempted of God : for God can. not be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man : But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then, when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin ; and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren, Every good gift, and every perfect gift is from above, and com. eth down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first-fruits of his creatures. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath : For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. Wherefore, lay apart all filthiness, and superfiuity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the ingrafted word, which is able to save your souls. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man 12
CHRISTIAN DUTY. beholding his natural face in a glass : For he beholdeti himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. If any map among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain. Pure religion, and undefiled, before God and the Father, is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their afflic. tion, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
[James, i. 4-27. If a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; consider. ing thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one ano. ther's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. For if a man think himself to be something when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For every man shall bear his own burden. Let him that is taught in the word communi. cate unto him that teacheth in all good things. Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh, shall of the flesh reap corruption ; but he that soweth to the Spirit, shall of the Spirit reap life everlast. ing. And let us not be weary in well doing : for in due season we shall reap if we faint not. As we have there. fore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
(Gal. vi, 1-10. I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you, that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with long-suf. fering, forbearing one another in love : Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and throngh all, and in you all. But 'unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.
[Eph. iv, 1-7.
CHRISTIANITY. Jesus said, whosoever heareth the sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house ; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock: And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain de. scended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
[Math. vii. 24, 25, 26, 27.
CLERGY. If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, 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 subjection with all gravity : (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) Not a novice, lest 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; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. Likewise must the deacons be grave, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre: Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. And let these also first be proved ; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. Even so must their wives be grave not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.
(1 Tim. iii. 1-13. A bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not self-willed, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; But a lover of hospita
COMPANIONSHIP-CONDUCT. lity, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate ; Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.
[Titus, i. 7-9. Give no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed : But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings; by pure. ness, by knowledge, by long suffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report : as deceivers, and yet true; As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich ; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.
(Corinth. vi, 3-10. COMPANIONSHIP. Be not deceived—Evil communications corrupt good manners.
[1 Cor. xv. 33. CONDUCT (THROUGH LIFE). Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another; love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous : Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile : Let him eschew evil, and do good ; let him seek peace, and ensue it. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers : but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good ? But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye : and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled ; But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts : and be ready al. ways to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that whereas they speak evil
of you as of evil doers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well-doing, than for evil-doing. For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.
(1 Peter, iii. 8–18. Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do good ; seek peace, and pursue it.
[Ps. xxxiv. 13, 14. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry : For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: In the which ye also walked sometime, when ye lived in them. Put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds ; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him. (Coloss. iii. 5-10.
Be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
(1 Tim. iv. 12. Flee also youthful lusts; but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender str
[2 Tim. ii. 22, 23. CONFESSION (OF Sins). Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. (James v. 16.
I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my trangressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.
[Ps. xxxii. 5. Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against the Lord thy God, and hast scattered thy ways to the strangers under every green tree, and ye liave not obeyed my voice, saith the Lord.
(Prov. xxviii. 13.