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MAT H. vi. 15. Beqare of false Prophets, &c.
beed and bevare of the Leaven of the Pharisees, and
of the Saddnces.
Serpent beguiled Eve through his Subtilty, so your
is in CHRIST.
guile jou with inticing Words.
HIS is a Day of great Temptation, wherein evil Examples, evil Practices, and dangerous Errors abound; & wherein there is a great deal of Lukewarmnefs, and In
differency, as to the Things of God and Religion.
As for evil Examples and Practices, I hope you will avoid them, as leading directly in the broad Way to Destruction : And that you will be heartily concern'd about the great Things of God and Religion; it being the safest, most honourable & comfortable Way of Living. Let others say, and do what they will ; your Father has found it fo, and your Bibles direct and incourage you in the Way of Religion, and serious Godliness, and therefore hope you will keep this good old way; for those that honour God he will honour, but these that dispise bin mall be lightly esteemed.
And as for those dangerous Errors that abound, some of them tend to overthrow the Christian Religion, and others tend to the great Prejudice of the Life & Power thereof. And methinks I fee the Clouds gathering, which A
I fear will be much thicker and darker than they are at prelent, & who knows but that you may be left in a Time of thicker Darkress than we have feen, and so may be in danger to be led aside, and miss your way to Heaven: Therefore I hope you will seriously peruté these Sheets as a Token of my parental Care, & tender Love for your eternal Welfare : I hope thefe may be as a Caution and Warning to you ; and by the Blessing of God give some Light and Direction, in a dark Day. I thought it adviteable to put fomething into your Hands for thole Ends.
Errors at this Day are called by soft Names, as Difference in Judgment, and are talked of as indifferent Matters; as if there were no great Harm in them: They will endeavour to make you believe that Error is not to bad as is talk'd of, and that there's but little Difference betwixt your Judgment and theirs, to palliate the Mat- . ter : You may hear People talking that you ought to have Charity for those that differ from you, and asking you why they may not have Liberty of putting their Sense & Interpretation on Scripture as well as you your's; and to infinuate as if there were no Error or Herely, but that every thing is pretty much as a Perfon believes, or that Error is no such dangerous Matter as is repre!ented by some ; & this makes the Error flip down the easier, and prepares People to receive it; for when they think it an indifferent Matter, they will not be afraid of it, nor careful to avoid it. But it ought
to be considered, that Difference in Judgment about leffer Matters in Religion, in which there is no great Weight, no evil Tendency, Things that may or rñay not be done, thefe ought to be borne with, and covered with Love & Charity; and this the Apostle pleads for, Coll. ii. 16. Let no Man judge you in Meats, or Drinks, or an holy Day, &c. and farther in the 1 Cor. viii. Chap. and 1 Cor. x. from the 24th Verlę to the End of the Chapter, it was about eating this Meat or the other, which might or might not be done ; and thote that are weak in the Faith we ought to receive with Love & Tenderness : Nor ought we' to hurt the Perions or Estates of those that err in other Matters.
But for all this, there are dangerous destructive Errors, which we ought carefully to avoid and stand against : For we find the Apostle Paul very zealous and severe against Errors that affect the Vitals of Religion; and we are commanded earnestly to contend for the Faith once delivered to the Saints, Jude 3. We ought not to be indifferent about Truth and Error, but earnest about it. Errors that affect the Foundation or Vitals of Religion, are very dangerous to the Soul, & fo ought carefully to be avoided : They are very displeasing to God.
We find Heresies amongst the Works of the Flein, and sure the Works of the Flelh are dangerous ! Gall. v. 19, 20. And I think this will plainly appear from iuch Scriptures as thele, 2. Peter ii. 1. there we read of damnable Herefies that bring froift Destruction; sure that's dangerous that's damnable and brinys swift Destruction ; and Gall. i. 8, 9. If an Angel bring any other Gespel to you thin what we have preacheid, let him be Accursed; and he repeats it over again in the ninth Verle, to shew his Zeal against it, and the Importance of the Matter; there must be something verv evil in that which the Apostle thus curles : 2 Theff
. ii. II, 12. That they all might be damned who bolieve not the Truth, but had Pleasure in Unrighteousness; what a terrible Expression is here concerning Error: 2 Tim. ii. 17, 18. T'iarir Words do eat as a Canker; as a Canker eats and destroys the Fle!h, so do Errors mischieve the Vitals of Keligion : 1 Cor. iii. 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, Tho' a Man hold the Foundation, (the Doctrine of CHRIST) yet if he build upon this Foundation corrupt Doctrine and Practices, he mall Siffer Lefs and be forved as by Fire'; that is, with Difficulty: Kom. xvi. 17. Naze I Lef-och you Bretberen, mark'those that cauf. Divisions and o ferces, contrary to the Doctrire cehich ye nay? learned, and avoid them; they that made Divisions by teaching Doctrines contrary :o what the Apostles taught, were to be inark d & avoidel; why? becaule they were dangerous : 1 John iv. 1. Believe ret every Spirit, ku try the Spirits whether they bo of God; and why? lip