Page:Suppressed Gospels and Epistles.djvu/115

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should turn them out of the place which is now appointed for them.

21 But we see how you have put out some, who lived reputably among you, from the ministry, which by their innocence they had adorned.


He exerts them to peace from examples out of the Holy Scriptures, 20 particularly from St. Paul's exhortation to them.

YE are contentious, brethren, and zealous for things that pertain not unto salvation.

2 Look into the Holy Scriptures, which are the true words of the Holy Ghost. Ye know that there is nothing unjust or counterfeit written in them.

3 There you shall not find that righteous men were ever cast off by such as were good themselves.

4 They were persecuted, but it was by the wicked and unjust.

5 They were cast into prison, but they were cast in by those that were unholy.

6 They were stoned, but it was by transgressors.

7 They were killed, but by accursed men, and such as had taken up an unjust envy against them.

8 And all these things they underwent gloriously.

9 For what shall we say, brethren? Was Daniel cast into the den of lions, by men fearing God? Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, were they cast into the fiery furnace by men, professing the excellent and glorious worship of the Most High? God forbid.

10 What kind of persons then were they that did these things? They were men abominable, full of all wickedness; who were incensed; to so great a degree, as to bring those into sufferings, who with a holy and unblameable purpose of mind worshipped God: not knowing that the Most High is the protector and defender of all such as with a pure conscience serve his holy name: to whom be glory for ever and ever, Amen.

11 But they who with a full persuasion have endured these things, are made partakers of glory and honour: and are exalted and lifted up by God for a memorial throughout all ages, Amen.

12 Wherefore it will behove us also, brethren, to follow such examples as these; for it is written, Hold fast to such as are holy; for they that do so shall be sanctified.

13 And again in another place he saith, With the pure, thou shalt be pure (and with the elect thou shalt be elect,) but with, the perverse man thou shalt be perverse.

14 Let us therefore join ourselves to the innocent and righteous; for such are the elect of God.

15 Wherefore are there strifes, and anger, and divisions, and schisms, and wars, among us?

16 Have we not all one God, and one Christ? Is not one spirit of grace poured out upon us all? Have we not one calling in Christ.

17 Why then do we rent and tear in pieces the members of Christ; and raise seditious against our own body? And are come to such a height of madness, as to forget that we were members one of another?

18 Remember the words of our Lord Jesus, (how he said, Woe to that man by whom offences come). It, were better for him that he had never been born, than that he should have offended one of my elect. It were better for him, that a mill-stone should be tied about his neck, and he should be cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of my little ones.

19 Your schism has perverted many, has discouraged many: it has caused diffidence in many, and