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families to which end, the holy scriptures are to be
A. The holy scriptures are to be read with an high and reverent esteem of them2; with a firm persuasion that they
* Deut. vi. 6. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: Ver. 7. And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children; and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. Ver. 8. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be
frontlets between thine eyes. Ver. 9. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates. Gen. xviii. 17. And the Lord said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do? Ver. 19. For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord,- -Psal. lxxviii. 5. For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children; Ver. 6. That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born, who should arise and declare them to their children: Ver. 7. That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments.
Y1 Cor. xiv. 6. Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine? Ver. 9.
Ver. 12. Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church. Ver. 15. What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also; I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also. Ver. 16. Else, when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest? Ver. 24. But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, hé is convinced of all, he is judged of all. Ver. 27. If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret. Ver. 28. But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.
157. Z Psal. xix. 10. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey, and the honey-comb. Neh. viii. 3. And he read therein before the street that was before the water
are the very word of God', and that he only can enable us to understand them; with desire to know, believe, and obey the will of God revealed in them; with diligence, and attention
gate, from the morning until midday, before the men and the women, and those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law. Ver. 4. And Ezra the scribe stood upon a pulpit of wood, which they had made for the purpose;- Ver. 5. And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people;) and, when he opened it, all the people stood up: Ver. 6. And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, amen, with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the Lord with their faces to the ground, &c. to Verse 10. Exod. xxiv. 7. And he (Moses) took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people and they said, All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient. 2 Chron. xxxiv. 27. Because thine heart was tender, and thou didst humble thyself before God, when thou heardest his words against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, and humbledst thyself before me, and didst rend thy clothes, and weep before me; I have even heard thee also, saith the Lord. Isa. lxvi. 2.-But to this man will I look, even to him that is poor, and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.
a 2 Pet. i. 19. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day-star arise in your hearts. Ver. 20.
Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. Ver. 21. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man; but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
b Luke xxiv. 45. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures. 2 Cor. iii. 13. And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished. Ver. 14. But their minds were blinded for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; I which vail is done away in Christ, Ver. 15. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart. Ver. 16. Nevertheless, when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away.
C Deut. xvii. 19. And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life; that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, te keep all the words of this law, and these statutes, to do them: Ver. 20. That his heart be not lifted up aboye his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment to the right hand or to the left; to the end that he may prolong his days,
d Acts xvii. 11. These (Bereans) were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
tention to the matter and scope of them; with meditation, application, self-denial, and prayer i.
Q. 158. By whom is the word of God to be preached?
A. The word of God is to be preached only by such as are sufficiently gifted, and also duly approved and called to that office1..
Acts viii. 30. And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? Ver. 34. And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? Luke x. 26. He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? Ver. 27. And he answering, said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. Ver. 28. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right; this do, and thou shalt live.
f Psal. i. 2. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in his law doth he meditate day and night. Psal. cxix. 97. O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.
82 Chron. xxxiv. 21. Go, enquire of the Lord for me, and for them that are left in Israel, and in Judah, concerning the words of the book that is found; for great is the wrath of the Lord that is poured out upon us, because our fathers have not kept the word of the Lord, to do after all that is written in this book.
h Prov. iii. 5. Trust in the Lord Iwith all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. Deut. xxxiii. 3. Yea, he loved the people; all his saints are in thy hand; and
Q. 159. How
they sat down at thy feet; every one shall receive of thy words.
i Prov. ii. 1. My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; Ver. 2. So that thou incline thine ear unto wis dom, and apply thine heart to understanding: Ver. 3. Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding: Ver. 4. If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures : Ver. 5. Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. Ver. 6. For the Lord giveth wisdom; out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. Psal. cxix. 18. Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law. Neh. viii. 6. And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, amen, with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the Lord with their faces to the ground. Ver. 8. So they read in the book, in the law of God dis tinctly,
158. k1 Tim. iii. 2. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Ver. 6. Not a novice, lest, being lifted up with pride, he fall into the condemnation of the devil. Eph. iv. 8. Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he
Q. 159. How is the word of God to be preached by those that are called thereunto?
A. They that are called to labour in the ministry of the word, are to preach sound doctrine", diligently", in season and out of season; plainly, not in the enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit, and of power; faith
led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. Ver. 9. (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? Ver. 10. He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.) Ver. 11. And he gave some apostles, and some prophets, and some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers. Hosea iv. 6. My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me; seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. Mal. ii. 7. For the priest's lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts. 2 Cor. iii. 6. Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament, not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.
1 Jer. xiv. 15. Therefore thus saith the Lord concerning the prophets that prophesy in my name, and I sent them not,-Rom. x. 15. And how shall they preach except they be sent ?-Heb. v. 4. And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron. 1 Cor. xii. 28. And God hath set some in the church; first, apostles; secondarily, prophets; thirdly, teachers; after that miracles; then gifts of healings, helps, go
vernments, diversities of tongues. Ver. 29. Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? 1 Tim. iii. 10. And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a
deacon, being found blameless. 1 Tim. iv. 14. Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. 1 Tim. v. 22. Lay hands suddenly on no man; neither be partaker of other men's sins: keep thyself pure.
159. Tit. ii. 1. But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine. Ver. 8. Sound speech that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.
n Acts xviii. 25. This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and, being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord,
02 Tim. iv. 2. Preach the word, be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all long-suffering and doctrine.
P1 Cor. xiv. 19. Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thou sand words in an unknown tongue.
91 Cor. ii. 4. And my speech, and my preaching, was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit, and of power.
faithfully, making known the whole counsel of God; wisely, applying themselves to the necessities and capacities of the hearers "; zealously ", with fervent love to God and the souls of his people ; sincerely 2, aiming
Jer. xxiii. 28. The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully: what is the chaff to the wheat? saith the Lord. 1 Cor. iv. 1. Let a man so account of us as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Ver. 2. Moreover, it is required in stewards that a man be found faithful.
s Acts xx. 27. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.
t Col. i. 28. Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. 2 Tim. ii. 15. Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word
1 Cor. iii. 2. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. Heb. v. 12. For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. Ver. 13. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. Ver. 14. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil Luke xii. 42.
And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season?
w Acts xviii. 25. This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and, being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord,
x 2 Cor. v. 13. For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God; or whether we be sober, it is for your cause. Ver. 14. For the love of Christ constraineth us, because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead. Phil. i. 15. Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good-will: Ver. 16. The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing 'to add affliction to my bonds: Ver. 17. But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel.
y Col. iv. 12. Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. 2 Cor. xii. 15. And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved,
42 Cor. ii. 17. For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ. 2 Cor. iv. 2. But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking