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the designs and ways of Satan,
and of all the adversaries of be-
lievers: and that they can do no
more, nor proceed further against
us, than God permits. He turns
about their purposes
Cons. IV. That God orders and de-
termines the measure, manner,
time, and continuance of afflic-
tions and persecutions; and that
according to our necessities
Cons. V. That God doth sometimes
make enemies and persecutors
themselves to attest the saints'
innocency when they suffer; and
will surely avenge them of their
Cons. VI. That God will comfort,
uphold, and preserve his, in all
their troubles, and not lay more
upon them than they can bear
See common calamities, chap. xxi.
Cons. VII. That the righteous are
near and dear to God in Christ;
so that he takes notice of their
afflictions and troubles; and is
said to be persecuted and afflicted
Jin their persecutions, &c.
First. The Holy Ghost affirms it ib. See union and relation between Christ
Secondly. The saints have been
CHAP. XXIII. Of an oath for testimony,
confirmation, and ending of contro-
versies, and other occasions; and
CHAP. XXIV. Of the gospel: gospel
preachers in general; their duty and
Sect. 1. What the gospel is; and its
Sect. 11. Of gospel preachers, their
duty and recompense
See more of church officers, chap. xxv.
CHAP. XXV. Of the church of Christ,
under the several notions thereof,
and the things belonging thereto, in
general; and also with regard to
First. The several acceptations of the
church mentioned in scripture
I. General, or universal
II. Universal, visible
III. Particular visible churches of
believers, who are joined toge-
ther as one body, and usually
meet together in one place, for
the participation of the same or-
dinances, and exercising duties
as a church, and one to another
as members thereof
Secondly. The dignity, privileges, and
blessings belonging to the church
of Jesus Christ in general, as such 340
See union and relation between Christ
and his church, chap. xiv.
Thirdly Of the qualifications of mem-r
ribers of the church of God; what
-they should be
Fourthly. Of the property that parti-
cular churches had in their mem-
bers, and of others joining them-
selves to them
Fifthly. Of letters commendatory,
and the churches receiving of such
as were recommended to them by
word or letter -
Sixthly. Of the order of the churches
in their assemblies and meetings:
their stated regulations in con-
Seventhly. Of the gifts of prayer,
prophesying, psalms, tongues, &c.
which the members of churches re-
ceived: how they used them in
the church assemblies, and else-
where, for the edification one of
another, and instruction of others:
the order how they should be
used, directed: such gifts to be
desired for this end
Eighthly. Of other acts done in and by
these particular churches, in send-
ing messengers to other churches;
and, upon occasion, determining
controversies, writing and sending
epistles, and other affairs. of their
meeting together in order thereto,
and hearing such epistles: the
epistles directed to the whole body 347
See Church discipline in this chapter,
See Sincerity, chap. xiv.
CHAP. XXVII. Of conscience -
CHAP. XXVIII. Of the devil: of his
subtilty by himself, and by his in-
struments, wicked men, false teach-
ers, deceivers, and seducers. The
description of them
Sect. 1. Of Satan, the devil himself ib.
See more, sinners' bondage, chap. iv.
Sect. 11. The instruments of Satan;
seducers, deceivers, &c.
CHAP. XXIX. Of consideration, me-
ditation, pondering upon, and seri-
ous weighing of the things of God,
his word and works, &c.
SECTION 1. Shewing what Religion is, and how the knowledge of it is to be obtained.
UNDER the name of Religion is comprehended all that worship and service which is due from men to God: whatever we ought or are bound to do in obedience to him; whatever he will reward us for doing, or punish us for not doing.
In order, therefore, to worship and serve God as we ought to do, we must first believe that he is; that he hath given us laws and commandments to keep; that he is a rewarder of them who diligently seek him, and of such as do according to all that he hath commanded them: and that he taketh vengeance on them that obey him not. And for the better understanding the nature and extent of our duty, in all respects, together with the grounds and reasons of our obligations; it behoves us in the next place to inform ourselves as truly and particularly as we can, who the Lord is whom we are to serve; what attributes and perfections belong to him, and what works he hath wrought; as also, what manner of beings we ourselves are, who are commanded to serve him; what capacities and inclinations we have; what state and condition we are in, and in what relation we stand to God.
After which it will be necessary for us to inquire, how and in what manner