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not as fools, but as wise; redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is". This is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say, that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth; but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another'. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day; we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore, let us not sleep as do others; but let us watch, and be sober*. Lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the ingrafted word, which is able to save your souls'. Who is a wise man, and endowed with knowledge, amongst you? Let him show, out of a good conversation, his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish". But the wisdom that is from above, is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy". Brethren, be not children in understanding; howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men°. And besides this giving all diligence, add to your faith, virtue; and to virtue, knowledge'. For, if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things, is blind, and cannot see far off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. But we all with open face, beholding, as in a glass, the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit
h Eph. v. 15-17.
1 James, i. 21.
• 1 Cor. xiv. 20.
* 1 John, i, 5—7.
"James, iii. 13-15.
P 2 Pet. i. 5.
* 1 Thess. v. 4—6.
James, iii. 17.
q 2 Pet. i. 8, 9.
of the Lord'; till we all come, in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ; that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the Head, even Christ. Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ'. Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts; and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear". Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, in all wisdom, teaching aud admonishing one another in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord'. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers".
SECT. 15. And are connected with a steadfast attention to the sacred records.
The brethren sent away Paul and Silas unto Berea; who, coming thither, went into the synagogue of the Jews. These 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. Therefore many of them believed. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light which shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day-star arise in your hearts. Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. As new born babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby".
Continue thou in the things which thou hast learned, and hast been assured of; knowing of whom thou hast learned them, and that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation, through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. Give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine'. Meditate upon these things, give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear unto all. Speak thou the things which become sound doctrine"; sound speech which cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you'.
SECT. 16. Of vain pretensions to knowledge and wisdom, which cannot profit.
Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? There is more hope of a fool than of him. For vain man would be wise, though man be born like a wild ass's colt". The way of a fool is right in his own eyes; but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise. Behold thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God, and knowest his will, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law; and art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge, and of the truth in the law. Thou therefore that teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? Let no man deceive himself: If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God: for it is written, He
* 2 Tim. iii. 14-17.
Prov. xxvi. 12.
d Rom. ii. 17-21.
1 Tim. iv. 13.
I Tit. ii. 8.
b Job, xi. 12.
1 Tim. iv. 15.
Prov. xii. 15.
taketh the wise in their own craftiness; and again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain. And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know. Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame3. 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. For every one that useth milk, is unskilful in the word of righteousness; for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth unto them that are of full age, even those who, by reason of use, have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil". But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost; in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them'.
Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth. Though I speak with the tongues of men and angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and have all knowledge, and have no charity, I am nothing'. If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; he is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words" words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers"; whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth. Should a wise man utter vain knowledge, and fill his belly with the east wind? Should he reason with unprofitable talk, or with speeches that can do no good?? But avoid foolish questions, and genea
• 1 Cor. iii. 18-20.
1 Cor. viii. 2.
1 2 Cor. iv. 3, 4.
1 Cor. xv. 34.
1 Cor. viii. 1.
n 2 Tim. ii. 14.
logies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain. Keep that which is committed to thy trust; avoiding profane and vain babblings, and opposition of science, falsely so called; which some professing, have erred concerning the faith'.
Be not wise in your own conceits'. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this world? Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world'? Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called; but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty"; that no flesh should glory in his presence*.
SECT. 17. Concerning false teachers, and those that are seduced by them.
Beloved, believe not every spirit; but try the spirits whether they are of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world. There were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, and many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. These speak evil of the things that they understand not; beguiling unstable souls. For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, those who were clean escaped from them who live in error. He that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the