6 Yes, the heaven is not clean in his sight, how much less they that dwell in houses of clay; of which also we ourselves were made?
7 He smote them as a moth: and from morning even unto the evening they endure not. Because they were not able to help themselves, they perished; he breathed upon them and they died, because they had no wisdom.
8 [*11] Call now if there be any that will answer thee; and to which of the angels wilt thou look?
9 For wrath killeth the foolish man, and envy slayeth him that is in error.
10 I have seen the foolish taking root, but lo, their habitation was presently consumed.
11 Their children were far from safety, they [*12] perished at the gates of those who were lesser than themselves; and there was no man to [*13] help them.
12 For what was prepared for them, the righteous [*14] did eat: and they shall not be delivered from evil.[p. 131]
13 Seeing then these things are manifest unto us, it will behoove us, to take care that looking into the depths of the divine knowledge, we do all things in order, whatsoever our Lord has commanded us to do.
14 And particularly, that we perform our offerings and service to God, at their appointed seasons: for these he has commanded to be done, not [*1] rashly and disorderly, but at certain determinate times and hours.
15 And therefore he has ordained by his supreme will and authority, both where, and by what persons, they are to be performed; that so all things being piously done unto all well-pleasing, they may be acceptable unto [*2] him.
16 They therefore who make their offerings at the appointed seasons, are happy and accepted: because that obeying the commandments of the Lord, they are free from sin.
17 And the same care must be had of the persons that minister unto him.
18 [*3] For the chief-priest has his proper services; and to the priests their proper place is appointed; and to the Levites appertain their proper ministries: and the layman is confined within the bounds of what is commanded to laymen.
19 Let every one of you therefore, brethren, bless God in his proper station, with [*4] a good conscience, and with all gravity, not exceeding the rule of his service that is appointed to him.
20 The daily sacrifices are not offered everywhere; nor the peace-offerings, nor the sacrifices appointed for sins and transgressions; but only at Jerusalem: nor in any place there, but only at the altar before the temple; that which is offered being first diligently examined by the high-priest and the other minister we before mentioned.
21 They therefore who do anything which is not agreeable to His will are punished with death.
22 [*5] Consider, brethren, that by how much the better knowledge God has vouchsafed unto us by so much the greater danger are we exposed to.
The orders of Ministers in Christ’s Church established by the Apostles according to Christ’s command, 7 after the example of Moses. 16 Therefore they who have been duly placed in the ministry according to their order cannot without great sin be put out of it.
THE Apostles have preached to us from the Lord Jesus Christ; Jesus Christ from God.
2 Christ therefore was sent by God, the Apostles by Christ; so both were orderly [*6] sent, according to the will of God.
3 For having received their command, and being thoroughly assured by the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ; [*7] and convinced by the word of God, with the [*8] fulness of the Holy Spirit, they went abroad, publishing, That the kingdom of God was at hand.
4 And thus preaching through countries and cities, [*9] they appointed the first fruits of their conversion to be bishops and ministers over such as should afterwards believe, having first proved them by the Spirit.
5 Nor was this any new thing:[p. 132]
seeing that long before it was written concerning bishops and deacons.
6 For thus saith the Scripture, in a certain place: [*1] I will appoint their [*2] overseers in righteousness, and their ministers in faith.
7 And what wonder if they, to whom such a work was committed by God in Christ, established such officers as we before mentioned; when even that blessed and faithful servant in all his house, Moses, [*3] set down in the Holy Scriptures all things that were commanded him.
8 Whom also all the rest of the prophets followed, bearing witness with one consent to those things that were appointed by him.
9 For he, perceiving an [*4] emulation to arise among the tribes concerning the priesthood, and that there was a strife about it, which of them should be adorned with that glorious name; commanded their twelve captains to bring to him [*5] twelve rods; every tribe being written upon its rod, according to its name.
10 And he took them and bound them together, and sealed them with the seals of the twelve princes of the tribes; and laid them up in the tabernacle of witness, upon the table of God.
11 And when he had shut the door of the tabernacle he sealed up the keys of it, in like manner [*6] as he had done the rods; and said unto them, Men and brethren, whichsoever tribe shall have its rod blossom, that tribe has God chosen to perform the office of a priest, and [*7] to minister unto him in holy things.
12 And when the morning was come, he called together all Israel, six hundred thousand men; and shewed to the princes their seals; and opened the tabernacle of witness; and brought forth the rods.
13 And the rod of Aaron was found not only to have blossomed, but also to have fruit upon it.
14 What think you, beloved? Did not Moses before know [*8] what should happen?
15 Yes verily: but to the end there might be no division, nor tumult in Israel, he did in this manner, that the name of the true and only God might be glorified, to him be honour for ever and ever, Amen.
16 So likewise our Apostles knew by our Lord Jesus Christ, that there should contentions arise, [*9] upon account of the ministry.
17 And therefore having a perfect fore-knowledge of this, they appointed persons, as we have before said, and then [*10] gave direction, how, when they should die, other chosen and approved men should succeed in their ministry.
18 Wherefore we cannot think that those may justly be thrown out of their ministry, who were either appointed by them, or afterwards chosen by other eminent men, with the consent of the whole church; and who have with all lowliness and innocency[p. 133]
ministered to the flock of Christ, in peace, and without self-interest, and were for a long time commended by all.
19 For it would be no small sin in us, should we cast off those from their [*1] ministry who holily and without blame [*2] fulfil the duties of it.
20 Blessed are those priests, who having finished their course before these times have obtained a fruitful and perfect dissolution: for they have no fear, lest any one 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 exhorts 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 [*3] 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 [*4] And all these things they underwent gloriously.
9 For what shall we say, brethren? Was Daniel cast into the [*5] den of lions, by men fearing God? Ananias, Azarius, and Misael, were they [*6] cast into the [*7] fiery furnace by men, [*8] 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 [*9] holy name: to whom be glory for ever and ever, Amen.
11 But they who with a full persuasion have endured these things, [*10] and are made partakers of glory and honour: and [*11] are exalted and lifted up by God in their memorial throughout all ages, Amen.
12 Wherefore it will behoove us also, brethren, [*12] 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, [*13] With the pure thou shalt be pure, ( [*14] and with the elect thou shalt be elect),[p. 134]
but with the perverse man thou shalt be [*1] 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 [*2] Have we not all one God, and one Christ? [*3] Is not one spirit of grace poured out upon us all? Have we not one calling in Christ?
17 Why then do we rend 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 [*4] we were members one of another?
18 Remember the words of our Lord Jesus, [*5] how he said, Wo to that man, (by whom offences come) [*6] 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 millstone 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 grief in us all. And yet your sedition continues still.
20 Take the epistle of the blessed Paul the Apostle into your hands; [*7] What was it that he wrote to you at his first preaching the Gospel among you?
21 Verily he did [*8] by the spirit admonish you concerning himself, and Cephas, and Apollos, because that even then ye had begun to fall into [*9] parties and factions among yourselves.
22 Nevertheless your partiality then led you into a much less sin: forasmuch as ye [*10] placed your affections upon Apostles, men of [*11] eminent reputation in the church; and upon another, who was greatly tried and approved of by them.
23 But consider, we pray you, who are they that have now led you astray; and lessened the [*12] reputation of that brotherly love that was [*13] so eminent among you?
24 It is a shame, my beloved, yea, a very great shame, and unworthy of your Christian [*14] profession, to hear that the most firm and [*15] ancient church of the Corinthians should, by one or two persons, be led into a sedition against its priests.
25 And this report is come not only to us, but to those also that differ from us.
26 Insomuch that the name of the Lord is blasphemed through your folly; and even ye yourselves are brought into danger by it.
27 Let us therefore with all haste [*16] put an end to this sedition; and let us fall down before the Lord, and beseech Him with tears that He [*17] would be favourably reconciled to us, and restore us again to a [*18] seemly and holy course of brotherly love.
28 For this is the gate of righteousness, opening unto life: as it is written, [*19] Open unto me[p. 135]
the gates of righteousness; I will go in unto them and will praise the Lord. This is the gate of the Lord, the righteous shall enter into it.
29 Although therefore many gates are opened, yet this gate of righteousness is that gate in Christ at which blessed are they that enter in, and direct their way in holiness and righteousness, doing all things without disorder.
30 Let a man be faithful, let him be powerful in the utterance of knowledge: let him be wise in making an exact judgment of words; let him be pure in all his actions.
31 But still by how much the more he seems to be [*1] above others by reason of these things, by so much the more will it behoove him to be humble-minded; and to seek what is profitable to all men, and not his own advantage.
1 The value which God puts upon love and unity: the effects of a true charity, 8 which is the gift of God, and must be obtained by prayer.
HE that has the love that is in Christ, let him keep the commandments of Christ.
2 For who is able to express the [*2] obligation of the love of God? What man is sufficient to declare, and is fitting, the excellency of its beauty?
3 The height to which charity leads is inexpressible.
4 Charity [*3] unites us to God; [*4] charity covers the multitude of sins: [*5] charity endures all things, is long-suffering in all things.
5 There is nothing base and sordid in charity; charity lifts not itself up above others; admits of no divisions; is not seditious; but does all things in peace and concord.
6 By charity were all the elect of God made perfect: Without it nothing is pleasing and acceptable in the sight of God.
7 Through charity did the Lord [*6] join us unto himself; whilst for the love that he bore towards us, our Lord Jesus Christ gave his own blood for us, by the will of God; his flesh for our flesh; his soul, for our souls.
8 Ye see, beloved, how great and wonderful a thing charity is: and how that no expressions are sufficient to declare its perfection.
9 But who is fit to be found in it? Even such only as God shall vouchsafe to make so.
10 Let us therefore pray to him, and beseech him, that we may be worthy of it; that so we may live in charity; being , without human propensities, without respect of persons.
11 All the ages of the world, from Adam, even unto this day, are passed away; but they who have been made perfect in love, have by the grace of God obtained a place among the righteous; and shall be made manifest in the [*7] judgment of the kingdom of Christ.
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