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THE FIRST PRINCIPLES OF THE ORACLES OF GOD

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."

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TO THE CHRISTIAN READER


It is no disparagement at all for this wise master-builder to labor sometimes, by the hammer of the word, to fasten these nails of truth in a sure place,--even in the heads and hearts of infant Christians.

Neither is it below the highest scholar in Christ's school to hold fast the form of wholesome words.

The great apostle himself, (who was rapt up into the third heaven), although he had received a commission of Christ, his Master, to make disciples, yet he was a disciple still; for he not only catechized others, but learned--and that again and again--the first principles of the oracles of God, which are called the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, and the depths of God; that is, in plain English, those doctrinal truths which are truly fundamental, and absolutely necessary unto salvation; that we may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convince the gainsayers; and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh us a reason of the hope that is in us.

Thus heartily beseeching thee, in the name of Christ, to search the Scriptures, and to give thyself continually to prayer, and the ministry of the word, that you may grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, I now commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. So be it.

Friend, I am thine, if thou dost love the truth, and our Lord Jesus Christ, in sincerity.

William Adderley.

Charter House, London,
       February 1, 1647.

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Being desired to peruse and give our opinion of the resolutions in this letter now presented to thy view, we must confess they appeared to us very precious; for we have seldom seen acuteness, profoundness, and godliness so eminently, equally, and happily matched. There are in Christ's school divers forms, elementaries, and men of exercised wits. The scholar proposing these cases was no puny, and he was happy in meeting with a teacher so able for resolution. Therefore whoever reads and heeds will not repent of his labor. But the more knowing the reader is, and the more experienced in the ways of Christ, the more delight may he take in, and the more profit may he reap by, these pious and profound resolutions. So we are

Thine, in Christ Jesus,

John Geree,
      Wm. Greenhill.

March 27, 1648.

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