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Section 15, Chapter 5

He warns him against heretics, and exhorts him to the exercise of piety.

4:1. Now the Spirit manifestly saith that in the last times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to spirits of error and doctrines of devils,

4:2. Speaking lies in hypocrisy and having their conscience seared,

4:3. Forbidding to marry, to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving by the faithful and by them that have known the truth.

Forbidding to marry, to abstain from meats. . . He speaks of the Gnostics, the Marcionites, the Eneratites, the Manicheans, and other ancient heretics, who absolutely condemned marriage, and the use of all kind of meat; because they pretended that all flesh was from an evil principle. Whereas the church of God, so far from condemning marriage, holds it a holy sacrament; and forbids it to none but such as by vow have chosen the better part: and prohibits not the use of any meats whatsoever in proper times and seasons; though she does not judge all kind of diet proper for days of fasting and penance.

4:4. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be rejected that is received with thanksgiving:

4:5. For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.

4:6. These things proposing to the brethren, thou shalt be a good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished up in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which thou hast attained unto.

4:7. But avoid foolish and old wives fables: and exercise thyself unto godliness.

4:8. For bodily exercise is profitable to little: but godliness is profitable to all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.

4:9. A faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation.

4:10. For therefore we labour and are reviled, because we hope in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, especially of the faithful.

4:11. These things command and teach:

4:12. Let no man despise thy youth: but be thou an example of the faithful, in word, in conversation, in charity, in faith, in chastity.

4:13. Till I come, attend unto reading, to exhortation and to doctrine.

4:14. Neglect not the grace that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with imposition of the hands of the priesthood.

4:15. Meditate upon these things, be wholly in these things: that thy profiting may be manifest to all.

4:16. Take heed to thyself and to doctrine: be earnest in them. For in doing this thou shalt both save thyself and them that hear thee.

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