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Chapter 40.—What Manner of Reader Scripture Demands.

44.  And, therefore, if a man fully understands that “the end of the commandment is charity, out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned,” 1757 and is bent upon making all his understanding of Scripture to bear upon these three graces, he may come to the interpretation of these books with an easy mind.  For while the apostle says “love,” he adds “out of a pure heart,” to provide against anything being loved but that which is worthy of love.  And he joins with this “a good conscience,” in reference to hope; for, if a man has the burthen of a bad conscience, he despairs of ever reaching that which he believes in and loves.  And in the third place he says:  “and of faith unfeigned.”  For if our faith is free from all hypocrisy, then we both abstain from loving what is unworthy of our love, and by living uprightly we are able to indulge the hope that our hope shall not be in vain.

For these reasons I have been anxious to speak about the objects of faith, as far as I thought it necessary for my present purpose; for much has already been said on this subject in other volumes, either by others or by myself.  And so let this be the end of the present book.  In the next I shall discuss, as far as God shall give me light, the subject of signs.



1 Tim. 1.5.

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