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6 But whoso shall - offend one of these little ones which be
they shall be esteemed only
harmless Innocence of this
lieve in me, it were better for him that a milstone were hang'd about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
7 Wo unto the world because of of fenses: for it must needs be that offences come: but wo to that man by whom the offence cometh.
8 Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee,cut them
off, and cast them .
from thee : it is bet-
Pleasures, or most beloved Companions, which may be to them like plucking out a right Eye, or cutting off a right hand: But if anything as dear to them even as a right hand or right Eye, be the occasion of their injuring the cause of Virtue and Piety; they had much better part with it, what difficulties soewer may attend their doing so, than incur the eternal displeasure of God. Io. Take heed therefore, and do not think it a light thing, to despise or discourage, or any way draw into fin the meaneft humble and good man. Do not think itä small thing to lay a stumbling block before those, for whom God has so great a Concern, as to send his Angels from his own immediate presence to minister unto them,& to watch over them. 11. Do not think it a small thing to be the occasion of their Fall, whom God has thought fit to send his Son into the World on purpose to redeem and to save.
P 2. 11. For
12. For as a Man, that has, for Example, an hundred Sheep; if one of them chance to stray and be in danger to be lost, he presently leaves the rest and runs after that, and searches through all the Country for it 3 - *
13. And if he chance to find it, he expresses even a more sensible Joy upon occasion of the recovery of that which had been like to be loft, than at the safety of all the rest of the Flock, which had never strayed. . . . . 14. Even so God is not willing, that any the meanest of his Servants should perish 3 but employs the Ministry of his Angels, to preserve them ; and when they erred, has sent his Son into the World to recover them 3 and expects that ye should every one in your station and proportion, endeavour to encourage those that stand, and with ten
12 How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone aftray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountaine, and seeketh that which is gone astray P
13 And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoyceth more of that sheep, then of the ninety and nine which went not astray.
14 Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.
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