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Rule vi. Frequent spiritual communication for edification, according to gifts received.

Mal. iii. 16, “Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another; and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.”

Job ii. 11, “Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this evil that was come upon him, they came every one from his own place; for they had made an appointment together to come to mourn with him and to comfort him.”

Eph. iv. 29, “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”

Col. iv. 6, “Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.”

Eph. v. 4, “Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.”

1 Thess. v. 11, “Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.”

Heb. iii. 13, “Exhort one another daily, while it is called Today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”

Jude 20, “Building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost.”

Heb. x. 24, 25, “Let us consider one another to provoke unto 70love and good works: not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”

Acts xviii. 26, “Whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.”

1 Cor. xii. 7, “The manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.”

Explication vi. That men not solemnly called and set apart to the office of public teaching may yet be endued with useful gifts for edification was before declared. The not using of such gifts, in an orderly way, according to the rule and custom of the churches, is to napkin up the talent given to trade and profit withal. That every man ought to labour that he may walk and dwell in knowledge in his family, none doubts. That we should also labour to do so in the church or family of God is no less apparent.

This the Scriptures annexed to the rule declare; which in an especial manner hold out prayer, exhortation, instruction from the word, and consolation. Now, the performance of this duty of mutual edification is incumbent on the saints, —

1. Ordinarily, Eph. iv. 29, v. 3, 4; Heb. iii. 13. Believers, in their ordinary daily converse, ought to be continually making mention of the Lord, with savoury discourses tending to edification, and not waste their opportunities with foolish, light, frothy speeches that are not convenient.

2. Occasionally, Luke xxiv. 14; Mal. iii. 16. If any thing of weight and concernment to the church be brought forth by Providence, a spiritual improvement of it, by a due consideration amongst believers, is required.

3. By assembling of more together, by appointment, for prayer and instruction from the word, Acts x. 24, xii. 12; Job ii. 11; Eph. v. 19; James v. 16; Jude 20; 1 Thess. v. 14; this being a special ordinance and appointment of God, for the increasing of knowledge, love, charity, experience, and the improving of gifts received, every one contributing to the building of the tabernacle. Let then, all vain communication be far away. The time is short, and the days are evil. Let it suffice us that we have neglected so many precious opportunities of growing in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, and doing good to one another; let the remainder of our few and evil days be spent in living to him who died for us. Be not conformed to this world, nor the men thereof.

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