Page:Great duty of confessing Christ before men, stated and recommended.pdf/13

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to be single, as Athanasius in former times, and, Abdiel in Milton, faithful among the faithless, unmoved, unshaken, unseduced, not influenced by number nor example to swerve from truth, nor change his constant mind; and in this cause nothing is too good, or too great to be lost. In short, We are to confess Christ before men in our death. The death of a saint is a most instructive event, and it is chiefly instructive as it is the close of a holy life, and a recommendation of religion to survivers. Then men generally speak the words of truth and soberness; and it is a happy circumstance in our death, when we can confess that Christ is a good master, that his ways are ways of pleasantness, and all his paths are peace. Paul, in view of eternity, felt the force of true religion on his mind: He knew in whom he had believed; was certain that there was a crown of righteousness laid up for him. In like manner Stephen died confessing his faith in Christ, and committing his soul into his hand as the God of truth who had redeemed him : Amidst the tumult of his murderers, and the pangs of such a death, he exhibited a serenity not to be disturbed, and a testimony to the truth of Christianity.

6. We are bound to confess Christ before men constantly, and never to draw back on any account whatever. Not only are we to confess Christ when it is the fashion of the times, or when it suits our inclinations and interests, but constantly and thro’ our whole lives. We are not to be allured with promises, nor terrified with threatenings, to apostatize from our blessed Master. Against all force and fraud we are to harden our hearts, and to forego every thing rather than betray Christ, or deliver up our sacred trust into the hands of his enemies; the backslider in heart, and the apostate in principle, are fearful characters. Having opened our mouths to the Lord, and lifted our hands to the most