Page:Great duty of confessing Christ before men, stated and recommended.pdf/14

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high God, the possessor of heaven and earth, we cannot go back without the most dreadful impiety. All that belongs to Christ we have among our hands, and should contend earnestly for it, and be steadfast and immoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord. The end of a thing is better, saith Solomon, than the beginning of a thing, (Eccl. vii. 8.) and beyond controversy, the end of our religious profession must be better than the beginning of it. The scriptures commonly commend the issues and not the beginnings of things: “Finis sed non initia Laudantur Jerome.” He that endureth to the end shall be saved.—Ye are they who have continued with me in my temptations—If any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.—So run that ye may obtain. Some begin in the Spirit, but end in the flesh. The same reasons that induced us to begin a religious profession still remain: Christ still deserves to be confessed before men: He is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever ; without variableness and shadow of turning. The truth of the gospel suffers nothing by the lapse of time, or the changes of men: The gospel is an everlasting gospel, and is always worthy of being contended for. It is still a high honour to be instrumental in the hands of Providence in the protection and diffusion of divine truth in the world. The obligations of the moral law are perpetual, and we are bound by these, to do all the good we can, in our stations, and in our day, for the honour of God, and the salvation of men. Souls are still precious things, and how can these be saved, if they remain ignorant of Christ and of the gospel? The encouragements of the word to perseverance, and the rewards of eternity to all that overcome, are still the same: and why should we cease to confess such a gracious master; The persons who have deserted Jesus, from mercenary motives, have, in all ages, been held infamous and contemptible; and, instead