Page:Great duty of confessing Christ before men, stated and recommended.pdf/15

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of enjoying, undisturbed, the blessings of time in a greater degree, as perhaps they expected, they have been ultimately the peculiar objects of the frowns of Providence. A Sharp in the church, and a Lauderdale in the state, are fearful instances of the truth of this assertion.—On the contrary, those who have left all, and followed Jesus, have quitted with every thing, but truth and a good conscience, have received a hundred fold, even in this life; themselves and families have been the peculiar charge of God, and they never wanted. The non conformists in England, and the Presbyterians in Scotland, in the seventeenth century, are proofs, how proper it is to obey God rather than man; and that, ‘If a man’s ways please the Lord, he maketh his enemies to be at peace with him.’ Many of these excellent men, ejected by the act of uniformity, have confessed on their death beds, that they would not have acted otherwise than they did, for ten thousand worlds. Let us also hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering, for faithful is he who hath promised.

7. The manner of our confession greatly recommends it. As it must originate, as already hinted, in faith in Christ, and flow from inward experience (for the saints cannot but speak what they have seen, and heard, and felt) so it must be free and unrestrained. It must be our own voluntary act, and not the effect of compulsion, or a fear offending others, or a desire to please men. This confession must also be full, and adapted to the circumstances of the times: full, without obscurity; and full, without concealment of any of the doctrines of the word. In exhibiting this confession, as in all religious duties, we should be truly sincere; our love to Christ, the animating principle of this confession, must be sincere: Our zeal for the glory of God, the credit of his cause, the honour of his truth, the propagation of his gospel, the encouragement and