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tion can pourtray, no mind can may be pardoned in the defende grasp its horrours.”* “ If the ap- ers, however weak, of a system parent simplicity of this system which has stood the test and sus. be alleged in its favour, I would tained the virtue of two thousand say, it is the simplicity of mean- years. Let us veturn, then, to ness, a simplicity which is its the safe and sober paths of our shame ; a daylight which reveals ancestors ; adhering, in all moral its beggary. If an air of obscuri. questions, to the dictates of conty, on the contrary, is objected a- science, regulated and informed gainst that of better times, let it by the divine word; happy to enbe remembered, that every sci- joy, instead of sparks of our own ence has its ultimate questions, kindling, the benefit of those luboundaries which cannot be pass- minaries, which, placed in the ed, and that if these occur earlier moral firmament by a potent hand, in morals, than in any other in- have guided the church from the quiries, it is the natural result of beginning in her mysterious sothe immensity of the subject, journ to eternity. Stand in the which, touching human nature in way, and see and ask for the old every point, and surrounding it on path, which is the good way, and all sides, renders it difficult, or walk therein, and ye shall find rest rather impossible, to trace it in all for your souls. its relations, and view it in all its « Instead of demolishing the extent. Meanwhile the shades, temple of christian virtue, from a which envelope, and will perhaps presumptuous curiosity to inspect in some measure, always envelope its foundations, let us rejoice they it, are not without their use, are laid too deep for our scrutiny. since they teach the two most im- Let us worship in it ; and with portant lessons we can learn, the the nations of them that are saved, vanity of our reason, and the walk in its light.” grandeur of our destination.
* It is not improbable that some THE OBLIGATION OF BELIEVERS may be offended at the warmth
TO CONFESS CHRIST. and freedom of these remarks:
From the Religious Monitor. my apology, however, rests on the infinite importance of the subject, Much is implied in confefling my extreme solicitude to impress Christ before men. If we would what appear to me right senticonfess our Saviour, we must not ments-respecting it, together with only say nothing against christianthe consideration, that the confi- ity, but we must plead in its faa' dence which ill becomes the inno- vour ; we must not only allow that vators of yesterday, however able, Jesus is the Christ, but also glory
in his cross and honour his laws. •« This passage, indeed the whole of To confess Chrift, is to Thew a the preceding discussion, is well worthy sacred regard to his holy and of the attentive consideration of all
. strict precepts; to attend regularwho, in their laudable efforts to check the progress of vice, may have been led ly on the ordinances of his apo to countenance the dangerous principle pointment; to explain and incul. of general expediency, a principle, cate the principles of his religion which, pretending to enter into the de- on those over whom we have insigns of the Almighty, makes his laws
Auence; to countenance and en. of secondary authority, and supersedes the force of the most sacred' injunc courage thole who appear to be tions."
Christ. Observer. his lincere followers, and with Vol. I. No. 4.
firmness and meekness to defend 1. Sincerity requires it.
only require that we never, in
There is, it must be owned, such The object of this effay is to a thing as giving what is holy to point out the obligation lying the dogs, and casting pearls before upon every christian to confels swine ; this is carefully to be aChrist in the manner described voided. To introduce the more above.
sublime and spiritual parts ca
christianity in the course of com- them the honourable title of a liberal mon conversation with those who man ; but he will never thus be are plainly worldly and irrelig- able to convince gainsayers, or ious, or to detail matters of win them over to the Saviour ; christian experience to those who because the difference betwixt him have no apparent sense of the im- and those, whom he Aatters him. portance of religion at all, would self he may be successful in reclaim. certainly be highly imprudent, ing, appears in this way, to be ve. however good the intention might ry insignificant. be. Yet we contend for the lib. Still it may be faid, Is not reerty which the christian has, reg- ligion a matter betwixt God and ulated by prudence and by a due our own souls, in which the world Tegard to time and place, to is not at all concerned ; and does “bring forth out of the treasure not our Saviour himself command of the heart good things.” Nay, us to pray to our Father in fecret, a christian's conversation, if he condemning the Pharisees for ofwould act consistently, will often tentatious devotions? It is true differ even upon common topicks, indeed, that the devotional feelfrom that of the world, lying in ings are to be exercised chiefly in wickedness. He will not make secret, that the life of the christian, the same references to custom, to in its spring, and also in many of fashion, or to the way of the its exercises, is hid with Christ in world, as if these could justify God, and that a stranger does any thing which the law of God not intermeddle with the comand the religion of Jesus Christ munion he enjoys with the Father condemned. If he has not for the and with his son Christ Jesus. time loft fight of his principles and Yet still true piety has its proper rules, and unless he is unluckily be- outward expressions, inseparable trayed into temporary conformity from its existence in the heart and to the world, he will not be heard its operations in secret. A good uttering this pernicious sentiment, tree bringeth forth good fruit. which we hear so often from He who is inwardly pious, will the mouths of nominal christians; never be, to appearance, careless Damely, that such and such things and indevoit. He who walks may, nay must be complied with, with God in secret devotion, will because they are commonly also have his conversation ordered practised, and it would be thought aright. He who fears God will Arange if we did not conform, al. always speak reverently of his though the spirit of christianity, name, and will also reverence his and the practice of the best and fanctuary. He will live soberly, molt exemplary christians, are righteously, and godly in the plainly against them. The chris. world. His light will so shine tian, in short, can never be justifi. before men, that they seeing his ed, or even excused, in making good works, may glorify his Fa. wan compliances, that he may ther in heaven. appear to the unprincipled, what 2d. Regard to Christ Jesus as is termed a man of liberality of his Lord and Master, will lead a funtiment. By this base conduct christian to confesshim before men. he may indeed, for a time, keep Many enlightened and illustriin terms with the irreligious and ous persons have appeared at difProfane, perhaps, procure from ferent periods in the world, whole characters we fill revere, and you in one city flee to another," whose discoveries have been high- faid he to his disciples, thus, giv. ly valuable. There is no occa- ing them full permission, by all fion however to confess any of prudent means, consistent with them before men, to call ourselves duty, to avoid danger. Yet when by any of their names, or to suffer they should be brought before any thing in defence of their opin- councils, before governours, and ions or reputation. The reason is kings, they were not permitted to obvious. They do not hold any fay, we know not Christ, that they relation to us ; and while we prof- might be set at liberty. They it by their discoveries, we do not were boldly to testify concerning reckon ourselves bound to stand him, to declare the important up for all that they said or did. facts relating to him; and in that Their writings and discoveries way of well doing to commit have little or no connection with themselves into the hands of that their own personal conduct. The God whose cause they served. case is altogether different with Christians are still called to follow respect to Jesus Christ. He ap- their Malter, though it should be peared not as an ordinary human to suffering ; to hold fast the proteacher. He did not merely re- feflion of their faith without way. quire mankind to receive his doc- ering, to make no unlawful conceftrines as true ; but “ This (said fions, in order to preserve liberty he) is the work of God, that ye of life. believe on him whom he hath Jesus foretold that one of his sent.” He assumed the character chosen disciples, should deny him ; and authority, not merely of a he predicted it to make it the more wise teacher, but of a divine per- obferved ; and it serves as a folson, and claims our allegiance as emn warning to believers in all our Master and Lord. Christians succeeding times. Simon Peter then are concerned, not merely actually denied his master to avoid in the truths which the gospel suffering along with him. Aftercontains, but are also intimately ward, however, he saw his sin: connected with Christ himself. he repented, wept bitterly, never The honour of his doctrines, and repeated the offence, nay, discovthat of his perfonal character, are ered such boldness, that the Jewclosely connected. As christians, ish rulers took knowledge of him then, we are deeply interested in that he had been with Jesus. the honour of our Master; we Let us imitate Peter, not in deny. must openly avow our allegiance ing, but in confefling our Mafto him, and never be ashamed ei- ter ; and say with becoming zeal, ther of him elf or of his words. trusting in divine grace, “ Lord,
30. It is, beside, the express I will never forsake thee." command of Christ that we should 4th. To the duty of confefling confess him before men. .. Christ, love and gratitude will
He does not give his followers naturally lead all the true disciples permission to deny him when dan. of Jesus.. ger threatens, that when the dan- We are naturally led to speak ger is over, they may again stand in terms of commendation of the forth as the advocates of his cause. person to whom we are strongly He does not permit any such time attached, and for whom we feel a ferving. “When they persecute lively esteem. A grateful sense
of favours received, naturally in- pected to come down from heav. clines us to describe to others the en to explain and recommend the extent of the benefit, and the gen- religion of Christ : but those vine manner in which it was con- mult do it in their respective ferred. If then we love the Sav- spheres, who have themselves exiour, we shall dwell with pleasure perienced its power and been on his unmerited kindness, and made partakers of its bleflings. magnify the riches of his grace. If the first believers had kept their Gratitude will prompt us to keep faith to themselves, had concealed up the honour of his name, to ob- their principles to avoid suffering, serve frequently, and with pleaf- the glorious truth must have been ure, the memorial of his dying lost. We could not have heard love, and to make no secret of it, its glad tidings. The memory of that we giory in his cross. Ani- what Jesus Chrilt hath done must mated by love and gratitude, we in this case have perished. will profess his religion, not mere. To us, however, the word of ly when it is accounted honoura- salvation hath been sent. For us ble, but when it exposes to con- Paul counted not his life dear untempt and persecution : we will to himself, that he might teftify follow Jesus not only through the good news of the grace of good report, but also through bad God. For our benefit, many have report; we will go forth as his confessed Christ in troublesome soldiers not only in the sunshine, times, and have not denied their but also in the dark and cloudy Lord. Let us not conceal from day; not only when all is quiet our pofterity the praises of the and safe, but even when danger Lordand his strength, and the won. threatens, and the enemy advan- derful works he hath done. While ces.
we live, let us give thanks unto him We only add, that by confef- who hath wrought out for us a fing Christ, we promote the ad- great Ilvation. Having received vancement of the gospel and the by the instrumentality of men, the interests of mankind, which are blefling of a pure and heavenly reclosely connected. If we are ligion ; equity and generosity christians at all, we must be con- seem to conspire in prompting us vinced that the gospel is indeed to use every means for imparting glad tidings, and the most prec- the same blefling to those who are ious gift of God to men ; and at present destitute of it. We that they are happy who hear its must own ourselves debtors both joyful found. We shall be desir- to the Greek and the barbarian, ous that men may be blessed in both to the wise and to the unwise. Jesus, and partake of the noble We must hail the auspicious periprivileges of his kingdom. Now, od, and use our endeavours for how is this to be accomplished haltening it, “ when the earth but by christians confelling Christ shall be filled with the knowledge before men ? The treasure of the of the Lord ; when in the wilgospel is in earthen vessels. derness water shall spring up, and Christianity is to be propagated streams in the desert ; and the by the instrumentality of human ends of the earth shall see the fallm.ans. Angels are not to be ex- vation of our 'God.”
W. B. D.