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hath great hope of reward. Fight the good fight of faith. Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. All this very conflict is a sign of life. All this very struggle is the work of “your profession.” « Even hereunto were you called.'
Through much tribulation must you enter into the kingdom of God.” “ He that laboureth shall be partaker of the fruits.” “ To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life which is in the midst of the paradise of God.” O that many a young Christian from this congregation may start forth with a noble ardour, at this time, in all the confidence of pious meekness and dependence, to fight in the ranks for Christ — to throw himself against the enemy for Christ — to take as his watch-word and his war-cry, Christ — to triumph over all the power of the adversary, under the guidance and the auspices of Christ !
What though you be young and inexperienced ?
What though your heart misgive you, and you are ready almost to shrink back from the martial oath, when
you consider your personal weakness ? What though your enemy be cunning and terrible, and like a roaring lion going about seeking whom he may devour? David was a stripling like yourselves, but “the Lord delivered him from the paw of the lion and of the bear.” David was a youth like you, - but he went out, even with a simple sling and
stone, against the giant enemy who had defied Jehovah. David came against Goliath in the name of the Lord of hosts " and the Lord delivered him into his hand, and all the earth did know that there was a God in Israel, and that the battle is the Lord's !”
BELIEF OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH.
Acts. viii. 36, 37. And the Eunuch said, See, here is water ; what doth hinder me to be baptized ? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest.
BAPTISM is a consecration of the recipient to the service of Almighty God. It indicates and seals his passage out of a state of outlawry into one of citizenship-out of the kingdom of Satan into the kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. All its privileges, therefore, result from restoration to God. And all its obligations have reference to renewed allegiance to God. What is contrary to God must be renounced. What is revealed by God must be embraced. What is commanded by God must be submitted to.
And hence, the second part of our baptismal vow engages for us that we should believe ALL THE
ARTICLES OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH :” that we should not only, as we have already considered, renounce whatever is inconsistent with our new-found family and father, -- but should embrace whatever this Father has revealed for the instruction and the consolation of this family.
Here, then, we must first inquire what are meant by “ The Articles of the Christian Faith"; and then we shall be prepared to understand what it is to pledge ourselves to faith therein.
What our baptismal vow intends by “ The Articles of the Christian Faith,” we find illustrated by that which follows soon after in the Catechism, when the child is called upon to “ rehearse - the Articles of the Christian Faith,” and is instructed to reply in the words of what is termed, from its authority and antiquity, " the Apostle's Creed.” And still more clearly by the admirable summary of that Creed which is immediately subjoined, directing our attention to those three principal points of Christian Faith which we “chiefly learn in those articles of our belief.”
Now this Creed is of great value to us, because it sums up just those particular Facts concerning God and his dealings with mankind which are of the highest importance to our practical welfare. It contains answers to questions which spring up unavoidably in the mind of every man who looks with
upon the world, or inward on himself. We are in the condition of children-surrounded by objects of wonder, whose nature, connexion, and bearing on ourselves we cannot understand, and therefore crying out for information. The Facts of our condition we cannot shut our eyes to, yet we cannot explain. The Necessities of our nature demand relief. Our mental and moral Instincts press out towards something, they know not what, which they feel after, if haply they may find it. And to these practical necessities and cravings Christianity is revealed. By its recognition of them it proclaims its origin in the compassion of God; by its adaptation to them it commends itself as the wisdom of God; and by the sufficiency of the remedy which it affords for them it proves itself to be the power of God to salvation to every one who believes it.
Such is the simplicity of the Christian Faith. It troubles not itself with metaphysical difficulties difficulties which exist out of Christianity, and independently of Christianity. It descends not to philosophical imaginations. It entangles not itself with scientific, or political, or literary speculation. For the heart it is revealed, and to the heart it speaks. And therefore the sum of its revelations consists in certain Facts concerning God in his threefold character of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, just so far,