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about which it is exerted, viz. truth and error, sin and duty. As to the concerns of a present life, worldlyinterests and claims, or yet matters of indifferency, which a man may do or forbear, without sin on either side, the spirit of Christianity is the most yielding thing in the world. Our holy religion teaches us, as to the affairs of this life, rather than enter into litigious pleas, to quite our worldly claims; which I take to be the meaning of Christ, when he says, Matth. v. 40. “ If any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also." And as to matters of indifferency, we are to “ become all things to all men, that we may gain some. If meat make my brother to offend (says Paul), I will eat no flesh while the world standeth.” So that, I say, this Christian fortitude is not expressed about these things, but about truth or error, fin or duty. Here it is that the Cliristian is to make his stand; he is to be " valiant for the truth, to contend earnestly for the faith delivered to the saints, to buy the truth.” at any rate, and to sell it at no rate; no, not the least hair or hoof of truth is be parted with, though heaven and earth should mingle for his adhering to it, in opposition unto these errors that have a tendency to obscure or destroy it. And the same thing takes place as to the matters of fin or duty, in which we are to rehit even unto blood, striving against fin, in regard the greatest of sufferings are to be choien rather tlan the least of fins. The reason of which is obvious, because by the one we are only expofed to the displeasure of men, but by fin we expose ourselves to the displeasure of God, and dishonour

him.

3. View this Christian courage and fortitude as to the nature of it. It takes in, I think, these things following.

ist, A clear and distinct knowledge and uptaking of the truth as it is in Jesus, accompanied with a firm persuasion and allent of the soul unto it, and experience of the power of it upon one's own foul. Without this, a man, instead of being valiant for the truth, will, like the weather-cock, be turned aside with every wind of error or temptation.

2dly, It has in it a making the truth of God in his word the proper boundary both of his faith and practice. He will not embrace “ for doctrines the commandments of men ;” no, but he will bring matters " to the law and testimony," to be tried at that bar; for, “if they speak not according to these things, it is because there is no truth in them :" and whatever will not abide the trial there, he throws it away as the spawn of hell, whatever human authority it may be supported with. God only is Lord of the conscience, and that he will subject to no authority but God only.

3dly, It

3dly, It has in it a tenacious adherence unto truth and duty revealed or enjoined in the word of God, and a refusing to quit it upon any consideration whatever, or whatever be the event. This is called a “ keeping the word of God's patience," Rev. iii. 10.; and a “ holding of the testimony,” Rev. vi. 9. “I saw under the altar the souls of them that were Hlain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held;" a " holding fast the profession of our faith without wavering," Heb. X. 23. This I take to be imported in that advice that Barnabas gave unto the disciples at Antioch, “ that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord,” Acts xi. 23.

4thly, This Christian fortitude has in it a holy contempt of all that the man can suífer in a present world, in adhering to truth and duty. The man is easy about all the world, and its frowns or flatteries, if he can have God's testimony, and the testimony of a good conscience. “If God be for us, (says the man), who can be against us ?” Let devils and men rage and roar, their wrath is bounded, it shall “ praise the Lord, and the remainder of their wrath will he restrain.” He" endures, as seeing him that is invisible.” He has his eye fixed upon another world than this ; and therefore he is ready to say, “ The sufferings of this present life are not wor. thy to be compared with the exceeding glory that is to be revealed : Our light afflictions, which are but for a moment, they work for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen but at the things which are not seen : for the things which are seen, are temporal; but the things which are not seen, are eternal.”

5thly, It has in it also a cheerfulness, alacrity, and equality of spirit, under all the turns of a man's lot in the world in fol. lowing the Lord, and adhering to his cause and interest : Phil. iv. 11. 12. “I have learned in 'whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where, and in all things, I am

instructed, both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound . and to suffer need."

4. This Christian fortitude or courage hach the following properties.

1/, It is diflinct as to the ground it goes upon; and so it is quite different from a blind zeal, which does more harm than good to religion. « I bear you witness,” says Paul of his countrymen the Jews, “ that ye have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.”

2dly, it is a holy boldness; for it stands in opposition to sin

or error. The wicked world are bold to sin; but the Christian is bold to withstand it, and bold to list up a banner for truth, when others are so bold as to pull it down.

3dly, It is a humble and self-denied boldness. The man is not bold or confident in himself, or in created grace, as Peter, when he said, “ Though all men should forsake thee, yer will not I :" no, but he is “ strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.” And when he has been helped to make a Itand for the Lord, or for his cause, he will not be ready to sacrifice to his own net, like Jehu, “ Come and see my zeal for the Lord of hosts :" no, but, with Piul, he will be ready to say, “ Not I, but the grace of God in me: Not unto iis, not unto us, but unto thy name be the glory.” And therefore,

4thly, It is a very meek boldness. Mofis was the meekelt man upon earth, and yet his meekness was conflent with such boldness of spirit, as to go at God's command to Pharaoh, and require him to let Israel go, under very awful certifications : and when Pharaoh was brought so far down from his former altitudes, as to allow them to go, only to leave fome little thing behind; he boldly tells him, “ not a hoof was to be left behind,” Exod. x. 26. And yet in all this Moses retained his meekness of spirit; for “the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.”

5. This Christian courage and boldness, its proper season for exerting itself is, when duty is attended with danger, or when the profession of our faith is fair to expose us unto the rage and persecution of men. A coward will appear courageous when there is no enemy to withstand him; but true courage discovers itself in standing the shock and attack of the enemy: so true Christian courage discovers itself in a time of danger, when truth is falling in the street, to take it up then; or when the following of the Lord in the way of duty exposes a man to hazard and danger, for a man to let his face to the storm like a flint; that is, I fay, the proper time for Christian courage to exert itself. This you see in the case of the three children, when threatened with a burning fiery fure nace if they would not worship the golden image, We are not careful to answer thee in this matter, o king: we will not worship the image thou hast fet up: the God whom we serve is able to deliver us.” And we see the same in Daniel, when a proclamation was issued out, forbidding any petition to be asked either of God or man, but only of the king, for thirty days, he goes into his house, and casts open his windows, so as all might take knowledge of him, and praises and gives thanks unto his God three times a day, though he knew the upshot of it would be his being cast into

the

the lions den. : The proper season of this Christian courage is a time of hazard attending dury. Alas! it is to be feared, that, among the many crowds that seem to follow Christ, and profefs his name, in a day of prosperity, he would have but a thin backing of them, if Providence were calling them to follow him to a Calvary or a gibbet. The feed that fell upon the stony ground had a goodly braird for a while ; but, wanting root and deepness of earth, it withered, when the scorching sun of perfecution and trouble did arise upon it.

6. The fruits and effects of this Christian courage and boldness in cleaving to the Lord and his way in a time of danger, and in holding his testimony, are very sweet and glorious. For,

ift, It is a seal added unto the truth of God in the view of the world, and lets the blind world know that there is more value in the truth of God, and a matter of greater importance, than they imagine ; and, by this means, truth is brought forth unto victory, notwithstanding of all the attempts of hell to ob{cure or bury it.

2dly, Christian courage and boldness in owning the truth, especially in the face of danger, strikes a damp upon the very hearts of persecutors and oppressors of it, and puts them to a stand; as we see in the instance of the apostles, Acts iv. 13. When the Jewish sanhedrim perceived the boldness of Peter and John, and took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus, they were brought to their wits-end, and say one to another,“ What shall we do with these men!”

3dly, It serves to hearten the spirits of those who love the truth, and affords matter of praise when they see these that are in the high places appearing valiant for the truth; as we fee in the same Acts iv. 23. 24. When Peter and John are let go, and when they come to their own company, making a report of all that had happened, they lift up their voice with one accord, and praise the Lord.

4thly, A bold appearance for the truth and cause of Christ is a sweet evidence to a man of his own salvation, and that he shall be owned of the Lord another day; for, says Christ, " He that confefseth me before men, him will I confefs be. fore my Father, and before his angels.” To the fame pur. pose is that of the apostle, Rom. X. 10.“ With the heart man believeth unto righteousness, but with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Thus I have given you a fixfold view of that Christian fortitude and courage which is the fruit of faith.

IV. The fourth thing in the method was, to inquire into the

influence

influence that faith has upon this boldness. Unto which, I answer in the particulars following.

1. Faith serves to inspire the soul with Christian fortitude and boldness, by presenting God to the soul's view in his glorious majesty; at the sight of whom, the fear of man, and all the dangers of time, do entirely evanish and disappear. Hence is that of Moses, Heb. xi. 27. “ By faith he forlook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king.” Why, what was it that cured him of the fear of Pharaoh's wrath? We are told in the close of the verse, that “he endured, as seeing him that is inviâble.". O Sirs, when the eye is opened to see the infinite majesty, greatness, excellency, and power of the great JEHOVAH, it would choose rather to venture upon the fury of all the devils in hell, and men upon earth, than adventure to displease him, by parting with the least truth he has revealed, or by breaking one of the least of his commandments. It renders the soul unshaken, under all trials ; hence is that of David, “I have set the Lord always before me : because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved."

2. Faith inspires the soul with Christian boldness and forti. tude, by enabling the soul to make a right estimate of the truth which is the great matter of strife and contention in the world. The devil deserted, or “ abode not in the truth" of God: and the way he ruined mankind at first, was by mincing away the truth of God's threatening; “ In the day thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die : Hath God said so and so ?” And such is his enmity at the truth of God, that his main efforts are to bring it into discredit, and to bring these that profess Christ either to disbelieve it, or deny it, or defert it. Now, faith gives the soul a just view and uptaking of the value of every truth of God, yea, of these that would appear less fundamental, that it will not quit with the least hoof, though heaven and earth should mingle. O, says faith, I fee that God has such a value and esteem for his truth, that he will rather throw heaven and earth back unto their original nothing, than let one jot of it fall to the ground; how then shall I give it up ? In a word, truth, particularly revealed truth, is just the food on which faith lives; and faith is nothing else but a “ setting to the seal that God is true." Take away the truth, and faith is not ; and therefore it is that faith and truth do sometimes exchange names, Jude 3. “ Contend earneftly for the faith once delivered unto the saints ;" the meaning is, contend earnestly for the truth delivered to the saints, Faith and truth are exceedingly fib, the one cannot fubGift without the other; and hence it is, that faith inspires the soul

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