Matth. x. 33.
Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will
I confess also before my Father, which is in heaven.
THESE words are part of that moving address which Jesus delivered to the twelve apostles, when they were about to enter on their work. As He knew the end from the beginning, he foresaw all the opposition they would meet with in the faithful discharge of their office, and encourages them to boldness, faithfulness, and perseverance in their duties by arguments and motives which are very forcible and appropriate. In this verse he recommends them, and, after them, to all his servants and followers in every age, a public and consistent profession of his name and religion before men, in all places, and in all the variety of their circumstance and urges their duty by a promise infinitely affecting, Him will I also confess before my Father which in heaven. To make a profession of Christ, and confess him before men, are phrases, we apprehend, nearly of the same meaning; the words are the same in the original, and if there is any difference, it is probably this, Confession refers to the union of many persons in the duty, and Profession to the public nature of it: Christ witnessed a good profession before Pontius Pilate,—With the mouth confession is made unto salvation;—in both these sentences, the sense is almost the same, and justifies our use of both words indifferently in the following discourse. We shall therefore proceed in the subsequent pla(illegible text)