Page:Great duty of confessing Christ before men, stated and recommended.pdf/6

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the applause of men, and are not actuated by the spirit of religion.

3. That we are to confess Christ before men, because we believe in his person, and love his truth, With the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation, Rom. x. 9. 11. Confessing Christ with the mouth, while we do not believe in him for salvation, is but mocking him. Peter made a glorious profession of Christ, (Matth. xvi. 16. 18 ) but it sprung from faith in his person, and a revelation of his glory made to his mind, which flesh and blood could not effect. In like manner the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts viii. 37.) made a confession of his faith in the Son of God, as soon as he believed in him, and had a spiritual perception of his divinity and excellence. Persons cannot confess Christ till they know and love him: Without faith it is impossible to please God in any thing; and, What is not of faith, is sin. When there is no faith in the heart, a confession of Christ will be but a painted gewgaw or vanity, which will perish at the very presence of temptation and affliction for the sake of the gospel. Without faith, we cannot have a single aim at the glory of God in our religious confession, and wanting this, every thing is hypocritical and insincere; having no faith in Christ, we cannot be stedfast, uniform, nor consistent in a profession of his name and truth: Faith is the principle of all stability in religion, By faith we stand. If we do not believe the truths we contend for, we shall soon be terrified, or decoyed out of our principles : We cannot continue in the Father and the Son, (I John ii 21.) except that which we have heard from the beginning remain in us, as to its practical and sanctifying influence: It is easy to seduce us, if we have not an unction from the holy One. If our own salvation for eternity be not embarked on the truth of the gospel, it will be no difficult