Page:Great duty of confessing Christ before men, stated and recommended.pdf/9

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part of divine truth- It is in no small degree unworthy of the wisdom and care of the Head of the church, to assert, That he hath left no form by which she is to be governed, or that that form is to be modelled according to civil policy, or to be ambulatory and framed by the relative situation of the times: This form of government, we believe, is Presbyterial, and consists chiefly in the parity of her ministers, and subordination of her courts: The sacred rights of this society we are to hold fast—such as, her right to elect her own officers, to call her own meetings, appoint her own fasts, and exercise her own discipline, independently of the state. My brethren, let none of these things appear indifferent to us, as they do to this frivolous and temporizing generation. They are not indifferent to Christ, and he commands us to confess them before men for his glory. The slothful, the worldly-minded, and the cowardly may overlook, and like Gallio, care for none of these things, but they are of great importance to the friends of Jesus. It is not a matter of indifference to them, whether Christ’s name live or die in the world, whether truth sink or swim. God has a cause on earth, in which his declarative glory is deeply concerned, and the maintenance of that cause is the peculiar charge of his providence, and ought not to be of small value in our eyes. As our public profession involves in it a great part of our duty to God and the church in our generation, we should be careful to join that society which in its constitution and administration approaches nearest the rule of the word. We should not be ashamed to resist that torrent of error and profaneness that deluges our country, and which may soon accelerate our ruin. When truth falls in our streets, when covenant engagements are sported with, it is a dreadful symptom that the Lord cometh out of his place, to punish the inhabitants of the world for