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• manner of some is : but exhorting one another, • and so much the more as we see the day ap* proaching.' We meet with many discouragements from the unbelief of our own hearts, which, like a canker at the root of a tree, prevents our growth in grace, and the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The infidelity and profaneness of the world damp our spirits, and grieve our hearts. The conduct of many, who profess to belong to the congregation of the faithful, is so dishonorable to the cause and name of christianity; that those, who truly love the Lord Jesus Christ, cannot but lament over them in the language of the old prophet at Bethel, saying, “ alas my brother !! Under such discouragements how necessary it is, that the followers of Christ should try to animate each other, and strengthen each other's hands! While joining in a repetition of the creed, we may consider ourselves as addressing each other in some such a manner as this ; . Come, brethren, let us • not be cast down : though unbelief daily dis• tresses us, it has not the dominion over us ; for • we can uprightly join in avowing our faith in

God as our Father, in Christ as our Saviour, in • the Holy Ghost as our Sanctifier. Though sin • yet dwelleth in us, we believe in the forgive• ness of sins' through the atoning blood of Jesus. «•If infidelity exists, abounds, and even daily in«creases in the world, let us hold fast the pro•fession of our faith without wavering, for He is • faithful that hath promised: let us endeavour « with our lips and in our lives, more uniformly to shew, that we are not ashamed of the cross

of Christ. If profaneness and iniquity walk « abroad in our days with an unmasked front, let ¢ us try to manifest in our actions that we are members of the holy catholic church,' dedi. *cated to the Lord. If the unworthy conduct of

many professors discredit the ways of God; let • us unite to shew, that faith,' when real, “work. eth by love;' and that the grace of God teaches • us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to & live soberly, righteously, and Godly in this present world.' Is one and another among us * ready to faint because of the way ?? Let us put him in mind that we believe in the life Feverlasting;' and that the time is at hand, when

every tear shall be wiped from our eyes : and that we shall surely reap, if we faint not.' Our union in a rehearsal of the same formulary of faith, is a means likewise of increasing among us Christian charity and brotherly love. Surely & stronger motive to oneness of heart and interest can scarcely exist, than our profession of the same truth. Were we hearty herein, all sects, parties, and divisions among us would cease, and the sacred name of Christianity swallow up the whole body of those, who believe the same im

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portant realities. Come, let us try, if the voices of the faithful, uniting in the same declarations, will not drown the clamour of irreligious debate; and suppress the unhappy spirit of division, which has made such inroads among us. If we believe in the communion of saints,' let us try to live as those, who love one another.

It is a melancholy truth, that our congrega: tions are not made up wholly of those who are true menibers of Christ's holy catholic church.' Many join in our worship, whom custom or curi, osity brings to the house of God.

With respect to these, the advantage of a frequent and public avowal of our creed may, with the blessing of God, be unspeakably great. It may be the means of conviction and conversion to some among them. It is not at all unnatural to expect that one or another of the careless numbers, who associate themselves with us, may be excited, on hearing our hearty declaration of the hope that is in us; to inquire, do I believe the same truths? Doth

my soul hang on God the Father as my Creator 6 and Preserver ? Do I, as a poor needy sinner, trust in the Lord Jesus Christ alone for salva. . tion? What advantage have I derived from the . incarnation, sufferings and death of the Son of

God? Do I « believe in the Holy Ghost ?" And have I experienced His sanctifying influ

ence on my own soul ? Am I a member of this 6 6 holy catholic church? Does my life and con:

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• duct prove me to be such ? Am I acquainted « with the nature of this communion- of saints ? • Have I any well-grounded hope of the forgive!ness of sins ?' Is the resurrection of the • body, and the life everlasting' to me an object of desire and earnest expectation ; so that, in the hope of it, I am living as a stranger and pil

grim on earth?' Such reflections, under Divine influence, may be occasioned by the voice of the congregation, when repeating the Apostles! creed. And assuredly, did the professors of the gospel evidence their sincerity more by their devoutness in public worship, and in the course of their lives, such blessed effects would more frequently be produced. It was thus among the first Christians; for the Apostle declares that the united testimony of the congregation of believers to the same truths, was oftentimes made the happy means of conviction to others ; if all prophesy, and there come • in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he • is convinced of all, he is judged of all. And thus * are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and • so falling down on his face he will worship God, 6 and report that God is in you of a truth.'*

Various other arguments might be produced to prove the utility of such a compendium of Theolo-' gy, as that contained in the the Apostles' creed, and to shew the propriety of a public recital of the articles of our faith. Our Lord Jesus Christ expects us to appear for Him in an open and decided manner. • Who is on my side, who ?' is a question He addresses to all that bear his name. He knows the secret feelings of our hearts, and every article of our belief; but cannot be satisfied merely therewith, for he has a right to expect that, in the face of reproach, yea, of death itself, we should not shun to publish our adherence to Him. He hath set us the example. For, concerning this high Priest of our profession, the Apostle informs us, that before Pontius Pilate • He witnesssed a good confession,'* avowing His own character, as the promised Christ, the Friend of sinners, and the King of saints, at the expense of his life. O what a bright example of courage and magnanimity! Shall we not dare to follow it? Though the rehearsal of the creed, being now a matter of course, will expose us to nothing disagreeable ; yet, if we boldly act in conformity to the profession we therein make, we shall prove that the offence of the cross is not ceased ;

* I Cor. xiv. 24, 25.

and that all who will live godly in Christ Jesus, must suffer persecution. But this must not deter us from the path of duty. If Christ be glorified by us, welcome reproach, bonds, or imprisonment ! The true disciples of our Lord will rejoice that they are counted worthy to suffer shame for dis

* 1 Tim. vi. 13. Com. John xviii. 37. Matt. xxvi. 64.

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