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ŞERM. If.lx. 21; in the City of God, wherein-
to there skall in no wise enter any thing
But even of our Saviour himself 'tis ex-S ER M.
II. pressly affirmed, ch. xii. 2. that for the joy which was set before him, he endured the Cross, despising the Shame, and is fat down at the right hand of the Throne of God.
2dly, The worshipping the Lord our God, as it denotes primarily That Internal Regard we are to bear towards him in the Affections of our Minds ; so it implies likewise, in the next place, our making suitable Confession with our Mouths, Rom. X. 10. With the Heart Man believeth unto Righteousness, and with the Mouth Confeffion is made unto Salvation. For 'tis our Duty, not only to have a constant Sense of God upon our own Minds, but to honour him also before men, and to promote the Knowledge of Him and his Truth in the World: And This Obligation, includes Many Particulars. The first and most obvious, is our obligation to make profesion of the True Religion, how detrimental soever such profeffion may prove to our present temporal Interest. This is the Foundation of all the Slanders and Calumnies, of all the Reproaches and Persecutions, which the
Matt. x. 32.
SER M. best and most virtuous men have in all II.
Ages and in all. Nations suffered, upon account of their adhering to the Cause of Truth and Righteousness. Whosoever, says our Saviour, shall confess me before men, bim will I confess also before my Father which is in Heaveu : But whosoever shall deny Me before men, bim will I also deny before my Father which is in Heaven,
And still more diftinctly Mark viii. 38. Whosoever. fall be ashamed of Me and of my Words, in this adulterous and finful generation, of him also fall the Son of Manbe ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of bis Father with the Holy Angels. This therefore is the first and principal Instance of Confeling God with our Mouths; The making constant Profeffion of the True Doctrine of Religion, How much foever we may possibly suffer thereby in our temporal Interest. Nor need I here to have added the word, poffin bly; Since indeed it can scarce possibly be otherwisc, but that mens stedfastly adhering to what is True and Right, will always be more or less hurtful to their Temporal Interest. For though in the general,
the Profession of Christian Religion does SER M.
II. not now expose men to persecution, as in the Apostles Days ; but on the contrary, Chriftianity is in Some Countries publickly fupported and encouraged: yet in the particular circumstances of life, such is the Ignorance and Superstition, such the Prejudices, Passions, and Animosities of Men; that whosoever will not suffer himself to be swayed, according to the Customs of a corrupt Age, by Other Arguments than those of Truth and Right; will certainly lose very many Advantages; and perhaps be despised and ill-fpoken of for so doing : yea,
and All that will live Godly in Christ Jesus, says the Apostle, shall suffer perseCution. 2 Tim. iii. 12. Next therefore to the Profession of true Religion in general, there is further implied in this Duty of Confefing God with our Mouths, an obligation not to be ashamed of Truth and Right, of Virtue and Goodness, in all particular Cases wherein they may happen to be contested. St Paul, as he declared in general, that he was not afkamed of the Gospel of Christ, Rom. i. 16; fo, when in a particular circumstance he judged St Peter to
SER M. have departed from the Simplicity of the
Gospel, he withsiood him to the Face,
And 'tis accordingly excellent Advice which is given by the Son of Sirach, Ecclus. iv. 20. Beware of Evil, and be not ashamed when it concerns thy Soul: For there is a shame that bringeth Sin, and there is a shame which is glory and grace : Accept no person against thy Soul, and let not thy Reverence of any man cause thee to fall : Refrain not to speak, when there is occañon to do good; strive for the Truth unto death, and the Lord shall fight for thee, Promoting steddily the Interest of Truth and Virtue, is making confession of God, who is the Author of Truth, and whose Glory and Honour is the establishment of Virtue and Righteousness. In these things consists the Kingdom of God; in these consists the excellency of rational Creatures: And when men of corrupt minds despise every thing as Folly and Enthusiasm, that happens not to serve the Interests of Covetousness and Ambition; then to adhere stedfastly to Truth and Virtue, notwithstanding all the Contempt that may be cast upon them, is what our Saviour calls, not