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Doubtless they are effentially the fame.
is no re'pect of perfons with God." If to neglect the badges of difcipleship was formerly to dený Chrift, it is fill to deny him. If we deny him, he alfo will deny us.
III. CHRISг may be denied by a perversion of the gospel, caufing it to become another gofpel.
SOME of this description were found in the primitive church. Such were those who made Chrift the minifter of fin-who confidered the defign of his coming, not to be "to deftroy the works of the devil," but to render it fafe to live in fin and indulge depravity. Such were thofe who held the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes; and the doctrine of Balaam, which were probably nearly akin, giving countenance to uncleannefs. Such were alfo thofe pretendedly enlightened perfons, who claimed knowledge in divine things, fuperior to that of the apostles, and taught that chastity, and temperance, and fundry other duties enjoined of God, were not obligatory on believers. Thefe are described by St. Peter and Jude, as enemies of Chrift.
IN later ages the gospel hath not been lefs corrupted, by fome, who have called themselves Chriftians. It hath become in their hands, another gofpel.
Ir may be difficult precifely to determine, all who in this way deny Chrift: But when the manifelt tendency of any fcheme, called Chriftian, is to lead to fin, render fecure in fin, or build the hope of falvation on any other foundation than the mer.
cy of God, and merits of the Redeemer, it must lead to a practical denial of Christ. To the fac red standard should every fyftem be referred. Those which deviate effentially therefrom, lead to a denial of Chrift; and will produce a denial by him before his Father in heaven.
If we do not mistake the Scriptures, those who deny Christ are without hope; and those who reject, and those who neglect the gospel, or refuse to confefs the Savior, are to be reckoned among them.
SOME are otherwife minded. "If a perfon only acts fincerely, no matter what his religious prin ples, (lay some) or whether he hath religious principles; he will find mercy with God and be ac cepted of him ;" an opinion which is spreading in this liberal age!
WE would gladly adopt it, and receive to the arms of charity all who appear to act honestly, could we fee reafon for it. But, in our apprehen fion, the word of truth condemns those who deny Christ, and declares that they will be denied by him before his heavenly Father. We read of damnable herefies-of those who are given up to ftrong delufions that they should believe a lie, that they might be damned.”—And find an express declaration, cutting off unbelievers from all hope." He that believeth not fhall be damned."
WHATEVER God may do with those who have not the gospel, those to whom it is fent must be lieve, receive and obey it, or perish in their fins. This is fo plainly and expressly declared in the
word of truth, that we wonder doubts fhould arise in the minds of those who believe it.
Nor is it lefs ftrange, that confeffing Chrift should be thought a matter of indifference. Scripture is equally express refpecting this matter, as the oth
We have seen that under the former difpenfation, God's covenant and the tokens of it were commanded, under penalty of excifion from his people-That in the apoftolic age, Chrift was to be confeffed, under penalty of being denied by him in the presence of God. These are not matters of doubt.
THEY are ftoney ground hearers who "are offended when perfecution arifeth because of the word." Thefe bring no fruit to perfection.
If the terms of acceptance with Chrift are the fame now as formerly: If they are not lowered down from their original, a denial of him, either verbal or practical, will fhut men out of his kingdom.
It becomes those who have a hope toward God while fuch their fate, to confider these things. "It is a faithful faying-If we fuffer with him, we shall alfo reign with him: If we deny him, he alfo will deny us.”
The Fear which terminates in the Second Death.
The fearful-shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone; which is the second death.
THE terms on which only we can be Chrift's difciples are laid before us in the Scriptures, and we are counselled to confider them before we engage to be his.
THOUGH Chrift was born to be a king, his king. dom is not of this world, He doth not perfuade men with the prospect of great things here; but on the contrary warns his followers, that "in this world they fhall have tribulation;" pointing them to another, as the place of their reft, and teaching them there to expect the reward of their labors and fuffering here. And here the faints in every age, have "groaned, being burdened. Had God provided nothing better for them, he would be afhamed to be called their God.
The primitive Chriftians drank largely of the bitter cup. All the apoftles, except John, are faid to have fealed their teftimony with their blood. John at an advanced age, died peaceably in his bed at Ephefus. But he did not escape perfecution here. When the revelation was made to him, he was in exile "for the word of God and for the teflimony of Jefus. For his confolation, and for the edification of the church, he was vifited in his lonely ftate, by the exalted Redeemer, who unveil. ed futurity before him, briefly sketching the changes which were to pass over his people till the confummation of all things. The vifion closed with the folemn, dreadful process of the great day, and its confequences to the righteous and to the wicked!
THE divine vifitant enlarged on the glories of the heavenly state beyond any of the prophets who had gone before. The description is clothed in figurative language, affording only a partial view of " the glory which is to be revealed;" fufficient however to convince us, that "eye hath not seen, ear heard, or the heart of man conceived the things which God hath prepared for those who love him."
BUT who will be made to poffefs thefe glorious things? They are offered to all who hear the found of the gospel; but conquering believers will only attain them. Their contraft will be the portion of others.
THIS life is a warfare, in which we are called to contend with our own corruptions and with the powers of darknefs-" He that overcometh fhall inherit all things:" But thofe who are overcome,