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tian courage and magnanimity; for want of this, conscience is often overborne against its own light and conviction : Christian magnanimity is the security of conscience. It is excellent and becoming a Christian to be able to face any thing but the frowns of God and his own conscience. All the famous champions of truth and witnesses for God who came victorious out of the field of temptation, with safe and unwounded consciences, were men of courage and resolution. Dan. 3:16; Heb. 11:27; Acts 21 : 13. And what is this Christian courage but the fixed resolution of the soul to encounter all dangers, all sufferings, all reproaches, pains, and losses, in the strength of assisting grace, which shall assault us in the way of our duty ? and so it stands opposed in Scripture to the spirit of fear, Heb. 11 : 27; to shame, Mark 8: 38; to apostasy, Heb. 10:39. He must neither be afraid nor ashamed, nor lose one inch of ground for the sake of whatsoever dangers he meets with, and that because he has embraced Christianity upon those terms, and was told of all this before, John 16:1; because there is no retreating, but to our own ruin, Heb. 10:38; because he owes all this, and much more than this, to Christ, Phil. 1:29; because he understands the value of his soul above his body, and of eternal things beyond all temporal concerns, Matt. 10:28; and, in a word, because he believes the . promises of God's assistance and reward, Heb. 11 : 25–27.
O my friends, were our fears thus subdued, and our faith thus exalted, how free and safe would truth be in our consciences ! He who owns any truth for the sake of a living, or to promote worldly interest by it, will disown that truth when it comes to live upon him, let conscience plead what it will; but he that has agreed with Christ upon these terms, and is content to be miserable for ever if there be not enough in Christ to make him happy, this man will be a steady Christian, and will rather lie in the worst prison, than im- . prison God's known truths in unrighteousness.
I HAVE now delivered my message. I have set before you the Lord Jesus in the glory of his free-grace and condescending love to sinners. O that I had had skill and ability to do it better! I have wooed and expostulated with you on Christ's behalf; I have labored according to my little measure of strength, to cast up and prepare the way by removing the stumbling-blocks and discouragements out of it. This has been a time of conviction to many of you, · some have no longer held their convictions under restraint, but many, I fear, do so ; and therefore I have in the close of all handled this awakening scripture, to show you what a horrid evil it is to detain God's truths in unrighteousness. I have also, in the name and by the authority of God, demanded all the Lord's prisoners, his suppressed and restrained truths, at your hands : if you will unbind your convictions this day, and cut asunder the bonds of carnal fear and shame with which you restrain them, those truths you make free will make you free indeed ; if not, but you will still go on stifling and suppressing them in your own bosoms, remember they are so many witnesses prepared to give evidence against you in the great day. And O that while you delay this duty, the sound of this text may never be out of your ears, nor suffer you to rest : “The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness.”