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valour of the warrior, displayed either on sea or land, which has commanded the admiration of thousands, which has adorned the page of the historian, and aggrandized the verses of the poet, dwindles into insignificance, when compared with the fortitude of “ the good soldier of Jesus Christ." This excels that as far as the heavens are higher than the earth; for it proceeds from a nobler principle, is therefore more pure in its nature, and productive of more glorious effects.
The grand principle of Christian Fortitude is faith in God, as our Father and Friend ; and in Jesus Christ, as our Redeemer and Lord. This principle the great apostle Paul possessed. He believed in God as the God of Peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, the great Shepherd of the sheep, thro' the blood of the everlasting Covenant; and he believed also in Christ, as delivered for our offences, and as raised again for our justification. This faith assured him of everlasting happiness; and, therefore, he was neither afraid nor ashamed to suffer for the sake of Christ. “I know," says he, “whom I have believed; and, I am persuaded, that he is able to keep that which I have committed to him against that day.”
Without faith in God, as well pleased for the sake of the riglie teousness of his Son; without faith in Christ, as the living one, who was dead, but is now alive, and liveth for evermore, and hath the keys of Hell and of Death, - it is impossible that true fortitude can exist. But being fully persuaded, that God is our Father and Friend in Christ Jesus; that he is bound, by his own faithfulness, which cannot fail, to protect and to prosper that cause for which his Son died, and rose again; bound to prepare and employ instruments to promote that cause;--therefore, while engaged in it, we have every reason to be firm and courageous. The Lord God of Hosts is on our side; and, in the midst of our sharpest confiets, we may exclaim in triumph, “][ God be for us, who can be against us?”
That fortitude, the grand principle of which is a divine faith, is infinitely superior to the earth-born heroisin which proceeds from vanity or pride, from a false sense of honour, or from the prospect of gain. This is fickle, like the sentiments of fashion; and perishable, like the pillars of sand on wluch it rests; for its foundation is in the dust, and it must turn to destruction. But that is built upon a rock, against which the gates of Heil cannot prevail.
Faith, which is “the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen,” inspires the Christian with true courage, and excites him to the noblest deeds. With a clear and steady eye, it keeps one great and glorious object invariably in view; and refuses to be diverted from it by all the allureinents of the world. Thus Paul had begun a course which he was determined to pursue and to tinish. He was firuly pere suaded, that the glory of God, bis own happiness, and the liap
piness of others, were inseparably connected with the finishing of it in an acceptable and successful manner; and, therefore, with alacrity he went, bound in the Spirit, unto Jerusalem. The Spirit of Faith, with which he was endued, girt bim about with might; clothed him with invincible armour; and led him, with the most undaunted resolution, to the scene of danger and of death. Time would fail me to add to Paul, that list of heroes of whom the world was not worthy, who are enrolled in the annals of immortal fame; who, through faith, subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, and turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
Contemplating Christian Fortitude, as exemplified in the conduct ot' Paul, the great apostle of the Gentiles, I may be permitted to exhibit it, contrasted with timidity, with versatility, with obstinacy, with rashness.
Christian Fortitude may be contrasted with timidity. The unbelieving frequently create imaginary causes of alarm, and magnify those which are real to an enormous size. Thus they become the prey and slave of fear.
Even the true Christian himself, owing, no doubt, to the weakness of his faith, is sometimes seized with terror. Why are ye fearful, () ye of little faith? But when faith is strong, it comes forth like the sun of the morning; and, by its powerful influence, dispels the clouds which were thickening around, and causes the shades of night to fly before the face of day. The eyes of the believer's understanding being enlightened by the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation, he perceives tlie objects which are presented before him in their true nature and qualities; and, therefore, in them there appears nothing to terrify and enfeeble, - but every thing to solicit confidence and to strengthen resolution. Ignorance, which is the fertile source of superstitious fears, is removed by the knowledge of God, of his nature and perfections, of his glory and blessedness, of the purposes of his heart, and the works of his hand; — by the knowledge of his Son Jesus Christ, in his person and offices, in his cross and in his crown, from which spring the noblest sentiments and the boldest designs."
From the time that it pleased God to reveal his Son in Saul of Tarsus, may be marked the coinmencement of that magnanimity and heroism with which his future conduct was so eminently distinguished. Immediately he conferred not withi flesh and blood, he was inspired to renounce that carnal system which he formerly laboured to support, though this remarkable change of conduct should expose him to the indig: nation of his countrymen, to the scorn of the Heathen; thu' it should blast all bis hopes of worldly preferment; nay, tho' it should cost him the sacrifice of his life.
With versatility. A versatile man is one who is variable as the wind, who shifts his system of opinions according as it ineets with applause or condemnation from the world. Such a character is a disgrace to Christianity, is even a disgrace to human nature.
He may be courted for the sake of interest; but can never be sincerely esteemed, even by those who have the controul of his sentiments. But the true Christian is fixed in his principles, and will not be tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine, or of practice. The great truths of the gospel, in which he is intructed, being invariable, his faith in them, and his profession of them, ought to be invariable also. He knows that the cause in which he is engaged is the cause of God; and that its truth or falsehood depends not either on its reception or rejection by the world. Of this the apostle Paul was fully persuaded; and, therefore, he is not to be diverted from his purpose of going to Jerusalem by all the terrors of persecution which his enemies were preparing for him there, or by all the entreaties of his friends at Ephesus, which plead for his abiding with them.
The parting with his brethren at Ephesus is truly a melting scene*:-“ And when he had spoken, he kneeled down and prayed with them all; and they all wept sore, and fell on Paul's neck and kissed him; sorrowing most of all for the words which he spake, that they should see his face no more; and they accompanied him unto the ship.”
I can easily conceive the heart of the great apostle, which was the seat of sympathy and love, to be more inoved by the caresses and tears of his dear friends at Ephesus, than by all the tortures which were awaiting him at Jerusalem. In the mean time, I behold Christian Fortitude, with a becoming majesty, rising superior to the sensibilities of Nature. He never once hesitates about undertaking the voyage: he walks down to the ship, accompanied with a sorrowful multitude; while they are dissolved in tears, - his countenance exhibits an unrufied composure; while they are lingering and reluct. ant,- he proceeds with a firm step, expressive of the firmness of his mind, and bids them the last adieu with an affectionate concern for their welfare ; but not, in the smallest degree, turned from the grand object wbich he had in view.
With obstinacy. Obstinacy is here understood to signify a stubborn adherence to opinions or practices once adopted, in opposition to all evidence either of their falsity or insignificance. It knows not to yield on any occasion; and makes no discrimination with regard to the importance of what it hoids. It displays equally a want.of judgment and of feeling,
• Acts xx. 36, 37, 38.
is supported by Ignorance and Pride, and betrays a littleness of soul. But true Christian Fortitude is magnanimous, while it is not unyielding. Like the stately oak of the mountain, it will bend a little under the weight of the tempest, while it re. tains its majesty and firmness. But obstipacy is like a withered leafless trunk,' remaining motionless, ignobly defying the storm, and serving no other purpose than to cumber the ground. To this we may compare the stubborn unrelenting Jews, who refused to listen to admonition, to reproof, to conviction; to that we may compare the great apostle of the Gentiles, who, with a bravery becoming the Christian character, condescended to be made “all ihings to all men,” that he might gain the more *.
What a difference between the Obstinacy of the man and the Fortitude of the Christian! The one is baughty, - the other courteous; the one is prone to tyrannize, - the other inclined to serve; the one is contracted and unrelenting, the other liberal, kind, and forgiving. “The righteous is bold as a ljon.” The generosity of that animal towards the submissive is remarkable; and, in this particular, the Christian may be compared to the lion.
With rashness. Fortitude and Prudence are not incompatible with each other; on the contrary, they are perfectly consistent and inseparably connected. It is tlie fooi who uitereth all his mind, who pours forth the ebullitions of passion on the first assault; but it is the wise man, who is also the brave man, who keepeth it in till afterwards, reserves it for the proper season; and when it does go forth, is heard, not in the teeble brohen accents of irresolution and terror, but in the bold and roly jove of dauntless decision. The man of fortitude does pot rush into danger with thoughtless impetuosity, as the horse rushes into the battle; but, like a wise and brave general, having formed his plan of operations, is deliberate, but resoJute in his execution of it. His victory is to be gained not by violant and desperate, but by cool, determined, cilorts.
This is remarkably exemplified in Paul, whether we behold him at Athens, at liome, or at Jerusalem; whether we attend to the admirable defences which he made for bimself before the Roman governors, Felis and Festus; or before Agrippa, the king of the Jews. He is calm and collected, in full possession of his powers, in the most populous cities, in the most respectable assemblies, and before the most powerful judges, while he is all alive to the importance and glory of the Cause for which he suffers, and for which he pleads. While the torrent of eloquence, which flowed from his lips, overwhelmed with astonishment and terror the surrounding audience, he blood unmoved, like a mighty rock amidst the waves of the sea, dirshire,
S, , Cor. ix. 19.
Some of our Readers, in the Wesleyan connexion, having felt their minds
hurt by the short account of Arininianism in our last Number, as involv. ing consequences they deem inadmissible, we readily comply with the request of a respectable individual, by inserting another account of their principles from a writer of their own choice. - This we do from a principle of candour. The intelligent reader, by comparing the two statements, will judge of the difference, without our entering into any con. troversy on the subject. « Grace be with all that love our Lord Jesus
Christ in sincerity." The Doctrine of the Remonstrants, as it was publicly taught
in Holland, reduced to five Articles. 1. “That God, from all eternity, bas elected to eternal life those who believe in Christ, and continue in faith and obedience; and, on the contrary, that he resolved to reject unbelievers and impenitent sinners."
2. “That, consequently, Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world, died for all men ; so that he has obtained by his death their reconciliation and the forgiveness of their sins; but in such a manner, that none but the faithful actually enjoy those benefits.”
3. “ That man cannot acquire saving faith of himself, or by the strength of his free-will; but wants, for that purpose, the grace of God through Jesus Christ.”
4. “ That this grace is the cause of the beginning, progress, and completion of man's salvation; so that no one can believe or persevere in the faith without that co-operating grace; and, consequently, that all good works are to be ascribed to the grace of Godin Christ Jesus : but that grace is not irresistible.”
5. “That the faithful have a sufficient strengtlı, through the divine grace, to oppose Satan, sin, the world, and their own flesh, and to overcome them; and yet those who have a true faith may, nevertheless, fall by their own fault, and lose faith wholly and for ever.”
Brandt's History of the Synod of Dort.
To the Editor. I am very desirous to know in what respect the Faith of a real Christian differs from that of a Formal Professor, when their tiews exactly correspond; and also bow it is that he that be. Jicveth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself *. If any of your Readers will satisfy an honest enquirer, by solving the above questions, they will greatly oblige P. M.