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The Confessing or Denying of Christ.

The Confessing or Denying of Christ.

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY REV. JONTHAN MAYHEW WAINWRIGHT, D.D., D.C.L.,



Matthew x. 32, 33.

"Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess
also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny
me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
BY REV. JONTHAN MAYHEW WAINWRIGHT, D.D., D.C.L.,



Matthew x. 32, 33.

"Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess
also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny
me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jul 22, 2013
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01/30/2015

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THE COFESSIG OR DEYIG OF CHRIST.BY REV. JOTHA MAYHEW WAIWRIGHT, D.D., D.C.L.,Matthew x. 32, 33."Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confessalso before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall denyme before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is inheaven.It requires no argument to prove that these condi-tions are conformable with the strictest justice. Thesimple statement of them is sufficient to carry a con-viction of their perfect equity to every unprejudicedunderstanding. If we confess our Saviour before men,that is, acknowledge him both by profession and prac-tice to be our Lord and Master, he also will acknow-ledge us before his Father to be his servants and dis-ciples. If, on the other hand, we deny him before men,that is, reject his religion, and live as though we wereignorant of its doctrines and precepts, he also, at thelast day, will declare unto us, " I never knew you, departfrom me ye workers of iniquity." o one can presume198 THE COFESSIG OR DETIG OF CHEIST.to say tliat it is either unjust or unreasonable to maketlie favor with whicli our Saviour will hereafter regardus, to depend upon the respect we have manifested forhim here on earth.At the time when this declaration was made, boththe hazard of confessing Christ, and the temptations todeny him, were far greater than they are at present.The priests and rulers of the Jews were leagued to-
 
gether l)y bonds of the most obstinate prejudice tooppose the spread of the Gospel. And beside thisopposition the Apostles had to contend with the vices,the passions, and the long cherished customs of anignorant multitude.When therefore our Saviour gave them their firstcommission to go and preach the kingdom of heaven,he foi'ewarned them of the difficulties they would haveto encounter. They were sent forth as sheep amongstwolves ; they were told that they would be deliveredup to councils, and be scourged in synagogues, and thatthey would be hated of all men for the sake of theirMaster. To strengthen them for all these trials, andto prepare them to encounter manfully all this oppo-sition, amongst other arguments that are offered tothem, is the one contained in the text. It has not, itis true, precisely the same application to us Christiansof the present day, that it had to the first professorsof the Gospel, because we are not a small and feebleband appointed to sustain a new system of faith in themidst of numerous, powerful, and exasperated oppo-nents ; nor to bear testimony to its truth before rulersTHE COISTESSIG OR DEYIG OF CHRIST. 199and kings, at the hazard of temporal prosperity, andeven of life itself But still we must know that thereis a distinctly defined, and an urgent duty implied inconfessing Christ before men, and a grievous sin indenying him ; and that the reward promised to theone course of conduct, and the penalty denouncedagainst the other, are still held forth for our encourage-ment and warning.To explain, therefore, what is meant by our con-fessing and denying Christ before men, and by hisconfessing or denjdng us before his Father, is the
 
object of this discourse.I. In the first place, it must be obvious, that to con-fess Christ implies an avowed belief in the truth of Divine revelation. To acknowledge him merely as ateacher of a pure morality, and to esteem his rehgiononly as a system well calculated to j)romote the peaceand good order of society, is not sufficient. By givingto the phrase as limited an interpretation as this, wemay, with equal propriety, be said to confess any un-inspired teacher of moral or political truth. But byconfessing Christ, we must understand avowing a belief in his divine mission, that he is not only a teacher, buta teacher speaking with direct authority from God, andthat the religion which he and his Apostles estabhshedwas not the product of human wisdom and ingenuity,but was given to the world by the special agency of the Holy Spirit. And are we required to assent to allthis uj^on human authority alone, and to receive menas religious instructors commissioned from on high, be-200 THE COFESSIG OR DEYIa OF CHEIST.cause they lay claim to Divine inspiration ? By nomeans. Tlie religion of Christ, as it is addressed toreasonable men, so does it carry with it proofs of itsheavenly origin, designed and adapted to satisfy reason.Our Saviour and his Apostles never demanded of thoseto whom they spoke, an assent to their doctrinesmerely upon the strength of their assertions. Theyuniformly appealed to the evidence of prophecy andmiracles. " Believe me," says our Saviour himself, " forthe very works' sake." "The works that I do bear wit-ness of me." The Apostles, too, when they preachedthe kingdom of God, rested not upon their own unsup-ported declarations ; but God bare them witness, bothwith siofns and wonders, and with divers miracles, andgifts of the Holy Ghost. And at the present day, the

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