Watts - Houston-Packer Collection BX5207.W3 S4x 1805 v.2

2 HOLY FORTITUDE, [BERM. XXX and we May. s'ömetinies be called to put on courage for the defence of this gospel. But besides this, there are many things occurring in the divine life, that require us to put on this holy forti- tude of soul. The very nature of men is so corrupt and vicious, their hearts are so averse to the holy precepts of christianity, the multitude of sinners is so exceeding great in every nation, even where the gospel is profess- ed, the customs of this world are so contrary to the rules of the gospel, and the malice and rage of Satan with his evil angels, are so constant and so violent against the re- ligion and the name of Christ, that it is true at all times, as well as in the primitive age, " that all that will live godly inChrist Jesus shall suffer persecution," 2 Tim. iii. 12. When we become soldiers of Christ, and resolve to be religious in good earnest, we must reckon upon ene- mies and oppositions, we must be prepared to endure hardness; chapter ii. verse 3. Our business therefore is, to seek for a spirit of power and holyfortitude, that we may be void of fear in the professionof our faith, and in the practice of our daily. duties. Not the Corinthians only, but we also, "must watch, and stand fast in the faith. we must quit our- selves like, men, and be strong." If we are frighted at the sound of every reproach, or terrified by the fierce opposition of a wicked world, we shall be in danger of turning back from the paths of christianity, and of losing the heavenly prize. Such doctrines, and such practices as the gospel teaches, require the professors of them to be bold and valiant. And besides the difficulties we shall meet with from a. degenerate and sinful world, there are many other trials that attend the christian life. Sorrows and sufferings belong to human nature, in this fallen and unhappy state : " Man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upward," Job v. 7. This earth is designed for a stage of conflict, a scene of probation, where each of us must act our parts, under the eye and notice of God our supreme governor, dhd our final rewarder. He expects that we should put on a sacred hardiness ofsoul ; he 'requires that we should not indulge a spirit of fear, but be armed with power and courage, that we may endure to the end. And blessed be his name that he bath given us promises tQ'