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

4 HOLY FORTITUDE, - EMAIL XXXI. Active valour is necessary for a professor of the Chris- tian faith : And when and wheresoever divine providence gives us any just occasions for the exercise of this sort of fortitude, let no Christian refuse them, or shamefully withdraw from his duty. The occasions we have for it are such as these: I. When we are called to profess and practise strict piety, even under the special view and notice. of profane sinners. Perhaps our dwelling may be cast among pro- fligate wretches, who live without God in the world ; but we must not be afraid to own, that we fear the great God, and that we worship that awful name, which their blasphemies affront and vilify. Nor must we be asham- ed to let the world know, that wecannot pass a daywith- out calling upon our God, and that prayer is as neces- sary to us as our daily food. It is strange and monstrous that it should ever be accounted a matter of shame among creatures to acknowledge the God. that made them, or that it should ever need any courage to profess homage and adoration to our Creator ! What degene- rate times do we live in, that it should requiresome forti- tude to tell the world, that we who are creatures confess a God ! And yet sometimes even this very fortitude is wanting, and we are contented to look like atheists, lest we should be thought religious. Base cowardice ! and degenerate times indeed ! When we happen into the company of infidels and apostates from Christianity, who throw their impious jests on the gospel. of Christ, we may find a. plain call of providence to stand up for his name and honour. It is true, there are few of us who are sent to travel beyond the seas, and to engage fin necessary converse about religion with heathens; but I hinted before, that infidelity is a growing mischief of the present age, :even in our own land. It seems to be a spreading infection, and how far the great God may suffer it to prevail, lie only knows. There are multitudes already that have made shipwreck of the faith of Christ, and betake them- selves only to the dira and glimmering light of nature, as a sufficient refuge for their souls, and their only guide in matters of religion : A poor doubtful guide, and a dangerous refuge ! And yet these men are continually instructing one another to wage' wax against the blessed