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Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 2 Tim. ii. 3. PRINCES combat with flesh and blood, Christians wrestle with princi.
palities and powers ; their wars give days of truce, ours not a mi. nute's rest; conditions of peace there may cause retreat ; nothing but death here can raise the siege; kings, if overcome, may save theme selves by flight, but Christians may as soon fly from themselves as from their enemies; the soldier of Christ is in a field of continued conftict; he cannot let fall his hands but Amalek prevails: Not to be a conqueror, is to be a prisoner ; not to win the field, is to lose the soul; security wounds thee, yielding kills thee, but victory crowns thee. Therefore, watch as for thy life; fight as for thy soul; the time will come when “these enemies thou seest to-day, thou shalt see them no more for ever!” then thou shalt lay down thy sword, and take up thy crown and sing “ Victory, victory," for ever, through the blood of the Lamb! Let then the prospect of heavenly glory fire thee; though thine enemies be powerful, yet remember to go forth against them in the strength of the Captain of thy salvation ; though assaults be many, and my enemies mighty, if God strengthen me, I have enough to com. fort me;
for the greater my enemy, the more glorious my victory; and the more glorious my victory, the more triumphant my glory.
Lord, let me spare no inbred foes,
But fight them well by faith;
Be daily dealing mortal blows,
Aud triumph at my death.
lwill heal your backslidings. Jer. üi. 22. It is God who worketh in you
bolh to will and to do, of his good pleasure. Phil. ii. 13. O my dear Saviour, I would fain believe in thee, be faithful, obedient,
and work always that which is good. And since this is also thy will, I trust it shall be done; for if thou wilt and I will, who can hinder it? True it is, that sin, flesh, the world, and devils, are against it; but shall these enemies be stronger than thou, the mighty God ? Shall their opposition be able to quell thy work in me, if I do not consent to it? That can never be. The more violence they use upon me, the more earnest may I be with thee in prayer; and the more I pray, the more glorious will thine assistance be; the more they hinder, the more thou wilt further, that all their hindrances may be swallowed up by thy furtherances, as the serpents of the sorcerers in Egypt were swallowed up by the serpent of Moses. The enemy will fall by his own sword ; and the greatest opposition will turn to my good, and to the promoting of thy work. Every thing indeed can overcome me if I do not abide in Christ by a continual acting of faith and prayer ; but by thus abiding in him, all opposition proves not only weak in itself, but profitable to my soul. We honour our exalted King;
Fearless of Hell and ghastly death, How sweet are his commands !
We'll break through ev'ry foe; He guards our souls from Hell and sin The wings of Love and arms of Faitha By his almighty hands.
Shall bear us conqu’rors thro'.
I am like a green fir-tree ; from me is thy fruit found. Hosea xiv. 8.
I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy
the fruits of your ground. Mal. iii. 11. See also Isa. xxvii. 2, 6. IS [s it not a disagreeable thing for a gardener to see the finest blossoms
and fruits destroyed by the caterpillars? Doth it not rejoice him to see all the branches bow with ripe fruits ? O, my heavenly Lord, grant that I may not displease, but rejoice thy heart also. Let me abide in Christ, my true vine, and always bring forth good fruits. But since every fruit has its enemies, and thou hast no sooner worked any thing, than the insects of sin endeavour to destroy it, I beseech thee to make me watchful of these insects, and diligent in every good work. Rebuke the devourer presently, and preserve me as a branch of Christ, night and day, as thou hast promised, that my
may endure to eternity: Doth a diligent gardener dress and cultivace his garden as well as he can, why shouldst not thou cultivate my heart also, since thou art honoured by my fruits ? O, yes: I trust the crystal stream of thy throne will water me, that I may bring forth greater plenty of fruit.
Like trees of myrrb and spice we stand,
Let my beloved come and taste
I will (do it.) John xiv. 14. And what is that? Whatsoever thou
desirest. For the Lord will fulfil the desire of them thut fear him.
Psalm cxlv, 19. Yea, he does “exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think ;"
granting, not only according to the notion of our narrow hearts, but according to the riches of his glory, as becomes his Majesty. Christ delights in great petitions; for he is a great Lord, and is rich unto all that call
him. He has all the riches of his merits and gifts, not for himself (since being the very God, he wanted nothing for himself) but only for us, even the rebellious, who sincerely call upon him. Therefore, what he has as Mediator, all belongs to me, if I do but call upon him faithfully. O, my soul, pray to him; nay, be much in prayer; and as often as thoạ pourest out thy soul before him in prayer, let nothing resound in thy heart but these words: “I will ; I will do it.” As God can never lie, there is not one single groan lost ; but every one will be found to be a jewel in the life to come; by which thy riches are increased, and one treasure put to another. O! how much is there neglected in this already! why shouldst thou not be earnest now to redeem that little remaining part of thy time, by prayer for eternity, to lay up there many treasures, and richly adorn thy crown. O Lord, grant that this may be done!
Now is the time, he lends his ear,
And waits for your request ;
Come, lest lie rouse his wrath, and swear
“ Ye shall not see my rest!"
Joshua drew not his hand back, wherewith he stretched out the spear, until he
had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai. Josh. viii. 26. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the Devil. 1 John iii. 8.
A WILLING subjection to any one sin is not consistent with the grace of
Gud, and true saving faith (Rom. vi. 14); for though wicked inbabitants will abide in the heart, and sometimes prevail over a believer, they must not reign there, nor should be suffered to stir without resistance; since we may be utterly ruined by the dominion of a single sin, that is, by a willing subjection to it, as by the dominion of a thousand, just as a bird is caught in one single snare ; and though you are actually converted, and have gained the dominion over your sins, yet you must not draw back your hand, and lay the spear and sword of the Spirit aside. There is no truce in this war, nor any rest found but in fighting; for if you beat not your enemies, they beat you. Therefore the Christian soldier's watch-word is, Fight on, looking to Jesus. Satan left Christ only for a time; much more will he renew his assaults upon us again and again : nay, if a man is not watchful, but presumptuous," he takes to him seven other spirits more wicked than himselt.” But if the conflict lasteth long, remember that is also the case of others; and even the ancient fathers have gone under it till they were grey; at last the victory will be the more sweet and glorious. Only, above all things, take the shield of faith, for faith alone triumphs; by which we are in covenant with Christ, and he makes one cause with us.
'Tis faith that conquers Earth and Hell
By a celestial pow'r ;
In the decisive hour.