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come in like a flood; the Lord has said it, and therefore it needs be no surprise when it comes.
2. In the words we may notice the repulse given to the enemy, after all his progress : The Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him. Where again we may notice, 1.) By whom the repulse is given, by the Spirit of the Lord. It is not by the might or the power of the church, it is not by any created strength, but “ by my spirit, faith the Lord of hosts." (2.) How the repulse is given, or managed; it is by lifting up a sandard against him. By the standard I understand Christ, who is not only a standard-bearer among ten thousand," Cant. v. 10. but the standard or ensign itself, Is. xi. And in that day, there shall be a root of Jesie, which fhall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek, and his reft shall be glorious.” By the lifting up of the standard, I understand the displays of the glory of Christ in a gospel-dispensation, accompanied with the efficacy of the Spirit of the Lord : this is called a lifting up of Christ, John ii. 14. 15. “ As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so muft the Son of man be lifted up.” It is by the listing up of this standard, or the manifestation of Christ in the gospel, that Satan's kingdom is ruined in the world, and his strong holds pulled down. (3.) We have the repulse itself given to the enemy by the Spirit of the Lord; he is put to flight, as it reads in the margin: or, as Calvin reads it, the Spirit of the Lord fhall drive him back like the waters of Jordan, which were driven back toward their fountain, when they stood in the way of Israel's entry upon the poffeffion of the promised land, Pfal. cxiv. 5.“ What ailed thee, O thou sea, that thou fleddest ? thou Jordan, that thou waft driven back ?" (4.) We have the certainty of this proInise of repelling or driving back the enemy; it is not a may-be, but a fall-be. As there is a certainty anent the inbreaking of the enemy; so there is as great a certainty of his being beat back by the Spirit of the Lord: “Hath he said it, and will he 1100 do it?"
From the words thus opened, I notice thefe two doctrines. DOCT. 1. “ That the church of God, or true believers, while
here in a militant state, may lay their account with it
to have the enemy breaking in upon them like a flood.“ Doct. 2. «« That the career of the enemy is stopped, and his
attempts bafiled, by the Spirit of the Lord his lifting up a itandard against him. When the enemy ihall come in like a flood," &c.
As to the first of these, “ That believers, while in a militant state, may lay their account to have the enemy breaking in upon them like a flood :"
In discoursing this, I shall, through divine aslistance, endeavour to show,
1. Who is the enemy that comes in like a food. II. Why this enemy is likened to a flood.
III. Speak a little of the progress of this enemy, and how far he may come in.
IV. Touch a little at the certainty of this, that he hall come in like a flood.
V. Conclude in a few inferences.
1. The first thing is to give some account of the enemy, that is faid to come in like a flood upon the church and people of God. This is no improper subject, after you have been at a communiontable. If the great Master of the feast has brought you into his banqueting-house, and made you to sit down under his banner of love ; if he has stayed you with flagons, and comforted you with apples; you are to remember, that this is not heaven, it is only a wilderness-meal to hcarten you for your journey; and, in your journey, you are to go through the dens of lions, and mountains of leopards. The people of God never meet with more violent attacks for ordinary, than after they have been admitted to the nearest and sweetest communion : Satan sought to winnow Peter, after he had been at the first supper; a messenger of Satan is sent to buffet Paul, after he had been wrapt up to the tird heavens. But, fay you, who is the enemy that is like to come in upon us ? I answer, The devil, that old serpent, called sometimes “the god of this world,” is the leading enemy of the woman and her feed. This was the grand enemy Christ had to debate with, when he came upon the great undertaking of our redemption; his errand was, to beat up
the devil's quarters, to drive him out of his usurped poff:1fion in the hearts and souls of men, to bruise his head, to die Itroy his works, to spoil principalities and powers of their prey. And as this was the principal enemy that Christ had to grapple with; so this is the leading enemy that attacks the fied or Christ in their travels through the wilderness to the promises land of glory: hence is that caution of the apostle Peter, " Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about fecking whom he may devour.” And, says Paul, “ We wreltle not againit fleth and blood; but againit principalities, against powers, againit the rulers of the darkness of this world, againil spiritual wickednetles in high places." Now, the devil bus two grand auxiliaries, in managing his hellish designs against Chrift and his feed, which are entirely at his devotion, and under his command; the one is within the believer, and the other with
grand 1. Because of their noise. What noise has the devil, the world, and the lufts and corruptions of men, made fince the fall of man, by error, persecution, defections, and violences of all kinds! and what a noise do thefe enemies make in the foul of the believer, when God, for holy and wife erds, lets them locie! The poor soul is many times put in
1. I say, Satan has a strong party within, to wit, indwelling fin and corruption, "a law in the members warring against the law of the mind;" sometimes called “the fleth, which lusteth a. gainst the Spirit.” This is such a crafty, enemy, and its workings, in order to serve the designs of Satan, for the ruin of the foul, are so subrile, that it is said to be “deceit fulabove all things, and desperately wicked.” David, the man according to God's own heart, through the impression of its fubtilty, cries, “Who can understand his errors ?”
2. The world without us is another main auxiliary of hell; the profits, pleasures, and preferments of the world, called apostle, “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life." The apostle James, chap. iy. 4. has a word ta this purpose, “Know ye not (faith he), that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world, is the enemy of God.” From whence it is plain, that that man that will stand upon the Lord's fide, must resolve to have the world upon his top. Sometimes the believer has the powers of this world to contend with ; especially when their commands interfere with the commands of God; as in the case of Daniel, the apostles, and the three chil. dren; and in that case he may lay his account with rage and violenee. In a word, the devil being the god of this world, he hath both the things and the persons of this world under his power, he pretends to be fole master of it; as we fee in his attack he made upon the Son of God in the wilderness, “ All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me." Sometimes he makes use of the world as a bait to allure us to fin; sometimes he makes use of it as a bugbear to fright us from duty. Thus you see who is the enemy that comes in like a flood, to wit, Satan and his auxiliaries, both without us and within us.
II. The second thing in the method is, to inquire why this enemy is likened to a fiood? I answer, in the following particulars.
such confufion, through the noise of these mighty waters, that it cannot hear the voice of God either in his word or providences.
2. They are likened to a flood, because of their multitude. A flood confits of an innumerable multitude of drops of water. So these enemies the believer has to grapple with in his way to glory, they are a great multitude, an innumerable hoft. We may ealily gather that the infernal spirits, that go about to devour us, are innumerable, when we confider, that a whole legion of them had their refidence in one poor man. And how many are the lusts of the heart and the fnares of the world, which we lie every day exposed to? David complains, Pfal.cxviii. that his enemies “compafled him about like bees;" which ma. ny times put the poor believer to cry with Jehofhaphat, “ We know not what to do against this great multitude that comes up against us.”
3. They are likened to floods, because of their unity in bending all one way in their opposition against Christ and his cause. Whatever jarrings there may be among them in other things, yet as the waters of a flood, though they may take different channels, yet they keep the same course, and unite their force against the kingdom of Christ, and the salvation of fouls.
4. Floods are mighty, violent, and rapid in their motion; the waters of a flood they have a mighty Itrength with them. So the enemies of the Lord's people are violent and strong in their opposition to the interest of Christ in the world, and his grace in the soul : Psal. ii. the Heathen there is said to "rage against the Lord, and his anointed, faying, Come, let us break their bands asunder, and cait away their cords from us."
5. Floods of water, they are of a sweeping nature, and are ready to hurl down every thing that is not well fixed : if a tree have not its root well fastened in the ground, the flood will bear it down. Just fo, if a person be not rooted in Chrift, the floods of temptation, afflictions, and corruptions, will very soon carry him down the stream. Hence it is, that loose profeffors in a day of trial are carried away; their house falls, and great is the fall of it.
6. A food is in a continual motion ; fo the adlings of fin, and Satan, and the world, against Christ and his cause, are inceffant : “ The wicked are like the troubled fea, ftill cafting out mire and filth.”
Here I will name several sweeping floods that the enemy cafts forth, to annoy and hurt the church and people of God in the wilderness.
1st, He sometimes caits out a flood of error ; he studies to corrupt the simplicity of the gospel, and to turn men away from the pure and precious truths of God. Hell has in all ages of the world been studying to muddy the pure waters of the sanctuary, and never more than at this day, by Arian, Socinian, Arminian, Pelagian, and other herefies.
2dly, Sometimes the enemy comes in with a flood of open persecution. The boar out of the wood, and the wild beasts of the forest, are sometimes suffered to devour the Lord's people, so that their blood has been poured out like water, and the bodies of God's dear faints cast out like dung upon the streets. Such a flood, of heading, hanging, quartering, banishing, and imprisoning of the Lord's people has been in this land, and we know not how soon the like flood may break out again.
3dly, Sometimes he comes in with a flood of manifold corruptions upon the visible church. Sometimes he studies to corrupt the worship of God by superstition, mingling in ceremonies of man's inventions with the pure ordinances of divine inítitution. Sometimes he breaks in
the government and discipline of the church, attempting to introduce schemes of government not warranted by the word of God. Sometimes he stirs up men of corrupt minds, to pervert the use of the keys of discipline, to the spoiling and robbing of the church of God of her privileges and immunities he has granted her. Sometimes he comes in with a flood of profanity corrupting the lives of professors, to the scandal of religion ; sometimes with a flood of neutrality and indifferency about the things of God, under the colour of moderation. There, and many other floods, does Satan cast forth, whereby he sweeps multitudes away to hell. And, O Sirs, take heed to yourselves, for many of these floods are running with a mighty current among us at
III. The third thing is, to feck a littie of the progress of the enemy, he is snid to come in.
Quesi. How far may he come in ?
Anw. 1. The enemy may come in within the borders of Zion: Mic. v. 5. 6. “This man shall be the peace when the Affyrian fhall come into our land, and when he treadeth within our borders.” Satan and his confederates have their synagogues even within the confines of the visible church.
2. The enemy comes in, not only within the borders, but even into the palaces of Zion, her public afiemblies for divine worship; these are called the palaces and dwelling places of Zion, 11. iv. 5. " When the soris of God came to present themselves