« AnteriorContinuar »
art for his: "Father, I will that they also whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am.” how The laft use is, in a word of Exhortation. Is it so that the believer, while in this world, must lay his account to have the enemy coming in like a flood upon him? Then, believer, put on thy harness, and be like the valiant of king Solomon, who have their sword girded upon their thigh, for fear of the night. Fight the good fight of faith, make a stout and valiant stand against the enemy.
Motive 1. Thy enemies are God's enemies, as well as thine. The devil is his enemy, for he finned from the beginning ; the world is his enemy, for the friendship of it is enmity to God; sin is his enemy, it is the abominable thing that his soul hates. Now all:God's enemies “ shall perish, they shall consume into smoke.” Shail they consume away, and may not this hearten thee in thy passage? especially considering,
2. That the Lord of hosts is with thee, God is upon thy fide ; his name Emmanuel signifies God with us, God to espouse our quarrel, God to bruise the serpent's head, God with us to finish transgreslion, and make an end of fin, God with us to overcome the world. 6. Fear thou not, for I am with thee ; be not dismayed, for I am thy God,” If. xli. 10. And therefore triumph with the church, and say, Psal. xlvi. at the beginning, "God is our refuge and our Itrength: The Lord of hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our refuge, therefore will we not be afraid.”
3. The enemy is already defeat and baffled by thy glorious Head and General ; thou haft only a shattered enemy to grapple with: Psal. lxxiv. 14. the children of Israel, there fpeaking of the overthrow of Pharoah and his host in the Red fea, sing this song, " Thou brakelt the heads of Jeviathan in pieces, and gavest him to be meat to the people inhabiting the wilderness;" the meaning is, that the overthrow of Pharaoh and his host in the sea, was a sweet encouraging meal to Ifrael, in their travels through the wilderness to the heavenly Çanaan, anil was a pledge of their victory over all their other enemies. So here Christ's victory over sin, death, and hell, is a sweet meal to the believer in ihe wilderness of This world, and is a sure pledge that, ere long, he shall tread them uider his feet.
4. Know, for thy encouragement, there are many triumphing in glory, against whom the foods did run with as yrs... violence, as they do now against thee. The cloud of witnefles, Heb. xi. and the innumerable company, Rev. vii, their battle was as hot as thine ; but now they are triumphing in glory, in white robes. Take courage,
low them, who through faith and patience inherit the promises." 5.
The battle will soon be over, the time is fort, the end of all things is at hand, and within a little thy glorious General will sound the retreat, and call thee off the field. There is a solemn triumph promised to the overcomer, Rev. ii. 7. Again, know, for thy encouragment, thy General will bear thy charges in the war; for he sends none a warfare on their own charges. Thy God commands thy strength; he himleif is the ftrength of Israel, the glory of their strength; he will make thy bow to abide in its strength, and the arms of thy hand shall be made strong by the mighty God of Jacob, “ Out of his ful. ness thou fhalt receive grace for grace.” Again, consider, there is no discharging of this warfare against the enemy that comes in like a flood; thou must either fight or die in the quarrel; thou must either fight, or be a tave; thou muit either fight, or fall under the curse of God. “ Curse ye Meroz, curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof: because they came not to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty."
Lastly, The word of command is given by the glorious Ge. neral, “ Fight the good fight of faith, stand fast in the faith, quit yourselves like men, be Itrong.” Will the foldier draw back, when the General gives the word ? Let none of Christ's soldiers draw back the hand; not to obey, is death by the marshal-law of heaven.
I conclude with the few advices following.
1. Break your league with hell, fun, and death; if ye be in a confederacy with any known sin, you cannot strike a fair stroke da the Lord's quarrel.
2. Set up your standard of war against the enemy, in the name of Jehovati, a reconciled God in Christ, saying with the church, “ We will be joyful in thy falvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners ;” and with David, Psal. cxviii.“ They compafled me about like bees; but in the name of the Lord I will destroy them.”
3. Take care of the enemy within doors, observe its motions, I mean the evil heart of unbelief; for if you do not, it will betray you. “Keep your heart with all diligence ; for out of it are the iTues of life. Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries," &c.
4. Keep in with God and conscience : a good God, and a good conscience, on a man's fide, will make him bold as a lion. “ This is our rejoicing, the testimony of our confcience, that in fimplicity and godly sincerity, not with flethly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our converfation in the world."
5. Make much use of the Christian's armour, recommended, Eph. vi. 11.
11, The shield of faith. No fighting, no standing before the enemy without faith. God's worthies, Heb. xi.“ by faith turned to flight the armies of the aliens."
2dly, Put on the helmet of salvation, a well-grounded hope of glory; this, like a helmet, will keep the head safe, when showers of darts are flying about you.
3dly, Get on the girdle of truth. The truth and faithfulness of God in his word, improven by faith, is like a girdle whereby the loins are made firm and strong in the day of battle. It is by the word of truth we are commanded to strengthen the weak hands, and to confirm the feeble knees.
4thly, Put on the breastplate of righteousness. By which we may either understand imputed righteousness, apprehended by faith, which like a breastplate fortifies the heart, and emboldens the believer against all accusers and all accusations, and enables him to say, “ Who can lay any thing to my charge !". Or it may be understood of implanted righteousness and holiness, uprightness and integrity of heart and life, which, as I said, makes a man bold as a lion.
Sthly, Make use of the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, both to offend the enemy, and defend yourself. With this weapon Christ encountered and overthrew the enemy in the wilderness, “ Thus and thus it is written.” With the fame weapon all his soldiers are to fight.
Lastly, Be much in prayer, wrestling with God upon your knees, calling for grace and mercy to help in time of need. Thus Jacob like a prince prevailed; “ by his strength he had power with God, he had power with the angel, and prevailed ; for he wept and made fupplication unto him."
SABBATH SABBATH-EVENING, BURNTISLAND,
JULY 5. 1730.
Isa. lix. 19.-The Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard
THE Second doctrine I observed from the words was this
, , That it is the Spirit of the Lord that lifts up a sandard, and drives back the enemy, when coming like a flood.
In discoursing this doctrine, I shall,
I. Speak a little of the standard-bearer, the Spirit of the Lord.
II. Of the standard which he lifts up. III. Of the lifting up of this blefled standard. IV. Shew how is it, or whence is it, the lifting up of the standard gives a repulse to the enemy, or drives him back, when coming like a flood.
V. Laply, Apply the whole.
I. For the first which is, to Speak a little of the standardbearer, the Spirit of the Lord. Where two things may be inquired into 1. What Lord is he that is here intended ? 2. Whom are we to understand by the Spirit of the Lord ?
Queft. 1. What Lord is he that is here intended ?
I answer, 1. He is “the Lord of hosts, the Lord mighty in battle," Psal. xxiv. : “he that does in the armies of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth, what pleaseth him ; the Lord who stretcheth out the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth, before whom the inhabitants of the world are as a company of gralhoppers.”
2. He is the Lord of glory, that is here intended, 1 Cor. ii.8. “ Had they known him, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory; the brightness of the Father's glory, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders.” When the cherubims and seraphims behold him upon his throne high and lifted
up, they cry, “ Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts, the whole earth is full of his glory.” VOL. II.
3. He is the Lord of life, Acts iii. 15. “ Ye have killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead. As the Father hath life in himself, so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself.” He hath life in himself essentially and originally as the Father, he being the “ true God, and eternal life;" and as Mediator, he hath a life given him by the Father, by virtue of which he is the fountain of life to his mys. tical body,
“ the resurrection and the life.” 4. He is the Lord of lords, Rev. xix. 16. “He hath on his vesture, and on his thigh, a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS." All the powers of the earth are the vaffals of this great Lord, they hold their crowns and sceptres of him. He casts the mighty out of his feat, and raiseth them of low degree.
Quest. 2. Whom are we to understand by the Spirit of the Lord ? Take an answer to this in the following particulars.
1. The Spirit of the Lord, as to his essence, is the same God with the Father and the Son. There is but one God, and three persons in the Godhead, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; and these three are one God, the fame in fubftance, equal in power and glory. We are not to imagine any superiority or inferiority among the persons of the Godhead, seeing they are one and the same most simple and undivided being.
2. As to the order of his existence, according to the revelation of the word, he is the third person of the adorable Trinity, and proceeds from the Father and the Son, in an ineffable and inconceivable manner. All that we have revealed conçerning the manner of the existence of these three divine persons of the Godhead, is, that the Father begat the Son, the Son is begotten of the Father, and the Holy Ghost proceedeth from the Father and the Son ; but as to the generation of the Son, or the procession of the Holy Ghost, who can declare it? God has drawn a vail over it, and it is dangerous for us, in this state of mortality, curiously to pry into this mystery; and they who have adventured to go further than the revelation of the word leads them, have always run themselves into the bogs of Arian, Sabellian, or Socinian errors.
3. As to his office in the great work of salvation, he applies to us the redemption purchased by Christ; in order to which he receives the things of Christ, that he may show them to
All the blessings of a Redeemer's purchafe, all the goods of his teftament, both heritable and moveable, the whole estate of eternal life, and every thing that pertains to it, are lodged in his hand, that he may, according to his commission from the Father and Son, apply them, and make them effectual to