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nor carry it on doubtful of victory. I have provided every thing needful for maintaining the battle, and for bringing thee off conqueror. Thou shalt find much profit in this holy war. It will be the means of keeping up constant fellowship with me. Thou shalt see thy need of coming to me for courage, for orders, for strength; and by faith thou wilt receive sensible experience of my being present with thee, and on thy side. Only trust me, and thou shalt find me faithful to my promise of help and victory. Go forth then to thy daily warfare, and boldly face Satan. Fear him not in the least: for that would betray a doubt of my having him under my feet, or of my putting him under thine. Give not place to him; no, not for a moment: but resist him, and continue to resist him, stedfast in faith and prayer-trusting to my promise and depending on mine arm. Be sober, be vigilant. Thus oppose the devil, and thou wilt certainly conquer him. And having conquered, fight on. In the fight look to me for victory, having obtained it, expect a fresh battle, and look still to me for victory: and thus go on conquering and to conquer. Thy crown is in my keeping. As sure as I have it on my head, it shall be on thine. Thou shalt soon sit down with me on my throne a crowned conqueror for evermore.
Glory be to thee, my precious Jesus, for these faithful promises, in which thou hast caused me to put my trust. And now, Lord, let the thing that thou hast spoken concerning thy servant be established, and do. as thou hast said. Thou hast put it into my heart to desire to be a good soldier, and to fight thy battles against all the enemies of thy crown and dignity. O thou glorious Captain of my salvation, arm me for my daily warfare with Satan. He is too cunning for me; O my God, teach me his devices. He is too mighty for me, but the seed of the woman hath bruised his head; yes, almighty Jesus, thou hast destroyed the devil and his works. I believe in thy victory. let me partake of its fruits, and daily bring thee
honour and renown by my victories. Make me strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus, that I may not fear Satan: Send me out against him armed with thine invincible armour. Strengthen me, O my God, that I faint not through the length or sharpness of the battle, but enable me to persevere, till thou discharge me from the war. Thus in a constant dependence upon thee would I fight the good fight of faith, keeping up communion with thee in every battle, and growing more acquainted with my wants, and more thankful for every supply. O my loving Jesus, increase my fellowship with thee. I desire to war a good warfare, and every thing needful for it is from thee. From thy fulness I expect it, and when I receive it, I would use it to thy glory, Hear, Lord, and answer me for thy mercies sake; Amen and Amen.
The believer kept by the power of God perseveres in his holy walk, and victorious warfare.
AFTER the believer has made a great progress in his walk, and has been very successful in his warfare, yet he is not out of the reach of any temptation. He is still liable to be stopped in the way of duty. His enemies may cheat him by some stratagem, or gain some advantage over him by open force. While he is attending to these things, as they come before him in his daily experience, a thought will often arise
I am afraid my profession will at last come to nothing, and I shall be a cast-away. I feel so much corruption working in my duties, and my heart is so ready to revolt and to turn from the Lord in every battle, that I cannot help being uneasy about my final state. How can I, it is not in me to hold out and
persevere against so much opposition from within and without? What signifies my resolution to walk forward, or to fight for an uncertain crown? I think I gain no ground. Mine own carnal will plagues me, and I love ease and quiet, as much as ever. My corruptions seem as many, and mine enemies as strong as they were: One day, I fear, I shall perish by their hands. My heart faints at the thought. My courage fails me. O wretched man that I am, Where, to whom shall I look for strength to enable me to hold out unto the end?
No believer is absolutely free from such an attack; and there are seasons very favourable to it. If his mind be in heaviness through manifold temptations, and be reasoning legally upon them. If he be under the hidings of the Lord's countenance or in a time of desertion. If he be fallen into any great sin, perhaps his old besetting sin; if the guilt of it be upon his conscience, and the indignation of God be heavy upon him: Then such thoughts find easy admittance; and if they be indulged, they greatly distress the believer : for they directly assault his faith, and strike at the very being of his hope. As these graces are weakened, he moves slowly; and if unbelief prevail, there is a stop put to his progress in the heavenly road.
Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, who has made ample provision for victory over his temptation. The principles before insisted on are now to be brought into practice. Here is a fresh occasion to try their power and influence, and to make it appear, that in these distressing circumstances the Father has given his children good ground to rely upon his unchangeable love. He has revealed to them the immutability of his counsel and of his oath, that when they have fled to Jesus for refuge, they may comfort their hearts and sayI have been afraid of falling away, but it is without reason: for I have still immutable things to trust in although to my sense and feeling every thing seems to make against me, yet God has promised
not to leave me nor forsake me. O that I may honour his promise, and without doubting rely upon his faithful arm to make it good.
Consider then, Ŏ my soul, the principles of the doctrine of Christ. Review them carefully. Thou seest what influence they have upon every step of thy walk, and how mighty they are through God to carry thee through all thy difficulties. O study then the perfect freeness and the absolute sufficiency of the salvation of Jesus. Read and mark the bonds and securities, which a faithful God has given thee to trust in, and not to be afraid. The time to honour them most is to believe them, when thou hast the least sensible evidence: for that is the strongest faith. If thou canst believe upon his bare word, and it is a very good warrant, thy feet shall stand firm upon the rock, and thy goings shall be well ordered: and that thou mayest believe this in the hardest trials God informs thee, that thy continuance in grace does not depend on thyself. "Thou standest by faith:" and faith should direct thee to what God has undertaken and has promised to do for thee. He would have thee to place the confidence of thy heart upon his tried word, which is a never failing foundation, and if thou wast to build all thy hopes of persevering upon it, it would quiet thy fears and comfort thy heart. Thou wouldst then see that God has not left thee to thyself to stand or fall, but has engaged never to leave thee nor forsake thee. He has declared, he will not turn away from thee to do thee good, and he will put his fear into thy heart, and thou shalt not turn away from him. View thy case in this comfortable light, and while thou art considering the safety of thy persevering, as revealed in scripture for the ground of thy faith, may every promise lead thee to trust more in God, and to trust less to thyself, and then the snare which was laid for thee will be broken, and thou wilt be delivered.
But take heed of carrying thine opinions to scripture, and of forcing it to speak for them. Beware of
that common mistake: and beware of human systems. Pay no regard to men or names. Simply attend to the promises of God concerning thy persevering. Thy present trial has convinced thee, that thou canst not depend on thy own faithfulness: this therefore is the time to learn practically the faithfulness of God, and to improve thy faith in it from such scripture arguments as these,
First, the nature of the divine covenant, which is not only the unchangeable will of the eternal Three, but is also their agreement confirmed by oath concerning the heirs of promise.
The Father loved them as his children, freely, with an everlasting love: he chose them, and gave them to his Son he engaged to keep them by his power through faith unto salvation.
The Son accepted them, and wrote all their names in his book (not one of them therefore can be lost). he undertook to be made man, and to live and die for them; to rise from the dead, to ascend, and to intercede for them: and he sitteth as king mediator upon the throne till every one of them be brought to glory. The Holy Spirit covenanted to carry into execution the purposes of the Father's love, and to apply the blessings of the Son's salvation. He undertook to quicken the heirs of promise, to call them effectually, to guide, to strengthen, to sanctify, and to comfort them: yea he is not to leave them, till the number of the elect be perfected. Therefore HE ABIDES WITH
THEM FOR EVER.
In this covenant the eternal Three have undertaken for every heir of promise-to do all for him, and all in him for the means, and for the end-so that not one of them can perish: for faithfulness to the covenant is one of the highest honours of the Godhead: "I am Jehovah your Alehim, which keepeth covenant, "I will ever be mindful of my covenant-My cove"nant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone "out of my mouth." What strong consolation is