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have not only to contend with the last enemy death; but Satan makes his last attack, and a fearful attack it frequently is. But however fearful the assault, the victory is certain to every believer, and the final triumph will be great.
Israel was exhorted not to quail, or fear, or be down-hearted. The enemies must be met. The battle must be fought. The victory must be won. Just so in our case, and the Lord speaks to us, as he did to them, to comfort, embolden, and encourage us. He says, “Let not your hearts faint," or be not faint hearted. This does not become a soldier, much less a Christian ; we should set our hearts like a flint, to meet and brave all opposition. We are all liable to faint, but we should look to the Lord. “Fear not;" and if God bids us not fear, depend upon it, we have small occasion. Fear not, though your foes be many, though they be giants, though they be used to war. Fears are carnal, and weaken the heart. Fears are slavish, and enfeeble the hands. Fears are as dishonourable to God, as they are discreditable and injurious to you. “ Do not tremble," as though your God would leave you, or your foes were a match for omnipotence. Let the guilty tremble, not you. Let those who are at war with God tremble, but not you. “ Neither be ye terrified.” God is with you. God is for you. God has promised you his assistance. God is true. "To you, God is
love. For you, God will appear. “ Therefore let not your hearts be faint, fear not, do not tremble, neither be ye terrified. Your cause is good, your strength will be sufficient, therefore keep up your courage, for slavish fears, distrustful faintings, and carnal tremblings will dishonour God, and injure you.
Israel was encouraged, and so are we. God was to go with Israel to fight for them, and save them; and what was spoken to them will apply to us. “ The Lord your God is he that goeth with you." He did not send an angel, but he went with them himself. Nor did he go with them merely as an observer, but as a man of war, as the Captain of the host, as their strength and power. So is God with us, saying, “I will contend with him that contendeth with thee.” He goes before us, clearing our way. He goes with us, enabling us to fight. He never leaves, or withdraws his eyes from us. “ He goes with us to fight for us.” Not to fight without us. Nor to let us fight without him. But to fight with us. He uses us, he helps us, he crowns us with success. By his providence, by his Spirit, and by his angels, he fights for us, and helps us. “ He will save us.” Satan shall not rejoice over us, or boast that he has finally conquered one that belongs to the Lord. The world shall never ensnare to his destruction, one that is an Israelite indeed. The flesh shall never master in the end, one of the seeking seed of Jacob. False professors, shall never lead away by errors, or stratagems, or persecution to their final ruin, one of the blood-bought family of God. Blessed be God, with omnipotence on our side, and the word of God pledged to us, and the Holy Spirit within us, we need fear no evil, nor tremble before any foe, but go forth and do battle as for God, exclaiming, “ The Lord of hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our refuge." Then we may be bold, courageous, and daring; assured that we shall be “more than conquerors, through bim that hath loved us."
Now let the feeble all be strong,
What tho the hosts of hell engage
PATIENCE. WHAT a blessed fruit of the Spirit is patience, and how necessary for a Christian in a world like this, and in times like these. It prevents murmuring, checks complaining, and produces the sweetest gratitude. It multiplies our mercies, fixing the eye upon them; and it diminishes our troubles, taking the eye off them. It strengthens by exercise, and increases by use. It will live in any climate, but flourishes most towards the north pole. Patience is like an Alpine flower, it will grow upon the rocks, among the snows and storms; bleak winds root it, severe frosts harden it, and what would kill other plants, fosters and feeds it. It was intended to deck the garden of poverty, and to shed its fragrance in the chamber of affliction. It grows most in winter, flowers best in the dreary desert, and has greatly luxuriated at times in a cold damp dungeon.
Patience will enable a man to bear losses with calmness, to suffer pain with meekness, and to endure bereavements with silence. When Job was stripped of all his property, he said, “The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away, and blessed be the name of the
Lord.” When Aaron's two sons were killed by fire from the presence of the Lord, “ Aaron held his peace.” When Eli heard the sore judgments that were pronounced against his house, he meekly exclaimed, “It is the Lord, let him do what seemeth him good.” When David, in his old age, was driven from his palace and his kingdom, by the rebellion of his unnatural son Absolom, and they brought. forth the ark of God, intending to carry it with him to comfort him, he said, “Carry back the ark again into the city, if the Lord have a favour toward me, he will bring me again, and will show me both it and his ha. bitation ; but if he say, I have no delight in thee, here I am, let him do as seemeth him good.” To crown all, when the Lord Jesus had been bound, dragged about from place to place, buffeted, spitted on, scourged, treated with the greatest cruelty, and contempt, and was being nailed to the cross ; he was as quiet as a sheep before her shearers, patient as a lamb in the butcher's hands, and look. ing up to heaven, prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."
In each of these instances we see what patience can do, what it will enable us to bear, and how it will enable us to act. How necessary for us, in our dealings with the world, in the management of our families, and in our connection with the church of God. Wherever patience is, it will be tried; and if it be a genuine article, it will strengthen