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witnesses, 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, “ follow them, who through faith and patience inherit the promises."
5. The battle will soon be over, the time is short, “ 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 encouragement, 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 himself is "the strength 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 fulness thou shalt 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 slave; thou must 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 General, “ Fight the good fight of faith, stand fast in the faith, quit yourselves like men, be strong.” Will the soldier 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, sin, and death; if ye be in a confederacy with any known sin, you cannot strike a fair stroke in the Lord's quarrel.
2. Set up your standard of war against the enemy, in the name of JEHOVAH, a reconciled God in Christ, saying with the church, “ We will be joyful in thy salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners;" and with David, Psal. cxviii. “ They compassed 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 issues 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 side, will make him bold as a lion. “This is our rejoicing, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom,
but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world.”
5. Make much use of the Christian's armour, recommended, Eph. vi. 11. As,
1st, 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, improved by faith, is like a girdle by which 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 breast-plate of righteousness. By which we may either understand imputed righteousness, apprehended by faith, which like a breast-plate fortifies the heart, and imboldens 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.
5thly, 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, 66 Thus and thus it is written.” With the same 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 bad power with the angel, and prevailed; for he wept and made supplication unto him.”
THE STANDARD OF HEAVEN LIFTED UP AGAINST THE
POWERS OF HELL, AND THEIR AUXILIARIES.* .
The Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.--Isa. lix. 19,
The second doctrine I observed from the words was this, That it is the Spirit of the Lord that lifts up a standard, and drives back the enemy, when coming like a flood.
In discoursing upon this doctrine, I shall,
I. Speak a little of the standard-bearer, the Spirit of the Lord.
II. Of the standard which he lists up.
IV. Show how it is, or whence it is, the lifting up of the standard gives a repulse to the enemy, or drives him back, when coming like a flood.
V. Lastly, 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 ?
Quest. 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 grasshoppers."
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.”
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
• Preached Sabbath evening, at Burntisland, July 5, 1730,
the Father hath life in himself, so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself.” He has life in himself essentially and originally as the Father, he being the “true God, and eternal life;" and as Mediator, he has a life given him by the Father, by virtue of which he is the fountain of life to his mystical body, “the resurrection and the life.”
4. He is the Lord 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 vassals of this great Lord, they hold their crowns and sceptres of him. He casts the mighty out of his seat, 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 same in substance, 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 concerning 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 veil 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 farther than the revelation of the word leads them, have always run themselves into the bogs of Arian, Sabellian, or Socinian er
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 us. All the blessings of a Redeemer's purchase, all the goods of his testament, 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 the heirs of promise. And according to the
various parts of his work, in applying the purchased salvation, he gets several names in scripture; as,
Ist, He is sometimes called a reprover : John xvi. 8 “ When he is come, he will reprove the world of sin.” And his reproofs are so sharp and piercing, that they are compared to keen arrows, and a sharp "two-edged sword, piercing to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit.”
2dly, He is sometimes called a comforter : “ I will send the Comforter, and he shall teach you all things.” He is so called, because he “comforts them that mourn in Zion;" he gives “ the oil of joy for mourning, and the garments of praise for the spirit of heaviness.” His consolations are so strong that they make the lips of them that are asleep to sing.
3dly, He is sometimes called an advocate ; the word rendered a comforter, signifies also an advocate. He pleads the cause of Christ in the world, against all that dare to speak against him; he pleads his cause in the hearts of his people, against all the false surmises that Satan and an unbelieving heart are ready to suggest to his prejudice; and he acts the part of an advocate, by enabling us to plead and “ pray
with groans which cannot be uttered.”
4thly, He is sometimes called a wilness : John xv. 26: “He shall testify of me." The Spirit bears witness of Christ, partly by external revelation, partly by internal manifestation; hence called “ the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Christ.” He bears witness of the sonship of believers; he “ bears witness with our spirits, that we are the children of God:" he is in them a “spirit of adoption, enabling them to cry, Abba, Father."
5thly, He is sometimes called a remembrancer : John xiv. 26: “He shall bring to your remembrance whatsoever I have spoken unto you.” Our memories are like leaking vessels, let all the good words of Christ slip from us; but the Spirit will not let them slip; no, he keeps them for our use, and brings to remembrance with a fresh relish and savour in time of need ; and in that case the believer finds such a sweetness in the word, that he cannot but say with Jeremiah, “Thy words were found by me, and I did eat them, and they were unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart.”
6thly, He is sometimes called a teacher : “He shall teach you all things,” John xiv. 26. He teaches so, as no man ever taught; he is “an interpreter among a thousand ;" all the commentaries in the world are not able to give such a view of a word of scripture, as the Spirit of the Lord will do, when he opens it up in his own light; he makes the heart of the rash to understand wisdom.
7thly, He is sometimes called a guide ; “When the Spirit