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fruit to the praise and glory of God. O look to him who says, "I am a like a green fir-tree, from me is thy fruit found," Hofea xiv. 8.
(10.) Another fountain of fanctification, that God opens to us, is the fanctifying offices of Chrift. O look to every one of thefe offices, and you will find them. fprings of holiness and fanctification. Why, as a Prophet, he inftructs us in the way wherein we fhould go; as a Prieft, he purchaseth and procures grace and holinefs for us; and, as a King, he fubdues all our fpiritu al enemies, fin and corruption: yea, in all these parti.. cular offices, it is his general office to be a washer of polluted finners and polluted faints, as he faid to. Peter, "If I wash thee not, thou haft no part in me," John xiii. 8.
(11.) Another fountain of fanctification, that God hath opened to us, is the fanctifying example of Chrift, who hath faid, "Learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart," Mat. xi. 29.: which may import, both the en.. couragement we have to come to this fchool, because he is fuch a meek and condefcending Mafter, and alfo the leffon we are to learn of him, viz. that of meekness and lowlinefs." He hath left us an example, that we fhould follow his fleps," 1 Pet. ii. 21. It is true, fome will have Chrift to be only an example, and not a proper fa crifice to justice for our fins; but, "We have not fo learned Chrift." In vain do men fpeak of making Chrift a pattern for our imitation, if they do not own him alfo to be the propitiation for our fins.
(12.) Another fountain of fanctification, that God opens to us in the gospel, is the fanctifying victories of Christ, who came to destroy the works of the devil, 1 John iii. 8. and in whom we may be more than conquerors. We are to look to his victories, and be convinced of judgment to be executed upon Satan's works in us, becaufe the prince of this world is judged, John xvi. 11. By following the Captain of our falvation, we may expect to have all the works of wickedness in our fouls deftroyed, fin fubdued, and our hearts and lives fanctified.
Now, in order to the due improvement of these foun T3
tains of fanctification, that God hath opened to us, I fhall clofe with a caution or two.
1. Let us beware of neglecting the means, the outward means; fuch as, the inftituted ordinances of God, the word, facraments, and prayer; for thefe are fanétifying means. The word of grace is a fanctifying word; therefore, As new born babes, defire the fincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby," 1 Pet. ii. 2.
2. Beware of the careleis performance of and attendance upon the means of fanctification; for, in this world, it is the hand of the diligent that maketh rich: and, Curfed is he that doth the work of the Lord deceitful. ly," or NEGLIGENTLY, as in the margin. Beware f foth; for, what fruit can be feen in the garden of the fluggard? Yet,
3. Beware of laying weight upon the means, and depending upon them, as if they could work the effect. We tempt God, if we think to be fan&tified without the ufe of means, which he himfelf hath appointed; and we provoke him alf. if we depend upon them, as if fanctification were of them: whereas means can do nothing but as the principal agent is pleafed to make use of them, and to work by them. When we lean to means and inftruments, we provoke God to leave us, fo as we can find no advantage by them.
4. Beware of fighting the motions of the Spirit, or of grieving the Spirit, and quenching the Spirit. We may lofe the belt opportunities of thriving in fanétification, and improving thefe open fountains thereof, if we ftand not always ready to embrace the motions and breathings of the Spirit. And if we refit the Holy Ghoft, by whom the work of fanctification is begun and carried on, we have a hand in marring and retarding his work; efpecially if, by reftraining prayer, and by neglecting known duties, and living in known impiety, and confcience-wafting fin, we provoke him to be
Let us live under the conviction of the neceffity of holinefs, without which no man fhall fee God; under a conviction of our own utter inability to fanctify ourselves, and of this, that our fufficiency is only of God. Let us defpair
despair of doing any thing in our own' ftrength, knowing the treachery and deceitfulness of our own hearts, as deceitful above all things, and defperately wicked. And let us keep our eye fixed upon the all-fufficiency of Christ, as able to fave us to the uttermoft, and as made of God to us fan&tification. And, that we may be the more provoked to come to God in Chrift for falvation and fanctification, let us confider the pleafure and fatisfaction that he hath in faving and fanctifying of loft finners, and in feeing them come to him for life, salvation, and fanctification: it is promifed to Chrift, "He fhall fee the travail of his foul, and be fatisfied; and that the pleasure of the Lord fhall profper in his hand," Ifa. liii. 10, 11. His delights were with the children of men from eternity; and they are fresh in time when finners come in to him: their day of coming to, and believing in him, is the day of the gladness of his heart. Many a time have we grieved him by our fin and unbelief: O may we now give him a glad heart, by coming to him to be saved from our fin, and fanctified throughout and thus may we give evidence, that we believe that fanctification is of God, and that whatever relates to the new creation in Chrift, whether as to its commencement or advancement, continuation or confummation, these and All things are of God.
GAD the Conquered, yet Conquering TRIBE; OF, The Vanquished at first, the Victor at last.*
GEN. xlix. 19.
Gad, a troop fall overcome him; but be fall overcome at the laft.
JACOB is here upon his death bed making his wilk:
and though the eyes of his body were become dim, yet the eye of his mind was enlightened to see what would befal his children, and to prophefy their lot. The twelve fons of Jacob were men of renown: but the twelve tribes of Ifrael that defcended from them, and were denominated by them, were yet more renowned. We find their names upon the gates of the new Jerufalem.
From the third verfe of the chapter, we have the predictions concerning each tribe: this verfe is concerning GAD; and the prediction is in allufion to the name Gad, which fignifies, A troop. Jacob forefaw that they were to be a warlike tribe: and fo we find they were, I Chron. xii. 8. The Gadites, it is faid, were men of might; men of war fit for the battle, that could handle fhield and buckler, whofe faces were like the faces of lions, and
*This Sermon was preached at Stirling, on Monday, June 1740. being the thanksgiving day after the facrament of the Lord's Supper.
were as fwift as the roes upon the mountains." He forefaw, that the situation of that tribe, on the other fide Jordan, would expofe it to the excurfions of the neighbouring enemies, the Moabites and Ammonites. And here two things are told about them.
1. Something for their humiliation, to prevent their pride; A roop fhall overcome bim. That they might not be puffed up with their ftrength and valour, they are told that the troops of their enemies fhould in many fkirmishes overcome them: A troop fhall overcome him.
2. Something for their confolation: to prevent their difcouragement by their defeat, be affures them that they fhould overcome at the laft; which, accordingly, was fulfilled, when, in Saul's time and David's, the Moabites and Ammonites were wholly fubdued. See for this, 1 Chron. v. 18,-22. "The fons of Reuben, and the Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh, of valiant men, men able to bear buckler and fword, and to shoot with bow, and skilful in war, four and forty thoufand seven hundred and threefcore that went out to the war. And they made war with the Hagarites, with Jetur, and Nephish, and Nodab. And they were helped against them; and the Hagarites were delivered into their hand, and all that were with them: for they cried to God in the battle, and he was intreated of them, because they put their truft in him. And they took away their cattle;of their camels, fifty thousand; and of fheep, two hundred and fifty thoufand; and of affes, two thousand; and of men, an hundred thousand. For there fell down many flain, for the war was of God. And they dwelt in their fteads until the captivity." Thus it was accomplished what Jacob here foretold of Gad, A troop Shall overcome him, but he fhall overcome at the laft.
Now this, together with all other fcriptures, is given for our inftruction, and reprefents the cafe and lot of God's church and people to the end of the world. Hence I deduce the following obfervation.
DocT." That the Ifrael of God may, for a time, be "baffled, vanquished, and defeated by troops of enemies and oppofitions; yet, they fhall be "victorious at last.”