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vercome them; and therefore, they ought not to be fe cure, but watchful; they ought not to be proud, but humble; they ought not to be lazy, but active; they ought not to faint, but to fight. Spiritual action is the first, the fecond, the third, and the laft part of a Chriftian. Religion is no eafy bufinefs; nor is it enough to begin well in the way of God: unlefs we hold on, we cannot be victorious: "He that endures to the end, fhall be saved." It is dangerous to fit down and make a truce with the enemy, or go into a ceffation of arms. Yea, it is dangerous to parley with temptation, and to reafon with the devil, whether you fhould venture on fuch a fin or not; though you fhould muller up arguments, you may find the devil is a better politician than you: his agents alfo, that oppose God's work and caufe, may defeat you in point of policy; and reafon more ftrongly against the caufe of Chrift, than you can do for it: they may filence you in difpute; but, it were beft for you in fuch a cafe, to fay with the woman, that fpake with the spirit of a martyr," Indeed, I cannot difpute for Chrift; but I can "burn for him." So may you fay, when unable to answer fubtile adverfaries, Though I cannot reafon and argue for Christ, yet I will fight for him, witnefs for him, I will do for him, I will fuffer for him; and, thro' grace, I will die for him.

7. Is it fo, as in the fecond branch of the doctrine, that the true Ifrael of God fhall overcome at laft? Hence fee then, matter of examination and trial. Let us fearch and try if we be of the tribe of Gad, that however conquered for a while, fhall overcome at laft. See if you be, in a spiritual fenfe, what Gad was in another. The tribe of Gad was a warlike and a wrestling tribe, a valiant and a victorious tribe, 1 Chron. v. 18. 20. xii. 8. Try then what Spirit you are of.

(1.) Have you got a warlike fpirit; a difpofition for the holy war againft fin, Satan, and the world? If so, then you have feen yourself by nature, to be a flave to thefe enemies, a flave to your lufts, a flave to Satan, and a drudge to the world; you have found the curfed chain of fin, dragging you downward, downward, downward! You have feen yourfelf in prifon and bondage


to fpiritual enemies, and would have given a thousand worlds to be out of the prifon, out of the houfe of bondage. Next, you have got a view of the glory of the Captain of falvation, fo as to embrace him as your General, and come under his colours, knowing that there is no fighting, no overcoming, but by his ftrength; "Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, faith the Lord." Have you got a Spirit of warfare, fo as to commence and carry on a perpetual warfare against fin, and never to be at peace with it?

(2.) The tribe of Gad was a wrestling tribe, they wrestled with their enemies, and they wrestled with God, like their father Jacob, for victory over their enemies: hence it is faid of them, and the rest who joined with them, Chron. v. 20. “ They cried to God in the battle, and he was intreated of them; because they put their trust in him." Try if you have a wrestling spirit; know you what it is to wrestle with God for the bleffing; to wrestle with God for victory over your lufts? And as it was the Lord's battle, that the tribe of Gad fought against the enemies of God; fo, fee what fide you are upon, for only thefe that are upon God's fide, upon Chrift's fide, upon truth's fide, fhall be overcomers, and at laft victorious.

8. Hence fee matter of terror to the enemies of God, and of his people, who are fighting against God, and his work, caufe, and intereft; though they fhould overcome at first, yet they fhall be overcome at laft. If the children of God, and his cause amongst their hands, shall overcome at laft, then you fhall be overcome at last; though you should fight and prevail for a while, you fhall be dreadfully defeat at laft. If you continue in the enemies camp, fighting with the dragon and his angels, against Michael and his fight as you will, you shall be destroyed at last. The last enemy to be destroyed is death;" but you may be amongst the first enemies to be deftroyed. If you remain, O finner, an enemy to the Son of God, know, that he is manifefted to deftroy the works of the devil; and all the inftruments of the devil, that are workers for him; they are all devoted to deftruction: "The enemies of the Lord fhall be as the fat of



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rams, they fhall confume; into fmoke fhall they confume away." God hath promifed to Chrift, that his enemies fhall lick the very duft; and that he will plague them that hate him. You may think that you carry the day, and carry all before you, when you get the minifters and people of God opprefled; the witneffes killed; paftors fet to the door; and people fet to the field: but yet a little while, and Zion will be a burdenfome ftone to her enemies; they that fall under the weight of it, fhall be grinded to powder; for, "God fhall arife, as in mount Perazim; and be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon. When he whets his glittering fword, and his hand takes hold of judgment, he will render vengeance to his enemies, and will reward them that hate him."

You thall be overcome at laft: though you be of the troop that overcomes the tribe of Gad a thoufand times, yet you fhall be overcome at laft, even though you miftake, and think you are doing good fervice to God, while madly perfecuting them. It may aggravate their trial at the time, that you pursue them as enemies to God, and disturbers of Ifrael, and fuch as turn the world upfide down; but it fhall aggravate your torment, that, under a profeffion of religion, you was an enemy to religion; that, in the name of God, you fought against God; that you hated and perfecuted God's caufe and people; and you faid, Let the Lord be glorified. What fhame and confufion will God rub upon fuch actions, and fuch agents for the devil? The countenance and authority of corrupt Judicatories and General Assemblies, will be a poor defence, when you are arraigned for counteracting the great God. What fhall become of magiftrates that fit upon the throne of God, abufing civil authority, by oppofing themselves to the work of God? And, what fhall we think of minifters, who fit in the temple of God, exalting themselves above the heritage of God, oppreffing and fcattering them * ? This antichriftian fpirit is devoted to deftruction


Alluding to fuch in civil power, at this time, who oppofed a teftimony for truth, and oppreffed those who favoured it; and to fuch minifters, who oppreffed the Lord's people, in the affair of patronage, formerly obferved, Vol. V. p. 298, 351. 389. 419.


and perdition, 2 Theff. ii. 3, 4. Let all wicked finners, who continue in. fin and rebellion against God, know, that it is hard for them to kick against the pricks: they make war with the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them, and oblige them to cry with the apoftate emperor Julian, Vicifti, O Galilea.

9. Hence fee matter of comfort to all the followers of the Lamb, that cleave unto him, and to his name, truth, and caufe; for it is fure, the oppreffed caufe and heritage of God fhall get up their head, however long they be run down: they fhall not be always under the hatches of depreffion, or apprehenfion from enemies: no; they fhall overcome at the laft: "The rod of the wicked fhall not always reft upon the lot of the righteous," Pfal. cxxv. 3. The poor believing foul may be crying, Oh! I am overcome; overcome with a troop of lufts and corruptions, a troop of devils and temptations, a troop of enemies within and without: but raife up your head and heart, believer, in the faith of this, that you fhall overcome at last. Your victory over fin and Satan, death and hell, is fecured by the word and wath of God, the two immutable things, by which it is impoffible for God to lye.-It is fecured by the death, refurrection, and exaltation of your captain, Jefus Chrift; because he lives, you fhall live ; and because he hath overcome, you fhall overcome: "He was dead and is alive, and lives for evermore; and hath the keys of hell and death."-It is fecured by his victories, his blood, and his interceffion; this can answer all challenges of the adverfaries; "Who can lay any thing to the charge of God's ele&? It is God that justifieth, who is he that condemneth? it is Chrift that died; yea, rather that is rifen again, and fitteth at the right hand of God."-Victory is fecured by God's covenant with Chrift your head, in whom it ftands faft, and by the love the Father bears to the Son, our fhield; "My loving-kindnefs will I not take away from him. If his children break my law, and walk not in the way of my commandments; I will vifit their iniquities with the rod, and their tranfgreffions with ftripes: nevertheless my loving-kind nefs will I not take from him, nor fuffer my faithfulness to fail," Pfal. lxxxix. 30,-33. Victory is fecured to you

you by the inhabitation of the Spirit of Chrift; "But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jefus from the dead, dwell in you; he that raifed up Chrift from the dead, fhall alfo quicken your mortal bodies, by his Spirit that dwelleth in you: for, if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die; but if ye through the Spirit, mortify the deeds of the body ye fhall live," Rom. viii. 11. 13.—It is fecured by the earneft of the victory already given: fome gracious experiences are the earneft of the glorious victory; fuch as, grace to hate fin, and yourfelf for it; grace to pray and plead the promise against it; grace to rejoice in Christ, and in the hope of being for ever with him: grace to hope against hope, that you fhall overcome, becaufe the victory is of the Lord; grace to efteem heaven on this account, because it is a place of perfect victory and freedom from fin.

Victory is fecured; but, alas! when shall it be? Why, you fhall overcome at laft: you may be fure of it, 1. At the laft extremity; for, "In the mount of the Lord it fhall be feen, the Lord will provide." 2. At the laft battle you may be fure of it; for, "The battle is the Lord's." 3. At the last breath; for then your warfare fhall be accomplished; and death will bring down the house upon the Philistines, and flay them all. 4. At the last day; for then the victory will be complete, not only over death, which shall be swallowed up in victory, but over the grave, which, till then, detains the duft of the faints, as an evidence that victory over the grave was not till then confummate. But, "The Spirit of him that raised up Chrift from the dead, fhall then quicken our mortal bodies," that foul and body may for ever triumph together in him, that made them more than conquerors. It is faid, “The righteous fhall have dominion over them in the morning." Thus you fhall overcome at the laft.

10. Hence fee matter of exhortation and direction; in a word, first to the enemies, and then to the friends of God.

(1.) You that are the enemies to God, and his caufe and people, joined with the troops of hell that are in arins against heaven. Alas! Sirs, throw down your rebellious arms! We, as ambaffadors for Chrift, would pray you, in Chrift's ftead, to be reconciled unto God.


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