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art to fight the good fight of faith, as a soldier of Jesus. Thy present state exposes thee to enemies. Being born again of the Spirit, thy flesh lusteth against thee, and thou feelest it, art groaning under it, and striving against it. The strong man, Satan, who heretofore kept thee in possession, when thou wast at peace with him, is now cast out by Jesus; therefore he besieges and attacks. The world with its vanities, its children with their smiles and frowns, promises and threatenings, animated by “the God of this world,” are at war with thee; because thou art not of this world, but of the kingdom of Jesus.
That this combined power opposes thee, is a scriptural mark that thou art born of God. That thou art at war with them, is an evidence, a happy evidence, of the life of thy soul, and of thy faith in and love to Christ. Rather let this strengthen thy confidence than deject thy mind. Was it any proof that Jesus was not the Son of God, because Satan tried to make him question it, and tempted him to idolatry, covetousness, and self-murder ? did this destroy his hope and peace in his God and Father? Nor need Satan's temptations interrupt thine. Thy God knows thou art conflicting with Satan. It is his good pleasure to permit it for a season. Yea, he knows also, thou canst not bruise Satan, much less overcome him. Natural men are ready to ask, What is this bruising of Satan? we see no need of it. No; it is because they lie fast asleep in his arms. But those who are awake, and flee from him, he ever tries to distress. But, О christian, here is thy comfort, Jesus hath bruised the serpent's head. Thy assurance of victory lies in the almighty power of Jesus, and the faithful promise of thy Father. Look up with confidence. For as sure as Satan's head is bruised, thy God, who is at peace with thee, is at war with every enemy that is against thee. Fight with courage. He will strengthen thee to stand against, yea more, give thee perfect victory over, all the powers of darkness, all the malice of hell. As a vanquished foe, thou shalt tread Satan under thy feet shortly. “Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not ; behold, your God will come with vengeance, (against the enemy,) he will come and save you," Isa. xxxv. 4.
Dec. 28.–Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ.—Rom. xiii. 14.
Man is an active being. Happiness is his pursuit. “ Who will show me any good ?" his continual inquiry. But to seek it from wrong objects, his constant practice. Hence, naturally, we are ever restless and uneasy. The new-born soul alone has found the centre of true felicity, real good, and permanent happiness, in the knowledge and enjoyment of his Saviour! Here paradise is regained; a heaven of bliss restored to his soul. It is the peculiar glory of the gospel, it ever presents a precious object to our minds, even Christ, from whom alone we derive peace of conscience, joy of heart, and transport of soul. Is there, believer, a day in the year, an hour in the day wherein thou wouldst pray to be excused from putting on the Lord Jesus Christ, as the perfection of thy nature, and the adorning of thy soul ? surely not. •As “one made alive from the dead,” the Holy Ghost, by the word, stirs up thy "pure mind, by way
of remembrance." Thou art not called to dream over dry, heathenish lectures on morality; nor, from philosophic rules, to acquire this and the other habit of virtue; neither art thou left to licentious liberty, to make provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof. But it is to be the daily exercise of thy believing mind to put on the Lord Jesus Christ, as the essence of every virtue; for in this consists all thy present comfort and holiness. And by this, thou wilt become dead to all the pleasing, inviting objects that stand so thick around thee, to beguile thy mind, and draw thy heart from its best Friend.
The misér calls his gold his own, it is his god. Honce he exercises all his affections upon it, and derives all his happiness from it. The man of pleasure is in continual search after the enjoyment of new delights, from the gay surrounding objects of a perishing world. Infinitely greater blessings are christians called to. O believer, Jesus is thine. In the exercise of thy mind and the affections of thy soul, put on thy Lord continually, as thy righteousness, strength, riches, pleasure, honour, thy glory, and thy all. Oppose Christ to all the pleasures of the world; to all the delights of sense ; and every scene of vanity. Put on Christ in thy conscience; there plead the atonement of his precious blood, against the guilt of sin; the perfection of his righteousness, to every demand of the law; the prevalency of his intercession, against all thy fears; the freeness and fulness of his promises, against all thy doubts. Boldly withstand every accusation from Satan with, Christ hath died, yea, rather, is risen again ; and ever lives to make intercession for us : 66 Who is he that condemneth ?” Rom. viii. 34,
Dec. 29.-The end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.—1 Pet. iv. 7.
Yesterday we were born. To-day we live. To-morrow we die. The sum total of human life is justly calculated by the hoary-beaded patriarch, Jacob, Few and evil have the days of the years of my life been," Gen. xlvii. 9. A truth this that lies level with the common observation and judgment of all men ; but is admitted into the regenerate heart and conscience only, with that importance it possesses, so as suitably to affect the mind, and influence the conduct. Hence, the absolute necessity of divine faith; the continual need of exercising our meditations upon the certain approaching dissolution of all things. So we learn to die daily, to the perishing objects of time and sense; and to live like ourselves, immortal inhabitants of a city
that hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. To live and lean upon our beloved Jesus, as the stay of our soul, and the strength of our hope, is true happinéss. While all things below perish in the using, invisible realities ripen in prospect, and most powerfully engage our affections, because they are durable and eternal. Hence, the soul is excited to watchfulness, that he may stand; to prayer, that he may be kept; and to sobriety, that he may persevere. O believer, thou knowest drunkenness and whoredom are great sins; but know also, the cares, riches, pleasures, and honours of this world as really intoxicate the mind, and cause the heart to be guilty of spiritual adultery, against thy loving bridegroom Jesus, as outward, gross sins do the body. What need, what daily need hast thou to watch constantly, be sober continually, and pray alway! Pride is contrary to sobriety of judgment of thyself. Lust and intemperance are inconsistent with the soundness of thy faith, the stability of thy hope, and the exercise of thy love. These are ever at hand to beset thee. Say, therefore, when canst thou dispense with a watchful frame of spirit? when intermit in prayer to and dependence on thy God; sweet exercise of watching unto prayer for divine power; in prayer, for sweet enlargements; after prayer, for a com. fortable answer from our Lord ? Ever may this just reflection be on thy mind, when tempted or inclined to cast in thy lot with the carnal, and to indulge thyself in attending the bewitching scenes of sin, folly and vanity: am I now acting like one who knows the end of all things is at hand? do I behave as one in his right mind ? am I watching unto prayer ? can I desire, pray for, and expect the sense of Jesus' love and presence to be with me? Remember thy calling : it is to love and live upon an unseen Jesus; and to act as daily expecting to receive the end of thy faith, the salvation of thy soul, 1 Pet. i. 9.
Dec. 30.—But thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.—1 Cor. xv. 57.
Death, though conquered and disarmed of its strength and sting, by our victorious Lord, so that it cannot destroy, or even wound or hurt the soul of any one of his dear members; yet is still an enemy, a formidable, disagreeable enemy to nature. When left to our natural conceptions, death appears to us with the grim visage of “the king of terrors.” We cannot get rid of our fears; nor are we able to make him put on a more amiable aspect. But when, in the simplicity of little children, we go to our heavenly Father, and tell him how we are affrighted and terrified at the thought and approach of this dreadful enemy, he drives away our fears and terrors, and relieves our minds. But how does our affectionate Father effect this? by telling us we are perfect and sinless, and therefore have overcome death, we shall never die, we have nothing to fear, death cannot hurt us? No. Though we are sinners in ourselves, and as such must die; though we are without strength, to grapple with and subdue this powerful enemy; and though our bodies must fall victims to his stroke, yet, "praise the Lord, O my soul; praise him, all his saints; he giveth us the victory. He puts songs of triumph into our hearts and lips; not for what we have done, but our Father refers us to the glorious achievements of our elder Brother Jesus. He bath obtained a perfect conquest for all the children of his Father's famnily; and victory is not only proclaimed but given. Jesus is the unspeakable gift of the Father's love; victory over death is given through him : faith to believe it in the heart, and triumph over it in the conscience, is his free gift also. Thus the Spirit testifies of and glorifies Jesus. Thus his members rejoice in the truth, and are comforted by the truth.
Death was brought into the world by the father of lies. He is vanquished and destroyed by Jesus, who is essentially the truth. “The soul that sinneth shall