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suffered being tempted, that he might be able to succour them that are tempted. Let the distressed and afflicted Christian trust his compassionate Master in the darkest moment. He will assuredly cover his head in the day of battle.
Recollect again, that this petition implies that YOU FIGHT UNDER THE EXPRESS NOTICE AND APPROBATION OF THE CAPTAIN OF YOUR SALVA
Now the sight of the leader animates the soldier. Our almighty Saviour not only permits every temptation, but he notices and assists the humblest efforts of his sincere servants. He looks upon them with love ; observes how the battle proceeds; watches every movement of the foe; listens to the prayer of the wearied combatants—he hears their cry and will save them.
Consider, also, even when temptation has prevailed, that THE BLOOD OF THIS SAME DIVINE SAVIOUR CLEANSETH
In the hour of conscious weakness, and defeat, and disquietude, let the atoning sacrifice of your Saviour be yonr comfort. Plead his death; apply his reconciliation; and rely upon his righteousness. The defilement which you contract will not be deadly, whilst in daily repentance and faith you wash in this fountain opened for sin and for uncleanness.
Forget not, further, that ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER FOR YOUR GOOD, if you love God and
are called according to his purpose. The trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, will be found unto praise and honour and glory. These sharp temptations may serve to humble you, to promote watchfulness, to teach you dependence on grace alone, to show you what you are; to produce experience of the divine goodness and faithfulness, to exalt the Saviour in
your esteem, and to prepare you for the peace and holiness of heaven.
Lastly, LOOK FORWARD TO THE HOPE OF VICTORY. You shall soon, if humble and faithful, be made more than a conqueror through Him that hath loved you. Hold on in your course. To him that overcometh, saith the Saviour, will I give to sit down with me on my throne, even as I have overcome, and am set down with my
f Father on his throne. Blessed is the man that endureth temptation, for when he is tried he shall receive the crown of life which the Lord hath prepared for them that love him. God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth. Soon you shall say, with the triumphant Apostle, I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith; henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day, and not to
me only, but to all them that love his appearing. Look upwards to the heavenly host, and ask with St. John, Who are these which are arrayed in white robes, and whence come they? The answer shall be and let it animate you in all your
trials—These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple, and He that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more ; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters; and God'shall wipe away all tears from their eyes,
THE TENDENCY OF ALL EVENTS TO THE
PHILIPPIANS, 1. 19. For I know that this shall turn to my salvation,
through your prayer, and the supply of the
Spirit of Jesus Christ. The consideration of the providence of God, which orders all the events of the world, is a source of consolation to the sincere Christian. He finds himself often in the inidst of difficulties, from which no human prudence can deliver him. His most sacred designs for the divine glory are at times impeded and frustrated. The perverseness of the adversaries of true religion, combines with the mistakes of its friends and the imbecility and defects of his own mind, to involve him in perplexity. Under such circumstances, his relief is in the wise and gracious care of his heavenly Father, who knows and who controls all the affairs of his servants, and who can bring order and success out of the confused and apparently inextricable tumult of human passions.
This appears to have been the resource of St. Paul in the peculiar aflictions to which the text refers. He was at the time when he wrote it, a prisoner at Rome, for the name of Jesus Christ. Some false apostles took this opportunity of opposing his designs, undermining his authority, and sowing divisions in the church. To this end they preached Christ out of envy and strife, aiming to promote contention even by the Gospel of peace. Possibly they were teachers who concealed some part of their real sentiments, and preached for a time the substance of the Gospel, in order to form a party against the Apostle, and gradually impose the Mosaic ritual on the Gentile converts. In these painful trials, St. Paul remained unmoved. He rejoiced that, notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence or in truth, Christ was preached. This satisfied him as to the effect produced upon other persons: and as to himself, he knew it would help forward his final salvation by promoting his humility, spirituality, and meetness for heaven, through the ardent prayers of the Philippians on his behalf, and the gracious supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Thus in both respects he had just reason to leave every thing. without extreme solicitude, in the hands of God. His earnest expectation and his hope were, that he should in nothing be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so then also, Christ