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old. Art thou not it, that cut the pride of nature to pieces, and wounded the old dragon? O my God, magnify thine arm in subduing every sin. Thou seest my naked heart, and its sighings are not hid from thee. My corruptions are indeed my cross; and they would have been a sore burden, too heavy for me to bear, if the curse had not been taken out of them. But still, pardoned as they are, yet in this tabernacle I do groan, being burdened. I believe the day is coming when I shall have perfect and eternal freedom from sin and sorrow. The first fruits of this only, make me long the more for the blessed harvest. But I desire to wait
in hope, bearing my cross, till thy will be done. O Lord, make me willing to resist, give me power to overcome, indwelling sin, till the day of redemption, and mortality be swallowed up of life. Hear me, my good God, and answer me, for thy name's sake; to the glory of Father, Son, and Spirit, the three in one Jehovah, to whom my heart now bows in worship, and my soul hopes soon to join the song of never-ceasing praise. Amen, and Amen.
The believer fights the good fight of faith, and goes forth conquering and to conquer.
WH HEN the believer has been disciplined under the cross, and has learned to bear it with patience, the Captain of his salvation has other exercises for him. He has chosen him to be a soldier, and he intends to teach him to endure hardness. His life in Christ is one continued battle not only against flesh and blood, but also against principalities and powers of earth and hell: he cannot discover their stratagems, nor overcome their assaults, but by being strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. His warfare is therefore to be carried on entirely by faith. The principles before laid down must be brought into use. What the Spirit of God had discovered to him of his salvation in Jesus, is to be tried in every battle; and if it be maintained, it will be improved. If he hold fast the confidence of his faith, he will
behave like a good soldier. If he always take up arms in absolute dependence on the divine General, to give him courage, to order him how to attack his enemies, to bestow strength upon him daily to resist them, then victory will be certain. Yea, he will be invincible while he stands strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. He will meditate upon the principles which he had been taught of God, and will find peace in his own conscience, and joy in his heart, by bringing them into daily experience.→ His believing views of the warfare to which he is called will be such as these→→
I am, through sovereign grace, called to fight under the banner of Jesus-He has not left me to fight as uncertainly, but he has conquered all mine enemies for me, and he has undertaken to conquer them all in me. It is true, I am weak; but my Redeemer is strong; the Lord of hosts is his name. He has saved me from my sins, from the shame and pain of them, from the wicked one, and the wicked world; from the curse of the law, and from the wrath of God. He has
given me a divine righteousness for my justification, and in it I am accepted before the throne: he has put it upon me for ornament and defence—it is a garment of salvation--which cannot be lost upon earth, and which will shine with never-fading beauty in heaven. The Father is perfectly reconciled, and loves me with a love that passes knowledge. I believe it. God is on my side: I need not fear what any enemy can do unto me. He has taken me into his protection. By his alwise counsel I am guided; by his almighty arm I am defended. My battles are the Lord's. Indeed, mine enemies are many, and they are too cunning and too mighty for me. But why do they now fight against me? Is it not because God is my friend? They hate me because he loves While I lived in friendship with them, and was at war with God, they were always trying to make me happy: but ever since I fled to Jesus for refuge, and sought redemption in his blood, they have taken up arms against me: and they have raged more furiously since I was enabled to believe in
him. But I have no reason to fear their op position. With them is an arm of flesh, but with me is the Lord my God to help me, and to fight my battles. I may therefore go to my daily warfare in faith, regarding the commands, waiting for the fulfilling of the promises of my God, and relying upon ⚫the provision which he has made for my present and for mine eternal victory.
Are thy meditations, O my soul, like these upon the Christian warfare? Examine thyself. If thou art at peace with God, thou must expect war. It is unavoidable. If it be in thy heart to please him who hath chosen thee to be a soldier, then all the powers of wickedness will be in arms. Night and day, with never-ceasing rage, they will pursue thee. Deep-laid plans will be formed, and fierce assaults will be made against thy true happiness. They will be attempting, so long as thou art in the world, by some cunning or force, to draw thee from thy God. Thy life, from henceforth, is to be one continued battle. Thy victory depends every moment upon holding fast thy confidence in