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then withstand in the evil day, and come off the sield with honour : you must not only refolve, as 1 hope you have done in sincerity, that you will adhere to Christ, and the practice of your duty; but you must endeavour, through grace, to put these refolutions in practice, and stand on sirm ground in the hour of temptation. It is an irrefolute wavering temper and conduct, that encourages the attempts of Satan: whereas, a noble stand, aiul refolute resistance, will foon beat off, or prevent his-attacks. "Resist the "devil," fays the apostle James, " and he will fly "from you."
4. Above all, take the shield of faith, wherewith yc shall be able to quench all the siery darts of the wicked. Faith, I mean evangelical faith, is of the greatest use to a Christian in the hour of temptation: and hence; you see it is recommended to us, in a special manner, as the chief part of the Christian armour. It is compared to the foldier's shield, which he can turn every way, and on every side, to ward off the blows of the enemy. In like manner, the Christian by the lively exercise of faith in the promises of the covenant, and in the power and grace of his Redeemer, which is always ready to be sufsicient for him; can resist the most violent of Satan's temptations, and quench his siery darts. Above all, therefore, take the shield of faith. Meet every temptation with sull considence in a crucisied, but now living and exalted Saviour, with a sirm reliance on his all-sufficient grace; and this will blunt the edge of Satan's siery darts, fo that though they may strike, they shall not have force to hurt you.
5. You must take alfo the helmet of falvation, that is, hope, which has falvation for its object. It is thus that the apostle explains it. "Put on," fays he, "for "an helmet, the hope of falvation." The helmet, you know, desends the head, which is a principal part
of of the body. Thus a solid, well grounded hope ot salvation, a hope slowing from union with Christ, ami trust in him, will both purify the soul, and keep i; from being desiled by the suggestions of Satan. It will likewise encourage the Christian, and animat! him to a vigorous resistance. When Satan would tempt to despondency, hope makes us lift up our heads, and patiently wait for the salvation of God. In i word, it is of admirable use, in the whole course A our Christian warsare, to bear up the soul in its conflict with the powers of darkness, and make it hold cut to the end. Wait on the Lord, therefore; bed good courage, and he will strengthen your hearts.
6. You must take also the sword of the Spirit, whicli is the word of God. The sword, you know, is I very necessary piece of armour, of great use to a foldier in the day of battle, both for attack and desence. And such is the word of God to a Christian. It is called the sword of the Spirit, both because it was inspired by the Holy Spirit, and because he renders it efficacious and powersul, sharper than any two-edged sword. By it our blessed Saviour repelled the temptations of Satan. He said, "Thus it is written," and the tempter fled before him. This then is a weapon of proof, which the Captain of our salvation hath • tried with success, and by his own example recommends to our use. Acquaint yourselves, then, familiarly with the word of God, and especially let it dwell and rule in your hearts, that you may not only have it ready in the hour of temptation, but learn to use it with skill and address.
Lastly, To all these pieces of the spiritual armour you must add prayer, praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance. Prayer at all times is useful to Christians; but it is of singular advantage in time os temptation. It begets and maintains in the soul J noble magnanimity. It puts it, as it were, in ifTo" per posture for desence; and, through the intercession of Christ, is the means of procuring to it the almighty aids of the Spirit. If then you would stand against the wiles of the devil, and in the evil day, have recourse to God by prayer for his promised assistance. Apply to him as the disciples did, when they thought themselves in danger of sinking, " Lord, fave-us, of "we perishand this, not with the voice of diffidence, not in a cold and formal manner, but with an earnestness and importunity suitable to your danger. In a word, when at any time you are attacked by temptation, hft up your fouls to God, for his grace to be sufficient for you, that out os weakness you may be made strong, and wax valiant in right, and turn to flight the armies of the aliens.• SERMON XXIV.
Thus I have endeavoured to shew you the danger to which you are exposed by the temptations of Saran, and in what manner you are.to resist and withstand them, viz. by.putting on the whole armour of God. "Stand therefore," as good foldiers of Jesus Christ, "having your loins girt about -with truth j "and having on the breast-plate of righteousness, "and your seet shod with the preparation of the gos"pel of peace. Above all, take the shield of faith, "wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the siery "darts of the wicked one; and take the helmet of "falvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which ia "the word of God: Praying always with all prayer "and supplication in the spirit, and watching there"unto with all perseverance."
And know, for your encouragement, that if you thus stand against the wiles of the devil, and hold out to the end of your Christian warfare, God will at last bruise Satan under your feet, and bring you off more than conquerors through Him that loved you: To whom, with the Father, and Holy Spirit, be all praise, honour and glory, now and for ever. Amen.
ON THE NECESSITY AND MANNER OF DIVINI INFLUENCE.
Phil. ii. 13.—For it is Gad that nvorkcth in you, kA ttt njill arid to do of his good pleasure.
THE man who impartially examines the Christian religion, and surveys the many comfortable discoveries which are made in it, cannot but acItriowledge that it is persectly well calculated for accomplishing our recovery and salvation. Here, the •glorious method of our deliverance from sin and death, is clearly revealed; here, the Way to eternal life is fully displayed; and here, the noblest aids are asforded for enabling tis to begin our Christian race, for carrying us through all opposition, and, at last, leading us to the attainment of the glorious prize. It is the last of these discoveries which the apostle mentions in ths words of the text: " For it is God that worketh a ** you, both to will and to do of his good pleasure." • The apostle makes use of these words, as they stand in connection with the preceding verse, as a powersul argument to persuade the Philippians to use their utmost diligence in conquering the dissiculties of a religious lise, and thus securing their everlasting interests
rests. "Work out your own falvation," fays he, "with sear and trembling; for it is God that work"eth in you, both to will and to do of his good plea"sure." But we design to consider them as a detached portion of holy writ, containing that encouraging and important doctrine, the agency and assistance of the Holy Spirit afforded to good men under the Christian dispenfation. And in them we may. observethree things remarkable.
I. The Blessed agent employed in this work. It i$ God, or the Spirit of God, the third Perfon of the sacred Trinity, who was sent by Christ to bear the part which he sustains in the scheme of man's redemption, and to -pursue the glorious design oa which the Saviour came into the world, in applying the benesits of his death and purchase to the fouls of his people; for, what God is faid to do, in the work of our fanctisication, he does by his Holy Spirit.
2- The gracious operation performed by this Blessed agent. He works in his people both to will and t0 do; that is, he inclines them to that which is good and- well-pleasing to God, and enables them to 00 it. He works in them those holy dispositions, tnose divine qualities by which they are inwardly renewed and disposed to walk with God; and he affords them all'necessary aids for performing the various duties of the Christian and divine lise. In a wordv by his internal operation and assistance, he begins a good work in the foul, and carries it on to the highest P'tch of persection attainable in this impersect state.
3- The reafon assigned, why God thus works in his people to will and to do. It is of his own good pleasure; not for the fake of any previous worth or goodness in them. No; this can never entitle them to a|iy share in the influences of the Spirit, which are entirely a supernatural gift, unmerited by them, and a provision of fovereign grace for helpless sinners.
this is owing to His insinite mercy and free grace, 2 C 2 fen: