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out of the house, out of the will, out of the affections, out of all the forts where they strengthned themselves, and at last out of the world, when he' compleats his work of sanctification ; for He that bath begun the good work, will perfect it, Phil. i. 6. And sure there is no true hearted Ifaraelite here, but will say, Amen, Lord hasten the time when there nations of lust shall be driven out of my heart, and driven out of the world; Lord, let them be driven to hell with the devil their captain, and let me be quit of them for ever. Well, the day of their compleat extirpation is coming ; The Lord thy God will drive out these nations. But then,
Secondly, The manner of the conquest, here exprest, is visible and remarkable; he will drive them out before thee. I think this word may import the visible and remarkable manner of the conquest; and more particularly,
1. That the Israel of God get a sight of their enemies. These nations are in their view, while the Lord their God is driving them out, and while they through grace are led to the field of battle against them : He will drive them out before thee. They that never got a view of their fins and lusts, nor of the strength of their arms; that never saw their own corrupt pature, nor experienced the power of corruption in their hearts; they are yet living at their carnal café, in the midst of these nations, and upder the power thereof: They are alive without the law, Rom. vii. 2. The commandment hath not come, nor fin revived, to discover its strength to them : They are yet soldiers under the devil's banner: They have no: taken on with Christ: The battle with the nations is not yet begun; for they Deyer yer saw them, nor viewed their ítrength..
2. His driving out the nations before them, im, ports, that, through grace the Israel of God are made active herein. It is before thee they shall be driven out. Being acted by his grace, they act ; being armed by his spirit, they fight, and through the spirit mortify the deeds of the body. It is true, sometimes the Ísrael of God have nothing to do at all, but just to stand still, as it were, and see the salvation of God; to stand still, and see how the waters will divide to let them through, and how they will return to drown and overwhelm their enemies : But, for ordinary, their work is to go forward, in the name and strength of the Lord their God, and give battle to their enemies, that they may be destroyed before them, and under the banner of Christ Jesus the glorious captain of salyation, to fight the good fight of faith. Yea,
3. His driving out the nations before them, im, ports, that even when they are called to act and fight, they shall have no ground of boasting, but rather of blushing, when they consider what part it is that they act in this matter : For the Lord himself must be the agent; The Lord thy God will put out the rations before thee. Ifrael's captain goes before them, and leads the van: the Lion of the tribe of Judah must go before them, and tear their enemies 10 pieces : It is he that subdues the nations under them. He hath gone before them already, and had a blocdy battle with all the nations of hell upon mount Calvary; there he fought, and overcame principalities and powers; there he condemned sin in the flesh, and destroyed the strength of it, by nailing the law to his Cross, Col. ji. 14. And however the nations may rally their forces again, and seem formidable and dreadful, yet their Itrength being broken in
this bloody engagement, the believer hath no more to do in effect, but to hold up the red flag of the blood of Chrift by faith, and then he overcomes by the blood of the lamb, Rev. xii. 1. The great battle is already fought, and the great art of the believer, in all the lefser battles, lies in setting his captain before him saying, I'll go in the strength of the Lord; for in the Lord only bave I righteousness and Arength; viewing him as before them in the field, according to his promise, The Lord thy God will put out tbese nation's before thee.
4. It may import, that, as the Lord their God will make their enemies to flee before their face, so they shall be witnesses to the wonders of his power in overthrowing the nations in their way. The true Hracl of God dare hardly call themselves warriors against their enemies, but rather witnesses to the battle of the Lord, when he fights for them, and makes them overcome, and then gives them the name of conquerors, yea, more tban conquerors · through bim that loved them. He overcomes for them, and then crowns them as the overcomers, faying, To bime that overcomes, will 1 give to fit with me on my throne, &c. They are witnesses to his exploits against their enemies ; for his ordinary time of fighting remarkably for them, is, when their strength is gone ; and when he fees their power is gone, and there is none shut up or left, by reason of the power of their enemies, Deut. xxxii. 36. then he steps in, and takes vengeance on their enemies. And indeed the day of power is a day remarkable for victories over fin, Satan, the world, and the lusts thereof. Do you remember the day, believer, when you thought there was a legion of devils, a nation of lusts, an army of corruptions, a regiment of hell within you ;
but, behold, you got a view of the captain of fala vation ready to put out these nations before you, and you got grace to take hold of him, to believe in him, and so to turn to flight the armies of the aliens ? Are there not some remarkable times, when you got your feet set upon the neck of your lusts? By thee I have run through a troop, says David, Psal. xviii, 29. and by my God I overleap a wall. It is true, the conquest is not always remarkable ; for sometimes the nations compass them about like bees, and sting them, and torment them, and pres vail against them ; iniquities prevail against me, says David : Yet they never prevail so far, but that grace still renews the fight, and at last obtains the vidtory, tho’ yet, through many ups and downs, and fallings and risings, to’s and fro's, and changes. There
Thirdly, The manner of the conquest here exprest is gradual, by little and little. This is the main point here intended, with reference to the manner of the Lord's destroying the nation's: Therefore I would here; 1. Show what may be imported in this his putting out the nations by little and little. 2. By what several steps, strokes, or degrees, he puts out the nations in a spiritual fense.
ift, As to the import of this phrase, by little and little. ]. It says, that the Ifrael of God are not to expect that their spiritual enemies will be all vanquished at the first onset. Tho' the victory be begun whenever the soul gets into Christ, and under his colours who is the captain of salvation, yet the commencement of the spiritual war is not the compleatment thereof; nay, there may be many a battle before the war be at a close, and the victory compleat : For tho' the enemy hath got a dead
stroke, and tho' the nations of lusts, like the beast mentioned, Dan. vii. 12. Have their dominion taken away, yet their lives are prolonged for a season, which occasions the war to be prolonged. 2. By little and little, it imports, that the visible advantages over the nations of spiritual enemies may be very small: Israel may be at a time but holpen with a little help, Dan. xi. 34. and get a little reviving in their bondage, Ezra, ix. 8. a little victory at a time, a small advantage against the enemy: But, though it be small, yet the day of small things is not to be despised, Zech, iv. 10. for, as we say, many smalls make a great. Therefore, 3. The Lord's putting them out by little and little, imports, that tho' the several foils be small, yet they are successful; for by little and little the nations are thus put out and discomfited: Every new battle tends to the ruin ing of the enemy more and more. - Let not the believer say that nothing is done, because so little is done, and the enemy is yet alive.' O be thankful, if by little and little the Lord be putting them out, and gradually diminishing their forces. 4. By little and little, it imports the continuation and progress of the war, until there be a total extirpation of the nations. There may be an intermission of ftrokes, now a stroke and then a stroke given to the enemy; but no intermission of the war during the militant state, no proclamation of peace with the enemy, no league with any lust among the true Israel of God. Lusts may indeed rise and rage, and rally their forces again, even after they are routed, and a multitude of these nations may gather together; and the believer may be in great fears of the issue, left he be swallowed up and destroyed before them: till by faith he get a new recruit of