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him that overcometh, will I give power over the nations. Sometimes they get a little anointing of the oil of gladness wherewith Christ is anointed above his fellows, and then the joy of the Lord is their strength; and a little shower of the sanctifying and comforting influences of the spirit of Christ, for watering their graces, and drowning their corruptions. Sometimes they get a little look and blink of the kind and compassionate eye of Christ, even after a denial, as he gave to Peter ; and when they find him thus graciously looking to them, and kindly rebuking them, they go out and weep bitterly ; and while they are shedding the tears of faith, they are shedding the blood of their enemies. Sometimes they get a little back look upon an old experience of the Lord's putting the enemy to flight before them, saying, I will remember thee from the Land of Jordan and of the Hermonites, &c. Or a little back-look upon an old promise that the Lord gave them with power: And when they are helped to plead it, saying, Lord, remember the word on which thou hajt caused me to hope ; the enemy gets a new defeat. Sometimes they get a little opening of the door of hope in the valley of Achor, the lively hope of the heavenly Canaan through the resurrection of Chrift: And this hope is the finews of the holy war; for, as Hope makes not ashamed, so be that hath this hope, purifies bimself; and, according to the measure of this hope, is the measure of victory. Sometim: they get a little pull of the cord of love, so as to gee the love of God shed abroad upon their heart, 2011 then the love of Christ constrains thein ; the love the captain draws them to the field, where lo... the signal for war, Christ's love, I mean: Hi.." ner coer me was love, says the church. His ins: both leads the van, and fences the rear; and when 'the flame of his love to them kindles a flame of love in their hearts to him, then a faming sword is drawn in the face of the enemy, the banner of love beats down the nations. Again, they sometimes get a little fpiritual sense to carry on the fpiritual war : For instance, sometimes a little hearing of the voice of Christ, so as to know the sweet and powerful sound of it among a thousand voices; and then their heart leaps within them, saying, it is. the voice of my beloved; behold, he cometh skipping on the mountains, &c. Sometimes they get a little fight of God in Christ, and then they can endure hardship, as good soldiers of Christ ; thus they endure, as seeing him that is invisible, counting the reproach of Christ greater riches than all the treafures of Egypt. Sometimes they get a little touch of the hem of Christ's garment by faith, a little touch of his name, his offices, his blood, his righteousness, or whatever hem it be ; virtue comes from him to stop the bloody issue ; and stop the enemies motion. Sometimes they get a little taste that the Lord is gracious, and it is like the taste of Yonathan's honey-comb, the more they taste of the honey of free-grace, the greater is the slaughter they maké among the Philistines. Sometimes they get a little smell of the role of Sharon, and the lillie of the valley, and it restores their fainting foul : All Christ's garments are said to smell of Alloes, Myrrbe and Caffia; and the believer may be said to get a smell of the raiment, a smell of the rose, when Christ is precious to him above all things : And when all these spiritual senses are exercised, then they may be said to be exercising their arms, and
making havock among their enemies, and gaining
SIXTH HE A D.
the Lord their God, and he alone, does put out the nations before them? Why, he alone can do it, for he is the Lord; they would never be put cut, if he did it not; and he alone will do it, because he is their God, and thus stands engaged by promise and covenant to do so. The Lord thy God will put out these nations before thee. But, 2. Why will he do it fo gradually by little and little? Why does he let enemies without and within live to annoy his people? Seeing it is easy for him to destroy them all instantly, why will he destroy them gradually, by little and little? There is much of infinite wildom to be observed in this disposure; and therefore I would offer some particulars for representing the beauty of this method.
It, It is by little and little he put them out, without destroying them all at once, that by them he may prove his people, Judges ii. 22. Some Canaanites were still left remaining, to prove whether they will keep the way of the Lord: These Canaanites were enemies to their peace, enemies to their profeffion, that fought their bodies overthrow, and their soul's ruin ; and they are left to prove whether they will cleave still to God's command, or whether they will follow the abominations of the wicked. Observe it then, firs, we must expect to find enemies; outward enemies to the peace of the church, and to the truth of the gospel ; inward enemies to the graces and comforts of the soul: And this.combat thus continued in Israel, serves to prove whether our graces be counterfeit or not; for they only are true Israelites, that are still taking up arms against the devil, the world, and the Hesh, and all the nations of the Canaanites. By this then it is evidenced who are true Ifraelites, and who not.
2dly; It 2dly It is by little and little that he will put out the nations before Israel, that thus they may be still learning to exercise their arms : I mean, that their graces may be exercised, and particularly their militant graces. There are lome graces would be for little or no use, if no Canaanites and corruptions were left: The special use of faith, hope and patience, is for helping the believer to surmount the difficulties that are now in his way. Many other graces there are, that there would be no use for, if all our enemies and corruptions were destroyed at once. Triumphant graces, such as love and joy in their perfection, would make a perfect heaven; but there are militant graces, that must be exercised also, while we are on earth, and which there will be no use for in heaven: For example, if all wants were supplied fully, there would be no need of poverty of spirit ; if all fins were wholly destroyed, there would be no more need of godly sorrow; if death were already swallowed up of victory, there would be no need of the desire of death, nor of longing for heaven; if vifion were already come, there would be no need of faith, as it is a militant grace, fighting its way many times thro' doubts and fears, and want of sight and sense ; if fruition were come, there would be no need of hope; if all trouble were at an end, there would be no need of patience : But this Thield of faith, and helmet of hope, and other parts of the christian armour, must be exercised; therefore the nations are not wholly destroyed, but by little and little. Again,