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molt secret enemies. You wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, and Spiritual wickednelles. And there are fpiritual lusts not easily discerned: If these be neglected, and more open enemies only noticed, it is as if one should gaze upon the smoke, and neglect the fire that is within; or as if one should gaze upon the ulcer, but never consider the corrupt humour within.
3. Having found out the enemy, and discerned where the strength of the nations lies, then set upon them, and endeavour through grace, to bring them into a consumption, and that both by frarving and storming of them. 1. By starving them. O starve them, and keep them from their food; Make no provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lufts thereof. Beware of every thing that may contribute to strengthen the nations. Say not a confederacy with them : Do not spare them, nor let their strong holds stand : Draw not up a league with them, nor border too near to them. It is said of Israel, The people fall dwell alone, and Mall not be reckoned among the nations. Keep not company with the wicked : Be not too much conversant with the world; many bury themselves by digging too deep there. 2. As by slarving, so by storming the nations. You are to consume them; and you ought to storm them, by bringing them under the battering engines of the gospel, under the stroke of God's word, which is the Sword of the Spirit; under the stroke of the blood of Christ, for we overcome by the blood of the Lamb; and under the stroke of the spirit of Christ, for, if you through the Spirit mortify the deeds of the body, you mall live.
4. Take all the advantages you can against the nations. Take advantage of the times and seasons : VOL. II.
Even when you are like to be overpowered with inward corruption, and under fear of falling one day by the hand of some strong lust, then get to the mighty power of Christ, and reinforce yourself, and resist; and in resisting, believe you shall overcome: Remembring for your encouragement, that the Almighty Captain stands within fight, when you are fighting in the valley; and he waits but a call from you when distressed in the battle, and he will come for your rescue. Jehofhaphat cried in the midst of the battle, and was helped ; how much more may you expect his aid in your fpiritual combat?
5. Watch against the nations, and resist the first onset of the enemy. Corruptions are the natives, and they are not wholly destroyed : If therefore you do not watch, nature will turn to her old bias, Native and natural inclinations are very forcible: As, bend the bough of a tree downward, if you let it go it will start up by and by ; so if you give up your watch, the nations will return and resume their power. Particularly, watch against, and resist the first motions of sin: If you stop not the current of a wicked motion, it will soon land in a wicked action ; for, When luft bath conceived, it brings forth fin, James i. 15. Great evils arise from small beginnings : One spoonful of water will quench that fire, which afterwards whole buckets cannot abate ; therefore it is a good rule, principiis obfta, resist the beginings of fin.
6 Put the nations in the hand of the Captain, that he may destroy them, and endeavour so to do, in the daily exercise of faith and prayer. O seek to the Lord Jesus, that he would avenge you of these Philistines, as in the parable of the unjust judge,
Luke xviii. 1. The parable was put forth for this end, that men ought always to pray and not to fainf. The judge there mentioned was one that feare God, nor regarded man: A widow comes to him, saying, avenge me of mine adversary; and through her importunity she prevailed with him: And Thall not God avenge his elect, that cry day and night to him? though he bear long, yet he will avenge them speedily: Therefore go to a God in Chrift, and cry, Lord, avenge me of my lusts, avenge me of my pride, avenge me of my unbelief, avenge me of my carnality, avenge me of mine enemies.
7. After all, rest not satisfied with any small victory obtained over the nations; Sit not down, as if you had no more ado: for the nations are not all dead and destroyed at once ; you will have them to fight with, as long as you are on this side of heaven : Enemies will up again, and therefore you must up again, and press forward to a compleat victory. As the body of fin and death remains while you are here, so, whatever particular lust you have been troubled with, you cannot expect a full and final victory over it while here, even though it hath been a mortified lust, a subdued lust. No doubt Peter got his feet upon the neck of his fin of denying his master, when he went out and wept bitterly, after Christ looked to him; yet even that fame corruption afterwards did stir in him, by a partial denying of his master, though not in the same degree ; as when Paul with tood him to the face, Gał. ii. 12. A particular corruption may through grace be subdued, and it may cease to ftir fo violently for a time, yet you cannot say that it is wholly killed, yea, it may afterwards I i 2
rise up as violently as ever : A lust that lay long dead may revive again, and therefore you little need to be secure, but much need to be sober and watchful, and still going on in the warfare, still depending on the Lord for new supplies of strength against new assaults. After one victory obtained, make ready for battle immediately; when something is done, look to the Lord to do more: After one stroke, seek another to be given : for it is by little and little the victory is obtained. Think not strange, therefore, though the nations rally their forces again and again, and be not discouraged thereupon ; but learn a daily, momentary, close and constant dependence upon the captain of salvation, the Lord Jesus Christ, that through him you may do valiantly. It is be that girdeth you with Arength, and súbdues the nations under you.
8. In order to pursue the nations to death, purfue the claim you have to the victory over them, in the use of all appointed means, with an entire dependence upon the Lord; not depending upon means, nay, nor yet depending upon sensible manifestations, nor relying even upon the graces of the fpirit, but upon the God of all grace; pleading your right and claim, by virtue of the divine promise, saying, Lord, haft thou not interposed thy faithfulness, thy word, thy oath; and is not thy promise sealed, sealed by the blood of Christ, fealed in the facrament of the supper? Hast thou not said, Solomon shall reign? though now, behold, Adonijah usurps the throne : Hast thou not faid, grace shall reign, and Sin shall not have the dominion? Behold how it usurps. Well, put him to his word, and pursue your claim. Surely the Lord will not
deny himself, nay, JEHOVAH-JIREH, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen : Though you have no strength, no might against this great multitude ; yet let your eyes be towards him, who is mightier than the noise of many waters, and who hath wrapt in your interest with his own glory; his own faithfulness and truth. Let your difficulties be never fo great, your enemies never fo. many, and their power never so invincible; it is not you they have to do with, but Christ : And can any thing be too hard for him? Wait on thy God continually who hath here promised to accomplish the warfare gradually ; The Lord. thy God will put out these nations before thee by little and little,