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earest for me. O daily crucify the world to me, and · me to it, that when its offers stand in competition with
thy love, I may have grace to reject them. In this holy war carry me on glorifying him who hath called me to be a soldier. Grant me this for Jesus sake, Amen, and Amen.
The believer marches on resisting and overcoming the
wiles and the assaults of the tempter. : SATAN is a continual adversary. He rebelled against the sovereign will of the most high in heaven and was cast out. As soon as man was formed, he began to tempt him to rebel against God, and he succeeded. Ever since the revelation was made of the divine purpose to redeem sinners, he has set himself up against it, and with impotent rage opposed it. He is always trying to hinder sinners from coming to the Saviour, and when they are come to him, to hinder them from living by faith upon his fulness. On the side of Satan are principalities and powers, combined armies and united legions of apostate spirits--formidable to man for their number-more so for their subtlety and cunning they have stratagems and wiles, depths of skill to deceive-in which they are so successful that they have deceived the whole world. Their courage is desperate. They fear nothing: for they were mad enough to take up arms against the Almighty. No wonder then that they should be unwearied in their attacks against man. They are always upon the watch-ready as one temptation fails to present another. Their strength is very great they are called principalities and powers rulers and princes-yea the god of this world; because they work as they please in the children of disobedience; whom they keep so fast bound in the chains of sin, that
no human arm can break them asunder. And it is the only joy they know—the joy of hell—to rivet the chains of sin upon these poor captives, till they bind them in everlasting chains of darkness.
These, O my soul, are thine enemies. They had drawn thee into their rebellion, and they are still trying to draw thee into their torments. They have free access to thy fallen nature. They know how to make use of the objects in the world to work upon thy senses, and to stir up evil thoughts. They have fiery darts always at hand to throw at thy faith, and rest not night and day in attacking thy peace and happiness in Jesus.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me bless his holy name for undertaking to save thee from those enemies. The love of the Father gave his Son to be the woman's seed-Jehovah incarnate-for his people. In their nature he was to bruise the head of the serpent : his cunning, his poison, and all his power to hurt, lie in his head: when this is bruised, he is defeated, the battle to be fought was foretold, and the victory to be won was promised to Adam ; and by faith in it, he and all the redeemed in the Old Testament conquered Satan. In the fulness of time God was manifest in the flesh: he came to destroy the works of the devil. Sin is his great work; by it he drew man from God, and by it he keeps man from God. Immanuel begun the destruction of the works of the devil by taking human nature. His manhood was perfectly holy-it had not, it could not have, any sin : because God was in Christ. • There was every thing in his holy life, which the law could require. He obeyed all its precepts with uninterrupted conformity, and being co-equal and co-eternal with the Father his obedience was therefore divine, absolutely complete, and infinitely sufficient to justify for ever. He was tempted indeed, but he overcame every temptation. He defended Satan in all his attempts, insomuch that when he was entering upon the last scene
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In this faith, O my soul, thou art called upon to take up arms against the old serpent. Thou art to fight against him under the banner of Jesus-a name terrible to the devil and his-angels. Trusting to the victory of Jesus for thee, and to the strength of Jesus working in thee, thou art daily to bring him honour and renown. How safe, how blessed is such a warfare ! Thou hast the wisdom of thy God and Saviour to discover to thee the wiles of Satan. Trust to it, 0.my soul. Leave thyself simply to his direction; and although Satan be subtle and cunning-although he has depths of policy, and plans out of number, yet thou shalt not be ignorant of his devices. Thy allknowing Saviour will detect his plots, and turn the council of that Ahitophel, into folly. And if he attack thee as a roaring lion, yet fear him not. Thy Redeemer is strong. He has bruised the serpent's head; resist him in faith, and thou shalt bruise it also. Lean on the arm of thy Jesus: Depend on his promised strength: Follow his orders, and thou shalt tread Satan under thy feet daily.
But above all remember, that thou canst only con. quer him by faith—by faith in the victory of Jesus, built upon thy faith in the word of Jesus: For thus the scripture testifies of the conquerors now found the throne, " that they overcame the devil by the “ blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their tes« timony"--they overcame him by depending upon the atoning blood, and by trusting to what the word says of its all-sufficiency to save; and they found by experience the promised victory. To the same effect the apostle Peter stirs up believers to a sobriety in the use of all creature comforts, and to a continual watchfulness against their enemies, in order that they might daily conquer-" Be sober, be vigilant, because your “ adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, “ seeking who he may devour: whom resist STEAD
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“ FAST IN THE FAITH.” This brings victory. The believer resists the devil, and stands against him sted. fastly in the power of Christ. This power is almighty, and therefore faith relying upon it infallibly secures victory. The devil may throw his fiery darts thick and fast, but the shield of faith is proof against them. It is able through God to quench them ; so that the fire of temptation shall not inflame the soul. How precious are these scriptures ! How encouraging to the Christian soldier! they promise him every thing needs ful for the battle, and for victory. Why then shouldst thou doubt, O my soul, of the promised blessings ? Take courage. Fight under the banner of Jesus. Keep close to his colours. Follow strictly his orders: And he will keep Satan under thy feet to-day, and thou shalt be more than conqueror over him for ever.
Considering thy war with Satan in this light, what is there in it, O my soul, to stop thee in thy way to heaven? Thou art called upon to fight against him, but then it is in the Lord's strength, and as a partaker of his conquest. He made all thine enemies his. He fought thy battles. His triumph is thine. Thou mayest therefore sing of victory before every battle. Thou dost not fight to gain the pardon of thy sins, or to make thyself righteous; but to oppose thine adversary, who would draw thee into sin, and if he could, would rob thee of thy righteousness. He hates thee, because Christ loves thee. But his hatred is in vain. Thy Saviour has conquered him for thee, and by faith will conquer him in thee: for thou art kept by his almighty power. Trusting to this, go forth strong in the Lord. While thou art living in communion with him, thy warfare will be successful. If thour attend to his word, and follow his orders, he will encourage thy heart and strengthen thy hands with such promises as these.
I have chosen thee to be a soldier, and I send thee out to fight against all the enemies of thy peace. But thou dost not go to this warfare at thine own charges,