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them, for just and holy causes; as the Philistines, the Moabites, the Ammonites, that coasted near their dwelling; besides the Asyrians and Babylonians from remoter countries, that led them captive. And, besides outward enemies and foreign invasions, they were not a little vexed and disquieted with civil and intestine diffentions : There was Saul's house against David's, and David's against Saul's; Israel against Judah, and Judah against Israel, Manasses against Ephraim, and Ephraim against Manafses; nations thus both without and within, and enemies on every side. Now, in like manner, there are great
great and mighty nations that oppose the true Israel of God in their way to the heavenly Canaan above, and that hinder their peaceable porsession of any part of heaven that through grace they possess on earth. In allusion therefore to the seven nations here, that God cast out before Ifrael of old; I Mall show seven of these nations of spiritual enemies and oppositions that are in the way to the heavenly Canaan, and that disturb the Israel of God in any begun possession that they may have here through grace. I only premise, that as, in an outward sense, all nations of the earth proceed from one root and original, namely, the first man Adam; so in a spiritual sense, most part of all the nations that oppose our happiness do spring from one root, and the grand root is original sin and natural corruption : Here is the great commander, that leads forth multitudes of nations of actual oppositions against God, and the Israel of God that are bound for the heavenly Canaan. A body of fin and death is the fertile womb that brings forth swarms in one day ; yea, there (as it were) whole nations are born at once. But more particularly, there are these feVOL. II.
ven nations that oppose and vex the Israel of God in their way to Canaan.
1. A nation of vain thoughts. We are by nature vain in our imaginations, Rom. i. 21. and these vain thoughts lodge within the walls of Jerusalem, Jer. iv. 14. O Jerusalem, wash thine heart from wickedness; how long Mall vain thoughts lodge within thee? These nations lodge within, and take bed and board of you, and eat up the fap of therefore, when David says, Psal. cxix. 113. I hate vain thoughts, he expresses them with a word that signifies the sprig and branch that grows in a tree, which draws the sap out of it, and makes it fruitless. Do you not find a nation of this sort swarming about your heart every day, and every hour of the day? 'Yea, I am mistaken if these Pbilistines have not been upon you, and if these nations have not been besetting you, and besieging your souls in time of hearing, praying, communicating at this occasion ; and I believe, they that are exercised and bound for heaven, will find a need of almighty power to put out this nation before them, tho' there were no more: And indeed these vain thoughts are like the flying posts to the rest of the nations that may be named. But then,
2. There is a nation of worldly cares, which Christ compares to briars and thorns, that choke the feed of the word, Mark iv. 19. and Luke viii. 14. This nation
under the name of frugality; but, if you look narrowly to its armour, you will find the motto thereof to be careful about many things, but nege leeting the one thing necessary: And yet this is such a powerful nation, that many people are subdued by it, so as they can do nothing but mind earthly things, and so miss heaven, and come short of salvation ; Yea, fuch is the power of this nation even over the Ifrael of God, that he is obliged in a manner to smite them, and beat the world out of their heart with a rod of correction, Ija. Ivii. 17. For the iniquity of his covetousness was I wroth, and smote him: Yea, the rod of God will not do it, till the grace
of God efficaciously be exerted ; I hid me, and was wroth; and yet he went on frowardly in the way of his beart : But sovereign powerful grace steps in ; I have seen bis ways, and will heal bim.
3. There is a nation of doubts and fears, and sinful discouragements, and unbelieving objections, Psal. xlii. 6, 7. The soul is overset and overwhelmed oft-times with these. They may well be compared unto a nation; they are so many, that no Tooner does a minister begin to answer objections, but the unbelieving heart will raise a thousand more; and so mighty, that there is no subduing of them, till Christ himself rebuke them, as he did the
raging waves of the sea, with a word of so create a calm in the soul. This is a nation that rages, like the heathen spoken of, Psal. ii. and imagines many vain things against the Lord and bis Anointed; but the Lord stills the rage with the rod of bis strength that he sends out of Zion, when he makes a people willing in the day of his power. He answers the doubts and objections of unbelief, and stills the fears and discouragements of his people, either by a word of power let into the heart, such as that, Fear not, it is I ; be not afraid: 0 thou of little faith,
wherefore didst thou doubt? Or by a breathing of his fpirit, accompanying a word that is spoken to the ear.
4. There is a nation of ungedly men from without, that also vex and oppose the Israel of God in their Dd 2
way to the heavenly, Canaan, Psal. xliii. 1. Judge
There is a nation of mighty kings, and powerful giants, as the sons of Anak are called, Num. xiii. 33. How many great kings did the Lord give into the hand of Israel ? Such as Og king of Bafhan, Sihon, king of the Amorites, Psal. cxxxvi. 18, 19, 20. Psal. cxxxv. 10, 11. But there are greater kings and potentates than these, that stand in the way of the possession of the heavenly Canaan. There are more especially four kings, mighty kings, to be subdued : For, (1.) As fin is a mighty king, that reigns in us, and over us naturally; therefore says the
apostle, Rom. vi. 12. Let not fin reign in your mortal body: So, (2.) Satan is a mighty king in his own territories; therefore called the Prince of this world, the Prince of the power of the air, that rules in the bearts of the children of disobedience, Eph. ii. 2. (3.) Self is a mighty king: It competes with king Jesus, and keeps his throne, so long as the loftiness of man is not brought down, and the haughtiness of man made low, Ija. ii. 11. that the Lord alone may
be exalted in the heart: And even after Christ is exalted to the throne of the heart, self is still fighting and working for the throne. It is a king that all the world adore. (4.) Death is a mighty king, therefore called the king of terrors, Job xviii. 14. He is a king, that is the terror of kings, as well as inferior subjects. This is called the last enemy of God's Israel; The last enemy to be destroyed is death : And happy they that get the sting of death removed, which is fin. See 1 Cor. xv. 54, 55, 56, 57. Death shall be swallowed up in victory. Christ is the victorious conqueror of this and all other enemies; however these are miglity kings in the way, and some of them have mighty giants in their armies ; particularly these three, king Sin, Şatan, and Self, have powerful armies to fight their hellish battles. And there are,
6. A nation of deceitful lusts in the heart; so called, Eph. iv. 22. These are like so many deputies and officers, captains and lieutenants, fighting under the banner of king Sin, king Self, and king Satan, against king JESUS, the God of glory. O what swarms of lufts make up this army of hell! If you will travel thro' the camp of your heart, you will see an armed regiment of gigantick lusts : There you may see grim-faced ignorance, arm'd with the