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way to the heavenly Canaan, Pfal. xliii. 1. Judge me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation: This is a nation that many times fupprefs and bear down the work of God in the foul. The company and influence of the ungodly, that mock at religion, and laugh at facred things, is a great lett and impediment to the falvation of a foul. And as it was with Ifrael of old, fo it is with the church in all ages, fhe is never without enemies that annoy her: There are four forts of ungodly men, that the church of God generally complain of; the Tyrant, the Atheist, the Heretick, and the Hypocrite: Some of these would fubvert, and others pervert her. The Tyrant, by heart-hatred and open perfecution; the Atheist, by profanity of life; the Heretick, by corruptness of doctrine; and the Hypocrite, by pretences of holiness. These nations of ungodly men do oppofe the Ifrael of God, partly by force, and partly by fraud: And indeed the fecret enemies are ufually the most dangerous of the two; they that ufe fraud, more dangerous than these that ufe force: For thefe, being feen and known, are more easily avoided; but the other not fo cafily fhunned, because not fufpected.
5. There is a nation of mighty kings, and powerful giants, as the fons of Anak are called, Num. xiii. 33. How many great kings did the Lord give into the hand of Ifrael? Such as Og king of Bafhan, Sibon, king of the Amorites, Pfal. cxxxvi. 18, 19, 20. Pfal. cxxxv. 10, 11. But there are greater kings and potentates than these, that stand in the way the poffeffion of the heavenly Canaan. There are more especially four kings, mighty kings, to be fubdued: For, (1.) As fin is a mighty king, that reigns in us, and over us naturally; therefore fays 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 hearts of the children of disobedience, Eph. ii. 2. (3.) Self is a mighty king: It competes with king Jefus, and keeps his throne, fo long as the loftiness of man is not brought down, and the haughtiness of man made low, Ifa. ii. 11. that the Lord alone may be exalted in the heart: And even after Chrift is exalted to the throne of the heart, felf is ftill 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 fubjects. This is called the laft enemy of God's Ifrael; The laft enemy to be destroyed is death: And happy they that get the fling of death removed, which is fin. See 1 Cor. xv. 54, 55, 56, 57. Death fhall be fwallowed up in victory. Chrift is the victorious conqueror of this and all other enemies; however thefe are mighty kings in the way, and some of them have mighty giants in their armies; particularly these three, king Sin, Satan, and Self, have powerful armies to fight their hellish battles. And there are,
6. A nation of deceitful lufts in the heart; fo called, Eph. iv. 22. These are like fo 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 fwarms of lufts make up this army of hell! If you will travel thro' the camp of your heart, you will fee an armed regiment of gigantick lufts: There you may fee grim-faced ignorance, arm'd with the devil's
devil's black livery: There you may fee curfed Atheism and Unbelief, armed with lyes, and blafphemies, and bitter invectives againft heaven: There you will fee cruel enmity, armed with a bloody fword of forcible oppofition unto God and Chrift: There you will fee fubtle hypocrify, armed with fraud and flattery: There you will fee brafen-faced hardness of heart, armed with a brow of brass: There you may fee dultifb fecurity, armed with a fearlefs fpirit, and a ftupid confcience; bold prefumption, armed with a daring countenance; towering pride, armed with a robe of gaudy attire, and an eye of fcorn, contempt and difdain; as alfo felf-righteous confidence, armed with grofs ignorance both of the fpirituality of the law, and mystery of the gospel. There is a powerful nation of heart-plagues and deceitful lufts, that reign over the ungodly world, and many times rage in the hearts of believers, to the leading of them captive.
.7. There is a nation of actual out-breakings in the life, and fins in the converfation: Thefe are, like the common foldiers of the army of hell, making daily excurfions into the camp of Ifrael; yea, every hour of the day they are breaking out on this hand, and on that hand, and round about us on all hands, in innumerable omiffions and commiffions. Here breaks out intemperance and infobriety, in eating, drinking, and ufing of the comforts of life; there breaks out idle words, vain talking, unprofitable converfation: Here appears negligence in duty, or carelefnefs and indifferency in hearing, reading, praying, communicating; and there appears mif-Jpending of time, fabbath and week-days both, wafting our precious opportunities, and mifimproving our talents, without endeavouring to do good, or get good, to glorify
glorify God, or edify these that are converfant with The former nation I mentioned was the lufts of the flesh, and this nation is the works of the flesh: The lufts of the flesh are deceitfully hidden within the walls; the works of the flesh are open and manifeft, making continual outward excurfions. You have a lift of them, Gal. v. 19, 20, 21. Another lift of the names of the foldiers of this army you may read, 2 Tim. iii. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, &c. Men fhall be lovers of themfelves: There goes the king and commander in chief, felf-love; and then follows a lift of the common foldiers, covetous, boasters, proud, &c. Now these are seven nations continually in arms, and at work for hell, and against heaven: The nation of vain thoughts continually flying poft through the rest of the nations for intelligence; the nation of worldly cares continually making provifion for the flesh, to fulfil the lufts thereof; the nation of doubts, and unbelieving fears and jealoufies, is ftill keeping watch, and standing centinel at the door of the heart, to keep out all heavenly meffages, and exclude all proposals of peace with heaven; the nation of ungodly men continually guarding the out-works of hell, and playing their battering-rams, to beat down what God, and Chrift, and the gospel would build up; the nation of mighty kings, that I mentioned, are ftill iffuing forth new commands and orders for war against heaven; the nation of deceitful lufts, like officers of the army, are ftill muftering the hoft, leading them forth to the field of battle, and fetting them in battle-array; and the nation of actual fins and out-breakings are ftill brandishing their fwords and fpears, making daily and hourly excurfions out of the camp of hell, and incurfions upon their oppofites and antagonists, running upon the camp of Ifrael, to destroy them, and hinder Dd 4
their march to the heavenly Canaan. Now, to these feven nations all the world of mankind are, by nature kept in fubjection; and, which is worfe, they are willing flaves and captives to them: And even the Ifrael of God, that have left their camp, and fled under the colours and ftandard of the Lord Jefus Chrift the captain of falvation, are many times led captive by them; they are ftill giving battle to Ifrael. Now, O thou that art bound for the celeftial Canaan, what thinkeft thou of these nations? Are they not feven nations, greater and mightier than thou? Surely, if thou haft found, to thy fad experience, the power, and policy, and pernicious influence of thefe mighty nations upon thee, it will be welcome news to hear that the Lord thy God will put out these nations before thee by little and little.
The Fourth thing that I propofed, was, to fpeak a little of the conqueror of these nations, that is, The king of glory, The Lord ftrong and mighty, The Lord mighty in battle. Indeed, they that have fuch mighty nations to fight and debate with, have need of a mighty conqueror to fubdue them: And he is here faid to be the Lord thy God; where he is defcribed, 1. By his name, JEHOVAH. 2. By his relation to them in Chrift, Thy GOD.
(1.) Ifrael's captain, that fights their battles, is defcribed by his great name Jehovah, THE LORD, in capital letters; which is ordinarily used in all our English tranflations, to intimate that in the original it is JEHOVAH: And it is a name that points out the perfection of his nature. It is remarked, tht