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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 umber-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 powersrulers 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
his Son to be the woman's seed-Jehovah incarnate-for bis 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
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 of his life, he could declare_-" The prince of this world cometh, AND HATH NOTHING IN ME.”
He did come, and the great pitched battle was fought which was to decide for ever, Whether the seed of the woman, or the serpent should be crowned conqueror. The battle began in the garden of Gethsemane, and was finished upon mount Calvary. Every stratagem of infernal policy was then tried : every assault of devilish malice was exerted against the Captain of our salvation : but he conquered them all, as it was foretold—“ Thou shalt tread upon “ the lion and adder; the young lion and the dragon « shalt thou trample under thy feet.” He trod upon the serpent's head, and crushed it, but at the same time the serpent bit his heel. The heel is his lowest part, his body-this fell in the conflict, but he completed his victory by the loss of his life. The apostle speaks of the cross, upon which he bled and died, as the great scene of this engagement, and on which he vanquished and triumphed for ever over the powers of hell
having spoiled principalities and powers, and taken
all their armour wherein they trusted, he made a show of them openly triumphing over them upon the cross, leading them as you would captives in chains ; rebels still, but unable to rob the Lord Christ of the glory of any part of his conquest: Thus through death he conquered death, and him that had the power of death, that is the devil. O blessed and Almighty Jesus, eternal thanks are due to thee for this most glorious victory. Satan is now a vanquished foe. He is under thy feet, thou high exalted head of the redeemed. Thou hast for them, and in their stead overcome all his wiles and assaults. He may tempt, but he cannot conquer them. He has no right to accuse them—thou hast made an end of sin. He has no power to torment them--thou hast brought in everlasting righteousness. He cannot pluck them out of thy handsthey are dear to thee, and kept as the apple of
Glory be to thee, thou wilt soon bring them out of the reach of his temptations, and thou
wilt be to them an eternal and infinitely perfect Saviour.
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 ali remember, that thou canst only conquer 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
FAST IN THE FAITH.” This brings victory. The believer resists the devil, and stands against him stedfastly 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 needful 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 thoir 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,