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God: and therefore thou must bring the principles of the doctrine of Christ into exercise. Thou hast seen how necessary they are for every step of thy walk, and thou wilt find them equally necessary for every part of thy warfare. This is a leading truth : thine enemies are God's enemies. Once thou didst join with them, and wast on their side, fighting against God; but he has saved thee from the guilt of thy rebellion. In free love he chose thee in his Son, and in sovereign mercy gave him for thee. The Son rejoiced to do his Father's will for thy salvation : he did it in his life; he suffered it in his death. The ever glorious work is finished ; and it is given thee on the behalf of Christ to believe. The Lord the Spirit has satisfied thy conscience, and has comforted thy heart with the knowledge of this perfect salvation. The Father is thy Father in Jesus--thine by his own free gift—thine by his own unchangeable purposemand now thine by thy free choice. He has made thee willing in the day of his power to take him for thy God. He is perfectly reconciled unto thee in his Son : and should not this perfectly reconcile thee to him ?. His love to thee is wonderful in all its properties, in its rise and origin, and in its free and full communication of every covenant blessing. And does not the belief of this
engage thy heart in love to God: Dost thou not love him for his love to thee, and is it not thy daily prayer that thy love may abound yet more and more? Has not the sense of this peace and love been improved in thy daily walk with him? Hast thou not found the truth, and enjoyed the comfort of these graces in thine experience? O fear not then, since God is on thy side-fear not, O my soul, to go to war with any enemy, who would rob thee of the peace of God in thy conscience, or of the love of God in thy heart. , This is the design of all those who fight against thee. They want to shake thy confidence in God, and so to draw thee from him. They know they cannot succeed while thou standest strong in the Lord, trusting to his being thy reconciled God, and loving Father. O keep this trust in hiin, as the apple of thine eye--bind it continually to
thy heart in love and fight for it as for thy precious life. Be assured no enemies can prevail against thee, until they have first overcome thy faith : because while thou makest God thy refuge and strength, his almighty arm will be thy. defence.
" Be not afraid,” says he, “I am with thee, and I will keep thee by my power, through faith, unto salvation."
In this warfare, it is the chief business of the believer to have respect to the orders given him. He is entirely to depend on the captain of his salvation. What has he said, O my soul, to encourage thee to go to battle without fear? Mind his description--it is THE GOOD FIGHT OF FAITH, in which thou art engaged. By faith thou art to attack thy foes; by faith alone thou canst conquer them; and faith must have his
COMMANDS, or else it can have no lawful warrant to fight, and no just ground to expect victory. Indeed, if he had spoken nothing, there could have been no faith”; for his word comes first-it is spoken—it is heard and then faith comes by hearing.
Look well then to his word. Study it carefully. If thou obey it aright, thou art absolutely safe in the hottest battle ; and thy victory is as certain as if the crown was already upon thy head. These are his standing orders: “ Fear thou not, for I am with thee ; be not afraid, for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee, yea, I will help thee, yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded; they shall be as nothing, and they that strive with thee shall perish. Thou shalt seek them, and shalt not find them, even them that contended with thee : they that war against thee shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nought: for the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee— fear not, I will help thee. Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel: I will help thee, saith the Lord, and thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.” Are these indeed the words of God? Does he command poor worms, weak and defenceless, to go to war without fear? Does he encourage them to look up to his arm, promising to be on their side? Yes, the Lord of hosts fights for them. All their enemies are his, and therefore they may safely trust, and not be afraid. O my soul, read carefully; read again and again ; mark and inwardly digest every word of this divine command; and in obedience to it expect his help. Face thine enemies, whoever they be, with holy boldness : for God is with thee. He has undertaken to fight thy battles. Look at this scripture. Canst thou meditate on it, and yet be afraid? Of whom, or of what? O vile unbelieving fear ! Beg of God to save thee from it. Honour the Captain of thy salvation. Trust him. Doubt not but thou art as safe, obeying his orders and expecting his help, as almighty power can make thee. Observe the courage of one of thy fellow-soldiers. Observe his victory : “When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies be turned back : this I know, for God is on my side. In God will I praise his word; in the Lord will I praise his word : in God have I put my