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Spirit of God lifts up? I remember it is said of Christ, the standard-bearer among ten thousand, that he is white and ruddy. The same may be said in some respect concerning all that war under his colours; they are ruddy, in respect of justifiçation; white, in respect of sanctification. (1.) I say, they are ruddy, in respect of justification, because Christ's vesture which was dipt in blood is upon them, “ They have washed their garments in the blood of the Lamb.” This was the best robe that was put upon the prodigal, whenever he entered his father's threshold. So then I ask, Have you put on the red livery of imputed righteousness? has the blood of Christ cleansed you from all sin? The soldiers of Christ submit to the righteousness of Christ. Yea, this is one of the mottoes of the standard which you have, Jer. xxiii. 6. « This is his name whereby he shall be called, The Lord our righteousness ;" and all the soldiers they get their name from this motto and livery. And whenever you fall under challenges for fin, from the law, conscience, justice, or the world, you will find no ease or relief on this side the blood and righteousness of Christ; no healing till the Sun of righteousness arise with it under his wings. (2.) Christ's soldiers, as they are ruddy in refpect of justification, so they are white in respect of sanctification. I remember we are told, Rev. xix. 14." that the armies which are in heaven follow the Lamb, riding upon white hor. ses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean." And in the day of his armies, his volunteers are said to “ shine with the beauty of holiness," Psal. cx, 3, Holiness to the Lord is the motto of the standard, and holiness to the Lord is the beauti, ful livery wherewith they are all adorned. This is not to be understood, as if they were perfect in holiness in this life; no the faints are only "fair like the moon,” which hath a great many spots : but then, holiness in its perfection is that which every saint is breathing after, saying with Paul, “ I forget those things which are behind, and reach forth unto those things which are before,” &c.; and it is a grief of heart to them that they cannot be more holy. This makes them groan under the remains of sin, saying with Paul, “ Wretched man that I am,” &c.

9. If you be really under the standard lifted up by the Spirit of the Lord, you may know it by this, whenever you are at any time worsted by fin, you will not be a volunteer, but a captive to it. When sin overcomes the believer, he reckons himself in captivity and bondage as Paul did, “I find a law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of fin, which is in my members.” You know, a loyal subject and faithful soldier


may be taken captive by a foreign enemy: but then there is a great odds between the man, though in the enemy's hand, and another that deserts his king and his colours, and goes over to the enemy's side. Now, the case with the believer is, that though he fin, yet he does not go over to the enemy's side : no, fin besets him, betrays him, surpriseth him; and while he is taken captive by it, he wearies of its drudgery, and never reckons himself at liberty, till he be brought back again to his Captain, his colours, and company. When he is in company with an and Ginners, he is ready to say, “Wo is me, that I sojourn in Mesech, that I dwell in the tents of Kedar." I will never be at liberty, till the fetters of ignorance, unbelief, vanity, and carnality, be quite shaken off. O to be wholly rid of this evil heart of unbelief, which turns me away from the living God ! O that the very remains of fin were ruined in me, and to be without the reach of fin, and all temptations and occafions of it! So much for trial.

A third use may be by way of Lamentation that the standard, bearer, and his standard, is so little seen among us at this day; the Spirit of the Lord is departed in a great measure. Quest. How doth it appear, say you, that the Spirit of the Lord is de parted ? I answer, it is evident from this, that the enemy is coming like a flood. And here I will tell you of several floods, that are running with a very impetuous current, whereby mul. titudes are carried away at this very day. i

1. A flood of Atheism and blasphemy, many saying in their hearts, “ There is no God;" yea, Atheism and blafphemy expreffed and uttered, both by tongue and pen against our glori. ous Emmanuel. I have seen books published of late, the scope of which is to ridicule all the miracles he wrought upon earth, and to make him one of the most arrant impostors that ever appeared upon earth; and these books are bought and spread through many corners of the land, especially by people of fashion ; things are vented, that would make any Christian ears to single, and their hearts to tremble.

2. A flood of erroneous doctrine is come in upon us. At every assembly almost, we have representations of the growth of Popery in the north of Scotland. The Arian error, denying the supreme Deity of the eternal Son of God, is vented in our church, whereby the foundation and corner-stone that God has laid in Zion is ftruck at ; and if this foundation could be destroyed, what should the righteous do? A flood of Arminian errors runs in our day, exalting the freedom of man's will to the prejudice of the freedom and sovereignty of the grace of God, and exalting reason above revelation. A flood of anti-evangelical errors, whereby attempts are made to worm


out the gospel, and the power of godliness. Some have crept into the church, who, instead of preaching the gospel, entertain poor people with empty harangues of morality, or something worse, even in the hearing of our national assembly; and yet such thing3 pass without cenfure. Does not this say that the enemy is coming in like a flood, and the Spirit of the Lord departed ?

3. There is a flood of superstition, and superstitious wor. ship, running in our land at this day, and multitudes of the higher rank carried away with the flood. A flood of church. tyranny is broken out. God has indeed delivered us from openi Popish' and Prelatic tyranny and perfecution, under which we groaned for many years: but another fort of tyran. ny is broken in among us, under a mask, whereby the poor people of God are oppressed in their Christian rights and privileges; particularly in the choice and election of their own pastors. How are the sheep and flock of Christ bleating and mourning through several corners of the land, who find themselves peeled and spoiled by patrons, and others joining hands with them? There is a flood of profanity broken out in our day; some arrived at that pitch of wickedness, as to turn every thing serious and sacred to matter of laughter and ridicule. O what a flood of curfing and swearing, lying, murdering, cheating, stealing, backbiting, malice, envy, covetousness, Sabbath-breaking, does prevail among us! What a flood of neutrality prevails about the things of God! how many Gal. lios, who are easy whether the interest of Christ link or swim, if it go well with their own worldly and civil concerns! What a flood of prevailing unbelief; not only infidelity, rampant aniong that sort of men that I was speaking of, but a flood of unbelief among the professors of the name of Christ ! May not that old complaint be renewed at this day, “ Who hath believed our report?" How many are they, who make God a liar, by refusing to set to their seal to the record God has given of his Son? What a flood of hypocrisy ! men carrying the mask or appearance of religion, who are strangers to the life and power of it; “ have a name to live, yet dead in trespasses and fins!” What a flood of apoftasy and backsliding; fome who, through the knowledge of Christ, seemed to “ escape the pollutions of the world, returning with the dog to their vomit, and with the low that was washed, to wallow in the

ire!” Thus you fee, there are many dangerous floods a.running in our day. Does not all this fay, that our blessed Standard-bearer, the Spirit of the Lord, is ip a great measure departed?.

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As a further evidence of his departure, I will tell you in a few words, how far the enemy is come in.

1. He is come within our borders; many, if not all of these floods, are already within our borders. Indeed the flood of Arian heresy staid for a while in England and Ireland; but now it is within the borders of Scotland, and of the church of God therein : it was never heard of, since the reformation, to be within our borders, till now; and usually, when an enemy is at or within the borders of a land, the inhabitants take the alarm.

2. But, Sirs, I will tell you more, that the enemy is not only come into our borders, but he has entered the palaces, and, some say, the pulpits of our Zion. How much of fin, Satan, and of the world, do we that are minifters bring along with us, even when we come forth to people in the name of God! Yea, it is to be feared, that that word is too much verified in our day, cited already, Judê 4. I have heard it affirmed, and that very openly, that Arian doctrine was taught and vented from some pulpits of the kingdom.

3. I will adventure to say more,' that the enemy is come in the length of our judicatories, there thrones of judgement. Has not the Arian heresy been before the bar of our national affembly, and a process upon that head been under the confideration of all the presbyteries of the kingdom? It would have been thought a strange thing for that damnable heresy to set up its head once a-day within the borders of our Zion; far more to have such a thing before the supreme judicatory of this national church, without the heavy sentence of depoition or excommunication pronounced against the guilty perfon; and yet all the censure in chis case is only a suspension, and a door left for an after allembly to take it off. Does not this fay, that the enemy is come in like a flood ?

4. The enemy is come into the dwellings of our Zion. How many families are there, where there is not the least shadow of the worship of God? Does not that say, that the devil has his feat there ; the god of this world reigns in these families, where he prevails so far, as to jufile God out of that worship that is due unto him ? i

5. Has not the enemy come into the closets ; yea,'to'the {ecret chambers of the heart, which God challenges as his due ? As for the wicked, there is no doubt but the devil is within their heart; the god of this world rules in the hearts of the children of disobedience ; fin, which is the first-born of the devil, has an absolute command over them; every thought and imagination of their heart is evil. As for the workl, Solomon tells us, that it is set in the heart of the wicked and ungodly. Yea, where these enemies have lost their power and dominion, I mean, in the hearts of the godly, yet are they making strange inroads, to the dishonour of God, to the discredit of religion, and the breaking of the peace and quiet of the gracious soul.

Thus then you see, there is fad ground of lamentation, that the enemy is come like a flood : and what is the reason of all this ? the Spirit of the Lord, which should lift up his standard, is departed.

Quest. Why does not the Spirit of the Lord lift up a standard against the enemy? I answer, Because his standard when lifted up is not followed. We do not follow the standard of the word, in the administration of the affairs of Christ's king. dom, but the standard of carnal policy, studying to please this and the other gentleman that is patron of a parish: we are broken in judgement, because we willingly walk after the commandments of men. And the Spirit of the Lord leaves us, and does not lift up his standard, because we do not observe his motions and operations upon our souls; we do not cherish his influences; we walk in darkness, and see no light, because we do not follow the light when we have it. And is it any wonder then though he depart from us?


Isa. lix. 19. --The Spirit of the Lord fall lift up a Standard

against him.

I GO on now to a fourth use of this do&rine, and that is

by way of Confolation to believers ; particularly honesthearted communicants, who have both the public cause of Chrift, and the private case of their own souls at heart. Perhaps, when they take a view of the enemy coming in like a flood upon the church, and the more private affaults made upon their own souls, they are ready to say with Jehoshaphat, “ We know not what to do against this great company ihat cometh up against us.” If this be thy case, I have good news from the Lord to tell thee, namely, that when the enemy comes in like a flood, The Spirit of the Lord Jhall lift up a Standard against him.,

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