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time? O who would not gather under such a standard as this?
3. To engage you to get under this standard, will you but take a view of the mottoes of it. It has several mottoes, according to the different displays of it.
1/1, If we view the standard as it is displayed against Satan the old dragon, the destroyer of mankind, then the motto of the standard is, Gen. iii. 15. “ The seed of the woman shall bruise the head of the serpent." Or that, Isa. Ixiii. 4. “ The day of vengeance is in mine heart.” Or that, Heb. ii. 14. “ Through death he destroyed him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.”
2dly, View the standard as it is displayed towards finners of Adam's family to whom the gospel is dispensed; then the motto of it reads, “ God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God fent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” Or that, 2 Cor. v. 19. “God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them.” Or, 1 Tim. i. 15. “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save finners.” Sometimes it bears this motto, “God is love;" fometimes you will read this motto, “ The Lord our righteousness ;" sometimes you may read it thus, “Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”
3dly, View the standard as displayed against obstinate finners, standing it out against a God of love, refusing to come under the victorious banner; and so it bears this terrible motto, Heb. ii. 3.“ How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation ?” Or that, Heb. x. 28. 29. “ They that despired Moses law, died without mercy: of how much sorer punishment shall they be thought worthy, who crucify the Son of God afresh,” &c. ? Sometimes you may read it thus, “ God shall wound the head of his enemies, and the hairy scalp of all them that go on in their trespaffes.”
4thly, View this standard, as it is displayed towards the saints, real believers, who have actually lifted themselves as volunteers in the army; then the motto of it sometimes reads like that, Jer. xxxi. 3. “ I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee." Sometimes, when the standard is seen, the motto of it will · Tead, as Deut. xxxiii. 3. “ All his faints are in thy hand." Or that, John X. 28. 29. “I will give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand. My Father which gave them me, is greater VOL. II.
than all: and none is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.” Sometimes it reads thus, “ I, even I am he that blotteth out thine iniquities for mine own name's sake.” Sonietimes you will read it thus, “ I will never leave thee nor forsake thee; I will never turn away from thee to do thee good.” Sometimes thus, “ I am he that liveth, and was dead; and behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death," Rev. i. 18. But I might enlarge here till midnight, telling you of the beautiful mottoes of this standard, towards the soldiers of the army; I shall only say in general, at every opening of the standard, at every difplay of the glory of Christ that is made to the fwines, there is always some motto to be seen and read with it; and it cannot be otherwise, for it is the Spirit of the Lord that lifts up the standard, in, and by, and with his own word. Now, may not all this allure and invite you to come in under ir ? .
4. To encourage volunteers to come in under this royal standard, consider what encouraging proclamations are issued out, to induce you to take on with the glorious Ge. neral. We, as under-officers and heralds, are sent out to intimate these presents to all and overy one whom it may concern ; and that is every creature sprung of Adam; we may well usher them in with a warn-word and oyes, to arrest your attention.
1/}, then, Be it known to all men, and the sons of men, it is given out from the royal standard of Heaven, even a proclamation of liberty and freedom to all the flaves and vassals of hell. Christ the great Captain of salvation, he has broken up the devil's prison, broken the gates of brass, and cut asunder the bars of iron; and he calls to the prisoners to come forth; to them that fit in darkness, Shew yourselves ; the Son of God by his proclamation makes you free, and therefore be ve free indeed. Whosoever they be that will come in under the standard of Heaven, shall be free from the guilt of sin, that it shall not condemn them ; from the dominion of sin, that it shall not reign over them; from the pollution of sin, that it shall not separate between God and them : they shall be free from the law as a covenant, and from its sentence of death; from Satan, the roaring lion, that he shall not be able to devour them. .
2elly, From the royal standard of Heaven it is given out, and we proclaim peace to you who are rebels, and have been in arms against God: If. xxvii. 4. 5. “ Fury is not in me: who would set the briars and thorns against me in battle? I would go through them, I would burn them together. But let them
take take hold of my strength, and be at peace with me, and they Thall make peace with me." The royal Prince of peace sends us out as ambaffadors in his name,“ praying you in Chrift's stead as though God did beseech you by us, thai you be reconciled to God." We proclaim “ peace, peace to them that are afar off, and to them that are near.” O rebels lay down your re. bellious arms, surrender yourselves to the great King, whose name is “ the Lord of hoits.”
3dly, From the royal ftandard of Heaven we issue forth a proclamation of pardon to condemned criminals, lying under fentence of death. See a surprising proclamation of pardon, If. xlii. 25. which you may read. The very name of the glorious General is, “ The Lord pardoning iniquity. ( let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man bis thoughts : and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon," or multiply to pardon; you shall have a free discharge of all the debt you owe to divine justice ; the handwriting against you, which is contrary to you, shall be cancelled.
4thly, From this royal standard a proclamation of health comes forth to the diseased. Are there any maimed or lame, halt or withered creatures here, who are unfit for service, can. not creep or walk in the Lord's way? We call you in the name of the great General, and tell you, that there is room for you ; that moment you come in under the standard, though lame, you pall leap like an hart. Perhaps you think yourselves very unfit for the war, after you have been so lamed by fin and Satan ; but we tell you good news, when you come in una der this standard, "the bones which were broken shall be made to rejoice." .
5thly, From this royal standard we issue a proclamation of great riches to the poor. O Sirs, here is gold tried in the fire, gold better than the gold of Ophir, lying scattered about the tents of the great King, whose name is the “ Lord of hosts. Riches and honour are with me; yea durable riches and righteousness :” and “ we preach among you Gentiles the un. searchable riches of Christ.” .
6thly, A proclamation of “ bread to the hungry, and drink to the thirity; fat things full of marrow, wines on the lees well refined. Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars. She hath killed her beasts, she hath mingled her wine ; she hath also furnished her table. She þath sent forth her maiden's, she crieth upon the highest places of the city, Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled,” Prov. ix. at the beginning. Again, we iffue forth a proclamation of marriage with the Son of God, to them that have " played the harlot with many lovers ;” a proclamation of life, to you that are “ dead in trespasses and fins; O hear the voice of the Son of God, for they that hear shall live.” Thus you see what glorious encouragement the great General, whose standard we lift up in the everlasting gospel, gives to loft finners, to come and list themselves in his service.
But now you may readily ask me, To what end or purpose do you thụs encourage us to gather in under the royal standard of the Prince of the kings of the earth ? I answer, Soldiers, you know, take on for the wars ; so it is for the wars of the Lord, we are come to take you on in the service of the great King. But this leads me to,
A fecond branch of the exhortation. A standard, as I shewed in the doctrinal part, is an ensign of war. The glorious Son of God came into this lower world, upon an expedition to spoil principalities and powers, to overturn Satan's usurped kingdom, to condemn fin and make an end of it, and to overcome the world ; and where ever Christ is preached, men, women, and children, are called, and charged to join him ; to “ come forth to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty." And therefore let me exhort all of you, especially you who have been at his table, taking the military oath to the great Lord, to " fight the good fight of faith.” When we call you to come in and gather under his banner, it is not to stand idle: no, no; Chriftianity is a fight, it is a battle, a hot battle, and you will find it so; for " the kinga dom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force." The armies of hell are in your way; lions and leopards will encounter you ; and therefore, " watch ye, stand fait in the faith, quit yourselves like men, be strong.” Now, in prosecuting this exhortation, I shall endeavour to answer á few questions relative to the spiritual war you are engaged in.
Queft. 1. Who are the enemies we have to deal with in this warfare? and where lie they encamped ? As to the first part of the question, it was answered already in the doctrinal part, that Satan, fin, and the world, are the enemies you are to engage with. And as for the place of their encampment, they are so swift and subtle, that their motions are very uncertain; as they put on very different shapes, so they have very uncertain motions. As for Satan, he lodges in the air, therefore called “ The prince of the power of the air.” The world again is on every hand of you ; where-ever you go, whatever company you fall into, whatever business you are engaged in, you will find its snares on every side of you. As for fin, its headquarters is in the heart; therefore are we commanded to
ar keep the heart with all diligence," because it keeps a close correspondence with the devil and the world, through the avenue of the imagination and outward senses.
Quest. 2. What is the quarrel or the ground of this war ? for it is the cause or ground of a war that makes it lawful. Never was war commenced upon a better ground or quarrel; the honour of God, and our own eternal interest is concerned in it. And that you may understand the ground of it the better, know, when God created this beautiful worid, and all things in it, after he had prepared and fitted it for habitation, he created man, and set him in Paradise, as his viceroy, gave all things into his hand, and put all things under his feet. Satan, whom God had cast out of heaven, with his angels, for pride, having ranged through this visible creation, lights upon this little globe of earth, and at last finds out our first parents in Paradise. Whenever he saw man, with the glorious image of God stamped upon him, he was filled with indignation against God, and set his hellish wisdom a-work to contrive the ruin of our first parents, and all their posterity ; and accordingly he effectuates it, after the manner that you read of, Gen. iji. That he might rub an affront upon the Majesty of heaven, and his viceroy, he defaces the image of God, enslaves man to himself, and takes pofleflion of this lower world as his own; called therefore “ the god of this world.” He disturbs the beautiful order of this lower world, fills it with fi), vanity, and trouble, under which the whole creation groans and travels in pain. . Well, when this is done, the Son of God beholds it from his throne, " high and lifted up,” flies from heaven to earth, arraigns the devil and our first parents, calls them to an account of what was done ; and immediately sets up his standard of war, issues forth a proclamation of war against the devil, Gen. iii. 15. “ The feed of the woman Thall bruise the head of the serpent:" and, by this one word, which was the first lifting up of the standard, he wrests the one half of the then world out of the devil's hand; for, from the original, it appears, that the woman was converted by the uttering of the first promise. The words may be read, “I will put enmity between thee and this woman.” And ever since, the Son of God has been carrying on the war against the devil, wresting his captives out of his hand, and will never leave the field till he has driven Satan out of his kingdom; and then " we look for a new heaven and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” Thus, you see the ground of the war.
Quest. 3. Who is the General, under whose conduct we are to fight? I answer, as you heard already, The glorious