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before the Lord, Satan came also among them,” Job i. 6. Sometimes he enters these assemblies and dwelling-places of the church in a more open and vihble way, corrupting the worThip of God with idolatry and superstition; sometimes in a more secret and inviGble way, stirring up enmity, unbelief, carnality,
vanity of heart, to mar soul-benefic and advantage by the ordi· nances of divine appointment.
3. The enemy may come in, not only to the palaces, but to the pulpits of the church, by an erroneous and corrupt ministry; what has been, may be again : Jude 4." There are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.” The case may happen, that men shall appear in your pulpits, pretending to take the care and feeding of your souls, who will give you a stone for bread, and a scorpion instead of a fish. A corrupt ministry is the saddest plague that ever came into the church of God.
4. The enemy may come into the judicatories of the church, which are the thrones of judgement, the thrones of the house of David, where the people of God expect to be protected in their Christian liberties, and to have justice done them, against those who would spoil and opprefs them; and yet, so far may the enemy come in, as to influence these judicatories to join hands with the spoilers and oppreffors of the people of God, instead of defending them. The Jewish sanhedrim was an ecclesiastic court of God's appointment; and yet, so far was it corrupted, that it condemned the Lord of glory, and excommunicated them that owned and professed the name of Jesus ; and all under a specious colour, for the safety and welfare of the church. Christ muft die, and be crucified, left the Romans come and take away their kingdom.
5. The enemy may come in, not only to the gates of Zion, but also to the dwellings of Jacob. Sirs, Satan, the world, and corruptions, may, and I make no doubt, will follow you home to your several families; and it will be a wonder, if, after you have been at a communion-table, Satan and his emissaries do not raise some family storm and trouble, to take off any im. preslion of God, or of the things of God, that has been upon you on this occasion... The devil lodgeph in the house of the wicked ; and he may come in and work much mischief in the house of a godly David; witness the murder of Uriah, adultery with Baihtheba, Amnon's incest, Absolom's rebellion, Adonijah's conspiracy.
6. He may come into your closets, and go along with you to your knees, when you would incline to be alone with God,
in order to divert your thoughts, disturb your minds, or alienate your affections from prayer, meditation, or other private duties that you set about. When Joshua appeared before the Lord, Satan ftands at his right hand. .
7. The enemy may come into your very heart. Satan has very eafy access to the hearts of men, by the port of the imagination and outward senses : through these gates or windows of the foul, he can very easily throw in his fiery darts, whereby, if a strict watch be not kept, he will infallibly set the whole combustible matter of indwelling sin and corruption as it were on fire: he has a way of drawing forth, by his temptations, the latent Atheism, enmity, pride, carnality, and unbelief of the heart ; he has no more ado, but to hiss upon his confederates in our bofom, and immediately they come forth out of their faftreffes, to assist him in carrying on his affaults. And God knows, how far even a believer may be driven, if the enemy come in thus upon him like a flood. Melancholy instances thereof are left upon record in scripture, in the case of Abraham, Mofes, David, Solomon, Peter, and many others, which are fet up, not for our imitation or encouragement in fin, 'but as beacons, that we may be upon our guard against the inroads of the enemy that wait for our chalting. no
IV. The fourth thing was, to touch a little at the certainty of all this ; for it is not said, may be the enemy will come, but the enemy SHALL come in like a flood. The certainty of all this will appear from these two or three things.;
1. Plain scripture-testimony, the infallible oracles of Heaven certifying us, that the enemy will be upon us, Rev. ii. 10. * The devil fhall cast some of you into prison ;-ye shall have tribulation ten days.” As long as the feed of the woman is within Satan's reach, he will be creating them fome molestation or other.' "2. The state of the believer, while he is in this world, makes it evident. While the believer is hereaway, he is in a militant state, standing upon the field of battle, furrounded with the armies of hell ; and is it to be supposed, that the believer can live in quiet, free of the assaults of the enemy? *'3. The experiences of the faints of God in all ages confirms this. Christ, the glorious Captain of our falvation, he was not exeemed; 'the prince of this world came upon him with his craft and cunning ; 'he entered the lifts with the powers of "hell and earth, and with the corruptions of men; and that? any of his followers expect to be exeemed? The ransomed company about the throne, are such as have come out of much
tribulation, tribulation from the devil, the world and their own heart. But I do not stay further upon this.
V. The fifth thing was the use of this doctrine and branch of the text, which shall be comprised in the few following in. ferences.
1. See hence, that this world is not the believer's home or refting-place. If it were, of all men he would be the most miserable : Why? While on this side of time, the enemy will be coming in like a flood upon him. But up thy heart, believer, though thou cannot find rest here, yet there remains a rest for the people of God. When thou comeft to thy own country, thou shalt be beyond the invenomed arrows and fiery darts of Satan; the accuser of the brethren is cast out of that happy land : there thou fhalt be beyond the fnares and troubles of a wicked world;" there the wicked cease to trouble, and there the weary are at rest. There is no more fea," Rev. xxi. f. There thou shalt not be molested with the workings of indwell. ing fin, buts presented faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy."
2. See hence whence it is the believer frequently expresleth such longing desire to be away, crying, When will the day break, and the shadows flee away, and the happy morning of immediate vision dawn? Why, it is little wonder, concidering that, while here, the enemy is breaking in upon him like a flood; whereas, if once death, the last enemy, has dislodged thy soul from the clay-tabernacle of the body, thy warfare is at an everlasting end; thou shalt have a victorious palm put in thy hand, a victorious diadem upon thy head, and a victorious song put in thy mouth. Hence Paul, when he saw the battle near to an end, cries, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteouiness, which the Lord the righteous Judge thall give me at that day; and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing."
3. See hence the need that we have of Chritt in his kingly office, to subdue, restrain, and conquer all his and our enemies. Sirs, none of Christ's offices can be wanting. We need him as a prophet, to open the mysteries of the kingdom, and to open our understanding to know them ; we need him as a priest, to justify us, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, by his atoning blood and prevalent intercession; and we need him also as a king, to break up the way before us, to go upon our head, to fight our battles against the armies of the aliens that we have to engage with in our way to glory; he has his name written upon his thigh and veiture, “ King of kings, and Lord of lords;"
Standard of Heaven lifted up against and the armies which are in heaven do follow him, even the armies of saints in the church-militant, they follow him; and it is under his conduct we are made conquerors, yea, more than conquerors.
4. See hence encouragement to poor toffed and tempted believers, who are combating with the enemy coming in like a flood upon them, wrestling with flesh and blood, principalities and powers, and perhaps are ready to faint and give over, say. ing with David, " One day or other I shall fall by the hand of the enemy;" some day or other the strong floods of temptation and corruption will carry me clean away, and I shall be a scandal to religion, and make the name of God to be blasphemed. Up thy heart, believer, I have good news to tell thee; though the enemy come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall Jift up a standard against him. Many a fiery dart dipt in hell does now fly about thee; but be of good cheer, the victory is Ture, for the Captain of thy falvation has said, that “ he will tread Satan under your feet shortly.” Many a weary day hast thou with the workings of indwelling fin, crying, “ Wretched man that I am, who will deliver me!” but be of good cheer, thy victorious General has “ finished transgression and made an end of fin;" he has said, that “ fin shall not have dominion, and that grace shall reign.” Many a heavy cross and trial does the world roll upon thy back, perhaps trials in thy per. fon, in thy family, in thy relations, in thy name, in thy world]y estate ; but be of good courage, “ () thou amicted, tofl. ed with tempests, and not comforted, behold the Lord is laying thy stones with fair colours, and thy foundations with sapphires.” Perhaps thou would give all the world to be rid of some predominant luft, some fin that easily befets thee; well, le coinforted, the Spirit of the Lord has said, that he " will subdue your iniquities, that your old man is crucified with him.” Perhaps thou art wracked with an evil heart of unbe. lief, and crying, “ Lord help mine unbelief;" well, here is comfort, the Author and Finisher of faith, he will “ fulfil in you all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power.”
Olay you, these are good news indeed, that victory is secured; but how is it secured ? Answ. It is insured by God's ordination and appointment : Luke xxii. 28. 29. “ Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations : and I appoint unto you a kingdom.” It is insured by covenant and promife, that thou shalt go from strength to firength, till thou appear before the Lord in Zion ; " They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength: they shall mount up with · wings as eagles.” It is insured by the blood of a Redeemeļ;
he has bought thy freedom from sin and Satan, and he will not leave the purchase of his blood in the hand of the enemy: Christ's victory secures thine ; he overcame as a public person, in the name of his whole mystical body, and thou may warrantably take up the spoils of his victory, saying, “ Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory, through our Lord Jesus Christ.” The intercession of Christ in heaven securts the victory; if he hath any moyen, he will employ it in the behalf of his friends grappling with his enemies : Satan seeks to winnow you; but he prays for thee, that thy faith fail not. The hand of Moses fell and fagged when Israel was engaged with Amalek; but the hand of the man of God's right hand, it never falls down, and therefore the true Israel of God shall prevail. Thy relation to Christ obligeth him to take care that thou be not taken away with the flood. He is thy Bridegroom, and will the Bridegroom suffer his bride to be trampled upon, if he can help it ? He is thy Head, and will not the Head see to the safety of the members ? He is the Captain of thy salvation, and he will see to the welfare of his foldiers.
Object. I am indeed persuaded, that all who belong to Christ, shall be secured against the enemy, though he come in like a flood; but, alas ! that is fill my fear, and the great question with me is, whether I belong to him? Well, to put this matter out of question, I only ask two or three questions. (1.) Hast thou not proclaimed and commenced war against all known sin; and are you not resolved, through grace, to refift even to blood, striving against sin? If so, though the enemy may come in like a flood, the spirit of the Lord will drive him back, and thou shalt be victorious at last. (2.) When the enemy comes in, and prevails at any time like a flood, dost not thou wrestle and strive against the stream, saying, “ Wretched man that I am, who ihall deliver me;" I am led captive by the law of sin and death? This says thou art on the Lord's. fide. A dead fish goes down the stream, but a living lith bears up against it, though it be borne down by violence. (3.) When the enemy comes in like a flood, Is not Christ thy great ro-look ? and does not a look of him lighten thy heart, and inspire thee with fresh courage against the enemy? Psal. xxxiv. 5: “ They Jooked unto him, and were lightened.” (4.) Art chou noc now and then longing to be with the triumphant company above, where there is no more sea, no tempting devil, or deceitful heart? And art thou not lightened, to think that ere long the battle will be at an end? This says that it Thall be according to thy with, for he will satisfy the longing foul : and Christ in heaven is longing as much for thy company, as thou