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in him ; so that he goes forth, like a giant refreshed with new wine, unto the field of battle.
7. See hence what is the most expedite and effectual me. thod to mortify the deeds of the body of Gin, or to put a check upon the insurrections of enmity, unbelief, pride, vanity of spirit, and other heart-evils, which, like the daughters of Heth, make the believer sometimes weary of his life: why, the best way in the world is, to call in the allistance and aid of the Spirit of the Lord, that he may lift up a standard against him. No sooner does the Spirit of the Lord take the field, and begins to testify of Chrift, or to manifest his glory to the soul, but these locusts of hell shrink, and hide their heads. The wild beasts of the forest, which range through the fields in the darkness of the night, they retire to their dens whenever the sun arises : so, whenever the Sun of righ, teousness arises upon the soul, these enemies flee before him. A display of the glory of Christ will break the strength of the most violent temptation, and knock down the strongest and most turbulent lusts; these enemies are not able to behold the standard lift up by the Spirit of the Lord. And therefore, poor believer, whenever thou art like to be worsted by any of thy spiritual enemies, call in the aid of the Spirit, that he may drive them back: “ For we through the Spirit do
See hence dishes the body, For we aid of the spirited by
8. See hence when we may look for a work of reformation to be revived in the land. It is matter of fad exercise to many of the Lord's people at this day, to think how far we are carried down the stream and tide of error, profanity, and defection; and they are ready to say, “ By whom shall Jacob arise ? for he is small;" when will a work of reformation be revived from under the rubbish? Why, here is an answer 10 this melancholy question: These things will be done, when the Spirit shall be poured out from on high; when the Spirit of the Lord fhall lift up a standard, then shall the enemy be driven back, though he hath come in like a flood. And it may be matter of comfort to the mourners of our Zion, who are fighing and crying for all the abominations that are done in the midst of us, that this promise in my text is positive and absolute, “ When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.” And there. fore, if we would get the better either of the evils of our own heart, or of the evils of our day or generation, let us take the promise and believe it, and plead it, for “ God is not a man, that he should lie, neither the son of man, that he should repent.” Let us put him to his word, and give him no rest till he do as he hath said. This is the course he directs us to take when we would have the Spirit, or any promised good of the covenant conferred upon us, Ezek. xxxvi. 37. « For these things I will be inquired of by the house of Israel, that I may do it for them."
LAST SA B BATH OF JULY, 1730.
Isa. lix. 19.-The Spirit of the Lord pall lift up a standard
· against him.
T PROCEED now to a second use of this doctrine, which shall I be by way of Trial. There is not a soul hearing me, bue is either under the standard of Heaven or of hell; for between these two standards the whole world is divided; there is no middle state, no neutral. In this combat, either you are waging war with Heaven, under the standard of the prince of the power of the air; or else you have deserted the devil's colours, under which you were born, and turned in under the standard of Heaven, lift up by the Spirit of the Lord. I suppose there are few hearing me, but profess to be under the standard of Heaven ; your name, as Christians, says so much ; your attendance upon the ordinances of divine appointment, is a professed lifting yourselves under the banner of Christ. And if not, what is your business here, where Christ's volunteers attend his colours? And in a special manner, you who have been at a communion-table, and have gotten the sacra. ment, you have come under the military oath; you have sworn to cleave to the standard of Christ, in opposition to all his and your enemies, by laying your hands on the body and blood of the Son of God. But, Sirs, allow me to tell you, there are many who go out profesledly under Christ's colours, who yet are heart-friends to his enemies, and who never yet broke their covenant with hell, and their agreement with death; and therefore, this matter wants to be a little further tried, whether you be really under Christ's standard, or under the standard of the enemy. I told you, in the explication of thir words, that the standard lift up by the Spirit of the Lord, whereby the enemy is beat back, is just
Christ himself, and the displays of his glory in the light of his word and Spirit ; and therefore the grand question comes to this, Whether the Spirit of the Lord has ever manifested Christ to you, and, by the discoveries of his glory, has killed the power of fin in your soul, and so driven back the enemy. that was coming in like a flood ?
For clearing of this matter, take the following marks.
1. If ever the Spirit of the Lord lifted up the standard efa fectually over you, he has laid siege to thy heart, and the strong holds of iniquity have been battered and shaken by the thundering ordinance of the law. Ordinarily before the Spirit of the Lord lift up the standard of peace, he disa plays the standard of war in and against the foul, whereby it is roused and awakened out of the lethargy of carnal peace and security; the lying refuges, in which the man was trust ing, are fhaken and overturned. By nature the strong man of fin keeps the house ; for Satan, the god of this world, “ while he keeps the house, the goods are at ease," and the man is carried away with the flood in a pleasant dream, “ crying, Peace, peace, while sudden destruction is at the door." But, I say, ordinarily the Spirit of the Lord comes as a Spirit of bondage unto fear; taking fome of the thunderbolts froin mount Sinai, he darts them in upon the heart, whereby the finner's carnal peace is broken and disturbed, the high imaginations of a righteousness by the law, and of peace with God upon that footing, are cast to the ground. This we fee exemplified in the apostle Paul, he was alive without the law; but when the commandment came," when the law was fet home in its fpirituality, “ Gin revived, (fays he), and I died;” q. d. All my vain confidences of righteousness by the law fell down; I found myself stripped of my fig-leaf coverings. Try by this, Has the Spirit of the Lord shut you up to the faith ; straitened you so with law-terrors, that you saw no relief in heaven or in earth, but by fieeing into Christ, who is the last refuge that ever a guilty finner will run to ?
2. If ever the Spirit of the Lord effectually lifted up the standard, so as to drive back the enemy, the everlasting doors have opened at his summons, and there has been a surrender of the heart and soul to the Lord. Have you been made to lie down at the foot of adorable sovereignty, like a poor fupplicant, crying with Paul, “ Lord, what wilt thou have me to do.?" or with the jailor, “ What shall I do to be saved ?" Lord, will the foul say, I put a blank in thy hand, I am content to fall in with any method of salvation that thou wilt prescribe. I have hitherto been building castles in the air, expecting salvation in a way of my own deviling; but I find
the bed too short for me to stretch myself upon, the covering too narrow to wrap my naked foul in. I see myself upon the point of everlasting ruin, and of falling an eternal sacrifice to avenging justice. O fhew me a city of refuge. O lead me to the place where thou causest thy flock to reft. O how thall I have peace with God? for I see it is hard for me to kick against the pricks. There is no prospering, by hardening myself against him; and therefore I yield to his summons, and surrender myself wholly unto him, to be saved in the way that he thinks fit.
3. If the Spirit of the Lord has lifted up the standard effećtually in thy heart, thy soul has been filled with a Glent wondering at the first light of the standard, I mean, at the first view of the glory and excellency of Chrift; so that you could not but own with the spouse, that he is indeed " white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand ; or, as in the margin, “ the standard-bearer among ten thousand," Cant. v. 10. The name of Christ, If. ix. 6. would readily ring like sweet melody in thy heart and soul, “ Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and his name shall be called Wonderful.” Usually at the first appearance of Christ to the foul, after it has been wading through the clouds and dark ness of mount Sinai, there is something of an ecstasy of admiration seizes the poor creature. He wonders at the perfon of Christ, when he sees him to be Emmanuel, God-man: « Without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness, God manifested in the flesh.” He wonders at his love and loveliness; he wonders at the beauty of holiness that shines in him; he wonders at the everlasting righteousnefs he has brought in; he wonders at the victories that he has won, and at the redness of his apparel, If. Ixiii. 1. 2. In a word, the soul wonders at the bright constellation of divine and human excellencies that centre and meet in him. If it be thus with thee, poor soul, it is an evidence that the Spirit of the Lord has lift up the standard in thy heart.
4. If the Spirit of the Lord has lift up the standard in and over thee, the iron finew of thy will has been bended in the day of the Mediator's power: Psal. cx. 3. “ Thy . people shall be willing in the day of thy armies.” The language of our hearts by nature is, “ We will not have this: man to reign over us. As for the word of the Lord that thou hast spoken, we will not do it.” But (), whenever the Spirit of the Lord lifts up the standard, there is such a sweet irresistible power comes along with the discovery, that the heart, which was like an adamant, is melted like wax in the midst of the bowels; it becomes pliable unto the promif
fory, preceptive, and providential will of God. As for his promissory will, when the Spirit of the Lord lifts up the standard, the soul sweetly yields to that; when God says, “I will be their God, I will be to them a Father, I will take away the heart of stone, I will put my Spirit within them,” &c. the soul sweetly falls in with every clause of the covenant, faying amen to every part of it. As for his preceptive will, when the Spirit of the Lord lists up the standard, the soul falls in with that also, according to the promise, Ezek. xxxvi. 27. “I will cause them to walk in my statutes, to keep my judgements, and do them.” Although the man formerly did cast away God's bonds, saying with proud Pharaoh, “ Who is the Lord, that I dould obey him?" yet now he is content to have the yoke of Christ's law wreathed about his neck, and written upon the tables of bis heart. He has frequently that prayer of David's in his mouth, “ ( that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes! Let my heart be found in thy statutes, that I be not ashamed.” As for his providential will, the heart yields to that also, faying, “ Here am I, let him do to me as seemeth him good. The Lord giveth, and the Lorii taketh away ; blessed be the name of the Lord. Under favourable providences he is ready to bless the Lord, saying, “ What am I or my father's house, that I am brought hither. to ?” Under frowning dispensations he is ready io say, “I will bear the indignation of the Lord, because I have linned against him. I was dumb with filence, lopened not my mouth, because thou, Lord, didst it.”
5. If the Spirit of the Lord has lifted up the standard in and over thee effectually, thou haft been determined to lift up the standard of war against all Christ's enemies; and the war between thee and them will be, like that between Ama. lek and Israel, irreconcileable; the war will be turned to a rooted hatred of sin, and a}l the works thereof; for there can be no agreement between God and Belial, between the works of the Spirit of the Lord, and the works of the prince of the power of the air : Psal. cxxxix. 21. 22. “ Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate thee? And am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? I hate them with perfect hatred.” And whenever Satan or the world would tempt thee to prove false to thy standard, or to yield to their soliciiations, thou wilt be ready to start back, and lay with Joseph, “How thall I do this great wickedness, and sin against God? Depart from me, all ye cvil doers; for I will keep the commandments of my God.
6. For trial, I ask this question, Whether hast thou on the livery of the soldier who fights under the standard which the V¢L. II.