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pray for those who have not your own hearts the searching question, high privileges and for yourselves “ What do we more than others?” remember, “ that to whom much I remain, dearly beloved, your has been given, of them will much affectionate minister and servant in be required !” Often ask your Christ,
ON THE BRITISH AND FOREIGN BIBLE SOCIETY.
HAÍL! holy, heav'n-born, sacred cause ;
Now dawns the long-expected, wish'd-for day,
Behold his flight! Lo, through Siberian snows
Unhappy men, whom prejudice beguiles,
O my lov'd country! should the day appear
SERMON*.--The Fight OF FAITH. 1 Timothy, vi. 12. — Fight the heart, and to become "holy in all yood fight of faith.
manner of conversation." How mistaken are those, who But, there are some, who even imagine, that in the religion of profess the Gospel of Christ, who Christ they have nothing to de but know nothing of the soul's conflict to rest for security on a dead faith with the “
power of the prince of or barren profession! How many, darkness,” its internal struggles that are called Christians, “sit all with corruption, and its spiritual the day idle," only “ folding their warfare with outward temptation. hands,” and enjoying, in false con- They even ridicule the idea of such fidence, the hope of the glorious a conflict, and consider it as a Gospel, without once considering mark of enthusiastic folly, and as a the work that God hath called proof of religious extravagance. them to perform, the duties which They never knew any thing of such they have to discharge, the race a conflict, and therefore they conthat they have to run, or the con
clude that no one else ever did. flict which they will have to main- They never experienced any thing tain to the end of life, with all the of the corruption and deceitfulness enemies of God and man. From of the heart, and therefore they the commencement to the close of imagine that no one else did. They his life, the Christian hath enemies never feelingly knew the
of to contend with, to resist, and to the enemy; and therefore they beconquer. Every, expression that lieve that there is no danger to be apis used to describe his state, his prehended from his power; though character, and his duty, implies they are only proving, by their that he is called to labour and dili- reasoning and conduct, that they gence, to holy vigilance and acti- are themselves under the influence vity, and to " fight the good fight of the great deceiver, and that of faith,” under the banners of the they are “ led captive by him at cross, all the way to Zion. The his will.”. Without now attending real Christian finds, through all his to such false notions, which at earthly pilgrimage, trials, tempta- once contradict the whole tenour tions, and difficulties at every step of the Gospel, and the experience of his journey. He knows, by bit
of the wisest and best men in all ter experience, the craft and ma- ages; I shall rather call liçe of the enemy, the deceitful- earnest attention to the subject of
the Christian's conflict, and enruption of his own heart; and is gage your hearts in fervent prayer, made to feel and to confess, that. that the Spirit of that mighty God if he but relax his efforts, remit his who alone can give us the victory, vigilance, or neglect his duty, his may now be with us, and render soul is in danger, and he is sure to
the word effectual to make each of fall. He will acknowledge the us more diligent, more watchful, necessity of daily watchfulness and more successful in all our spiritual prayer for the supply of the Spi- warfare, that we may so
« fight rit of Christ” to resist the various the good fight of faith," as to gain and alluring temptations by which the “ victory through our Lord he is assailed, to
overcome the Jesus Christ.” wiles of Satan, of a deceitful I. It is an arduous fight. world, and of his own corrupt wrestle not only against flesh and
blood, but against principalities, Abridged from Davy's Cottage Ser- against powers, against the rulers mons, Vol. 11.
of the darkness of this world, FEBRUARY 1823.
against spiritual wickedness in that strengtheneth” us. It is the high places." All the powers of Spirit of the Lord alone, that preearth and hell are leagued against pares the soul for the combat, gives the believer in Christ Jesus. Every courage for the conflict, and seeffort and stratagem will be used cures “ us the victory through our during the whole warfare to en- Lord Jesus Christ.” In this suftrap, to surprise, and to overcome ficiency the Christian stands prethe soul. We shall need all our pared for every assault. In this vigilance and care, all our strength aid of the Spirit, the humble foland fortitude, to stand against the lower of Jesus goes forward, remighty host of foes that will op- joicing as he follows the “ Captain pose, our progress in the ways of of his salvation;" knowing that heaven. Our enemies are many, under his guidance and protection mighty, and malicious At one he shall finally triumph over all the time power will be employed; at malice and power of the enemy, another, craft will be tried; at an- and over all opposition in his way other, malice will exert all its wiles; to glory. . sometimes, the whole will be united II. It is a “ good fight.” Some
hope, and to “ draw it back unto in their object, their means, and in perdition." Human nature, with their end. They are often begun all its powers, must fall before such from motives of wicked ambition, powerful opposition. Reason, with are carried on to the destruction of all its attainments, must prove in- all peace and happiness, and end sufficient for the conflict. “ Flesh in the misery and distress of conand blood” alone could not “ stand quered nations. These contests in the evil day.” Man alone, with are only to be traced by carnage all his boasted might and excel- and blood, and are discovered by lence, must fall as a prey to “ the the tears and lamentations of the devouring lion.” The conflict is, widow and the orphan. But the indeed, great and difficult; and, if Christian's conflict is a “ good we were left to ourselves, we must fight." It is begun for the good of despair of success. When we the soul; it produces and ensures consider the power and malice of peace of mind; it ends in eternal the enemy, and the many and great salvation. This fight begins from advantages that he hath over us a holy ambition of escaping from from a fallen world in friendship the cruel bondage of sin, and or and alliance with him, from our serving God in sincerity and truth. own natural corruption, and from It is carried on to destroy the our own “ wicked and deceitful kingdom of Satan in the soul, and hearts,” so ready to listen to, and to enthrone the God of glory in the to yield to the suggestions of the heart. Its object is to conquer all deceiver; we must surely tremble sin and every evil propensity, and for ourselves, and be alarmed for to give the whole possession of the our own safety. Where so much soul to its rightful owner. The is at stake, the risk so great and present effect of this conflict to the the loss so irreparable, it must be humble penitent is peace in the confessed, that to fear is reason- conscience and peace with God; able. Blessed is the man wlio so and its future consequences are feareth as to flee to the refuge that peace and glory in heaven. This is in Christ Jesus for safety, and to contest leads the soul of the faith
resort to the armoury of God for the ful servant of God to the acquisi. only sure weapons of defence in tion and the enjoyment of true
this arduous conflict. “ Our suf- earthly happiness, and prepares it ficiency is of God.” It is “ Christ for that which is everlasting. By it the believer in Jesus obtains grow, we shall “ wax stronger and “ durable and unsearchable riches," stronger," the happier and more “ more than eye hath seen, or heart heavenly-minded we shall be. Our conceived ;” honours and titles very enemies thus become, howmore distinguished than the world ever unintentionally, our friends. can bestow; even a kingdom that Our temptations only increase our is unfading, undefiled, everlasting, watchfulness. The powers of hell, and reserved in “ heaven for ali” combined against us only drive us the followers of the Lamb, who nearer to heaven. The daily ashave “ fought the good fight of saults of the enemy only compel us faith,” and have gained the victory to “ live daily more by faith in over sin and Satan, death and hell, the Son of God.” The knowledge through the precious blood of the of our danger only quickens the cross. The tight may be arduous, soul to prayer. The very sight of the danger may be great, the ene- an enemy only makes the believer mies may be many and mighty; to live in his armour, not to sleep but, the consideration that it is a at his post; but, every moment to “ good fight,” for the glory of our stand prepared, that he may neiGod, and for the good of our souls, ther wound his own conscience, should arm us with fortitude and dishonour his Master, nor disgrace resolution to fight manfully under his profession. Whatever we feel, the banner of the cross. We are or suffer, or lose, in this conflict, assured, that by victory alone, we is not “ worthy to be compared can obtain the prize of our high with the joy that shall be revealed calling. We are faithfully told, to us.” But it is also, that, if we “ resist the devil, stead- III. A continued fight. In the fast in the faith,” the battle must contests for power in this world one be won. For,' though his power battle sometimes decides the fate is mighty, yet our strength in of a kingdom. In this world, war Christ is almighty; and in that may be arrested by a truce; peace strength we shall be “more than may follow; and a league of alconquerors through Christ that liance may be lasting. But, in the loveth us." We are warned, that contest for heaven no kind of inter-, if we yield, we must perish, and mission can be given to the conflict that we must either conquer or die. - no truce can be made with the In this warfare with the “ powers enemy-no alliance can be formed, of darkness,” the more ardent and nor compromise can be admitted. zealous we are, the more peace Every day we must fight or fall and happiness we shall experience, every hour we must be ready, in the more successful we shall prove “ the whole armour of God” to over all our spiritual enemies, the meet the enemy-every moment more good we shall secure and en- that we are off our guard, we are joy in our own souls, the more exposed to danger. There is no blessing we shall receive from the rest from this toil, till we rest in hea“ God of all consolation,” the more ven. There is no sleeping in safewe shall feelingly know of the love ty, till we “ sleep in Jesus.” The of Christ by the communion of the Christian must consider nothing as Spirit, and the more ready we shall done effectually, while there rebe for that “ rest that yet remain- maineth any thing undone.” “ For- : eth to the people of God.” This getting all that is past, he must one grand and peculiar advantage still be pressing forward.” Every attends this holy warfare: the day must he go forth to meet the more we fight in the strength of enemy. He must watch over his the Lord, the better we shall be- “ deceitful heart,” his evil tempers, come, the more holy we shall and his evil habits. One confliot
is no sooner ended, than he must give up all for lost. But, he is expect another. One victory only not alone; for, more mighty are prepares the way for a second. At they that are for us, than they are one time an open attack may be or can be that are against us. Naresisted with ease; at another, a ture, indeed, trembles at the power secret snare may be successful. At of the enemy, and reason declines one time, an outward assault may the conflict. But, faith goes forth be of no moment; at another, an to combat and to victory, in the inward temptation may prevail. strength of Him who is almighty. The enemy will be restless and in- Faith engages all the hosts of defatigable, like “ a roaring lion, heaven on its side, and in its de-. seeking whom he may devour.” fence. Faith girds the Christian He will try every art and method for the war, and secures him sucto discover some weak and vulne- cess in the conflict with the powers rable part. He will suit his snares of darkness. The true Christian is to our dispositions, circumstances, armed, in this holy warfare, with and habits. In all our ways, and armour proof against “ all the fiery in all our works, we must ever darts of the wicked,” able to repel watch against the wiles of the great every attack of the enemy, and to deceiver, and every“ besetting preserve the soul safe in the midst sin.” Every where, and in all pos- of danger. The believer in Christ sible conditions of life, we must be hath “ the helmet of salvation, the on our guard against his cunning shield of faith, the sword of the devices, lest he“ get an advantage Spirit,” for his perfect security. over us.” “ Let him that now Faith unites the soul to God in a thinketh he standeth, take heed bond that cannot be broken. Faith lest he fall." We are never safe, sees the “ horses and chariots of unless in walking humbly with our fire” that compass “ the servants God. We must not consider the of God, and fears not.” It bewarfare ended, till we are safe in holds “ the Angel of the Lord enthe realms of glory. “This is not camping around those that fear our rest." The conflict, however him," and stands unalarmed. It difficult, must be continued till we relies on the faithfulness and power die. While we carry about us, a of God, and thus triumphs over “ body of sin,” the warfare will be every enemy. By faith, the Chrisuninterrupted. While we have one tian®“ sees Him who is invisible,” lust or evil temper left, the strug- sending daily supplies of grace for gle will not cease. Wbile we his various infirmities and trials, breathe, and there is a possibility his conflicts and temptations. By of temptation, the victory will not faith be apprehends and enjoys the be won. But, beloved, be not preciousness of the promise, that discouraged-fear not-remember the Lord of mercy will not leave your high calling-behold the prize his people to perish; that Christ. -view the crown of glory-re- is * able to succour them that are double your etforts—fight manfully tempted,” and that he will give all as the “ heirs of salvation.” The “ grace to help in every tiine of victory cannot be doubtful. Suc- need.” He knows the power and cess will crown your fidelity. Glory the privilege of prayer; and “ by will be your reward and inherit- prayer and supplication makes his ance. For, never forget, that it is, request known to Him” who hath
IV. “ The fight of faith.” If promised, “ Call upop me in the ' in this arduous conflict man had time of trouble, I will deliver thee, alone to encounter the hosts of and thou shalt glorify me.” Faith hell, he might well shrink from the can remove mountains of difficulcontest, and in despair of success ties; surmount all dangers; face