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Ye shall drite out all the inhabitants of the land,
but if you will not drice out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then shall it come to pass that those which ye let remain of them, shal. be pricks in your eyes and thorns in your sides, &c. Num. xxxiii. 52, 55. See this fulfilled, Judges i. 27. Chap. ii. 14. Manasseh did no. drive out the inhabitants of Bethshean, 8c., and the Canaanites would dwell in that land ; 80 that they (the Israelites) could not any longer
stand before their enemies. The very same is to be observed in the holy and .spiritual battles of the Lord. He that fights only against outward sins, is but very little, if at all, acquainted with the dangerous enemies in his heart, or the deep corruption of original sin, and so the tempter may easily gain an advantage over him. Experienced Christians guard more against the inward assaults of wickedness; they are at peace with no sin, but keep up a constant war with all their most subtle and darling lusts. However, though the Canaanites, our inbred foes, must be conquered, they will dwell in the land, and cannot be wholly thrust out of the bosom, which makes the Christian warfare continue till death; yet give me grace, O Lord, never to spare my sinful lusts or tempers, but to look unto thee to destroy them without delay, as soon as they begin to move or stir, that I may not be destroyed by them.
O Prince of Peace, forgive my guilt,
Though more than I can tell ;
And from the host of hell.
From Grace's magazine,
With everv darling sin.
In the beginning God created the heaven and the
earth; and the earth was without form, and void ; and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. Gen. i. 1, 2. We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus (Note) unto good works, which God has before ordained,
that we should walk in them. Eph. ii. 10. THEREFORE, before we can really grow in holiness, we must be born again. How is it possible for a man to grow in sanctification, without a real change being first wrought in his heart? It is the Spirit’s way first to strip us of our own righteousness and strength, to shew us our nakedness and nothingness, to fill us with godly sorrow for sin, and then lead us to Jesus for pardon, sanctification, and justification. CHRIST being the Vine, we must first be planted in him, and draw nourishment and strength from him by faith. When it is fulfilled, “they shall feed and lie down" on his pasture, “ and none shall make them afraid," Zeph. iii. 13, then we shall be able to bring forth good fruits, and obtain victories; for it is God himself that thus makes us perfect in every good work, and prepares a table for us in the presence of our enemies.
I ask not honour, pomp or praise,
By worldly men esteemed ;
To feel my soul redeemed.
Dear Lord, to live to thee,
That thou hast died for me.
Thy Gospel thus to grace ;
Thus shall my works thee praise.
In the Lord have I righteousness and strength
Isa. xlv. 24. 2 Cor. ii. 14, and v. 19. JUSTIFICATION through faith in CHRIST, at first, is a very dark doctrine, hard to be understood; but afterwards we find, by experience, that it would be impossible to be saved in any other way, and that nothing can be surer than this, though all mankind should turn away from it. And when we are made to see that our best performances are unclean in the sight of God, and could not be accepted without the covering of Christ's righteousness, then we are brought to submit entirely to Christ, and at last to look upon ourselves wholly justified through him, which alone produceth rest, strength, and a gentle spirit, the true image of CHRIST.
In vain do we hope to procure this rest by any reasonings or strong resolutions of our own ; for if we are sometimes able to master our affections by our own strength, this is yet a building of our own, and keeps us from earnest wrestling in prayer. We have now a form of godliness without its power, and are still deceiving our own souls; for nothing can be pleasing in the sight of God, and profit us in the last day, but what he works himself. Away, therefore, with all these doings of our own.
Let us acknowledge the weakness and nothingness of our strength, and apply in our poor, blind, naked, lost, and miserable condition, to the blood and righteousness of CHRIST; then we shall also find power and dominion over sin. Isa. xxxiii. 24.
Sinners shall hear the sound;
Their thankful tongues shall own,
In thee, the Lord alone.
David's Declaration. - In the day of my trouble I
will call upon thee, for thou wilt answer me.
Psal. lxxxvi. 7. Divine Answer.—Then shalt thou call, and the
Lord shall answer ; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. Isa. xliii. 9. The Lord is rich unto all who call upon him; and it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call the name of the Lord shall be saved—(this, to the comfort of the weak, is several times repeated in Scripture) Joel ii. 32. Acts ii. 21. Rom. x. 12, 13, 19.-Therefore when the righteous cry, the Lord heareth them, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. Psal. xxxiv. 17, and cxlv.
18. James v. 16. O GLORIOUS promise! how can God deny me anything now that I pray for? He has passed his word for it; his Son has purchased it; the Holy Spirit inspires the prayer ; the word holds it forth ; and the prayer of faith lays hold of it, and actually receives it. Prayer is the mouth of faith. If thou wilt have much,“ open thy mouth wide, and it shall be filled.” Who then should not be stirred up to pray much! O what foolishness in this, that we have nothing, but may obtain all from God, and yet are so loath to pray much and pray right. O thou Hearer and Answerer of prayer, pour out upon my soul the spirit of prayer. Give me assured trust in thee, that thou wilt hear my prayer, and O let not my hope of an answer rest on anything but the all-prevailing merits of my Redeemer.
God knows the pains his servants feel,
He hears his children cry:
His grace is ever nigh.
Swear not at all: neither by heaven ; for it i
God's throne: nor by the earth; for it is his footstool : neither by Jerusalem ; for is is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil. Matt. v. 34.-37. See also James v. 12.
SWEAR not by the creatures; that in effect is swearing by their Maker. Neither swear by thy Maker, unless called to it by authority for the putting an end to strife : swear not falsely, that is calling the God of truth to witness a lie : swear not needlessly or rashly, as Saul did. 1 Sam. xiv. 39. Such oaths or vows are insnaring; better broke than kept, but best not made at all. Swear not idle, common oaths, such as, O CHRIST! O God! Faith and troth! By my soul! As I live! God bless me! If we must give account for every idle word, much more for every idle oath, and most of all for horrible cursing and blasphemy, that profanes God's name, and is the very language of hell. He that is guilty of perjury, not only is destroying his own soul, but is seeking to ruin his ne hbour, by perverting justice, and robbing the innocent of his right. Yea, sometimes God takes a false-swearer and self-curser at his word, and strikes him dead on the spot. Lord, help the guilty to repent of their sin, and help all to watch and pray agrinst it.