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couragement, “ The Lord thy God will go before thee,” to conquer the nations of enemies in your way. Unbelievers, indeed, ought to use the means, because the Lord commands the use thereof; and therefore, for the Lord's sake, neglect no commanded duty and ordinance wherein the Lord uses to be found. But yet I say again, never will any fou use the means aright, and acceptably, till something of the real true faith of this encouragement excite him: therefore, o believer, neglect net to read, and hear, and pray, and ineditate, and use all coinmanded duties and ordinances; for there you musi expect to meet with your Captain, that hath engaged to put out the nations before thee.

2. Beware of thinking that the strength of the warfare lies upon you, because you are obliged to use the means; and that it is your using thie means that will do the bufiness. As the former is a lazy, so this is a legal thought, and as pernicious and destructive as the other : for, if you lean upon the means, and think that your reading, praying, hearing, and the like, will drive out the nations, bring down the body of death, or subdue one corruption, that were a beating your enemies with a sword of straw : such a fleshly weapon will never draw blood of your spiritual enemies; and, instead, of getting victory over your fins by such legal weapons, you are brought under greater bondage; l'or as many as are of the works of the law, are under the curfe: and to be under the law, is to be under the dominion of fin; for, Tbe strength of fin is the law. This legal method then were to be opening a fore-door to let out the enemy, and, at the same time, opening a back-door to let then in, and that with more advantage against you than ever. As it is a dangerous extreme to neglect means, upon pretext that Christ must do all, since his doing all is the greatest encouragement thereunto; fo it is as dangerous on the other hand to use means, upon a notion that you inust do all, or that the weight of the warfare depends upon you, and your duties: for your entertaining that notion, is the greatest discouragement in the world to the use of the means, and gives your enemies the great


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eft advantage against you, even in that wherein you think to defeat them.

3. Beware of thinking that you may lawfully enter into a league with any of your enemies, because they are not to be deltroyed but by little and little. See what God says to Ifraei, with respect to the Canaanites, verse 2. of this chapter where the text lies, and ellewhere ; “ Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy to them.” While we are thowing that sanctification and mortification is not perfected in the saints while they are here, and that the nations of lufts even in their heart, are not all to be destroyed in this world; fome carnal heart may be ready to think, My blesling on the minister, who, by this doctrine, makes me think I may get to heaven tho' my lasts be not ali destroyed, and tho' I indulge myself in fome of the pleasures of the fleth; and, I hope, • 1


have peace, though I walk in the imagination of my heart, adding drunkenness to thirst, and o.e fin to another. Say you f), man, woman? I must tell you, that your speech bewrays you, that you are not an Ifraelite bound for the heavenly Canaan; for, cursed is that peace that is confitent with a standing league and covenant with


lust whatsoever. Such are in covenant with death, and at agreement with hell; and,

“ There is no peace, faith my God, to the wicked. The chil. dren of God dare not maintain a league with any lust, nor will they fhew mercy on their inost darling lults : nay, as it is said of fome, that their tender mercies are cruelty ; fo I may fay of the believer, in this case, that his most tender mercy toward his most beloved lust is cruelty; when he acts like himself, he is so cruel-hearted, he would cut the throat of it, if he could, and even of all his luits.

4. Beware of thinking that believers have no advantage against the nations of their enemies, fins and lufts, more than others, because they are not utterly destroyed: nor let believers themselves think, that because their deliverance is not effected presently, therefore it will never be effected; for the Lord their God is upon the destroying work, cnly he will take his own time and his own way to his own work, and his time and


way both is the best : Tlie Lord thy God will do it by little and little. Hence a believer may be getting advantage, and gaining ground upon corruptions and lulis, even when he feels then stirring and raging moit vin. lently : it may be they have got a dead firoak for all that; as a bealt that hath got a death's blow, may brook off from thote that are holding it, and turn more med tha! ever, and yet will die at length of the fame blow. The devil may rage moit, when he : news that his tiine is short, and that he will be foon cat out, and bruiled under feet. Corruption is not always ftrengeit, when its motions are most felt; it may be Itronges, wlien the strength of it is not seen.

Use 2. The second use may be for Information. Many things inight be here inferred; as,

1. Hence we may see the privilege even of a visible church, whom the Lord hath not utterly forsaken, tho? filled with sin, as it is said, Jer. li. 5. As they have the Lord for their God, in the sense that I explained before, and as Israel here was privileged; fo, by virtue of that relation to God as their God, they may have manifold mercies in common among them, as a mixed visible church, beyond the rest of the world: the Lord may appear for them against the heathen nations, that are about them, and that are among them; and he may do great things for them, by virtue of that relation that he stands in to them as their God, and they his profelling people. As this text relates to Israel of old literally, it represents a privilege common to all that people, namely, the Lord's driving out the nations of the Canaanites befure them ; and may we not say, The Lord hath in like manner dealt with us, particularly in the church of Scotland, several times?--As the Lord pianted a church here very early, not many years after Christ's afcenfion; so by liitle and little he drove out the heathen naiions before us: when our own forefathers were a race of blind Pagans here, the Lord destroyed that idolatry, and gradually enlarged his church, till, in process of time, Popery entering in, we were over-run with Antichrillian nations. But lo, when the time to favour Zion was come; I


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mean, the time of the Reformation from Popery, the Lord was pleased to drive out these other nations before us by little and little, and gradually carried on the Reformation work, and that by the method of folemn covenanting with him; and this covenanting work was carried on by little and little, again and again, till the whole nation came under folemn obligations this way. As Ifrael avouched the Lord to be their God, by folemn covenants, that were binding and obligatory upon them and their posterity after them; fo, in this duty of vowing to the Lord, which is a moral duty, and confcquently incumbent on the church of God'under the new, as well as old difpenfation, and not like the types and fhadows that were to be done away: in this moral duty, I Íay, we in our forefathers followed the example of the church of God in fcripture, by entering into folemn covenant with him; which work the Lord, in many signal ways, countenanced with leis presence, in the remarkable effufion and out-pouring of the Spirit, to the conversion of multitudes. It is the glory of a church, when God avouches them for his people, by the external dispensation of the covenant of grace; and it is also the glory of a church, when tỉey avouch God to be their God, in a most folemn Covenant of duty and service. This was a part of Scotland's glory, attended with internal displays of the power and glory of God in the fanctuary.--To prove the obligation of these Covenants upon pofterity to all generations, were, I suppose, neeclefs in this auditory; neither would time allow me to infift here: but I think, to dil. parage these Covenants, and to deny the obligation thereof, is to cast dung upon our glory, and to tread our honour in the dust ; yea, I think it worse than the breaking, burning, and burying of them : for a broken covenant may be mended again; a burnt covenant may come forth out of the furnace again; yea, a buried Cevenant may rise again, when God raises up a Reformation spirit: but to bespatter the reputation of them, and impugn the obligation of them, is, I think, to render them odious to all generations, instead of binding upon them. But now, as our Reformation was carried on


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by little and little ; fo, when it is under a decay in many respečls, let us look to the Lord our God, that, by little and little, it may be revived again, in the Lord's own time and way.

2. As we see hence the privileges of a visible church; so the special and peculiar privilege of the true Israel of God, the church fpiritual and invisible, though militant on earth: the Lord their God will caft out the nations before them in a spiritual fenfe, and that by little and little. May it not be said of them, as it is, Deut. xxxiii. 29. “ Happy art thou, O Ifrael; who is like unto thee, O people saved by the Lord, who is the shield of thy help, and the sword of thine excellency ?" And verse 27.

The eternal God is thy refuge, underneath are his everlasting arms: He fall thrust out the enemy before thee, and shall say, Destroy them.” What though all the nations of the world were againft them, outward and inward; the nations of earth and hell both? Yet he, who is the King of nations, is for them; and if God be for them, who can be against theń? He can destroy nations for their fake; “ I gave Egypt for thy ranfom; Ethiopia and Seba for thee.”

The nations may fight, but cannot prevail; nay, the gates of hell can never prevail against them. Why? They have the Lord for their God; and their God is their guard. And as the common relation that God stands in to a mixed visible church, intitles them to inany privileges while that relation stands ; fo the special relation that the true Israel of God stand in to him, as their God in Chrift, by a spiritual, indiffolvable union, intitles them to all spiritual blessings and deliverances. However difficult and dangerous their way to the heavenly Canaan is, by reason of the numerous opposing nations, which they can never destroy of themselves; yet their God and Captain leads the van, and drives out the nations before them.

3. See here the miserable case of the nations that know not God, and are enemies to the people of God. Why, like the co-fed Canaanites, they are devoted to destruction ; they vex themselves in vain, when they fight against the Lord and his anointed. The Lord God of Israel is to drive them out; yea, he will drive them to hell, that


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