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loofed your heart from all other lords and lovers, and joined your heart unto him as the Lord your God, the Lord your captain, the Lord your righteoufnefs, the Lord your strength, the Lord your falvation? The Lord thy God will put out the nations before thee. Now, the heartdrawing difcovery of Chrift, uniting the foul to him, is a great matter; for thus the believer is unite to Chrift by faith, and the relation conftitute, fo as he is the Lord thy God, thy Head. Indeed a faving difcovery of Ged in Chrift, natively brings this along with it if you fee not God in Chrift, you cannot fee him to be thy God, but rather thy enemy; but to fee him in Chrift, is to fee him thy God, and thy friend: for they that fee him in Chrift, they fee him in whom he is wellpleafed; and to fee God well-pleafed in him, is to fee God as thy God. This appropriation, then, is imported in the very nature of faith, according to the measure of it; and the ground of this believing appropriation is the word of promife, I will be thy God; which is the great fundamental promife; and the proper echo of faith is, AMEN; I will take it on thy word, that thou wilt be my God, Zech. xiii. 9. "I will fay, It is my people; and they fhall fay, The Lord is my God." There the Spirit of God declares what fhall be the language of faith, when it acts like faith indeed, The Lord is my God. But, fay you, can every believer fay, The Lord is my God? My friends, I never thought that every believer could fay fo, nor that any believer in the world could always fay fo: but as every believer is not always believing; fo I fpeak of what faith fays when it is acting, and what the believer fays when he is believing, not when he is doubting and mifbelieving. Neither do I think that every act of faith is a faying exprefly, He is my God; but every appropriating act of faith fays this upon the matter, and every heart-engaging view of a God in Chrift hath a my God wrapt up in the bosom of it, whether it dare fay it exprefly or not; for, in Chrift, they fee him to be a well-pleafed God, and a friend. You know, faving faith is thyreceiving and refting on Chrift for falvation, as he is offered to thee, to thee in the gospel-promife;' and this receiving is no
other thing than believing, John i. 12.; and so it is a taking him on his word for falvation to thee, as a Captain to thee. Take away this particular application, and it is no faith at all, and conftitutes no union to him, no relation to him as the Lord thy God. I afk then, if ask the difcovery of the glory of Chrift hath joined your heart to him as the glorious Captain of falvation, fo as you have been taken on with him? Then thou art intitled to the complete victory; The Lord thy God will put out thefe nations before thee.-This mark excludes all thefe that never clofed with Chrift by a peculiar believing, but fatisfy themfelves with a general faith, and may be called but general believers; they have no particular words on which they have been caufed to hope, and no particular faith applying Chrift to themfelves. Such feem not yet to have entered the field of battle, nor clofed with the Captain.
4. Hath the Lord begun to put out these nations before you? Hath he begun to exert his power, by subduing your lufts? Did you never know the day wherein Satan fell like lightening, as it were, from heaven; when the ftrong man and his goods, that were at ease, were caft out of his habitation? How was it with you in the day of believing, in the day when the Lord your God manifefted himfelf, and appeared as a mighty Conqueror to you? Got you not all your lufts and corruptions, as it were, drowned in the blood of the Lamb, fo as you thought you fhould never fee them again? You know, believer, that was a false thought, but yet it was a glad thought to you, to think ye would never be under the feet of your corruptions again, and you would never difhonour the Lord as you had done, however fome time or other you have found the Lord pulling down the ftrong holds of unbelief, atheifm, and enmity, and giving you the necks of your enemies. This looks like a good work begun, a battle begun, and a breach made upon the rule and dominion of fin.-This mark excludes all thefe, in whom fin ftill reigns, and in whom the glorious Captain hath never fo much as begun to give a blow to the enemy.
5. If you be a foldier on your march to the heavenly
Canaan, then I ask you, If you be of any confiderable ftanding in the Lord's way? Have you not had many a bloody battle with the nations, and many a fearful onfet by the enemy, attacking you with main force, and may be taking you captive; yea, and bringing you into captivity to the law of fin that is in your members? Rom. vii. 23. Have you not found your enemies returning with fuch power and prevalency, that you was ready to think that you had loft all ground that ever you had got, and loft all the victories that ever you had gained, the Canaanites prevailing against you? Iniquities prevail against me, lays David. You would think this an odd mark; for, says the believer, it is the prevalency of fin that makes me fear I am not a true Ifraelite bound for Canaan. But ftay a little till I further clear it.-This mark excludes all thefe, in whom fin and lufts have not the power of prevalency only, but the power of dominion.
QUEST. What is the difference between the power of PREVALENCY, and the power of DOMINION?
ANSW. The power of dominion is a regal power; there fin is king: but the power of prevalency is a tyrannical power; there it is only a tyrant, whofe authority is rejected. The power of dominion is a monarchial power, where fin rules alone; but the power of prevalency only is where another power is alfo; there are two armies on the field. The power of dominion is uncontroulable, the man fins without controul; but the power of prevalency is a refifted power, where it meets with resistance unto blood. The power of dominion is an abfolute power; but the power of prevalency is a limited one, with refpect to fome particulars only. The power of dominion is a habitual power; but the power of prevalency is occafional only. And, in a word, the power of dominion is an intire power; but the power of prevalency is a broken power, the head of it is broken, and the back of it is broken, though it prevail.-Now, to find the prevalency of the enemy, is not inconfiftent with the believer's militant ftate, which fuppofes manifold inroads and incurfions of the Canaanites upon him. And, indeed, they are not capable to find the joy of the victory, who VOL. III. Ff
never feel the strength of the battle: fin reigns in the wicked, and hath too peaceable dominion with them; iniquity cannot be faid to prevail against them, but rather it prevails with them; it goes well enough with them, before and after their finning. But, Oh! fays David and the believer, Iniquity prevails against me; it is against my heart, against my will, against my desire, against my design, against my refolution, against my hope, against my faith, against my tears, against my prayers.
6. If you be foldiers on your march to the heavenly Canaan, then I would ask, Whether or not you find the power of the glorious Captain as neceffary for your deliverance, upon every new affault of the enemy, as ever you found it before? For true Ifraelites, fighting their way to heaven, find more and more evidences of their own utter infufficiency, and more and more need of grace's all-fufficiency. Oh! the nations are as strong as ever, and the need of powerful fuccours and auxiliaries from heaven as great as ever. This is plain alfo from the text; it is the Lord thy God that begins the battle; and the Lord thy God that carries on the extirpation of the Canaanites. Do you find, then, as much need of his power to excite grace, as to work it at first; as much need of his fencing the rear, as of his leading the van?-This mark excludes all these that have a power in their own hand, and never came out of themfelves, both for righteousness and strength, in to the Lord Jefus Chrift: but it is encouraging to these who are faying, in the exercife of faith, "I will go in the ftrength of the Lord, making mention of his righteoufnefs, and his only." O to be clothed with his righteoufnefs, and girded with his ftrength, is the great defire of all true Ifraelites!
7. If you be foldiers on march to the heavenly Canaan, you may try it by this, you will not only be perfectly at a point in this matter, that the battle is the Lord's, and that without him you cannot give one fair ftroak to the enemy; but alfo you will find to your experience, that, by little and little, the conqueft is carried on, and the Canaanites driven out; and that help and
affiftance comes from heaven by degrees, as the fovereign General is pleafed to order: though you get not all the great things you would be at, yet by little things you are carried through. Can you not fay, believer, that fuch a place was a little Bochim, where you got leave to weep out your heart before the Lord, becaufe of the prevalency of fin; and fuch a place was a little Bethel, a house of God, where you had fuch a meafure of divine prefence, as ftrengthened you against the enemy; fuch another place was a little Peniel, where you faw. God face to face, as it were, and a fight of the Captain of falvation gave the nations of hell a dafh? And though, in the interval, your enemies and lufts rife up again in fury, and rage against you, like to devour your foul, to devour your graces, to devour your comforts, and to devour your peace; yet there comes another little recruit from heaven, that gives you a new occafion to fet up an Ebenezer, faying, Hitherto the Lord bath helped; and to fing with the church, Pfal.cxxix. 1,2. 66 Many a time have they afflicted me from my youth, may Ifrael now fay; many a time have they afflicted me from my youth, yet have they not prevailed against me." Many a time have thefe Canaanites vexed me, and foiled me, yet they have not prevailed to my utter overthrow; for ftill, when I was brought to any extremity, the Lord was a little fanctuary to me, and communicated his grace by little and little to me, in a fuitableness to my need; allowing me here a little crumb of comfort, when I was like to faint in battle; and there a little crumb of courage, when I was like to yield; and at another time a little crumb of wonderful deliverance out of the hands of mine enemies, after I was led captive by them. Why, what is the meaning of all this? It is the Lord thy God driving out these nations before thee, by little and little.
Ufe 4. The fourth and laft ufe, fhall be in a fhort addrefs to two forts of perfons here. 1. To these that are at peace with the nations that ftand betwixt them and the poffeffion of the heavenly Canaan, and fɔ are at wag with heaven. 2. To these that are making war with the nations