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The Means of Spiritual Victory.

The Means of Spiritual Victory.

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Published by glennpease

Isai. lix. 19. JVIieii the enemy shall come in like a flood, the
Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against liim.

Isai. lix. 19. JVIieii the enemy shall come in like a flood, the
Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against liim.

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Published by: glennpease on Jun 24, 2014
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved


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THE MEAS OF SPIRITUAL VICTORY. THE REV. C. SIMEO, M.A. Isai. lix. 19. JVIieii the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against liim. THAT there will be a time when all the nations of the earth shall be converted unto God, is attested by every part of Holy Writ. But the seasons of great awakenings in the Church have always been seasons of violent opposition from the great adversary of God and man : and while there remain any ungodly persons to act as his instruments, he will not fail to make use of them, in obstructing to the uttermost the progress of true religion. It is matter of consolation however, that the more strenuous his exertions are, the more will God himself put forth his poMcr to maintain and advance his work: and v/e are well assured, that, " when he worketh, none shall hinder." That the passage before us refers to the Millennial period, is certain; because St. Paul cites it in that very view"*. The words of the text indeed are some- what differently translated by some, who apply the whole of it to God exerting himself " like a river straitened in its course, which a strong wind driveth along''." But in our translation there is a very im- portant idea suggested, from which there is no need to depart. It leads us to consider, I. In v/hat way the great adversary of souls assaults the Church — ever for one moment does Satan relax his vigi- lance, or feel any intermission of his enmity against the people of God. But there are particular seasons when his efforts are more violent, and when he may be said to " come in like a flood." In the manner of his assaults indeed he is continually changing ; but
his object is invariably the same. He seeks to over- whelm the Church, 1 . By errors — [In this way he has often prevailed to an astonishing extent. Even in the Apostolic age he had many active .» * einissavics, • Compare ver. 20. wilh Rom. xi. 26. £i .^k" Bishop Lowih. 533.] THE MEAS OF SPIRITUAL VICTORY. 449 emissaries, whom he sent forth to disseminate error, and by whom he " subverted whole houses ^" It is scarcely credible to what a degree he " bHnded the minds " of men in later ages, by the superstition^ of Popery; and with what rapidity he estabhshed the heresies of Pelagius, Arius, and Socinus. But we need not go back to former times : for we have witnessed in our own days the spread of infidelity like a deluge : we have seen a whole country, under the idea of superior illumi- nation, setting up a false philosophy in the place of true religion, and establisliing the worship of Reason on the ruuis of Christianity. If we of this nation have been preserved in a measure from the general contagion, still the errors that obtain amongst us are as general and fatal as any that were ever propagated in the world. The fundamentals of Christianity are kept out of sight: the doctrines of original sin, of salvation by faith, and of the operations of the Holy Spirit, are either wholly exploded, or received only in such a way as to reduce them to barren sentiments, devoid of efficacy on the soul or are the professors of godliness freed from the baneful influence of error. There are not wanting some who turn the grace of
God into licentiousness, and boast that they are freed from the law, not as a covenant only, but as a rule of life. This is but too pleasing to corrupt nature : no wonder therefore that such teachers draw away disciples after them, and that they cause many to make shipwreck of faith and a good conscience.] 2. By iniquity — [At all times there will be found much impiety and pro- faneness in the world. But when a Governor, or a professor of religion, lends himself to the propagation of wickedness, it will, like an impetuous torrent, bear down all before it, and inundate the land. Jeroboam no sooner enjoined the derelic- tion of God and his worship, and set up calves in Dan and Bethel, than all the ten tribes " willingly ran after his com- mandment "^i" and Peter no sooner sanctioned a cowardly shunning of the cross, than all the Church, not excepting Barnabas himself, were drawn away by his dissimulation % Indeed this is the natural effect of sin : wherever " iniquity abounds, the love of many will wax cold." The difficulty of maintaining one's stedfastness must of necessity be much in- creased by a general prevalence of sin. How hard must oah have fovmd it to preserve himself unspotted in the midst of the antediluvian world; and Lot in Sodom; and Micaiah or Elijah in Israel^! We are, alas! far more ready to follow a multitude in doing evil, than to i)ut them to shame by a holy conversation ; « Tit. 1,11. *Hos. V. 11. * Ga). ii. 12, 13. ' 1 Kin. xix. 10. & xxii. 6, 13. VOL. V. G * 450 i»AiAH, Lix. 19. [533. conversation; more ready to " put our light under a bushel,** than to expose it to the blasts which threaten to extinguish it.^

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