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tains of sanctification, that God hath :pened to us, I shall : close with a caution or two,
1. Let us beware of neglecting the means, the out. ward means; such as, the initituted ordinances of God, the word, facranients, and prayer; for these are fanćtifying means, The wird I grace is a lanctiłying word; therefore, " As new burn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby," 1 Pet. ii. 2.
· 2. Beware of the careleis performance of, and attend. ance upon the means of fanctification; for, in this world, it is the hand of the diligent that inaketh rich: and, © Cursed is he that dith the work of the Lord deceitful. ly,” or NEGLIGENTLY, as in the margin. Beware of Noth; for, what fruit can be feen in the garden of the fluggard? Yet, 1. 3. Beware of laying weight upon the means, and de. pending up in them, as if they could work the effect, We tempt God, if we ihink to be fan&tified within the ule of means, which he himself hath appointed; and we provuke him all if we depend up in their., as if sanctifi. Ca ion were of them: whereas means can do nothing but as the principal agent is plealed to make use of them, and to work by theni. When we lean to means and in. Itruments, we provoke God to leave us, fo as we can find no advantåge by the!n.
4. - Be ware of fighting the motiins of the Spirit, or of grieving the Spirit, and quenching the Spirit. We may lose the beitpportunities of thriving in fanctifica. tiu, and improving these open fountains thereof, if we fiand not always ready to embrace the motions and breathings of the Spirit. And if we refilt the Huly Ghost, by whom the work of fanétification is begun and carried on, we have a hand in marring and retarding his work; especially if, by restraining prayer, and by neglecting known dities, and living in known impiety, and concience-walting fin, we provoke him to be
Let us live under the convi&tion of the neceffity of holivefs, without which no man lhall fee God; under a conviction of ur own utter inability to sanctify ourselves, and of this, that our sufficiency is only of God. Let us
despair of doing any thing in our own strength, knowing the treachery and deceitfulness of our own hearts, as deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. And let us keep our eye fixed upon the all-lufficiency of Chrilt, as able to save us to the uttermost, and as made of God to us fanctification. And, that we may be the more provoked to come to God in Christ for salvation and fan&tification, let us consider the pleasure and satisfaction that he hath in saving and fanctifying of loft finners, and in seeing them come to him for life, salvation, and fanctificativn: it is promised to Christ, " He shall see the travail of his foul, and be satisfied; and that the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand,” Ila. liii. 10, 11. His delights were with the children of men from eternity; and they are fresh in time when finners come in to him: their day of coming to, and believing in him, is the day of the gladness of his heart. Many a time have we grieved him by our fin and unbelief: O may we now give him a glad heart, by coming to him to be saved from our sin, and fanctified throughout: and thus may we give evidence, that we believe that fanctification is of God, and that whatever relates to the new creation in Christ, whether as to its commencement or advance. ment, continuation or consummation, these and All things are of God.
GAD the Conquered, yet Conquering Tribe; or,
The Vanquished at first, the Victor at faft. *
Gen. xlix. 19.
Gad, a troop fall overcome bim; but be focll overcome
at the last.
JACOB is here upon his death bed making his wilk:
and though the eyes of his body were become dim, yet the eye of his mind was enlightened to see what would befal his children, and to prophefy their lot. The twelve fons of Jacob were men of renown: but the twelve tribes of Israel that defcended from them, and were denominated by them, were yet more renowned. We find their names upon the gates of the new Jerufalem.
From the third verse of the chapter, we have the predictions concerning each tribe: this verse is concerning GAD; and the prediction is in allufion to the name Gad, which fignifies, A troop. Jacob foresaw that they were to be a warlike tribe: and so we find they were, i Chron. xii. 8. “The Gadites, it is faid, were men of might; men of war fit for the battle, that could handle shield and buckler, whose faces were like the faces of lions, and were as swift as the roes upon the mountains.” Heforefaw, that the fituation of that tribe, on the other fide Jordan, would expofe it to the excursions of the neighbouring enemies, the Moabites and Ammonites. And here two things are told about then,
* This Sermon was preached at Stirling, on Monday, June 1740. being the thanksgiving day after the sacrament of the Lord's Supper.
1. Something for their bumiliation, to prevent their pride ; A greop
Shelt overcome bin. That they might not be puffed up with their ftrength and valour, they are told that the troops of their enemies thould in many skirmishes overcome them: A exoop fall overcome hin.
2. Something for their confolation : to prevent their discouragement by their defeat, be affures them that they fhould evercome as the left; which, accordingly, was fulfilled, when, in Saul's tipię and David's, the Moabites and Ammonites were wholly subdued. See for this, i Chron. v. 18,—22, “ The tons of Reuben, and the Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh, of valiant men, men able to bear buckler and sword, and to shoot with bow, and skilful in war, four and forty thousand seven hundręd and threescore that went out to the war. And they made war with the Hagarites, with Jetur, and Nephish, and Nodab. And they were helped against them; and the Hagarites were delivered into their hand, and all that were with them: for they cried to God in the battle, and he was intreated of them, because they put their trust in him. And they took away their cattle; of their camels, fifty thousand; and of Sheep, two hundred and fifty thousand; and of asses, two thousand; and of men, an hundred thousand. For there fell down many fain, for the war was of God. And they dwelt in their steads until the captivity.” Thus it was accomplifhed what Jacob here foretold of Gad, A troop sealt overcome him, but he fall overcome at the last.
Now this, together with all other seriptures, is given for our instruction, and represents the case and lot of God's church and people to the end of the world.-Hence I deduce the following oblervation.
Doct. “ That the Israel of God may, for a timo, be " baffled, vanquithed, and defeated by troops of
enemies and oppofitions ; yot, they fhall be " wiĉtoriaus at last."
Thus grace in the soul is frequently foiled in its con: flicts : troops of corruption overcome it. But the cause is God's; and grace will, in the flue, come off a con. queror; yea, -more than a conqueror, Rom. viii. 37.
Instances in fcripture, of the de eat and conqueit of God's people, are many.- Jacob seemed to be defeat, fo as he was obliged to fly from the face of Elau: but he defeat him at last.-Joseph was defeat by a troop of false cruel brethren, and mighty opp filions : but he overcame at the latt.--Israel was many times overcome by troops of enenies: but they overcame at last.-Christ, the Captain of salvation, seemed to be overcome for a 'while, by troops and armies of assauiting oppofitions from heaven, earth, and hell, by which he was brought down to the dust of death: but he was victorious, and overcame at last.
Here we may touch a little, through divine aid, at the following heads of method. I. At the foils which the Israel of God meet with;
and shew what are the troops that defeat them in this world, and how far the troops may overcome
them. II. Speak a little of their victory, and how they may
be said to overcome at last. III. Offer some reasons of the doctrine, shewing why
they are many times overcome, and why they shall
overcome at last. IV. Make application of the whole subject.
I. We are to speak of the foils which the Israel of God meet with in this world. And I am here to observe these two things, 1. What are the troops that overcome them: and, 2. How far the troops may overcome them.
ist, What are the troops that overcome the Israel of God in this world ? To this we reply in the fol. lowing particulars.
1. There is a troop of lufts and corruptions, by which they are many times defeat; “ Iniquities prevail against me,” says David, Pfal.lxv. 3. This is a numerous troop,