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comprehending innumerable vain thoughts, and vile imaginations, besetting and besieging the foul in time of hearing, praying, communicating, and every religia ous duty. This troop is a body of fin, that makes the Ifrael of God to cry (ut fometimes with Paul, “O wretched man that lan! who fall deliver me from it?" Rom. vii. 24.

2. There is a troop of ungodly men in the world, that they bave to fight with, and that fometimes overcome them : “ Judge me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation," Psalm xliii. 1. This is a troop that many times bears down the work of God in a church, and the work of God in the heart. As it was with Ifrael of old, so it is with the church in all ages : she is never without enemies that annoy her; fometimes the tyrant, by heart-hatred and open perfecution; the atheist, by profaneness of life; the heretic, by corruption of doctrine ; and the hypocrite, by niere pretences to holinels.

3. There is a troop of devils that annoys and defeats them, while they wreiile not only with flesh and blood, but with principalities and powers, Eph. vi. 12. The devil and his instruments are the troops of hell that surr und them, and armies from the bottomless pit that assaults them, and throw many fiery darts of temptation at them,

4. There is a troop of officers in church and state, members of courts and judicatories, civil or ecclefialtic, that sometimes fall heavily upon them. Thus Christ warns his disciples, Matth. x. 17. “ That they will be delivered up to councils, and scourged in lynagogues, and be brought before governors and kings, for his fake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.” And be warns them not to be offended, saying, “ They shall put you out of the synagogues; yea, the time cometh; that wh fever killeth you, will think that he doth God fer. vice,” John xvi. 2. I might here mention many troops and armies of oppositions they may meet with; such as, a troop of earthly cares and vexations, a troop of hellish fnares and temptations, a troop of grievous trials and tribula

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tions, and cross dispensations that may attack and over. come them. But I halten to thew,

2dly, How far the troop may overcome them. I fhall mention four degrees of victory that the troop of enemies and opposers may obtain over them.

1. The troop may overcome them fo far, as to bring them to distress and great bondage, as Israel was under in Egype, and in the days of Nehemiah, when he said, chap. ii. 17. “ Thou seest the distress we are in, how Jerusalem lieth, wafte.” The child of God may be brought to David's prayer, Pfalm xxv. 17. “O bring me out of


distresses :", a troop hath overcome me, and brought me into distress; O bring me out !

2. The troop may overcome them so far, as to bringe them to discouragement and disquietude, as well as dile tress. Thus it was with David, when troops of fin and iniquity had defeat him, and gone over his head; “ I am feeble and. sore brken: I have roared, by reafon of the disquietness of my heart," Pralni xxxviii. 8. A man may be outwardly distresfed, and not inwardly difquieted; but then he is greatly defeat, when he is greatly. disquieted.

3. A tramp may, overcome them fo far, as to bring them to despair : this is yet a forer defeat, when the church or child of God is so far vanquished and overcome, as to fay, “ My strength and my hope is perished from the Lord! remembring mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall,” Lam. iii. 18. So far were the disciples overcome with the troop of temptation, when their Lord was dead and buried, thay their hope was giving up the ghost; when they said, " We trusted that it had been he that should have redeemed Ifrael :12, but now, might they fay, We find ourselves mistaken; our hope is gone. Oh! what a great victory does the enemy gain, when the Israel of God are brought to despair !

4. A troop. may overcome them so far, as to bring them to death; to the sentence of death, and to death Xfelf. To the fentence of death, as it was with the apostle, 2 Cor. i. 9. "We had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but


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in God, which raiseth the dead.”-Yea, to death itself, and actual killing ; “Yea, the time cometh, that whofuever killeth you, shall think he doth God service,” John xvi. 2. And thus you read of the killing of the witnesses, Rev. si. 7. The children of God may be fo defeat and overcome, as in a spiritual sense, to be killed, dead, and buried, and have the grave stone laid upon them, as it was upon their glorious Captain. Thus the church cries, Lam. iii. 53. “ They have cut off my life in the dungeon, and call a fone upon me.” Alas! how has a troop overcome them! when they are saying, Ezek. xxxvii. 11.“ Behold, our bones are dried, and our hope is loft; we are cut off for our parts.” And as it is, Psalm cxli. 7. “ Oar bones are scattered about the grave's mouth, as when one cutteth or cleaveth wood upon the earth.”

Thus a troop may overcome them so far, ás to bring them to distrels, discouragement, despair, and death. And, O Sirs, where is the Christian that is not conquered many a time by a troop of inward corruptions, or outward temptations, or both! Where is the tribe of Israel, that may not be named by the tribe of Gad? A troop shall overcome tbem. How does the enemy overcome their faith, overcome their hope, overcome their patience, overcome their courage and c'mfort, and dash them down to the ground ?-So wuuch of their 'foils.

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II. The Second thing proposed was, To speak of their vjetory; Tbey fall overcome at laft. As did Gad, so thall all the true Ifrael of God. Here it may be confidered, How they overcome, and when they overcome; or in what respects they may be said to overcome at last. Ist, How they shall overcome.

I name fix means, by which they effectuate this.

1. They overcome by knowledge; Dan. xi. 32. “ The people that know their God, thall be strong, and do exploits.” And particularly, by getting the knowledge of, and acquaintance with the Captain of falvation, having aband tried their old general, the devil, under whose standard all the ehildren of men by nature wage. war against


God; but now, by the knowledge of Christ, they are Itrong and do exploits : for, by himn lirengthening them, they can d, all things.--They overcome by the knwledge of the warfaring life of the Chrillian, so as to be refolved upon this life, and not to be always lying in a bed of eale.-By the knowledge of the nature of the war, that it is spiritual, and that the weapons of it are not carnal, but mighty, through God, to the pulling down Itrong holds, casting d wn imaginations, &c.-And by the knowledge of the neceflity of new recruits of grace and strength from Jelus Christ. This knowledge comprehends acquaintance alto, with the oppfite interest and parties concerned in the war ; how it is grace on the one side, and corruption on the other; Christ in the one side, and the devil and the world on the other : the dragon and his angels, against Michael and his angels. It is necessary in order to overcome, that the fldier know his friends and fues.-It comprehends also, a knowledge both of the p wer and plicy of the enemy, and of the power and wildom of the captain to counteract the enemy. The people that know their God, shall be strong, and ds exploits.

2. They overcome by faith; 1 John v. 5. This is the victory whereby we bvercome the world, even our faith.” The lults of this world, and the god of this world are thus overcome : “ Wiom refift, stedfali in the faith. Above all, taking the field of faith.” By faith we wax valiant in fight, Heb. xi. Faith hath a filter that is called Hope, and they are both joined together, as part of the Coristian armour, i Thef. v. 8. Where faith lerves for a breail-plate; and for an lelmet, the hope of salvation.

3. They overcome by love ; this is also joined with that fane faith, i Thel. v.8. - Let us who are of the day be fober, putting on the breait-plate of faith and love.” Love is a very trung plece of armour, that can go through troops

"Love is strong as death; &:. Many waters can't quench love, neither can the flinds dr. wn it,” Sing viii. 6, 7. 4. They overc me by the means of prayer; Mat. “ Watch and pray, that ye enter not into



sitions ;

xxvi. 41.

temptation." This weapin ye find among the rest, Eph. vi. 18. “ Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit.” This weapon Paul used, when a troop invaded him, and a niessenger from Satan attacked himn ; " For this I befought the Lord thrice.” The prayerless man is a vanquished man: but as long as a man can pray in faith and in the Spirit, he is armed against the devil and his troops. It is best wreitling against fin and Satan, fighting on our knees; but cease praying, and victory is gone.

5. They overcome by the blood of Christ, in a special manner; “ They overcame by the blood of the Lamb,” Rev. xii. II. This is the principal weapon, without which, the rest are useless. It is the blood of Christ that fatisfies justice, purchases victory, cleanseth from all fin, and washes away enemies as a flood. It is the blood of Christ that poisons the old serpent, and destroys Satan's power : when Satan bruised the heel of the woman's feed, Christ, the promised Seed, gave the serpent's head a blow, as it were, with his bloody heel, and broke the devil's head therewith ; for, “ By death he destroyed himn that had the power of death, that is, the devil."

6. They overcome by the word, which is the sword of the Spirit, Eph. vi. 17. Hence Christ repels Satan ftill with this word, “ It is written, it is written.” See 1 John ii. 1. “I have written to you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abides in you; and ye have overcome the wicked one." Are ye assaulted with the troops of temptation ? Then call to mind God's word of command, his word of threatening, his word of promife. You may do thus, and thus, says Satan: no, but say you, So and fo, hath God commanded. There is no harm, says Satan: nay, but, say you, So and fo hath God threatened. You will be nothing the better of your religion, fays Satan: nay, but, say you, So and so hath God promised. Is fin and corruption strong? Then plead the promise, saving, as it is, 1 Kings i. 13. “ Haft thou not said that Solomon shall reign? and, behold Adonijah hath usurped the throne.” Thus they overcome. These two weapons, the blood of Christ, and the


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