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For, again, notwithstanding the power and formidable character of this our great enemy, we shall find, in the latter verse of my text, both sufficient directions, how he is to be conquered; and sufficient hopes of success - to encourage us to undertake the task of resistance. "Resist him," saith St. Peter, "steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world."
Resistance is our first duty; and we have God's assurance, that resistance, on right principles, will never be in vain.
devil; and he will fly from you.”
in which we are to resist him, follows; "resist him, steadfast in the faith." If our faith fail not, if we make a proper use of it, we have a shield, which will quench all his fiery darts, sword, the edge of which he cannot endure. If he tempt us with guilty pleasures; our faith will make reply, that we know that we have greater joys laid up for us in heaven; and that we will not risk a life without end, for a few trifling advantages here. If he tempt us to covetousness; our faith will urge, that we have a treasure in the heaven which faileth not:- if to worldly pride; that, in the sight of God, there is no respect of persons:-if to spiritual pride; that
he, who thinketh he standeth, should take heed lest he fall:- if to spiritual despondency; that
we know that our Redeemer liveth; and that, though our sins be as scarlet, they shall be made white as wool. This is the manner, in which the shield of faith will defend us; and that we shall be successful, we have the promise of God; and we have further the encouraging hope drawn from the knowledge, that so many, who were assailed with like temptations, subject to like passions with ourselves, have come off victorious, with the same helps as those which God offers us; "knowing, that the same afflictions are accomplished in our brethren which are in the world." Many, no stronger and no wiser than ourselves, have fought in the good fight, under the same and still heavier trials; and many of them are now worshipping, in the triumph of the great Captain of their salvation, their heads crowned with unfading garlands, in white robes, and with branches of heavenly palm in their hands; praising Him, in whose strength they have been more than conquerors. And where others have shown us the possibility of success, shall we draw back in despair? or should we forget that there is no middle course allowed, between glorious triumph, and utter ruin; that we must be crowned with life eternal, or else be chained, in darkness and un
let fear, at least, the jaws of hell.
If hope will not rouse us, give us wings to escape from One effort made, our struggle
will afterwards be slight; when we have cast off our one besetting sin, we shall feel ourselves loose from the snare of the fowler; and love will soon perfect the work which a godly fear has begun.
Be of good courage, then, for this battle which we all must go through; bear up yet a while against this hideous roaring; which, if we are not wanting to ourselves, can do us no hurt; but if we hope to escape being devoured, let us not for a moment neglect the shield of faith, which God has given us, or those prayers, those sacraments, those habits of serious thought, by which alone that shield may be preserved, bright and impenetrable.
FOURTH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY.
1 SAMUEL, xii. 17.
Is it not wheat harvest to-day? I will call upon and He shall send thunder and rain; that ye may perceive and see that your wickedness is great which ye have done in the sight of the LORD.
THIS threat was spoken by the prophet Samuel against the Israelites, who had sinned against the Lord, by murmuring against His authority; and by desiring to change the form of government, under which His wisdom had placed them. To the Jews, as to ourselves, and to all the world, such weather, in such a season, was peculiarly disastrous and alarming; but in the hot and thirsty country of the Jews, such visitations were far more uncommon than they are in our northern climate, and so very little rain falls there between the months of March and October, that a thunder shower in harvest would naturally be regarded as a visible and miraculous proof of God's displeasure. With us, indeed, it is not so; but as, with us, the calamity is the same, and as we are now, for
the second time', threatened with the return of the same disastrous weather, which, twelve months ago, made vain the hope and labour of nations; I have been led to take these words as the subject of our Sunday's meditation, in the hope, that a comparison of our present fears with those which afflicted the disobedient Israelites, may induce us to compare our sins with theirs, and to seek, like them, for safety, by prayer and due repentance.
The time of harvest, as it is to those who hear me, and to the great body of those who eat the fruits of the ground, the most important season of the year, so it is a time, which a Christian can never see return, without a certain seriousness of mind, and an anxious recurrence of prayer and praise to GOD, who giveth food to His creatures; and whose frown may withhold, or His blessing largely bestow, whatever things are needful, whether for our bodies, or for our souls. When we witness the many dangers, which threaten the springing or the rising corn, when we reckon up in our thoughts the opposite dangers of drought, or of moisture, of parching heat, or of pinching and untimely cold; the blights, which may taint the ear; the worm, which may consume the root; and all the other alarms which the husbandman feels, or fears; we cannot but perceive