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Satan feareth ; and though he useth every artifice to make others unbelievers, yet he himself believes and trembles. Remember the battles and victories of your Redeemer : consider the virtue of his blood, and the efficacy of his Spirit. Let fạith behold him in his present exaltation at the - Father's right hand, pleading your cause, and observing your conduct; covering your heads, and healing your wounds; while he prepares for you those crowns of glory that thall never fade away: and then cry out with the Apostle in holy triumph,' “ If God 5 .be for us, who shall be against us?”_-" Who'shall* feparate us from the love of si God ? shall tribulation, or distress, or perse"cution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, " or sword ? Nay, in all those things we are “ more than conquerors through him that 6 loved us:"_Be bold, O Christians ! in the caufe of righteousness. Let the wicked blush; they have reason to do so; their work is base, and their wages deadly: but surely the disciples of Jesus have no cause to be ashamed, whether they consider the nature of their fervice, or the reward that attends it. And what

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a reproach is it, that the slaves of Satan should act more vigorously for their master, than we do for ours? Their cause is not only bad in itself, but desperate too, as -to any pro{pect of success : whereas the interest for which we contend, is so just and honourable, that the very attempting to support it is glor rious; and unless we were to suppose, that Omnipotence may become weak, and the Creator be overmatched by the workmanfhip of his own hands, we are sure of victory, : What then should we fear? Be strong, O believers !- and of good courage; you fight the battles of the Lord of hosts ; and greater is he that is with you, than all that can be against you., Say not that you are the fons of the Most High, and born from above, unless you can prove your descent, by daring to be holy in spite of devils and men. The battle may be hot, but it cannot last long. Death will soon come, and tell you, that your warfare is - accomplished; and angels, who now minister to you with joy, will carry you home in triumph to your Father's house; and the Redeemer, by whose blood and Spirit you

overcome overcome, will put the crown upon your heads, and' “ grant unto you to fit with him is in his throne, even as he also overcame, « and is fet down with the Father in his is throne.” Her

3dly, The stability of the gospel-church is a necessary consequence - of che doctrine in my text. Zion's King shall have a feed to serve him as long as fun and moon endure.' ? The church- he hath purchased with his blood is built upon a rock, against which'the gates of hell shall never prevail. The heathen may rage, and the people i. magine vain things; the kings of the earth may fer themselves, and the rulers take counfel together, against the Lord, and against his Anointed, saying, Let us break their bands ́asunder, and cast away their cords from us: But he that fittesh in the heavens shall laugh; the Lord fhall have them in derision ; and at length he shall fpeak unto them in his wrath, and ves them in his fore displeasure. The proudest of his enemies shall lick 'the dust, when he ariseth to plead the cause that is his own: and therefore his people may well rejoice

under

under the heaviest preffure of affliction, and

look by faith through the darkeft cloud, to • the complete redemption of Israel from all his troubles. “ For Jerusalem shall be a

burdensome stone for all people : all that “ burden themselves with it shall be cut in “ pieces, though all the people of the earth " should be gathered together against it.”. 7-14thly, This important subject suggests a variety of useful instructions to all who bear office in the church of Christ; and more especially to those who labour in word and doctrine *. To us is committed the ministry of reconciliation, that by the manifestation of the truth as it is in Jesus, the eyes of finners may be opened, and they turned from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God. We are commanded « to preach the word, to be instant in sea" fon and out of season, to reprove, rebuke, « and exhort, with all long-suffering and « doctrine." - " In meekness instructing “ those that oppose themselves ; if God per“ adventure will give them repentance - to

“ the * Preached at the opening of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, 1772.

k the acknowledging of the truth; and that 6 they may recover themselves out of the “ snare of the devil, who are taken captive “ by him at his will."

This, my fathers and brethren, is the great aim of the sacred office we bear; to which, not our public ministrations only, but every part of our conduct, ought to be subservient. Let us keep this aim continually in our eye, as a lamp to our feet; · and a light unto our path; and, in particular, let us place it full in our view when we are assembled together in the name of our Lord; to deliberate and judge in matters which belong to his fpiritual kingdom; remembering, that as all our authority is derived from him, so the exercise of that authority can be no further valid than as it is regulated by his will, and subordinated to the purpose for which the Son of God was manifested; and consequently, that every act and decision of an opposite tendency, shall be finally disowned and reprobated by him,

who came to destroy the works of the devil. - Amen.

SER-,

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