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And take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Ephes. vi. 17.
SOLDIERS of Christ, all hail! Happy ye: Christ is your whole armour, ist. Christ, who is THE TRUTH, is the strength of your loins : his righteousness is your breast-plate of defence. 2d. He is the sum and substance of the gospel of peace, whereby our feet are shod to march against the enemy. 3d. The author and object of faith: our shield, to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 4th. Our helmet of hope. Thus, by the grace of the Spirit, put him on as your armour. Then, what dangers may you not face? What enemies have you to fear? But forget not your SWORD: though but just entered the field, you must know the use of it and necessity for it: it is offensive to your enemy, defensive of yourself. What a poor figure would a soldier cut in the field of battle with: out his sword? Just so would you without THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT, called THE WORD OF God. For, ist. By it he conquers the pride of our hearts, the self-righteousness of our spirits, and the rebellion of our nature against Christ and his salvation. 2d. He furnishes us with it, and enables us to get victory by it over our corrupt reason, the injections of satan, and the objections of carnal men against the mystery of Christ, hope in him, and salvation by him. TAKE this sword: hold fast the faithful word, abide by it; stand to it : as a centinel, with this sword in thine hand, guard thy heart against every intruding, insulting foe, all the lying accusations, soul-dejecting, Christ-dishonoring suggestions of satan. Not only so, but like Esau, “by thy sword thou shalt live;" Jive upon what thy sword brings in from day to day, out of the precious word of God, out of the fulness of the grace of Jesus, and the precious promises in him. Having such an armour, the Lord forbid that we should be like the children of Ephraim, who turned back in the day of battle!.... Psalm lxxviii. 9. Lord strengthen us that we may never be ashamed to confess the faith of Christ crucified, but manfully to fight under his banner against sin, the world and the devil, and so continue Christ's faithful soldiers and servants unto our lives' enda Is this the one desire of your soul? O, bless the Spirit for it: hold fast the sword which he hath put into your hand: hold up, thus saith the Lord, thus it is written, against every foe. Neither men nor devils can stand against the word of the Lord, “It is sharper than any two-edged sword.”....Heb. iv, 12. O, may thy word, thy precious word, Spirit divine, teach me the art My Saviour and my God,
Thy blessed-sword to wield, Against my foes, me help afford, That I thereby may guard my heart,
All thro' this dang'rous road. And ever keep the field. M.
Praying always with all prayer....Eph. vi. 18.
ONE, by way of banter, said to me, “I will treat you with a play if you will go with me to-night." I thanked him and told him I would accompany him, if I could be sure it would bring more of the love of Christ into my heart : this, this is worth living for, using any means to promote, and going any where to procure. But, here is a weapon which defends us against all temptations to go to such places, or do such things, which are contrary to the peace our souls and damp the love of Christ in our hearts. That soul who keeps up sweet fellowship with God at a throne of grace is dead to sensual gratifications; the more prayer, the more spiritual life from Christ; the more spiritual life, the more prayer to Christ; the more we enjoy Christ, the less we desire from the world. PRAYING : this is the last weapon of our warfare ; it will be used by soldiers to the last moment of life. God be merciful to me a sinner; Jesus save or I perish, are suitable petitions for a dying soldier of Christ: we are sure such prayer of faith God will answer. PRAYING ALWAYS: we are prone to think we are not always in a fit frame to pray. Who but Christ can put our souls in a better? Therefore, pray him to do it. “ I am oppressed,” said Hezekiah. What then? Did he cease to pray? No: “O Lord, undertake for me.”.... Isa. xxxviii. 14. The undertaking of Jesus we want always; therefore, should pray for it always. WITH ALL PRAYER : every kind of prayer : though armed with the whole armour of God, yet no victory without the power of God. The most secret sigh of the soul is heard by God, as well as the loudest cry of the tongue. If your lot is cast into the worst of company, there your heart may pray; God can hear; you then ought to pray that God may keep you. Are you low in your frame and uncomfortable in your soul? Why is this? That you should call upon the Lord. Do you fear your enemies will prevail? Improve fears into prayers ; call on the Saviour; the more prayer, the more victory: the more victory, the more love. Love is heaven below : thus we go on conquering and to conquer. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death : praying souls may joyfully shout victory over death, and all things, more than conquerors through him who loved us."....Rom. viii. 37. Is this the state ? this the faith of praying christians? Who brought them into this happy state, this joyful faith? The question excites gratitude, and calls forth praise to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.... Heb. xii. 2. Our captain loves to hear
When we grow faint and weak, His soldiers' praying voice :
And dread our en'mies' pow'r, Courage he gives, forbids our fear, This is the time fresh strength to seek, Commands us to rejoice.
For yiet'sy in that hour. M.
There is one body and one Spirit....Eph. iv. 4.
Paul exhorts saints to a holy, loving, peaceful walk: he knew nothing could effect this like the consideration that they all composed one body, of which the holy, loving, peaceful Jesus is the head: while the power of this truth lives in the heart, love prevails in holiness before God and peace with our brethren ; then, in sweet fellowship we say with Abraham to Lot, “ let there be no strife I pray thee between me and thee, for we are brethren."....Gen. xiij. 8. THERE IS ONE BODY : saith our Lord, “A BODY hast thou prepared me.".
..... Hels. x. 5. As Christ had a natural body, formed by the power of the Holy Ghost, which he was to inhabit, in which he was to atone for sin, fulfil all righteousness, and make intercession for transgressors ; so he has also a mystical body, chosen and given to him by God the Father; in and over all these he is head. This is a sweet word “God gave Christ, to be head over all THINGS, to the church which is his body."....Eph. i. 22. Believing sinner, art thou a member of this blessed body, united to this ever precious, ever glorious head ? Envy not monarchs ; covet not more ; study thy dignity'; live like thyself ; glory in thy head; look down with contempt on all things below Christ and heaven. THERE IS ONE SPIRIT : 'he flows from the head, hath united us to the head, inakes us like the head, and causes us to rejoice in the head; for Christ is all and in all his members : by this one Spirit he animates, guides, and comforts them. Learn hence, Ist. To love and praise God for the gift of Jesus to be all things to us. 2d. To glory of, ‘and rejoice in Christ our head, who has done all for us and is all to us, “ for in him we are COMPLETE.”....Col. ii. 10. Sd. Give glory to the loving Spirit who convinced us of sin, shewed us Christ, knit our hearts to him by faith, and causes us to look to, live upon, and be comforted by Jesus our covenant head. 4th. Endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace between Christ and his inembers. Saints' strifes are satan's sport : they grieve the Spirit and distress our minds. As we expect to live together with our head ABOVE, “let us follow the things which make for peace and 'wherewith one may edify another BELOW."....Rom. xiv. 19. The power of this faith, of being one with Christ, is most amazing; it works by the love of Christ, produces love to him and to all his members, as being one in him : Lord increase our faith.
United unto Christ our head,
By the dear Spirit's pow'r,
And wait his coming hour.
Twill not be long before Christ come,
We hear our bridegroom's voice: He made us one, lie'll take us home;
My soul in this rejoice. M.
Ye are called in one hope of your calling....Ephes. iv. 4.
What a glorious day was that to Saul when the Lord called to him from heaven and said, I AN JESUS your Saviour! Says one;. “ O that I was so sure that Christ hath called me, as he did Paul! Then how happy should I be!" Verily, thou mayest be happy : thou mayest be as sure thou art as effectually called, as Paul was : thy concern of mind about it is a clear evidence and full proof of it. While in a state of natural ignorance and unbelief of Christ, had Paul a single wish or desire to be called by Christ? Nor wouldst thou, if Christ had not first called thee by the grace of his word and the power of his Spirit; therefore, doubt not of, but rejoice in the hope of thy calling. Love Christ for calling thee; give him the glory of it. YE ARE CAILED: the effects prove
Ye who were dead in sin, without hope in Christ, have ears to hear the word of. Christ, eyes to see the glory of Christ, a heart to desire Christ as your only hope and salvation: his day of call was his day of power, when you were made willing to have but ONE HOPE. As there is but one atonement for sin, but one righteousness to justify from sin, but one mediator between God and sinners; but one advocate to plead for sinners, but one Jesus to save, and but ONE Spirit to sanctify sinners; so there is but one and the same hope in every called sinner: they all hope for heaven because God has declared it to be by his free gift to sinners, through his one beloved and only Son. ' Are we called in this one hope? Then, Ist. Let us not be looking to any thing in us, nor done by us: neither to graces wrought in us, nor works done by us, as our hope ; this would exalt pride against our dear Saviour, “who is our one and only hope.”.... I Tim. i. l. 1d. Let us not be dejected or discouraged though we find ourselves imperfect creatures, unprofitable servants, yea miserable sinners; for that were to depreciate the atonement and righteous. ness of Christ, as though the one was not fully available to take away our sins, and the other not perfectly sufficient to justify our persons and make us acceptable to God. Blessed be God, at all times, under all circumstances our hope is one and invariably the same; therefore, we rejoice in hope of the glory of God: and hope maketh not ashamed, because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts, by the Holy Ghost which is given to us.".... Rom. V. 5. Well, christian, if thou hast got this one hope, thou hast constant reason for joy in God, through Jesus Christ our Lord. And am I callid to hope in Christ, But thine's the pow'r, O God of might, The face of God to see?
With strength my soul endue : Then my base lusts I will resist, Let faith and love sweetly unite, And from all evil flee.
Holiness to pursue.
One Lord, one faith, one baptism....Ephes. iv. 5.
JESUS saith of his church, my dove, my undefiled is but one."....Song vi. 9. One body composed of various members, ege poused to him by the Spirit, as to “ONE husband."....2 Cor. xi. 2. Hence called his own body.... Eph. i. 23. All such are most dear to the Lord : he nourisheth and cherisheth them; for they are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his hones.... Eph. V. 30. He is their ONE Lord, and his name is ONE.... Zech. xiv. 9. This is most true in doctrine ; but this is not all, for it is found most sweet in experience also. This is by ONE FAITH : by this we enjoy and walk in sweet and holy fellowship with our Lord and head. What if I was told there is one sun, what comfort is that to me if I never was to see its light, feel its warmth, and enjoy its influence? Whatever is written of our one Lord is enjoyed in experience by this one faith : but some talk of various sorts of faith, as faith of adherence, faith of reliance, faith of assurance, &c. this only puzzles the head and perplexes the heart of many sincere disciples of Christ to define such notions ; this one faith is very simple : by it the heart fixes upon the one atonement, the one righteousness, the one mediation, and the one salvation of the Son of God; as it looks to nothing else for hope, so by it Christ is most precious to the soul, and by faith Christ keeps the soul unto salvation. Happy partakers of shis one faith! How are we made thus happy in ONE Lord, through ONE FAITH? By ONE baptism of the Spirit into the saving knowledge of, and joyful hope in Jesus our SAVIOUR : “ For by one Spirit, we are all baptized into one body,".... I Cor. xii. 13.
Water-baptism is only the outward and visible sign of the inward and spiritual grace of the Holy Ghost in this one baptism. O, that the dear menibers of this one Lord studied more to provoke each other to love and good works, instead of disputing about the outward sign of baptism: the cold water of strife and contention can never warm the heart with love to Christ and one another. As being all one in Christ, let our one contention be to live in the Spirit and walk in love. The Lord baptize us with the fire of love! This will burn up the unhallowed strife of nature. Though we cannot think alike about baptism, yet if we have one Lord and one faith, we can, we ought to unite in this, to LOVE AS. BRETHREN.... 1 Pet. iii. 8. Love is a genuine fruit of the Spirit.... Gal. v. 22. A grace which neither carnal men nor apostate devils ever can possess; is therefore a sure evidence that we are born of God and dwell in God; for “ love is of God.”.... 1 John iv. 7. Baptize us by thy Spirit, Lord, O may it be our greatest strife, With holy faith and heav'nly love, Who most shall honor thee our Lord, So shall we best proclaim abroad, With love of heart and holy life, That we resemble saints above. Agreeable unto thy word. M.