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him, but by sitting down with delight and satisfaction under his shadow. We give him satisfaction, when we take delight and satisfaction in him for our own good. O what a wonderful Saviour is here, that, will not be pleased and satisfied with us, unless we take rest, pleasure, and satisfaction in him! He is the sovereign Judge; and the day comes, when, if you had all the world, you would give it to please him, and who will pronounce the sweetest or the sadest sentence upon you, namely, “ Come to me, ye blessed;" or, “ Depart from me, ye cursed ; and that according as we have satisfied him in this matter or not, of sitting down under his shadow with great delight, that he may be delighted as well as you, and satisfied for his pains and travails in doing and dying for you. It is as if a physician should say to a sick or dying patient, Here is a healing medicine for you, that will bring you to life and health, and I will not be pleased nor satisfied unless you take it off my hand. . Or, as if a parent should say to a child, I have hought such a fine suit of clothes for you, and I will not be satisfied unless you put it on and adorn yourself with it. It is a feast to him to see a poor soul feeding and feasting upon the fruit of his purchase. The more bills you draw upon him for clearing all your accounts, and paying all your debt, the more you please and glorify him; the more employment you give him to kill and subdue your sins and corruptions, the more you satisfy him; the more burdens you cast upon him, and the more weight you lay upon him, you do him the more pleasure; yea, it is all the compensation he seeks for all the wrong you have done him, and all the satisfaction he requires for all the good turns he hath done to you, that you just sit down under his shadow with great delight, that in this way you may find his fruit sweet to your taste; for sweetening all the bitter things in your lot in this world, bitter troubles, bitter reproaches, bitter waters of Marah ; and for keeping the taste of your mouth till you eat to the full at the upper table, that shall never be drawn.
Now, though you rise from this table, yet never rise from your seat under his shadow : the life he calls you to in this wilderness, is a life of faith on the Son of God, which is a sitting down, and sitting still under his shadow, with great delight: and there may his fruit be always sweet to your taste.
The HAPPY VICTOR; Or, Saints more than
Rom. viii. 37.
Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors, through hina
that loved us.
GLORIOUS things are spoken in the preceding part of this chapter, particularly from ver. 28. concerning the love and goodness of God to his chosen people, in the co-operation of all things for their good ; and that by virtue of a golden chain, reaching from eternity, in their predestination; to eternity, in their glorification; in contemplation whereof the apostle breaks out in proposing two questions, full of comfort, ver. 31. The first is, “ What shall we say to these things ?". How glorious are they! And the next is, “ If God be for us, who can be against us!" We may bid a defiance to all our opposers. This text I have read, relates not only to these, but especially to other two questions, that are both high notes of triumph and encouragement, and the first is a question of triumph and encouragement against all sin and guilt, ver 33. 34. « Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth : who is he that condemneth? It
* This Sermon was preached on a thansgiving day, after the celebration of the sacrament of the Lord's supper, at Kinross, Aug. 14th,
is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again,” &c. The second is a question of triumph and encouragement against all sorrows, and afflictions, ver. 35, 36. “ Who shall separate us from the love of Christ ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword ? (As it it written, for thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter.)" All these questions import a strong negation : who can be against us? Who can charge us? Who can condemn us? Who can separate us? Can men or devils do it? No; none can do it. But the apostle rests not in the negative, but proceeds to the positive determination of the point: Nay, says he, “ in all these things we are more than conquerors, through him that loved us.”
In these words we have, 1. A victory proclaimed ;
Nay in all these we are more than conquerors.” 2. The ground of it, it is “ through him that loved us.”
1st, A victory proclaimed; where it is, 1. Asserted; “ We are conquerors.” 2. It is amplified ::“ We are more than conquerors.”
1. It is asserted;: “ We are conquerors ;" that is, we are victors and overcomers, as believers are frequently called, Rev. ii. iii. " To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, &c. Rev. xxi. 7. He that overcometh shall inherit all things.".
2. It is amplified : “Nay, we are more than conquerors." There is none so humble as a true believer, and yet none so confident even in the most desperate cases ; though yet upon the most safe and solid grounds. It is with holy boasting the apostle speaks : as if he had said, Let not our enemies think, when they have done their utmost, that they have won the day, and got us ruined; “ Nay, we are conquerors, and more than con querors ;" even conquerors to the greatest advantage, and double gainers by the battle.
2dly, The ground of the victory, is, through Christ that loved us. The ground of the conquest is astonishing! How come we who are believers, united to Christ, justified and sanctified in him, to be more than conquerors ? Why, it is through grace we are what we are; it is not through our own strength, but through Christ's strenghtening us we can do all things. But the attribute through which, in a special manner, the glorious victory is obtained, is that attribute of love; this title of Christ was very familiar to the apostle; " He loved me, and gave himself for me;" and here the apostle chooses to speak of Christ's love, more than any thing else, because all that ever Christ did for us, issued in so many grains and branches from this great root of love: and all our victories are owing to the banner of love he places over our head, Song ii. 4. “ He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love;" intimating, that as we are not to think strange to hear of a banquet and a battle at the same time; for, a feast of love, and the sight of faith are very
sib; so the victory is only to be obtained under the banner of love, or owing to him that, loved us. This shews,
1. The deficiency of our own strength: it is no-where said in the whole scriptures, that we fight in our own strength, far less that we overcome; and least of all that we are more than conquerors; but only through Christ that loved us, and that must do all for us,
2. It denotes thar efficiency of his strength in our be-
believer, in all cases, be they never so hard, is more
Nay, in all these things we
1. We are to speak of the Christian conqueror. Two things seem necessary here to be considered, viz. (1.) The enemies he conquers. (2.) The nature and import of the conquest.
Ist, As to the enemies that the believer overcomes and conquers.
1. The first enemy is sin; sin is the grave of all our mercies, and the mother of all our miseries ; and it hath a twofold power that must be overcome, a condemning power, that binds the sinner over to eternal death and wrath ; and a polluting power, that makes the soul ugly and abominable in the sight of a holy God; but the believer overcomes both these; the one, viz. the guilt of sin, he overcomes completely by justification : and the other, viz. the pollution of sin, he overcomes gra, dually by sanctification ; this conquest is asserted in the foregoing part of the chapter, particularly, ver. 30,
2. The world must be conquered, and all the friendly hlandishments thereof : for, the friendship of this world is enmity against God. It is hard to stand against such an adversary, because here we have tem.ptations suited to all our natural inclinations, 1 John ï. 19. If we are for carnal pleasures, here are the lusts of the flesh to wallow in, if we value ourselves for riches and full coffers, here are the lusts of the eye; if we be for ho, nour, here is the pride of life presenting itself. But these are what believers must overcome.
3. The devil is an enemy most powerful, spiritual, and subtile, we have to conquer : his great design iş to tempt us to the practice of sin, and to hinder the exercise of grace, and to destroy iinmortal souls : for, " He
goes about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour;" but he that establisheth Zion, on a lasting foundation, hath promised that the gates of hell shall not prevail against it: he hath promised to bruise Satan under our feet; and his promise is like a mountain of brass that cannot be removed.
4. Raging persecutors are enemies to be conquered ; or personal enemies, that are Satan's instruments ; being either wicked men, that are confederates with Satan; or wickedly disposed men, though otherwise gracious, as Job's friends, Aaron and Miriam, &c. Acts xiii. 50. The believer overcomes, either by well-doing, or wellsuffering ; Sometimes by well-doing, which is a notable conquest, 1 Pet. ii. 15. "For, so is the will of God, tha