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them ; “ My defence is of God, which saves the upright in heart," Pfal. vii. 10. Hence called a strong tower, and rock of defence; a hiding-place, a covert, a shadow, to shelter them from the assaults and attacks of the nations of enemies that are within them, and round about them; “ A man shall be a hiding place from the wind, a covert from the tempelt; as rivers of waters in a dry place, and as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land,” Ifa. xxxii. 2.
(2.) He is the Lord their God and shield, for offending all their enemies : hence he is said to have a sword of power girded on his thigh, for executing judgment on their enemies; Deut. xxxii. 41, 42. “ If I whet my glittering sword, and mine land take hold of judgment; I will render vengeance to mine enemies, and a reward to them that hate me: I will make mine arrows drunk with blood.” Read also ver. 43. and compare it with Ifa. Ixiii. 1,---4. “ The day of vengeance is in mine heart, for the year of my redeemed is come.” O! it is a happy vengeance to the Ifrael of God, when he, as their mighty Conqueror, subdues the nations under them, and takes vengeance on all their powerful lusts and spiritual enemies. A day of vengeance to the enemy, is a day of redemption to his friends. But this leads me to
V. The Fifth thing proposed, namely, to speak of the manner of the conqueit. We have heard of the Conqueror, here designed, The Lord thy God; and now the manner of the conqueft is, He will put out these nations before thee, by little and little. And here three things may be noticed, with reference to the manner of the conquest. 1. It is obtained powerfully and effectually: He will put out-these nations. 2. Visibly and remarkably: He will put them out before thee. 3. Gradually and piece-meal; by little and little. To each of thefe I would speak a word.
First, The manner of the conquest is, that it is obtained powerfully and effectually: Tbe Lord thy God will PUT OUT these nations; or, as it is rendered in the margin, be will PLUCK OFF these nations. And so it is further explained, ver. 23. of this chapter; " He will deliver them unto thee, and shall destroy them with a mighty
destruction, till they be destroyed utterly. And he will deliver their kings into thine hand,” ver. 24. And, Exod. xxiii. 30. By little and little will I drive ibem out. Now, thus, in the spiritual conqueit, the nations must be put out: and the Lord's putting them out, does import,
1. That these nations of lufts, and spiritual enemies, have strength and power upon their side ; so that it is no easy work to get them driven out; yea; utterly impolhble, unless the Lord our God undertake it. If you ask, where the strength of these nations lies, and particularly the strength of fin? I answer in these four things.
(1.) The firength of the nation of fin and of lusts lies in their root; viz, the body of sin and death: as the ftrength of a tree lies in the root; fo that the ax must be laid to the root, if you would destroy it; and as the frength of the water is in the fountain, so that if you would destroy it, the fountain must be stopt up: so the strength of sin is in the root and fountain of sin that is within. And hence,
(2.) The frength of these nations of lufts lies in the relation thcy have to ourselves : and hence, for a man to deitroy his lusts, is to deny himself. Thefe nations of lufts and fins are such a part of himself, that they seem to be the best part, and the most useful part of himself; his right hand, his right eye, his members; “ Mortisy therefore your members that are upon the earth,” Col. ii. 5.
(3.) The strength of these vations lies in the commander and captain-general that leads them forth ; that is, the Devil; the great quarter-master that fills the heart, as it is said of Ananias, Acts v. 3. “Why hath Satan filled thine heart, to lie to the Holy Ghost, and keep back part of the price ?" It is the devil that fills the heart of people to lie, and fills their hcart to swear, and fills their heart to drink and debauch, and fills their heart to keep back what service is due to God. This commander is a strong man, and cannot be conquered but by a stronger. Yea,
(4.) The strength of these nations of sin lies in the law of works ; 1 Cor. xv. 56. “ The strength of fin is
the law.” Sin hath dominion over all that are under the law, and not under grace, Rom. vi. 14. and that on many accounts, that I cannot now insist upon; but particularly, among the res, because, by reafon of the origi. nal breach thereof, they are under the curse of it, of which curse the strength of fin is a great part; so that no less power than that which can pull up the root, a body of fin and death, and pull down felf and all the members of it, and that can deitroy the devil, the captain of hell, and, at the same time, give full satisfaction to the law of the God of heaven ; no less power can destroy these nations, for here their strength lies*. - The Lord's putting them out, fupposes and imports this strength and power that they have upon their fide.
2. It imports, that these nations of lusts and spiritual enemies have the poffeffion; which, indeed, is also a great part of their strength. There would be no need of driving them out, if they were not in: nay, they are in poffeffion; they are in actual poffeffion of the understanding of all men by nature, who are therefore alienated from the life of God, through the ignorance that is in them. They have actual possession of the will; hence men are not only unwilling to let these nations go out, and as unwilling as Pharaoh was to let Ifrael go, tho' ' plagued from heaven for his wilfulness: but also the will is filled with enmity against God, and rises up and opposition against him, and in favours of these lusts. Yea, they have possession of all the powers and faculties of the foul; they are deeply rooted in the heart and nature, as the Jebusites were in the land of Canaan; and there they strongly fortify and deeply intrench themselves, so that it is no easy work to drive them out : yea, as they have no will to go out, so out they will never go, till they be driven by a fuperior power, as Christ drove the buyers and sellers out of the temple, who turned the temple of God to a den of thieves. Therefore,
* Wherein the strength of fin lies, is copiously opened up from these words, The firength of fin is the law, Vol. V. Ser. LXXIII, &c.
3. It imports, an exerting of the divine power in opposition to these nations, in order to their being put out and destroyed; and that is even the almighty power of God in Chrift, by the Holy Ghost; “ If you, through the Spirit, mortify the deeds of the body, you shall live,” Rom. viii. 13. It is not by the power of nature, or free-will; “ Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts,” Zech. iv. 6. When the conquest is actually commenced in a foul, the Spirit of God comes and gives battle to the nations of the Canaanites; the lusts and old inhabitants of the heart, and takes possession. How he does fo, may afterwards more appear : cnly, I say here, the Lord's putting out the nations, imports, that his almighty power is actually put forth for this end.
4. It imports, that this power is and shall be effectual; for it is said, He will put them out : he will drive them out of their old quarters, and destroy them; he will drive them out of the heart, out of the house, out of the will, out of the affections, out of all the forts where they strengthened themselves, and at last out of the world, when he completes his work of fanctification; for, “ He that hath begun the good work, will perfect it,” Phil.i.6. And sure there is no true-hearted Ifraelite here, but will fay, AMEN; Lord, hasten the time when these nations of lusts shall be driven out of my heart, and driven out of the world; Lord, let them be driven to hell with the devil, their captain, and let me be quit of them for ever. Well, the day of their complete extirpation is a-coming; The Lord thy God will drive out these nations. But then,
Secondly, The manner of the conquest here exprest, is visible and remarkable ; He will drive them out BE
I think this word may import the visible and remarkable manner of the conquest : and more particularly,
1. That the Israel of God get a sight of their enemies. These nations are in their view, while the Lord their God is driving them out, and while they, thro' grace, are led to the field of battle against them: he will drive them out before them. They that never got a view of their fins and lufts, nor of the strength of their arms;
that never saw their own corrupt nature, nor experienced the power of corruption in their hearts; they are yet living at their eafe, in the midst of these nations, and under the power thereof: they are alive without the law, Rom. vii. 9. The commandment hath nct ccme, nor fin revived, to discover its strength to them : they are yet foldiers under the devil's banner: they have not taken on with Chrift: the battle with the nations is not yet begun; for they never yet saw them, nor viewed and reconnoitred their firength.
2. His driving out the nations before thein, imports, that, through grace; the Israel of God are made active herein. It is before thee tliey shall be driven out. Be. ing acted by his grace, they act; being armed by his Spirit, they fight; and, through the Spirit, mortify the deeds of the body. It is true, sometimes the Israel of God have nothing ado at all, but just to stand still, as it were, to see how the waters will divide to let them through, and how they will return to drown and overwhelm their enemies : but, for ordinary, their work is to go forward, in the name and strength of the Lord their God, and give battle to their enemies, that they may be defiroyed before them; and, under the banner of Christ Jesus, the glorious Captain of salvation, to fight the good figlit of faith. Yea,
3. His driving out the nations before them, imports, that, even when they are called to act and fight, they shall have no ground of boasting, but rather of blushing, when they consider what part it is they act in this matter; for the Lord himself must be the agent: The Lord thy God will put out the nations before thee. Ifrael's Captain goes before then, and leads the van; the Lion of the tribe of Judah must go before them, and tear their enemies to pieces : it is he that subdues the nations un der them. He hath gone before them already, and had a bloody battle with all the nations of hell upon mount Calvary; there he fought, and overcame principalities and powers; there he condemned fin in the flesh, and destroyed the strength of it, by nailing the law to his cross,
And however the nations may rally their forces again, and seem formidable and dreadful, yet
Col. ii. 14.