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Mr. Clark's Artillery Election SERMON June 7, 1736.

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Christian Bravery. A SERMON Preached before the Honourable Artillery Company In Boston, June 7th, 1736. Being the Day of their Election of Officers. And now Published at their Request, with the Enlargements, that, for Brevity, were omitted in the Delivery of the Sermon.

By Peter Clark, A. M. Pastor of the Church in Salem-Village.

1 John 2.14.

I have written unto you, young Men, be­cause ye are strong, and the Word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.

2 Tim. 1.7

God hath not given us the Spirit of Fear, but of Power, of Love, and of a sound Mind.

BOSTON: Printed by S KNEELAND and T. GREEN, for D. HENCHMAN in Corn hill. 1736.

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Christian Bravery.

1 CORINTHIANS xvi. 13.

—Quit you like Men, be Strong.

THE Occasion and Design of this large and excellent Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians, appears from the Con­tents of it; wherein the Apostle having reproved the Disorders and Factions of the Church of Corinth, and resolv'd several Cases, and in­structed & directed them in several important Duties of Christianity, and confuted some Errors of dangerous Consequence that had sprung up among them thro' the Influence of false Teachers, particularly that relating to the Resurrection, proceeds in the Close of all, in this [Page 2] 16th Chapter, to direct and exhort them to sundry distinct Duties, among which is that in our Text; which being observ'd, 'twill be the less needful to look into the Context for clearing the Sense of these Words, which indeed, are, in a Manner, independent, either on the preceeding or subsequent Verses. The holy Apostle being aware of the Dangers that still threatned the Church of Corinth in their present unsettled State, thro' intestine Divisions, and "the Leaven of their old Max­ims and Manners that had not been throughly purged out by the Christian Principles they had entertained," and thro' the restless Agency of Satan and his Instru­ments, to corrupt their Faith and Practice, cou'd not forbear expressing his hearty Affection and Concern for them, by leaving with them these important Words of Caution and Counsel, Watch ye, stand fast in the Faith, quit you like Men, be strong.

The Phrases here used appear at first View to be of a Military Import, being borrowed from the Custom of War, wherein, as Soldiers in the Camp, Garrison, or City, are set to keep Watch and Ward, to descry Dan­gers at a Distance, to give timely Notice of the Ap­proach of an Enemy, that they might be in a prepared Posture of Defence, so Christians who are engaged in a spiritual War, are highly concern'd to Watch, to keep their spiritual Senses awake and in Exercise, that they may be always on their Guard against the Dan­gers that continually surround them from their spiritual Enemies, the World, the Flesh and the Devil, and be in a Readiness, with Wisdom and Skill in the Use of their spiritual Armour, to oppose their malicious Designs, and to secure and defend themselves. And as Soldiers being about to face an Enemy, are exhorted and en­couraged to stand their Ground, to be true and faithful to their Leaders, and to stand firm in the Defence of the Cause and Interest of their Country, and of their publick Liberties, so Christians are, answerably here­unto, required to Stand fast in the Faith, their Faith being not only the main Part of their Armour, with [Page 3] which they must Fight, but the main Cause for which they must Fight, the Prize they are to contend for: I have fought a good Fight, saith the Apostle,—I have kept the Faith. And they must stand fast in this Faith, and in order thereunto must act like Men, with Wisdom. Strength and Courage. Quit you like Men, be strong. These Words, which I have chosen for my Text, (not excluding the Consideration of the foregoing, of which some Improvement may be made) carry in them the Sound of a Charge from the Mouth of a Captain, or Commander of an Army, animating his Soldiers to some vigorous Engagement with an Enemy; like that of Joshua to the Captains of the Tribes, encouraging them to their Wars in Canaan, Be strong and of good Courage, Josh. 1 18. And again Chap. 10 25 God himself had encouraged Joshua with the same Words, Chap. 1.9. And the like Speech often occurs to the same Purpose. Particularly remarkable is that of Joab at the Head of the Forces of Israel, animating them to charge with Vigour and Courage in the Battle against the Sy­rians and Ammonites, 2 Sam. 10.12. Be of good Courage, and let us play the Men for our People, &c. Thus we find the Philistines stirring up each others Courage to Fight against Israel, when they understood that the Ark of God was bro't into the Camp. Be strong and quit your selves like Men,—in the very Words of the Text. 1 Sam. 4 9. The Word here in the Original [...] signify's to play the Man, or to act Manfully and Valiantly . And Criticks observe that the Greek here answers to the Hebrew in those Passages of the Old Testament I have referred to . Thus it is requir­ed of Christians that they should exert a masculine Spi­rit and Courage, in maintaining with Perseverance, a vigorous Opposition against the Enemies of their Peace. Wherefore I shall here endeavour, First, with what Brevity I can, to open and inculcate the Christian Duty [Page 4] that is recommended to us in these Terms. And then, being led by the Allusion, shall make a more particular Apolication of this Charge to Men of the military Pro­fession, agreable to the Design of this Day. Accordingly, the Point that lies before us is this, viz.

DOCTRINE. That Christians in the Management of their spiritual Warfare, must quit themselves like Men, and be strong.

And I hope to make it appear both in the doctrinal and applicatory Part of my Discourse, That true Man­lyness is supported and improved by the Principles and Rules of Christianity. And here,

1. It is supposed that our present State in the World is a warfaring State; our Life is a Warfare, which it requires the Wisdom, Skill and Courage of Men, to manage aright; and in this Warfare we are concern'd both as Men and as Christians.

1. As Men. Job 7.1. Is there not an appointed Time, or as the Translation is varied in the Margin, Is there not a Warfare for Man upon Earth? Man is born to various Labours, Struggles and Conflicts, which are not terminated but in Death. This Warfare is both Exter­nal and Internal. External, arising from a thousand Dangers, Hardships, Adversities, Crosses & Oppositions that befall us in the World. Internal, proceeding from the disquieting Passions, excited by external Objects, Anger, Grief, Sorrow, Fear, Shame, Despair, and the like, with which we are exposed to daily Conflicts: so that oftentimes without are Fightings, and within are Fears *. But more especially,

2. As Christians, listed under Christ's Banner, we are engag'd in a Warfare with his, and our Soul's Enemies, [Page 5] Sin, Satan, the World and the Flesh: All these hold in Confederacy together. Satan's Kingdom, which is set up in Opposition to the Kingdom of Christ, is founded in Sin: And the Temptations of the World, both its Allurements and Terrors, are his Auxiliaries; and fleshly Lusts are the Traitors in our own Bosoms that hold Correspondence with this Enemy, and give him mighty Advantages against us, and are therefore the most dangerous of all. Now with all these our spiritual Enemies, we have openly declared War, by taking upon us a Christian Profession, and by coming over into the Camp of Christ, and renouncing the Interests of Sin and Satan. And therefore in Point of Duty and Fidelity to our Lord Redeemer, the Captain of our Salvation, as well as from a prudent Regard to our own spiritual Peace and Welfare, we ought to be constantly arm'd for a Conflict, to take to ourselves, and with Wisdom, Courage and Resolution to improve, the whole spiritual Armour he has furnish'd us withal.

Wherefore,

2. In the Management of this spiritual Warfare, we must quit our selves like Men, and be strong.

Now the Enquiry is,

Q What Matter of Duty is laid upon us by this Charg,e to quit our selves like Men? The latter In­junction, Be strong, comes in as an Explication of the former, and shews in one special Instance, how we must quit our selves like Men, viz. by putting on Strength, Resolution and Courage, becoming Men; and therefore may be consider'd as one main Branch under this ge­neral Head, wherein true Manhood consists? Or how must we quit our selves like Men?

I Answer, We may be said to quit our selves like Men, either by governing our selves by Principles of [Page 6] Reason, whereby Men are differenced from Brutes, or by shewing forth a manly Spirit, whereby Men distin­guish themselves from Children. Both these Ways we must quit our selves like Men. Therefore,

1. In general, To be truly Religious, is to quit our selves like Men, like reasonable Creatures: For Religi­on is the highest Improvement and Exaltation of Rea­son, and that which puts the main Difference between Men and Beasts. All the Reason of Man is for Reli­gion and Holiness, and against Sin. Hence that up­braiding Admonition to Idolaters, Isai. 46 8 Remember this, and shew your selves Men. If Sinners would shew themselves Men, and act up to the Dignity of the humane Nature, and exert the peculiar Powers and Capacities of it, they must needs become Religious, and abandon all Irreligion, Sin and Wickedness, which is highly Irrational, besides Reason, and against it: Whereas all the stated Laws of Religion are adjusted to the strictest Reason; Piety and Devotion towards God, Righteousness and Charity towards Man, Sobriety and Temperance with Respect to our selves, (in which the Sum of practical Religion consists *) are Things unexceptionably just, and approve themselves to the purest Reason of Mankind. In the moral Government of Man, God dealeth with him as a reasonable Creature; in all the Revelations of his Will concerning Man's Duty and Happiness, he still addresses him as a rational free Agent. So he speaks in the Prophet Isai. 1.18, 19, 20. Come, and let us Reason together, saith the Lord, — if ye be Willing and Obedient, ye shall eat the Good of the Land, &c. His Laws are so adapted to our reasonable Powers, and as it were interwoven with them, that were we freed from the byass of carnal Af­fections and Passions, which participate of the Temper of the Body, wherein we are ally'd to the Brute Ani­mals, and were we at Liberty to pursue the rational [Page 7] Dictates of our Minds, Religion in its strictest Rules wou'd not be tho't Grievous, but embraced out of Cho [...]ce, as a Thing connatural, easy pleasant, and the most beautiful and amiable Thing in the World. Moreover, all the Promises and Threatnings of God's Word are suited to the Principles of Man's Nature, as he is a Creature endowed with a rational Judgment, and Liberty of Choice, capable of being influenc'd in his Actions by Hopes and Fears . So that then we may be truly said to act like Men, when we behave our selves towards God as Creatures, so made, ought to do, in pursuing the End of our Beings, by using aright the noble Powers of our rational Natures, in all the In­stances of a sober, righteous, and godly Life, which is a Thing so Just, that none can except against it, with­out disclaiming, at the same Time, the Principles of Reason and Humanity. More particularly,

2. To quit our selves like Men, is to put away chil­dish Things, and to put forth the Virtues & Perfections of a manly Spirit.

1. We must put away childish Things. When I was a Child, saith the Apostle, I spake as a Child, I un­derstood as a Child, I thought as a Child, but when I became a Man, I put away childish Things *. It is un­becoming Men in their adult Age, to think, speak, and busy themselves like Children. So if Christians would act like Men, and preserve the Dignity of their Natures, as Men, and Christians, they must put away the Follies, Vices, and Impertinences of Children, which through the Weakness of their Age, or the Corruption of their Natures, they are subject to.

We must put away,

1. Childish Thoughts. How vain and confused are Childrens Thoughts and Fancies, which they despise [Page 8] and reject when they arrive to riper Years? Thus Christians must guard their Minds against all vain, foolish, trifling and confused Thoughts and Musings, especially all vicious Imaginations; and learn to think seriously, closely, and pertinently, as Men of ripe Parts, and employ their Meditations upon the great Things of God's Law and Gospel; Things Spiritual and Heavenly; and not suffer earthly Things to en­gross all their Thoughts and Studies, and fill their Minds from Morning to Night, without leaving Room for the more serious and spiritual Exercises of the Mind. Thoughts excited by, and exercised upon sen­sible Objects, are childish Thoughts, mean and trifling in comparison of the more rational, manly, and sublime Meditations on the spiritual Mysteries of Religion; the delightful Exercise of pious Souls .

2. Childish Talk. All unsavory, vain, frothy, unedi­fying Communication, is unbecoming the Gravity of Christians, even as Childrens Talk is unbecoming Men of Understanding. In all our Conversation we shou'd have Regard not only to Truth and Charity, but to Decency, and consider what is becoming our holy Pro­fession. But Fornication and all Uncleanness, or Cove­tuousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh Saints; neither foolish Talking, nor Jesting which are not convenient, saith the Apostle, (Eph. 5.3, 4.) And again, Let no corrupt Communication proceed out of your Mouth, but that which is Good to the Use of edifying, (Chap. 4.29.)

3. Childish Pastimes. The Age of Youth and Child­hood is "the pleasant playing Age." 'Tis promised as an Instance of God's Favour to Jerusalem, (Zech. 8.5.) That the Streets of the City shall be full of Boys and Girls, playing in the Streets thereof. 'Tis decent enough for Children, who for want of Discretion of Mind, or [Page 9] Ability of Body, are not fit for more serious Business, for "Boys and Girls to play in the Streets;" but it is unseemly and scandalous in Men and Women to spend their Time in Sports and Diversions, whose Age and Capacity fit them for graver Employments. Herein Christians must act like Men in renouncing vain, carnal Myrth and Pastimes, and filling up their Time, as much as this State of Imperfection will admit, with the Business of their general and particular Callings. See that ye walk circumspectly, not as Fools, but as Wise▪ redeeming the Time, (Eph. 5.15, 16) Not slothful in Bu­siness; fervent in Spirit, serving the Lord, (Rom. 12.11.)

4. Childish Passions. Children are often peevish and quarrelsom, sullen and out of Humour at every slight Disgust. Quarrels and Contentions are childish Things, which Christians shou'd put far away from them; es­pecially such as arise from small Provocations: Some may, perhaps, think they act a manly Part to resent every Slight put upon them, to manifest their Displea­sure at every petty Injury or Affront, to bear a Grudge, and study Revenge; and that it is a weak and cow­ardly Part to put up Wrongs and Abuses; but really it is a childish Weakness, not to be able to curb the Passions, and shews they want that Command of them­selves, that Men of Reason ought to have: and that they want that Discretion of a Man that deferreth his Anger, (Prov. 19.11.) The contrary Temper often discovers Mens Shame and Folly; for a Fools Wrath is presently known ▪ saith Solomon, but a prudent Man covereth Shame, (Prov. 12.16)

5. Childish Appetites and Desires; and these both as to the Matter and Manner of them. As to the Matter of them, Things agreable to the Senses: For Children are led by Sense, before they come to the use of Rea­son, and are much better pleas'd with Toys that take their Senses, than with those Things which would do them a real Benefit. Young People are for walking [Page 10] in the Sight of their Eyes . And therefore are like Children herein, who are led by Sense, whose Desires are mainly carry'd out to carnal Things, that suit the Appetites and Conveniences of the Body, and have no Taste or Relish for Things Spiritual; thus they that are after the Flesh, do mind the Things of the Flesh *. But Christians must be otherwise minded, to distinguish themselves from Children, and must renounce the Con­duct of Sense, and subordinate Sense to Reason and Faith. We must walk by Faith, and not by carnal Sight and Sense ; and must learn to discern the Things that differ, and approve those that are Excellent . And as to the Manner of Childrens Desires, they are, for the most part, vehement and impatient of Delay, they know not how to wait for what they eagerly desire, but must have present Satisfaction. So are all the fleshly Lusts of Mens Hearts, importunate to be gratified with pre­sent Things. But Christians must renounce such chil­dish Appetites, and deny worldly Lusts, and disclaim this present World for their Portion, and govern them­selves by Faith of better Things, and be content to wait for an Inheritance in Reversion; agreable to that Maxim of true Wisdom, that requires us to submit to a lesser Evil, to avoid a greater, and to deny our selves in some present Conveniences, for the obtaining a grea­ter Good.

2. We must quit our selves like Men, by exerting the Virtues and Perfections of a manly Spirit. Particularly,

1. We must exercise the Reason and Understanding of Men, in all Matters of a religious Nature, and in the whole Conduct of our Lives. Be not Children in Un­derstanding, saith the Apostle {inverted †} howbeit, in Malice be ye Children, out in Understanding be Men. We must im­prove our Reason in studying and contemplating the Discoveries God has made of himself and his Perfecti­ons [Page 11] by his Word, and by his Works. This is a noble Employment of our reasonable Powers. Especially we must exercise our Reason and Understanding, in searching into the Truths of Revelation for the Government of our Faith and Practice, and that we may be able to give a Reason of that Faith and Hope that is in us . And in all Duties of religious Worship, we must offer a reasonable Service to God . Ignorance may well enough pass for the Mother of popish Devotion; but the manly Devotion of a true Christian, requires the intense Exercise of his intel­lectual Powers. It is not enough to have a warm Af­fection, but we must have a clear and sound Mind. Moreover, both our personal and relative Conduct affords a large Scope for the Exercise and Improvement of Reason. But this rather falls under the next Head.

2 We must exercise the Wisdom, Judgment and Dis­cretion of Men Children are raw and unexperienc'd, and their childish Weakness is often seen in their Judgment and Choice, in preferring Trifles before Things of great Worth. But Men whose Reason is ripon'd by Age, and improv'd by much Experience and Observation, are capable of a more solid Judgment; and herein Christians must shew themselves Men, of a ripe Judgment, which is highly needful in all Matters of Faith, that they may be able to distinguish and judge aright of Things that differ, and being skilful in the Word of Righteousness, may readily discern be­tween Truth and Error, as Men of full Age, who by Reason of Use, have their Senses exercised to discern both Good and Evil *. This manly Discretion and Wisdom, is necessary to reduce our Knowlege to Practice in all particular Cases, that the Knowlege of God's Will may produce its happy Fruits in us, in all Wisdom and spiritual Understanding . This is of singular Use in the whole Christian Life and Warfare, [Page 12] to direct us how to order our Conversations aright to­wards God and towards Man; how to spend our Time most profitably, what Portions of it to apply to religi­ous Exercises, and what, to our worldly Occasions; how to order all our secular Affairs, that they may not in­trench on Religion, nor justle out the Duties of God's Worship; how to demean our selves in every Rela­tion, as Members of the Family, Church, and common Wealth, that our whole Converse and Deportment may be inoffensive, pure and amiable, season'd with the Fear of God; how to dispose our Charity to the best Advantage; how and when to please our Neigh­bour for his Good to Edification, without indulging him in any sinful Humour; how to administer Reproofs as to Time, Manner, and Circumstances, so as may be most likely to gain an Offender; when to keep Si­lence, and when, and how to Speak; how to Converse as becomes our holy Profession, in good Company, and in bad Company; how to govern the Passions and Ap­peties; how to carry it in the Use of our lawful Li­berty, in Meats, Drinks, Apparrel, Visits and Recrea­tions, that we may not transgress the Rules of Decency, Reason, and Religion: In all these, and numberless other Instances, Wisdom is profitable to direct, and this spiritual Wisdom will make a Christian's Face to shine *, and add a wining Beauty & Lustre to his Conversation.

More especially, this manly Virtue is eminently useful in our spiritual Warfare, to direct us how to manage it most successfully, and how most skilfully to employ the several Parts of our spiritual Armour; that understanding and considering our peculiar Temptati­ons, Infirmities, and most prevalent Corruptions, and being acquainted with the Advantages, Wiles and Stratagems of our spiritual Adversaries, we may be excited to use all needful Precaution, to be always sober and vigilent, depending on divine Grace and [Page 13] Strength, & to double our Guard where our Weakness chiefly lies, and in a Sense of our own Insufficiency to have recourse to divine Aids by Prayer and Supplica­tion. In all which Respects, Christians should acquit themselves like Men of Wisdom and Discretion.

3. We must shew forth the Stability and Constancy of Men, in Opposition to the Fickleness and Unsteddiness of Children, who have their Way to choose, and often change & repent the Choices they have made. 'Tis ex­pected that Men should manage themselves with a more steddy & regular Conduct. And herein Christians must be of a manly Spirit, & not suffer themselves to be like Children tossed to and fro, and carried about with every Wind of Doctrine . But must be stedfast in the Faith, and stedfast, and unmovable, always abounding in the Work of the Lord . Having chosen the Way of Truth, and settled our Principles, we must be invariably true, and constant in our Adherence to them, & stick close to God's Testimonies *. But much of the Nature of this Vir­tue runs out into the next I shall mention, and chiefly insist on, which the Text puts the greatest Emphasis upon.

4. We must shew forth the Strength, Courage, and Re­solution of Men. This is a Perfection so peculiar to a manly Spirit, which distinguishes Men from Children and Babes, that it hath the Name of Manhood in an appropriate Sense commonly given to it. This spiritual Fortitude (for it is the Strength of the Soul, and not of the Body, that is here intended) seems to be peculiarly aimed at by the Apostle in this Injunction, Quit you like Men; for he adds by way of Explication, as I have observ'd, Be strong. This Fortitude is a martial Virtue, which hath a peculiar & sovereign Use and Influence in our Christian Warfare: It is by this Virtue that we are enabled perseveringly to adhere to a good Cause, and manfully to persist in the Paths of Virtue and Holiness, [Page 14] whatever Temptations, Difficulties, or Discouragements are thrown in the Way to obstruct us herein, or divert us therefrom.

True Fortitude holds the Mean between those two Extreams of a daring Rashness on the one Hand, and a sneaking Cowardice on the other. Rashness offends in the Excess, when Men out of foolish Obstinacy, expose themselves to Dangers, or rush into them unadvisedly and without necessity, prompted by vain Glory, or any other headstrong Passion, not duly considering the Consequences of their Actions. Cowardice is as much an Error in the Defect, when Men are prevailed with to decline their Duty, or to desert a good Cause in which they are engag'd, thro' Fear and Dispondency of Mind, under a prospect of Difficulties and Dangers. But in Opposition to both these Extreams, a true Spirit of Fortitude, as it will not expose a Man to needless Dangers, so it will enable him, being supported by Faith and Hope in God, to go on with a resolved Con­stancy in the Way of his Duty, without shrinking or swerving, whatever Fears he may be impress'd with, or whatever Temptations, Difficulties, or Dangers may present themselves to his View.

The shuning of needless Dangers, is an Effect of that Wisdom and Precaution that is proper to a reasonable Creature, in Pursuance of the grand Principle of self Preservation, implanted by the wise Creator, in all rational and sensitive Beings; and therefore not incon­sistent with a valiant Spirit, which can contemn the greatest Dangers, when a virtuous and good Cause makes it necessary to encounter them.

Nor, again, is it an Argument of a weak and cow­ardly Spirit, to be impress'd with Fear of those Evils, which we must unavoidably encounter, if we would persevere in the Way of our Duty. This is evident beyond Exception from the Example of the Man Christ Jesus, who, as in all other manly Perfections, so in a Spirit [Page 15] of Courage & Might, incomparably excell'd all the Chil­dren of Men; a signal Specimen whereof, he gave the Night before his Sufferings, when having eaten the Passover with his Disciples, (in the original Institution whereof, the Is­raelites were forbid to go out of their Houses, for fear of the destroying Angel , yet,) he couragiously went forth to meet his Enemies (having a full Prospect of all the Circumstances of his Passion) as it were challenging all the Powers of Darkness, in such tri­umphant Language (we may suppose) as that in which he is bro't in speaking, by the evangelical Prophet, in his State of Humiliation, He is near, that justifieth me, who will contend with me? Let us stand together; who is mine Adversary? Let him come near to me . Therefore he set his Face like a Flint, and went on with an undaunted Courage and Magnanimity, being confident of the Goodness of the Cause, and the glo­rious Issue of the Combat, thro' the divine Power and Presence with him. But was he then without all Fears? No; the Evangelist tells us, that he was sore Amazed, (Mark 14.33.) And the Author to the Hebrews, that he Feared, (Heb. 5.7.) These Fears argued no Degree of Despondency, but were the Effect of the natural Reluctancy of the innocent humane Nature of our blessed Saviour, against his Sufferings in View; but his Courage exceeded his Fears, and carried him tri­umphantly through all. Fear is an involuntary Im­pression on the Mind of a reasonable Creature, arising from the Pre-apprehensions of approaching Evils, es­pecially if they be great, near, and unavoidable. Some may seem to be courageous and fearless, through meer Ignorance, or a stupid Inconsideration of the Causes of Fear. But the greater such Fears are, that arise from a just Cause, the greater is the Courage and Resolution that withstands them, that breaks through them, and gets the Mastery of them.

[Page 16]This is one Instance of true Fortitude, not to be without Fears, but so to manage, and keep them under, that they may not divert us from, nor clog and depress our Spirits in our Course of Duty; but that we may be able notwithstanding, to keep up a comfortable Hope in God, free from a servile Dejection of Spirit.

But Christian Fortitude is discover'd in withstanding all Opposition to the spiritual Life, not only from the Terrors of Sense, but from the Gratifications of Sense, worldly Pleasures, Profits and Honours; when these prove Temptations to decline our Duty, or betray our Virtue and Innocence in any Degree, we must resist them with a manly Resolution, and be inflexible to their Importunities. Here lies much of our daily Christian Conflict, while we are surrounded with the tempting Objects of this World. And we have need of a Spirit of Fortitude, that we may quit our selves like Men, and preserve the Dignity of our Natures, as Men, and keep up the Dominion of Reason and Con­science, over brutal Appetites and Passions: for this Purpose we must be constantly arm'd with the Forti­tude and Resolution of Men. This will be a Guard to every Virtue, and a Bulwark against every Vice; yea, it is the very Life and Soul, and animating Prin­ciple of all the Virtues Without Fortitude, Wisdom will soon degenerate into Weakness; Temperance expire in Luxury; Meekness, ruffle into Passion; take away Fortitude, and Justice will soon warp, Constancy will soon waver, Charity will soon cool, Hope will soon flag▪ Zeal will soon slacken, Patience will soon tire: In a Word, Fortitude is so essential to all the Vir­tues, that without it, they loose both their Name and Nature.

Now the several Instances in which we shall have Occasion to exert our Christian Fortitude in this our militant State, are these three, viz. In Services, Suffer­ings, and special Conflicts.

[Page 17]1. In Services. A Christian's Work is inseperable from his Warfare, by Reason of the continual Conflict between Flesh and Spirit. For the Flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the Flesh; and these are contrary the one to the other; so that ye cannot do the Thing that ye would *. We meet with Opposition every Step of our Way to Heaven. The Flesh will be a constant pull-back, perswading us to consult its Ease; therefore we had need to exert our selves with Courage and Vigour in doing the Will of God. Hence saith God to Joshua, Not only, be strong, and of good courage to Fight the Cnaanites; but be thou strong and very couragious, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the Law which Moses my Servant commanded thee; turn not from it to the right Hand nor to the left . When we consider the Labours and Self-denials that a Course of strict Religion will cost us, as it will often put us upon crossing the Flesh, and executing a kind of Violence on the Members of the Body, plucking out a right Eye, and cutting off a right Hand, upon watching, striving, wrestling, and counter-acting the corrupt Principles and Practices of a carnal World, whereby we must expect to incur the Censure and De­rision of the ungodly Multitude, it will appear that an high Degree of Strength, and Courage, and manly Resolution, is necessary to an unwearied Progress and Perseverance therein.

2. In Sufferings. If thou faint, saith Solomon, in the Day of Adversity, thy Strength is small . A Time of Adversity will try the Strength of our Souls; and a persevering and unfainting Patience under the Adver­sities of Life, supported by the Reasons of Faith, and a stedfast Trust in God, his Power, Mercy, Truth, and all Sufficiency, engaged by Promise, and a comforting Hope of the happy Conclusion of all in eternal Life and Blessedness, is a noble Instance and Evidence of [Page 18] the spiritual Strength and Valour of a Christian. And here, in this vale of Tears is, the trial of the Faith and Patience of the Saints; those warfaring Graces, suited to a State of Sufferings . And to be able to hold out with an unmoved Constancy in the Exercise of Pati­ence and Long suffering with Joyfulness, under all Sorts of Trials, will be an Evidence of a glorious divine Power supporting, of an heavenly Vigour infus'd into the Heart of a Christian .

3. In special Conflicts with Corruptions and Temp­tations. Our three great Enemies, with whom we are engag'd in a War, are the Flesh, the World, and the Devil*. But the main Advantage that the Devil and the World have against us, lies in the Treachery of those carnal Lusts that are inbred in our corrupt Na­tures, and which take Part with the Devil and the World, against the true Interest of our Souls; our Con­flict therefore with our spiritual Enemies lies not abroad, or at a distance, but is a domestick War; the Seat of it is in our own Bowels: So that neither the Devil, nor the World, can work us any real Annoyance (except in peculiar Cases, wherein Satan is permitted to afflict the Children of God with his more immediate cursed Suggestions and Terrors) unless our Flesh join in Confederacy with them. The Flesh is an Enemy, in respect both of its corrupt Lusts and Passions; or in respect of inordinate Appetites to the delectable Ob­jects of Sense, such as Sensuality, Covetousness and Pride, (or as the same are otherwise express'd by the Apostle, terming them, the Lust of the Flesh, the Lust of the Eyes, and the Pride of Life ) and irregular Passions excited by Objects disagreable to Sense, as Anger, Wrath, Malice, Discontent, and Impatience, carnal Fear and Shame: These carnal Lusts and Passi­ons are kept in Life, fed and cherished by the World, which presents the Objects, and fomented and inflamed [Page 19] by the Devil. If therefore, we manfully resist and conquer these Lusts, our Victory over Satan and the World, will follow of Course. Here then our Christian Fortitude must principally discover itself, in expelling these secret Traitors, these Enemies of our own House, that do us the greatest▪ Mischief, in carrying a strict Hand over the Affections, in resolutely withstanding the insinuating Cha [...] of vicious Appetites, and resist­ing their importunate Cravings, and keeping the dis­orderly Passions under a regular Management. Here we must be strong and quit our selves like Men, and Fight *, that we may not become Servants to these base Lusts, and so degrade our selves from the Dignity of Men, to the Condition of Beasts. We act the Man, while we contend to keep up our Dominion over them. We act the Beast, by a shameful yielding to their Influence. And Wisdom will teach us to employ our Fortitude chiefly against our peculiar favourite Lusts, which we are most in Danger of being overcome by. Here especially we must both watch, and strive to stand our Ground with the Constancy and Resolu­tion of Men; against these we must bend the Force of our whole spiritual Armour, for in them lies the main Strength of our Enemies, and our Success in the spi­ritual Conflict is very much to be estimated according as we prevail and get the Victory over them

In these several Instances, wherein the whole Con­cern of our spiritual Warfare is comprized, we must put on and exercise a masculine Courage and Forti­tude. I shall only add, that the Christian Principles by which this Virtue is supported and animated, are chiefly these three, viz Faith, Hope, and Love, the es­sential Ingredients in the Christian Temper ; and they have each their Part assign'd in our spiritual War­fare. Let us put on, saith the Apostle , the Breastplate [Page 20] of Faith and Love, and for an Helmet, the Hope of Salvation. Let a Word or two suffice to each of these.

1. Among the militant Graces, Faith leads the Van, and inspires Life and Vigour into the rest. Faith as it acts on Christ, who is the Strength of our Hearts, and on the Word of God, the Means of deriving spi­ritual Strength from him, is of singular Use in the spiritual Warfare; and though it often meets with hard Struggles, yet it will at last bare away the Victory; and therefore the Apostle recommends it as the choicest Piece of our spiritual Armour. Above all, saith he, take the Shield of Faith *. Faith is a Christian's Shield that encompasseth him around, that on which Side soever he be attack'd, his Faith will be of emi­nent Service for his Defence.

There are Temptations on the right Hand, and on the Left; the Blandishments of worldly Pleasures, Profits and Honours on the one Hand, and the Ter­rors and Affrightments of Sense, Hardships and Dis­couragements on the other; but Faith as it realizes invisible Things, as it is the Substance of what we hope for, and the Evidence of what we see not , is able to bring preponderating Reasons to baffle the Force of all Temptations. Against worldly Allurements, it can lay in ballance the Pleasures, Riches, & Honours of the King­dom of God, and so brakes the Force of the Enemy from that Quarter: And the everlasting Punishments of a fu­ture State, which Faith apprehends as real, & most awful, are more than an over Ballance to all the Terrors of Sense. Let us therefore stand fast in the Faith; and then we shall be strong, and quit our selves like Men.

2. Hope, the genuine and immediate Offspring of a Christian Faith, serves for an Helmet in this Warfare, as it secures the Head, and keeps up Life and Spirit, and [Page 21] fortifies Resolution in the midst of Temptations and Discouragements This is the great Incentive to the Exercise of all our active Powers, as it counter-acts, and suppresses dispiriting Fears 'Tis Hope that will enable us to renew the Conflict with fresh Vigour, when worsted by the Importunities of the Flesh. And when Afflictions and Calamities overflow and reach even to the Neck . Hope will keep the Head above Water, in a patient Expectation of the happy Issue of all, still looking for the Mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal Life.

3. Love is also a Principle of Christian Fortitude, which, in Conjunction with the two former, will render a Christian impregnable against all Assaults. This is indeed a working Grace, and suited to Labour: hence we often read of the Work and Labour of Love . But meeting with Opposition, Love will flame out into Zeal. Holy Paul and his Companions in the Gospel, were tho't Men beside themselves, such was their Zeal in the Cause of their blessed Master; but the true Reason was, the Love of Christ constrained them *. Love is generous, and publick spirited, and will not shrink at Dangers, or Difficulties, to serve its beloved. No Wa­ters can quench it. Love is strong as Death , saith So­lomon. And of the primitive Martyrs it is said, They loved not their Lives unto the Death {inverted †}, i. e their Love, and Loyalty to their blessed Redeemer, prevailed over the natural Love of their own Lives, so that they could yield them up to Death for his sake: And thus they came off Conquerors in the War with the Dragon, and the combin'd Powers of Earth and Hell. And it is a Precept of our holy Religion, that we ought to lay down our Lives for the Brethren *, for those that ba [...]e that Relation either in the Bonds of civil Society or spiritual Communion; and 'tis a Precept suited to this heroic [Page 22] Principle of Love, which on just & proper Occasions, will prompt to the Observance of it. Thus we see by these few Hints, what a Spirit of Fortiude and Manhood, our christian Principles will inspire into those that are truly acted and influenc'd by them. I come now to the

APPLICATION.

And here, omitting wholly the more general Uses, and Inferences, from what has been discours'd, which I tho't to have propounded; I shall proceed according to my intended Method, To make a more particular Application of the Charge in the Text to those of the Military Order and Profession; who are concern'd on a double Account to act a manly Part, both as Christi­ans and Soldiers.

But, in Order hereunto, there are two Principles I shall lay down, as the Ground of this Address.

The First is the Consistency of the Christian with the military Calling and Employment. And Secondly, That true martial Courage and Valour is greatly befriended and improv'd by the Principles of Christian Fortitude.

First, I shall lay it down as a Principle, That th [...]re is no Inconsistency of the Military with the Christian Calling; though the Weapons proper to the one, are Carnal, to the other, Spiritual, yet that it is lawful and warrantable for Christians, as Members of the com­mon Wealth, to bear Arms, and engage in a just War under the Conduct and Authority of the civil Magis­trate; which is a Point capable of easy Proof, however confidently it has been denied and opposed by the So­cinian Tribe, and sundry other, Sects, both in the pre­sent, and past Ages, being led into this Error, by some misunderstood, and misapplied Passages of Scripture. Though my Subject does not lead me to consider the Lawfulness of the Soldiers Calling, or to settle it as a Point of Conscience, yet to shew the Propriety of this [Page 23] Address to Men of that Order, & that it may appear that the Christian and the Soldier are not Terms incompa­tible. Let me observe in a few Words,

1. That it is beyond Dispute, that the People & Servants of God under the Old Testament (among whom, were divers eminently pious and holy Persons) took up Arms and made War against their Enemies, by a manifest di­vine Direction and Approbation; which shews that the Thing is not in it self Unlawful; nor is there the least Hint in the sacred Writings, that leads us to conclude it to be so; on the contrary, if we would form a Judg­ment by the Light of Nature, it appears reasonable and just, being directed to; and warranted, especially in Case of an injust Invasion, by the natural Law of self Pre­servation. Hence,

2. Let me observe, That there is no Alteration made in those Things that are founded on the Law of Na­ture or Nations, by the Religion of the New Testament of our Saviour. It being very remote from the Design of Christ, or of the first Preachers of the Gospel, to erect a new civil Polity in the World, or to abolish any Ordinance of Man for the Preservation of the Peace and Order of civil Society. As therefore, particular Persons are allow'd, and required by the immutable, and unrepealable Law of Nature, to repel force by force in necessary self Defence; so by the same Right, Kingdoms and politick Bodies, may lawfully de­fend themselves against any injurious, encroaching Enemy, by exerting the Force proper to them, as such: And this warrants, at least a defensive War. And al­lowing but the Lawfulness of a defensive War (on Grounds of Nature) against an unjust Aggressor, even this is sufficient to justify the military Employment. The Kingdom which our blessed Lord came to set up in the World, being of a spiritual and heavenly Nature, does not at all interfere with the Rights of Nations, or earthly Kingdoms, but leaves them as fully pos­sess'd of them, as it found them. Besides,

[Page 24]3 There are clear and plain Intimations, in the Writings of the New Testament, of the Lawfulness of the military Calling When our Saviour was questi­on'd concerning his Kingdom, by Pilate, he answered, (John 18 36) My Kingdom is not of this World: If my Kingdom were of this World, then would my Servants Fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews. Inti­mating, as one observes ‘That tho' Wars and Fight­ings were not proper Means to advance the spiritual Nature of his Kingdom, yet if the Methods of his Humiliation had permitted him to assume the Royal Scepter, his Servants and Followers, might lawfully have Fought to defend his Claim and Title.’ There is no Prohibition of the Soldiers Employment in the Scriptures of the New Testament, (even when the most proper Occasion offer'd) which would not have been omitted, if it were unlawful. The Reply of John the Baptist to the Soldiers Demand, What shall we do? is well known . This Preacher of Repentance does not insist upon their laying down their Arms, and quitting the Service they were employ'd in, as unlawful, which surely, he that so freely reproved the Vices of that Age, and call'd upon all Sorts to bring forth Fruits Meet for Repentance, would not have fail'd to have done, had there been any thing in that Employment immoral, or inconsistent with Repentance, and a pious Life, but instead of this, he cautions them only against those Vices, which Men of that Profession are most com­monly guilty of, Do Violence to no Man *, neither ac­cuse [Page 25] any falsly; and exhorts them to be content with their Wages, which is a racit Concession of the Lawful­ness of their receiving the Wages of their Warfare, which, who can imagine he would have allow'd them to do, without doing the Service that gave them a Right to these Wages.

The Force of this reasoning may not be evaded by pretending that John was a legal Preacher, or that he entred on his Ministry before the Gospel Dispensation began; for we are expresly told, that the Law conti­nued until John, and from the Days of John the Bap­tist, the Kingdom of God was preached . And the Evangelist Mark dates the Beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, from the preaching of John . John's Ministry therefore, was a sort of Boundary to the legal Dispensation, and the Beginning of the Evangelical; and his Doctrine was purely Evangelical, being the same for Substance, that Christ and his Apostles after­wards preached, even the Doctrine of Repentance for the Remission of Sins. Moreover,

We have the Examples of several eminent Soldiers, who embraced the Christian Faith, without the least Intimation of their quitting the military Function, or their being directed and order'd to do so, either by Christ▪ or his Apostles. Such was the Centurion that address'd our Saviour, (Matt. 8 5.) whose Faith he so [Page 26] highly commended, above all that he had found in Is­rael▪ (Vers. 10) Such was Cornelius, a Centurion of the [...] Band, a Person of eminent Piety, and Inter­course with Heaven, (Act. 10 1, 2, &c.) And Sergius Palus Deputy, or Proconsul of Cyprus, converted to the Faith of Christ by the Ministry of the Apostle Paul, (Act. 13.7, 12) Had their Calling been unlawful, they must have left it upon their Conversion to the Faith: But there's not the least Hint given by the sacred Histo­rians, that they were either reproved for it, or discharg'd from it.

Again, For what End can we suppose, the great Apostle Paul (being inform'd of the Conspiracy of the Jews to kill him) should so industriously seek to make known his Cause to the chief Captain , but that he having the Command of the Soldiery, might rescue and protect him? And does not this manifestly imply an Approbation of that Order of Men? Would the holy Apostle betake himself to unlawful Shifts in a Time of Danger? How would this consist with his trusting in God?

Further we may observe, That by the Doctrines and Precepts of the Gospel, the Authority of the civil Ma­gistrate is established, and all Christians obliged to Obedience and Submission to it *. The Magistrate is represented as God's Minister, and Vicegerent, to whom the Sword of Justice is committed, to inflict Vengeance on evil Doers , to protect the Injured, and punish the Injurious, and consequently to defend the Rights and Liberties, the Lives and Goods of the Subjects, by drawing the Sword of War to execute publick Revenge on a rapacious, malicious Enemy; to whom therefore, as vested with, and exercising this Power and Right, Christians are bound to pay Sub­jection [Page 27] and Tribute . They are, moreover, required to submit themselves to every Ordinance of Man for the Lord's sake *. But the constituting and ordering the Militia is an Ordinance of Man, that carries in it no Repugnancy to any Ordinance of God, which there­fore challenges Submission to it, from a Principle of Conscience towards God. Finally, to add no more, We are bound to pray for Kings, and all that are in Authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable Life in all Godliness and Honesty But in many Cases, it is impossible to lead a quiet and peaceable Life, without the Magistrates using the Power given him by God; that is to say, without the Use of the Sword for suppressing of Violence and Injustice at home, and repressing the Insults and Molestations of an Enemy from abroad.

From all which, and divers other Insinuations in the Scriptures of the New Testament, the Lawfulness and Expediency of bearing Arms, and of the military Dis­cipline and Employment, might be fairly argued. War is indeed a penal Evil, justly to be deprecated by all, a severe Scourge wherewith God oftentimes chastizes sinful Nations and Kingdoms; yet considering the Pra­vity of humane Nature, and the Constitution of humane Affairs, and the exorbitant Lusts and Passions of Men, whence proceed Wars and Fightings, and the great Power and Influence of Satan (the mortal (or rather immortal) Enemy of the Peace and Welfare of Man­kind) in the Kingdoms of this World, it can't other­wise be expected, but that the Nations will frequently be embroil'd in Wars: And in such a State of Things, [Page 28] who is not sensible, that military Men, valiant and expert in War, good Soldiers and well disciplin'd Ar­mies, are not only lawful, but highly necessary and Useful, and at all times to be encouraged, and justly to be esteemed the Beauty and Ornament, and under God, the Strength and Defence of a People? So that a Christian may not only with a good Conscience un­dertake the military Function, when call'd thereunto, but may also therein perform eminent Service for God and his Country, by exerting that publick Spirit, that Zeal and Courage, which his Christian Principles inspire him withal. The Objections made against this, from the Commands of Christ, requiring an universal Love, and peaceable Spirit in his Disciples and Followers, and forbidding Revenge, duely consider'd and exa­min'd, appear to be of no Weight: For our Saviour forbidding to resist Evil, (Matt. 5.39.) intends only to lay a Restraint on private Revenge: For the Apostle inculcating the same Prohibition, (Rom 12 19) Dear­ly beloved, avenge not your selves &c.) does not include all kind of Revenge, but only that between private Men; for he presently subjoin, in the Beginning of the next Chapter, (Verse 4.) That the civil Magi­strate is authoriz'd by God (to whom Vengeance be­longs) as his Vicegerent, to be a publick Revenger of Wrongs. Now War is a kind of publick Revenge, and the being Instrumental therein, has no necessary Connection with a vindictive Spirit, which the Gospel forbids; and as to a Spirit of Peace and Charity, which it constantly recommends, 'tis certain there is nothing more essential to the Temper and Genius of Christianity, yet this Temper is not inconsistent with the Office of bearing Arms against the injurious Ad­versaries of ones Country *, when the Necessity of [Page 29] a greater Charity to the Community we are Members of, constrains to it. Christians are indeed required, if it be possible, as much as lieth in them, to live peaceably with all Men . This they ought to aim at, and en­deavour by all possible Means, but sometimes this is not possible, even as often as it is necessary to repell unjust Violence; and when this becomes necessary, Christianity requires, it should be managed with peace, able Intentions; to make War for War sake, or to gratify Mens boundless Amibition, Pride, Avarice, Re­venge, or any other carnal Lust, is certainly inconsistent with the Christian, and indeed with all religious Prin­ciples. God will scatter and destroy the People, that [Page 30] delight in War . But the great End of a justifiable War being to establish Peace on just and solid Foun­dations, this should seem to agree well with the Tem­per and Spirit of Christianity.

Thus having observ'd the Consistency of the Christian with the military Calling (which tho' seemingly a Digression, yet being inservient to my main Design, I could not wholly omit it) I shall proceed now to observe,

Secondly, That true martial Courage and Valour is greatly befriended, and improv'd by the Principles of that Christian Fortitude, that is so necessary and Useful in our spiritual Warfare. Strength and Courage, as well as Skill in the military Art, all must allow, to be requisite to an accomplish'd Soldier. There is indeed a Difference between military Valour, and Christian Fortitude. The one is more active, the other more passive: The one is more seen in acting with Vigour and Resolution, in great and hazardous Enterprizes; the other is more discover'd in suffering Hardships, and Grievances, with Constancy of Mind, Faith, and Re­signation to God; in sustaining with an unshaken Firm­ness of Spirit, the Assaults and Oppositions it meets with in a Course of Virtue and Holiness. The former de­pends more on bodily Strength, and the Warmth and Sprightliness of the natural Constitution, suited to that external Warfare to which it is apply'd; the latter depends more on the Improvement of the Mind, by the Grace of God's holy Spirit, and those divine Qua­lities and Principles, wrought into the Temper of the Soul, that establish and strengthen it against all Temp­tations and Terrors. They both conspire in a resolute Contempt of Danger in Adherence to, & Pursuit of a good Cause.

But that which I assert is, There is nothing more condusive to a well temper'd Courage in a Christian [Page 31] Soldier, than the Principles of his Religion, that in­spire him with Zeal and Fortitude in his spritual War­fare. True Religion, tho' it lays a Restraint on the vain glorious Humour, and banishes Pride, Ambition, and false Notions of Honour and Greatness, that help to generate a sort of Courage and Boldness in pro­fane Men, yet it does not tend to make men Cowards, but truly valiant, whenever there is a just Occasion to exert their Valour. What shall we say of Abraham the Father of the faithful, who with so much Courage and Generosity undertook, with his trained Servants and Allies, to pursue the victorious Army, defeated them and rescued his Brother Lot *? The Church of God (as well as the World) has had its Worthies nourished up in the Principles of the true Religion, who have signaliz'd themselves in martial Exploits, with that Justice and Honour, Courage and Bravery, Conduct and Success, which perhaps, is scarce to be equal'd by the most celebrated Heroes in the gentile World; such were Moses and Joshua, the Leaders of the Armies of Israel, and those renouned Champions enrolled in the Catalogue of Believers, by the Au­thor to the Hebrews, Chap. 11.32, 33, &c. Gideon, Ba­rak, Sampson, Jeptha and David, who thro' Faith sub­dued Kingdoms, wrought Righteousness (or vindicated the just Cause of God's People against their unreasonable and tyrannical Oppressors) —out of Weakness were made Strong, waxed valiant in Fight, turned to flight the Ar­mies of the Aliens. And of Zion it may be said, this and that brave Man was born and bred there, who has acquired great Fame and Renown by their Valour in the Wars of the Lord. And as that Example of those forementioned Worthies, who were great and eminent Soldiers, reflects an Honour on the military Office; so it shews that Faith and Piety is not only consistent with, but greatly befriends martial Courage and Success. For it is observable, that it was their Faith in God, that [Page 32] Faith which hath such a signal Use and Influence in the spiritual War, to which our Victories over Sin, the World and the Devil, are peculiarly ascrib'd; it was that Faith, I say, which inspired them with that he­roic Valour, that enabled them to perform such notable Exploits. Through Faith they subdued Kingdoms, wax­ed valiant in Fight, &c. True Faith in God and his Word, with the Train of Graces that march under the Conduct of it, Self-denial, Love, Zeal, Hope, Patience, Humility, will not only fit a Man for doing great and acceptable Service to God, but also embolden him to face Dangers, and endure Hardships and Adversities, with an unconquerable Resolution: And having by Faith engag'd the Power and Presence of God by his Spirit within him, and his Providence about him, he can rest confident and secure, as to the Issue of the Conflict.

Yea, divine Grace many times adds a marvellous Strength and Courage to those that are of a Temper naturally weak and timerous; who (in this Sense,) out of Weakness have been made strong. The Gospel speaks Strength and Magnanimity into the fearful and faint­hearted. Isai. 35.4. Say to them that are of a fearful Heart, be strong, fear not. And the Spirit that goes along with it and breaths in it, is not a Spirit of Fear, or Cowardize, but a Spirit of Power, of Love, and of a sound Mind, 2 Tim 1.7. 'Tis prophesied, Zech. 12▪ 8. He that is feeble among them at that Day shall be as David ‘Divine Grace, (saith Mr. Henry there) makes Children not only Men, but Champions, not only good Soldiers, but great Soldiers like David Those that were feeble by Nature, have been made strong by Grace, to encounter the greatest Terrors of the World; witness the Martyrs of Jesus: Tho' the Archers shot at them and hated them, and fore grieved them, yet their Bow abode in Strength▪ and the Arms of their Hands were made strong by the Hands of the mighty God of Jacob. 'Tis surprising to read in Eccle­siastical Story, the Triumphs of divine Grace over the [Page 33] Power and Malice of Earth and Hell, even in many Persons of the tenderest Constitution, who with an in­vincible Christian Patience and Constancy, have been enabled to meet with Torments and Death, in all the Forms of Terror that the Malice of Hell could con­trive. ‘Behold, with us, (says one of the Ancients, speaking of the Christian Martyrs,) The weaker Sex, and the most tender Age, suffer all the Parts of their Body to be torn and burnt, not out of Necessity, for they might shun it, but out of Choice, because they believe in God; this is that true Virtue, which the Philosopher vainly boasts of, but never really pos­sessed.’ If therefore to be truly couragious and valiant, is to be able to surmount our Fears, and despise Dangers, on just and honourable Occasions, we see whence it is we may be best furnished with true Va­lour and Magnanimity, namely, from those Christian Principles by which the noble Army of Martyrs were acted, under the Conduct of Michael, in the War with the Dragon . When in Adherence to the Faith and Hope of the Gospel, and in the Cause of Virtue and Piety, they could bid Defiance to the greatest Terrors of Sense, and triumph over all Opposition, with an unshaken Constancy. In a Word, The true Christian is the true Hero; and they that act the Christian will not fail to act the Man; all manly Virtues being improved to their highest Perfection by the Spirit of Christianity.

These Considerations now warrant me, with great Propriety, in Compliance with the Occasion & Design of this Day, to address this Exhortation to Men of the military Profession, and particularly to the Honourable Company of the Artillery, at whose Invitation and Re­quest, I have engaged in the present Service to declare to them some Part of the divine Counsels. Wherefore,

[Page 34] Honoured Sirs! The Exhortation I bring you from the Oracles of God is this,

If, together with military Skill, you wou'd also ex­cell in a truly martial Spirit, becoming the Profession of a Soldier, Learn to quit your selves like Men in the Christian Sense, and be strong. Put on, and put forth a Christian Fortitude and Magnanimity in the Course of your spiritual Warfare; and thus you will be accom­plished in the best Manner for any hazardous Service, if called to it in a Time of War.

Let me observe, that among the various Changes and Vicissitudes of humane Affairs, the different and oppo­site Events that do interchangeably succeed each other in the Course of humane Life, for which Solomon tells us, there is a Time and Season alloted by the Degree of Heaven , those which do more eminently affect Na­tions and Kingdoms, are a Time of War and a Time of Peace. These take their Turns in their Seasons ap­pointed, and determined by God, which is an Admo­nition to us, that as War must be managed with Views of Peace, so a Time of Peace must be improved to prepare for War.

It is now, blessed be God, a Time of Peace with us, as it has been for some Years past; and notwithstand­ing the War, which we have been of late threatned withal, yet it has pleased God to direct and succeed the publick Counsels of our Nation so far, as not only to preserve the Peace of the British Dominions, but also through the prudent Mediation of our gracious Sovereign, to give an hopeful Prospect of an happy Period to the War that has of late Years disturb'd and distress'd Europe.

[Page 35]Nevertheless, considering the frequent Changes, in­cident to the publick Affairs of Nations, it must be own'd to be a People's Wisdom and Interest, in a Time of this profound Tranquility and Peace, to strengthen and prepare themselves in the best Man­ner for War; to be furnish'd with a good Militia, to keep alive the martial Genius, and by all proper Means to encourage it, that they may be in a ready Posture of Defence on the turn of Affairs. For which Reason, as I heartily concur with those of my Rever­end Fathers and Brethren who have stood here before me, on these anniversary Occasions, in recommending military Skill and Discipline, so, at the same time, I think it highly proper and needful, particularly to encourage the keeping up the martial Spirit and Va­lour, which is more in Danger of sinking and declin­ing in a Time of Peace, than bare Skill in the Use of warlike Weapons.

These are two different Things, tho' they mutually support and befriend each other; and it is a desirable Thing that those who excell in military Skill, might also excell in true Valour; and on the contrary, that those who excel in a Spirit of Valour, might be endow'd with equal Skill to guide and manage it; yet 'tis known, these do not always go together. We read Psal. 78.9. The Children of Ephraim being arm'd, & carrying Bows, turned back in the Day of Battle. Tho' furnished with all warlike Accoutrements, being arm'd, and carrying Bows, arm'd with the Weapons of War then in Use, and well instructed, no doubt, in the Use of them, yet when it came to a Battle in good earnest, they made an inglorious Retreat, for want of Spirit and Courage; could not face the Enemy, but turned back in the Day of Battle. Wherefore, to acquire and cherish this mar­tial Spirit, to be brave and bold in the Face of Danger, is no less the Concern of a good Soldier, than to get furnished with Skill in the Art of War. And since all Occasion of exerting this Spirit of Valour in any mi­litary Service, is now happily prevented by the Peace [Page 36] we enjoy, and thro' the great Goodness of God have some Prospect of the Continuance of; I have therefore thought proper and seasonable to exhort you to keep up th [...] masculine Spirit in Life and Vigour, by exerting it in all such Instances of Christian Fortitude, for which our spiritual Warfare administers frequent Occasions, and which are highly becoming a Christian Soldier.

It is not indeed an hazardous Thing with us, either to undertake a Christian Profession, as it was in the primitive Times of Christianity, when the ruling Powers of the World were set in Oppsition to it, or to profess it in its strictest Purity, free from the corrupt Additions of Man's devising, as it is at this Day in popish Countries. On the contrary, it is both safe and honourable. The bare Name and Profession of a Christian is a cheap and easy Thing, that requires no great Degree of Courage and Resolution; but to live up to the Majesty and Power of our holy Profession, to bear up against the Stream of Flesh and Blood, and the corrupt Maxims, Customs, and Examples of a de­generate World, in a Course of self denying Obedience and Patience, will still try the Sinews of our Souls, and draw out, and exercise all our spiritual Strength.

'Tis true, thro' the distinguishing Favour of Heaven, we in this Land are Strangers to the fiery Tryal, and are not called to give a Proof of our Christian Forti­tude and Valour, by resisting unto Blood , or sealing our Testimony with our Blood; the Profession and Practice of our holy reformed Religion, being esta­blish'd and patroniz'd by the civil Authority from our Beginnings; a Favour which many of our Brethren and Companions in the Kingdom and Patience of our Lord Jesus Christ, wou'd esteem above all the Wealth in the World; yet we are not Christians indeed, unless we be, in Disposition and Purpose, Martyrs for Christ. [Page 37] And there are lesser Conflicts in which our Christian Manhood and Fortitude is daily put to the Tryal, par­ticularly in such Instances as these, viz.

In striving against Sin; which all are bound to do, that are listed under Christ's Banner In combating with our own darling Corruptions and Lusts. In withstand­ing, restraining, reproving, and testifying against the prevailing Sins and Vices of others, as the Duty of our several Places requires. In a conscionable and strict Ob­servance of such Instances of Piety and Devotion, of Charity and Sobriety, as may be too much out of Fashion in a degenerating Age, without being ashamed of the Words of Christ, or any Part of his holy Religion, in an adulterous and sinful Generation *. In being true and firm to the Principles of Conscience, whatever Hazards we run, and in Opposition to secular Allurements and Temptations arising from worldly Interests and Ad­vantages.

In a stable Adherence to a good and just Cause, tho' it shou'd happen to be discountenan'd by the many and the mighty.

In a vigorous Prosecution of any reasonable Proposal for the publick Good; and a resolute Self-denial, and postponing our own private Interest to that of the Pub­lick, when the one comes in Competition with the other.

In calming and keeping down the tumultuous Passi­ons under Affronts and Provocations.

In keeping up a lively Hope in God, and a placid Resignation to his Will under adverse Occurrences. In getting our Hearts so far raised above the World, both its Frowns and Flatteries, as to be ready to enter­tain the worst Events that we suppose may happen, [Page 38] with a well govern'd Temper of Mind, in Opposition to desponding Fears and disquieting Cares.

In these, and other like Instances, the true Magna­nimity of a Christian is tried and discovered; and if in these lesser Conflicts and Trials, our Courage fails, what shall we do in greater? If thou hast run with Footmen and they have wearied thee, how canst thou contend with Horses? If in the Land of Peace thou art wearied, then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan?

Be encouraged then, to play the Man in the constant Course and Exercise of your spiritual Warfare; that being trained up herein, you may be the better arm'd and prepared for more difficult Encounters and Trials which you may be call'd forth unto. And for your Di­rection herein, I can offer nothing more pertinent, than the important Advices which precede the Text, in the same Verse, Watch ye, stand fast in the Faith; which are both the Means and Evidences of spiritual Fortitude. I shall briefly consider and inculcate them as the Means of promoting and increasing a manly Spirit and Courage, proper to the Christian and the Soldier. Under the former I shall offer a few Things in the Nature of Cautions; under the latter, some more positive Advices.

First then, Watch ye; Keep up a wakeful Sense of your Danger, and be always on your Guard. This Charge be­longs to all Christ's Soldiers. His Kingdom in this World is inviron'd with Enemies; and a Man that hath an Ene­my must beware how he sleeps Security is very de­trimental, on temporal and spiritual Accounts Nothing more manifestly tends to throw the Minds of Men into a Consternation and Confusion, then unlook'd for Dangers; when Men are surpriz'd in their Security, and in no Posture of Defence against sudden Attacks. Let us not be lull'd asleep by our present Peace, as for [Page 39] getting that we are the Objects of the Envy and Spite of our evil Neighbours; or neglecting such Means of our Defence, both by Sea and Land, as may render it dangerous to those that are otherwise sufficiently dis­pos'd to invade and molest us when ever an Opportu­nity shall occur Remember Laish, a People that dwelt Careless and Secure, who therefore became an easy Prey to the first Invaders .

Much greater is the Danger our Security will expose us to on spiritual Accounts. Our great Adversary the Devil is both vigilent and expert, and has manifold Advantages against us by Reason of our Weakness, Igno­rance, Unskilfulness, and frequent Inadvertencies, thro' the multiplicity of our Diversions, Business, Company, Calling, Employment, and Recreations; and he is too vigilant an Adversary to loose any of the Advantages he has against us: what Reason then have we to be constantly on our Guard? Be sober, be vigilant, because your Adversary the Devil, as a roaring Lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour . And 'tis our Se­curity and Presumption that leaves us exposed and de­fenceless against the Assaults of our spiritual Adversaries.

But that which I aim at under this Head, is to cau­tion you particularly against those Evils that tend to impair and diminish a Spirit of Fortitude and Valour.

1. Watch against the Love of Ease and Idleness, or a slothful indolent Temper. As bodily Exercise contri­butes to the Strength and Firmness of the bodily Con­stitution, so all spiritual Gifts & Endowments, natural or supernatural, are invigorated and increas'd by Use and Exercise, but are diminished & fall into decay by Sloth and Negligence. The Blood of the Soul (as one speaks) runs out in wasted Time. When Gideon was well em­ployed, he hears the Angel saluting him, The Lord is with thee thou mighty Man of Valour.

[Page 40]2. Watch against all kind of Intemperance. Nothing does more emalculate the Mind, nor quench the na­tural Vigour, than the inordinate Indulgence of sinful Pleasures, Drunkenness and Debauchery. Whoredom and Wine, and new Wine, saith the Prophet, take away the Heart *. How many gallant Minds have been en­feebled and dispirited, by being dissolv'd in Ease, Luxury, Intemperance, and Effeminacy? This Caution is the more to be regarded, because of the too great Prevalency of this Vice, in Town and Country, espe­cially on Days of Training, to the Scandal of those military Exercises, and defeating in a great Measure, the proper Ends of them.

3. Watch against all unseemly Heats, and outbreakings of Passion in Word and Behaviour. This is unmanly, and an Argument of a dangerous weak Mind; whereas to be able to bridle the Passions, and quell those in­testine Commotions, is a nobler Instance of true For­titude, than the fam'd Atchievments of Alexander or Caesar. To this agrees the Sentence of Solomon, He that is slow to Anger is better than the mighty, and he that ruleth his Spirit, than he that taketh a City .

4 Watch against Pride, Ambition, Avarice, and inor­dinate worldly Cares; which tend to contract the Spi­rits, and to narrow up a Man's Views to his own private Interests, and to draw out the Strength and Vigour of his Soul the same Way; contrary to that publick Spi­rit, that generous enlarged Charity, that shou'd inspire and warm the Breast of a Soldier, and engage him to stand in the Defence of the publick Liberties of his Country; and when need requires, to be couragious, and play the Man for his People, and the City of his God .

'Tis not from a Suspicion that this honourable Com­pany will suffer the Stain of any of these Vices to [Page 41] cleave to them, that I urge these Things, but rather that they might be moved to excell in the contrary Graces, and be Examples to the whole Militia of the Country, in all military Virtue, as well as Skill and Discipline. Nevertheless, the most confirmed Virtue needs to be thus guarded. And our blessed Saviour saw it requisite to caution his own Disciples against some of the worst of these Vices; saying to them, Take heed to your selves, least at any time your Hearts be over charged with Surfeiting and Drunkenness and the Cares of this Life *. But to proceed to the more positive Advices under the second Head.

2. Stand fast in the Faith; and that by a firm Ad­herence to the Doctrine of Faith, a constant Persever­ance in the Grace of Faith, and an unshaken Fidelity and Stedfastness in the Covenant of Faith.

1. Adhere firmly to the Doctrine of Faith, the Gos­pel Revelation of our Saviour; the great Usefulness whereof in its several Articles, to establish and embol­den the Hearts of Men to encounter Difficulties & Dan­gers, I must not insist upon: but I cannot forbear observ­ing that the two grand Articles of reveal'd Religion, viz. The Doctrine of a Sinner's Reconciliation to an offended God by an atoning Mediator, and that of eter­nal Life hereafter in the Kingdom of Heaven, seriously improved by Faith, have a peculiar Force above all the great Dictates of moral Philosophy, to raise a Cour­age that will hold out against the most threatning Dangers. A Man conscious to himself of the Displea­sure of his Maker, however he may, in the heat of Blood and Spirits, rush with a seeming Fearlessness on Dan­gers and Death, (which yet looks rather like a brutal Fierceness, than the Courage and Confidence of a Rea­sonable Creature, who sedately ponders the Issues of Things) yet let him once entertain serious Thoughts of that God with whom he is at Variance, and the vast [Page 42] Preparations of Wrath he has made against the Time of Trouble, against the Day of Battle and War; and his Courage must needs fail him, and his Heart sink within him; for can thine Heart endure, or can thine Hands be strong in the Day that he shall deal with thee? Whereas upon the Terms of a Reconciliation to God, it is promised, Thou shall not be afraid of Destruction when it cometh, yea, thou shalt laugh at Destruction and at Famine, Job 5 21, 22 For those who are quieted with Heaven's Smiles may bid Defiance to all the terrible Things of this World. And the Soldier who having his Feet shod with the Preparation of the Gospel of Peace , and supported and animated with the Hopes of a better Life after this, which that Gospel inspires, can with an interpid Courage look the King of Terrors in the Face, may reasonably be supposed to be best prepared of all Men (Caeteris Paribus) to face an Enemy in the Field of Battle, with a Presence of Mind not to be intimidat­ed by all the confused Noise where with every Battle of the Warrior is carried on, and with Garments rolled in Blood .

Therefore adhere to the Principles of revealed Re­ligion; Stand fast in the Faith. Stand fast in the Gos­pel of Christ, which is the only solid Ground of Pa­tience and Fortitude in encountering the Evils that surround us in this our warfaring State, and of all our Comforts and Hopes living and dying.

And indeed this Exhortation, let me note by the Way, seems peculiarly seasonable at this Day, when revealed Religion is so openly attack'd by Deists and Libertines, and prophane Spirits, that set their Wits and Mouths against the Heavens. The more secret and subtle Insinuations of Infidelity that appear in some, and the more open and bold Challenges of bare fac'd Infidels▪ in others of the Books and Writings of the present Age, call upon all Ranks and Orders to be [Page 43] valiant for the Truth *, and to contend earnestly for the Faith once delivered unto the Saints ; a Faith that has been in such a remarkable and convictive Manner at­tested from Heaven, and sealed with the Blood of so many Thousand Martyrs, and which is the most pow­erful Instrument of beating down the Kingdom of Sin and Satan, and of advancing the Kingdom and Glory of God in this lower World, and the only effectual Means of recovering Mankind, from their brutish Dege­neracy, and the Charter of all our great Hopes Surely this is a Faith worth contending for, with Zeal and Earnestness!

2. Persevere constantly in the Grace of Faith, without which the Doctrine of Faith will be but of little Use. Our Faith is mainly struck at by our spiritual Enemies, because all our other Graces, wherein our Strength and Armour of Defence lies, live or die with it: Let Faith therefore be kept up in a lively Exercise. It is the Property of this Grace to quiet and confirm the Heart against all Fears; and to enable us to stand our Ground against the Wiles of Satan, and his fiery Darts; and to keep our selves untainted from the Impurities, Lusts, and Temptations of this present World, and also to fortify our Minds against visible Dangers and Terrors. It was the Faith of those great Heroes mentioned Heb. 11. that enabled them (as was observ'd) to triumph over the armed Powers of their visible Enemies, as well as to persevere victoriously in their spiritual Warfare. Faith looks at that God who is invisible, and sets him as present before us, and resting itself on his almighty Power, Wisdom, Goodness, and Truth, enables the Be­liever to triumph before the Battle. If with David, we fix the Eye of our Faith on God, and can say of him by an appropriating Act of Faith, The Lord is my Light and my Salvation whom shall I fear? the Lord is the Strength of my Life, of whom shall I be afraid, Psal 27 1. [Page 44] Then, tho' with him, we forecast in our Minds the most amazing Dangers, this our Faith will furnish us with a Courage to surmount them, as it follows, Ver 3 Tho' an Host should encamp against me, my Heart shall not fear, though War shou'd rise against me, in this will I be confident. Arm your selves therefore with this Faith, which reconciles and reunites this Soul to God thro' Christ, and engages his gracious Presence and Protecti­on, which will afford an holy Security and Confidence in Cases of the greatest Danger and Extremity. God is our Refuge and Strength—therefore will not we fear though the Earth be removed *.

3. Abide faithful and stedfast in the Covenant of Faith. The Gospel is propounded to us in the Form of a Covenant, which is the Rule and Warrant of our Faith; wherefore to stand fast in the Faith is to continue true and faithful to God in the Duties of the Covenant, as well as to rely on his Truth and Faithfulness in the Promise of it. And a true Heart is a necessary Requisite to a full Assurance of Faith . And there is nothing that does more effectually ruin Mens Con­fidence, and put a damp on their Spirits, than Con­science of Guilt and Perfidiousness. The Reason why the Children of Ephraim, that warlike Tribe, being arm'd, and carrying Bows turned back in the Day of Battle, Psal 78 9. is assign'd in the next Words, They kept not the Covenant of God, and refused to walk in his Laws, Vers. 10 Whereas on the contrary, nothing will give a Man Boldness and Confidence in the Sight of God and Man, like a good Conscience towards God; this will make him like an Iron Pillar, and a brazen Wall, and enable him to lift up his Face without Spot, to be stedfast, and not fear. The wicked flee when "no Man pursueth, but the Righteous are bold as a Lyon . Wherefore adhere faithfully to God and his Service, and he shall strengthen your Hearts, and the Conscience [Page 45] of your Integrity, will minister a Courage that is ca­pable of enduring the sharpest Trials. But after all, it is fit that we be minded that our Strength lies not in our selves, but must be derived from Heaven by Faith and Prayer, and maintain'd by continual Sup­plies thence. Be strong therefore in the Lord, and in the Power of his Might *.

These Directions, 'tis confess'd, are, according to the primary Design of the Apostle, of more general Use to all Christians in all their spiritual Conflicts; yet we see also, by the few Hints I have given, how pe­culiarly Serviceable and Useful they are to raise and maintain a truly masculine Courage and Boldness, proper to an accomplished Soldier, which confirms the Observation, That true military Valour is best sup­ported by the Principles of Christian Fortitude.

All that now remains is to point out and press the general Intendment of my Text, with Respect to Christians of all Ranks and Degrees. Let us be strong, and quit our selves like Men, in the Management of our spiritual Warfare. Our Baptism is our military Oath to be true and faithful to our great Leader and Commander, the Captain of our Salvation, in fighting his Battles against the Powers of the Kingdom of Darkness, which is a Kingdom founded in Sin and Rebellion against God. Let us therefore with manly Vigour and Resolution oppose our own Sins and Lusts that war in our Members, and war against our Souls, and suppress the Insurrection and Rebel­lion of carnal Affections against the Rule of Reason and Grace. The Contest here is for the Dominion of a reasonable Creature, that the manly Part of our Natures may not be enslav'd to the brutal; that Reason and Conscience may not be overborn by impertuous sensual Appetites, Lusts and Passions. In striving for [Page 46] the Mastery of these, let us play the Man, and fight, not as beating the Air; but let us keep under our Bodies, and bring them into Subjection , that they may not hinder our Improvements in the Virtues and Perfecti­ons of the spiritual Life. And let us in our several Places, with like Vigour and Resolution, set our selves to oppose the prevailing Corruptions of the present Age; the Iniquities that abound and spread among us in a fearful Degree; Irreligion and Pro­phaneness, Swearing, Cursing, Lying, Sabbath Propha­nation, Pride, Licentiousness, Injustice, Violence and Contention, Tale-bearing and Slandering, Idleness, Luxury, Fornication and Uncleanness, Drunkenness and Intemperance. These Enemies breaking in like a Torrent on our Land, threaten to spoil us of all that is dear and valuable to us, as Men and Christians, as they provoke the great God to become our Enemy, and to Fight against us with his Judgments. A War with these is necessary to our Peace with God, on whose Favour our all depends; and to the prolonging of our outward Peace and Tranquility.

Wherefore, since we are now, thro' the merciful Indulgence of Heaven, at Liberty from other Wars, let us engage in the vigorous Prosecution of this War; a War which is unexceptionably just and honourable, and highly agreable to all Christian Charity; a War that requires no Expence of Blood or Treasure, and in which we may be confident that we shall have no Enemies, but such as will be found to Fight even against God. Let us take Courage then and act like Men, like Champions: Every one hath his Part to act in this War, Magistrates, Ministers and People. Ma­gistrates, by enacting and executing good Laws against Prophaneness and Immorality, by brandishing the Sword of Justice for the Terror of evil doers. Mi­nisters, by plying the spiritual Artillery of the Gospel [Page 47] against the strong Holds of Sin and Satan, and by lift­ing up their Voice like a Trumpet, as God's Heralds, proclaiming his Wrath against the Ungodliness and Unrighteousness of Men, and as his Embassadors so­liciting their Consent to the Gospel Treaties of Peace and Reconciliation, and by taking Care of the due Administration of the Laws of Christ's Kingdom, for keeping up the Power of Godliness, and extirpating Scandals and Corruptions. And the People in general, by coming in to the Help of the Lord against the Mighty; by appearing on the Lord's Side, in the Ser­vice of his Cause, and the Interests of his Kingdom, by their Prayers and serious Endeavours in the Work of personal and family Reformation.

But nothing of all this will be likely to be effected to any considerable Purpose, unless we put on Strength and Courage and a manly Resolution, & exert our selves with a lively Zeal and Vigour. Permit me therefore to enforce this Exhortation, with the exciting Words of the Prophet, in a Case not altogether unlike to this , Now be strong O Zerubbabel, be strong O Joshua, and be strong all ye People of the Land, and fear ye not, but be assured, that if your Hearts are engaged in this good Work and Warfare, the Lord of Hosts is with you ▪ to own, assist, and strengthen you, and to crown your Endeavours, if not with all the desired Success, yet at least with his Favour and gra­cious Acceptation.

Now to close all with some animating Considera­tions to the good Soldiers of Jesus Christ, who are engaged in this spiritual Warfare. Be strong, and quit you like Men For consider,

First, The Necessity of this Warfare. Urgent Ex­tremities, 'tis observ'd, will inspire Courage into a Cow­ard, and even compel him to play the Man. This is our Case; there is an absolute Necessity of our striv­ing [Page 48] for the Mastery. If we conquer, we shall obtain the Crown, but if we suffer our selves through Sloth and Cowardize to be overborn by the Enemies that war against our Souls, we shall (as Castaways) become the Scorn of Angels and Saints. If we suffer our selves without Reluctance, to be carried down the Stream of our corrupt Inclinations, there is no Remedy, but we must fall under the Power of the second Death; for it is only the victorious Christian that is exempted: He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second Death *.

Consider again, If you persevere in a manful Re­sistance, you shall certainly overcome. Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you . Here the Battle is always to the strong; tho' it be not so in other Wars Stand your Ground in a Dependance on the Power and Aids of your glorious Captain, and with a Resolution not to yield, and you shall infallibly get the Day, and tho' your Enemies may inveagle or threaten, they cannot hurt you: None every died in this War, none shall die eternally in fighting Christ's Battles; adhere faith­fully to his Cause and Interest, and he has assured you of the Victory, he will bring you off Conquer­ors at last, and make you more than Conquerors. Consider also, by such a resolved manful Resistance, you will recover the true Honour and Dignity of the humane Nature, and the excellent Prerogatives of it, that have been basely betrayed by Sin By every ef­fectual Resistance, by every act of Self-denial, and laborious Striving against the Opposition you meet with from Satan, or your own Corruptions, in a Course of Duty, you will rise up more and more towards a State of Perfection, Liberty, Peace and Joy.

Again consider, Who are the Spectators of this War­fare. Men that are put upon the Trial of their Strength or Skill, before proper Judges, to whose good Opinion they are ambitious to commend themselves, [Page 49] will be sure to do their best, and exert their utmost Endeavours. We are now upon our Trial, and God and Christ and holy Angels are Spectators of the Con­flict; and think what a pleasing Thing it is to the great God, to see his poor fallen Creatures struggling with the Opposition that attends them in a Course of Virtue, in aspiring after the Perfection of their reason­able Natures, and so pursuing the End of their Beings! What a Pleasure to the Lord Jesus, to see the Power of his Grace magnified in the Weakness of a Believer, when he is enabled thereby to stand firm against the Attacks of his ghostly Adversaries, to see his Strength put forth to his Praise in and by Babes and Sucklings, for the stilling of the Enemy and the Avenger! Holy Angels also, who rejoice at a Sinner's Repentance , and at every Degree of his Recovery to God, look on with Joy and Pleasure, and are ready to congratulate your Successes, and to welcome you to their happy Regions, to take Possession of the vacant Seats of those apostate Spirits, who do now so enviously and malici­ously oppose your Progress thither.

Consider further, That God, Christ, and Angels are not only Spectators of your Conflicts, but also en­gaged to be your powerful Assistants therein. And if God be for you, who can be against you *? And you have the Mercies and Compassions, the Grace and Spi­rit, the Sufferings, Victories and Triumphs of your Lord Redeemer, his Satisfaction and Intercession, to depend on for your Encouragement. And the Angels are un­der him ministring Spirits for your Assistance . Those immortal Warriors are always ready to befriend you with their Aids. On which Accounts you may justly conclude, that those that are with you, are far more and mightier than all that are against you .

Lastly, Consider the glorious Reward promised to the victorious Christian; a Crown of Righteousness, a Crown [Page 50] of Life and Glory . The Saints who have finished their Warfare, are represented in the glorious trium­phant State, cloathed with white Robes, with Crowns on their Heads, and Palms in their Hands, ministring before the Throne to the supream King, among the heavenly Courtiers But alas! all Language fails to describe the Glories that encircle the victorious Christi­an; and Spirits that dwell in mortal Flesh are too weak and narrow to conceive of the Grandeur of Hea­ven's Triumphs. The holy Ghost is pleas'd to assist our Imaginations by sensible Representations, and Al­lusions to earthly Triumphs, which yet Reason teaches, must be poor Things in comparison of the heavenly. We must realize by Faith what Eye has never seen, nor Ear heard. It is enough that our blessed Sa­viour has promised, Be thou faithful unto the Death, and I will give thee a Crown of Life *.

Be strong then and have a good Heart on't, ye Soldiers of Jesus Christ! Abide true and faithful to your Captain, persevere in your Conflict with Sins, Corruptions, Temptations, Afflictions, Crosses, and Oppositions, which you must expect during your militant State, with Courage and Constancy unto the Death; then he will give you the Victory and the Crown, when your Warfare shall be fully ac­complished, all Enemies subdued, and Death (the last of them) swallowed up in Victory; and you shall put on the Garland of Immortality, and live & reign with him in a glorious undisturb'd Peace & Rest for evermore!

FINIS.

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