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case, thrice happy, because the means used to deprive them of their happiness, are overruled of God for the establishing it. The enemy rages against them, but in vain. He was a liar from the beginning. The word is truth, and he abode not in it; therefore, he hates it, and with a greater hatred, because the Lord has made it the means of strengthening those believers. He knows that all his temptations will be fruitless, while the word abideth in them. He fears no weapon formed against him, like the sword of the Spirit: he has felt its sharpness and its
power; with it the captain of our salvation cut Rahab, and wounded the dragon ; and with it all his good soldiers resist the devil, and make him flee from them. For these reasons he has great variety of temptations to weaken the believer's trust in the word, and his reliance upon the promises of God. : Sometimes he attacks them in a matter where his hopes åre founded in their ignorance: he is cunning to spy out the particular way in which they have been led, and their readiness to maintain their ground, by
making use of the promises suited to that way. He resolves, therefore, upon some new temptation, with which they have never been exercised; and he watches the favourable opportunity to inject it with all his strength. Upon his doing it, the soul is put into a great hurry, because it has no proinise ready to apply to the present case : for want of which, the understanding is confused-faith wavers ---doubt enters--and satan carries his point. This demonstrates the necessity of searching the scriptures, and meditating upon them night and day. In them God has graciously treasured up all sorts of promises. There is not a possible case for a believer to be in, of spiritual or temporal concern; but there is a promise suitable to it, which he ought to have ready against the hour of temptation. If he has not, he neglects the Lord's kind provision, and lays himself open to the enemy's attack. Reader, if thou wouldest not be ignorant of satan's devices, follow Christ's counsel-Search the Scriptures. Remember, they are able to make thee wise unto salvation, through faith in Christ Jesus : there
fore, store up his promises--pray him to sanctify thy memory to retain them--and to enable thee to make use of them in of need. If this temptation fail, the enemy
will soon have another ready. I have known him often try, and often succeed in endeavouring to take off the attention from the most easy parts of scripture, and to fix it upon those parts which are hard to be understood. Upon those the believer dwells too much, and puzzles himself. His head grows confused. He consults commentators, and they confuse
And if he does not fall from hence into questioning the truth of scripture, yet he certainly neglects the right use of it, forgetting it is the means of building himself up in his most holy faith. Reader, whenever thou art tempted about difficult texts, look up to the incarnate Word, and pray him by his Spirit to open thine understanding, that thou mayest know what thou readest; and if thou still dost not find the meaning of them made plain to thee, pass them by for that time. Don't puzzle and distress thyself about them. Perhaps when
ing the word in a constant dependence upon
thou meetest with them again, they will appear easy, and Christ will give thee light to see and to comprehend them.
If thou sayest, I do look up to him to teach me, but nevertheless, I find and difficult texts : remember thou knowest but in part, and therefore thou standest in need of daily teaching. These texts are profitable, if they humble thee, and make thee live more upon the teaching of the divine Prophet. The humbler thou art, thou wilt be the more teachable. The lower thou sittest at his feet to hear his words, thou wilt learn the most. The Master himself has declared, 66 Whosoever shall humble himself as a little child, the same is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” If these difficult texts thus humble thee, and make thee live more upon Christ's inward teaching, they will be the means of thy growth in saving knowledge. Thy hearing and read
him, will keep thee from the dangerous errors and heresies of the times. Most of those arise from unlearned and unstable
men, full of pride and self-conceit, whoin God resisteth ; but he giveth grace to the humble.
If he has given thee grace to hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast learned and been assured of, the enemy will change his attack, and pursue thee with new temptations. Envious of thy happiness, he will be often assaulting thee, and trying to move thee from thy steadfastness. He will at times insinuate every lie that he can raise against the word of God; and he will not begin with reason or argument, but by way of surprise, with sudden injections, darting into the mind doubts, like theseHow do I know the scripture is inspired ? What proof have I? And if these be not immediately rejected, he will follow them like lightning with others :. How can that be inspired which is full of contradictions, and full of doctrines above reason? Who can defend the matters of fact related in it? The language is low and mean, unworthy of God—the scripture is false-perhaps there is neither God nor devil: