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FOR THE CONNECTICUT EVAN- | flesh, and the devil; and to all GELICAL MAGAZINE.

A ferious addrefs to profeffing Chrif tians, on the duty and vaft importance of acting with fleady and perfevering vigilance, wifdom and fortitude in the Spiritual warfare.

In 1. Corinthians xvi. 13. these general orders are recorded, viz. "Watch ye, ftand faft in the "faith, quit you like men, be ftrong."


who go through the warfare fuccefsfully and come off victorious, And Paul, as a principal officer una glorious crown is promised.der the Chief Captain or General, published his general orders to the inferior officers and foldiery, To

watch-to ftand faft in the faith -to quit themselves like mento be strong.

To watch is to keep awaketo be continually upon our guard —to keep a good look out. An injunction to watch implies, that there are enemies or evils, of which it concerns us to beware, and against which we ought to be on our guard; or important duties to be performed, for the proper difcharge of which, it is neceffary to be in a wakeful, watchful temper and frame. Of this im

HESE words of the apostle Paul, found like the orders of a military officer to the foldiers under his command, exhorting and charging them to be continually on their guard-to attend to their duty with care and diligence-to ftand their ground and maintain their poft, with undaunt-portant duty of watching, fome ed courage, and in every encoun- illuftration may be exhibited unter to act the part of men of der the following particulars. found judgment and unconquerable fortitude and probably the apoftle alluded to this. For all profeffing Chriftians are visibly enlifted as foldiers under Chrift, the captain of falvation, to fight, under him, against the world, the


VOL. III. No. 4.

1. As foldiers in a garrison, or in the field, are to watch, in order to discover and obferve the motions and defigns of the enemy, and to guard against being furpri fed or any way injured by them; fo Chriftians fhould watch con

tinually to obferve and guard against their fpiritual enemies the enemies of their fouls, and of the cause and intereft in which they are engaged. With unremitting diligence fhould they obferve the motions of fin, and watch against that fecret, fubtil and deadly enemy, and against all temptations to it, and carefully guard all the avenues, by which it might gain accefs, or obtain any advantage over them. "Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation."

The wiles and fubtil devices of that great adverfary the devil, are alfo to be watched and guarded againft, with the utmost vigilance. This is evident from numerous paffages of fcripture, and, among others, from Paul's addrefs to the Ephefians in thefe words, "Finally, my brethren, be ftrong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to ftand against the viles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, againft powers, againft the rulers of the darkness of this world, against fpiritual wickednefs in high places."

Chriftians are alfo to watch against the designs and practices of thofe among men, who are unfriendly and inimical to Chrift and his caufe, in whatever shape they appear-whether, of avowed oppofers, attempting their fubverfion by holding forth terrors on the one hand, or flattering allurements on the other; or, of friends, fecretly undermining the truth, and laboring to draw them off from the true to a falfe or perverted gofpel. The open enemies and avowed oppofers of the gofpel are to be guarded againft. Beware of men,” said Chrift to


his difciples; for they will de liver you up to the councils," &c. Nor is it of lefs importance to watch and guard against falfe teachers and feducers, and all who, under a fhow of religion and of a regard to truth, and to our beft good, attempt to explain away the plain and obvious meaning of fome of the most important decla rations of the word of God-to cítablish principles plainly repugnant to them, and to perfuade us to look for falvation on principles different from those, on which the fcriptures teach us to seek it, or warrant us to look for it. Christ faid, "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in fheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves."-"Take heed that no man deceive you: for ma

ny frail come in my name, faying, I am Chrift; and fhall deceive many." Paul informed the Coloffians, that all the treafures of wisdom and knowledge are hid in Chrift, left any man should beguile them with enticing words; and faid to them, "Beware left any man fpoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Chrift.". The fame apoftle expreffed his furprise, that the Galatians were fo foon removed from him that called them into the grace of Chrift unto another gofpel :"which," faid he, "is not another; but there be fome that trouble you, and would pervert the gofpel of Chrift." And how folemnly did he warn them to guard against and reject every falfe or perverted gofpel, in his immediately following words? "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gofpel unto you, than that which we have preached unto you, let

him be accurfed. As we faid be- | fhould heap to themfelves teachfore, fo fay I now again, If any ers, having itching ears, and should one preach any other gospel unto turn away their ears from the you than that ye have received, truth, and be turned unto fables let him be accurfed."

The apostle John likewise cautioned and warned his Chriftian brethren, to watch and guard againft falfe teachers, and their corrupt doctrines. "Beloved, believe not every fpirit, but try the fpirits whether they are of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world." In fhort, the accounts given us by the infpired writers of the New Teftament, of falfe apoftles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apoftles of Chrift-of minifters of Satan transformed as the minifters of righteoufnefs-of unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, who fubvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's fake of men having a form of godlinefs, but denying the power thereof, who creep into houses, and lead captive filly women, laden with fins-that fome fhould apoftatize from the faith, giving heed to feducing fpirits, and doctrines of devils, fpeaking lies in hypocrify, &c.-that, as there were falfe prophets among the vifible people of God, under the former difpenfations; fo there fhould be falfe teachers among - profeffing Chriftians, who privily fhould bring in damnable herefies, even denying the Lord that bo't them, and that many fhould follow their pernicious ways, by reafon of whom the way of truth fhould be evil spoken of; and that through covetoufnefs with feigned words they should make merchandise of their hearers that the time should come, when they would not endure found doctrine, but after their own lufts,

—and that evil men and feducers fhould wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived-thefe and fuch-like accounts and predictions, together with the rules and directions given, to affist us in distinguishing the true from the falfe, and the exhortations to ftand faft in the faith, and to contend carneftly for the faith once delivered to the faints, clearly show that falfe teachers and feducers, with their corrupt doctrines and pernicious ways, conftitute a formidable corps among the enemies of our fouls, and of the cause of Chrift, and loudly admonish us to watch their motions and defigns, and guard against them with the utmost care and attention.

2. Chriftians, like foldiers, are to watch, in order to discover and improve every opportunity for annoying their enemies, attacking them fuccefsfully, and obtaining advantages over them. Though one object of their vigilance is to guard against being furpri fed or any way injured by their enemies; yet they are not to conduct like foldiers, who act merely on the defenfive; but like, thofe, who readily difcover and improve all opportunities to advance upon, attack and fubdue them. They are to mortify the deeds of the body through the fpirit-to mortify their members which are upon earth, all the members of the body of fin-yea, to crucify the flesh with the af fections and lufts.

3. As foldiers are to watch, to keep their own men orderly and within the limits prefcribed them, and to guard against any mischief which might arife from the timi

dity, negligence, misconduct, or treachery of any among themfelves: fo Christians fhould watch over one another for fimilar purpofes.

This is evident from the general rule to direct their proceedings towards an offending brother, recorded in the 18th of Matthew. The fame is evident from numerous exhortations and directions addreffed by the apoftles to their fellow Chriftians, and thefe in particular, viz. "Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye who are fpiritual restore fuch an one in the spirit of meeknefs."--"Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feeble-minded, fupport the weak."—" Exhort one another daily, whilft it is called today; left any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of fin." "Let us confider one another to provoke unto love and to good works.""Looking diligently, left any man fail of the grace of God; left any root of bitternefs fpringing up, trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; left there be any fornicator, or profane perfon, as Efau.". -" Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; let him know, that he who converteth the finner from the error of his way, fhall fave a foul from death, and fhall hide a multitude of fins."

Let it be added, as a matter of peculiar importance,

4. We fhould watch our own hearts and ways, to guard against and avoid the neglects of duty, and the falfe fteps, to which we are all liable, and to be at all times in the diligent and faithful practice of all prefent duty; and fo, continually prepared and ready for the coming of our Lord.

The next injunction is, “stand faft in the faith." Standing fait in the faith implies a perfevering, ftedfast or firm belief of the great doctrines of the gofpel, taught by Chrift and his infpired apoftles, in oppofition to wavering in our minds about them, or being unfteady and unestablished in the belief of them. It implies receiving, retaining and holding them in their original genuine meaning, in oppofition to falfe conftructions, perverfions, or corruptions of the gofpel or word of God.

Men may be tenacious of the fcriptures, and place great confidence in them as they understand them, and yet difbelieve and reject the truth which they contain. This was the cafe with the Jews, when Chrift was on earth. For he said to them, "There is one that accufeth you, even Mofes, in whom ye truft. For had ye believed Mofes, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how fhall ye believe my words?" So likewife, many profeffed believers and preachers of the gofpel may understand and explain it, fa differently from and fo contrary to its true import, as to fet afide the real truth, and substitute error and falfhood in its ftead. This was the cafe with thofe falfe teachers among the Galatians, who would pervert the gospel of Christ. This alfo may have been, and doubtless hath been, the cafe with numerous other claffes of profeffed believers and preachers of the gofpel. Such, however ftedfait and perfevering they are in the belief of what they call the gospel, do not ftand faft in the faith, but depart from it.

Standing faft in the faith implies, not only a ftedfast perseve

ing belief of the great truths of the gospel; but also, an unshaken perfevering profeffion of them, even though it should be attended with reproaches, perfecutions and fufferings.

Chrift, having forewarned his difciples, that they would be purfued with hatred and fufferings for his fake, and fuggefted proper motives to conftancy and faithfulness, added, "Whofoever, therefore, fhall confefs me before men, him will I confefs also before my Father which is in heaven. But whofoever shall deny me before men, him will I alfo deny before my Father which is in heaven." At another time he faid, "Whofoever, therefore, fhall be afbamed of me, and of my words, in this adulterous and finful generation, of him alfo fhall the fon of man be afbamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father, with the holy angels."

Standing faft in the faith alfo includes living and steadily acting under the influence of the great truths of the gofpel, and conformably to their import-maintaining ard ftanding firm in the obedience of faith, in a practice correfponding to the doctrines and conformable to the precepts and inftitutions of Chrift.

their posts and betake themselves to ignominious flight; or who, after they have made fome refiftance, finding the conflict more sharp and obftinate, of longer continuance and greater difficulty and hazard, than they expected, at length give way or yield, and fuffer the enemy to obtain their end; and charged them to act like brave and faithful foldiers, who are careful to be in readinefs, and, upon the approach of the exemy, ftand their ground, fight them manfully, and perfevere in the conflict, though it be long, obftinate and bloody, and never give over till they have obtained their end.

Thus fhould every foldier of Chrift quit himself in the Chrif tian course and spiritual warfare. He fhould be always upon his watch, and always in readiness for every duty and every encounter with his fpiritual enemies, to which he may be called. In refifting the devil, he fhould refift him ftedfaft in the faith, with which, as with a fhield, he may quench his fiery darts. And in ftriving againft fin and temptations to it, and mortifying his own lufts and finful inclinations, he fhould be firm, determined and perfevering, and never yield or give way in the leaft, nor allow thefe enemies time to gain ftrength, or to obtain any advantage.

When the faith, in which he is to ftand faft, is attacked, either more directly and openly, or ob

In the general orders now under confideration it is added, Quit you like men, be ftrong," as if it had been faid, in your fpiritual courfe and conflicts, do not aft like unfleady, weak and cow-liquely and fecretly under a plau ardly children; but act the part fible fhow of friendship, he fhould of men, grown to full ftrength be careful not to give it up in any and maturity, of found mind and fhape or degree, out of complai unfhaken fortitude.-Or, by thefe fance to thofe whofe eitecm he words, the apostle cautioned his would wish to enjoy. If he is fellow Chriftians again't imitating tempted to diffemble or renounce thofe irrefolute, cowardly, or un- the faith, to deay or give up the faithful foldiers, who, upon the truth, with the promife of great favors on the one hand, or the

appearance of the enemy, quit

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