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his people from the tyranny of their enemies. They were in bondage to sin-sold under sin--enslaved to divers lusts and pleasures -- living according to the course of this world-according to the prince of the power of the air, the wicked spirit, who now worketh effectually in the children of diso. bedience. These tyrants were leading them captive at their will, hoping soon to have them delivered over to death, and then to everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power. In this miserable state, under sin-under condemnation, we all were-guilty and helpless—not only without any means of deliver. ance in our own power, but without any
de. sire of it, being tempted to dream of liberty, while we were tied and bound with the chain of our sins, and fancying that we were free, even while our enemies were waiting to ex. ercise their utmost malice against us, by binding us with chains of everlasting dark. ness. O! what mercies-what compassions are in our God-in our Jesus! He remem. bered us in this our low estate, and manifest.
ed the exceeding riches of his grace, in coming from heaven to save his people from their sins. To this end Jehovah was manifested in the flesh, as it is written, Jer. 1. 33, 34. “The children of Israel, and the children of Judah were oppressed together, and all that took them captives held them fast, and refused to . let them go:But their Redeemer is strong, the Lord of hosts is his name, he shall thoroughly plead their cause.” He made all our enemies his own, and fought our battles against them. He obeyed, that the broken law which stood against us might be magnified by his obedi. ence : The penalties of it he endured, when the Lord laid upon him the iniquities of us all. His cross was his triumphal chariot, on which he vanquished all our foes, Col. ii. 14, 15. He blotted out the hand writing of or. dinances, that was against us, which was contrary to us, and he took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross. And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in that same cross. By dying on it he put away sin by the sacrifice of himself, and by his rising
from the dead on the third day, according to the scriptures, he overcame death, and him that had the power of death, that is the devil. And now as God-man in one Christ, the almighty Saviour of his redeemed, he is seated upon his throne of grace, all his enemies be. ing made his foot-stool, he is able to save to the uttermost all that come unto God by him. Such was the battle which the Redeemer fought. Such was the victory which he obtained. The important news of it is the substance of that blessed gospel, which he ordered his apostles to preach toevery creature, and which he promised to assist them in, and to be with them for that purpose to the end of the world. He is as good as his word to this day. Still faith cometh by hearing it. The Holy Spirit witnesses to it, that it is the truth of God, and he applies it, and makes it the power of God unto salvation. He enables the hearers to mix such faith with it that they receive, and enjoy the happy fruits of Christ's victory. Once they were dead in trespasses and sins, but now Christ hath quickened them. They were guilty, and
bound over to condemnation ; but the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath freed them from the law of sin and of death. Once they walked after the course of this world, but now they walk with God. Their old enemies are still fighting against them, and watching for their destruction ; but they are enabled to gain daily victory over them, over the world, the flesh, and the devil, through the strength of Jesus, and through the power of his might. Their wants are many, and they are daily made more sensible of them ; but they have an abundant supply of every thing that pertains to life and godliness, out of the infinite fulness of God, their Saviour.
Thus far the three volumes went, which were formerly published upon this subject, entitled, The Life of Faith, and The Walk of Faith. The present treatise relates to the improvement of the former doctrines, considering the scripture motives and encouragements for believer's rejoicing always in the Lord, and triumphing in the God of his salvation. The ground of his triumph is the work of Christ. His warrant to depend upon
it, is the word of Christ : and his actual dependence is the work of the Spirit of Christ. Building upon these principles, he is commanded to go on from faith to faith, still pressing forward that he may see more clearly the glory of the person, and the glory of the work of Christ; what he is to trust in for his title to salvation, and for the things which accompany salvation, and may by every day's experience be growing into a more settled dependence upon the word of Christ, and upon his faithfulness to fulfil it : and thereby may be learning to expect constant supplies, and according as his faith increases receiving greater supplies of the power of the Spirit of Christ : that the God of hope may fill him with all joy and peace in believing, that he may abound in hope by the power
of the Holy Ghost. And we have an encouraging example in the Thessalonians who had great trials, and met them with great faith. The apostle commended it highly, but by practice it had so improved, that having occasion to mention it some time afterwards,