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By Mr. ROBERT BRAGGE, Minister of the Gospel.

ISAIAH lix. 19.

When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.

It is a glorious truth, which reflects light on the whole Gospel, and adds lustre to all the works of God; that whatever God doth, or suffers to be done, be it in the Church, or in the world, is for the manifestation of his own glory. To this great end, that his glory may shine forth the brighter, his works of nature are made to subserve his designs of love and grace: the first Adam, at the head of this lower creation, was but the figure of him that was to come, Dark and dismal as the veil is, sin hath spread over all nations, and great as the confusion is, which it hath hurled quite round the globe, all in the end will be so over-ruled, as to be an eternal illustration of the glory of God, as it shines forth in the face of Jesus Christ. The scattering caused by sin would not have been suffered, but to make way for the gathering together of the whole election of the Father's grace, in a far more glorious Head. Of which you read, Eph. i. 10. " That in the dispensation of the fulness of times, he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth, even in him." Full as hell is of darkness, the glory of God's vindictive justice shines brightly therein: and full as the enemies are of wrath, be they men, or devils, all their wrath shall be made to praise God.


I shall not consider these words in their connexion; so to do, would take up too much of your time: but, in speaking to them, I shall observe the following method.

I. Who the enemy is the text speaks of, shall be my first enquiry.

II. Why the enemy is at any time suffered to come in like a flood, shall be my next.

III. I shall let you see how remarkably the Spirit of the Lord hath all along lifted up a standard against them.

IV. I shall produce the standard which we, who are set for the defence of the Gospel, should, as enabled by the Spirit, be now lifting up.

V. Who the present enemy is, which threatens to come in like a flood, shall be my last enquiry: And so I shall acquaint you with the design of this Lecture; and conclude with the joint request of the Lecturers.

I. I shall begin with the first of these; which is to tell you, who the enemy is, my text speaks of.

The truly gracious, of any denomination, are not to be numbered among the enemy. These may differ among themselves, and labour under mistakes about less matters but, "being one Spirit with the Lord, they are enabled, whereunto they have attained, to walk by the same rule." Being taught of God, they are brought to acknowledge every good thing in Christ, that is to be found in one another; according to that golden rule, which regulates the communion of saints, Phile. 6. "That the communication of thy faith may become effectual, by the acknowledging of every good thing, which is in you in Christ Jesus." If this rule of Christian fellowship were more observed, we should differ without falling out. The unity of the Spirit would be preserved, at another rate than it is, in the bond of peace; neither would the people of God kindle fire on earth, or call for fire from heaven to devour one another. Neither babes, nor men, nor fathers in Christ, are the enemies my text speaks of;

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