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thing or nothing when he said, our warfare is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the princes of this world's darkness, against evil spirits not confined in the great deep, but ranging at will in this upper world? Did St. Peter mean any thing or nothing when he said, "Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour?" These words have in them nothing to make them appear like a mere figure of speech; they seem spoken earnestly by men who believed them to be at once true and important. They may indeed be corrupted into superstition, but as they stand in themselves they are not superstitious. But they are of importance, because we see that if we are indolent or slumbering, we have an enemy who is wakeful; that as we hope for the help of God's Spirit, so we have against us the power of the spirit of evil; that with a working mysterious indeed, and incomprehensible, as is the working of God's Spirit no less, yet with a fruit clearly manifest, there is an influence busy in undoing every work of grace in our souls, in driving away every thought of penitence or of love, in instigating every evil desire, in deepening every fit of spiritual slumber. Indeed it is no unmeaning prayer, "Of thy goodness slay mine enemies, and destroy all them that vex my soul." It is the prayer of our Litany, that it may please
our Lord, "to strengthen such as do stand, and to comfort and help the weak hearted, and to raise up them that fall, and finally to beat down Satan under our feet." The need which we have of this prayer makes it no less needful that our labour and our watchfulness should be in proportion to it. What has been said now, and what I have said in several preceding sermons, has gone upon this supposition, which I not only hope, but believe to be a true one, that amongst the whole number of you whom I see before me, there are always some, God only knows who they are and how many, but there are some, who even at their young age, and amidst the occupations and amusements of their life here, which veil God altogether from the eyes of many, do yet believe truly that it is their one business to come to Him, and to find Him, and to walk with Him all their days. But neither do they find their path merely easy, nor is God clearly realized to them. On the contrary, they struggle on, as I think, amidst great difficulties and frequent relapses; sometimes they feel themselves hardened; sometimes utterly careless; sometimes wholly indolent; often ashamed, often discouraged, doing what they would not, not doing what they would. For any human being so situated, how can we help feeling sympathy? For any young person in such a state our sympathy must be still greater; for a young person for whom we are re
sponsible, whose success or failure may be helped or hindered by what we do or leave undone, the feeling becomes so strong, that I can scarce conceive a stronger. Therefore it is natural to think much of their case, to urge them to go on, in spite of all discouragements; to assure them that they suffer nothing which God's servants have not suffered before; to confess plainly that the way is narrow which leadeth to life, that the adversaries are many, that many a weary day must be passed before we can sit down at the end of our journey safe and blessed. It is natural to repeat the same things over and over again, seeing that they concern them so infinitely; natural to speak of the helps of our way no less than of its hindrances; natural surely, most natural, to speak of Him in whose love we are authorized, nay, commanded to trust; who died for us and rose again; who watches over us, when we think we are most forsaken; who calls us to come to Him, assuring us that in Him is peace, and safety, and strength and victory. And as I began, so I may end, repeating that in Him we have those three points which I spoke of, which if we keep we are safe, and if we lose them, or any of them, we are ourselves lost; our own souls, and Christ and God. Blessed then are they who struggle and they who fear; for such know and feel that they have souls; and that those souls need a Saviour; and that that Saviour
brings them to God. Blessed are they who feel and fear their spiritual enemies; for they who feel them, resist; and they who resist, conquer. Blessed are they whilst they fear and whilst they struggle; but most miserable if they do neither the one nor the other; resigned to evil, blinded by the world; submitting themselves to the yoke of their nature, and going on to the end of that nature which is death.
May 29, 1842.
THE FAREWELL WARNING.
2 CORINTHIANS, iv. 3.
If our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost.
So St. Paul wrote before he had passed the middle of his apostolical course; before that time when he had to regret a more general defection of the church, a fuller proof that the word which he had preached was to many spoken in vain. But he saw already, nay, he must have seen from the beginning, that to some his gospel was hidden; that Christ whom he declared to be to those who believed the power of God and the wisdom of God, was to some neither power nor wisdom; they heard and were neither enlightened nor saved. What St. Paul saw from the beginning of the gospel, has been seen ever since; still the truth is set before