THE REV. THOMAS CONNELLAN, - The Gospel Magazine

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THE REV. THOMAS CONNELLAN, - The Gospel Magazine

,The Gospel Magazine. 573

THE SPIRITUAL CONFLICT.

THE glory of the incarnate God, and His infinite sufficiency to

save, have not a greater enemy than a legal spirit, and therefore I

have enlarged upon this point, that believers might be convinced, from

the Word of God, they were saved from the condemnation of the law.

They will never live comfortably till they see the law dead and buried,

and then willingly give up themselves to be espoused to Christ, who

will make them free indeed. And when they have learned of Him

to enjoy and walk in their Christian liberty, then they will be better

acquairited with the warfare between nature and grace, the old man

and the new, the flesh and the Spirit.

This warfare is the great hindrance that stops the growth of faith

in weak believers. They are unskilful in it, soon tired of it, and often

likely to be defeated. They do not enter into the battle strong in

the Lord, and in the power of His might; nor are they certain, if they

fall in battle, they shall be saved with an eternal salvation. These

are great discouragements, and until these be removed, they cannot

fight the good fight of faith, like good soldiers of ChTist Jesus.

The case is this :-There is in every believer an old man and a new

man, nature and grace, flesh and spirit, and these are opposite and

contrary the one to the other in their principles and actions; they

are always desiring different things, and pursuing different ends,

which occasions a continual war between them. The flesh lusteth

against the spirit, and has many and mighty allies on its side, armies of

lusts, the faculties of soul and body to bring forth sin, hosts of fallen

angels, and all the world that lieth in wickedness. Butthe new man,

renewed in the spirit of his mind, has a reconciled God on his side,

and therefore he need not fear what any enemy can do unto him,

but may bravely face the stoutest of them,'even death itself, relying

upon that sure word of promise, "I will never leave thee, nor forsake

thee." Here is the believer's encouragement to fight: his God will

never leave him; here he obtains victory every day, his God never

forsakes him; and after he has fought the good fight of faith, his God

and Saviour will make him more than conqueror; He will send death

to kill sin; and then the believer will never more have temptation

from it, no sorrow about it; but till that happy time come, he must

be fighting against his corrupt nature and all its allies. No peace

can be made with them, not even a truce; he must expect no kind

of favour from them, because they are God's irreconcilable enemies;

and therefore, as long as he is in the world, he must be fighting against

the world; so long as he has a body of flesh, he must oppose it with

its affections and lusts, because they war against the soul; and as

long as he is in the reach of temptation, he must oppose the tempter,

steadfast in the faith, never putting off his armour, until the Lord

give him a discharge.-Romaine.

GOSPEL holiness includes a heart broken for sin; a heart broken off

from sin; and a perpetual conflict with sin.-Medley.

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