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presuming confidence, and willing to spare themselves the toil of warfare, they attacked this despised city, and were repulsed with loss. Your temptations may appear small, your means of resistance and victory within yourselves, amply sufficient: but the least temptation is invincible by your unassisted strength. The feeblest arrow in the quiver of Satan, if you are provided with no other armour than your own sufficiency, is deadly enough to destroy you eternally. Peter was never more in danger, than when he imagined it impossible he should deny his Master; nor Sampson, with all his strength, than when he confidently slept in the lap of Dalilah. Let "him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall." Remember, that you wrestle not with flesh and blood, but with the principalities and powers of sin. Take unto you therefore, the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand in the evil day, and having done all to stand. Self-sufficiency is the bane of man. Be persuaded of your own inability. Be persuaded of Satan's power. Look to the all-sufficient Spirit of God for help: and imitate him who said, I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
II. The conduct of ACHAN should impress upon us all the necessity of a prompt and ample confession of our offences against the law of
God. No sooner was he urged on this point by Joshua, than he made a most ingenuous disclosure of his guilt.-"I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done." Whoso covereth his sin shall not prosper, but he that confesseth and forsaketh it shall have mercy. If any say I have sinned, and perverted that which is right, and it profited me not, God will deliver his soul from going down to the pit, and his life shall see the light. Thus cast yourselves upon the mercy of the Father, at the cross of his Son. Thus give glory to God, that he has convinced you of sin-that he has not yet recompensed your rebellion in the woes of hopeless and eternal judgment—that he has provided an atoning Saviour, whose blood cleanseth from all sin-a sanctifying Spirit, who can make you new creatures in Christ Jesus. Be less anxious to escape from human judgment, than to be acquitted, through Christ, in the judgment of eternity. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us: but if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
III. Lastly, the example of JOSHUA warns us, that prayer for the mercy of God must be joined with an earnest zeal for holiness. The leader of Israel lay before the ark, engaged in fervent
supplication: but the divine command reached him, "Get thee up; why liest thou upon thy face? Israel hath sinned.-Up, sanctify the peopleye cannot stand before your enemies until ye take away the accursed thing from among you." Individual or national fasts and supplications are the mockeries of humiliation and prayer, unless we aim to wash our hearts from wickedness. When we search the chambers of iniquity within us, by the word and Spirit of God, and desire the expulsion of every idol, we may hope for success. If we endeavour not to mortify all the iniquity, against which we implore divine help, we are assisting Satan to close our eyes, and tempting God to harden our hearts. Be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. Live in the spirit of prayer; and improve the graces which you entreat the God of mercy, through his Son to bestow upon you. Depend upon God; but see that ye receive not his grace in vain. Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is he that worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Cast out the accursed thing. So shall your prayer be heard, your warfare assisted, your victory secured, your triumph made eternally glorious.
THE STRATAGEM AND SUCCESS OF THE GIBEONITES.
JOSHUA IX. 3-6.
And when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done unto Jericho and to Ai, They did work wilily, and went and made as if they had been ambassadors, and took old sacks upon their asses, and wine bottles, old, and rent, and bound up; And old shoes and clouted upon their feet, and old garments upon them; and all the bread of their provision was dry und mouldy. And they went to Joshua, unto the camp at Gilgal, and said unto him, and to the men of Israel, We be come from a far country: now therefore make ye a league with us.
THE varieties of the human mind are almost as great, as those of the human countenance. This proverbial truth receives confirmation from the contrary effects produced by the same event upon different individuals. The miraculous success of Joshua in the seige of Jericho, and
the capture of Ai, induced the nations of Canaan to gather themselves together to fight with him and with Israel, with one accord. The people of Gibeon were otherwise impressed. They saw the terrors of the God of Israel in these wondrous victories, and owned the necessity of submission to enemies, with whom it appeared vain to contend.
The same difference is observable in the momentous concerns of religion. When St. Paul preached Jesus and the resurrection to the philosophers and multitudes of Athens, "some mocked, others said, we will hear thee again of this matter: " while certain men, on the other hand, clave unto him and believed. We are commanded to go forth, and speak all the words of this life, whether men will hear, or whether they will forbear. We declare the miraculous victories of the gospel, from the day of Pentecost to the present hour. We proclaim the denunciations of wrath, and the invitations of mercy. How are they received? Some are saved by them, and some perish. To the one we are a savour of life unto life; to the other a savour of death unto death. But however various the dispositions with which the gospel is now heard, "wisdom will be justified of her children." The prudence, or the folly of those to whom the tidings of salvation are preached, will