Soldiers of Christ, be aware that you are highly advanced in God’s creation, that you occupy an important station, that you have an arduous work allotted to you, and that you have neither time nor talent to throw away. For you are enlisted under the banner of Christ: you have entered the armies of the Most High. You have taken the oath of allegiance to the King of Zion, and bound yourselves by an oath to fight the good fight of faith against sin, Satan, the world, and the flesh. What formidable enemies are these! You have to encounter all the powers of hell, and their name is Legion. Fight them you now must, for you have put on the armour, and taken the field to fight all the enemies of God and man.
When you survey the enemies’ camp, and see their strength, number, stratagems, and inveterate malice, and are then made to feel your own weakness and nothingness, you tremble and say, ‘How shall I go against these mighty hosts! Yet I must conquer them all, or die an eternal death.
’O soldiers of Christ, banish all your guilty fears! There is, after all, far more for you than against you. You are on the Lord’s side, and he fights for you. He is your refuge and strength, your sun and shield. He is with you in the field, to teach your hands to war, and to cover your head in the day of battle. He has promised you the victory. If God is for you, who is he that can overcome you and put you to death, when you are hidden in the Lord’s pavilion, and surrounded with the wall of salvation?
While in the heat of the battle, be filled with the hope of victory, and feel assured that you shall finally obtain a complete and glorious conquest over all that come against you; for has not the Captain of your salvation engaged to subdue Satan and all his armies under your feet? Trust him and take courage then. You cannot meet with disappointment, “for faithful is he that promised, who also will do it”(1 Thessalonians 5:24).
With a view to strengthen your hope of victory, keep in mind that you have not an enemy, difficulty, or danger to encounter but which has been already conquered and subdued for you by the great Captain of your salvation. And the countless millions of his soldiers who are now safely in glory, singing the song of Moses and the Lamb, were once here below, wrestling with all the enemies and difficulties which you now have to encounter.
Therefore fight valiantly, and rest assured that he who carried them safe through the war will also carry you to the triumphs of the world to come. Not one of all his true soldiers was ever left to perish on the field of battle. Put on courage, Christian warriors! Fight the good fight of faith, be faithful unto death, and then your Captain will release you from the war, and give you the crown of life, which you shall forever wear in honour of your gracious Lord and Saviour.
- The Reverend THOMAS JONES Northamptonshire, 1837.