Hercules Collins on the Armour of God

For we war not only against flesh and blood and indwelling sin and corruption, which are some of the worst of enemies, but against principalities and powers, and spiritual wickedness, or wicked spirits.[1] But if we would triumph over them, as Christ our Head did, then let us put on the whole armour of God, by which we shall be more than conquerors; and so shall quit[2] ourselves like men; and when the adversaries have done all, we shall stand,[3] if we take unto our selves the shield of faith, and to bring God and his attributes near to help us. By faith in the blood of the Lamb, the saints of old overcame their opposers.[4] This shield, with the helmet of salvation, which is a well grounded hope,[5] such as purifieth the heart,[6] with the sword of the spirit, which is the Word of God, dwelling richly in us, that we may be fitted with suitable promises, and precepts to oppose and overcome every suggestion or temptation. These with the feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, will carry us through thick and thin. What cannot that soul go through, which hath gospel-peace in his soul? He whose peace is made with God, if he justifies, who can condemn? If God be for us, who can be against us?[7] If he speaks peace, who can make trouble?[8] Add unto those prayer. Praying with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit; lifting up holy hands without wrath and doubting.[9] Then shall we overcome as Israel did, when Moses lift up his hands, they prevailed against Amalek.[10] It is the praying soul is the conquering soul. The poor man cried, and the Lord delivered him out of all his troubles.[11] When thou art ready to sin under troubles, keep praying, and say, Lord wilt thou leave a poor broken reed? If thou doest forsake me, I am resolved I will not leave thee! If I perish and sink under temptations, it shall be praying and trusting in thee![12] It was never known that any which went to God in the sense of his own poverty, impotency, wholly relying on his Word of promise that ever was forsaken of him. Therefore thou mayest plead with God. Thou didst never read that a praying soul, a depending soul, was ever left desolate. Lord, shall I be the first forsaken in the way of duty? Lord, I know thou wilt not forsake me; for thou never saidest unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye my face in vain.[13] But when the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, the Lord will hear them, I the God of Jacob will not forsake them.[14]

I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.[15]

I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring.[16]

These are the advantages of, and promises made to a praying soul. Join to all these the breastplate of righteousness, the righteousness of Christ imputed, and righteousness inherent, wrought by the Holy Spirit; for he that doth righteousness, is righteous, as God is righteous,[17] in kind, in quality, though not degree. Let all these be bound together with the girdle of truth and sincerity; and thou wilt be able to tread thine enemies under thy feet. If this armour be but wisely and courageously used; for holy courage is a blessed qualification, in a day of trouble.

[1] Ephesians 6:10-19

[2] i.e., to clear one’s self of incumbent duties by full performance.

[3] 1 Corinthians 16:13

[4] Revelation 12:11

[5] 1 Thessalonians 5:8

[6] 1 John 3:3

[7] Romans 8:31-34

[8] Job 34:29

[9] 1 Timothy 2:8

[10] Exodus 17:11

[11] Psalm 34:6

[12] Job 13:15

[13] Isaiah 45:19

[14] Isaiah 41:17

[15] Isaiah 41:18

[16] Isaiah 44:3

[17] 1 John 3:7

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