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deed cease; but then it is succeeded by a better and more extensive one. The wall of partition that inclosed the Jews, and separated them from the rest of the world, is now broken down; and the divine goodness, wbich formerly ran in a narrow channel, now dilates itself, and embraceth a whole world, men of all kindreds, nations, and languages. Thus Satan, by overdoing, undoes bis interest; by grasping at the Jews, he loseth his Heather subjects: for as Paul writes to the Ephesians, (chap. ii. 13, 14.) “ But now in Christ Jesus, ye who sometimes were far off," (being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise) " are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us.” “ Now therefore," as it follows, (verse 19.) " ye are no more stran. gers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God." Christ, after his resurrection sent forth bis apostles to preach the gospel to every creature. In obedience to bis command, they flew abroad like lightning, invaded the kingilom of darkness on all quarters, and made an amazing progress in their own day. And we look by faith for still more glorious times, when the dominion of Satan shall be utterly subverted, and all the nations of the earth shall be brought to the knowledge of the only true God, and of Jesus Christ whom he hath sent, whom to know is life eternal, Thos doth the death of Christ destroy the works of the devil, inasmuch as it displays the glory of all the divine perfections, and enlarges the kingilom of God among men, by the very means which Satan employed to sully the one and to diminish the other.
2. The death of Cbrist is no less effectual to purchase and secure the salvation of men, in spite of all Satan's
attempts to ruin them. This partly appears from what hath been already suggested. His blood is the price which redeems the soul; it expiates the guilt of sin, and gives full satisfaction to divine justice: so that now the grand obstacle is removed, which obstructed the sinner's access to God, and excluded him from any share in the fruits of his beneficence. But this is not all: The death of Christ doth likewise afford the most persuasive and effectual motives to that holiness, “ without wbich no man shall see God;" and thus directly destroys the works of the devil. Here we behold the frightful aspect of sin. Hell itself doth not furnish such an awful
representation, either of its intrinsic malignity, or its heinous demerit. How deep, how black, must that stain have been, which nothing could wash away but the blood of Christ? How deadly the disease which no other medi. cine could cure? How tremendous that justice, which nothing less could satisfy than the death of him who created the worlds? In vain doth Satan tempt us to presume, if we duly attend to this. Here sin is made to appear exceeding sinful; and Christ from the cross proclaims God's infinite abhorrence of that accursed thing, and his resolution to punish it, with a louder and more alarming voice than even the howlings of the damned themselves can do. And then what an effectual remedy have we here against despair? This is another engine which the enemy of our souls seldom fails to employ. When he cannot hold us bound with the cords of
presumption, he will next attempt to plunge us into the gulf of despair, and will be ready to say to us, (as Joshua said to the Jews with a very different aim) “ Ye cannot serve the Lord, for he is a holy God." Your sins are so multiplied, and your bad habits so strong, that it is a vain thing to thiok of amending now. But the cross of Christ suggests to the believer a sufficient answer to this objection. True it is, can he say, that my sins have been many and great; but here is blood that “cleanseth from all sin.” My corrupt passions are indeed strong; but then my Redeemer “ is mighty to save.” He would not purchase an inheritance for me which I could not be rendered capable of possessing. He wbo died to pre. pare a heaven for his people, is certainly able to prepare his people for heaven. He knows my weakness, and yet calls upon me to follow bim; and therefore I cannot, I dare not, despair of his help. I will go forward in his name, and he will make his grace sufficient for me. Thus doth the death of Christ destroy the works of the devil, inasmuch as it furnisheth his people with the strongest arguments against sin, and the most persuasive motives to faith and holy obedience; and hath moreover merited for them that supernatural assistance, by which they are encouraged to attempt, nay, (as the apostle Paul assures us from his own experience) by which they are actually enabled to do all things. Which leads me to mention a
Fourth and principal means, by which the Son of God destroys the works of the devil; namely, the divine efficacy of the Holy Spirit, regenerating the souls of men, filling them with light, and love, and strength; casting down those proud imaginations which exalt themselves against God, and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. The Holy Spirit is Christ's vicegerent upon earth, sent forth by him to supply his place, and to erect his throne in the hearts of men upon the ruins of Satan's kingilom. This he doth, by opening their understandings to understand the Scriptures, and leading them to the knowledge of all necessary truths; by convincing them of their sin and
misery, enlightening their minds in the knowledge of Christ, and renewing their wills; whereby he not only persuades, but effectually enables them to embrace Christ as he is offered; by shedding abroad the love of God in their hearts; furnishing them with strength to resist temptations, to overcome the world. to mortify the deeds of the body, and to crucify the flesh with the affections and lusts. These are some of the effects which the Scriptures attribute to the Spirit of Christ. By these the strong man armed is driven out of his palace; he is stripped of his armour, and his goods are spoiled. Thus the soul is rescued from the bondage of Satan; and the sinner is made willing by a day of power to yield bimself onto God, and to walk in newness of life.
5thly. The Son of God will finally destroy the works of the devil, when he shall come the second time to judge the world in righteousness. Then shall the kingdom of darkness be plucked up by the roots; then shall the ran. somed of the Lord be confirmed in a state of unchangeable purity and happiness. Satan shall no more vex and seduce them ; but he, with all the workers of iniquity, shall be thrust down into those everlasting burnings, which the wrath of God, like a stream of brimstone, doth kindle and inflame; the smoke whereof ascendeth for ever and ever.
Thus have I illustrated the doctrine of my text, and taken notice of some of the principal means by which the Son of God hath bitherto conducted the war against Satan, and shall finally destroy the works of the devil : And now, in the review of all that hath been said, let
us, in the
1st place, Praise and magnify our great deliverer, who came into the world upon so merciful an errand. • O the height and depth, the breadth and the length of
the love of Christ!" It might justly have been feared, that if the Son of God was to visit this earth, it would have been for a very different end, even to display the glory of divine justice, by executing vengeance upon those ungrateful creatures who had risen up in rebellion against the God that made them. But behold, and wonder! he came to save, and not to destroy: “ For God sent not bis Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved." Nay, he came to destroy those enemies who had vanquished us, and to rescue us out of their hands. “Lord, what is man, that thou art mindful of him?" My brethren, however coldly we may think or talk of these matters, angels, whom they less concern, contemplate them with ecstacy. They shouted for joy when the world was made; but they raise a higher note to celebrate the redemption of mankind. And shall men be silent while angels sing? O let us contend with those blessed spirits in the praises of our own Redeemer: He is their Lord, but he is our Saviour. Let our souls, and all that is within us, be stirred up to bless him; and let us, even at this distance, begin that grateful, triumphant song, “ Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his father, to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever."
2dly. This doctrine yields the strongest consolation to every sincere Christian. He is engaged in a cause that must prevail; he follows a leader whom no might can withstand; he contends with a subdued and vanquished foe, who bath already received the mortal wound, and ere long shall be cast down and trampled under his feet. And will not this inspire you with courage and fortitude ? You fight under a General whom Sa