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ly transfered its allegiance from Satan, are facts we deeply deplore. But, first, he distinctly predicted this prolonged activity and power of the enemy. A consideration, secondly, which should induce us to credit his other predictions of perfect triumph in the end. Especially as, in the third place, we recognise in his mediatorial work, all the essential elements of that triumph; the character of God, which Satan had obscured, made more illustrious than before; the most affecting and decisive proof that God, in punishing sin, is perfectly just and infinitely good; the dignity and happiness of the creature, which Satan had placed in revolt, not only consisting with a state of subjection to God, but depending on it; divinty and humanity, which Satan had traduced and represented as antagonist natures, brought into the close embrace and union of one person; the forgiveness of sin, which the enemy supposed imcompatible with the divine rectitude made more compatible with that rectitude than even the punishment of sin would be; new incentives to holiness, and an infinite augmentation of every previous motive to resist sin ; and to crown all, the almighty agency of the Holy Spirit, to expel from the heart 'the strong man armed,' and to enthrone in his stead, 'a stronger than he.' And, fourthly, it appears that, wherever these elements of triumph are brought to bear on the human heart, they infallibly achieve success; demonstrating the glorious superiority of Christ to all the power of the enemy.'
The church which he has formed has been reared in the immediate presence of hell in arms; every member belonging to it is a vassal rescued from the empire of sin; many of them were once even the llars of that empire. As the spiritual erection has proceeded, it has been appro ed by stratagem, and beleagured in form; but it is built on a rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against
it.' When the seventy returned to him, saying, 'Even the devils are subject to us through thy name,' he received the announcement as matter of course; his eye had followed them wherever they had gone; and, surveying futurity as already present, had beheld in their success the earnest of a triumph in which Satan should fall like lightning from heaven;' looking through all the intermediate clouds and storms of time, he gazed complacently, as in sceptred state on the serene atmosphere of the world, purged of all its evil elements, and fit to be breathed by the inhabitants of heaven. When surrounded by circumstances of the deepest depression, he said, with the calm confidence of majesty enthroned with all its rivals at its feet, The prince of this world is judged,' • Now shall he be cast out.' Even
hen he saw, in perspective, the completion of his triumph and beyond: his prophetic ear, even then, caught the distant shout of his redeemed church. He knew, that when he should exclaim, 'It is finished,' the powers of darkness would hear in that cry, the knell of their empire; that when his name should be shouted from land to land, as the watchword of salvation, its every echo should shake and bring down the fabrics of that empire.
And now it is finished, the work of redemption is completed; all that remains for him to do, is perfectly compatible with a state of rest; “from henceforth he is expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.' Having fought the battle, he has dispatched his subjects to pursue the enemy to win the victory, and collect the spoils. As long, indeed, as this remains unaccomplished, he will not consider his office fulfilled, or his reward complete. As long as a sin. gle principle of evil continues at large, the universe is threatened, the safety and peace of the Savior's empire are liable to invasion and revolt; he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.' Nor, till then, will his
kingdom be in a state to be delivered up unto God, even the Father;' he has undertaken, expressly, to gather out of it all things that offend, and them that do iniquity ;' to restore it to a state of purity and perfection worthy to be known as the work of his hands; fit to be accepted, and instated again, as an integral part of his dominions, who is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity.' And, as he sits enthroned, with all power in his arm, it is true, that to him, even now, is the prince of this world cast out, and the last enemy destroyed. He beholds the prince of the power of the air already in flight; followed in disorder by the routed remains of his once gorgeous and imperial state ; thrones, dominations, and powers; the tyranny of six thousand years; sailing through the air, and fading from the view; he looks upon the world, his own world, subdued by love, exorcised of every element and atom of evil; another heaven ; catching, and reflecting, and mul. tiplying his own image, and God is all in all.
And here we should quit the subject, did we not suspect that certain inquiries have heen suggested in the course of the essay, some of which, if left unnoticed, might impair the salutary effect which it might otherwise produce, and all of which admit of a practical application.
Concerning the nature of the beings of whom we are speaking, we only know that they are spirits; by which, probably, all that is meant is,-not that they are absolutely unembodied, to be only spirit is most likely peculiar to God alone; but that they are exempt from the gross materiality of bodies like our own. By calling them spirits, our Lord would probably remind us of the facility with which they obtain access to our minds, and would put us on our guard against the subtlety of our operations. The circumstance that we are ignorant of the way in which they reach our mind, is no objection whatever to the doc
trine that they do reach it; our incapability of tracing many of our sensible impressions beyond the mere sensation itself, leaves the fact of such impressions unquestioned. Besides, a priori, we should have thought it more unlikely that matter should act upon mind, that material objects should act on that which seems to have no property in common with them, than that mind should act upon mind, two homogeneous substances on each other. Yet experience tells us, that the former action is always going on in the process of our mental perceptions; and the latter we presume, is all that is meant, physically, by Satanic agency; of which indeed a counterpart and illustration is to be found, in the action of one human mind upon another.
Nor is the doctrine invalidated by the objection, that we are unconscious of such extraneous influence; this only shows the facility with which the Tempter acts, and is the triumph of his art. He so times and modulates his whis. pers, that we mistake them for the voice of our own thoughts; so conceals his agency, that while we fancy we are sailing before the impulse, and floating down the stream of our own free volitions, his hand is on the helm; thus flattering our pride, scoffing at our weakness, and steering our destiny at the same time. We ourselves
that there is an established order in which our thoughts succeed each other; that, detached and promiscuous as they appear to be, they are linked together with all the strength and sequence of a chain, and the principle which thus unites them we call the principle of suggestion, the law of association. Now, admitting the existence of such a law, a law common to all minds, like gravity to all matter; operating by mental affinity and attraction—it is only to suppose that Satan has mastered this principle; that the result of the experience of many thousand years, in studying the struc
ture, watching the movements, and experimenting on the properties of mind is, that he knows the universal bearing and operation of this principle; and what a fearful amount of power, what an immense command over the human mind, may he possess in the knowledge of this principle alone.
But whatever the grand secret of his dreadful art may be, the strongest language is but barely equal to express the reality of the power which he wields over the mind. He is represented as actually entering into the heart;' becoming the gloomy and fearful inmate of the soul ; mingling his his very essence with the being of a sinner. Get thee behind me Satan,' said Christ to Peter, when that apostle acted the part of the Tempter. And one of you,' said he, when speaking of the traitor, one of you is a devil.' Evil is no doubt, at times, attributed to Satan, not because he has directly produced it, but because he loves it; and those who have wrought it have imbibed his spirit, and are employed in his service; such therefore, may appropriately take their name from him, from whom they have derived their nature.
To excite our most solicitous avoidance of the enemy, as well as to describe his nature, he is repeatedly called, by Christ, an unclean spirit. It is not every unclean thing that offends the sight, while the slightest stain upon some things will excite in us deep dislike; the feeling depends entirely on the nature of the thing, and the purpose to which it is applied. We pass by an unclean stone unnoticed; it is unconscious of its state, and was meant to be trampled under foot. But, rising a step higher in the scale of creation, to an unclean plant, we become conscious of a slight emotion of dislike; because we see that which might have pleased the eye, and have beautified a spot in the crea tion, disfigured and useless. An unclean animal excites our dislike yet more; for, instead of proving useful in any