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that he and the entire brightnerhament of the fion, that
mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered : for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children." And my text is just a further opening of what is there said ; For this purpose the Son of Gud was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
Now, this premised, I come to offer you a few thoughts anent the Son of God, our glorious deliverer. · 1. then, He is a person of a noble extract and pedigree, as
you see in the text; he is the Son of God by eternal generation, his Father's first-born, and therefore higher than the kings of the earth.” It adds much to the character of a general, when it can be said of him, that he is a son, or a cadet, or the reprefentative of such a noble or royal family; and should it not contribute to commend the Captain of our salvation, that he is the Son of God, the brightest ornament of the family of heaven, yea, the very “ brightness of the Father's glory," and that he and the Father are one God?
2. This renowned person, the Son of God, he had an ancient kindness for our family and tribe ; for he from eternity “ rejoiced in the habitable parts of the earth, and his delights were with the sons of men.” And his kindness to our family made him, in the council of peace, when he saw us in distress, offer his service to his eternal Father, on our behalf, saying, “ Lo, I come: I delight to do thy will, O my God:”.
3. That he might be in a capacity to help and relieve us from the hand of the enemy, he matches with our family, he mar: ries our nature into a personal union with himself.' Law and justice required that the same nature that sinned should suf. fer; and that he who should be our Redeemer, and the avenger of our blood upon Satan, should be our nearest of kin: “ He was made a little lower than the angels,” that he might“ still the enemy and the avenger.” So that our Goel, our kinsman, is the avenger of our blood; according to that of the apostle, Heb. ii. 14.“ He took part of the children's flesh, that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.”
4. This renowned champion, the Son of God, who takes the field alone in our quarrel against Satan, he is one of a very martial and heroic spirit; he fears no enemy that stands in his way. If. lix, 16-18. see there with what a heroic spirit he takes the field, though none of Adam's family, or yet of the family of angels, could join him in the enterprise : " And he faw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor : therefore his own arm brought salvation,” &c.
5. He is one that is successful in all his enterprises : he never loft a battle, victory follows him in his train and retinue. Where-ever he goes, he stains his raiment with the blood of his enemies, like one that treadeth in the wine-fat ; for he «s treads them in his anger, and tramples them in his fury.” When death the king of terrors encounters him, he cries, “0 death, I will be thy plagues; O grave I will be thy destruction.” When the armies of hell encounter him, he spoils them, and leads them about in triumph, and makes his ignominious cross a triumphant chariot, to which he ties them as so many tro. phies of his victory; he “ cafts death and hell into the lake of fire and brimstone.” And hence it comes, that his very name is the terror of hell ; for "things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth, do bow at the name of Jesus."
6. He is incomparable for power and wisdom ; hence his name is “ Christ the power of God, and Chrilt the wisdom of God.” For power, he has all power in heaven and earth," and therefore none is able to withstand him. Who has an arm like him? “His hand is full of power, and his right hand is great in might." And for wisdom, "all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hid in him.” The cunning of the old ferpent is but folly to him : “He taketh the wife in their own craftiness, and turns the counsel of the froward headlong." So much for the first thing, some thoughts concerning our renowned champion, the glorious Son of God, who appears in the quarrel of loit sinners of Adam's family.
II. The second thing was, to offer a few thoughts concerning the grand enemy of mankind, that the Son of God had in his eye when he appeared upon the stage, and that is the devil. Concern. ing this enemy, I shall only tell you,
1. That he was once an angel of light, and had his habitation at first in glory. The apostle Jude infinuates this, when he tells us, that they “ left their first habitation." He was one of the brightest stars in the higher orbs of heaven, II. xiv. 12. called “ Lucifer, the son of the morning."
2. Pride and ambition was the fin of the devil. So much is hinted to us by the apostle; “ being lifted up with pride, he fell into condemnation." He valued himself upon his own created excellencies, and would needs vie it with God: he said in his heart, “ I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High," ll. xiv. 13. 14. Some think, that the thing that gave occasion unto his pride to vent itself, was the intimation of God's design of taking upon him a nature inferior fo that of the angels, in the person of his eternal Son, and the cr.
der given that, “all the angels of God fhould worship him," even in that nature, when he should bring his first-begotten into the world. He disdained to worship God in a nature inferior to his own, for which he was tumbled from heaven to hell, with all the angels that joined him in his apoftacy.
· 3. Being cast out of heaven, he was filled with the madness of revenge and enmity against God; and finding our first paTents in paradise, crowned with the glory and dignity of the di. vine image, he, through his flattering hisses, draws them into a confederacy with himself against God, by tempting them to eat of the forbidden fruit, whereby they and their whole pos. terity had perished for ever with the devils, under the weight of the wrath and curse of God, unless the Son of God had interposed to destroy the works of the devil, and to set the captives of the mighty at liberty.
4. By virtue of the curse of the broken law, the devil comes to have a legal title to, and dominion over, every son of Adam by nature. The hand writing, which was issued out against us, upon the violation of the holy law, gave the devil a power from God, in a way of righteous judgement, to rule in and over every man and woman springing of the first Adam; hence called the god of this world. So that, Sirs, till you join yourselves to the Son of God by faith in him, you are just the devil's lackeys to serve him according to his beck and inclina. tion ; you do his works, as was hinted before.
5. The enemy, into whose hands we are fallen, is of all others the most dangerous and terrible. And that you may know your danger while under his power, and the obligations we are under to the Son of God who came to destroy him, I will tell you in two or three words what sort of an enemy he is.
if, He is a very powerful enemy : for though he has lost his original integrity, yet he has loft nothing of his natural Itrength ;; if he were not under the check of the power of God, he could in a very little time devour all mankind, and hurry them wholly to hell.
2dly, He is a subtle and cunning enemy; therefore called a serpent, which is the most subtle and cunning of all the beasts of the field. He suits his temptations unto every man's temper: he knows well what bait is most ready to catchthe uriwary sinner.
3dly, He is an experienced enemy. He has long dealt in his soul-ruining and murdering trade; he has now had about fix thousand years experience in this business.
Athly, A most vigilant enemy. He leaves no stone unturned, he loses no opportunity to carry on his hellish designs against the glory of God, and the salvation of souls.
5thly, He is a most fierce and raging enemy; hence we are cold, that he is a roaring lion.
6thly, He is a numerous enemy. It is true, he is here spoken of in the singular number; but his name is Legion. · Although there be but one Beelzebub, the prince of devils, yet he has a numerous train under him, continually carrying on the plots of his kingdom of darkness. And, Sirs, I make no doubt, if our eyes were opened, we would see swarms of cvil spirits in this company, and in this very place, all at work to divert the minds of men from giving entertainment to the gospel-revelation. Thus I have given you some account of the enemy the Son of God had in his view when he appeared on the stage.
Now, you may be ready to ask, What are the works of the devil which the Son of God came to destroy? Answ. The grand and fundamental work of the devil is fin. This is, as it were, his first-born, and the beginning of his strength, as you fee from the former clause of the verse; “ He that committeth fin, is of the devil ; for the devil finneth from the beginning.” And then it follows, For this purpose the Son of God was mani. fested, &c. So that the main work of the devil is fin : this is just the poison and venom of the old ferpent. The flood that he cafts out of his mouth, in order to destroy the church, represented under the notion of a woman, Rev. xii. 15. what elfe is it but a flood of sin? This is the main engine where by the devil carries on all his other hellish works and strata. gems either against God or man. If it had not been for fin, the devil had never got any power over men in the world ; so that fin is the very feat and strength of his kingdom in the world. I remember it is said, that “ justice and judgement are the habitation of God's throne;" and I may add, that iniquity and sin is the habitation of the devil's throne and empire. And here I might tell you of a multitude of fins, which are evidently the works of the devil, if I were not afraid of entering upon a field large and wide like the heavens. Atheism is the work of the devil; he studies to persuade men that there is no God to call them to an account, no judgement to come, no no hell or heaven. Ignorance is a great work of the devil; he “blinds the minds of them that believe not, left the light of the glorious gospel of Christ should shine into their hearts.". Hence his kingdom is called a kingdom of darkness. Unbelief is the work of the devil, which is nothing else but a “ making God a liar," a discrediting of a God of truth, speaking either in a way of promise, precept, or threatening, in his word. It was by unbelief that he ruined our first parents, he brought them to doubt if God had said fo and fo. And when once a man begins to waver and question whether this or that be a point of the truth of God, he is gone, the enemy has him fair
before the wind. Enmity is another work of the devil: “ The carnal mind is enmity against God.” This is just the poison of the old serpent, that has run through all the powers of the foul. Pride is a work of the devil, yea, it is the very picture of the devil. Pride was his first sin; and by telling them that they should be as gods, by eating the forbidden tree,“ knowing good and evil,” he ruined them and their pofterity. This fin of pride has so much of the devil in it, that God cannot Jook near a proud man; he “ beholds the proud afar off.” Hy pocrisy and dissimulation either with God or man,' that is another work of the devil. He himself diffembled the matter with our first parents, he transformed himself into an angel of light: and so doth every hypocrite, he appears to be what he really : is not. Idolatry, fuperstition, charms, witchcraft, error, swearing, lying, Sabbath-breaking, murder, adulteryg. thefty covetousness, perjury, and all fin that I can possibly name, they are all the works of the devil, and they that commit them . are of the devil.
But now, to illustrate this head yet a little further, I will tell you of some works of the devil brought about by fing which are just the devil's sport and recreation. 1. The dis. honour of God. 2. The disturbing of the creation. ' 3. The ruin of man. 4. The erection of his own kingdom of fin and darkness.
1. I fay, the devil by sin designs the dishonour of God, every fin being a riolation of his law, a contempt of his authority, a denial of his sovereignty, an affront to his justice and holie ness, and a casting dirt upon all his perfections. Now, what. a sport and pleasure is it unto that proud and rebellious spirit, when he can get men and women to join him after this man. : ner in affronting God, and trampling upon his law's ? hence finners are said to be in a covenant or confederacy with hell, to dishonour God.
2. By fin he disturbs the creation, and disorders all the works of God in this lower world. You know, Gen. i. when God had made the heavens and the earth, and all the rest of the creatures, he pronounced them all good; every thing was in its proper joint and lith, subservient unto the great ends of their creation ; 'not a jar'or groan to be heard among all the creatures of God. But now, Satan, by fin, disturbs and disorders the creation of God. Having tempted man to break his allegiance to God, he brings the curse of God upon the very ground, and all the inferior creatures that stood in a subordination to man. Hence follows war between man and the inferior creatures; and the creatures that are subject to man, it is unwillingly that they serve him; chey groan under