Page images
PDF
EPUB

his angels. But now this will be further cleared by the induction of a few particulars. idi.

1. Was it the plot of hell, to havę God dishonoured and affronted in all his attributes and perfections by the Gin of man? Well, Christ counteract's the devil in this for he brings a greater revenue of glory to the crown of heaven by the work of redemption; than could ever have accrued to it by all the service that men cr angels could have done to God through all' éternity ; hence it was that the angels, immediately upon Christ's appearing in the world, cry, is Glory to God in the highest." * the bright displays of the divine attributes in him, who is the brightness of the Father's glory!":

. It was the work of the devil, to disgrace the holy law of God, by breaking it himfelf, and teaching man to break in upon it: but the work of Christ is, to " magnify the law, and to make it honourable.” , “ Think not (says Chrift) that I am come to destroy the law: I am not come to destroy, buť to fulfil it.” He himself fulfilled it as a covenant, and eftablishes it as a rule to all his followers, and puts his Spirit within them, causing them to walk in his statutes, and to do them.

3. Was it the work of the devil to difturb God's government in the world, and to cast all' into disorder and confusion? Well, God the Father lays the government upon Christ's shoulders, he puts the reins of adminiftration in his hands, on purpose that he may restore every thing into the order wherein he had set them at first: and at the end of the day, when he has done his work, it will be a " time of teftitution of all things ;” and, the very creatures long for that happy day, Rom. viii. 19. &c.

4. Was it the devil's work, tò establish his own kingdom of darkness in this lower world, by establishing error, ignorance, unbelief, Atheism, pridé, carnality, profanity, and all manner of fin and wickedness ? Well, it is the work of Christ to pull down these pillars and strong holds of Satan's kingdom: Dan. ix. he shall, finish transgression, and make an end of fin.” And in the 5th verse of this chapter, where my text lies, " And ye know that he was manifested to take away. our fins; and in him is no sin. His name is Jésús, because he saves his people from their fins."

5. Was it the devil's work, to break all fellowship and friendship betwixt God and man? Well, it is the work of Christ, to bring them into fellowship and friendship one with another; therefore he is called å Mediator, or a Peace. maker. His work is is to make reconciliation for iniquity : When we were enemies, we were réconciled to God by his

death:

[ocr errors]

»

death: God was in Christ reconciling the world unto him. felf” Yea, Christ bimself becomes a new and living way," by which God comes down unto us, and we come up unto God, and have “our fellowship with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ."

6. Was it the work of the deyil, to bring man under the curse and condemnation of the law, that so he might be in the same condition with himself? Well, it is the work of Christ, to " redeem us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us." And they who believe in Christ, being wrapt up in his righteousness, there is no condemnation to them, nothing can be laid to their charge.

7. Was it the work of the devil, to deface the image of God which he stamped upon man? It is the work of Christ, to restore it; and for this end he manifests himself in the glass of the gospel, that we, by beholding of his glory, my be changed ihto the same image, from glory to glory."...

But, not to inGift upon particulars, Chrilt just “ restored what he took not away," but what the devil and Gin took away. Satan spoils us of our light and fight; Christ comes to “ open the blind eyes, to give light to them that fit in darkness, and in the region of the shadow of death.” Satan spoils us of our beauty, and rubbed the hue of hell upon us; Christ takes them that have “lain among the devil's pots,” and makes them “ like the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold.” Satan strips us naked; Christ clothes the poor finner with " white caiment," with the “ garment of salvation," and the “ robe of righteousness.” Satan spoils us of our strength ; but Christ makes his strength sufficient for our weakness, makes the feeble as David, so as to resist the devil himself, and to put him to flight. Satan spoils us of our peace with God, and peace with conscience ; But Christ restores both: “ Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you, not as the world giveth, give I unto you: and a peace that pafseth all understanding.” Satan takes away, through lin, our title to God and glory; but Christ restores this again with advantage, and settles our claim to God as our God, and to the inheritance of glory, upon a better foundation than the claim that the first Adam stood upon. In a word, the devil, and his first-born (fin), took away our spiritual life, and leaves us “ dead in trespasses and sins;” but Christ restores life to the dead: "I am the rea surrection and the life ; and, He that believeth in me, out of his belly Thall flow rivers of living waters.” And then he hima self becomes the continual fountain of their life, and their

“ life

“ life is hid with Christ in God.” Thus then you see, that it is a clear truth, that Christ the Son of God destroys the works of the devil.

The second thing here is, to inquire, how is it that Christ destroys the works of the devil? I answer, Christ destroys the works of the devil four ways. 1. By the virtue of his blood. 2. By the light of his word.' 3. By the power and efficacy of his Spirit. 4. By the prudence of his government and adminiftration.

1. I say, Chrift destroys the works of the devil by the virtue of his blood. Now, when I speak of the blood or death of Christ, I understand the whole of his fatisfaction, including his perfect active obedience unto the mandatory part of the law, as well as his suffering the minatory part of it in his death. Now, I say, by the death of Christ, in this extensive view, Satan and his works are destroyed. This, of all others, unto our sense and reason would appear to be the most improbable ; and yet it was the best, and the only way how it could be accomplished. The power of Satan, and his whole destroying works, are founded in fin; the obligation of the finner unto death, by virtue of the curse of the law, was that which gave him all his power to destroy and ruin loft fine ners; and therefore, if that obligation be destroyed, Satan's power and all his works of darkness muft of course dissolve ; ; the foundation being destroyed, all that is lying upon it must fall to the ground. Now, this was done in the death of Christ; justice was satisfied, reconciliation made for iniquity, the fine ner redeemed from the curse, he being made a curse for us; and whenever the finner by faith clofes with Christ as cruci- , fied, or comes to the blood of sprinkling, the sentence paffes, Rom. viii. 1. “ There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.".

2. Christ destroys the works of the devil by the light of his word. This is that weapon which is “ not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong. holds, to the cafting down of imaginations, and every high thing that ex. altcth itself against the knowledge of Christ.” When Chrift sent out his disciples to preach the gospel through the cities of Israel, Satan's kingdom fell down before it like lightning; and when Christ sent out his apostles through the world, in order to overturn the kingdom of Satan, the weapon he put in their hand was just the word of the gospel ; “ Go teach all nations ; Go preach the gospel unto every creature ;" go manifest the Son of God, and what he has done and suffered for the redemption of Gnners. And accordingly they went and preached the gospel of the kingdom ; and such was the power

that

[ocr errors]

that accompanied it, that the idolatries of the nations fell down apace before it. It is very observable, that, upon the very external manifestation of the gospel, the gross works of the devil fell down. In the time of Paganism and Popery, the devil used to appear and converse with men and women in a familiar way, and they worshipped and served him as though he had been a god; but, upon the entry of the gospel, he quitred that gross way of doing, and betook himself to a more secret and fubtle way of ruining souls, by fostering them in security, pride, enmity, unbelief, and such spiritual wickednesses. And whereever the gospel comes with power, he is driven out of these high places also.

3. Chrift destroys the works of the devil by the efficacy of his Spirit, whereby the virtue of his blood, and evidence of the word, is carried in upon the soul; for it is the Spirit that applies to us the redemption purchased by the blood of Christ, and manifested and exhibited in his word. There could be no efficacy in the word, in itself confidered, for destroying the works of the devil, without the concurring power of the Holy Ghost, who, upon this very account, is called a “ Spirit of power : Not by might, nor by power of man, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hofts.” And 0, when the Spirit of the Lord comes along with the revelation and dispensation of the word, then the devil's prisoners are loosed, the captives of the mighty are delivered, and the soul that was bound for many years with the devil's chains is raised up, and made “partaker of the glorious liberty of the sons of God.”

4. Chrift destroys the works of the devil hy the prudence crucil and wisdom of his government and administration, of which

you have an account, If. xi. 2-4. &c. Christ is given as a kon s head of government unto his church, and the sceptre of power

is put in his hand, a rod of strength, and a rod of iron, whereby
he dashes his most powerful enemies in pieces as a potter's
vefsel : he is “ made head over all things unto the church,
which is his body.” And that he may be in a better capacity
to manage the reins of government for the benefit of his mys.
tical body, and the great ends of their salvation, “ all the
treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hid in him ; so that his
administration is unerring and infallible. Satan the old fer
pent, and his agents, they are continually plotting the ruin and
overthrow of the interest of Christ in the world ; tom e s
by fraud, and sometimes by force and violence, they entech
Tour to make the work to cease, and never more than at the
prelent time : but Chrift, by the prudence, wildom, and ther.
$y of his government, he counteracts all the deep lai plura of
we gates of hell, so as they never have. nor ever Ihall be able to

prevail

Tolved

Christ

prevail to the overthrow of his work and interest ; " He takes the wise in their own craftiness, and turns the counsel of the Inoward headlong." Thus you see how it is that Christ destroys the works of the devil. o p is,'. - The third thing was, to condescend upon some particu. lar times and seasons wherein Christ destroys the works of the devil. , . .uri . :'? It!

1. The day of Christ's death gave a notable blow, as I told you just now, unto the devil's kingdom; for then he s spoiled principalities and powers, and made an open shew of them” before God and the holy angels. Men and devils, to the world's view, were triumphing over Chrift; but Christ at the same time was triumphing over them before the invibble world of spirits. The “ hand-writing that was against us;" and from which the devil derived all his authority and power in this world, was torn and cancelled.

2. The day of Christ's refurrection gave a signal blow to the works of the devil; for her role for our justification." The devil, the Jews and Romans, they thought they had obtained the victory over Christ, when they got him in the grave, and his stone sealed: but “ he was taken from prison and from judgement ;" by an order from Heaven, the Atone was rolled away from the door of the fepulchre, and he comes forth carrying the spoils of death and hell in his hand, and carrying also the discharge of the debt of a whole elcct world in his hand, &c.

3. The day of Christ's ascension into heaven was a notable destruction unto Satan and his works ; for," when he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive;" he opened a paffage between this world and heaven, through the territories of the prince of the power of the air, by which all his friends might follow him to glory. And O how did it torment the devil, when Christ went through the air in triumph with his “twenty thousand chariots of angels,"every one crying, “ God is gone up with a fhout, the Lord with the sound of a trumpet : fing praises to God, sing praises ; fing praises unto our King, sing praises !”

4. In the day of Pentecoft Chrift gave another stroke to the devil and his works. When Christ newly sat down on his ithrone of glory, poured out his Spirit upon his apostles in an extraordinary manner, enabling them to work miracles, and to preach the gospel in all languages, that it might spread through all the known world ; how did Satan's kingdom begin to fall, when at one sermon three thousand souls were plucked out of his kingdom, and added to the church of Chrift! And, from that cime forward, how did the light of the gospel Ay like

lightning

« PreviousContinue »