Page images
PDF
EPUB

into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil,” and there first began to put to fight this leader and commander of the armies of the aliens. The great scope of his doctrine was, to overthrow Satan's kingdom; and he tells us, that he saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven before the preaching of his disciples. Many of his miracles were just the throwing Satan out of the bodies of men, of which he had a visible poffeffion. His death was a fatal stroke at the head of the ferpent. “ Now (fays bt) is the judgement of this world come; now is the prince of this world judged." Agreeable unto this is that which you have, Col. ii. 15. “ Having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, having triumphed over them in it.” Heb. ii. 14. \ 'Through death he destroyed him that had the power of death, that is, the devil." 1 John iii. 8. " Whosoever committeth Gin is of the devil; for the devil finneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, to destroy the works of the devil." And Rev. xii. we shall find, that the war is principally managed between Michael and his angels, and the devil and his angels. Thus you see who is the principal enemy that Chrift has in his view, when he says in my text, The day of vengeance is in mine heart. But now though Satan be the leading enemy, yet other enemies they come in also of course ; for vengeance is designed against all the works of the devil, and against all his confederates, as well as against Satan himself, as you may hear afterward.

II. The second thing is, to inquire into the ground of the quarrel that our Redeemer bath againjt this enemy. I shall not itand to inquire what was the first fin of the devil, for which he was tumbled down from heaven to hell; though it is pretty clearly suggested to us, that being lifted up with pride, he fell into condemnation. But the special quarrel that our Redeemer here bath in his eye, is the injury done to his redeemed ; and therefore the day of vengeance and the year of the redeemed are coupled together.

Ques. What injury had Satan done to the redeemed?

Answ. 1. Satan had deceived them. He put a cheat upon our first parents, telling them that the tree was good, and that by eating of it they should become as gods, knowing good and evil, whereas the very reverse was the truth: and this has been, and is his continued work to deceive, therefore called the great deceiver of mankind. Now, this is one quarrel for which the day of vengeance is in his heart against him. 2. By deceiving them into fin, he defaced the image of God which he had stamped upon man. When man first dropt out of the fingers of his Maker, he bore the lively print of his Creator's fingers, yea, his very image, consisting in knowledge, righteousness, and holiness; but no sooner had Satan deceived us into a transgression of the divine commandment, but immediately his gold became dim; inftead of being like God, as the deceiver told them, they became like devils, the hue of hell immediately appeared on them, instead of the beauty of heaven; their minds being filled with darkness, instead of knowledge ; their hearts being filled with enmity against God, instead of being filled with love to him; their affections flagging, and settling upon the earth, and licking up the dust like the serpent, instead of towering upward toward things that were above. - 3. He had made them liable unto the curse of the law, and the wrath of God with himself. God had said, “ In the day tbou eatest, thou shalt surely die ; and the law said, “ Cursed is every one that continuech not in all things written in the book of the law to do them.” Now, Satan had brought them under this ; for even the elect of God, as well as others, because of the breach of the law, are the children of wrath and condemnation. This is another quarrel which the Redeemer resents upon the enemy. " 4. Satan had not only brought them under the curse of God, but he had made them his own slaves, led them away as his captives to work his work, yea, had armed God's favourites, and brought them out in open rebellion against God; for “ the carnal mind is enmity against God," and we are “ enemies in our minds by wicked works.” He had filled their hearts and hands with weapons of rebellion against Heaven, such as unbelief, enmity, pride, ignorance, vanity, carnality; and their very bodily members were become instruments of fin and unrighteousness. Thus you see what injury Satan had done to the redeemed : and all this he had done out of plain malice against God himself, to rub an affront upon the Majesty of heaven, who had with his omnipotent arm caft there mighty fpirits out of their seats in heaven ; and because he could not Thake the throne of God, therefore he wrecks his vengeance upon God's viceroy in this lower world, whom he had crown. ed with glory and dignity, and put all things under his feet. Now, because of all this, Chrilt the Son of God resolves to be about with this enemy, saying, The day of vengeance is in mine beart.

III. The third thing was, to inquire what vengeance is it that our Redeemer takes upon this enemy of the redeemed. I find this

vengeance Vengeance on Satan variously expreffed in scripture. In the forecited Gen. iii. 15. it is called a bruising of his head, which im. plies a deadly and destructive wound that he thould never again recover. Sometimes it is called a judging of the devil, John xvi. 11.“ The prince of this world is judged." Christ brought him like a condemned pannel to his bar, and passes sentence upon him for the injury done to his redeemed. Some. times it is called a destroying of the devil, Heb. ii. 14. “He destroyed him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.” So i John iii. 8. The great destroyer of mankind is destroyed himself by the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the avenger of, our blood. Sometimes again it is called a spoiling of principalities and powers, Col. ii. 15. That enemy he had made a prey of the redeemed; but Chrift comes as the Captain of salvation, and spoils him of his prey,“ divides a portion with the great, and thares the spoil with the strong." Thus you see how this vengeance of the Redeemer is expreffed. But to clear this matter a little more fully, I will tell you of leveral pieces of vengeance that our Redeemer executes upon Satan in the resentment of our quarrel, or in revenging our blood.

1. Our glorious Redeemer, in resenting of our quarrel, he invades Satan's usurped kingdom and government, which he had established in this world. Satan is called the god of this world; and he had it so much under his power, that there is not one of Adam's family but is wholly devoted to his service and obedience; by nature “ they are altogether become filthy s there is none of them that doth good, no not one.” Now when Satan is, as it were, in the peaceable poffeffion of his kingdom, our glorious leader and commander, Jesus Chrift, he takes an cxpedition from heaven against him. Had there been a party of Adam's race disaffected unto the devil's empire, and ready to join him when he entered the devil's territories, one would think it might have been some encouragement, but no such thing in the present case; they were wholly devoted to his fer. vice and obedience, and therefore, in the verse immediately following my text, he says, “ I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold : there. fore mine own arm brought salyation unto me, and my fury it upheld me.” But, notwithstanding of this discouragement, he ir.vades Satan's kingdom, and doch it alone ; and at the very first inroad whicli he made upon him, which was in a word of promise, he wrests the poor woman, whom he had deceived, out of his paw and power; for it is very re. markable, that the words of the first promise, in the original, run thus, “ I will put enmity between thee and this woman;" VOL. II.

plainly

3 N

plainly intimating, that she was the first believer, the first thit threw off the devil's yoke, and joined herself unto the Son of God, by virtue of that promise. And the whole scriptures are but a large commentary upon that promife, and a further opening of it; he has ever fince, and is at this day, by the same engine of the gofpel, battering down his kingdom in the world, and will carry it on by the fame means, till he has quite drie ven him out of his poffeffion. .';

2. Our glorious Redeemer, he outhoots the devil in his own bow, or, to use a scripture phrase, “ he takes this wife fpirit in his own craftinefs, and turns the counfel of the fro. ward fpirit headlang." No doubt Satan, that old ferpent, when he liad brought our first parents to break the covenant of works, thought with himself, that now he was fecure of his prey, and that it was impossible God could fave men, in a confiftency with the honour of his law, justice, and faithfulness. The law was broken, and therefore justice was obliged to destroy him; and the faithfulnefs of God was engaged to exes cute the threatening, “In the day thou eatest thereof, thou shalt fürely die." No doubt, Satan-thought his kingdom fafe and sure, when the very justice, law, and faithfulness of God, yea, his holy sovereignty, and other perfections of God, obliged him to leave poor fallen man under his power. But our glorious Redeemer, he finds a way how to recover the honour of his law, justice, faithfulnefs, holiness, and sovereignty, it the salvation of lost man. He fo orders it, that the law, inftead of being å lofer, is magnified and made honourable ; juftice, instead of sustaining prejudice, receives a full and complete, yea, infinite fatisfaction; the faithfulness of God in his threatening, is fecured by the execution of it upon himself, as our surety, and divine faithfulness pledged for the salvation of the woman and her believing seed; the fovereignty of God is more difplayed than ever, while he makes grace to reign through righteousness to eternal life, by Jefus Christ our Lord. Thus the main batteries which Satan had reared, and under which he lay intrenched, are overthrown, and turned to his ruin, and the ruin of his kingdom. .

3. Our glorious Redeemer, and avenger of our blood, in refenting our quarrel, he condemns fin, the first-born of the devil. What greater vengeance can you execute upon a man than to slay his first-born before his face ? This our glorious Redeemer doth to Satan; he “ condemned fin in the fleth, yea, he finifhed it, and made an end of it." By in the devil had done the greatest mischief in the world'; by fm he had Tobbed God of his glory, and cast dirt upon all his perfections; by sin he had difturbed God's government in the world; by fin he had defaced the image of God in man, and ruined his

principal

off the file has the power of be guilt of it, hitore

principal workmanship. Now, fays Christ to Satan, I will condemn and destroy thy first-born before thine eyes. And accordingly he abolishes the guilt of it, that it cannot condemn; he destroys the power of it, that it may not reign ; he wafhes off the filth of it, that it may not feparate or break up communion ; and, at last, takes away the very being of it in all the redeemed. And O what a vengeance is it upon Satan to see his firit-born thus ruined and destroyed before his eyes.

4. Qur glorious Redeemer, in avenging of our quarrel, he wrests the keys of death and hell out of the devil's hand. Immediately upon the entry of sin, justice, in pursuing the cria minal, delivers the keys of death into the hand of the devil, as a jailor and executioner; and, no doubt, he thought himfelf very sure of his dominion over man, when the keys of hell and death were in his own hand ; but Christ having abo. lished fiy, and satisfied justice for the fin of man, all power in heaven, earth, and hell, naturally falls into his hand: but Sa. tan being loath to resign the power of death, Christ through death destroys him, and spoils him of his power, even upon the cross, where he seems most to triumph; and Christ he holds up the keys in his hand, in the view of the redeemed, crying, “ Fear not; I was dead, and am alive, and I live for evermore ; and have the keys of hell and death :" and it is easy to think, how galling this is to that proud spirit, to see the keys of death in the hand of our blessed Kinsman. · 5. This is not all, but our glorious Redeemer, in avenging our quarrel, he lays a heavy chain upon the roaring enemy, that he has not power to go one hair-breadth, but as his chain is lengthened or shortened by the controlling and invincible hand of our Redeemer. We are told, Jude 6. that he has them, viz. the fallen angels, “ reserved in everlasting chains under darkness, unto the judgement of the great day.” The devil is under a threefold chain : a chain of fin, under the bonds of iniquity; and the bond of his own sin, which he has pat on, he nerer can or will put off : a chain of guilt in his confcience, which he can no more shake off, than he can ceale to be; and under this chain he shakes and trembles, carrying hell about with him wherever he goes : and then there is the chain of infinite power exerted by the Son, as our Redeemer, the man of God's right hand; he binds the strong man, and fpoils him of his goods. We are told in the book of the Revelation, that Christ takes him and binds him a thousand ycars, lays him under a restraint, that he cannot do the mischief he would be at. He could not harm Job till he was allowed ; he. could not enter into the Gadarene (wine without his allow

ance

« PreviousContinue »