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world but the discovery of another, where we shall continue to live and to partake of enjoyments preferable to any of those we leave behind us. Now, for this discovery we are wholly indebted to the Lord Jesus Christ. Life and immortality are brought to light by bis gospel. This great oliject darkens the delusive lustre of all seen things. What hath this earth to offer that can stand the least comparison with that fulness of joy which is at God's right hand? Animated by this prospect, the believing Hebrews “ took joyfully the spoiling of their goods, knowing in themselves, that in heaven they had a better and more enduring substance.” They did not regret the loss of those perishing trifles, for which carnal men contend with such eager and unremitting labour: they looked beyond them to permanent and substantial blessings, and rejoiced in the hope, “that when the earthly house of this tabernacle should be dissolved, they had a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” But I must here add, that all these discoveries, which have so obvious a tendency to separate us from idols, derive their virtue and efficacy from that divine Spirit which Christ purchased by bis sufferings and obedience unto death; whose office it is, not only to throw light upon the great truths revealed in the gospel, and to open or unvail our eyes, that we may see them in all their evidence, but likewise to carry them home into our hearts with such demonstra tion and power, that they shall become the type or mould wherein that new man is formed, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. By this divine agent we are born into the kingdom and family of God, and are connected with the spiritual world as really as by our natural birth we are introduced into and connected with this material world. In consequence
whereof, we become sons, not in name only, but in nature; and, as St. Paul reasons, upon a principle univer. sally admitted, “ If sons, then are we also heirs, heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ Jesus." This pow. erful renovation pulls down at once every idol from the throne, and lays them all under the feet of the “ man in Christ;" for every thing tends to the place of its original. “ They that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; and they that are after the spirit the things of the spirit:"-" They have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God, whereby they know the things that are freely given them of God." And these they find to be a portion sufficient to fill the most enlarged capacity of their souls. Being risen with their Lord, they “ seek the things which are above, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God.” They are dead to whatsoever is confined to their present state of existence; and the new life they have received, being “ hid with Christ in God," they are enabled to conclude, with the most absolute certainty, " that when he who is their life shall appear, then shall they also appear with him in glory, and ever after be with the Lord.”
“ May he who at first commanded the light to shine out of darkness, shine into all your hearts, to give you the light of the knowledge of his glory, in the face of Jesus Christ,” that each of you may be disposed and enabled to say, What have I to do any more with idols? And let those who have experienced the power of di. vine grace, show by their future conduct, that they find enough in their God and Saviour to render them completely happy; and that the draught they bave got of the pure water of life, bath effectually quenched their thirst after the muddy pools of earthly enjoyments.
Beware, O Christians! of every thing that may sully your profession, or grieve the Spirit, and thereby breed in you a distrust of yoar personal interest in God's par. doning mercy and sanctifying grace: for it is “ by faith you stand ;” and in the same proportion that your faith fails, idols will regain their influence in your hearts. I shall therefore conclude with that affectionate exhortation of the apostle Jude, “ Ye beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy
of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” Amen.
Preached at the opening of the General Assembly of the Church
of Scotland, 1772.
For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that
He might destroy the works of the Devil.
AMONG the various motives to the love and practice of universal holiness with which this sacred epistle abounds, the one I have now read to you doth certainly merit peculiar attention; and must to every ingenuous mind appear not only most persuasive, but likewise most animating. For who that hath any thirst for true glory, would not aspire to the high dignity of becoming a
a worker together” with the Son of God? Or can any man have reason to entertain the least doubt of victory and triumph, who is engaged in a cause which the great Lord of heaven and earth hath undertaken to support?
1. 1 propuse, therefore, in the first place, to offer a few remarks for establishing your faith of the important doctrine contained in my text.
2. Secondly, I shall give you some account of the principal means by which the Son of God hath bitherto conducted his salutary undertaking, and shall finally destroy the works of the devil.-And then direct you to the practical improvement of the subject.
I. First, then, that you may see the evidence by which the doctrine here asserted is confirmed and illus. trated, in the clearest and most satisfying light, I shall lay before you the several parts of it, in the same method and order of time in which the Spirit of God hath placed them in the sacred Scriptures.
If we look back to the Old Testament writings, we shall find this doctrine published in paradise immediately after the apostacy of our first parents, when Satan's usurped domination commenced. Then it was that God said unto the serpent, “Because thou hast done tbis, I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed: It shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” This was an early intimation of a Saviour, who should defeat the malice of Satan, the grand adversary, and prevent the total ruin of mankind.
To prefigure the manner in which he was to achieve this great deliverance, it deserves our notice, that expi. atory sacrifices were very early appointed. Thus we read, that “ Abel offered unto the Lord the firstlings of his flock;" and when we consider that it was not till af.
ter the deluge that the use of animal food was permitted to man, we can hardly doubt, that the “coats of skins," which God is said to have made for Adam and Eve, must bave been the skins of animals offered in sacrifice by bis own direction and appointment. These were significant emblems, or types, of that great atonement which Christ was to make in due time by the sacrifice of himself; in allusion to which, he is styled, in the New Testament writings, a Lamb, “the Lamb of God,"_" the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world."
But lest these typical representations of the promised seed should prove too thick and obscure a vail, it pleased God gradually to unfold the purposes of his grace, by raising up prophets at different periods of time; who, though they separately bare witness to this illustrious person, yet they perfectly agreed in the report they gave of him; representing him as an irresistible conqueror, “ who should divide the spoil with the strong," as “the King whom God had set upon his holy bill of Zion," as “the Lord strong in battle," « and mighty to save;" who should “ proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound ;-wbo should finish transgression, and make an end of sins," or offerings for sin, “and make reconciliation for ini. quity, and bring in everlasting righteousness."
Accordingly, when the fulness of time was come, the Son of God made his entrance into the world in the de. clared character of Saviour and Redeemer. A heavenly herald was employed to announce his appearance,
and to appoint bim a name expressive of his office: “ Thou shalt call his name Jesus,” said the angel to Joseph; “ for he shall save his people from their sins.” A spe. cial messenger was raised up to prepare the way before him, to bid Satan defiance, and to call upon men to “re