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" the lamb plain from the foundation of the o world.”
But left these typical representations of the promised feed should prove too thick and obscure a vail, it pleafed 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 fpoil with the strong," “ the King whom God had
upon his holy hill of Zion,”-as the “ Lord strong in battle,” « and mighty to “ fave;"_who should“ proclaim liberty to " the captives, and the opening of the prison “ to them that were bound ;"—who Ilhould “ finish tranfgression, and make an end of
fins," or offerings for sin, “ and make “ reconciliation for iniquity, 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 declared character of a Saviour and Reedemer. A heavenly herald
was employed to announce his appearance, and to appoint him a name expressive of his office: “ Thou shalt call his name Jefus," said the angel to Joseph ; " for he shall save * his people from their sins.”
A special messenger was raised up to prepare the way before hin, to bid Satan defiance, and to call upon men to
repent, because the kingdom of God was at hand." This was John, who foon after had the honour to introduce Christ by baptism into the field of battle, and to point him out to the men of that age as “ the Lamb of God which ta“ keth away the fin of the world."
And now let us review his personal conduct, and trace him through the course of his public ministry, where we shall behold the most striking proofs of the Apostle's afsertion, that for this purpose the Son of God was manifefied, that he might destroy the works of the devil. No sooner is he baptised, and consecrated to his office by the visible descent of the Holy Ghost, than he suffers himself to be “ led by the spirit into the wil5 derness, and continued there for the space of forty days“ tempted of the devil." S 3
The circumstances of this combat, and the happy issue of it, are recorded by three Evangelists, and are sa generally known, that I need not stay to repeat them. This was the first signal defeat of the adversary : in the wilderness was the serpent's head broken as tempter, which on Calvary was afterwards bruised as tormentor.
Having thus vanquished the devil in , single fight, our Lord forthwith invites men to fight under his banner. He chooseth twelve apostles, whom he appoints to be the stated attendants upon his person, and the principal leaders of the army under him. With these he joins seventy of a subordinate rank, to whom he gives orders to attack the enemy, and to exercise the power of his word and spirit against him. In obedience to his command, and relying upon his aid, they resolutely go forth two by two, into every city, and place whither he himself was to come; and after a rapid and most successful progress, like young foldiers flushed with their first prosperous adventure, they return again with joy, saying, “ Lord, even
" the devils are subject unto us through thy . name.”
Upon this the hotter part of the war begins. The old ferpent puts forth all his strength and cunning, raiseth up enemies from every quarter, works upon the pride, envy, and prejudices of the Jewish rulers and teachers, and by their agency carries on a most furious persecution against him. Yet still this great Captain of Salvation maintains his ground, and, amidst all the opposition that is made to him, lays the foundation of a kingdom against which the gates of hell shall never be able to prevail; till at length, by seeming to yield, he gives the enemy the mortal blow, pursues him into his own dominions ; and, by a mysterious wisdom, “ through death, he conquers
him that had the power of death, " that is the devil :” And having thus obtained a complete victory, he riseth from the grave in triumph, ascendeth up on high, leading captivity captive; where, seated on the right hand of the Father, he shall continue in the exercise of government as Me
diator, till all his enemies be made his footftool.
Thus, you see, that the doctrine of my : text doth not lean upon a single testimony, but is supported by many clear and express declarations of holy writ, and beautifully illustrated by the whole of our Saviour's conduct during the time of his abode on this earth.-Let us then proceed,
II. In the second place, To consider more particularly some of the principal means by which the Son of God hath hitherto conducted -his falutary undertaking, and shall finally destroy the works of the devil.
if, He hath given us the most certain and enlarged discoveries of every thing that is necessary to be known, believed, or done by us, in order to our present improvement in holiness, and the perfection of our happiness in a future state.
The devil is styled “ the god of this “ world, who blindeth the minds of those. “ that believe not," and by keeping the light from them, leads them captive at his pleasure. And Christ delivers them from this