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thraldom, by “ opening their eyes,
and turning them from darkness to light;" difpelling those clouds of ignorance, error, and prejudice, whereby Satan maintains his usurpation over the hearts of men.
“ No man hath seen God at any time; the “ only begotten Son, who is in the bosom “ of the Father, he hath declared him.” To him we are indebted for the fullest and most fatisfying information concerning the nature and perfections of God Most High ; the measures of his government, his relation to us, and the worship that is due to him: and that neither guilt nor distance might discourage our approach to the throne of his holiness, Christ hath opened to us, in his own blood, a precious fountain of sovereign virtue, in which the chief of finners may wash, and be made clean; and by revealing to us the mysterious union of the divine and human natures, in his own person as Mediator, he hath, as it were, thrown a bridge over that boundless infinite ocean, which separates the creature from the invifible Godhead: so that through the man Christ Jesus, who is also God's beloved Son,
we may now address the Father of our spirits, without that dread of a repulse, and fear of offending him, which otherwise must have overwhelmed our minds. He hath given us a law which is holy, just, and good, utterly subversive of the kingdom of Satan, and contrary to all his works ;“ teaching us, " that denying ungodliness, and worldly lufts,
we should live soberly, and righteoully, " and godly in this present world.” This law he hath enforced with the most persuafive arguments. Every motive to obedience that can either encourage our hopes, or alarm our fears, is set before us in the strongest and most affecting light. Heaven is unfolded to our view, and destruction hath no covering : And that no incitement may be wanting to invigorate our oppofition to the devil and his works, this great Captain of Salvation solemnly enlists us into his army by baptism; and hath appointed the other facrament, not merely to represent his atoning sacrifice, and to remind us of the price with which we were redeemed, but likewise to afford us an opportunity of recognising his title to our grateful homage
and most loyal subjection; and to be a means of imparting to our souls chose supplies of grace, which will enable us to quit ourselves like men, while we fight under his banner against the powers of darkness, till the God of peace shall in due time bruise Satan underneath our feet. Thus doth the Son of God destroy the works of the devil, by the doctrines, and laws, and ordinances he hath taught us. To which I add,
2dly, The bright and glorious example of his life.
It was the just reproach of the Jewish teachers, that “ they bound heavy burdens, “ and laid them upon other mens shoulders, “ but they themselves would not touch “.them with one of their fingers.”_Whereas the example of our Lord was of equal perfection with his laws. He lived as he taught; and the whole of his conduct, from his birth to his death, was one continued lecture of the purest devotion, the sublimest morals, and the most extenGive usefulness. But this opens a field too extensive to be entered upon,
suffice at present to observe, that the princi: pal virtues which the peculiar character and circumstances of our Lord gave him an opportunity to practise, were obviously adapted to counteract the devil's most favourite vices. How odious, how disgraceful, do human pride and vain-glory, appear, when set in opposition to the lowliness of Christ, who," though he was in the form of God, “ and thought it not robbery to be equal *« with God, yet made himself of no repu* tation, and took upon him the form of a s fervant?"_With what persuasive eloquence doth the contempt he poured upon the riches, and honours, and pleasures of this world, reprove and condemn the covetousness, the ambition, and sensuality of men ?-His condescension to the mean, and his fympathy with the miserable; his meekness in receiving and forgiving injuries ; and his patience in enduring the most grievous sufferings, do all ferve to expose the deformity of those opposite distempers which give Satan so much room in the hearts of most men.
After this manner doth the perfect example of the Son of God in our
nature contribute to the subversion of the kingdom of darkness. But,
3dly, It was by his obedience unto death that our Lord did most eminently destroy the works of the devil; as we learn from the passage to which I formerly alluded, Heb. ii.
14. Through death he destroyed him " that had the power of death, that is the “ devil.” Accordingly, in the epistle to the Colossians, the cross of Christ is compared to a triumphal chariot, on which, having fpoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly. I shall therefore discourse at greater length upon this bead, and endeavour to illustrate the efficacy of Christ's death, in counteracting and defeating the målice of Satan, , As it advances the glory of God, which he fought to impair; and, 2d, As it purchaseth and secures the salvation of men, in spite of all his attempts to ruin them. — These subjects, which are no less delightful than interesting, will serve to unfold the meaning of that heavenly anthem with which angels celebrated the birth of our Lord : “ Glory to