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been many and great; but here is blood that « cleanfeth from all fin.” My corrupt passions are indeed strong ; but then my Redeemer is mighty to save.”. He would not purchase an inheritance for me which I could not be rendered capable of poffefsing: He who died to prepare a heaven for his people, is certainly able to prepare his people for heaven. He knows my weakness, and yet calls upon me to follow him; and therefore I cannot, I dare not, despair of his help. I will go forward in his name, and he will make his grace sufficient for me. Thus doth the death of Christ destroy the works of the devil, inasmuch as it furnilheth his people with the strongest arguments against fin, and the most persuasive motives to faith and holy obedience; and hath moreover merited for them that fupernatural assistance, by which they are encouraged to attempt, nay, (as the Apostle Paul assures us from his own experience), by which they are actually enabled to do all things.
Which leads me to mention a Fourth and principal means, by which
the Son of God destroys the works of the devil ; namely, the divine efficacy of the Holy Spirit, regenerating the souls of men, filling them with light, and love, and strength; casting down those proud imaginations 'which exalt themfelves against God, and .bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. The Holy Spirit is Christ's vicegerent upon earth, fent forth by him to supply his place, and to erect his throne in the hearts of men, upon the ruins of Satan's kingdom. This he doth, by opening their understandings to understand the Scriptures, and leading them to the knowledge of all necessary truths ; by convincing them of their sin and misery, enlightening their minds in the knowledge of Christ, and renewing their wills, whereby he not only persuades, but effectually enables them to embrace Christ as he is offered; by shedding abroad the love of God in their hearts ; furnishing them with strength to resist temptations, to overcome the world, to mortify the deeds of the body, and to crucify the flesh with the affections and lufts. These are some of the effects which the Scriptures attribute to the Spirit of Christ. By these the strong man armed is driven out of his palace ; he is stripped of his armour, and his goods are spoiled. Thus the soul is rescued from the bondage of Sa-, tan; and the finner is made willing by a day of power to yield himself unto God, and to walk in newness of life. : |
5thly, The Son of God will finally destroy the works of the devil, when he shall come the second time to judge the world in righ, teousness. Then shall the kingdom of dark, nefs be plucked up by the roots; then shall the ransomed of the Lord be confirmed in a state of unchangeable purity and happiness, Satan fhall no more vex and seduce them but he, with all the workers of iniquity, shall be thrust down into those eyerlasting burnings, which the wrath of God, like a Stream of brimstone, doth kindle and enflame ; the smoke whereof ascendeth for ever and ever.
Thus have I illustrated the doctrine of my text, and taken notice of some of the principal means by which the Son of God,
hath hitherto conducted the war againft Satan, and shall finally desiroy the works of the devil: And now, in the review of all that hath been said, let us, in the
is place, Praise and magnify our great Deliverer, who came into the world upon so merciful an errand. “ O the height and
depth, the breadth and the length, of the “ love of Chrift!" It'ịnight justly have been feared, that if the Son of God was to visit this earth, it would have been for a very different end, even to display the glory of divine justice, by executing vengeance upon those ungrateful creatures who had risen up in rebellion against the God that made them. But behold, and wonder! he camę to save, and not to destroy: " For God seng $ not his Son into the world to condemn " the world, but that the world through “ him might be saved.”. Nay, he came to destroy those enemies who had vanquished us, and to rescue us out of their hands. « Lord, what is man, that thou art mindful “ of him ?" "My brethren, however coldly we may think or talk of these matters, angels, whom they less concern, contemplate
them with ecstasy. They shouted for joy when the world was made ; but they raise a higher note to celebrate the redemption of mankind. And thall men be silent while angels sing? Oletus contend with those blessed spirits in the praises of our own Redeemer; He is their Lord, but he is our Saviour. Let our souls, and all that is within us, be stirred up to bless him; and let us even at this distance begin that grateful triumphant song, “ Unto him that loved
us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and
priests unto God and his Father, to him “ be glory and dominion for ever and
2dly, This doctrine yields the strongest confolation to every sincere Christian. He is engag
d in a cause that must prevail ; he follows a Leader whom no might can withstand; he contends with a subdued and vanquished foe, who hath already received the mortal wound, and ere long shall be cast down and trampled under his feet. And will not this inspire you with courage and førtitude? You fight under a General whom