« VorigeDoorgaan »
and to neglect it is a contempt which will have fatal con. sequences. God is angry with unbelievers every day. Against them bis wrath is revealed, and upon them his wrath is coming. Unbelievers make him a liar. Unbe. lievers are condemned already, and for unbelievers instruments of death are prepared.
Are these words alarining you? We wish unbelievers and despisers to be alarmed; and at the same time shew how ye may cscape, and to whom ye should flce. The Lord our Righteousness is an hiding-place from the tempest, and a covert from the storm, free and open to the world; and “whosoever believeth in hiin shall not peris), “but hath everlasting life.” The serpent of brass was a remedy, free to the eye of every Israelite; and the Son of God is a remedy, free to the faith of every sinner: "For as “Moses lifted up the scrpent in the wilderness, even so sinust the Son of man be lifted up, that whosoever believbeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” The Son of man was lifted up upon the cross. At this moment be is listed up on the right hand of the majesty on high; and at this moment he is listed up in the word of the truth of the gospel, within sight of every guilty eye. Are any looking, and coming? “ Him that cometh, he will in no wise "cast out;" and him that looketh he is able to save. Some, it may be, are reasoning in their thoughts, that they dare not look, and come toward the Saviour, because they koow not whether he intended to save them in dying. And neither did any of these who are praising bim before the throne know this before they believed. His intention in dying is not the object of inquiry at present. Your business, and interest, is with the testimony concerning his death, in the ministry of reconciliation: “He suffered for "sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to “God." “When we were yet without strength, le died “for the ungodly.” “While we were yet sinners, he died «for us;" and, when we were enemies, we were reconcilCed to God by the death of his Son." "He is the propi. "otiation for our sins, and not for ours only; but also for the “whole world.” “My flesh I will gi for the life of the cworld." "For God so loved the world, that he gave his
only begotten Son, that whosoever believeih in him "should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God "sent rot his Son into the world to condemn the worki,
"but that the world, through him, might be saved." These are faithful sayings, and the testimony given in them to the death, and sufficiency, and freeness of the Saviour of the world is worthy of all acceptation. Every sinner is war. ranted, counselled, encouraged, and commanded to receive it; and every sinner, unto whom it is made known, shall receive it or perish. “Unto him who loved “us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, be Aglory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen."
TIIE TRIUMPH OF TIE SON OF GOD IN HIS DEATH.
Colossians ii. 15.
And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a
shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
UNDER all dispensations, the death of the Lord our Righteousness hath been a principal theme in the ministry of reconciliation. Patriarchis waited for it, Priests prefigured it, Prophets furetold it, Evangelists related it, Apostles preached it to the world, and into the mystery of it Angels themselves desire to look. But neither men nor angels are able to comprehend, nor tongues, and pens, and languages sufficient to express the glory of this mystery of godlincss. Here the perfections of God appear, and exalt themselves in the highest; liere the powers of darkness unite, and pull upon their head swift destruction; and here heaven opens and pours upon earth blessings more numerous than grains of sand along the shores of the sea, and more excellent than chief things of ancient mountains, and precious things of everlasting liills.
Our Text is one of the monuments of the fame and glo. roy of the Son of God, and upon it are inscribed the effects of his death on the powers of darkness. Behold it; walk round and round, reading, believing, and singing, “Having "spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of themi openly, triumphing over them in it.”-In order to illustrate these words, we shall abridge the history of the ad versaries; and describe the glory of his person by wlose power they were crushed; explain the operations of his power in the Text, and the mystery of the glory of these operations.
The liistory of these adversaries comes before us in the YIRST place. Our Text calls them“principalities and powters.' Elect and confirmed angels, who are ministers of the power, and doers of the will of God, bear these characters in some other texts of scripture, but in this the Apostle gives them to those angels who have sinnexi and full into condemnation; and the following particulais are outlines of their history:
Firat, They are Spiris, whom God created for his gloly in holiness and happiness. When the foundation of the earth was laid, and the cornel-stone of the universe fastened, they raised their voices among the rest of their order, and praised his power, and wisdom, and goodness.-2dly, Immediately. aiter this they sinned!. We cannot define their first sin, nor give their offence any particular name. All that is certainly known is, that they sinned, and sinned in heaven soon after their creation; and in great numbers.--. Sdly, They were immediately castinto a place prepared for thein, called hell. “God spared not the angels who sinned,
but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into ochains of darkness, to be reserved onto judgment. 4:hll}, A chief among these spirits who were cast down intto hell, is called Satan, devil, serpent, prince of the power of the air, prince of the world, gociof this world, and the spirit who worketh in the children of disobedience.-5thły, inis evil spirit beguiled Eve in paradise, and by her drew Adam, the representative of mankind, into sin and mise. 15.-6thly, The Lawgiver permitted this terrible spirit to arm himself with a power of death over mankind, according to the curse of the law. By his power, as an executioner of the curse, he holds sinners in slavery, blinds, tempts, torments, and kills thcm, in many different forms.7thly, At the grand assize in paradise, he was condemned. to additional degrees of punishment, and informed of the dissolution of his power by the Seed of the woman. The “Lord God said unto the Serpent, Because thou hast done “his,' deceived and ruined mankind in their representa.. tive, “thou art cursed. An: I will put enmity between "hee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed. "Heshall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise bisheel.”— 8thly, This ambitious and revengeful spirit did all he could to break the purpose of the Son of God. He set up for himself a kingdom in the world, in opposition to his kingdom, and reigned, by sin unto death, over the greatest part of mankind before he appeared in our nature. And after
*3 Pet. ii. 4.
his appearance, he attempted to destroy him in Bethlehem, assailed him in the wilderness, and, by his speakers, insulted and blaspherned him upon the cross.- -9thly, To the altack upon the Son of God on the cross, this outrageous chief brought along with him the principalities and powers who were in his interest. But,
We proceed to describe the glory of his person who appeared in our nature, and crushed these terrible adversarios. The glory of his person was a great object in the eyes of men whom the Holy Ghost anointed, and sent forth to preach and to assemble the world to his standard, They insisted every where upon his works, and upon his benefits, and upon his laws and orslinances. But they did more. In their writings, these holy men set before the churches descriptions of the glory of his person,
upon these descriptions grafted the morality of Christianity, the only stock where this supernatural plant thrives and brings forth fruit unto God. Accordingly, in the Epistle to the Colossians, the writer has inserted a glorious description of bis person), operations, and grace, in these words: “\Vho is the image of the invisible God, the first"born of every creature. For by bint were all things "created that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible cand invisible, whether thrones or dominions, or princi"palities or powers, all things were created by him and cofor him. And he is before all things, and by him all sthings consist. And he is the head of the body, the "church, who is the beginning, the first-born from the “dead, that in all things he might have the pre-eminence. “For it pleased the Father, that in him should all fullness «dwell. And having made peace through the blood of his across, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by whim, I say, whether they be things in earth or things in "heaven." A similar description of his person and office is record d by the same writer, in the Epistle to the Philippians, “Who being in the form of God, thought sujt not robbery to be equal with God. Bat made hiin. «self of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a osservant, and was made in the likeness of men. And be. “ing found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, an! "became obedient unto death, even the death of the 6cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted bim,