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ty to a nation, warrants the propriety of applying it to certain states of the individual sinner. And what an affecting view does it present of the untiring, encroaching, all-engrossing power of the enemy ! how solemnly does it warn us to resist his first approaches! Having obtained a lodgment in the heart of the ungodly, he consults their vicious taste panders to their depraved appetites, and thus seeks to make himself necessary to their peace. In the sin which most easily besets them he finds his power, and a convenient avenue by which he can always command an entrance and a welcome to the inmost chambers of their souls. They arise in the morning, without being able to say whether he will have gained a fresh triumph over them before night or not: they have so often yielded, that they feel it will only depend on whether they are tempted or not: if he comes in the shape of their favorite sin, they will surrender again as a matter of course. They perceive, indeed, some of the evil consequences which will attend it; they dread his approach; they foresee that it will occasion them anguish afterwards; but he has only to appear in the form of the tyrant sin, and they throw themselves prostrate at his feet, while he casts his chain around them once more. From the moment he achieves his first triumph, he seeks to make the heart his house ;' till, having transmuted it into his own nature, though he should go through the whole world seeking rest, he would find none so congenial as that human house. Circumstances may occur which may induce him for a time to quit his residence. But if during that interval divine grace does not seize the throne of the heart, it will again be reclaimed, and re-entered with a large reinforcement of the enemy, and held with a seven-fold power. He will patiently wait if necessary, till they have outlived the alarm which led to his withdrawment; wait till they have passed through every

downward stage of fear, doubt, indifference, obduracy, enmity; wait for years till he is again solicited to return and resume his power. Then does he avenge his temporary expulsion with fearful rigor. Every faculty of the mind is entered and possessed. The serpent sin coils around the heart, and infixes his fangs, with a power which threatens never to unloose.

Are we disposed to entertain hard thoughts of that arrangement of the divine government which permits our exposure to satanic wiles ? It should be enough for us to remember that God will finally justify, not only this, but all his ways to man. This arrangement, however, is only part of that all-encircling mystery-the origin of evil-so that to notice it here would be gratuitously to misplace it. We will only suggest, therefore, in passing, that the divine Being, in not preventing satanic temptation by the arbitrary exercise of power, is only acting consistently with the requirements of a moral government; a government which opposes principle by principle, and not by physical force or coercion; that, as the virtue of good men finds an appropriate sphere for action, and is improved by resisting the influence of the wicked, so it is highly probable the excellence of the holy angels is exercised and advanced by their efforts to counteract the powers of evil; that the Almighty may be considered as doing every thing necessary to vindicate his benevolence, by counterbalancing the agency of the evil, by the activity of his holy angels: while, in superadding to their activity in our behalf, the omnipo. tent aid of his Holy Spirit, he is greatly magnifying his grace; that, in securing the final triumph of that kingdom which embraces all the elements of moral good over that which comprehends everything of evil, he is entitling himself to an infinite revenue of glory; and, finally, that a principal ingredient in the happiness of the redeemed,

will result from a clear and comprehensive survey of those tremendous powers of evil over which they will have triumphed.

In the mean time, it should be borne in mind, that in no instance in which Satan acquires dominion over the sinner does he obtain it by force; the means which he employs are perfectly compatible with human freedom; so that the surrender of the sinner is voluntary, he sells himself to work iniquity. If the enemy sow tares in the field of the church, or of the individual mind, it is done while men sleep;' if he cometh, and catcheth away the good seed sown in the heart,’ it is when the subject of it understandeth it not;' does not lay his mind to it; or, if he re-enters the soul, after a transient absence, with seven-fold strength, it is only when he finds his house empty, swept, and garnished,' to welcome his return. The sole secret of his power over us, is to be found in our own depravity; the soul may be set on fire of hell,' the live coal may be brought from the infernal fires, but the combustible materials were already collected and laid in the depraved soul. And, accordingly, though our depravity is frequently ascribed to the wicked one,' yet his agency is never alleged as an excuse for our sinfulness, but, on the contrary, as its last aggravation.

We have already remarked that the days of the reign of Satan are numbered: the chain which is to bind him is forged, and the fires which shall encircle him are already kindled, the breath of the Lord like a stream of brimstone hath kindled them.' And the day is appointed when they who have lived his willing slaves shall find themselves involved in the coils of the same chain, and enveloped in the same penal fires. The Judge of all • shall say unto them on his left hand, Depart, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.' Those who



have tempted, and they who have embraced temptation are the two classes which comprise all the pollution in the universe; as such, the besom of destruction shall sweep them together into one place; as the refuse of sin, the nuisance and leavings of the creation, Gehenna, the receptacle of all the elements of pollution, shall enlarge its capacious bosom to receive them ; where, as the appropriate fuel of almighty wrath, they shall .burn together, and none shall quench them.'




I am the resurrection and the life.'


That question in religion which takes precedence of every other; the existence of God excepted; and which gives character and importance to them all, is the ancient inquiry, entailed with unabated interest on each succeeding generation, 'If a man die, shall he live again ?' Independent of revelation-if indeed any of the human race have ever been quite independent of it-men have generally anticipated a future existence, as a doctrine harmonizing with their desires and wants, and with the character of a righteous moral governor. The instinctive horror with which the soul recoils from the thought of annihilation ; its ardent longing after a perpetuity of life, and its strong presentiment of it; its constant progress in knowledge and power up to the moment of death; its capability of abstracting itself from this world, and conceiving of univer

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sal natures, and nobler states of being; the prodigality with which it lavishes its great powers on unworthy objects, owing to the inadequacy of every thing earthly to engage them; the necessity of the hope of immortality to develope and give scope to its latent powers; and the principles and design of a moral government, in punishing sin and rewarding virtue; these considerations are so many steps by which men have emerged from the sepulchre, ascended the throne, and, in hope, seized the crown of immortality. Now throughout the kingdom of animated niiture, wherever an organ or faculty is to exist character. istic of the species to which it belongs, a kind of pre-assurance is given, a practical anticipation that it will, by and by, be developed ; nor is this prophecy ever falsified. The most perfect human being is, at best, in this world, nothing more than an unfinished sketch of humanity; a creature full of these pre-assurances and anticipations of future development, and final perfection: unless, then, his instincts and essential principles are a splendid false. hood; unless the divine signatures impressed on his nature be a forgery, a grave imposture, unless humanity itself be a lie, a deep-laid conspiracy against all right and happiness, we are warranted in the hope of immortality. Under the government of a righteous Being, we naturally look for an illustration of his character in his works; we ponder the volume of nature, and find it to contain one vast and compacted argument for the divine perfections; but deny to man a future existence, and the argument is flawed, and the character of God which it professes to vindicate, stands impeached.

We, however, who enjoy the light of the gospel, are liable to over-rate the argument derived from nature, and to forget that, to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, nothing short of a divine revelation can give to the

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