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less openly revolting than the gross idolatry of that system, but not less fatal to the soul if persisted in, will be supplied, for those who would hurl the anathema at an angel from heaven, if he dared to preach up the Some will be led astray, but not finally ; for
; it is plainly said, “Some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end.” Dan. xi. 35.
And to this the apostle seems to refer, where he says of the sins and judgments of Israel, “ Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples, and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore, let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall.” 1 Cor. x. 11, 12. No vain speculation should mix itself up with this solemn subject: It is one where each believer must seek in. struction how to arm himself for the great battle, in which he may expect ere long to be engaged: the word of God alone, prayerfully studied and practically applied, will show to each of us the might, the wrath, and the purpose of our adversary. It will also show us how that adversary is to be met and conquered ; even by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of our testirnony.
THE DOOM OF SATAN AND HIS ANGELS.
In the sentence pronounced upon the serpent, it was declared that the seed of the woman should bruise his head. A blow inflicted on the vital part indicates final destruction ; and in accordance with this, the apostle tells us that our Lord Jesus became partaker of flesh and blood, “ that through death he might DESTROY him that had the power of death, that is the devil.” Heb. ii. 14. We find the great enemy, first an angel, not koeping his holy estate, but becoming rebellious, transformed into a liar and a murderer, composing the ruin of this beautiful creation, and drawing a creature, made in the image of God, into deadly transgression against his merciful and glorious Maker. Still having occasional access to heavenly places, we find him availing himself of it to accuse before God those whom he had tempted into sin, and to resist the work of mer. cy towards man. Then, cast wholly out of heaven, we learn that he vents his great wrath upon the in. habitants of earth, and for a limited time plunges them
in fearful woes. Lastly, the doom for which he knows himself to be reserved is inflicted; and he, with all his legions of accursed spirits, are cast into a pit of sul phurous flames, there to abide forever and ever.
The intimations given of this final judgment are many and explicit. Jude, with whose words we com menced our proofs, in those words declared the end * The angels that kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness, unto the judgment of the great day.” Jude 6. They are, themselves, perfectly well aware of what is coming upon them; as St. James implies when speaking of a faith that works not by love, an acknowledgment of God's being, power, and justice, without any sense of redeeming mercy, any conformity to his will. 'Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe and tremble." James ii. 29. They made the same admission themselves, when terrified by the sudden appearance of their dreaded Judge. The “ legion” saw him coming :-" And behold they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thec, Jesus, thou Son of God ? Art thou come hither to torment us before the time ?" Matt. viii. 29. And again the unclean spirit in the synagogue "Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth ? Art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God.” Mark i. 24. On another occasion one of the devils “ besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country;" (Mark v.
10 ;) or as St. Luke expresses it, “They besought him that he would not
command them to go out into the deep ;” (Luke viii. 31 ;) by which must be understood the bottomless pit ; since, on having their request granted, they immediately entered the swine, and of their own accord, rushed down into the sea.
Our Lord has foreshown their dreadful doom; in which all who remain under the dominion of Satan, must likewise partake : “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.” Matt. xxv. The constant contemplation of this their certain end, must greatly aggravate the malignity of evil spirits : nothing is so hardening as despair. Their sin was unpardonable ; and Christ“ took not on him the nature of angels,” (Heb. ii. 16,) to work out for them the redemption which in his infinite compassion he vouchsafed to achieve for their wretched victim, man. There could be none to tempt Satan into rebellion as he tempted Eve to disobedience; and how irritating must it be to a mighty, spiritual, angelic being, to see a creature formed out of the dust, redeemed from his power at so vast a price as the blood of the incarnate God, while he, and the myriads of his companion spirits are passed by-left to perish forever! We see with what horrible rage and cruelty he used the power, for a short time committed to him, that the innocent Jesus might suffer. Most signally was he baffled! he came against Christ to tempt and seduce, and was repelled, put to shame, and driven away: he came against him to smite and kill, and in so doing was himself destroyed; his usurped empire wrested from him, the prey for which he had so long toiled taken out of his net, and the mortal bruise inflicted on his accursed head. Our blessed Lord, in the immediate prospect of his sufferings, said, “Now is the judgment of this world : now shall the prince of this world be cast out,” John xii. 31. The result was certain, the triumph secured. He had before, in the rich success of the first Gospel missionaries, beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven: (Luke x. 18 :) now, in the contemplation of his own death, “ the travail of his soul,” he saw him cast out from his last refuge on earth, and about to sink into the lake of fire.
The order of events, as regards this final casting out, is very distinctly set forth. We have already seen the predictions of that short period of great wrath, when Satan and his attendant devils shall try the world with unprecedented calamities, and gather its kings and captains to battle against the King of kings and Lord of lords. At this point vengeance first overtakes him : his chosen instrument, the beast, and the false prophets that wrought miracles before him, are taken, and cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone: (Rev. xix. 20 :) and then follows the event to which the Church looks forward with such longing desire : “ And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit, and a great chain in his hand : and he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, and cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years should be fulfilled : and after that, he must be loosed