Imatges de pÓgina
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destroyed himself and all whom he drew af. ter him ;-and instead of continuing the illuftrious and rational þeing he once was, he is now ranked with the brute creation, named and described as a dreadful beast, a dragon, lion, or dog.

The change of the character of this angel, which took place immediately upon his fall, from being the Son of the Morning, to that of a horrible fiend;--and the change of his condition, from being free in the habitation of light, to that of a beast chained in darkness, will illustrate to all eternity the infinite worth of Christ, and shew the absolute dependence of all the excellence and felicity of creatures upon him.

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Section 2. The Fall of Man. The devil, having departed from the beginning, and become an enemy to the truth, immediately determined

upon war, means he might dethrone his sovereign, and overthrow his kingdom; and as man was alsociated with the Lord Christ, and stood with him in the interest and on the party of the government, his ground became, as it were, the out.poft or frontier of the empire, and presented the natural point for commencing the attack.

As man was made in the image of God, and crowned with his glory and honor, it might be supposed that the mysterious char.

ter of his dominion extended to an ascendancy over the angels; for, indeed, without any exception, he was by the Lord God set over the works of his hands; against man, therefore, this proud, disobedient and rebellious spirit rose up, as against his lord and sove. reign.—And as man had begun to exercise the highest acts of sovereignty, by giving names to the creatures, which were among the first exercises in a way of administration that existed in the creation; he was confidered as standing high upon the ground of this dominion; so that, in this his wonderful union with Christ, the reasons are apparent, why the devil aimed at man his first blow,

And here, again, we may view and admire the depth of the divine counsel, that the same circumstance in the state of man which occa. fioned his overthrow, led to his recovery, viz. that the matter which, raised against him an eneiny, was a cause of infinitę value, and an interest in common between him and the Lord Christ, in which the Lord his maker had the greatest share!

The serpent, which for powers of intelli. gence was above all the beasts of the field,

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instrument to be employed in carrying this dark design into effect; for which purpose, the necessary trial of man, give him the knowledge of truth and obedience, according to the good pleasure of God, afforded a fair opening.

From what has been observed, respecting a certain analogy subsisting between the subjects of both worlds, the association of this

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angelic spirit with the serpent, may not seem so strange: for in such a political concern, or matter of late, whilst the Lord of Heaven afTociated with man in the interest of the government, a design of rebellion would naturally lead those lubjects of the upper world to seek a correspondence abroad, in. order to draw into their interest the subjects of this, where immediately the scene of action was designed to commence.

And it should ever be a warning to all who are distinguished for their natural endowments, not to trust even to superior sagacity and genius.; that the most fubtile and intelligent of all the creatures of the world, was the first to be drawn into that accursed enterprize, in which he was crushed to the ground and irrecoverably loft; for, though the other creatures will be preserved, and enjoy at last the gloriou ; liberty of the children of God; yet, by the irrevocable decree of Heaven, the serpent and all his generation shall die, On account of this early connexion of the arch rebel with the ferpent, and also of his subtile and wily character, he himself is doomed to bear the hateful name of the serpent.

Upon this ground, therefore, of the inte. est of the kingdom, and the question who shall have the dominion? the war of ages first broke out; and notwithstanding the fuc. cessful attempts which have been made, in these last days, to conceal the nature of Je. sus Chrill's golpel, and to divert the attention of men from the Hope of Israel in the restor

ution of the kingdom, to systems of mere piety, religion and morality; the kingdom--the do&trine of the kingdom is still, and to the great day of decision, will be the point, the all-interesting ground of the solemn controverly. And being thus at once assaulted, by the subtilty of the ferpent, and the falsehood of the devil, the woman was deceived and fell; and by one of the deepeit stratagems that was ever conceived, together with the na. tural force of, perhaps, as tempting an object as ever allured the human eye, the man also was overcome and ruined.

By the fall, man lost the inage of God, and as necessarily expired as a living foul, as the body expires. feparated from air; ihe crown of glory and honor fell from his head, and he ceased to be lord of the creation, and became like the beasts that perish, as necessa. rily as the breathlefs body loses its glory and strength, and changes into a corpfe.-- This event most strikingly illustrated ihe all-inportant truth, that all the blessedness, glory and power

of creatures arise from their uni. on with the blessed, glorious and almighty Word; that life, and the favor of God is enjoyed only through the Lord of Life, the beLoved One, who was set up from everlasting,

And being thus without strength, having left the Rock of Ages, man, and the whole cre. ation with him, necessarily fell under the pow. er and tyranny of the great enemny the who, by the displacing of Adam, came in and took posfellion of the whole realın, and set up over man and all the creation, the reign of death.

This finished what is called the threatening to Adam, dying thou shalt die. Falling from Christ his life, fatan rose over him armed with power derived from his separation from the only source of life, and which is therefore called the power of death, and set up over him the dominion of darkness, tyranny and horror, But the darkness and misery of the power and reign of the devil in the world, serves thus to brighten the illustration of the light and blessedness of the power and reign of the Lord of Light and Blessedness.

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Section 3. Depravily. The doctrine of the entire depravity of man by the fall, properly stated, can admit of no dispute but what implies either ignorance or disbelief of the whole divine system; for as the uprightness and perfection of man all consisted in the divine constitution of his creation; his being made in the image of God; the loss of this standing in covenant union with Christ, must imply a state of to: tal and universal depravity.

The idea of the covenant of life being part: ly broken, and partly kept, or of the divine union with Christ being parıly lost, and partly retained, has never been advanced; such a thing is inconceivable; what was declared by the word of God, was the most evident truth, that in the day man should eat of the tree that was the article of the trial of his co

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