Sivut kuvina

they might be thereby, yet every thing is to be sathered upon one wicked angel, who was the sirst that ever framed and circulated lies, and was the cause of others doing the same. Here then in one single angel, who was created in glory, and had the truth delivered unto him, lying, and consequently all sinning, began. He left and forsook the path os truth , in order to follow that of falsehood.

The nature of his crime is mentioned by Paul

in the second chapter of the epistle to the Col

lossians, and that was, not holding the head;

owing to his being puffed up with vanity and

pride. He gave way to the vain thought,

that it was too much condescenfion in him

to accept of a place or title under a superior.

This was the religion which he had set up in

heaven among angels, and also on earth among

the sons of men. Against this therefore the ap

postle cautions the Coloflians, asserting that Christ

the son and image of the invisible God, was the

head and ruler of all orders of created beings:

and that holding him, and honoring him as such,

was the true religion, which stood in direct

opposition opposition to the lying religion of the corrupt and apostate angels. Satan got the inserior angels to espouse his cause, by telling them lies. These lies must be pleasing; else they would be no baits. They consisted in promises, that he would raise them to higher dignities and places than they could hope for where they were. That he would advance them out of those inserior stations which they had hitherto silled up, to principalities: and, to the dignities of high powers and rulers through the' system. This was plainly the bribe which took, and corrupted all that would hearken to his flatteries and impositions.

Indeed when he attacked the woman, he could not ask her to declare for him as her head and ruler. For being obliged to metamorphose himself into the mean habit and form of a serpent, ttiere. would have been no sense in a reptile's claim to divine and independent sovereignty. But still it is the same sin he has under hand , for he puts it into her head to do the same as he had done, in aiming at independency and equality with God.

But when he came to try our Lord, being


permitted to put on a more creditable form, and

having in vain endeavored by other means to

make impressions upon him, resolved to make his

last and chief attempt by bribery. And when by

his juggling he had presented to his view a beautiful

landscape of the earth, and not knowing as yet

his real character, proposes himself to him as

a head and sovereign: and, assures him, that

if he would own him under this title, and as a

token of it sall down and worship htm, it was in

his power to be of great service to him. He would

make him the head and lord of the whole earth;

and put him in possession of it, as a gift or

gratuity for his interest in support of his cause.

Bribery is, of all sins the most powerful, taking,

and ensnaring: therefore when the devil saw,

that he could make no impression this way, he

gave up the point. If this sailed, success by

any thing else was not to be expected;

Biibery is the sin with which the devil inspires all the wicked rulers of the earth; and spreads it through the community, as what sixes it upon the same basis as his own kingdom. Bribery is the master-piece in the mystery of iniquity. It is the most antient, most damnable, devilish and complicated of all the mischief in the universe. Hell had its origin and foundation in it, and almost all its interests are carried on and supported by it, through every age of the world.

Christians are therefore particularly cautioned and armed against the intrigues of the devil upon this head, as the main principle and strength of his cause. Ephesians 6. 10. — Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God,. that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in those celestial places, as the word is. The ephesian christians are here taught the nature of their conflict, and the necessity of a resolute stand in order to make good their ground. They are advised to be strong and well armed, for that the sight in which they had engaged, was not against flesh and blood: not against men unassisted, but inspired and helped by the devils. They were to oppose and overcome the powers ,

rulers rulers and magistrates of the earth, as inspired and hurried on by the devil and his various orders of grandees, whom he had in the beginning, raised to principalities, salse titles and dignities; not knowing, I dare say then, the nature of the kingdom they were setting up.

The rulers of the earth would have a great deal of evil in them, and opposition to the gospel, if they were left to themselves as they are sinful creatures; but nothing comparable to what they now have as inspired by the apostate angels. These are managing the spiritual principles of wickedness in the celestials: so the apostle expresses it. Those principles of wickedness which were hatched in the celestial regions, and proved so powerlul to make a party for the devil in the beginning, are of all others what they are most diligent to inspire the rulers of the earth with, in order to turn civil government, the most glorious thing on this side heaven, into an enormous system of darkness. These principles, are perjury and bribery. These were the sirst principles of the kingdom of batan which he set up in heaven or the upper realms, and doubtless intended to, N 2 maintain

« EdellinenJatka »