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LXXVII.

THE MEANS OF DEFEATING SATAN'S MALICE.

1 Pet. v. 8, 9. Be sober, be vigilant: because your adversary

the devil, as a rouring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he muy devour: whom rejiji, jedfat in the faith.

THERE are many who deny the influences of the Holy Spirit

No wonder therefore if the agency of Satan be called in question

But there is abundant proof in the Scriptures that Satan exercises a power.over the minds of men-

St. Peter had learned this truth by bitter experience

In this view the caution he gives us is worthy of particular attention I. The malice of Satan

Satan is the great adversary of mankind--
It was he who caused the fall of our first parents ---

He has exerted a fimilar influence over all their defcendants

He ftill maintains his enmity against the feed of the Woman

He is justly compared to " a roaring lion"-
He is subtle

The lion prowls with subtilty in search of prey-
This is noticed in David's defcription of wicked mene
Satan also uses many devices to destroy fouls -
He suits his temptations to us with aftonithing craft

He draws us into his fnare before we are aware of his designs

To be acquainted with his devices is a most eminent and useful part of Chriftian knowledge'-) He is active

[The lion ranges far and wide in search of his prey-And Satan" walks to and fro throughout the earth 3 He ceases not from his exertions day or night

He

Gen. iii. 1-5.

Eph. vi. 11. & Job i. 7. and the text.

Gen, iii, 15. c 2 Cor. ii. ii.

EPS. x. 9, 10.

Ib. > Rev. xii, 10.

men

He is the more diligent as knowing that his time is limited He has legions of emiffaries acting in concert with himnk

If at any time he fufpend his attacks, it is but for a season, that he may return afterwards with greater advantage :-) He is cruel

[The lion little regards the agonies which he occasionsNor has Satan any compassion for the fouls which he destroys

The lavage animal kills to satisfy the calls of nature-
But our advertary reaps no benefit from the destruction of

His exertions ferve only to increase his own guilt and misery

Yet is he insatiable in his thirst for our condemnation - -] He is power ful

[Feebie is the resistance of a lamb against the voracious lion

Still more impotent are men before “ the god of this world”

Satan has a limited power over the elements themselves
The ungodly are altogether fubjected to his will -

Nor would the saints have the imallest power to resist him, if. God should deliver them into his hands Par]

If we believe this representation of Satan's malice, we cannot but desire to know II. The means of defeating it

Our adversary, though great, is not invincible-

There is one stronger than he, that can overcome him

And God has prescribed means whereby we also vanquish him Moderation

[An uudue attachmenť to the things of time and sense gives him a great advantage over us

He

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k Mark v. 9.

i Rev. xii. 12.

Compare Luke iv. 13. with Luke xxii. 53. * This is ttrongly intimated in the word xatamin," he would swallow us up."

A Job i. 12, 19. He is called “the prince of the power of the air.". • Epb ii. 2. 2 Tim. ii. 26.

? Many who have appeared lights in the church have been swept away by the tail of this great dragon, Rev. xii. 3. 4.

9 Luke xi. 21, 220

He will not fail to assault us on our weak fide!

But a deadness to the world will in fome measure difarm him

He prevailed not against our Lord, because he found no irregular affection in him

Nor could he to ealily overcome us if we disregarded earthly things

A contempt of life has been a principal mean whereby the saints and martyrs in all ages have triumphed over him_ Vigilance

[Unwatchfulness, even in a victorious army, exposes it to defeat

Much more must it fubject us to the power of our subtle enemy

St. Peter bad experienced its bapeful effects-
He had been warned of Satan's intention to allault him

He had been commanded to pray left he should fall by the lemptation

But he llept when he should have been praying

He stands in this respect, like Lol's wife", a monument to future generations

But vigilance on our part will counteract the designs of Satan

The armed Christian, walching unto prayer, must be victorious ] Fortitude

[The timid Christian falls into a thousand fnares -
The only way to obtain a victory is, to fight manfully-
And this is the duty of every follower of Christ
We must never give way to Satand
We are called to wrestle and contend with him
Nor shall our resistance be in vain-]
Faith

[Unbelief is a powerful instrument in the hands of Satan—

He excites it in us that he may turn us from the faith-
We must therefore hold fast the doctrines of faith-

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It was he who instigated Judas to treachery, and Ananias to falfehood; but he wrought by means of their covetousness, John xiii. 2. Ads v. 3. s John xiv. 30. + Rev, xii. 11.

u Luke xxii. 31. Luke xxii. 40. y Luke xxii. 45, 46.

2 Luke xvii. 32. Eph. vi. 18.

o Prov. xxix. 25. Eph. vi. 10, 13. d Eph. iv. 27.

Eph. vi. 12. f Jaines iv. 7.

Satan is not only checked but terrified, and van. quided by the resistance of the weakest Chriftian,

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We Mould not suffer ourselves to be moved from the hope of the golpel

This is our anchor whereby we most outride the storm
We must also ttedfasily exercise the grace of faith-
This is the weapon whereby we overcome the world be

And by this shall we triumph over Satan himfelf-]
APPLICATION

[let not the ungodly despite this adversaryBut let them feek deliverance from himn through the

And let the godly be continually on their guard against him

So shall they experience that promised blessing ---]

gospelk

& Heb. vi, 19,
• A&s xxvi. 18.

h , John v. 40 12 Cor. xi. 3,

Eph. vi. 16. in Rom. xvi. 20.

LXXVIII. THU CAUSES OF OUR SAVIOUR's

INCARNATION.

Luke i. 78, 79. Through the tender mercy of our God, the

Dayspring from on high hath visited us, to give light to them that fit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.

OUR Saviour's birth, though in many respects pecu, liarly low and abject, was attended with some circumftances not unworthy the occasion

We might mention his miraculous conception, the acclamations of angels, &c. &c.

But'we shall only advert to the account given in the context of bis Forerunner, who was prophesied of by Isaiah-named by the angel betore his conception in the womb-born in a preternatural way-celebrated by feveral to whom the spirit of prophecy was given after it bad been withdrawn from Israel three hundred years-commissioned to prepare men for the reception of the Saviour, and to publish the tidings in the text I. Our Saviour's incarnation His birth is set forth under the idea of the rising fun

• He is spoken of to this effcet in the Old Testament

Sinilar descriptions are also given of him in the New Teftament

He admirably answers to these defcriptions 1. In himself

[He is to us what the fun is in the material worldHe is the author of all light, natural', intellectuald, fpi. ritual -]-2. In the effects produced by him

[The face of valure withers or revives, according as the influence of the fun upon it is increated or diminished

So the foul continues dead or is quickened, according as the Sun of righteoulnels withholds or imparts his invigorating raysHe hath visited our benighted world

[A dawning of his appearance had been long visible in the promises, in the prophetic writings, and in the Mosaic ritual

But at his incarnation he began more clearly to illumine this horizon

He diffused a light around hiin by his doctrine and example-

They, who could see through the veil of his felh, beheld his glory-)

This event is as interesting now as at the first moment it took place : We Thould endeavour to have our fouls deeply impressed with it II. The causes of it

We confine our attention to those mentioned in the text -

The final cause of it was the falvation of man

- [The ftate both of Jews and Gentiles was truly deplorabie

Nor is our fiate, if we be unregenerate, fuperior to theirs

We are “in darknes" with respect to our molt important concerns

We

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a By Balaani, Numb. xxiv. 17. by Isaiah, ix. 2. with Matt. iv. 16. by Malachi, iv. 2.

By John Baptist, John i. 9. by our Lord himself, John viii. 12. by Peter, 2 Pet. i. 19. by John the evangelist, Rev. xxii. 16. and again as the light of heaven itselt, Rev. xxi. 23.

d Job xxxviii. 36. • James i, 17.

« Gen. i. 3.

f John i. 14.

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