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regard them, and to take timely shelter under the shadow of the immovable rock.

The distinguishing mark of Satan's false Christs is, that they are only half Saviours; man is, in some way, to make up the deficiency: and so, seeking to be justified by the law, he falls from grace_Gal. v. 4. Sa. tan well knows how sure is that word, which received its primary accomplishment on the day of Pentecost. “ It shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered ”—Joel ii. 32; and when the final “great and terrible day" shall draw near, he will put forth all his subtlety to deceive men, that they may call on some name which can afford no deliverance, like Baal's priests; or, as did the sons of Sceva, call unbelievingly on Him who is nigh to help only when the prayer is breathed from the lip of faith.

Nor is his craft in this matter confined to the exhi. bition of something manifestly different from the truth : there is a way of preaching even the pure doctrines of the Bible, that will in a great measure neutralize their effects. The apostle could declare, “we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord;" and so they di as we may perceive from the recorded sermons of these first inspired teachers, in the book of Acts: the sum and substance of their discourse was, “Flee from the wrath to come.” They showed the terrors of that wrath, and they held forth Jesus Christ as the only refuge from it; as they told of his death and re. surrection, his power in heaven and in earth, and the certainty of his coming to judge and to reign. “Be it

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known to you," was their proclamation to the Jews, “that through this man is preached unto you the for giveness of sins; and by him all that believe are jus. tified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses." Acts xiii. 38, 39. To the Gentiles they declared, “ To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name, whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins ;” (Acts X. 43 ;) and this mode of preaching is according to the mind of God: He owns it, and blesses it; and by its simplicity, which in the wisdom of this world is called “ foolishness," he saves them that believe. 1 Cor. i. 21. There is nothing Satan dreads more than a min. istry of this stamp; accordingly he draws men away from the homely backward path, fills them with notions of their own sufficiency, persuades them that originality is a great gift, much to be coveted, and that intellect is the right door to men's souls. He points out here a Paul, there an Apollos, and in another pul. pit a Cephas: whose respective hearers presently discover, each that his own minister is the very model of all that a minister ought to be, and his style of preaching precisely what is most needed. Hence we hear whispers among the separating congregations, not of conscience-stricken sorrow for sin, not of awakened praise for salvation, not of deep desire for the continu. ed presence of him who has been (or ought to have been) visibly set forth crucified among them; but “What a splendid discourse! How great Mr. was to day! What eloquence, what imagery, what clear views he takes ! Certainly our pastor has no

equal among his brethren.”

Hence that system of sermon-hunting, which as Cecil well remarked, is little better than fox-hunting; hence the Sabbath desecra. tion, the carriage called out to bear its owner to some favourite place of worship; the horses robbed of their assigned season of repose, the attendant domestics either excluded from, or cruelly curtailed in their share of religious ordinances; and so, too often, carnality is insensibly substituted for spirituality,

This ought not 10 be: an adversary hath done it, and the same adversary well knows what immense advantage he must gain by the system, when he succeeds in drawing one of these popular men aside from the straight path. Many of those who think they only follow the teacher, because he follows Christ, will be betrayed into still following him, when he has turned his back upon the Lord. Satan first infected man with his own diabolical disease-pride; and the whole turn of the gospel of Christ is to provide an antidote for that venom. And first, the preaching of the cross is a cross to the preacher, if he do it aright; for he must be content to forego much of what is highly esteemed among men, and to be nothing that Christ may be all. Line upon line, line upon line; precept upon precept, precept upon precept; the wearisome repetition of that one story, “ Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners;" that one warning, “ He that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him :” that one direction, “ Repent, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out :” such a mode of dealing with a world dead in trespasses and sins, will never give the preacher undue pre-eminence among men, but it will glorify his master, and save souls.

Where now shall we go for this heaven-inspired strain ? Many such ministers there doubtless are whose rule of teaching is “Christ exalted, and selfabased;" but we may more readily find the thing which Satan fears in the pages of John Bunyan, or John Flavel, than from the lips of eloquent pastors in our own day. If Paul should come to hold a visitation of what we have reason to believe was once a part of his own wide diocese, surely he would be constrained to put the searching question, “Are ye not carnal ?”

We are now writing of Satanic wrath as his permitted day shortens, and his wrath does not always vent itself in explosions of rage. It works sometimes in secrecy and darkness; fierce, indeed, and cruel always but never devoid of skilful cunning to direct it. There is as much of his wrath in the speaking of smooth things, and the prophesying of peace to those with whom the Lord has a controversy, as in the greatest tumult of violence. Who shall tell the extent of that wrathful hatred against God and his fair creation, which prompted the bland insinuating lie, “Ye shall not surely die.” Oh that ministers and congregations would bear in mind, equally bear in mind how great a stake the enemy has in drawing away their minds from the unadorned simplicity that is in the doctrines of the cross.

But the doctrine of the crown is another which he now struggles with all his infernal might to suppress. A crucified Saviour, an atoning sacrifice, a mediating High Priest in heaven, he loathes to think on, or to suffer his bond-slaves to hear of; but a reigning king, about to rescue the earth from all his usurpations, to plant his throne in righteousness in the midst of his people, to send forth his word from Zion, and his law from Jerusalem. This is the very knell of Satan's departure; and to stifle the sound he will foster humility. itself, or any grace by the perversion of which he may hope to seal the preacher's lips on that fearful topic, For eighteen centuries he has heard the petition resounding on all sides, “ Thy kingdom come;" and he cares not how often it is reiterated, (as witness the Papacy with its everlasting repetitions of Pater-nosters,) so long as men do not inquire into the nature of that coming kingdom, or watch for its approach. An imperfect Gospel' he can tolerate, and in our day that is an imperfect Gospel which omits the great truth of a speedy manifestation of the Lord from heaven. The sound of his conqueror's chariot wheels is a fearful sound to Satan; and knowing that nothing will so surely turn the attention of the Church upon himself as the heralding of Christ's approach, he will strike almost any bargain, of which a condition is the silencing of that ominous voice.

In connexion with this part of the subject, we may call to mind the parable of our Lord, where he describes the proceedings of the unclean spirit, who has left for a time his habitation, as distinguished from that effectual expulsion which God only can accomplish. “When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he

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