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of life, will each find its suitable incitement prepared : the fear of man will bring one snare, the love of man another; and he has no difficulty in realizing the presiding presence of Satan and his angels in the haunts of mammon or among the splendours of earthly pomp, or where contending parties strive for mastery in the field of worldly distinction. He does not love such scenes, but duty calls him into them, and he

goes

softly, humbled in spirit, wary in mind, taking heed lest, amid the abundance of stumbling-blocks, he should fall. Thus the six days of labour pass, and how joy. ful is the Sabbath dawn releasing him from such necessary exposure to temptation. He thinks, perhaps, with a sigh of compassionate sorrow of those who, turning the grace of God into licentiousness, will certainly keep a Sabbath to Satan, and use the day of release from worldly business as an especial opportunity for sinning greedily in other ways than those of covetousness and strife ; but he goes himself to the house of prayer, under a delightful conviction that in seeking the sanctuary of God he flies from the presence of all his foes.

And so he does; but alas! God has as yet no sanctuary on earth into which those foes cannot enter. There is nothing in consecrated walls to repel them; nor is the most devotional frame of mind that man can bring himself into, a safeguard against their near approach. Rather does our conscientiousness of being on hallowed ground, and its attendant feeling of security, encourage the wily foe to do his boldest and his worst, where two or three are gathered together, with Christ Himself in the midst, there stands Satan, or some trusty emissary of his, at their right hand, to resist them. We are not left to conjecture whether it be so or not; our Lord distinctly expresses it, when explain. ing the parable of the sower: “Then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.” Matt. viii. 12. This, indeed, refers to a case where no true faith exists; but it proves

that when the word is preached, Satan is at hand to render it of no effect; and where is the Chris. tian who has never realized the presence, even in the hour of real communion with God, of something over which he has had to mourn as being sadly opposed to that perfect spirituality of mind, that joy and peace in believing, which he knows he ought to attain unto ?

We do not rightly estimate the enormous power of the enemy at those times and in those places where he may be considered as suffering an effectual check. A man may know “the plague of his own heart,” but he will gain very little in his efforts to subdue it, if he thinks he has that alone to strive against. It is the Devil whom we are told to resist ; and if half the prayers that we put up against the evil of our nature, were directed against him, personally and by name, we should soon experience a relief that is now more hardly and more partially obtained. Inquiry into the character and extent of Satanic power, however suc. cessful, is nothing without a vigorous application of the knowledge gained to our individual case: it is to reconnoiter an enemy whom we do not intend to fight; and who laughs at the pointing of our telescopes, if not followed up by the pointing of our guns.

There are some who will be constrained to acknow. ledge, that the surest signal for distress and annoyance in every shape is the attempt to commence or to prosecute some really good work; that so long as they give their attention to comparative trifles, or occupy themselves in a way productive of no particular advantage, in spiritual things, to themselves or others, they go on with tolerable ease and comfort: but let them attempt an aggressive movement on the Lord's side, and every thing is against them. There is no hinderance so great or so trivial, from the fracture of a limb to the mislaying or soiling of a sheet of paper, but it crosses their path; no suggestion, from that which leads to most sinful anger, or rebellious murmuring, or dishonouring doubt of God's faithfulness, down to the silliest fancy that can attract the moment's thought, but it will come in their way. Persons, whose habits are the most stu. dious, and whose thoughts need to be more especially abstracted from the passing events of the hour, will find in domestic confusion, the ailments of a family, the perverseness of servants, and the unreasonable encroach. ments of friends, sufficient to render their

progress

all but impossible; and perhaps in the midst of such opposition as it seems bootless to contend against, they are conscious of a tendency within toward that impious murmur, “ It is vain to serve God,"

In such a case, we pray for patience; it is well, for “ Ye have need of patience.” We ask more faith : it is better still, for “ All things are possible to him that believeth." We resolve to persevere through every obstruction that can encumber our path; and that is also meet and right, and our bounden duty, “ for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” But what a relief should we often experience, what freedom in our onward course, by one fervent, believing, under. standing aspiration in these appointed words, “ Deliver us from the evil one !"

One of the important uses of watchfulness combined with prayer, is to ascertain what form of supplication is most acceptable before the Lord. Now, Satan is the personal enemy of Christ in a sense, and to an extent that can be applied to no other. He is at once the originator, the director, and the leader of every species of rebellion in heaven and earth. When the Son of God took our nature upon him, and became in fashion as a man, Satan opposed him to his face, tempted, insulted, and finally used to the utmost his permitted power, instigating the treachery of Judas, the malig. nity of the Jews, and the cruelty of the Romans; throughout the whole narrative of our Lord's suffering sojourn, we trace this accursed spirit, not only in his deeds, but by name: and surely it behooves us to remember all this, and to put honour upon Him who came to destroy the works of the devil, by continually seeking his all-sufficient help against the conquered, but still mighty and dangerous adversary.

It is when we would draw nigh to God, with an earnest appeal against Satan, or persuade others so to do, that we find ourselves most furiously resisted in the outset, most truly set at liberty in the end. It is when we resolve to fight neither with small or great, but only against him who is the king of the infernal hosts, that he will be discomfited, and his legions thrown into confusion. Not that evil in every shape ought not to be most steadfastly resisted, but he who is pointed out to us by that significant appellation, “Your adversary, the devil,” is surely to be singled from the throng of which he is the head, and who all act in subordination to him.

All God's people undergo temptation, though not at all times, yet so very frequently, and in so many different forms, that the presence of an evil influence must be almost continual, and the power of suggesting sinful or foolish imaginations must be widely possessed and exercised among the tempters. The mind has an eye, and before that eye pictures are held, sometimes consisting even of the most ordinary concerns of daily life, accompanied with suggestions of an anxious, an irritating, a covetous, or other evil character, while the Christian is earnestly labouring after a composed spirit, and a collected mind for the service of the sanctuary. Whatever may be his usual occupations, his favourite studies, his prevailing wishes, these are so made use of as to oppose a bar between him and the simply devotional frame after which he longs, often intermixed with distressing doubts, vain speculations, and presumptuous reasonings, connected with the very duty that he is engaged in. What a terrible display should we behold if the mist were suddenly dispelled, and our eyes opened to discern these devils at their

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