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all evil: and then shall all the saints in earth and heaven gloriously triumph in him, and sing, “ Hallelujah, salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: for true and righteous are his judgments; for be hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand. Hallelujah: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.":
6. Christ will appear gloriously above all evil in the consummation of the redemption of his elect church at the end of the world. Then will be completed the whole work of redemption with respect to all that Christ died for, both in its impetration and application; and not till then. And then will Christ's exaltation above all evil be most perfectly and fully manifest. Then sball the conquest and triumph be completed with respect to all of them. Then shall all the devils, and all their instruments, be brought before Christ, to be judged and condemned. And then shall be completed their destruction in their consummate and everlasting misery; when they shall be all cast into the lake of fire, no more to rage, and usurp dominion in the world; or have liberty to make opposition against God and Christ: they shall for ever be shut up, thenceforward only to suffer. Then shall death be totally destroyed. All the saints shall be delivered everlastingly from it. Even their bodies shall be taken from the power of death, by a glorious resurrection.
Then shall all guilt, and all sin and corruption, and all affliction, all sighs and tears, be utterly and eternally abolished, concerning every one of the elect; they being all brought to one complete body, to their consummate and immutable glory. And all this as the fruit of Christ's blood, and as an accomplishment of his redemption.
Then all that evil, which has so prevailed, and so exalted itself, and usurped and raged, and reigned, shall be perfectly and for ever thrust down and destroyed, with respect to all the elect; and all will be exalted to a state wberein they will be for ever immensely above all these things. “ And there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”+
The Subject improved and applied. 1. In this we may see how the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ appears in the work of redemption. It was because
the Father had from eternity a design of exceedingly glorifying his Son, that be appointed him to be the person that should thus triumph over the evil in the world. The work of redemption is the most glorious of all God's works that are made known to us. The glory of God most remarkably shines forth in it. And this is one thing wherein its glory eminently appears, that therein Christ appears so gloriously above Satan and all bis instruments; above all guilt, all corruption, all affliction, above death, and above all evil
. And more especially, because evil hath so exalted itself in the world, as we have heard; and exalted itself against Christ in particular.
Satan has ever had a peculiar enmity against the Son of God. Probably his first rebellion, which was his condemnation, was his proudly taking it in disdain, when God declared the decree in heaven, that his Son, in man's nature, should be the king of heaven; and that all the angels should worship bim. However that was, yet it is certain that his strife has ever been especially against the Son of God. The enmity has always been between the seed of the woman, and the serpent. And therefore that war which the devil maintains against God, is represented by the devil and his angels fighting against Michael and his angels.* This Michael is Cbrist.
God had appointed his Son to be the beir of the world; but the devil has contested this matter with him, and has strove to set himself up as god of the world. And bow exceedingly has the devil exalted himself against Christ! How did he oppose him as he dwelt among the Jews, in his tabernacle and temple! And how did he oppose him when on earth! And how has he opposed him since bis ascension ! What great and mighty works has Satan 'brought to pass in the world; how many Babels has he built up to heaven, in his opposition to the Son of God! How exceeding proud and haughty has he appeared in his opposition ! How have be and his instruments, and sin, affliction, and death, of which he is the fatber, raged against Christ! But yet Christ, in the work of redemption, appears infinitely above them all. In this work he triumphs over them, bowever they have dealt proudly; and they all appear under his feet. In this the glory of the Son of God, in the work of redemption, reinarkably appears.
The beauty of good appears with the greatest advantage, when compared with its contrary evil. And the glory of that which is excellent, then especially shews itself, when it triunphs over its contrary, and appears vastly above it, in its greatest height. The glory of Christ, in this glorious exaltation over so great evil, that so exalted itself against him,
the more remarkably appears, in that he is thus exalted out of so low a state. Though he appeared in the world as a little child; yet how does he triumph over the most gigantic enemies of God and men! He who was a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief,” is a man of war, and triumphed over his enemies in all their power. He who was meek, and lowly of beart, has triumphed over those proud foes. And he is exalted over them all, in that wbich appears most despicable, even his cross.
2. Here is matter of exceeding great encouragement for all sinful miserable creatures in the world of mankind, to come to Christ. For let them be as sinful as they will, and ever so miserable; Christ, in the work of redemption, is gloriously exalted above all their sin and misery.
How high soever their guilt has risen, though mountains bave been heaping on mountains all the days of their lives, till the pile appears towering up to heaven, and above the very stars; yet Christ in the work of redemption appears gloriously exalted above all this height.—Though they are overwhelmed in a mighty deluge of woe and misery; a deluge that is not only above their heads, but above the heads of the highest mountains; and they do not see how it is possible that they should escape; yet they have no reason to be discouraged from looking to Christ for help; who in the work of redemption, appears gloriously above the deluge of evil. Though they see dreadful corruption in their hearts; though their Justs appear like giants, or like the raging waves of the sea; yet they need not despair of help; but may look to Christ, who appears, in the work of redemption, gloriously above all this corruption.
If they apprehend themselves to be miserable captives of Satan; and find him too strong an adversary for them; and the devil is often tempting and buffeting them, and triumphing over them with great cruelty: if it seems to them that the devil has swallowed them up, and has got full possession of them, as the whale had of Jonah; yet there is encouragement for them to look again, as Jonah did towards God's holy temple, and to trust in Christ for deliverance from Satan, who appears so gloriously exalted above him in the work of redemption.
If they are ready to sink with darkness and sorrows, distress of conscience, or those frowns of God upon them; so that God's waves and billows seem to pass over them; yet they have encouragement enough to look to Christ for deliverance. These waves and billows have before exalted themselves against Christ; and he appeared to be infinitely above them.-And if they are afraid of death; if it looks exceeding terrible, as an enemy that would swallow them up; yet let
them look to Christ who has appeared so gloriously above death; and their fears will turn into joy and triumph.
3. What cause have they who have an interest in Christ, to glory in their redeemer! They are often beset with many evils, and many mighty enemies surround them on every side, with open mouths ready to devour them: but they need not fear any of them. They may glory in Christ, the rock of their salvation, who appears so gloriously above them all. They may triumph over Satan, over this evil world, over guilt, and over death. For as their Redeemer is mighty, and is so exalted above all evil; so shall they also be exalted in him. They are now, in a sense, so exalied; for nothing can hurt them. Christ carries them, as on eagles' wings, high out of the reach of all evils, so that they cannot come near them, to do them any real harm. And, in a little time, they shall be carried so out of their reach, that they shall not be able even to molest tbem any more for ever.
THE VAIN SELF-FLATTERIES OF THE SINNER.
PSAL. XXXVI. 2.
For he flattereth himself in his own eyes, until his iniquity be
found to be hateful.
In the foregoing verse, David says, “ The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes:" that is, wben he saw that the wicked went on in sin, in an allowed way of wickedness, it convinced him, that they were not afraid of those terrible judgments, and of that wrath with which God bath threatened sinners. If the sinner were afraid of these, he could never go on so securely in sin as he doth.
It was a strange thing that men, who enjoyed such light as they did in the land of Israel, who read and heard those many awful threatenings which were written in the book of the law, should not be afraid to go on in sin. But, saith the Psalmist, They flatter themselves in their own eyes: they have something or other which they make a foundation of encouragement, whereby they persuade themselves that they shall escape those judgments; and that makes them put far away the evil day.
In this manner the sinner proceeds, until his iniquity be found to be hateful; that is, until he finds by experience that it is a more dreadful thing to sin against God, and break his holy commands, than he imagined. He thinks sin to be sweet, and hides it as a sweet morsel under his tongue; he loves it