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which have just been recited, allude to the success with which the enemy of God has fortified his cause to its final overthrow-and to the exultation and joy with which the event will fill earth and heaven.
I am aware, that with some, the doctrine of fallen angels is but an eastern allegory; and the idea of a conflict, between the creature and Creator, ridiculous and unworthy of the divine supremacy. I can only say, that if there be not an order of sinful intelligences above men, the Bible is one of the most deceptive books ever written. The entire history of the world shows, that human depravity, though operating in accordance with the laws of mind, is yet methodised and wielded with a comprehension of plan, wholly inexplicable upon the principle of accidental coincidence among men. That there should have been a system of well-constructed opposition to the Gospel; varying with circumstances, and comprehending the . great amount of bad moral influence which has existed, without some presiding intellect, is as impro-, bable, as that all the particles of matter which compose the universe, should have fallen into their existing method and order by mere accident, and without the presiding intellect of the Deity. And as to moral competition between the creature and the Creator, it exists, even if there be no fallen angels. It is a matter of fact before our eyes—a matter of experience too—that the carnal mind is enmity against God; and that God, in Christ, is reconciling the world to himself.
It should be remembered also, that when God has forned moral beings, even he can govern them, as such, only by moral influence, and in accordance with the laws of mind: mere omnipotence being as irrelevant to the government of mind, as moral influence would be to the government of the material universe. Nor must it be forgotten, that an alienated world requires more moral power for its restoration than that of simple law, which proved insufficient to maintain its allegiance. It requires a new moral influence so introduced and applied, as to corroborate law, and strengthen the loyalty of all the good, while rebels are reconciled and pardoned.
The reconciliation, through Christ, of such a world as this, in opposition to the rooted aversion of every heart, the concentrated power of social wickedness, and the ceaseless counteraction of mighty intelligences, principalities, and powers, does not seem to us an achievement unworthy of that Being, who numbers the hairs of our head. By prophets and apostles, it is represented as exhibiting the height and depth, and length and breadth, of the wisdom, and goodness, and power of God. .
In this discourse, it is proposed to consider the DEFENCES AND RESOURCES OF THE ENEMY, AND THE
MEANS OF THEIR OVERTHROW.
We shall suppose, as the language of the text does, that the Christianity, which is to prevail on earth, is the Christianity of the heart, rising to high eminence, and extending its blessed influence through all the relations of society, until the kingdoms of this world shall become associations of holiness-the Gos
pel become the predominant spring of action, and its morality the governing rule of all mankind. The array of opposition to such a glorious change on earth, now demands our attention.
1. At the head of opposition to the Gospel, in numerical power, must be placed Idolatry. To banish from the earth all knowledge of God and his government, and substitute a worship composed of lust and blood, seems most desirable to the great adversary, where circumstances allow it to be done: and this he has achieved in respect to about six hundred millions of the human family. In all that world of mind, knowledge is in deep eclipse, intellect slumbers, conscience is paralysed, and all holy intercourse between earth and heaven is cut off; while passion and appetite, inflamed by sin, are suffered to prey uncontrolled.
2. The next form of opposition to the march of holiness, is that of Imposture. This was introduced by Mahommed. It was a system accommodated to the condition of a mingled population, composed of Pagans, Jews, and nominal Christians, all in a state of great ignorance and deep moral debasement. By complimenting Abraham and Moses, he beguiled the Jew; by conceding to the Saviour the rank of a prophet, he seduced the degenerate Christian; and by giving ample license to sensuality, in time and eternity, he secured the Pagan: and what persuasion failed to accomplish, was finished by the sword. Thus one hundred and forty millions have been grouped together under the most ferocious and horrid despotism that ever warred against Heaven, or tormented man. Over
all these the smoke from the bottomless pit has ascended, intercepting the light of heaven, and dooming them for centuries to “darkness visible.”
3. Cotemporaneously with this system of imposture, and like it a subject of prophecy, arose the Papal superstition, in the form of a corrupted Christianity, and adapted to a state of intellectual improvement where the grossness of Mahommedan imposture might not be likely to prevail. This has been, and is still, the master-piece of that wisdom which is from beneath; concentrating the bad influence of all past systems; satisfactory to the pagan, and not alarming to the degenerate Christian; dazzling through the medium of sense; and giving such a license to sin, or such a cheap escape from its penalties, as allayed all fear, and gave a license to boundless indulgence.
Until this horrid system arose, the resistance made to the church of God had been planted without her walls. Now the sacred citadel is assailed and entered. Her friends are driven out, subjected to obloquy and death. The perverted authority of Heaven, and the sacred name of Christianity herself, and all the glorious and fearful sanctions of eternity are arrayed against the pure Gospel. Instead of the fold of Christ, the church became a ferocious beast, not sparing the flock: instead of a pure virgin, the mother of harlots, corrupting the nations. Instead of reflecting the light of the Sun of righteousness, every orb was eclipsed, every candlestick removed out of its place; while the night of ages settled down upon the earth. In this tremendous period, knowledge and virtue expired, and corruption and violence, as before the flood, filled
the earth. The great merchandise was in the souls of men: the chief staples, indulgences to sin; and nothing but holiness of heart and life was absolutely unpardonable.
Here, around the standard of Christ, the kings of the earth took counsel against the Lord and his Anointed, to break bis bands and cast away his cords.. And here the atheist and the Jew, the infidel and the libertine, could wear the sacred vestments, and make war upon the Saviour and his friends.
Popery is a system, where science and ignorance, refinement and barbarism, wisdom and stupidity, taste and animalism, mistaken zeal and malignant enmity, may, sanctimoniously. pour out their, virulence against the Gospel, and cry, Hosanna, while they go forth: to shed the blood, and to wear out the patience of the saints. And though by revolutions it has been shaken, and compelled by motives of policy to cease a little from blood, not a principle of this system has been abandoned. All the wiles of ages past are put in requisition now, to heal the fatal wounds which the beast, has received; and to render the system still more powerful and terrific. The leaven is in secret and in open operation, in this country; and the quick action of the beast to the touch of the
in Palestine, shows that he is neither dead nor asleep. And considering the civilization, and wealth, and science, which the system comprehends, it is from Popery, no doubt, that the Gospel is destined to experience the last and most determined resistance.
4. Another form of resistance to the Gospel is to be, anticipated from the despotic governments of the carile.