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your own souls of peace. If your present views of yourselves deeply impress your minds, and humble you, they are very proper views: turn, now, your attention to your Lord, behold him as adapted to your condition, and as standing with extended arms to receive you, and you will need nothing more to excite you to apply immediately unto him. Let this be your exercise in the faith of his own promise, "Him that cometh to me,

I will in no wise cast out."

Oo 2

DISCOURSE VII.

ADVANTAGES RESULTING TO THE CHURCH FROM CHRIST'S LORDSHIP.

PSALM xlv. 11..

-He is thy Lord, and worship thou him.

IN the preceding discourse, the nature of Messiah's Lord

ship over the church has been considered, in a few remarks, showing-That it originates in the divine willThat Christ is formally invested with it by the FatherThat, by this constitution, he is not divested of any thing belonging to him as God, nor has he an accession of any thing not belonging to him as God-That it has a special relation to the covenant of grace-That it comprispower of legislation, administration and retribution-That it is inseparably connected with all authoritative power over all creatures for the interest of the church-And that it shall continue for ever. I then proceeded to mention some of the advantages which the church derives from Messiah's Lordship, and took notice only of these three-The preservation of her laws and ordinances from being disannulled, corrupted or altered-The enjoyment of the Spirit with all his gracious influences-Well qualified and faithful officers for dispensing her ordinances and administrating her laws. I now go on to state a few things more on this part of the subject.

4. Ir is owing to her Lord that she is preserved in the world notwithstanding all the attempts of her enemies to extirpate her.

THE enmity which subsists between the old serpent and the seed of the woman, is the spring of all such opposition. The nature, interest, and mode of propagating, the kingdom of Satan and of Christ, are so very opposite that, in proportion as the one advances the other declines. Satan's kingdom exists naturally in the world and comprises the whole of it; Messiah's kingdom is introduced by levying war upon Satan, and taking possession of his territory. This rouses the dragon; he stations himself before the pregnant church, to devour her offspring at the birth; and attempts to swallow up the mother by the torrent that issues from his mouth. The legions of darkness, and the world lying in wickedness, unite their efforts in support of the dragon and his interest, and to overthrow the church. Seduction and persecution have been the means employed to accomplish this diabolical design. These means were tried, though without effect, upon the Lord of the church. Satan tried to seduce him by temptation, but in vain. The fury of men and devils raged against him till he expired on the accursed tree. Thus the Redeemer was a tried stone; and, though his enemies thought to have him cast, stood the trial; and is now a sure foundation, and the head of the corner. The same arts have been practised on the church; nor could she, from the relation she holds to him, expect any thing better. Corruption has spread extensively, in all her laws and ordinances. False christs and false prophets have arisen and drawn away many after them. The depths of Satan have been laid open in the various ways by which corruption has prevailed. Fanatic impulses have been mistaken for the motions of the Spirit; and under their influence men have formed wild enthusiastic notions, and run into the most irrational and ridiculous

practices. Corrupt teachers have propagated their errors and delusions, with the highest pretensions to religion, and great apparent zeal for the honour of Christ, the interests of his kingdom, and the salvation of sinners. They have pretended to be the ministers of Christ, while in truth they were the emissaries of Satan, "False apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light." 2 Cor. xi. 13. Antichrist made his appearance "After the working of Satan, with all power and signs, and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish.” 2 Thes. ii. 9, 10. Christ has told us, Christ has told us, "That, if it were possible, these would deceive the very elect." Satan also has prompted men to evil practices, as well as corrupt doctrines. He wrought upon Judas till he betrayed his Lord, and sifted Peter till he denied him: He filled the heart of Ananias to lie: He works in the children of disobedience, exciting them to commit sin in fulfilling the desires of the flesh, and of the mind; and he seduces members of the church into incest, adultery, fornication, murder, and many other sins; all of which are so many attempts to subvert Messiah's kingdom. Seduction not proving sufficient, recourse has been had to violence. The flames of persecution have raged, and the kingdoms of the earth have been deluged with the blood of the righteous, as be learned from the page of both sacred and profane history.

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BOTH of these means have proved equally abortive. The adversary has deceived only his own subjects, but none of the elect: and though he thinned the members of the church by persecution, the souls of the mar

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tyrs enlarged the kingdom triumphant, and their ashes proved the seed of increase in the kingdom militant. "God is in the midst of her she shall not be moved." It is not Christ's design to make his kingdom always most extensive in the world; but to seeure it from being overthrown, until all his people are delivered from the power of darkness, and translated into it. He is mighty in the midst of his people to keep them in safety, and he is a wall of fire about them to keep off their enemies. Satan has never been able to recover one of his subjects; not one of the elect has ever been seduced to his ruin, not one sheep ever plucked out of Christ's hand; and, although the church has been much in the wilderness, she has been still preserved there, and has lost nothing.

5. THE enlargement of the church is another privilege which she derives from her Lord.

THE church may be considered as visible or invisible; as absolute or relative. As visible she comprehends all that profess to adhere to Christ in the world. In this respect she sometimes extends much, and at other times decreases fast. At one time she bears a greater proportion to Satan's kindom, at another time less. As invisible she consists of all genuine believers in Christ, and all the glorified saints. Taking her absolutely in this respect she is continually increasing. Every sinner, at conversion becomes a subject of this church invisible; and though her members die out of the church visible, they still continue members of the invisible. The design of the visible church is the enlargement of the invisible; and it may be supposed that the increase of the church invisible will be proportioned, in general, to that of the visible, including the consideration of her purity: for the visible profes

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