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of a converted man, that he has been su- coldness and contempt, harder of endupernaturally excited to a war with the rance than many forms of martyrdom; devil. Whilst left in the darkness and for the courage which could march to the alienation of nature, he submits willing stake may be daunted by a laugh. And, iş to the dominion of evil: evil is his ele- frequently, the opposition assumes a ment, and he neither strives nor wishes more decided shape. The parent will act for emancipation. But when the grace harshly towards the child; the superior of God is introduced into his heart, he withdraw his countenance from the dewill discern quickly the danger and hate- pendent; and all because of a giving fulness of sin, and will yield himself, in heed to the directions of Scripture. Rea bigher strength than his own, to the ligion, as though it were rebellion, alienwork of resisting the serpent. Thus en. ates the affections, and alters the wills, of mity is put between the believer and the fathers and guardians. So that we tell serpent and his seed. Let a man give an individual that he blinds himself to himself to the concerns of eternity ; plain matters of fact, if he espouse the let him, in good earnest, set about the opinion that the apostle's words applied business of the soul's salvation ; and he only to the first ages of christianity, "all will, assuredly, draw upon himself the that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall dislike and opposition of a whole circle suffer persecution.” 2 Tim. 3: 12. To of worldly acquaintance, so that his over- "live godly in Christ Jesus" is to have preciseness and austerity will become enmity put between yourselves and the subject of ridicule in his village or neigh- seed of the serpent; and you may be as. borhood. We quite mistake the nature sured, that, unless this enmity be merely both of christianity and of man, if we nominal on your side, it will manifest itsuppose that opposition to religion can self by acts on the other. be limited to an age or a country. Per- Thus the prophecy of our text ansecution, in its most terrible forms, is nounces, what has been verified by the only the development of a principle history of all ages, that no man can serve which must unavoidably exist until either God without uniting against himself evil christianity or human nature be altered. men and evil angels. Evil angels will There is a necessary repugnance be assault him, alarmed that their prey is tween christianity and human nature. escaping from their grasp. Evil men, The two cannot be amalgamated: one rebuked by his example, will become must be changed before it will combine agents of the serpent, and strive to with the other. And we fear that this is, wrench him from his righteousness. in a degree, an overlooked truth, and But what, after all, is the amount of that men are disposed to assign persecu. injury which the serpent and his seed tion to local or temporary causes. But can cause to God's children? Is it not a we wish you to be clear on the fact, that truth, which can only then be denied " the offence of the cross,” Gal. 5: 11, when you have cashiered the authority bas not ceased, and cannot cease. We of every page of the Bible, that he who teadily allow that the form, under which believes upon Christ, and who, therefore, the hatred manifests itself, will be sensi. has been adopted through faith into God's bly affected by the civilization and intel- family, is certain to be made more than ligence of the age. In days of an imper- conqueror, and to trample under foot iect refinement and a scanty literature, every enemy of salvation? The conflict you will find this hatred unsheathing the between a believer and his foes may

be sword, and lighting the pile : but when long and painful. The Christian may be human society is at a high point of pol- often forced to exclaim with St. Paul, ish and knowledge, and the principles of "O wretched man that I am, who shall religious toleration are well understood, deliver me from the body of this death ?" there is perhaps, comparatively, small Rom. 7: 24. Engaged with the triple likelihood that savage violence will be band of the world, the flesh, and the dethe engine employed against godliness. vil, he will experience many partial deYet there are a hundred batteries which feats, and, surprised off his guard,, or may and will be opened upon the righ- wearied out with watchings, will yield teous. The follower of Christ must cal- to temptation, and so fall into sin. But culate on many sneers, and much revil- it is certain, certain as that God is om. ing. He must look to meet often with nipotent and faithful, that the once justi.

fied man shall be enabled to persevere to pound of flesh and spirit, but each pure. the end ; to persevere, not in an idle de each indestructible ;-oh, though Satan pendence on privileges, but in a struggle may have battered at his peace during a which, if for an instant interrupted, is long earthly pilgrimage; though he may sure to be vehemently renewed. And, have marred his happiness by successful therefore, the bruising of the heel is the temptation; though he may have detainsum total of the mischief. Thus much, ed for centuries his body in corruption ; undoubtedly, the serpent can effect. He will not the inflicted injury appear to can harass with temptation, and occa. have been so trivial and insignificant, that sionally prevail. But he cannot undo the a bruising of the heel, in place of falling radical work of conversion. He cannot short of the matter-of-fact, shall itself eject the principle of grace; and he can- seem almost an overwrought description? not, therefore, bring back the man into And, all the while, though Satan can the condition of his slave or his subject. only bruise the believer's heel, the beThus he cannot wound the head of the liever is bruising Satan's head. If the new man. He may diminish his com- believer be one who fights the serpent, forts. He may impede bis growth in ho- and finally conquers, by that final con. liness. He may inject doubts and sus- quest the serpent's head is bruised. If picions, and thus keep him disquieted, he be naturally the slave of the serpent : when, if he would live up to his privi. if he rebel against the tyrant, throw off leges, he might rejoice and be peaceful. his chains, and vanquish him, fighting But all this—and we show you here the inch by inch the ground to freedom and full sweep of the serpent's power-still glory; then he bruises the serpent's leaves the man a believer; and, there- head. If two beings are antagonists, he fore, all this, though it bruise the heel, who decisively overcomes bruises the touches not the head.

head of his opponent. But the believer And though the believer, like the un. and the serpent are antagonists. The believer, must submit to the power of believer gains completely the mastery death, and tread the dark valley of that over the serpent. And, therefore, the curse which still rests on our nature, is result of the contest is the fulfilment of there experienced more than a bruising the prediction that the seed of the woof the heel in the undergoing this disso- man shall bruise the head of the serpent. lution of humanity? It is an injury-for Oh, if, as we well know, the repentance we go not with those who would idolize, of a single sinner send a new and exquior soften down, death-that the soul site delight down the ranks of the hosts must be detached from the body, and of heaven, and cause the sweeping of a sent out, a widowed thing, on the broad rich and glorious anthem from the countjourneyings of eternity. It is an injury, less harps of the sky, can we doubt that that this curious framework of matter, as the same event spreads consternation much redeemed by Christ as the giant. through the legions of fallen spirits, guest which it encases, must be taken and strikes, like a death-blow, on their down, joint by joint, and rafter by rafter, haughty and malignant leader ? Ay, and, resolved into its original elements, and we believe that never is Satan so Jose every trace of having been human. taught his subjugated estate, as when a But what, we again say, is the extent of soul, which he had counted as his own, this injury? The foot of the destroyer escapes as a bird out of the snare of shall be set upon the body; and he shall the fowlers,” Psalm 124 : 7, and seeks stamp till he have ground it into powder, and finds protection in Jesus. Jf it be and dispersed it to the winds. But he then that Christ sees "of the travail of cannot annihilate a lonely particle. He his soul,” Isaiah, 53 : 11, it must be then can put no arrest on that germinating that the serpent tastes all the bitterness process which shall yet cause the valleys of defeat. And when the warfare is over, and mountains of this globe to stand and the spirit, wbich he hath longed to thick with a harvest of flesh. He cannot destroy, soars away, convoyed by the hinder my resurrection. And when the angels which wait on the heirs of salvasoul, over which he hath had no power, tion, must it not be then that the conrushes into the body which he shall be sciousness of lost mastery seizes, with forced to resign, and the child of God crushing force, on the proud foe of our slands forth, a man, yet immortal, com-' race; and does not that fierce cry of

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disappointment which seems to follow be the serpent's meat.” Isaiah, 65 : 25. the ascending soul, causing her to feel There comes a day of deliverance to berself only "scarcely saved," 1 Pet. every other creature, but none to the 4:18, testify that, in thus winning a serpent. Oh, mysterious dealing of our heritage of glory, the believer hath God! that for fallen angels there hath bruised the head of the serpent ? been no atonement, for fallen men a full,

We shall not examine further this perfect, and sufficient. They were far third fulfilment of the prophecy of our nobler than we, of a loftier intelligence text. But we think that when you con- and more splendid endowment; yet trast the slight injury which Satan, at ("how unsearchable are his judgthe worst, can cause io a believer, with ments”) we are taken and they are the mighty blow which the deliverance lest. "For verily he taketh not hold of of a believer deals out to Satan ; the angels, but of the seed of Abraham he nothingness, at last, of the harm done taketh hold." Hebrews, 2 : 16, margito God's people, with that fearful dis- nal reading, comfiture which their individual rescue And shall we, thus singled out and fastens on the devil; you will confess, made objects of marvellous mercy, rethat, considering the church as resolved fuse to be delivered, and take our porinto its separate members, just as when tion with those who are both fallen and you survey it collectively as a body, or unredeemed? Shall we eat the dust, as represented by its head, there is a when we may eat of " the bread which literal accomplishment of this predic. cometh down from heaven?" John, 6: tion to the serpent concerning the seed 50. Covetous man! thy money is the of the woman, "it shall bruise thy head, dust; thou art eating the serpent's and thou shalt bruise his heel.” meat. Sensual man! thy gratifications

We have thus, as we trust, shown you are of the dust; thou art eating the that the prophecy of our text extends serpent's meat. Ambitious man! thine itself over the whole surface of time, so honors are of the dust; thou art eating that, from the fall of Adam, it has been the serpent's meat. O God, put enmity receiving accomplishment, and will con- between us and the serpent. Will ye, tinue being fulfilled until " death and every one of you, use that short prayer hell are cast into the lake of fire.” Rev. ere ye lie down to rest this night, O 20 : 14. It was a wonderful announce- God, put enmity between us and the ment, and, if even but imperfectly un- serpent ? If ye are not at enmity, his derstood, must have confounded the folds are round your limbs. If ye are serpent, and cheered Adam and Eve. not at enmity, his sting is at your heart. Dust shalt thou eat, foe of humankind, But if ye will, henceforward, count him when this long-oppressed creation is a foe, oppose him in God's strength, delivered from thy despotism. As and attack him with "the sword of the though to mark to us that there shall Spirit;" Eph. 6:17; then, though ye be no suspension of the doom of our may have your seasons of disaster and destroyer, whilst this earth rejoices in depression, the promise stands sure that the restitution of all things, Isaiah, in de ye shall finally overcome; and it shall scribing millennial harmony, still leaves be proved by each one in this assembly, the serpent under the sentence of our that, though the serpent may bruise the text. " The wolf and the lamb shall heel of the seed of the woman, yet, at feed together; and the lion shall eat last, the seed of the woman always straw like the bullock; and dust shall bruises the head of the serpent.



"A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle which the Lord pitched, and not

man.”—Hebrews, 8 : 2.

The discourse of the Apostle here person the offerer and the victim, he turns on Jesus, the high priest of our presented himself, a whole burnt sacriprofession, whose superiority to Aaron fice, to God, and took away, by his one and his descendants he had established oblation, the sin of an overburdened by most powerful reasoning. In the world. But if you attend closely to the verse preceding our text he takes a reasoning of St. Paul, you will observe summary of the results of his argu. that he considers Christ's oblation of ment, deciding that we have such an himself as a preparation for the priestly high priest as became us, and who had office, rather than as an act of that ofpassed from the scene of earthly minis. fice. He argues, in the third verse, that trations to " the throne of the majesty since "every high priest is ordained to in the heavens.” He then, in the words offer gists and sacrifices,” there was a upon which we are to meditate, gives a "necessity that this man have somedescription of this high priest as at pre. what also to offer." And by then speaksent discharging sacerdotal functions. ing of Christ's having obtained "a more He calls him "a minister of the sanc- excellent ministry,” he plainly implies tuary, or (according to the marginal that what he offers as high priest is ofreading) of holy things, and of the true fered in heaven, and must, therefore, tabernacle which the Lord pitched, and have been rather procured, than prenot man.” We think it needful, if we sented, by the sacrifice of himself. would enter into the meaning of this We are anxious that you should clearpassage, that we confine it to what ly perceive—as we are sure you must Christ is, and attempt not to extend it from the study of the context—that to what Christ was. If you examine the Christ in heaven, and not Christ on verses which follow, you will be quite earth, is sketched out by the words satisfied that St. Paul had in view those which we are now to examine. The portions of the mediatorial work which right interpretation of the description are yet being executed, and not those will depend greatly on our ascertaining which were completed upon earth. He the scene of ministrations. And we expressly declares that if the Redeem- shall not hesitate, throughout the whole er were yet resident amongst men, he of our discourse, to consider the aposwould not be invested with the priest- tle as referring to what Christ now perly office—thus intimating, and that not forms on our behalf; taking no other obscurely, that the priesthood now en. account of what he did in his humiliaacted in heaven was that on which he tion than as it stands associated with wished to centre attention.

what he does in his exaltation. We know indeed that parts of the You will observe, at once, that the priestly office, most stupendous and difficulty of our text lies in the assermost important, were discharged by tion, that Christ is "a minister of the Jesus whilst sojourning on earth. Then true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, it was that, uniting mysteriously in his land not man.” Our main business, as expounders of Scripture, is with the de Savior as a " Tabernacle not made with termining what this "true tabernacle” hands, that is to say, not of this buildis. For, though we think it ascertain. ing.” And if, without any overstrained that heaven is the scene of Christ's ing of the text, it should appear that priestly ministrations, this does not de "the true tabernacle," whereof Christ fine what the tabernacle is wherein he is the minister, may also be expounded ministers.

of his spotless humanity, we should Now there can be but little question, gladly adopt the interpretation as susthat, in another passage of this Epistle taining us in our contest with impugnto the Hebrews, the humanity of the ers of his divinity. Son of God is described as "a taberna- There is, at first sight, so much recle, not made with hands.” The verse semblance between the passages, that occurs in the ninth chapter, in which we are naturally inclined to claim for St. Paul shows the temporary character them a sameness of meaning. In the of the Jewish tabernacle, every thing one, the tabernacle is described as that about it having been simply "a figure " which the Lord pitched and not man;" for the time then present.” Advancing in the other, as "not made with hands," to the contrast of what was enduring that is to say, "not of this building." with what was transient, he declares It is scarcely possible that the coincithat Christ had come, "an high priest dence could be more literal; and the of good things to come, by a greater inference seems obvious, that, the latter and more perfect tabernacle, not made tabernacle being Christ's humanity, so with hands, that is to say, not of this also must be the former. Yet a little building." Heb. 9: 11. It scarcely ad- reflection will suggest that, however mits of debate that the body of the Re- correct the expression, that Christ's deemer, produced as it was by a super- humanity was the tabernacle by, or in, natural operation, constituted this ta- which he came, there would be much bernacle in which he came down to of harshness in the figure, that this huearth. And we are rightly anxious to manity is the tabernacle of which he is uphold this, which seems the legitimate the minister. Without doubt, it is in interpretation, because heretics, who his human nature that the Son of God would bring down the Savior to a level officiates above. He carried up into with ourselves, find the greatest diffi- glory the vehicle of his sufferings, and culty in getting rid of this miraculous made it partaker of his triumphs. And conception, and are most perplexed by our grand comfort in the priesthood of any passage which speaks of Christ as Jesus results from the fact that he min. superhumanly generated. It is a com- isters as a man; nothing else affording mon taunt with the Socinian, that the ground of assurance that " we have not apostles seem to have known nothing an high priest which cannot be touchof this miraculous conception, and that ed with the feeling of our infirmities." a truth of such importance, if well as Heb. 4 : 15. But whilst certain, and recertained, would not have been omitted joicing in the certainty, that our interin their discussions with unbelievers. cessor pleads in the humanity, which, We might, if it consisted with our sub- undefiled by either actual or original ject, advance many reasons to prove it sin, qualified him to receive the outmost improbable, that, either in argu- pourings of wrath, we could not, with ing with gainsayers, or in building up any accuracy, say that he is the minisbelievers, the first preachers of christer of this humanity. It is clear that tianity would make frequent use of the such expression must define, in some mystery of Christ's generation. But, way, the place of ministration. And at all events, we contend that one de- since humanity was essential to the cisive mention is of the same worth as constitution of Christ's person, we see many, and that a single instance of not how it could be the temple of which apostolic recognition of the fact suffi- he was appointed the minister. At least ces for the overthrow of the heretical we must allow, that, in interpreting our objection. And, therefore, we would text of the human nature of the Son of battle strenuously for the interpreta- God, we should lie open to the charge tion of the passage to which we have of advocating an unnatural meaning, referred, defining the humanity of the and of being so bent on upholding a

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