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he is permitted to wander like a vagabond and thief, to fill up the measure of his iniquity. Permitted to enter the garden of Eden, where the image of Christ was, even Adam, who was made in that image our dear Lord intended to take. Satan envied him his bliss ; hated ihe image of God, and adopted a plan to overturn it. He selected out the inost subtil beast God had formed, and through it he addressed our mother, in artful and insinuating language ; he tempted her with the lust of the eye; she saw the tree was good. With the pride of life,-“ Ye shall be as gods knowing good and evil.” This was done in the form of the serpent, so that the devil and his agents have gone by this name ever since. We will quote the passage, and make a few remarks on it, which will lead us to uoderstand what is meant by the serpent and his food. “ Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field,”-and having seduced our first parents when the Lord appeared to them, they laid the blame on him. Then the Lord God said unto the serpent, “ Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life. And I will put enmity between thy seed and her seed-he shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise bis heel.” Thus runs the curse upon the serpent.
Many instances are given of the subtilty of serpents, in biding their heads when struck at; rolling themselves up; stopping their ear at the voice of the charmer; putting off their skin; lying in sand of the same colour as themselves ; biting the feet of horses; and many such things. But it does not appear now to be more subtil than any beast of the field ; not naturally, but through Satan being in it; for though a real sepent, yet not that only, but as possessed and used by Satan, as an instrument of his, to accomplish bis designs, as evident from its having the faculty of speech, and the use of reason, employed in a very artful and sophistic manner. Nor is it rational to suppose that human nature, in the height of its glory and excellency, should be outwitted by a creature so inferior to it. The scripture always alleges the fall of man to the seduction of the devil, who on that account is called the serpent, the old serpent, the devil, and Satan. «He said unto the woman,”she being alone, he took the advantage of it, not the serpent, but Satan in it, just as the angel spoke in Balaam's ass.
The great Du Moulin conjectures this serpent was of a conspi. cuous form, with fiery eyes ; decked with gold, and marked with sbining spots, such as to draw the eyes of Eve after it ; and that before this he had, by his soothing sounds, insinuated himself into Eve's favour-wbich is very probable. What the learned have said about the serpent's going erect is bare conjecture. " Upon thy belly shalt thou go.” Tois curse is evidently upon the devil: the word belly in scripture, sometimes signifies the conscience, and I believe it means this : Hence Job speaking of the seed of the serpent, says, " they shall not feel quietness in the belly.” It means depression and deep abasement in awful affliction ; our belly cleay. eth to the ground, our soul is bowed down to the dust. This is what Satan feels, and will be cursed with for ever--no ease or rest, but hell in him wherever he goes-God's curse and wrath upon bim-the arrows of vindictive wrath sticking fast in him ; nor can he feel any joy, only that kind of malicious infernal pleasure, suited to his nature, as he draws men to sin against God, especially believers.
The term serpent, not only applies to the devil, but to his peo. ple--the non elect, the reprobate; more particularly to those Pharisees, who make a fair show in the Aesh-a noise about holiness, and who are endeavouring to establish their reputation upon the ruin of others, and they search for iniquity with a diligent search
who keep up a form of godliness, are found in every external, vet in heart hate the saints, condemo them as enemies to good works--as Antinomians enemies to Moses-as a people not fit to live, of course not to come near them. These characters are called serpents, and a generation of vipers; not only so themselves, but their parents were so, and they are the offspring of such vipers.; and so we find it to this day. A Socinian begets such ; an Arian begets an Arian, an Arminian begets an Arminian by his ministry, and an Antinomian, whose religion lays in his head, without the work of the Spirit, may beget an offspring like themselves, while every Pharisee in the ministry may also beget the same; but the name John the Baptist gave them is a generation of vipers, when he saw the Pharisees come to his baptism. A viper appears very beautiful outwardly, so do these persons to a blind, carnal world, who are making a stir about good works, and like Alexander Pope are exclaiming,
For modes of faith, let zealous bigots fight,
SECURITY THAT THE BELIEVER SHALL ARRIVE AT THE HEAVENLY
JERUSALEM. A GOLDEN MINE. God has ordained it for him, Matt. xxv. The promise of God, which is “ yea and amen in Christ,” secures it, Luke xii. 32, and xxii. 29. Your king has purchased it for you; Eph. i. 14. a " purchased pos»ession." Your king, who is also your intercessor, has prayed for it, John xvii. 24. Your king has taken possession of it for you, John xiv. 2.“ I go to prepare a place for you.” Your king has given you the earnest of it; his kingdom within you says you are come to his kingdom above ; the first fruits of the Spirit assures you of the full vintage. Your union with the King of Glory secures it; the glory of his natural body is a presage of his mystical body. A goodly company are already arrived, “ an innumerable company of the first born,” and the rest shall follow; there. fore look up, and lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh.
APHORISMS BY WILLIAM ROMAINE.
No. LII. All the dealings of the Lord with me, are grace and love, he makes me to rely on him for heaven ; but I am now as it were in heaven, for I live upon his heavenly promises. Vile and base as I am in my own eyes, yet he suffers me to approach him, and he suffers me to converse with him freely, and admits me into fellowship with him. And he opens the treasures of his love, and says all these are thine, my Father loved thee as such. I bought them for thee at the price of my blood, and I give them to thee as a free gift, take them as as an earnest thou art mine. Thus I am now as it were in heaven, before I get there, for I live upon his heavenly blessings.
Growing in the sense of our own weakness magnifies Christ's strength.
The lowest in the school of Christ is the highest.
7'he scheme of all unawakened men is, that they are resolved to be happy in spite of God.
Be not over anxious beloved, respecting temporals, remember the BODY of a believer, as well as his soul is redeemed, and thongh our God is high and exalted, he is not above looking to the least concerns of bis people ; the very hairs of their head he numbers.
Faith exercised, gets health and establishment.
The promise, and the blessing in the promise, are the same with God, only our foolish hearts separate them, so that what God hath joined together we make two : by which means we rob him of his gjory, and ourselves of the blessing. • When kingdoms are convulsed, states are often overthrown, and the civil world turned upside down, the feet having got into the place of the head : at such tiines let not the weak believer fear, he is watched over night and day, and under his heavenly Father's protection), he is as safe as if he were in heaven. Come what will, I have always an infallible antidote-the God of hope.
It must be always remembered, that our Saviour was God and man united in one Christ; by which union, whatever he did and suffered for us became truly divine and infinite, the Godhead and manhood united in one person.
Corruption is in thee, though thy nature is renewed, and it will strive for dominion, but when thou art weak, it behoves thee to live by faith upon Jesus. He is thy surety now acting for thee in heaven, and there carries thy name upon the ephod on his shoul. ders and upon the breast-plate on his heart; his power and his love is now engaged for thee, now he is in glory. He stands in the presence of God as thy representative. The Father sees thee in him : and thou art in his sight what thy forerunner is ;-righteous as he is righteous, holy as he is holy, beloved, as he is beloved, and shalt be blessed as be is blessed.
A GLANCE AT A TRUE MINISTER.
“ How shall they preach except they be sent.” A SENT servant of God is one who has redemption through the death of the Son of God, which by the Spirit's power has been applied to the heart in the sensible forgiveness of all sins. The Son of God loved me, and gave himself for me, must be the confession of that man who is an able minister of the New Testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit, for the letter killeth, but the spirit giv. eth life. His personal interest in salvation is proved, not by fame, not by popularity, not by any profession, but by the blood of the Lamb; and his commission to preach the gospel is not by the call or support of any body of people, but by the immediate appuintment and pressing operations of the Holy Spirit peculiar in that case.“ How shall they preach except they be sent ?" And no man, however exalted his station, refined his parts, deep his learning, or affluent bis circumstances, can prove that Jesus the head of the church, has commissioned him to preach the gospel, only when and as he is determined to know nothing (relating to the salvation) among men, but Christ and him crucified.
His station is appointed by the Lord of the whole earth. This makes his character the most important, for he knows that the Lord is so tender of his little flock, that not an hair of their head can perish ; that he who toucheth them toucheth the apple of his eye; that they must be fed, not with the husks of flimsy inven. tions, partial reformations, and cunningly devised fables, but with that bread which came down from heaven, in all the purity of gospel administration, of which whosoever eateth shall live for ever. Being by or near the Lord of the whole earth, may suggest that a gospel ministry is the highest office held upon earth; and that it is the most weighty, because not a single doctrine can be advanced that is not the produce of his own eternal counsel and power : but he will treat it, and its abettors as inimical to true godliness, and as enemies to the cross of the Lord Jesus. “ Cursed be the man that doth the work of the Lord deceitfully”—and “ Woe to the pastors that destroy (the spiritual health) and scatter the sheep of my pasture, saith the Lord.” They have seen a vain vision, and have ye not spoken in a lying divination, whereas ye say the Lord saith it, albeit I have not spoken? False doctrines rob God, plunder the people's consciences, as well as their pockets, and destroy the way of their paths; and of course, offend the Redeemer's sheep-But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a mill-stone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in thedepth of the sea : the office is weighty, because the Lord will serve every faithful minister as he served Joshua. Zechariah said, “ And the Lord showed me Joshua the high priest standing before (Christ) the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him: And the Lord said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan, even ihe Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee !-Is not this a brand plucked out of the fire ?” But while he acts a faithful part to God and conscience, in preaching according to the Scriptures, Jesus and the resurrection, every fiery dart, every fierce temptation, every ungodly persecution, and opposition, with every stretch of the oppressor's arm, will find him in safe-guard—“ near the Lord of the whole earth.”
He is not drunk with the intoxicating wine of anti-christianism, nor like those described by the prophet" His watchmen are blind, they are all ignorant of salvation by blood, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark or sound a true and scriptural alarm, though Popery is in the very bosom of the church; sleeping through spiritual drunkenness; lying down, through carelessness of the people's spiritual prosperity ; loving to slumber in the lap of the whore, though the Philistines are upon them. Yea, they are greedy dogs, which can never have enough, though their dock are starving, or feeding upon swine's food), and they are shepherds tbat cannot understand ; they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter; Come ye, say they, I will fetch wine, while the flock can scarcely get water, and we will fill our. selves with strong drink, and to-morrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant.” Of this stamp, at this awful day, is the major part of bishops, priests, and ministers, Episcopalians and - Dissenters, in this once highly-favoured, and once happy, but now most degraded, most insulted, and most debased Island
Acting in character, the ministry stands as a true watcher, sentinel or guard upon the walls of Zion, and not a single error can be publicly advanced and abetted, but on due consideration would be detected with the penetration of an eagle ; exposed with the wisdom of a man, made wise with the wisdom of God; resisted with the boldness of a lion; and destroyed with the labour of an ox. The reader is requested to consider these characters as mys. tically representative of the successive ministry of the Gospel throughout all ages. And having done all to stand by faith in Christ, measuring every true and inner-court worshipper, and the four-squared altar, with the four-squared reed of God the Father's eternal election ; of God the Son's eternal redemption ; of God the Holy Ghost's special, particular, and effectual calling; and . Vol. IV.-No. Ill.