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entered into covenant with him; and assured him, in retaining his obedience, that his present elements of being should finally resolve themselves into a spiritual and immortal state of blessedness.
The malignancy of those spirits, who kept not their first estate, disposed them to envy the happiness of man. They plotted his overthrow, and it was accomplished. This apostasy, however, was unlike the former one. It was committed under the pressure of temptation ; the woman was deceived; the man was ensnared by his earthly affections. Thus they fell; and their fall involved an unborn posterity in the transgression. Here was evidently an illustrious occasion for the exercise of mercy ; could that mercy be exercised in harmony with the righteousness of the divine government.
Infinite wisdom devised a remedial economy for the restoration of man, which is exquisitely adapted to his nature as a moral agent, and as highly honourable to God as a moral Governor. The Father gave his Son to stand in the place of the sinner and to bear the penalties of his law; and He gave his Holy Spirit to renew in him the divine likeness. The requisitions of this economy are in accordance with its pro
visions; they are repentance towards God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; and the sanctions of this economy are, in case of faith,“ life more abundantly,” and in case of disbelief, “ second and eternal death.” Thus is man placed a second time in a state of probation.
This economy of life is intrusted to the hands of a Mediator. He, having freely engaged to suffer for the sins of man, was to receive a kingdom from amongst men. He came into the world the more effectually to establish this kingdom. The spirits of light were deeply interested in its success; the spirits of darkness, working “ with all deceivableness,” laboured for its destruction. Thus heaven and hell waited on the issue of our redemption.
The interest increases as the stupendous scheme advances to its close. Art, science, education and civil polity aid the church in her struggle; and all her instrumentality is brought to bear with all its simplicity and power, on a sinful and rebellious world. The hand of the risen Redeemer is made increasingly visible in her defence; and the bolts of heavenly vengeance strike the guilty nations. Babylon falls; the false Prophet falls ; Satan falls like lightning from heaven!
One universal shout proclaims“ the kingdoms of this world to have become the kingdoms of our God and of his Messiah.” The souls of the martyrs beneath the altar which groaned over the afflicted state of the church, now live again in the joy of her deliverance. That deliverance is so marked and extraordinary, that it may be denominated a resurrection from the dead. Truth, purity, love, hope, joy and peace dwell on earth even as they do in heaven. The great scheme of Redemption is revealed in transcendent excellence, and "applied with irresistible and all-pervading power. This is the day of promised glory, in which “ the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun ; and the light of the sun sevenfold ;” in which Christ shall dwell in the midst of his church by the peculiar manifestation of his presence and majesty.
The fallen spirits of another world shall still seek to recover their station on this. Many, in the course of time, shall be deceived by them; and shall put themselves into a posture of resistance to the saints of God. Sudden destruction shall seize them; and Satan, the enemy of God and man, shall be cast out for ever.
Then, at some unknown period, when the divine purposes shall have been accomplished
in the redemption of man; and the divine perfections of wisdom, love, truth, mercy, power and righteousness shall have been adequately disclosed in this probationary statethen shall come the great catastrophe. Then the day of grace shall close--the present order of things shall be consummated-time shall be no more--and Judgment on all the past shall begin.
The morning of that day shall break on a slumbering world in tempest and earthquake, in lightnings and thunders pealing and flaming from pole to pole. The heavens shall open. The Son of man, according to his promise, shall descend in light and glory. The sun shall be turned into darkness; the earth shall roll and tremble under the foot of her coming God. The graves shall be opened—the sea shall disembogue her dead-men and angels-allall shall appear in Judgment.
Then shall truth shed its light on the mind with the force and freedom of intuition. The mysteries of Providence shall be developed ; the wonders of our redemption made manifest; and the attributes and government of Deity displayed and glorified as no creature had ever beheld them. The thoughts of all hearts shall be revealed; past life shall be revived by a
faithful memory; man shall become a mirror to himself; and instinctively he shall find his place with the lost or the redeemed. The sentence of the Judge shall be recorded and justified in every conscience; and a nameless life, a nameless death, shall wait on the innumerable family of man. The wicked shall be cast out from the presence of God, where desires which cannot be gratified, passions which have been made inveterate, reflections which cannot be appeased, and the piercing sense of the wrath of God, shall wither up the soul and become its appropriate and endless punishment; while the righteous shall ascend into the immediate presence of God, and in the perfect enjoyment of his favour, in the full developement of that spiritual nature which had to contend with so much disease and feebleness on earth, but which essentially consists in righteousness and peace, purity, love and joy in the Holy Ghost, they shall find their everlasting happiness.
Then is the end. The imprisoned fires of the Almighty are let loose on this polluted world. The earth is burnt up; the heavens are dissolved; the very elements of which earth and heavens are composed are melted with the searching and universal conflagration. Death is annihilated. Satan, finding no longer