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and made to recoil upon himself to his own disgrace. And O, how doth it gladden the heart of the great Captain of salvation, to see his soldiers acquitting themselves so well in the field of battle against his deadly enemy, resisting him and putting him to flight, and breaking his bows of steel in pieces!
4. The day of special nearness and access to God in his ordinances, when the poor believer is privileged to ride in the chariot of the wood of Lebanon with the King, brought into his banqueting-house, made to sit down under his shadow with great delight. The enemy cannot endure to see any intimacy between God and man: his great design, at first, was to make a breach; and when he sees the breach made up, and God and man on good terms, how must he grind his teeth for vexation to see his great design baffled? Then it is that God covers a table to his people, in the presence of their enemy, the enemy and avenger looking on with spite and vexation of spirit.
5. When the Redeemer rides in state in the chariot of the gospel through a land, when he "goes forth conquering, and to conquer," brings multitudes of souls to yield themselves to his obedience, this is a day of vengeance upon Satan and his kingdom. Luke x. 17, 18, when the seventy disciples returned from preaching the gospel among the cities of Israel, and gave Christ an account of their success with joy, he immediately answers, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven." The disciples triumphed in their casting out of Satan from the bodies of men; but Christ sees, and rejoices in the fall of the devil from the interest he had in the souls of men, which is called his power in high places, Eph. vi. 12.
6. The day when an honourable testimony is given for Christ in a church, or among a people, against errors and blasphemies that the devil and his emissaries have vented, to the darkening of the Redeemer's glory, that is a day of vengeance upon Satan. Error is one of the main pillars of his kingdom, and one of his principal engines for hurting the kingdom of Christ, and poisoning the souls of men; now, when the church is helped to cleave firmly to the truth, and to bear witness to the Redeemer's glory, she "is terrible as an army with banners" to Satan and his emissaries.
7. The day of death, when the poor believer is guarded to glory through his principality, by some of these chariots of angels which accompanied Christ when he ascended: the poor believer then mounts up to heaven quite out of the reach of Satan's fiery darts; and this cannot shun to torment "the enemy and the avenger," as Satan is called, Psal. viii. 2. Thus you see what is the day of vengeance.
V. The fifth thing was, to inquire why this day of vengeance is said to be in the Redeemer's heart? To this I answer briefly in these two or three things. The day of vengeance is in mine heart, implies,
1. That he had firmly purposed, resolved upon it. It is, as if he had said, among the irreversible decrees of Heaven, That the head of the old serpent shall be broken by the seed of the woman.
2. It is in mine heart,-it implies, that the thoughts of it were a pleasure and delight unto him. As Christ delighted in the habitable parts of the earth, and rejoiced to come for the salvation of men; so at the time he rejoiced to take vengeance upon Satan, and ruin his kingdom, like a victorious and invincible general, he delighted to whet his glittering sword, and to render vengeance to his enemies, and a reward to those that hated him, and refused that he should rule over them.
3. It is in mine heart,-it implies, that he had not forgotten the quarrel he had with Satan and his works; no, no. As if he had said, Although it be some thousands of years since I said that I would bruise the head of that serpent; yet do not think that the quarrel is forgotten, no, it is fresh in my mind, The day of vengeance is in mine heart; although sentence be not speedily executed, yet I will be about with him, and when I go to work, I will accomplish it with a vengeance
4. It is in mine heart,-it implies, that the stated time of final vengeance lay as a secret in his own breast; for "the times and seasons he hath kept in his own power;" only this we know in general, the time will come when he sees it most for his own glory, and the good of the redeemed.
VI. The sixth thing was, the Application of this branch of the doctrine. The first use shall be by way of Information in these following particulars:
1. Hence we may see a beautiful ray of the supreme Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in opposition to that damnable error of Arianism that is now upon the field in the church of Scotland. What can be a clearer argument for proving him to be the supreme, self-existent, independent God, than this very word expressed by him in my text, The day of vengeance is in mine heart? Vengeance is the prerogative of God alone: Rom. xii. 19: "Vengeance is mine; and I will repay it, saith the Lord." Would ever the Son of God invade his Father's prerogative, if he were not the same in substance, equal in power and glory with his eternal Father? They who derogate from his divine glory, as if he were not the supreme God,
and the very same God numerically with the Father, join a confederacy with the powers of hell against the glorious Redeemer, and consequently lay themselves open to the same vengeance that is in the heart of the Redeemer against Satan and all his works; and, instead of getting thanks from the Father for lessening the glory of the Son, out of a pretended design of magnifying the glory of the Father, they expose themselves to the vengeance of the Father as well as of the Son; for it is the will of the Father, "That all men should honour the Son, as they honour the Father," with the same degree of honour; and the Father reckons himself disparaged when dirt is cast upon the face of his Son; for the Father declares, that even as our Mediator, "he hath given him a name above every name, that at," or in "the name of Jesus every knee should bow, and every tongue might confess, that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father." And I would earnestly recommend it to all that bear a hearty love to the Redeemer, and his cause and kingdom, that they may make their earnest prayer to God, that the next ensuing assembly may be guided of God to give a faithful and honourable testimony to his supreme Deity, which is called in question, and to pass a just and deserved censure upon that notorious blasphemer of "the KING of kings, and LORD of lords," the blessed avenger of our blood.
2. See from this doctrine how "the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward men hath appeared." Why, here is the greatest evidence of it that it was possible for God to give: he sends his own Son upon an expedition to this lower world, arms him with his power and authority as our Redeemer, to avenge our quarrel upon that Apollyon, the deceiver and destroyer of mankind; and when he is giving him his commis-> sion to bruise the serpent's head, he engages that his arm should be strengthened in his undertaking, and that he would "beat down his foes before his face, and plague all those that hated him," Psal. lxxxix. 23. O sirs, if we could but lift up the eye of faith, and view him in "his goings forth" in our quarrel, which "were of old, from everlasting," if we could but behold him in his marches and counter-marches in the pursuit of our enemy, we could not miss to join issue with the church, in the 1st verse of this chapter, saying, "Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength?" O sirs, will you but behold the hue and colour of his garments, how they are dyed red with his own blood, and the blood of his enemies in avenging our quarrel, like one that treadeth in the winé-fat, and see if you can call his love and kindness in question.
3. See hence how much we that are called Christians are obliged to celebrate the memorials of his death. Why, he died in the resentment of our quarrel, and in avenging us of our enemy that had ruined and destroyed us; in bruising the head of the serpent, he had the heel of his human nature bruised, insomuch that his very blood and human soul was bruised out of his body: his death, as it was a satisfaction to justice; so, at the same time, it was a fatal blow given to Satan's kingdom in the world; it was a condemning of sin, that it might not have the power to condemn us; it was a tearing of our debt-bond to the law and justice of God, which, by our own consent, we were bound over to the power of sin and Satan for ever and ever. O then, are we not obliged to keep up the memorials of his death, in obedience to his own command, till he come again?
4. See hence the misery of all unbelievers, and why they are condemned already, and the wrath of God abides on them. The reason is, they will not join hands with the Son of God, the avenger of our blood; they will not come unto him for life, but will still cleave unto Satan, and join with him in studying to make God a liar; and therefore the devil's vengeance must light upon them: hence we find all unbelievers, who would not have Christ to rule over them, herded in with the devil and his angels in the final sentence of the last day: "Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels." As if he had said, You would not come out of the devil's camp, you would needs work his works which 1 came to destroy; and now, therefore, you must drink of the cup of his vengeance for ever.
5. See hence the happiness and safety of believers, the redeemed of the Lord. Why, they are under the protection of the great Redeemer, and the day of vengeance is in his heart against all their enemies, vengeance upon Satan, and vengeance upon all that harm them. Sirs, whatever you may think of it, it is a dangerous thing to trouble or molest any that have the image of Christ in them; why, "Their Redeemer is mighty, the Lord of hosts is his name; and he has said, that "it is a righteous thing with him to render tribulation to those that trouble them;" he shall be "revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, taking vengeance on all them that know not God, and obey not the gospel."
6. See hence a good reason for patience under all the afflictions and persecutions of a present life. Why, believer, Christ has taken thy quarrel in hand, he has said, The day of vengeance is in mine heart. Believers have good reason to pity, and pray for them that despitefully use and persecute
them; for if mercy do not prevent, the Redeemer's vengeance will inevitably pursue them: and sure I am, there are none that have the Spirit of Jesus in them, but will be ready to say with the prophet Jeremiah, when speaking of his enemies, and when he saw the wrath that was coming upon them, "I have not desired the evil day, O Lord, thou knowest;" but rather that they may find mercy before the day of vengeance come.
7. See hence one great reason why Christ's visits are so sweet and acceptable to believers. One grand reason is, because whenever he comes to visit his redeemed, he takes vengeance on their grand enemy Satan, by relieving them from the oppression of sin, which is (as I said) the first-born of the 'devil. The apostle John tells us, " For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, to destroy the works of the devil," 1 John iii. 8. And if you would know what the grand work of the devil is, see ver. 5, where it is said, "Ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins." This was the design of his manifestation in the flesh, this is the design of his manifestation by the word, and this is the design of his manifestation, whether at first conversion, or in his after visits and manifestations. And, therefore, it is no wonder though a poor believer, groaning under the body of sin, or under the temptations of Satan, cry out through the intenseness of his desire, "O when wilt thou come unto me!" "O that I knew where I might find him!" "O that it were with me as in months past!" Why, it is no wonder, the moment that the Redeemer sets his foot on the threshold of the believer's doors, all the works of the devil in the soul of the believer, by which he is burdened, fall down like Dagon before the ark of the Lord, the presence of Christ by his Spirit brings immediate relief.
Many other inferences might be made, if I were not afraid of time. As,
1. This doctrine lets us see why the devils cried out when they saw Christ even in the state of humiliation, saying, "What have we to do with thee, Jesus thou Son of God? art thou come to torment us before our time?" Why, the very sight of Christ our Redeemer was a terror to them, because they knew that the day of vengeance was in his heart against them.
2. See hence how it came that hell and earth took the alarm whenever the Son of God appeared upon the stage of time: Psal. ii. "Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers took counsel together, against the Lord, and his Messiah. Let us break their bands asunder, and cast