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irreverence? Much more if they despise or defile it? For it is said, he that defileth the temple of God, him shall God destroy.

But nothing will shew us the difference between the world and the church so effectually, as when we consider who is at the head of each society. Christ is the head of the church, and the Devil is the prince of this world, who is also called the God of this world. They who are in the church, are in the kingdom of Christ; which, though not of this world, as not deriving its power from thence, is yet in the world. They who are of this world, are in the kingdom of Satan, and under his power: as the heathens are said to have been before they were redeemed from it, and brought over to the kingdom of God: which translation was signified by the redemption of the Hebrews, from under the power of Pharaoh.

If we enquire into the respective characters of the head of the church, and the prince of this world, as they are described under a variety of names, the opposition is wonderful; and it will be found very instructive, because there is the same opposition betwixt the children of each.

The head of the church is called Jesus the Saviour: the head of this world is a destroyer in Hebrew, Abaddon: in Greek, Apollyon.


The one is the true light, that is, a spiritual light to the soul of man; the other is the prince of darkness.

The one is a shepherd, gathering the lambs -with his arm, and feeding his flock; the other is a lion who goeth to and fro in the earth, seeking whom he may devour.

The one is a Iamb; meek, innocent, and spotless: the otljer is a serpent; deceitful, subtile, and with poison under his lips.

The one is the physician of souls, who went about healing the sick, and raising the dead: the other is the inflicter of diseases, bowing men down with infirmities; binding them with the bonds of affliction; and was a murderer from the beginning; for he brought death into the world, by the temptation of man in Paradise. Men murder individuals; but Satan murders a whole world at once; and is the prince of mur-. derers.

The one delivers men who are under tempta-^ tion to sin, the other is the tempter, who leads them into it. And as the one is the advocate of sinners, interceding for them as their priest and mediator; the other is the grand accuser, who is therefore called the Devil, which signifies an accuser.

And lastly (for J think we need go no farther ther at present) the one is the truth, the other is a liar, and thefather of lies.

The like difference is found in the children of this world, and the children of the kingdom of God; that is, between the zvicked world, who are under the power of Satan, and the Holy Church, which is the flock of Christ, and takes him for its pattern. It cannol: be otherwise; the spirit of the head must be diffused through the members: and you will see it to be true: first, with respect to the Holy Church of Christ; whose disciples are taught to relieve one another in their wants, and save one another in their distress; rejoicing and suffering together, as the members of the same body; and doing good unto all men. His ministers are shepherds,, his followers, from the first ages of Christianity, were accounted and treated as sheep for the slaughter, and were patient and unresisting. They exhort and encourage one another to good works, and being united together under a bond of peace, their charity covereth a multitude of sins; that is, it hideth and concealeth the many failings of their brethren for the love of Christ, instead of aggravating their offences, and judging them unmercifully. They are children of light, who derive the light of wisdom from the word of God; and walk openly and honestly,

as as in the day. In their conversation, they are true and faithful, and give you a direct answer, without disguise or subterfuge.

Such ought to be the members of the holy Church of Christ; this is the character intended for them, though many fall short of it, and some totally depart from it. But the visible church membership of men, does not depend upon their manners and opinions; nor indeed upon any thing they can do for themselves; because it is the gift of God, by his ministers; so that a man in a holy church may be an unholy man: for the kingdom of heaven, or church of Christ, is like a net cast into the sea, which gathers of every kind both bad and good; and an effectual separation is never made between them, till the angels drag this net to the shore, to gather the good into vessels, and cast the bad away. If we bear this case in mind, it will deliver us from a great deal of perplexity. It is truly a sorrowful fact, that the children of God, in too many instances, depart from their proper- character: but the character proper to the world is, in all respects, like that of Satan, wicked and miserable.

As the Devil is, {he prince of this world, his, children set their affections upon it 3 and it is


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the main purpose of their lives to obtain and enjoy it at any rate. For this they sell their souls, and if they get the world in exchange, they think they are gainers by the bargain.

As he is the prince of darkness, so do they fall into ignorance, and blindness of heart, and love darkness rather than light, that their deeds ma}' not be reproved. They hate the word of God, as owls and bats hate the day-light; and dispute fiercely for their errors, lest information and conviction should bring them to repentance.

As the Devil is a destroyer, so do the children of this world destroy one another. Their wise politics produce war and desolation; their error and delusion of mind stir them up to the persecution of the servants of God: and wherever we see oppression, and cruelty, and persecution, there we see the spirit of the Devil, the father of persecution, who, by violence, will terrify and compej, where he cannot persuade.

As he is a serpent, so his children are a generation of vipers, double-tongued, and deceitful; smooth and flattering on some occasions, but waiting to give a deadly bite when they are orFended and provoked. Their way is crooked and uncertain, like the path of a serpent.

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