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FORTY STRIPES SAVE NONE
DEVIL BEATEN WITH RODS.
NOW THE MAGICIANS DID IN LIKE MANNER WITH THEIR EN.
EXODUS VII, 11, 12.
I Think I may call Satan God's ape; for whatsoever the Almighty does from heaven above, the devil tries to imitate on earth beneath; only God intends our salvation, and Satan our destruction. If God send his angels as ministering spirits, to minister to them that are heirs of salvation, Satan transforms himself into an angel of light, to imitate them. God sent Moses and Aaron, Satan sent Jannes and Jambres to counterfeit their works. When God sent persons in the character of prophets into the world, Satan sent four hundred prophets to one,' When God ordered Solomon to build him a temple, the devil strewed the heathen world with temples. When God sent priests, Satan sent Chemarims, Zeph. i. 4. When God ordered sacrifices for Israel, then the Gentiles were set to offer sacrifices to devils. When God sent the highest officers, called apostles, into the church, then Satan sent false apostles, transformed as the ministers of righteousness. And, soon after
God had set his King upon his holy hill of Zion, the devil gave the pope his seat and great authority at Rome. If the Lord makes his ministers burning and shining lights, Satan sends others to conterfeit them with his rays. “ Take heed," says the Lord,“ that the light that is in thee be not darkness;" if it be, how great is that darkness ! Luke xi. 35. If God blesses his children with the full assurance of faith, Salan sets the fool to rage and be confident, in imitation of them. And, if any be commissioned by the Lord to preach, to cast out devils, and work miracles, workers of iniquity plead that they have done the same. “ Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name; and in thy name have cast out devils, and in thy name done many wonderful works?" If love to the brethren constrains the primitive saints to sell all that they have to supply the needs of the righteous, Satan fills the heart of Annanias and Sapphira to imitate them, only to keep back part of the price. If God enables his servants to seal the truth that they have preached with their blood, it is allowed that a child of Satan may give all his goods to feed the poor, and his body to be burnt, and yet not have charity. If a servant of God is liberal to the poor, and a rebuker of iniquity, Satan's children are up with them; “ To what purpose is this waste? why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?” If God orders lambs and kids for sacrifices, the devil orders children to be burnt alive to him; an infant being