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inquiry. Prodigalis did, I believe, enjoy as much of the foretastes of heaven as most do, until the Spirit of grace had armed him with the whole armour of God, and then he led him forth as an armed soldier of Jesus Christ, to be tempted of the devil.

Ahimaaz. It is amazing to me that the devil should be so unwearied in tempting the children of God, seeing he has met with nothing but repeated disappointments; besides, the Saviour has promised power to his children, sufficient to vanquish all the power of the devil; insomuch that nothing shall by any means hurt them, Luke x. 19. The devil must know this, because he never could destroy one of God's elect; and, as the gates of hell shall not prevail, Matt. xvi. 18, I am surprised that Satan does not raise the siege as an assailant, and get weary of the suit as a plaintiff.

Cushi. There is no likelihood of that; Satan still ploughs in hope; and though he cannot destroy the elect, yet if he can destroy their peace, or get them to rebel against God, it is pleasing to him: the devil has a feast when we have a fast. And, on the other hand, when we are on the mount, the devil has a double hell: besides, his enmity against Christ and his elect is so deeply rooted, that he cannot endure the sovereignty of the Saviour, nor the objects of his choice.

Ahimaaz. But why is the devil so incensed against the Saviour, any more than against God the Father?

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Cushi. Several reasons may be assigned for it; First, The Lord Christ left the rebel-angels in their rebellion, when he charged them with folly, Job iv. 18. Secondly, He cursed and condemned their prime leader in Eden, Gen. iii. 14. Thirdly, He reserved them in everlasting chains, debarred of light, under darkness to the final judgment, Jude 6; while, on the other hand, he confirmed the elect angels by an irrevocable decree, took them from the basis of free-will, and fixed them in immutable love and almighty power; so as to render it impossible for them ever to fall, as the other had done. They are not left now to the freedom of their own will, but confirmed in their glorious Head, Christ; who is therefore called, "the Head of all principality and power." And as the angels are confirmed by the Saviour in eternal friendship, their willingness to renounce their former standing in the freedom of their own will; their ready acquiescence in, and thankful acceptance of confirmation in Christ the elect Head, in whom God had predestinated their everlasting standing; for this reason they are called elect angels and their acquiescence is called a reconciliation, though they were never at enmity. "And having made peace through the blood of his cross by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth or things in heaven," Col. i. 20.

This is one cause of the devil's enmity against election; and he has got thousands in the world

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who make a profession of religion that are influenced by him, and boldly espouse and defend his cause against the sovereign will of the Almighty. The great and terrible day of the Lord will discover many wonderful and awful scenes of this sort, to the everlasting confusion of many who now triumph in it.

Secondly, It is a most galling and degrading consideration to a proud and lofty spirit, as the devil is, that fallen men, after they were seduced by Satan, were found under the condemnation and curse of God, as well as themselves; and when both natures appeared before God equally condemned and on a level; that the Saviour should reject the angelic nature, and assume the human ; "for verily he took not on him the nature of angels, but he took on him the seed of Abraham." This sovereign act, this discriminating grace of the Saviour, the devil hates.

Thirdly, By the Saviour's death on the cross the devil suffered loss in his kingdom; his dark dominions were wonderfully discovered; the destroying power of sin, the main pillar of his empire, was taken away, insomuch that it shall never destroy one of God's elect. The devil was cast down as an accuser, and cannot in one sense be called the god of this world, for the heir of all things overcame him.

Death, another inferior sovereign in Satan's dominions, was plagued, and shall surely be destroyed, Hosea xiii. 14. Satan, sin, and death were

triumphed over, and exposed openly on the cross, Col. ii. 15; the devil led captive by the Saviour, Eph. iv. 8; and a kingdom of grace set up in the world, that shall surely demolish his, Dan. vii. 14.

Another reason that may be assigned for the devil's malice is, that the Saviour, whom he so hates, will bring him and all his legions forth to judgment; Satan is reserved under darkness to judgment; and, when the Lord will expose or reveal the whole mystery of iniquity, 2 Thess. ii. 7, 8; then shall the saints appear in the truth which the devil left, as Esther did, in Vashti's palace; for they shall be as the angels of God in heaven, Matt. xxii. 30; while fallen angels shall be left on a level with fallen men; not at all superior, unless it be in misery: hence you read of sinners going in company with the devil and his angels, Matt. xxv. 41. But the most tormenting thought to infernal pride is, that elected, redeemed, and restored men shall judge these infernal kings, princes, and potentates: "Know ye not that we shall judge angels?" In that day it will appear, that those that died in free-will and self-righteousness will be found among the black brigade, as sure as there is a God that judgeth right.

These are some of the reasons that may be assigned for the devil's unlimited malice against the Saviour and his elect; therefore it is vain for the elect to expect reconciliation, seeing God has

declared the war: and we may say of Satan's envy as the learned Milton does :

Never can true reconcilement grow

Where deadly hate has pierc'd so deep.

Hence we may warrantably conclude, that the devil will never raise the siege while God has a church in the world; nor will he ever drop the suit, as a plaintiff, as long as he can draw one believer to listen to his lies, yield to his temptations, or fret at his accusations.

Ahimaaz. Pray how did he begin with Prodigalis? I suppose in a furious way, because he had formerly been a faithful servant to the devil; and as he knew many of his wiles, he was the better able to expose them: it is often seen that such are the most valiant for truth, the most loyal to the Saviour, and the most fervent in prayer. They that are faithful to the unrighteous mammon will be so to the true riches, Luke xvi. 11. They that have much forgiven will love much, Luke vii. 47; "and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more," Luke xii. 48.

Cushi. You must know, that Prodigalis, being so conspicuously delivered, thought the devil was so rebuked as never to attack him again; nor did he in the least suspect that the evils of his heart would ever make a second appearance; that he should ever lose sight of the Saviour. In this secure frame he was altogether unprepared for trial; the devil knew this, and therefore caught

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