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never be pleased to see an humiliating desoription of itself.
Such then is the world, and such are we all, so far as we are members of it. God therefore of his infinite mercy takes us out of this wicked society, and translates us into another. He delivers us from the power of darkness, and translates us into the kingdom of his dear son; and without this translation we are inevitably lost. You are here to observe, that the kingdom of Christ is one of the names of his church; and they that are in it, as it is distinguished from the world, are called children of the kingdom. Its nature is totally different from the kingdoms of this world (of which we shall see more hereafter) for as the world is called wicked, so the church is called holy, and all the holiness that can be in man, must be derived from thence. If we enquire how, and in what respects, the church is holy, we find it must be so from its relation to God. It is called the church of God, and he being holy, every thing that belongs to him must be so of course. And further, it is a society, or body, of which the Holy Spirit is the life; and this life being communicated to those who are taken into the church, they are thereby made partakers of an holy life, which is elsewhere called the life of God; from which life they are alienated who are out of this society. It is holy in its sacraments; our baptism is an holy baptism, from the Holy Spirit of God; the Lord's Supper is an holy sacrifice: the ordinance of absolution is for the forgiveness of past sin, that the members of the church may be recovered from sin to a state of holiness, and peace with God. The church is holy in its priesthood; all the offices of which are for the sanctification of the people.
The contrary nature of the two societies I have been speaking of, will now be better understood, when they are compared together. In the one, men are in a lost condition; in the other, they are in a state of salvation; for as the world is alienated from God, the church is in alliance and covenant with him, and partaker of his promises. As the world is under condemnațion, the church is under
pardon of sin; its baptism washes away original sin, and gives a new birth to purity and righteousness; its other sacrament of the Lord's supper maintains that spiritual life which is begun at baptism, as meat and drink support the life we receive at our natural birth. As the world is wilhout hope, the Christian hath hope in death, through the Resurrection of Christ, and is assured, that he who is united to DD4
the life of God can never die: for God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. While the wicked are to perish with the world which they inhabit, the children of God are heirs with Christ of an eternal kingdom.
The Church is also holy, when by the word Church, we understand the building or place in which the people assemble to accomplish the service of God. As the world, on the other hand, hath always had its unholy places of assembly, its theatre, its įdol temples, &c. which unsanctify and pollute those who frequent them. Under the Jewish State of the Church, the temple is called the holy temple, or holy place; (Heb.) and a part of it was called the most holy place. Our Saviour allows that the temple sanctified the gold, which was offered in it, and consequently all other offerings and sacrifices there made. Now, if that temple was holy, whose glory was to be done away, certainly the place of christian worship, called the Church, must be holy also. For why was the Temple at Jerusalem holy, but because the presence of God attended it? And has he not promised to be in the midst of us? And must not our churches therefore be holy upon the same account? And are they not guilty of a great sin, who treat any church with
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 froin 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 Şaviour: 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 lamb; meek, innocent, and spotless: the other 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 mura derers.
The one delivers men who are under temptation 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 accųser, who is therefore called the Devil, which signifies an
And lastly (for I think we need go no far