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able manner by the prophet Ezekiel; and by Joel, in his celebrated prophecy relative to the pouring out of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost'; and in many other passages of the Old Testament. He is described as the Agent in the temptation of our Saviour, when he was led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. The gift of the Holy Spirit constitutes the subject of some of our Saviour's most sublime and consolatory promises to his disciples. It was the Spirit who said to Peter, Separate me Barnabas and Saul to the work whereunto I have called them3. He is spoken of by St Paul as the great Agent in the resurrection of the Redeemer; who was declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead. Similar to this doctrine is the declaration to the Churches, seven times repeated in the Apocalypse; He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches". In the declaration with regard to the blessedness of the martyrs, the Spirit is introduced as pronouncing the blessing: Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord, from henceforth: even so saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours. But he is not only the great instrument in the direction of this prophecy; but he is also joined with the Redeemer and the Church in the invitation at the close: I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will,
1 Ezek. i. 12, 21; x. 7; ii. 2; iii. 12, 14, 24; Joel ii. 28–32. 3 Acts xiii. 2.
4 Rom. ii. 4.
5 Chap. ii. 7, &c.
2 Matth. iv. 1.
6 Chap. xiv. 13.
let him take the water of life freely. Surely this uniformity with the rest of Scripture, this book and extending even to the strong proof of its inspiration.
pervading end, is a
4. Again, with respect to the manner, in which the agency of the Evil Spirit is introduced in the Apocalypse, we derive from this also an unanswerable argument in support of its inspiration. When our first parents were placed in Paradise, the first enemy of their innocence and peace was that Evil Spirit, who, having himself forfeited heaven and happiness, is constantly occupied in endeavouring to bring man into the same state of hopeless and interminable misery in which he is doomed to exist for ever! This fall of the angels is expressly mentioned by St Peters, and also by St Jude', who has expressly said, that the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. It is probably with reference to this fall of the angels, and with a farther view to the final destruction of Satan's power, that the prophet Isaiah makes this sublime apostrophe to the king of Babylon, How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning10; and that our blessed Lord said to the Apostles, when they came to him rejoicing that even the devils were subject to them in his name,-I beheld Satan, as lightning, fall from heaven; a declaration prophetical of the triumphs of his religion over the kingdom of darkness". Satan is also described in
7 Chap. xxii. 17.
• 2 Pet. ii. 4.
9 Ver. 6.
10 Isai. xiv. 12; and see the excellent note of W. Lowth ad locum.
the Old Testament as the tempter and the accuser of men1. He was the great agent in the misery of Job2; and he is described by St Peter as like a roaring lion, walking about seeking whom he may devours. He is styled the god of this world*; the ruler of the darkness of this world; and to him is ascribed the kingdom of darkness. Our Saviour not only asserted his power over Satan during his temptation in the wilderness, but also by casting the devils out of the persons who were possessed by them; who came forth and confessed that He was the Son of God'. Moreover, it is said with respect to the punishment of the Evil Spirits, that they are reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day: and in perfect conformity with this doctrine, we find the devils, who possessed the man in the country of the Gergesenes, saying to our Saviour, when he commanded them to come forth, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? Art thou come hither to torment us before the time? that is, before the time appointed for their punishment: and our Lord, in passing sentence upon those on the left hand, says, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels'. Now a remarkable uniformity with this doctrine pervades every part of the Apocalypse, where the subject of Satan and his agency in the world is mentioned. The fall of Satan and his angels is expressly alluded to in the twelfth chapter,
(xii. 9); and it is with reference to his temptation of our first parents, that he is especially called in the same passage, that old serpent, called the devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world. In perfect conformity also with his character, as the tempter of our fallen parents, he is described, as the first enemy of the Christian Church, laying wait for its destruction, that he might devour the offspring of the woman 10, of whom it was foretold, that he should rule all nations with a rod of iron": and the evidence of his power was seen in the persecutions and trials from without, and the efforts of false teachers within the Church, which assailed, almost to destruction, the infant Church of the Redeemer. The first mention of him is, when, on the sounding of the third angel, a great star is seen "to fall from heaven, burning as it were a lamp; of which the name is called Wormwood; upon the falling of which the third part of the waters became wormwood, and many died of the waters, because they were bitter;" which is descriptive of those corruptions which, at this period, at the instigation of Satan, were seen to invade and subvert a great part of the Gentile Christian Church 12. The next time that he is mentioned, is when, on the sounding of the fifth angel, St John beholds a great star fall from the heaven unto the earth, to whom was given the key of the bottomless pit; upon the opening of which a smoke of locusts arose out of the pit. By these locusts are represented those teachers of false doctrines, which, at this period of the Church,
10 Chap. xii. 1—5.
11 Psal. ii. 9, compared with Rev. ii. 27; xii. 5; xix. 15.
12 Chap. viii. 10, 11. See Woodhouse ad locum.
desolated the Christian world; and the name of whose leader and king, so expressive of that spiritual. death, of which they were were so fatal a cause, was Abaddon and Apollyon'.
He next appears as the Beast out of the bottomless pit, the persecutor of the Witnesses, (xi. 7); and, again, as persecuting the woman, and making war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ, (xii. 17); and the two beasts, who are described in the thirteenth chapter as persecuting the saints, are said to derive their power from the Dragon.
He appears again upon the pouring out of the sixth Vial, when the prophet beholds three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet; which are said to be the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the whole earth and of the whole world, to gather them to that great day of the battle of God Almighty; exciting the enemies of the Church to their last effort for its destruction3. And upon the first great subjugation of his power during the Millennium, an angel is seen to come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit, and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years; and cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: after which, upon the expiration of the thousand
1 Chap. ix. 1-11.
2 Chap. xiii. 2, 4.
3 Chap. xvi. 13, 14.