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he discovers the craftiness of Satan to be foolishness, and disappoints him in his devices, carrying all the counsel of this cunning, froward enemy headlong. If all this could not be gathered from this passage, considered by itself, yet that this is the real meaning, will perhaps appear from what has already taken place in accomplishing this prediction; and from other prophecies respecting this, some of which are to be brought into view in the sequel: without which the full meaning of this first promise could not be known.
In order to bruise the head of the serpent, in this sense, most effectually, and turn his boasted wisdom and cunning into foolishness, and entirely defeat him in this way, he must have opportunity and advantage to try his skill and power, and practise all his cunning, in opposing Christ, and the salvation of men. And in this way be overcome and wholly defeated, in the ruin of his interest and kingdom among men; so that all his attempts shall turn against himself, and be the occasion of making the victory and triumph of the Redeemer greater, more perspicuous and glorious, in the final prevalence of his kingdom on earth, by drawing all men to him; and destroying the works and kingdom of Satan in this world, and setting up his own on the ruins of it, and so as to turn all the attempts and works of the devil against him, and render the whole subservient to his own interest and kingdom. And thus the coming and kingdom of Christ will be “As the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain. When the sun rises in a clear morning, after a dark night, attended with clouds, rain and storms, the morning is more pleasant, beautiful and glorious, and the grass springs and grows more fresh and thrifty, than if it had not been preced. ed by such a stormy night. So the prosperity and glory of the church, when the Sun of righteousness. shali rise upon it, with healing in his beams, will be enjoyed to a higher degree, and be paore pleasant and
glorious, and Christ will be more glorified, than if it had not been preceded by a dreadful night of darkness, confusion and evil, by the wickedness of men, and the power and
of Satan. The words above cited are the last words of David the prophet, and sweet Psalmist of Israel, and are a prophecy of the glorious event now under consideration. « The Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and his word was on my tongue. The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake by me.
He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. And he shall be like the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth, by clear shining after rain." The first words may be rendered so as to give the true sense more clearly. «« He who is to rule over men (i.e. the Messiah) is just, ruling in the fear of God." The words must be, in our translation, are not in the original, and the helping verb is, which is commonly not expressed, but understood, in the Hebrew, should have been supplied: “ He that ruleth, or is to rule over men, is just.” This is evidently a prophecy concerning Christ, his church and kingdom, when he shall take to himself his great power, and reign in his kingdom, which shall succeed the reign of Satan during the four preceding monarchies, which were first to take place, which will be more particularly explained, as we proceed in examining the prophecies of this great event, The latter day glory. And that these words of David are a prediction of the reign of Christ on earth, after the long prevalence of Satan and wicked men, is farther evident from the words which follow, relative to the same thing “ But the sons of Belial, shall all of them as thorns be thrust away, because they cannot be taken with hands. But the man that shall touch them must be fenced with iron, and the staff of a spear, and they shall be utterly burnt with fire in the same place."
* II. Samuel xxiii, 2, 3, 4.