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his power and malice are restrained within certain limits, and controlled by the will of God; in a word, that he is an enemy to God and man, and uses his utmost endeavours to rob God of his glory, and men of their souls.
This malignant desire to rob God of his glory, and men of their integrity, is strongly exemplified in the Book of Job, whose history affords us a most encouraging instance of loyal resistance while under the
of sorrow, pain, and poverty, and at the same time shows what human nature was capable of after the fall, which was effected by subtlety only.
THIRD CHAPTER OF GENESIS,
The symbol given us in this chapter, whereby we may all through the Scriptures trace the power of Şatan, is the serpent. A serpent can cast its skin, a serpent can fascinate to destroy, and emits deadly poison from its mouth; the symbol, therefore, is, of a very comprehensive nature, and to this being it is denounced at the 15th verse: “ And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”
Between thy seed and her seed. Here are two seeds specifically mentioned by the Deity himself at the commencement of the Scripture account vouchsafed to us concerning the process to be carried on in the world after the curse of the earth, The woman's seed, we know, is corporeal; and the other seed, being put upon a footing with the woman's seed, must be the same. The wisest and the best of our commentators have received this communication
as one of the most momentous that we have; yet no further attention has been paid to the literality and scope of it, than by the admission that Satan and his agents have power to tempt the heart to evil. The power to influence the heart is an invisible power; but according to the word of God, in this communication, these two seeds can bruise each other. The incarnation of a spirit different from our own, cannot be a matter of difficult apprehension to a Christian, whose Saviour took upon himself our flesh; the same may therefore be effected for inferior spirits, as the tares sprang up in the master's field among the wheat; and if the prophecy is by human interpretation confined to a single seed of the woman (that is, our Saviour), still there must be the incarnation of a Satanic or serpent's seed, to bruise his heel, or the prophecy could not literally be fulfilled: yet our Saviour goes near to establish the belief of such an incarnation, when he says, John, chap. vi. 70, “Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil”
But the wonderful spread of religions upon earth that are either inimical to, or heedless of the revealed God of Israel, indicates a larger proportion of Satan's seed; and the tares which sprung up promiscuously among the wheat in the master's field are positively interpreted by our Saviour as the children of Satan, introduced by his cunning into the world. But we have so long been familiar with this chapter of St. Matthew, without looking upon any part of it as literal, that it may at first be difficult to view it in a new light; yet it should seem that our Lord's own plain explanation, granted to the request of his disciples, should be decisive as to its real import.
Matthew, chap. xiii. 24. “ Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field :
25. “ But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his
way. 26. « But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.
27. “ So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field ? from whence then hath it tares !
28. “ He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?
29. “ But he said, Nay ; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.
30. “ Let both grow together until the harvest : and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them : but gather the wheat into
36. « Then Jesus sent the multitude
and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.” [Explanation granted.]
37. « He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man:
38. “ The field is the world : the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one:
39. “ The enemy that sowed them is the devil: the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.
40. “ As therefore the tares are gathered and