thy likeness-In thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.' xvii. 15. xvi. 11.


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2. Observe the time when this hope was exercised: "in the day of evil." Sins and sorrows attend us every day, and hence every day is a day of evil: it is needful therefore that hope should be exercised every day. The Psalmist said, "I will hope continually, and will yet praise thee more and more." He also says, "Trust in him at all times, ye people: pour out your hearts before him: God is a refuge for us. If the days of our pilgrimage be few and evil, there is the more need to have them counterbalanced with the joy of hope, and that we should be looking forward to the time when we shall enter into rest. But besides the general troubles attendant on human life, there are peculiar days of evil which befal the church and the world, our families and persons individually and it is of great importance to have God for our hope at such times especially. In old age the evil days will come, and the years draw nigh, in which we shall have to say we have no pleasure in them. Then, O how good to be able to adopt the words of the psalmist: "My flesh and my heart fail; but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever. That God may not be a terror to us in the day of affliction, or in the hour of death, let us make him our refuge, that he may be a hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest, and as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. Let us see to it that matters are right between God and our own souls, that there be no controversy between him and us; but that we cultivate an habitual dependance on him, and close communion with him that when we come to the closing scene, the last and trying day, we may have to say with Paul, "I know in whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him until that day!" Psal. lxxiii. 26.

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(1.) We may see from this subject how hopes and fears are often blended together in the experience of the godly. Jeremiah had set his hope in God; yet prayed that he might not be a terror to him. It was his lot also to live in troublous times, and the prospect was dismaying to him: we need not wonder therefore if weak believers often fear and tremble in similar circumstances. Yet "the Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy." Psalm cxlvii. 11.


(2.) If God be sometimes a terror even to his own people, how much more to the wicked! If the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? Think, O sinner, of the day of evil, and what thou wilt do in the end thereof! The clouds which seem to hang over the heads of the righteous will burst upon you, and the wrath that terrifies them will utterly destroy you. Even in this life, afflictions will overwhelm thee, if God be not thy refuge; and in the next he will be a terror unto thee, even a consuming fire. "Thou shalt find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest; but the Lord shall give thee a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind; and thy life shall hang in doubt before thee, and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy life." Deut. xxviii. 65-67.

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JOHN xiv. 30.

The prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.

No one since the fall could ever say this. It only was and could be the language of him who was "holy, harmless, and undefiled, separate from sinners, made higher than the heavens." The time was short, the arduous and important work was nearly finished, and the most trying season of all was now approaching. The clouds are gathering, the enemy is collecting all his forces, and will shortly make a furious onset. But the Saviour is fully prepared, and confident of victory: the serpent may bruise his heel, but he will bruise the serpent's head, and fully destroy the works of the devil. "The prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.

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I. Satan is called "the prince of this world."

He is also called "the god of this world," to whom the greater part of mankind are in subjection, being led captive by him at his will. There may be different ranks and orders among the angels of darkness, as well as among the angels of light: but there appears to be one who is their ruler and their head, and who, if possible, is more hateful and injurious than the rest. In allusion to the god of Ekron he is called Beelzebub, and Apollyon, which signifies a destroyer. Rev. ix. 11. More particularly,

1. Satan is called a prince, which implies power and dominion. The sinner's heart is his palace, his strong hold. He has a numerous retinue of other spirits, artful and mischievous like himself, whom he takes with him and employs in the most dishonourable services. His statutes and ordinances, which are directly opposed to the holy law of God, and his armour of defence, are the lusts and corruptions of men. He assumes the state of a prince; has a dreadful voice, and a powerful arm. "He beholdeth all high things, and is king over all the children of pride."


2. He is the prince of this world, and has been so almost from the beginning. The fall of man established his authority, and by craft and violence he seeks to maintain it. "The whole world lieth in the wicked one: they are in subjects and slaves, slumbering in his snare, and under his dominion. Do we inquire how he came by this principality? It was by conquest. He won the crown before he wore it. gained the victory over our first parents while in Eden;and having done this, has brought all their posterity into bondage. Wicked men also choose him for their ruler and governor. They serve him freely and by choice, yielding themselves servants to obey, and their members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin. They say to him in effect, as the trees did to the bramble, "Come thou and reign over us;" and fire will one day come out of this bramble, and consume the cedars of Lebanon. Judges ix. 14. Rom. vi. 16. 1 John v. 19.

Here let us inquire, whose subjects are we, and what master do we serve? If Jesus be not thy king, then Satan is. If thou art yet unconverted, serving divers lusts and pleasures, he is thy lord: and however pleasant his service may seem at present, it will issue in eternal disgrace and torment." But bless the Lord, O ye saints, who hath delivered you from the tyrannical power of this enemy, and translated you

into the kingdom of his dear Son! Let this act of unmerited grace be ever remembered by you, and make him the most grateful returns. "God is the Lord

who giveth us light: bind the sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar." Luke i. 74. Col. i. 13.

II. The prince of this world cometh.

The Saviour viewed his approach: he was near at hand. "When I was daily with you in the temple, (said he) ye stretched forth no hands against me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness." Satan was now coming down with great wrath, knowing that he had but a short time. His coming implies, 1. That he had hitherto kept at a distance. When he had been foiled by our blessed Lord in the wilderness, he was so discouraged by this unexpected defeat, that it is said, "he departed for a season." Thus it is sometimes with believers: when the enemy finds them upon their guard, and apprehends that his attempts will be unsuccessful, he will withdraw for a time, till they are less watchful and more secure; and thus he gains more by withholding a temptation than by renewing it. And when the unclean spirit goeth out of a man, not being cast out by omnipotent grace, he only quits his possession for a time in order the more effectually to resume and maintain it. So the Israelites fled before the men of Ai, that they might bring them into a snare, and effect their destruction. Satan might think of adopting this policy after his first defeat, and therefore he would now come with fresh hopes of success.

2. He had some particular end in view, which he wished to accomplish. He does not act without design. This adversary, the devil, goeth about, seeking whom he may devour. Some malicious purpose or other is always brooding in his breast. He is always full of mischief; and happy is it for those who are not

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