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and NO NEUTRALS in this case of which we are about to consider: as our Saviour also intimates in the saying, “ He that is not with me is against me, and he that gathereth not with me, scattereth abroad” (Matt. xii. 30): intimating that there were but two classes in his Kingdom by the criterion of obedience and a good will towards the truth, namely mediate and objective, under its Ruler or Supreme Authority ; the present mediates, as its present friends,—and all the multitude who are not mediates, as present objectives;—whom the government will coerce, if they do not enter into the Spirit of the government, or of its Prime Subject, the Great Subjective. For, considering the bounds of friendship or communion with more liberality than some of his followers, the Medium of the Son will take in by an if or hypothesis many whom they would be apt to cast out at once: which rather narrows the circle of reprobates, thank God and Christ! though it may still be wonderfully wide after all the Eldads and Medads, or chance prophets, are deducted.
Passing from the general notice of this relation to its particulars, or from the objectives of the Kingdom generally and collectively to the same specially and individually with a view to consider them more distinctly, we may begin with a division of the class into two orders by their standing or formation; as a geologist would begin or prepare for a distinction of the solid earth perhaps, which is the only theatre of their proceedings to us, or that we are able to contemplate-naming and considering 1, one order as primitive and fundamental; 2, the other as derivative and subsequent : as also by some an intermediate order might be conceived between the mediate and objective relations under the idea of neutral, and answering to the transition-rocks of geologists; but that, as before signified, such a neutral or transition-sort is not to be found in the Kingdom.
81. Considering therefore first, the first mentioned primitive and fundamental order of objectives in the
kingdom, they are wont to be mentioned as three particularly in form, though substantially but one, being all of a sort, or as we say, All One ; namely, 1, the Devil with his lying word and malignant spirit; 2, the wicked World, a vast congregation united in the same word and spirit; 3, the Flesh, i.e. substance of the wicked world, and body or vehicle of its wicked spirit. Which being three, are still found to act in concert, and not only in concert, but in common; all doing the same thing that either does; as our Saviour told some of them, namely the persecuting Jews, who with so different a spirit or principle from his had still the vanity to boast their descent from God by Abraham, But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God; this did not Abraham ... If God were your father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth, and came from God; neither came I of myself, but He sent me. Why do ye not understand my speech ? even because ye cannot hear my word. word. Ye are of
Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own : for he is a liar and the father of it.” (John viii. 40, 42, &c.) “ The lusts of your father ye will do;" being as much as to say, Ye will be led by his attractions; which are not personal indeed, but moral ; or rather immoral, and irreligious too.
There are however, three sorts of attractions adapted to the three several species or departments of life; namely the material, spiritual and intellectual above mentioned : one sort being properly named Habits, or Propensities; another Lusts, Passions, Appetites; the other Views, Motives, Reasons, Considerations, and the like. It is hard to say how, or in what proportions, the three several parties or correlatives; the devil, the world and the flesh above named, may be endowed with either sort of attraction ; but whatever may be its share, and in whatever it may consist, that will be the charm of each, and the particular motive by which it rules and operates. For what was said above of moral power generally may be said particularly of power in these three eminent instances; it wholly depends on the concession of its objects to the subject in every case but one, where power is Almighty, through the charm of its notion or image. Thus cruel and mischievous actions looking pleasant are the charm of the devil, which by the concession of its object will be one sort of motive or attraction; power and grandeur, tinsel, admiration and the like looking pleasant are the charm of the world, which is another ; an affinity of countenance with other particulars of the human form merely, independent of worth and character looking pleasant, or, as it was said of the attraction of Eve, being “ pleasant to the eyes” (Gen. iii. 6), or allowed to please, are the charm of the flesh, and another motive: all three tending to one effect, the misleading of their respective objects or dependents.
But these three are here to be considered as general objectives and primitive relations or fountains each embodying an host of derivatives, which will also be adverted to after these shall have severally received so much attention as may be deserved and conveniently afforded.
1. Therefore taking the said primitive objectives, Principalities or Powers as we may call them by allowance, successively into consideration, and beginning with the first mentioned, which is the Devil : to shew in few words, what sort of accomplice, or principal rather man has found for every offence:—there is in the world by permission of Him who knows how to bring good out of evil a being of that hateful and malignant quality, that the world would be ready to spew him out, or to dissolve with horror at the sight of him, if he could be presented to its view in a material form corresponding with the infernal elements of which he is composed. But being only discernible in quarter where he is least likely to be looked for, that is to say, in the unthinking heart; he there contrives to establish himself unobserved : and there and thence he spreads his baneful influence around him through the whole of the moral department, and through the whole course of our sublunary affairs with which it is connected; as the settlement of nations, the ordering of private families, the conduct of individuals. He animates both the ruthless tyrant breathing destruction to his people, and the infatuated people seeking their own destruction in the overthrow of a paternal government. He is the life of dissention between equals, of cruelty in superiors; in inferiors, of infidelity and disobedience in every shape and relation; of subjects to government, of children to parents, of servants to masters, of all men to God; an universal principle of strife, and a source of all the evils, which these dispositions aided by his diabolical ingenuity can effect or contrive. He steels the heart of the seducer, and softens the heart of his hapless victim : he clenches the hand of the miser, and opens wide the hand of his prodigal son; shuts the eye of compassion, and opens the eye of concupiscence. In short, his influence is everywhere, and always, and in every kind of operation : it seems as if it was perpetuated by an endless infection of the elements. The ambient air is not more prevalent on the surface of the earth, than is the influence of this wicked being on the lives and fortunes of its inhabitants; they breathe it from the womb, as if the air was tainted with it; they swallow it with their food, as if it grew under their feet: the minerals also abound with the same: it poisons all their comforts; and multiplies afflictions without end. For “ although affliction (as Job says) cometh not forth of the dust, neither doth trouble spring out of the ground; yet man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upward” (Job v. 6, 7), and all through the effect of this evil possession: the same being so universal and prevalent, that not only our middling and worst, but our very best actions and sentiments will all savour of it more or less without any
exception. For the wicked enslaver will have a share in every work of our hands, and in every thought of our hearts; and may well be said to reign universally upon earth, every motion both inward and outward, if not proceeding, yet receiving a direction, from him ; whatever may
be its success. The success of his toils has been experienced in every sort of preferment; in the army, the navy, the law, the state, and even in the church: so that there appears to have been some truth in his saying for once, when he told his Superior, after giving him a vision of all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, “All this power and the glory of them... is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it” (Luke iv. 6). But are power and glory all that he bestows? or does he not bestow likewise a larger meed of trouble and infamy? In very deed he seems to have as ample a share in this sort of success as in that, at least. If he bestows usurped or tyrannical power, he also makes thousands, and thousands upon thousands of poor guilty, disappointed and despicable candidates for the same; who had never been such, but for his evil counsels and suggestions, “ golden dreams” most frequently. For “they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition” (Tim. I. vi. 9): and whether the tempter might have been sincere or not in his proposal to Jesus, we know that he is not so generally; but if he keep his word with some, he will break it with more: and when he keeps his word, it will be rather to the ear than to the purpose. He may give great wealth, great power, great reputation : oh, what a reputation will he give sometimes to any blockhead that may be convenient for the emissaries of corruption! But what shall any of them ever have to show for what he gives them, more than the show itself? “A small thing that the righteous hath is better than great riches of the ungodly” (Ps. xxxvii. 16). For the devil may promise: but, as he does not govern contingents, he