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can principalities, and powers, and governors, and princes of the darkness of this world, design other than several ranks of evil angels. There can be no being without some kind of order ; there can be no order in parity. If we look up into heaven, there is the King of gods, the Lord of lords, higher than the highest. If to the earth, there are monarchs, kings, princes, peers, people. If we look down to hell

, there is the prince of devils. They labour for confusion that call for parity. What should the church do with such a form, as is not exemplified in heaven, in earth, in hell ?

One devil, according to their supposition, may be used to cast out another. How far the command of one spirit over another may extend, it is a secret of infernal state, too deep for the inquiry of men. The thing itself is apparent; upon compact and precontracted composition, one gives way to the other for common advantage. As we see in the commonwealth of cheaters and cut-purses, one doth the fact, another is fee'd to bring it out and to procure restitution : both are of the trade, both conspire to the fraud ; the actor falls not out with the revealer, but divides with him that cunning spoil.

One malicious miscreant sets the devil on work to the inflicting of disease or death ; another upon agreement, for a further spiritual gain, takes him off ; there is a devil in both. And if there seem more bodily favour, there is no less spiritual danger in the latter ; in the one Satan wins the agent, the suitor in the other. It will be no cause of discord in hell, that one devil gives ease to the body which another tormented, that both may triumph in the gain of a soul. O God, that any creature, which bears thine image, should not abhor to be beholden to the powers of hell for aid, for advice ! “ Is it not because there is not a God in Israel that men go to inquire of the God of Ekron ?" Can men be so sottish to think, that the vowed enemy of their souls can offer them

a bait without a hook ? "What evil is there in the city which the Lord hath not done?” what is there which he cannot as easily redress ? he wounds, he heals again; and if he will not, “It is the Lord, let him do what seems good in his


If he do not deliver

us, he will crown our faithfulness in a patient perseverance. The wounds of God are better than the salves of Satan.

Was it possible, that the wit of envy could devise so high a slander ? Beelzebub was a god of the Heathen, therefore herein they accuse him for an idolater; Beelzebub was a devil to the Jews, therefore they accuse him for a conjuror. Beelzebub was the chief of devils, therefore they accuse him for an archexorcist, for the worst kind of magician. Some professors of this black art, though their work be devilish, yet they pretend to do it in the name of Jesus, and will presumptuously seem to do that by command, which is secretly transacted by agreement.

The Scribes accuse Christ of a direct compact with the devil, and suppose both a league and familiarity, which by the law of Moses, in the very hand of a Saul, was no other than deadly. Yea, so deep doth this wound reach, that our Saviour searching it to the bottom, finds no less in it than the sin against the Holy Ghost, inferring hereupon that dreadful sentence of the irremissibleness of that sin unto death. And if this horrible crimination were cast upon thee, O Saviour, in whom the prince of this world found nothing, what wonder is it, if we, thy sinful servants, be branded on all sides with evil tongues ?

Yea, which is yet more, how plain is it, that these men forced their tongue to speak this slander against their own heart ! else this blasphemy had been only against the Son of man, not against the Holy Ghost : but now that the Searcher of hearts finds it to be no less than against the blessed Spirit of God, the spite must needs be obstinate, their malice doth wilfully cross their conscience. Envy never regards how true,

but how mischievous : so it may gall or kill, it cares little whether with truth or falsehood. For us, “ blessed are we when men revile


all manner of evil of us, for the name of Christ ;" for them, “what reward shall be given to thee, thou false tongue ? even sharp arrows with hot burning coals,” yea, those very coals of hell from which thou wert enkindled.

There was yet a third sort that went a midway betwixt wonder and censure. These were not so malicious as to impute the miracle to a Satanical operation; they confess it good, but not enough, and therefore urge Christ to a further proof:-Though thou hast cast out this dumb devil, yet this is no sufficient argument of thy divine power. We have yet seen nothing from thee like those ancient miracles of the times of our forefathers. Joshua caused the sun to stand still ; Elijah brought fire down from heaven; Samuel astonished the people with thunder and rain in the midst of harvest : if thou wouldest command our belief, do somewhat like to these. The casting out of a devil shows thee to have some power over hell; show us now that thou hast no less power over heaven. There is a kind of unreasonableness of desire, and insatiableness in infidelity; it never knows when it hath evidence enough. This, which the Jews overlooked, was a more irrefragable demonstration of divinity than that which they desired. A devil was more than a meteor, or a parcel of an element ; to cast out a devil by command, more than to command fire from heaven. Infidelity ever loves to be her own carver.

No son can be more like a father than these Jews to their progenitors in the desert : that there might be no fear of degenerating into good, they also of old tempted God in the wilderness. First, they are weary of the Egyptian bondage, and are ready to fall out with God and Moses for their stay in those furnaces. By ten miraculous plagues they are freed; and, going out of those confines, the Egyptians follow them, the sea is before them ; now they are more afflicted with their liberty than their servitude. The sea yields way, the Egyptians are drowned : and now that they are safe on the other shore, they tempt the providence of God for water; the rock yields it them; then, no less for bread and meat, God sends them manna and quails: they cry out of the food of angels. Their present enemies in the way are vanished; they whine at the men of measures in the heart of Canaan. Nothing from God but mercy, nothing from them but temptations.

Their true brood, both in nature and in sin, had abundant proofs of the Messiah ; if curing the blind, lame, diseased, deaf, dumb, ejecting devils, overruling the elements, raising the dead, could have been sufficient, yet still they must have a sign from heaven, and shut up in the style of the tempter, “If thou be the Christ. The gracious heart is credulous, even where it sees not, it believes, that where it sees but a little, it believes a great deal. Neither doth it presume to prescribe unto God, what and how he shall work; but takes what it finds, and unmoveably rests in what it takes. Any miracle, no miracle serves enough for their assent, who have built their faith upon the gospel of the Lord Jesus.



The number of the apostles was not yet full; one room is left void for a future occupant. Who can but expect that it is reserved for some eminent person ? and behold Matthew the publican is the man. Oh the strange election of Christ! Those other disciples, whose calling is recorded, were from the fisher-boat; this from the tolbooth: they were unlettered; this

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infamous. The condition was not in itself sinful ; but, as the taxes which the Romans imposed on God's free people were odious, so the collectors, the farmers of them, abominable. Besides that it was hard to hold that seat without oppression, without exaction. One, that best knew it, branded it with polling and sycophancy. And now behold a griping publican called to the family, to the apostleship, to the secretaryship of God. Who can despair in the conscience of his unworthiness, when he sees this pattern of the free bounty of him that calleth us? Merits do not carry it in the gracious election of God, but his mere favour. There sat Matthew the publican, busy in his counting-house, reckoning up the sums of his rentals, taking up his arrearages, and wrangling for denied duties; and did so little think of a Saviour, that he did not so much as look at his passage ; but

Jesus, as he passed by, saw a man sitting at the receipt of custom, named Matthew.” As if this prospect had been sudden and casual, Jesus saw him in passing by. O Saviour, before the world was, thou sawest that man sitting there, thou sawest thine own passage, thou sawest his call in thy passage ; and now thou goest purposely that way, that thou mightest see and call

. Nothing can be hid from that piercing eye, one glance whereof hath discerned a disciple in the clothes of a publican. That habit, that shop of extortion, cannot conceal from thee a vessel of election. In all forms thou knowest thine own; and, in thine own time, shall fetch them out of the disguises of their foul sins or unfit conditions. What sawest thou, O Saviour, in that publican, that might either allure thine eye, or not offend it? what but a hateful trade, an evil eye, a gripple hand, bloody tables, heaps of spoil ? yet now thou saidst, “Follow me.” Thou that saidst once to Jerusalem, “Thy birth and nativity is of the land of Canaan ; thy father was an Amorite, thy mother a Hittite ; thy navel was not cut, neither wert thou washed in water to supple

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