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faid “ to be turned from the power of Satan un'to God.”. Acts, xxvi. 18. And again, Col. i. • 13. « God hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.” Sinners are not now where God' at first set them down, they are transported into another kingdom ; like the prodigal, they have left their father's house, and gone into a far country, where they have spent their substance, Luke, xv. 13. They are far from God, his covenant, and his Son. Thou art in Satan's kingdom, O unconverted foul! a black and dismal kingdom, where sin, darkness, and death reign, where there is no gleam of saving light or life ;, and if thou wert awakened out of thy dream, thou wilt fee matters so situated ; a kingdom with which God will have war for ever, and thou art an un
happy subject of that kingdom . . 2. They are plundered and robbed of all that is
valuable, as captives' ufed to be: Rev. iii. 17. « They are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked." The light of the mind, the righteousness of the will, the holiness of the affections; all is lost, all has become a spoil, and a prey to the hellish conqueror. Now thou art a poor captive, who haft nothing truly good left thee, nothing which the bands of hell have not made thee render up..
3. They are stripped, as has also been an ancient custom of dealing with captives. Thus, as the prophet Haiah, ch. xx. 3. 4. walked three years naked, for a sign and wonder upon Egypt and Ethiopia ; so did the king of Assyria carry away these nations captive, naked and bare-foot. What à melancholy fight is it, to fee brave mèn, who were glittering in shining apparel and arms
at the commencement of an engagement, when fallen into the hands of their enemies, stript and driven away naked before the conquerors. But yet more melancholy to see precious fouls stript by Satan of their original righteousness, and driven away before him, without any covering but rags, filthy rags, Rev. iii. 17. This, O finner! is the shameful and dangerous case, which thou art in as Satan's captive.
4. They are no more masters of themfelves, but under the power of the conqueror : 2 Tim. ii. 26. “ They are taken captive by him at his will.” Their liberty is gone, and they are slaves to the worst of masters. Wonder not that many a poor finner is at Satan's beck, over the belly of reason and conscience, to serve the devil, to their own visible ruin. Alas! they are captives, not at their liberty, but must go as he commands them: Rom. i. 23. « There is a law in their members, which bringeth thein into captivity to the law of fin and death."
5. If they get any thing that is valuable, they cannot get it kept, it is torn from them by the conqueror. As the Babylonians wasted and in-' sulted the Israelites, when they carried them away captives, fo does Satan waste and insult his captives, Pfal. cxxxvii. 3. Sometimes the natural man gets a conviction of fin or duty darted in on him, and this produces relentings for fin, and resolutions to amendment of life ; but they do not continue. Alas ! how can they, while they are Satan's captives, who will not suffer them to think of entertaining them, more than Pharaoh would endure the Ifraelites to think of leaving his service. Nay, he rests not till they have thrown them away. .
6. They are so secured, as that they cannot get away, they are kept by-the strong man under the power of darkness, Col. i. 13. There is a gulf fix. ed between them and all spiritual good, so that they cannot pass. Satan has his guards on them, whom they cannot escape to come back to the Lord. He has them fettered with divers lufts, which they cannot shake off. And, in a word, nothing less than a power stronger than all the powers of hell, can make way for the deliverance of a captive.
Lastly, If they but offer to make escape, they are more narrowly watched, stronger guards set on them, and more work put in their hands; as Pharaoh did with the Israelites, the devil does with his captives, Rom. vii. 9. 10. II. Hence many never go so far wrong, as on the back of communions, convictions, or times of more than ordinary seriousnefs, the powers of hell being joined together to stop the fugitive. -We now proceed,
III. To speak of the properties of this captivity. Here we observe, that it is,
1. A spiritual captivity, a captivity of the foul. The soul is the most precious part of the man: and therefore the captivity of it must be the most deplorable. All the captivity of men, if they were captives to the Turks or the most barbarous nations, extends but to the body. He whose body is in the power of another, his soul and thoughts are as free as those of any. But Satan lays his bands upon the inner man, and, go the body as it will, he holds fast the man, in so far as he holds fast the soul. And,
2. It is universal. It extends to all the powers
and faculties of the soul, the inner man. The natural man's mind is Satan's captive : 1 Cor. ii. 14. « The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him ; neither can he know them, because they are fpiritually difcerned." The Lord formed the mind of man in him, and endowed it with knowledge, to be the guide of the whole man in the way of haypiness; to be the eye of the soul, to distinguish betwixt sin and duty; and the pilot, to direct his course through the several rocks and quicksands that lay betwixt him and the shore of the upper Canaan. But in the engagement betwixt Satan and mankind, being wounded by the deceit of the teinpter, Gen. iii. 5. it fell into the hands of the enemy, who robbed it of its light, and shut up sinners in darkness. Hence they are said to be darkness, Eph. v. 8. They cannot see the way to escape : and withal, there is struck up a false light in the mind, which, like wild-fire, leads the soul into pits and fnares, causing it to put sweet for bitter, and bitter for sweet, good for evil, and evil for good. They thus “ glory in their shame, and mind earthly things,” Phil. iii. 19.-Again, the will is his cap. tive, They have a stony heart, Ezek. xxxvi. 16. The Lord having endowed this faculty with righteousness, and straightness with his own will, for, Eccl. vii. 29. “God made man upright,” gave the will dominion over the man, that nothing, good or evil, could be done by him without it. But behold, it fell likewise into the enemy's hands, who hath given it such a fet to the wrong fide, that no created power can again straighten ir: Hence, 2 Thef.ii. 5. “ The Lord direct your hearts into the love of God.” He only can do it. Satan holds it so fast, that it cannot move without the · VOL. III.
circle of evil he has drawn about it, nor can it will any thing truly good in a right manner: Phil. ii. 13. '“ It is God that worketh in us, both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” Satan hath loaded it with such heavy chains, that it cannot come to Chrift at his call, more than a mountain of brass can come to a man at his call. “ No man,” saith Jesus, “ can come unto me, except the Father who sent me draw him.”.–Farther, the affections also are Satan's captives : Gen. vi. 5. “ And God, saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” The affections being made perfectly holy, were subjected to the guidance of the mind, and the command of the will, and were set in the soul to execute its holy contrivances and will. But they also were taken in this war with hell; loosed from this bond of subjection to the understanding and will in these things, but nailed to Satan's door-posts to serve him and his work in the foul for ever; so that they have no heart for the price put into their hand to get wisdom, and can have no heart to it. But the natural man's joys and delights are arrested within the compass of carnal things, together with his desires, forrows, and all his other affections.
3. It is a hard and fore captivity. The Egyptians and Babylonians never treated their captives at the rate Satan does his. They are held busy, and even busy working their own ruin, kicking against the pricks, digging for the grave as for hid treasures. It is their constant work to feed their lults, to starve their souls ; and the design of their master is, that the one may ruin the other. It is their daily employment, to weave fnares for
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