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of their reward, then we may infer that it was their violating this law, and refusing and failing of this condition, which was that by which they fell. Hence we may infer, that the occasion of their fall was God's revealing this their end and special service to them, and their not complying with it. That must be the occasion of

their fall.

COROL. Confirmation of the angels at Christ's ascension. Hence it is rendered exceedingly probable that the angels were not confirmed till Christ's ascension. For, by what has been now said, it appears that the proper condition of their reward or wages must be their faithfulness in that special service for which God made them, or which was the end of their being; but that was to be ministering spirits to Christ in the great work of his exalting and glorifying beloved mankind. But the angels had not any great opportunity to do this business till this work of Christ's glorifying mankind had been carried on considerably in the world, nor had they the proper and chief trial whether they would submit to that service of being subservient to Christ in the work of redemption of fallen men, till that work of redemption was wrought, and Christ had gone through his humiliation, and it was seen whether they would submit to serve, obey, and adore their appointed Head and King in his abject meanness, and when set at nought and abased to hell for beloved, though sinful, vile men.

[1057] Occasion of the fall of the angels. How it is agreeable to the opinions of many divines that their refusing to be ministering spirits to beings of inferior rank, and to be subject to Jesus Christ in our nature, when the design of his incarnation was first revealed in heaven, and how that as man he was to be the head of the angels; see Mr. Charles Owen's Wonders of Redeeming Love, p. 74, &c. in our young people's library. See also Mr. Glass's Notes on Scripture Texts, Num. 3, p. 1—7.

[1261] Occasion of the fall of the angels. It is supposed by some, and very rationally and probably by Zanchius, whom I account the best of protestant writers in his judgment, and likewise by Suarez, the best of the school-men, that upon the very setting up, or at least upon the first notice that the angels had of the setting up of a kingdom for the man Christ Jesus, predestinated for to come, (and this, whether it was without the fall predestinated as some suppose, or upon supposition of the fall as others, yet so much might be revealed to them,) and of the divine purpose that the human nature wasto be assumed by, and united to, the second person of the Trinity, and that he was to be the head of all principality and power, and that angels and men should have their grace from him; it is supposed, I say, that on this being declared to be the will of God, that the rejection of this kingdom on the part of many of the an

gels, and their refusing to be subject unto Christ, as man thus assumed, was their first sin. And now in opposition hereunto they did set up another kingdom against him. Thus those writers whom I have mentioned do think; and they allege that place in the Epistle of Jude, ver. 6, where, the sin of the angels being described, it is said they kept not their first estate, but left their. own habitation, (which, say they, is not there brought in as their punishment,) they left the station God had set them in, and they left their dwelling in heaven to set up a kingdom here below in opposition to Christ, and so to have an independent kingdom of themselves; for which God hath condemned them into eternal torments, and to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment, 2 Peter ii. 4. And to set up this great kingdom is their business, and therefore they do now associate themselves together, not out of love, but as becometh rational creatures that would drive on a project and design. These writers not only go upon this place in Jude, but on that in John viii. 44, where Christ lays open both the devil's sin, and the sin of the Jews. The sin of the Jews was this, they would not receive that truth which Christ had delivered to them, as he tells them, ver. 45, "Because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not ;" and not receiving it, they sought to kill him. Now, if you ask what that truth was which Christ had so much inculcated upon them, you shall see, ver. 25, what it is. They asked him there, Who he was; "Even the same," saith he, " that I have told you from the beginning, THE MESSIAU, THE SON OF GOD. If the Son make you free, you shall be free indeed," ver 36. This was the great truth that these Jews would not receive. Now he tells them, likewise, ver. 44, that Satan, their father, the devil, abode not in the truth." He was the first, saith he, that opposed and contradicted this great truth, and would not be subject to God who revealed this, nor would he accept, or embrace, or continue, or stand; he would quit heaven first; and so from hence come to be a murderer, a hater of this man Christ Jesus, and of this kingdom, and of mankind. For he that hateth God, or he that bateth Christ, he is, in what in him lieth, a murderer of him, and he showed it in falling upon man. And they back it with this reason, why it should be so meant, because, otherwise the devil's sin which he compares them to, had not been so great as theirs. There had not been a likeness between the sin of the one and that of the other; his sin would have been only telling a lie, a lie merely in speech, and theirs had been a refusing that great truth, JESUS CHRIST IS THE MESSIAH AND HEAD; and so the devil's sin would have been less than theirs. Whereas he is made the great father of this great lie, of this great stubbornness to receive Christ, and to contradict this truth; and this, saith he, he

hath opposed from the beginning with all his might, and he setteth your hearts at work to kill me. But I say I will not stand upon this, because I only deliver it as that which is the opinion of some, and hath some probability. However, this is certain, whatsoever his sin was, he hath now, being fallen, set up his kingdom in a special manner against Christ; and so Christ hath been the great stumbling-stone, and angels fall upon it, and men fall upon it. So that indeed the first quarrel was laid in this; God himself proclaimed it at the very beginning. "The seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent's head;" which, though spoken to the serpent, comes in by way of curse, as striking at the very spirit of the devil's sin. "He shall break thy head," saith he.

Thou wouldest have lifted up thyself. He shall crush thee." God, I say, proclaimed the war, and the quarrel hath continued from the beginning of the world to this day, and will do, till Satan be put out of the air, for so long he is to have his kingdom, though Christ beateth him out of it every day in the world, and so will continue to do till he hath won the world from him, and then he will chain him up in the bottomless pit. This from Dr. Goodwin, vol. 1 of his works, part ii. p. 32, 33. [1266] Fall of the angels. The same Dr. Goodwin, in the 2d vol. of his works, in his Discourse on the Knowledge of God the Father, and of his Son Jesus Christ, speaking of the pride of some, has these words: "A lower degree of accursed pride fell into the heart of the devil himself, whose sin in his first apostatizing from God, is conceived to be a stomaching that man should be one day advanced unto the hypostical union, and be one person with the Son of God, whose proud angelical nature (then in actual existence, the highest of creatures,) could not brook."


[48] Seeing the devil is so cunning and subtil, it may seem a paradox why he will endeavour to frustrate the designs of an Omniscient Being, or to pretend to controvert him that is omnipotent, and will not suffer any thing but what is for his own glory, seeing that God turns every thing he does to the greater and more illustrious advancement of his own honour. And seeing he has experience of it, for so long a time, all his deep laid contrivances have at last come out to his own overthrow, and the work has been directly contrary to his design. To this I say, that although the devil be exceeding crafty and subtil, yet he is one of the greatest fools and blockheads in the world, as the subtilest of wicked men are. Sin is of such a nature, that it strangely infatu

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ates and stultifies the mind. Men deliberately choose eternal torments rather than miss of their pleasure of a few days; and to esteem a little silver and gold above eternal happiness, makes men choose a few minutes pleasure, though eternal misery be joined thereunto, rather than not have it; this do the cunningest of wicked men. Sin has the same effect on the devils to make them act like fools, and so much the more as it is greater in them than in others. The devil acts here according to his deliberate judgment, being driven on to his own inexpressible torment by the fury of sin, malice, revenge, and pride, and is so entirely under the government of malice, that although he never attempted any thing against God but he was disappointed, yet he cannot bear to be quiet and refrain from exercising himself with all his might and subtilty against the increase of holiness; though, if he considered, he might know that it will turn to its advantage.

[296] Devils.-It is probable one reason why men have the offer of a Saviour, and the devils never had, was because their sin was attended with that malice, and spite, and haughty scornfulness that was equivalent to that sin against the Holy Ghost. Their sin was a downright spiteful rebellion, and a direct malicious war against God, a scorn of subjection, and a proud seeking of his throne.

[353] Angels.-The fall and misery of the rebel angels contributes exceedingly to the happiness of the faithful angels; it greatly exalts and gives life to their joy, their love, and admiration, and praise; not, however, by any pleasure they take in their misery, but by seeing the miserable state of those of the same kind, from whom they are distinguished by God's electing love, which leads them to reflect what evil they have escaped, by withstanding the temptation of the chief of the rebel angels.


[442] See Angels.

[515] The fall of the angels that fell, was a great establishment and confirmation to the angels that stood. They resisted a great temptation by which the rest fell, whatever that temptation was, and they resisted the entreaties of the ringleaders which drew away multitudes: and the resisting and overcoming great temptation naturally tends greatly to confirm in righteousness. And probably they had been engaged on God's side in resisting those that fell when there was war and rebellion raised in heaven against God. All the hosts of heaven soon divided, some on one

side, and some on the other, and standing for God in opposition and war against those that are his enemies, naturally tended to confirm their friendship to God; and then they saw the dreadful issue of the fallen angels' rebellion, how much it was to their loss; they saw how dreadful the wrath of God was, which tended to make them dread rebellion, and sufficiently careful to avoid it. They now learnt more highly to prize God's favour by seeing the dreadfulness of his displeasure; they now saw more of the beauty of holiness, now they had the deformity of sin to compare it with. But when their time of probation was at an end, and they had the reward of certain confirmation by having eternal life absolutely made certain to them, is in some degree uncertain. However, there are many things that make it look exceedingly probable to me, that whenever this was done, it was through the Son of God, that he was the immediate dispenser of this reward, and that they received it of the Father through him.

1. We have shown before, in No. 320, that it was in contempt of the Son of God that those of them that fell, rebelled; it was because they would not have one in the human nature to rule over them. How congruous, therefore, is it, that those that stood should be dependent on him for their reward of confirmation in contempt of whom the others had rebelled. It was congruous that Christ, who was despised and rejected by a great number of the angels, should become the foundation upon which the rest should be built for eternal life, Ps. cxviii. 22, "The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner.”

That God should thus honour his Son in the sight of the angels, who had been thus contemned by the angels that fell in their sight, this makes it seem probable to me that the time of their confirmation was when Jesus Christ ascended into heaven; for,

First. It was Jesus Christ in the human nature, that was despised and rejected by the rebelling angels. It was congruous, therefore, that it should be Jesus Christ in the human nature that should confirm them that stood.

Secondly. It was also congruous that their confirmation should be deferred till that time, that before they were confirmed they might have a thorough trial of their obedience in that particular, wherein the rebelling angels were guilty, viz. in their submission to Jesus Christ in the human nature. It was congruous therefore that their confirmation should be deferred till they had actually submitted to Christ in man's nature as their King, as they had opportunity to do when Christ in man's nature ascended into heaven.

Thirdly. It seems very congruous that this should be reserved to be part of Christ's exaltation. We often read of Christ's being set over the angels when he ascended, and set at the right hand

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