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by Dr. John Thomas
This is a rule to which there is no exception; and the grand secret of that formality, coldness, and spiritual death, which are said to paralyse "the churches".
They are rich in all things, but the truth; and of that there is a worse than Egyptian scarcity.
THE PRINCE OF THIS WORLD.
"The prince of this world shall be cast out".
Sin made flesh, whose character is revealed in the works of the flesh, is the Wicked One of the world.
He is styled by Jesus oJ a[rcwn tou` covrmou touvtou the Prince of this world.
Kosmos , rendered world in this phrase, signifies, that order of things constituted upon the basis of sin in the flesh, and styled the kingdom of Satan, as opposed to the kingdom of God: which is to be established upon the foundation of "the word made flesh" obedient unto death.
Incarnated sin, and incarnated obedience, are the bases of the two hostile kingdoms, of God and of the adversary.
The world is Satan's kingdom; therefore it is, that "the saints," or people of God, both Israelites outwardly, and "Israelites indeed," are a dispersed and persecuted community.
Satan's kingdom is the kingdom of sin.
It is a kingdom in which "sin reigns in the mortal body," and thus has dominion over men.
It is quite fabulous to locate it in a region of ghosts and hobgoblins, remote from, or under the earth, where Pluto reigns as "God of Hell".
This notion is a part of the wisdom of those fleshly thinkers, who, as the apostle says, "professing themselves to be wise, became fools"; a wisdom, too, which "God hath made foolishness" by "the light of the glorious gospel of Christ".
The kingdom of sin is among the living upon the earth; and it is called the kingdom of Satan, because "all the power of the enemy," or adversary, of God and His people, is concentrated and incarnated in it.
It is a kingdom teeming with religion, or rather forms of superstition, all of which have sprung from the thinking of sinful flesh.
This is the reason why men hate, or neglect, or disparage, the Bible.
If the leaders of the people were to speak honestly they would confess that they did not understand it.
Their systems of divinity are the untoward thinkings of sinful flesh; and they know that they cannot interpret the Bible intelligibly according to their principles.
At all events they have not yet accomplished it.
Hence, one class have forbidden their people the use of the scriptures at all, and have placed it among prohibited books.
Another class advocates them, not because it walks by the light of them, but because they hate the tyranny of Rome.
These, in their public exhibitions, substitute their sermonizings for "reasoning out of the scriptures," and "expounding out of the law of Moses and the Prophets".
Thus they neglect the Bible, or use it only as a book of maxims and mottoes for their sermons; which, for the most part, have as much to do with the subject treated of in the text as with the science of gymnastics, or perpetual motion.