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minions: thus also the apostle tells us, that upon his ascension into heaven God hath given him a name above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, i. e. that every being should acknowledge subjection, either of things in heaven, or of things on earth, or things under the earth; i. e. whether of angels, or men, or devils. And as all these angelical powers are now subjected to Christ, so do they all of them minister under him in his kingdom ; for so Heb. i. 14. they are said to be all of them ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation ; and in so doing they must necessarily minister under him who is the Captain of our salvation; and accordingly, in Rev. v. 6. those seven angels which in Zech. iv. 10. are said to be the seven eyes of the Lord which run to and fro the whole earth, and therefore styled the watchers, Dan. iv. 13. as being the chief instruments of the divine Providence, are called the seven eyes of the Lamb, by whose ministry and agency he inspects and governs his kingdom, which plainly implies, that they now minister to the exalted Mediator, in the same capacity that they heretofore ministered to God Almighty himself.
2. And then, secondly, as the good angels are subject to Christ by the ordination and appointment of God, so the bad are subjected to him by just and lawful conquest; for so the scripture assures us, that our blessed Saviour subdued them to his mediatorial empire, by pure dint of just force and violence: for so we find in his lifetime he frequently contested with these evil spirits, and, in despite of all their power and malice, continually vanquished
and repelled them. Thus in his temptation in the wilderness, with only that powerful command, Get thee hence, Satan, he put the Devil to flight, Matth. iv. 10, 11. So also upon his approach towards the two possessed Gergesenes, the devils that possessed them made a hideous outcry, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God ? art thou come hither to torment us before the time? and were forced to depart immediately upon his command, Matth. viii. 29. Nor did he only vanquish them himself in all the personal conflicts he had with them, but he also gave his disciples authority over all devils, Luke ix. 1. insomuch that, Luke x. 17. his disciples acquaint him, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. But these were only so many successful skirmishes with those powers of darkness, in which they fought against him, sometimes in single combat, and sometimes in smaller parties: but the main battle, in which they engaged him with all their power and might, and by winning of which he completed his conquest, and finally subdued them to his empire, seems to have been that which he fought in his last agony; wherein, after they had reduced him to the utmost distress, he struck them with the spiritual thunderbolts of inward horror and confusion, and in a panic dread forced them to turn their backs and flee from him. For first, it is evident that before he entered the garden, where his agony seized him, he expected some terrible assault from these infernal powers: so he tells his disciples, just before he went thither, Hereafter I will not talk much with you; for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me : i. e. Give me leave now to discourse freely with you, be
cause within a very little while I shall be so engaged, that I shall not be at leisure to discharge my mind to you; for the prince of devils is just now mustering up all his legions against me, and is coming to make his last effort upon mne: but this is my comfort, he will find nothing in me, no sinful inclination to take part with him, no guilty reflection to expose me to his tyranny, John xiv. 30. And accordingly, Luke xxii. 53. when the Jews had apprehended him, he expostulates the case with them, why they did not lay hands on him before, when he was daily with them in the temple; and then answers himself, But
your hour, and the power of darkness. As much as if he should have said, I need not wonder you did not seize me sooner; for this, alas! is the appointed time wherein my Father had decreed to let loose the devils and you upon me.
Which plainly shews that in that dismal hour he was assaulted by the devils as well as by the Jews; for in all probability those crafty and sagacious spirits had smelt out the merciful design of his approaching death, viz. that it was to be a ransom for the sins of the world: and therefore, though they were desirous enough of his death, as is apparent by their animating Judas and the Jews against him, yet, dreading the end and intention of it, they resolve to employ all their art and power to tempt and deter him from undergoing it, and either to prevail with him to avoid it by a shameful recantation, or at least not to consent to it; that so being forced and involuntary it might be void and ineffectual. In which black design of theirs God himself thought meet so far to favour them, as to give them his free permission to try him to the utmost; that so having experienced in himself the utmost force of temptation that human nature is liable to, he might thereby be touched with a more tender sympathy with it, or, as the author to the Hebrews expressed it, that having suffered himself being tempted, he might be able to succour them that are tempted, chap. ii. 17, 18. But then, secondly, if we consider the woful circumstances of his agony, it is evident that it was the effect of some far more powerful cause than merely a natural fear of his ensuing death and bodily torment; for no sooner was he entered on that tragic stage, but he began to be sorrowful, said St. Matthew, chap. xxvi. 37. or to be sore amazed, as St. Mark, chap. xiv. 33. or to be very heavy, as both; which words, according to their native signification, declare him to have been all on a sudden oppressed with some mighty damp, which, arising from some fearful spectacle or imagination, overwhelmed his soul with an unknown and inexpressible anguish, an anguish that sunk and depressed him into as deep a dejection as it was possible for an innocent mind to endure; causing him to groan out that said complaint, My soul is exceeding sorrowful even unto death, Ilepí λυπός έστιν η ψυχή μου, i. e. My soul is encompassed with grief, and, like a desolate island, surrounded on every
side with an ocean of sorrows, and that even unto death : as if it had been struggling under some mortal pang, and the pains of hell had got hold upon it. And so intolerable was his passion, that though he liberally vented it both at his eyes and lips, in tears, and sighs, and sorrowful complaints ; yet that was not a sufficient discharge for it, but through all the innumerable pores of his body it poured out itself as it were in great drops of blood,
Luke xxii. 44. All which considered, I can by no means think that that which occasioned this bitter agony was merely the prospect of what he was going to suffer from the hands of men, since not only some martyrs, but some malefactors have suffered much more with less dejection; and if you consult the history, you will find that he bore his death far better than his agony: from whence we have just reason to believe that the latter was more grievous to him than the former, and that the crucifixion of his body on the cross was nothing near so painful to him as the crucifixion of his mind in the garden; and since his sufferings in his agony are described with more tragical circumstances than his sufferings on the cross, we have just reason to conclude they were inflicted on him by more spiteful and powerful executioners, and consequently that he endured the tortures of men only on the cross, but of devils in the garden; where being left all alone, naked, and abandoned of the ordinary supports of his godhead, and having only an angel to stand by and comfort him, (i. e. to represent such considerations to him of the benefits and advantages of his death, as were most proper to fortify him against the temptations which the devils were then urging, to deter him from it,) he was in all probability surrounded with a mighty host of devils, who exercised all their power and malice to persecute his innocent soul, to distract and fright it with horrid phantasms, to afflict it with dismal suggestions, and vex and cruciate it with dire imaginations and dreadful spectacles. Thirdly, If we consider that strange unaccountable drowsiness which seized his disciples, whilst he was in his agony, it seems to have been the effect of a