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THE GLORY OF GOD IN THE LAND OF THE LIVING.
THE heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament sheweth his handy work;" but the land of the living is at present in the power of "the prince of this world, the spirit that now ruleth in the children of disobedience:" they have yielded to him that dominion which God at first vested in man. Satan now giveth the power to whomsoever he willeth; and the delegates of Satan shew his image, and cause terror in the land of the living, instead of shewing the image of God, and dispensing grace and bounty to all the subject creatures, by manifesting how excellent throughout all the earth is the name of the Lord our Lord (Psa. viii.)
When Christ was tempted of the devil, he was taken up into an exceeding high mountain, and all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them, shewn to him there. "And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them; for that is delivered unto me, and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou therefore wilt fall down before me, all shall be thine." And Jesus does not deny the possession by Satan of the power he claimed, but repels him, by pointing to God, from whom all power proceeds, and by whose long-suffering alone Satan continued to hold that dominion yielded up to him by the fall of Adam.
The devil is often called "the prince of this world" by our Lord (John xii. 31, xiv. 30), and "the god of this world" by the Apostle (2 Cor. iv. 4), the "prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience" (Eph. ii. 2), with principalities and powers at his command, as "rulers of the darkness of this world" (Eph. vi. 12).
And it is declared in Scripture, that in the last days-immediately before the day of Christ, provoking his vengeance and ushering in his glory-there shall be revealed a "man of sin," opposing and exalting himself "above all that is called God, or
that is worshipped; whose coming shall be after the working of Satan, with all power, and signs, and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish." To him Satan shall give his power, and his seat, and great authority, as he did to the Cæsars; and shall add thereto great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, and deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do, and shall cause that as many as will not worship the image of the beast shall be killed; and shall cause all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads (Rev. xiii. 6). This is the personal Antichrist, whose power is now fast gathering head, in whom all confederacies of evil shall be consummated and crowned; and this generation shall see that wicked one revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming (2 Thess. ii. 8). Royalty is of God; the expression of that dominion which God gave to man, and which Adam lost by the Fall. "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers; for there is no power but of God; the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever, therefore, resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God; and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same; for he is the minister of God to thee for good. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake" (Rom. xiii. 5). From whence it is clear that kings are God's representatives; a blessing to them that do good; to praise and reward the good the natural and proper office of rulers, wrath and terror being the unnatural consequence of evil, of sin, the most unnatural of all things in the creation of God, the contradiction of His being and attributes.
Man's abuse of the ordinance of God in royalty is no argument for denying or setting aside the ordinance, as Adam's loss of dominion is no proof that he never had it, no argument that Man shall not again be put in possession of lordship. But we know that the days are coming in which a KING shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth (Jer. xxiii.); that the Lord will anoint his KING upon the hill of Zion (Psa. ii.); that the hitherto despised Jesus shall become "KING of kings and LORD of lords" (Rev. xix.); and that then also man shall be reinstated in his lost dominion, though now we see not yet all things put under him (Heb. ii. 8, Psa. viii.)
The two offices of a king being to reward the good and to