Matthew 12:29-30. How can one enter, &c. How could I cast out Satan, and destroy his works, if I did not first overcome him? “The house of the strong man (or, strong one, as του ισχυρου should rather be rendered) into which Christ entered, was the world, fitly called Beelzebub’s house, or palace, because there he is served by luxury, lust, covetousness, pride, anger, and the other evil passions of men. The goods or vessels belonging to the strong one are the wicked, called Satan’s vessels metaphorically, as Paul is called Christ’s chosen vessel, Acts 9:15. Or, by the vessels, or furniture of Beelzebub’s house, we may understand the lusts and passions of men’s hearts, the instruments by which he keeps possession of them.” He that is not with me is against me He that does not unite and co- operate with me, who am contending against Satan and his kingdom, is against me, as being unwilling that his kingdom should be destroyed. And he that gathereth not with me That does not set himself, according to his ability, to gather subjects into my kingdom, and promote the cause of truth and grace among men, scattereth abroad Hinders the work of God upon earth, and either prevents men from entering upon a life of piety and virtue, or obstructs their progress therein. In other words, there are no neuters in this war: every one must be either with Christ or against him; either a loyal subject or a rebel; and there are none upon earth who neither promote nor obstruct his kingdom. For every one does either one or the other daily. Much more criminal and fatal, then, must the character and conduct of those be, who, with deliberate, implacable malice, oppose Christ’s cause, and are resolved, at all adventures, to do their utmost to bring it down, as the Pharisees were now attempting to do by these vile suggestions, whereby they endeavoured to represent Christ, who came to save men, as an accomplice with Satan, who was labouring to destroy them.
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