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"Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come : and doth put all things under his feet" .Ver. 21, 22.

THE scope of the Apostle in these words is, by way of amplification, to set forth unto us the glorious exaltation of our Lord and Head Jesus Christ. He had described his exaltation in the words before under this metaphor, 'he set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places.' Here he goeth on to amplify and set him forth, as before, under a similitude of sitting at God's right hand, comparing God to a great king, and Christ to his eldest son that sitteth in his throne, invested with that power which God himself shonld execute. but here now in these words he setteth him forth to us by these three things
In the first place, by histancing in the greatest powers, in the most excellent things that are ; he instanceth in the best, to shew that he is set over all : ' he is exalted,' saith he, 'far above all principality and power, might and dominion.' In the second place, lest he should not have mentioned all, he addeth, 'and every name that is named.'
Thirdly, to shew that it is, as over all, so everywhere, he mentioneth both worlds ' not only in this world,' saith he, ' but also in that which is to come.'
Fourthly, he addeth the lowness of the subjection that all principality and power, &c., hails to him, in the 22d verse ; ' and hath put,' saith he, ' all things under his feet.' Now then, to begin first with this, to shew you the exaltation of Christ in respect of all persons, degrees of persons whatsoever; he is exalted far above.' I opened that ' far above' in my last discourse, and I will not now repeat anything. The persons here are ' principalities and powers, might and dominion.'
He goeth on here indeed to follow the similitude he had begun. He had compared God to a great king, heaven to his court where he hath his throne. Jesus Christ to his eldest son that did use to sit in the throne, and no subject else ; and yet these kings had nobles, they bad rulers of great place and authority under them in all their dominions. He presentcth here Christ sitting upon the throne of God the Father as his eldest Son, so he mentioneth all sorts of under-rulers, of nobles that belong to any of his dominions principalities and powers, might and dominion.' He instanceth in these as being the most excellent; and if he be over these, and far above these, and hath these under his feet, then how high must this exaltation of Jesus Christ be?
The glory of a king, you know, hath not only in having subjects, but in having subjects of snbordinate ranks. There are the common people ; and there are the noblesse, as they call them, the gentry ; and then there are the nobles over them ; and so by this subordination of powers doth the glory of a king appear. As you see it is in this kingdom, and so especially in those eastern monarchies, the language of which the Scripture speaks in, which remain to this day more absolute than our European princes are ; as in Persia, you rcad in Esther i. 14, of seven that were counsellors of Media and Persia, and then you read of nobles and rulers over all the one hundred and twenty-seven provinces, that were under them. And to this day, the Great Turk hath his bashaws, whereof every one is as great as European kings are, and under them they have their governors likewise, and it is a tyranny, a snperiority downward ; and by all these - when they appear before the Great Turk, they fall down upon their faces and lie at his fect - doth appear the greatness of that monarch. So it is here ; here is God's eldest Son having all principalities and powers in any world you can imagine lie at his feet.
Now then, to open unto you, first, what is meant by these expressions, principalities, powers, might, and dominion. It is as if you should speak according to the language of England, there are deputies, as you know there is the Deputy of Ireland, and dukes, and marquises, and earls, &e. Or in Turkey there are viziers, bashaws, and beglerbegs, these are the titles of their nobles. So is it here, here is principality, and power, and might, and dominion.
A parallel place with this is that in Col. i. 16; the order indeed is inverted, for that the Apostle stands not upon. ' By him,' saith he, 'all things were created, that are in heaven, and that are iu earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers.' Here in the text, he leaveth out thrones, but instead of it putteth in might, there is all the difference ; and he meaneth authorities of governments, both visible and invisible, in this world and the world to come.
It is hard to distinguish the subordination of these; only we are certain of this, that by which we translate here principality, supreme magistrates are meant; also powers, ordinary powers, inferior magistrates are meant. By 'might,' may be meant any power that hath force in it, as your tyrannical power hath, And by 'dominion,' those lower kinds of lordship that masters have over families, parents have over children. So as he doth instance both in the highest and in the lowest. His scope is to take all governments in, that is certain. Therefore in 1 Cor. xv. 24, he speaks there how that Jesus Christ will put all governments down, and he mentioneth three of those that are here in the text. 'He shall deliver up the kingdom to his Father, when he shall have put down all rule ' - the word is that which we translate principality - ' and all authority ' - the word is the same which we translate power here in the text - ' and power,' the word is the same that is translated might in the text.
Now, it is enough to us that the Apostle doth here intend these two things First, a subordination of powers, of higher powers and lower powers. Secondly, That he doth intend all sorts of power, all rule, power, and authority whatsoever, and that in either world.
Now-, to open what should be meant by these powers here that are thus subordinate one to another which the Apostle here intendeth - We find these names, principalities and powers, might and dominion, given to three sorts of rulers - To good angels.
To bad angels.
To men that are magistrates in this world.
Then the question will be, Which of all these should be meant here? I will shew you, first, that these titles and terms here used are given to all these three sorts.
They are first applied to men, to magistrates: Tit. in. 1, he biddeth them 'be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates.' And in the 8th verse of the Epistle of Jude you have another word here used; you have that mentioned there too, dominion. So that these are applied to magistrates upon earth. - That is the first.
Then we have them applied to good angels; they are called principalities and powers too. Besides that place in Col. i. 16, which I mentioned even now, 'all things visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers,' - there are invisible thrones, and dominions, and principalities, and powers, - besides that place, take that in Eph. in. 10, 'To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be made known by the church the manifold wisdom of God.' He sheweth the scope of the preaching of the gospel; it was that the angels who are employed about the affairs of this world, - which he calleth therefore principalities and powers, - they coming to the sermons preached in the church, as they do, having occasion to come down into the world, that to them 'might be made known by the church the manifold wisdom of God.'
Then, thirdly, you find these are put for bad angels, for devils; for that take Eph. vi. 12, 'We wrestle not against flesh and blood,' - that is, with mankind only, we do not only wrestle with kings and emperors, and the great men of the world, - 'but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world.' And if you will have a clear place for it, it is Col. ii. 15, where it is said, that Christ 'spoiled principalities and powers, and made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.' Here now is the question, Which of all these three should be here meant, whether the rulers of this world, or whether bad angels, or good angels, or all of them?
In a word, my brethren, that which I shall tell you is this, that the Apostle meaneth here all these. I will give you my reasons why: for he speaks of the advancement of Christ, not only above one sort of principality and power, but 'above all principality and power, might and dominion;' not only in one world, but he 'hath set him,' saith he, 'in heavenly places, far above all principalities and powers,' therefore above good angels that are principalities and powers in heavenly places. And because he would be sure to include all, saith he, 'every name that is named;' because he would take in all worlds, saith he, 'in this world and in that which is to come;' and as in his Epistle to the Colossians he expresseth it, 'visible and invisible, in heaven and in earth.'
I will give you but one parallel place for it, where you shall find that Christ is said to sit at God's right hand, above angels and all principalities and powers whatsoever. It is 1 Peter in. 22: 'He is gone into heaven,' saith he, 'and is on the right hand of God,' - it is the same that the text saith, - 'angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.' Here, you see, all sorts are taken in, angels and men on earth. That which the text saith, 'all principalities, and powers, and every name that is named in this world, and in the world to come;' Peter saith, 'angels and authorities and powers,' be they what they will be. So that now all is meant. Only, my brethren, for explication sake I will say but these two things, whereof the first is this: That the Apostle's scope is not to reckon up all the orders and ranks of powers on earth, or powers in heaven, or amongst the devils, for what they are we know not; he doth not instance in all the particulars, therefore he bringeth in this general, 'every name that is named' It doth not follow that there are no more, and but so many; neither indeed is it much how we distinguish them; it is enough that there are subordination of powers in all these worlds, and that all these subordinations are subject unto him.
The second thing that I would add is this: That the governments of this world, which are called, you know, principalities and powers, they are used as expressions to signify out unto us the governments in the other worlds, or, if you will, invisible governments; that is the better expression of the two: that though there be a subordination of angels amongst themselves, yet he doth express it by the same names that the governments here below are expressed, of principalities and powers, and might and dominion; for this world is a scheme of the other world, and the government of this visible world is a shadow of the government of the invisible world.
I will add a third thing, and that is this: That if the Apostle speaks here of angels, - as certainly he doth, both good and bad, - his scope is not to shew by these several titles several actions of angels, but several ranks of angels distinct, though expressed to us under what is here in this world. That is clear from Col. i. 16; 'Things visible or invisible, whether,' saith he, 'they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers.' That same word implieth that they are distinct. It is not the same angel is sometimes a 'throne,' and sometimes a 'dominion,' used in several works; but as amongst men there are several offices, so likewise amongst them. So much now, in the general, for the explication of this, 'principality and power, might and dominion.'
Now then, of the governors of this world there is no question; but all the question is of the invisible governments, - the angels, good and bad, which here Jesus Christ is said to have under his feet, - that are called principalities and powers. I will handle them both together, and manifest unto you that there is a subordination - what, we know not - of angels, of invisible governments, both good and bad, in respect of which they are, as the Scripture calleth them, principalities and powers, both the one and the other. I shall shew you the subordination or the superiority that there is both amongst themselves, and also over this world in ordering the affairs thereof. There is a subordination both of good and bad angels amongst themselves, and there is likewise a subordination in respect of ordering the affairs of this world; and over all these is Jesus Christ so far above; as that they are all under his feet.
First, for the angels among themselves. It is a clear case of the bad angels; for of the devils it is said, Matt. xii. 24, that there is Beelzebub, the prince of the devils: and in the same place, - for it was an objection made against Christ, that he cast out devils by the power of the prince of the devils, - our Saviour Christ answereth at the 25th verse, 'Every kingdom divided against itself cannot stand: if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?' He compareth them to a kingdom; and he compareth them to a kingdom for this, that as in a kingdom there is a power superior and subordinate, so there is amongst them.
In Eph. ii. 2, the Apostle speaks of the 'prince of the power of the air.' By power there he certainly meaneth the devils, who are called principality and power, the same name, and their prince, he certainly meaneth the great devil, that great serpent that tempted Adam: he calleth all the rest in the singular number, because they all agree together in one for mischief, they are as one army, and as one kingdom, whereof he is the general. Therefore our Saviour Christ calleth him, 'the prince of this world.' And, if you mark it, our Saviour Christ doth not deny, in that place I quoted before, but that the great devil could have commanded the lesser devils out; only he saith this, he confuteth them another way: saith he, It is impossible he should be so foolish to do so; for then he must divide his kingdom against himself. There lieth our Saviour's reason: he denieth not but that the great devil could have commanded the lesser; for he is the prince of devils, he is the prince of the power of the air; that is, of all the whole army of devils that are in the air, who are but one power, one force, as you call it.
I might urge this likewise from that in Eph. vi. 12, where they are called, as principalities and powers, so they are called the rulers of this world. As rulers of the world, - they are rulers in that respect, - so principalities and powers amongst themselves; they are both principalities and powers - some are chief, and some are inferior; for inferior magistrates are meant, unless the word 'higher' be added for distinction's sake; as Rom. xin. 1, 'Let every soul be subject to the higher powers.' So much now for the devils, that there is a subordination amongst them, there are principalities and powers among them, and there is one chief, the 'prince of devils' - the 'prince of this world,' as our Saviour calleth him, and the 'prince of the power of the air.'
Then come to the good angels, and you shall find the like. In Dan. x. 13, there cometh an angel to Daniel, and, as I shall shew you anon, he was a created angel; but, however, that is not to the purpose whether he was or no. He cometh to Daniel, and speaks of another angel besides himself. He saith, there was an angel that touched him, and bade him not fear, and excuseth why he had not come to him sooner, though his prayers were heard many days before; so you read, ver. 12. Saith he, ver. 13, 'The prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one-and-twenty days; but, lo,' saith he, 'Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.' To open these words unto you : - Here are two angels spoken of, whereof one mentioneth the other. There is one appeareth to Daniel, and telleth him a story of Michael, another angel; and, if you mark it, he saith this Michael is the first of the chief princes. Certainly he is compared with those of his own rank; he is not compared with the chief princes of this world, with men; it is certainly in respect of angels; if so, then there are chief princes amongst them. And in Dan. xii. 1, 'Then shall Michael stand up, the great prince, who is the first of the chief princesf and they are called chief princes, too, in respect of others of their own rank - namely, angels - who are not of the chief magistracy, as those princes are said to be; for you must make all comparisons in respect of the same kind. This word here, the first, or one, doth not always imply one that is above the rest in authority, but it is used of the first in number; as in all bodies where there is an aristocracy, where you have many that are chief magistrates, there is one that is first in rank, first in number, as Peter was amongst the apostles; and as it is in Gen. i. 5, that which we translate the first day is one day, - so the word signifieth, that is, the first number, for we say one in reckoning, two, three, the. So this great angel here was the first of the rank of the chief magistracy of heaven.
I will not determine, as some have undertaken to do, - not Papists only, but Protestants, and that of late, - that there are seven of these chief princes, angels. There is an old tradition amongst the Rabbis, - it is older than Christ, and it is in the Book of Tobit, - where the angel is brought in speaking to Tobias: 'I am Raphael,' saith he, 'one of the seven angels that stand ministering before the Holy One.' I will not, I say, insist upon that, for I know indeed no full ground for it in the Book of God, though there are many pretty allusions to make it good; as the 'seven spirits that stand before the throne of God,' mentioned both in Zechariah and in the Revelation, which, say they, are these seven chief angels.
I will not stand confuting of this, only there is one argument against it which I never yet saw answered. That in the Revelation cannot be meant of the seven angels; for in the first chapter, he wisheth 'grace and peace from God, and from the seven spirits that are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ,' &c. He would never have wished grace and peace from archangels, and left the Holy Ghost out, and so rank them with the Father and the Son. We find, evidently, that this Michael, that is here in Daniel called the 'first of the princes,' in the 9th verse of the Epistle of Jude is called an 'archangel;' as Christ, you know, is called the great shepherd and bishop of our souls; or as you say here an 'archbishop,' so he is called here an archangel.
And it is certain the angel there mentioned in Jude was not Christ. Why? Because it is said, that when he disputed with the devil about the body of Moses, he durst not bring a railing accusation; mark that word, he durst not. Our Saviour Christ was not incarnate when Moses died; how can it be said of the Son of God that he durst not? It must be spoken of the second Person if that interpretation hold, for he was not then incarnate; therefore it is certain he was a created angel that is called there an archangel. And in 1 Thess. iv. 16, yon shall find mention made of the voice of the archangel, not the voice of an archangel; but 'the Lord shall descend with the voice of the archangel;' so that he is distinguished from Christ, so as it is not Christ.
Now the notion I drive it to is this: Here is a subordination, you see; here are your chief princes, which for my part I think are archangels, whereof this Michael is one, the first in order, as Peter was the first of the apostles, though they were equal. For I find this in Col. i. 16, where he reckoneth your invisible magistracy, he doth not reckon any one in heaven as supreme and alone above all the rest; but he reckoneth thrones and dominions. What is meant by thrones? Those that have kingly power, superior power; for by thrones is always meant the power of kings. Now he doth not say, there is one throne, one angel in heaven above all the rest in authority, as a king is over his subjects; but he makes an aristocracy of it, he saith they are thrones, like so many kings; for the seven counsellors of the kings of Persia are called kings in Dan. x. 13. 'I remained there,' saith he, 'with the kings of Persia;' which were the seven counsellors mentioned in Esther i. 14. Therefore the king of Persia is called a king of kings. So now, there are thrones indeed in heaven amongst the angels; there are those that are the chief princes, that are as kings in comparison of the rests whereof this Michael is the first; but there is not in heaven one angel above all the rest, I know no ground for that.
And I have this fnrther reason to second it, the difference between heaven and hell. For in hell there is a kingdom set up against Christ, and that is resolved into a monarchy; but in heaven, though some, I know not how many, are thrones, yet they are all under one king, who is the King of kings, the Lord Jesus Christ; he is the King of angels, the Head of all principalities and powers; and there is not one created angel over all the rest. They are called thrones, I say, not a throne, when he speaks of invisible governments, Col. i. 17. Only there is that objected in Rev. xii. 7, where it is said that Michael and his angels fought against the dragon and his angels. And it is certain, though angels are not intended there, yet it is an allusion unto them. It is plain angels are not intended there, for it is said, ver. 11, that those angels 'overcame by the blood of the Lamb,' and that they loved not their lives unto the death. Yet, however, the allusion is to this great angel, that is, the first of the chief princes; and because he is the first, the first in order, the first in number, - that pre-eminence indeed Daniel giveth him, - therefore the rest are called his angels; but yet he is not their prince by way of authority, as the great Beelzebub is amongst the devils. You shall find this, to confirm this notion, that the angels are in their several charges, a multitude of them, subordinate to some one; and that those have the government of the rest, it should seem by that in Daniel where there is mention made of many that are chief princes.
I will give you a scripture or two. You shall find in Luke ii. that to the shepherds in the field an angel is said to appear, one angel is still mentioned for a long while. 'And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them,' so ver. 9. 'And the angel said, Fear not,' so ver. 10. But at ver. 13, 'And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host.' He doth not say all the heavenly host; this was not the chief angel of all the rest of the angels that brought them all down; it was but a multitude of them. The truth is, here is the host, and their general, their colonel, as you may call him; those angels that were of his company, it goes under his name, he saith it: 'And suddenly there was with him,' that is, there appeared together with him; he appeared first and spake, but they all came down from heaven together. And in Ps. xxxiv. 7 - to speak still in the language of soldiers, for they are called the heavenly host, amongst which there is the greatest order - it is said, 'The angel of the Lord encampeth about them that fear him.' Yet you shall find in Ps. xci. 11, 'He shall give his angels charge over thee.' Nay, one man hath more than one angel; these little ones, saith Christ, they have their angels. And, Luke xvi. 22, the angels, not angel only, but the angels did fetch the soul out of Lazarus' body, and carry it to heaven. But why is it said in that Psalm xxxiv. one angel encampeth? His meaning is, the angel and his host; as you say, such a colonel besieged such a city, or quartered in such a town, meaning him and his host: so one angel and his company; for one angel,, you know, cannot properly be said to encamp; there must be, to encamp or besiege a place, a multitude; yet it goeth under his name because he is the chief. So that now, both among good and bad angels you see there are some that are chief: there is the angel and his host, his company; that are centurions, as it were, or, if you will, that are governors of more. So much now for their subordination one to another, for that was the first thing. They are principalities and powers; by principalities is meant your chief magistrates, and by powers is meant your lower magistrates. You see there are chief of the princes amongst angels, that have others under them; there. fore, in Zech. ii. 3, 4, you find that one angel appeared and another met him, and the first angel speaks to the other as one speaks to one that is under him: Go, saith he, run and tell the prophet that Jerusalem shall be inhabited. He speaks as the centurion did to his servants; he saith unto one, Go, and he goeth. So much, I say, for this first thing, that both good and bad angels have subordination amongst themselves. - There is 'principalities and powers.'
But, in the second place, they are said to be principalities and powers, as amongst themselves, so in respect of their government of the affairs of this world. My brethren, you do not know all the governors you have; you have not only kings, and parliaments, and men to rule over you, or that do despatch and manage the affairs of this world; but you have good angels and bad angels, you have principalities and powers of both sorts, that do manage the affairs of the world invisibly; 'visible and invisible,' saith he, Col. i. 16. First, for the bad angels; there is a most express place for it; it is that in Eph. vi. 12, he calleth them, as 'principalities and powers,' so 'rulers of the darkness of this world;' we translate it so, but those that know the original know it is this, they make but one word of it, 'rulers of this world,' and the darkness of it. And if the bad angels be thus, the good angels are much more, my brethren. I will give you but a scripture for it, and it maybe it will include both; it is Heb, ii. 5, 'Unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak.' Mark his expression, he distinguisheth; there is a world indeed, saith he, that is not subject to the angels, 'the world to come;' implying that this world is subject to the angels, to bad angels, as to plunderers, and robbers, and murderers from the beginning, and sowers of all dissension in kingdoms and nations, as you shall see by and by, that set king and people, and all together by the ears.
And there are likewise good angels that this world is subject to; the world to come is not, as I shall shew you anon likewise, and it is subject unto them as the preservers of it, and as the opposers and fighters against these evil angels that would bring all to confusion.
You therefore find that the angels, both good and bad, are called gods; it is a title you know given to magistrates: 'I have said ye are gods.' And it is only due to the civil magistrate; it is not due to spiritual rulers, they are nowhere called gods. Why? Because their power is not in a way of command, but their power is in a way of revealing the truth, and so working upon men's consciences; they are therefore nowhere called gods; no, not the apostles themselves, for they have not dominion over the faith. But ye have good angels and bad angels called gods as well as magistrates here below, and they are therefore called so because they are rulers. Of the devil there is an express place, 2 Cor. iv. 4, where the Apostle calleth him 'the god of this world ;' it is all one with that in John xii. 31, where he is called 'the prince of this world.' He is by the Apostle in one place called the god of this world, and by Christ in another the prince of this world; and you have as clear a place that the good angels are called gods too, and that in this respect; it is in Ps. xcvii. 7, 'Worship him, all ye gods;' now look in Heb. i. 6, where the Apostle quoteth it, and interpreteth it to be meant of the good angels, 'Let all the angels of God worship him;' they are gods, and gods because they are chief princes, as you heard before.
The Scripture is exceeding express for this. It is true that God ruleth the hearts of his children by his Spirit only in matters spiritual, for he will have none have the credit of being the author so much as of a good thought, take it spiritually, but only his own Spirit. But yet he ruleth the world and the spirits of men so far forth as concerneth civil things; yea, and their actions so far forth as they are spiritual things; the hearth of kings, and princes, and people, for the good of his Church, he ruleth them much by angels.
I will open to you but that place of Daniel I quoted even now, Dan. x. both the 13th and the 20th and the 21st verses, and chap. xi. 1, compared all together. In chap. x. 13, there is, as I said before, an angel - and to me it is plain he was a created angel - that cometh and telleth Daniel that the prince of the kingdom of Persia had withstood him twenty-one days; and, ver. 20, 'I will return; saith he, 'to fight with the prince of Persia;' and, chap. xi. 1, I am that angel, saith he, that in the first year of Darius the Mede did stir him up, and I did confirm and strengthen him when he gave out the edict to let the people of God out of captivity; for it was Darius did it, you read indeed of Cyrus, but Darius was the king, and Cyrus was his general. Now this angel here was certainly a created angel. I will give you these reasons for it.
First, he doth excuse himself to Daniel why he did not come sooner to bring him the message from God which he brought. I was disturbed, saith he, I had other business, - the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood use twenty-one days, - so that I could not come sooner, though thou prayedst, and thy words were heard sooner. He was therefore a created angel, for had he been the Son of God he could both have revealed it to Daniel and withstood the prince of Persia too.
And then he was a created angel, because he saith, ver. 13, that Michael came to help him. If he had been the Son of God he might have done it alone. And then, which is as much as any of the rest, when he left me, saith he, I remained with the kings of Persia. If he had been the Son of God he had been everywhere, he could not have been said to remain there alone, still to transact that business he was employed in. So that to me it is clear he was a created angel. Now the question is, What is meant by the prince of Persia? for, if you mark it, there are both the prince of the kingdom of Persia and the kings of Persia mentioned distinctly in ver. 13.
There are some - and if it be true, it is all one to my purpose - that say, that this prince of the kingdom of Persia that withstood this angel was Cyrus himself, or Cambyses his son, whom he left in his room to govern the kingdom while he was in Scythia; for though that Cyrus, in the first year after he had taken Babylon, being general of the army, had given liberty to the people of the Jews to come out of captivity, yet you shall find elsewhere that this Cyrus recalled his grant; for we read in Nehemiah that they were forced to cease the work from the days of Cyrus. Now, saith the angel, when the enemies came and suggested to Cyrus to recall his grant, and there was a great consultation about it, a consultation of twenty-one days, I remained, saith he, at the court of Persia, and did all I could to persuade and strengthen the heart of Cyrus; but I was withstood in what I would have accomplished by the hard and obstinate spirit of the prince of the kingdom of Persia, but there came one to help me, and then I prevailed ; and, saith he, because the spirit of the prince is slippery, and apt to return to itself again, I am left with him and his counsellors.
Here you see now that this was a created angel that dealt with the hearts of princes; he dealt with the heart of Cyrus in the great affairs of the kingdons of Persia, to move him to deliver the people out of captivity.
You have likewise this same Michael whom I have mentioned so often, that archangel that came to help him ; and to shew you that this Michael was a created angel, - I shewed you it before out of the Epistle of Jude, - you shall find in ver. 21 that he is called their prince, and chap. xii. 1, 'At that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people ;' he was the great angel that did transact the affairs for the Jews. For my part, I know not otherwise how it should he: it is plain he was a created angel ; and it is as plain that he is called their prince in a special manner, the prince of this people of the Jews; therefore this other angel that was left with the kings of Persia to transact the affairs there, when he could not prevail with Cyrus, he called in this Michael, one of the chief of the princes, to help and assist him. And read chap. xi. 1, there you shall see this angel saith that he did deal with Darius the Mede, and caused him to grant out that decree for the building of the temple; 'I stood,' saith he, 'to confirm and strengthen him.'
So you see that these good angels, for these were all good businesses, have a great stroke in kingdoms for the good of the Church; yea, they are called their princes, - ' Michael your prince,' - as having a special care over that people of the Jews, and by God, for that time at least, designed unto it.
Now, my brethren, for my part I must confess that I rather think this prince of the kingdom of Persia to be an evil angel than to be the king of Persia himself, and my reason is this: because the kings of Persia, both Cyrus and Cambyses, for there were two of them, are afterward mentioned by a distinct word from what is used of the prince of the kingdom of Persia. 'I was left,' saith he, 'with the kings of Persia;' there he speaks of men. Now when he saith 'the prince of the kingdom of Persia,' as distinct from them, I think he meaneth plainly the devil.
And I have this further reason for it, because he saith, 'I will return to fight with the prince of Persia;' not that angels in matters of the Church do oppose by way of fighting, for he saith, chap. x. 13, that the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood him ; he could not suggest that which he would to Cyrus but the devil did oppose him; as now in Rev. xii. it is said that Michael and his angels fought with the dragon and his angels. Though if be an allusion, yet it argueth thus much, that there is opposition between angel and angel. And so when it is said, ver. 20, 'When I am gone forth, the prince of Grecia shall come,' there will another wicked angel come, for they call one another; as Michael helped the other good angel, so the prince of Greeia would help the bad one, for the devil knew well enough that the empire would come to Greece, and that the Jews, if they were kept in captivity, would fall into the hands of the Grecian monarch, and so their captivity should have been continued I know not how long; and so the prince of Greeia, that wicked angel that was deputed at that time for the affairs of Greece, cometh and joineth with the prince of the kingdom of Persia both against this angel, for the prince of Persia withstood the delivery of the people out of captivity.
Now, my brethren, if this interpretation will not hold, - the other place in Eph. vi. shewed that the bad angels do deal and are rulers in this world, - I have at least made this good out of this place, that the good angels deal in the government of the things of this world, and they have a peculiar allotment. Michael is called their prince. The like you have in Rev. xii., where Michael and his angels fought against the dragon and his angels.
Now, I yield you that this is but an allusion, and that the scope is to set out the opposition that is made by wicked men on earth against the godly here ; but yet the allusion is to the fight that is between good and bad angels. And I will tell you what the occasion was in Daniel. The occasion was, whether the people of Israel should be delivered out of captivity or no, whether the temple should go on to be built; the devil opposed it, and that angel that appeared to Daniel, and Michael, furthered this, and dealt with the kings of Persia to this purpose.
So in that Rev. xii. there is the like fight, - there beginneth the book of prophecy, and it beginneth, as almost all interpreters agree, with the primitive timcs, - there is the dragon and his angels; it is plainly meant of the devil, for he calleth him 'the old serpent, the accuser of the brethren.' If you read the 3d verse of that chapter, you shall see that this dragon had seven heads and ten horns, by which is always meant the Roman empire. So that it is evident that it was the devil in the Roman empire stirring up that state against the Church. The devil and his angels is said to have ten horns and seven heads, and seven crowns upon his heads; it is the hierarchy of the Roman empire; for while it was heathenish the devil always wrought in it, therefore that empire is called the dragon and his angels.
On the other side, you have the apostles and the faithful men that did endeavour to set up Christ, and you have Michael and his angels assist these men against the devil in the Roman empire; even just as you saw before in that place of Daniel there was angel against angel, so there is here in this of the Revelation. Read the whole book of the Revelation, this which I now say will be one key to it. You shall find that all that is said to be done is done by angels. Such an angel sounded his trumpet, such an angel poured out his vial, &c. He speaks of things done here below, judgments upon wicked men, and good things for the Church. Why are they said to be done by angels? Because these angels do guide men, act kings and princes to do that they do against Antichrist. And the government of this world of the New Testament is represented to us rather under the notion of angels than of men, because that angels do stir up men to do what they do.
I will give you one instance more. You see now how angels, both good and bad, deal in the Persian and the Roman monarchy. I will give you one instance how they did deal in the Babylonian monarchy, and it is about cutting down Nebuchadnezzar. Angels were to execute that. Read Dan. iv. 17; he saith it was by 'the decree of the watchers.' Who were the watchers? It was not the Persons in the Trinity; they were angels, for it is said, ver. 13, 'the watchman came down from heaven.' Though one angel was the executioner more especially, yet he saith it was by the decree of the watchers; they decreed in heaven, the council of angels did, as being of counsel to the great king, and one watcher came down to execute it. Thus, you see, angels have their hands in the great things of the world, in ruling of kingdoms and the affairs here below.
Let me add but one instance about evil angels: it is in Judges ix. 23, 24. You read in the former chapter how Gideon had delivered Israel, and he had seventy sons; but the men of Shechem set up Abimelech, a bastard son of Gideon's, begotten of a strumpet out of their own town, and put to death seventy of the sons of Gideon, who were lawfully begotten. Now, to avenge this what doth God do? There was a mighty division followed, a great war; who was the cause of it? There were other visible pretences, but the truth is, the stirrer up of all this was an evil spirit : for so it is said, 'God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem; and the men of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech : that the cruelty done to the seventy sons of Gideon might come, and their blood be laid upon Abimelech their brother, which slew them, and upon the men of Shechem, which aided him in the killing of his brethren.' Here you see that good angels and bad angels do stir up kings and states, one one way, and the other another way. And they have thus dealt in the great monarchies of the world, and they deal so in Popery too. I will give you a clear instance for it. It is said, Rev. xiii. 1 - 3, that the dragon did give his seat to the beast, the same dragon and his angels that is called the old serpent, chap. xii.; he saith plainly that he did give the Pope his power and his seat and great authority, and he ruleth and acts that state to this day; and therefore, in 2 Thess. ii. 10, it is said that that man of sin works with all deceivableness of Satan, and that God giveth him up to the deceivableness of error by the devil.
Thus you see the devil hath wrought in all the monarchies, and doth to this day, and that kingdom or state, or any part of it, that opposeth the Lord Christ, it is the devil that works in it; and good angels and bad angels, where there are wars, have as much to do as men have, and do oppose by suggestions to the spirits of men, and have as great a hand in the affairs of the world as men have. They are the rulers, the invisible rulers of this world; they are the principalities and powers here in the text, which our Lord and Saviour Christ is set over. So, then, I have made this plain unto you, that there are not only principalities in this world, visible ones, but invisible ones over this world. Now, in a word, to manifest this too, that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is above all these, he is above kings and angels and devils, they all but serve his turn; he is exalted, saith he, far above all principalities and powers, and every name, be it what it will, be it visible or invisible; they were all made by him, and all made for him, and they all serve him. You think kings rule the world; it is certain that good and bad angels rule the world more, and it is certain that Jesus Christ ruleth the world more than all these.
First, That he is above, far above good angels, I shall not need to insist much upon it; you have a clear place for it, Heb. i. 6, 'Let all the angels of God worship him.' Now, to give you a scripture out qf the Old Testament, that all the angels of God worshipped Christ; in Isa. vi. 1, he saith, I saw God sitting upon his throne, and about it stood the cherubim, and they covered their faces with their wings; covered their faces in token of subjection; as women cover their faces in the church in token of subjection, so did the angels. Now, who was this that appeared then upon the throne that the prophet here speaks of? Read John xii. 41. Christ plainly saith it was himself; 'These things,' saith he, 'said Esaias when he saw his glory,' having reference to that Isa. vi. So then, my brethren, they worship him, which argueth an infinite distance; for though worship be but a created thing, yet my desire is infinite, because I cannot reach to glorify God as I would, and therefore it is proper only to God.
Secondly, You shall find that he useth them as agents at his pleasure. Look in Heb. i. 7. It is said there, he made 'his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.' This place is quoted out of Ps. civ. 4. He makes his angels, he made them on purpose to be his spirits, or, as the word is in the Hebrew, his winds; that, look as the winds execute the will of God, so do these angels at any time; they are his winds to fly up and down the world. You see Christ here upon earth commanded the winds, and they obeyed him; so he commandeth angels, and they obey him. They are 'his winds, and his ministers a flame of fire.' Look as thunder and lightning obey God, they all do his will; so do these obey Christ, and they have power like to winds and to thunder and lightning. Lightning, you know, is a subtle thing; it killeth, and a man knoweth not how; so do angels, they have the same force and much more; therefore he compareth them to it. And in the last verse of that Heb. i. they are said to be sent out. By whom? By Christ, of whom he had spoken in all that first chapter.
Then come to bad angels; and he is far exalted above these. When he first ascended, he left them in the air, they are under his feet indeed. I will give you but a place or two. Col ii. 14, it is said he spoiled principalities and powers; he made a show of them openly, and triumphed over them. He spoiled them, he took away their weapons; the word alludeth to that, for that was the manner of those that conquered, they took away the weapons of those that they conquered.
He did this when he ascended; for I take it these words have reference to his ascension, and my ground is, because then he led captivity captive, as 110 saith, Eph. iv. 8. He spoiled devils then, and he made an open show of them. As we are made spectacles unto angels and men and unto God, as the Apostle saith; so before angels and men and before God, Jesus Christ made an open show of them. As they used to do that triumphed over the conquered, they tied them at their chariot-wheels, and so led them openly after them in way of triumph; so did Jesus Christ triumph over devils when he ascended. Yea, my brethren, before-hand. Saith Christ, 'I saw Satan fall down from heaven like lightning,' when the gospel was preached. And this great Bishop of our souls silenced Satan presently: for before, the devil spake in the oracles, in trees, and he spake in temples; as God did in the Holy of Holiest, so he had done all the world over. But when Christ came, all the oracles were mute, the heathens wondered at it. Plutarch writeth a book of it.
And let me tell you this, that all the great design of God, since Christ hath been in heaven, hath been to ruin Satan, to throw him down out of his heaven. You heard before that he was in the Roman empire, and he was worshipped there as God. Jesus Christ in three hundred years flung him out thence. The accuser of our brethren is come down to earth. All his idols were flung from thence, he was thrown down from heaven; that is, from being worshipped as God. Well then, the devil turned Christian, and gives the Pope his power in the West; setteth up the Turk in the East. My brethren, our Lord and Saviour Christ will never leave till he hath thrown him out of these seats too. Therefore you read, Rev. xix. 19, 20, at the end of the great war against both, I saw, saith he, the beast, and the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived men that dwelt upon the earth; and the kings of the earth were taken that stood for them, these were cast into the lake that bnrnod with fire and brimstone. And then what followeth? Chap. xx. 2, there was an angel came from Christ, with authority from him, for Christ needoth not do it himself, it is but giving an angel commission to do it:
'And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the devil, and Satan, and bound him,' saith he, and flung him into hell. This power hath our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
And, my brethren, to show you in a word that Jesus is above all power, you shall find in 1 Cor. xv. 24, that he will reign till he hath put down all rule, and all principalities amid powers, and especially the devil, for he speaks of a power that is an enemy unto him; for it followeth in the next words, 'he must rule till he hath put all enemies under his feet.' All the power and principality the devil hath in the world, and not only he, but what angels have, will be put down, but especially he. Why? Because he is an enemy; for he must reign, saith he, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. And at the clay of judgment the devils tremble, and that great devil shall he brought forth that set himself up against the Lord Jesus Christ, and shall be judged, and every poor saint shall tread him under his feet, as it is Rom. xvi. 20 : and everything in earth and under the earth, men, and angels, and devils, shall bow their knees before the Lord Jesus Christ; that is, they shall acknowledge him to be the great Saviour, the great King of the World, as it is Phil. ii. 10, and repeated Rom. xiv. 9, and interpreted of the day of judgment, when the angels shall be judged. Therefore fear not, my brethren, our Lord Jesus Christ is above devils, and men, and angels, and all.
So much for oponinmg of these words, 'far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion.'
In a word to tlus, and every name that is named.
What is the reason the Apostle addeth this?
Ho addeth it for two reasons - The first is this: If I have not reckoned all sorts of power, saith he, think of anything else that I have not mentioned; if there be any that I have not named, as assuredly there are, I will comprehend it under one general : 'every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come,' whatsoever it be. And by name is meant often in Scripture, authority; as in the name of Christ, that is, in the authority of Christ; and as we say, in the king's name, that is, in the king's authority. I will not stand upon it. In earth there were some he had not reckoned, in heaven amongst angels there were some he could not reckon; therefore if there be any name, saith he, it is all subject to Christ. That is the meaning of these words.
And then, again, there is another reason why he addeth this, 'every name that is named,' to 'principalities and powers,' because name is a larger word than powers. There may be names in this world, persons there may be and excellencies that have not power; and so there may be excellencies in the other world that have not power and authority. Therefore, saith he, be it what it will, be it what excellency it will, be it whatsoever it will, Jesus Christ is exalted far above it, so far that all is under his feet.
Now, by names, as I take it, is meant both persons and excellencies or dignities. First, All persons are meant by this 'every name.' I will give you a scripture or two for it : Acts i. 15, 'The number of the persons ' - we translate it so; in the Greek the word is, the number of the names - ' were one hundred and twenty.' So that when he saith 'every name,' he meaneth every person. That is the first. Secondly, It is put for excellency, dignity, glory, be it what it will. Gen. vi. 4, the men of the old world are called 'men of name;' so the word is in the Hebrew, and therefore the Grecians call men famous and of renown, 'men of name;' and, chap. xxx. 8, Job calloth base men, 'men without name.'
Now then, the meaning is this, that not only Jesus Christ is advanced above all power and authority, but above all persons, and all excellencies and dignities, or whatsoever thing doth excel; suppose not power only, but wisdom, learning, or whatsoever it be. Lot one be famous, have a name for what he will have; any angel in heaven, or any man in this world, or the world to come; all creatures whatsoever, and all excellencies of creatnres, Jesns Christ hath a better name than they. So saith the Apostle, Heb. i. 4, 'He hath obtained a more excellent name than the angels,' and be hath this by inheritance, which now he is exalted unto; and therefore, in the same chapter, he speaks of his sitting at the right hand of God. The scope of the chapter is to shew both the excellency of his person, that he hath a better name than all things, and the superiority of his place; he sitteth at the right hand of God. 'And to which,' saith he, 'of all the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?'
So now, my brethren, I have opened that. I should come to have shown likewise what is the meaning of these words, in this world, and the world that is to come, but I will omit that now, and make some observations upon what hath been delivered, and so conclude.
The first observation that I should have made is this: That there are two worlds. But I must reserve that.
But the second is this : That there are differing names and excellencies in this world and that which is to come. Men that have great names in this world will be, many of them, without names in the world to come; they will be vile persons, without names, as you heard out of Job. Men that shall be saved, and have great names for saints here, yet they may be the least in the kingdom of God, in the world to come; the first are oftentimes last, and the last are first. What names you shall have in the world to come, let that be the main care of your souls.
Now what have men names for? For famous acts done. Do famous acts which shall have renown, if you will have a name in the world to come. After the day of judgment, though there be no power and principality, yet there are names for ever; therefore, I say, the word 'name' is larger than that of principality and power. Christ will put down all principality and power, both of angels, and men, and of devils, but there will be names remaining still. Paul will have a greater name in heaven for ever than other saints have.
My brethren, seek not after names here, to be great and famous in the Church of God; but desire that, and it is sincerity only doth it, which shall get you a better name in the world to come. What do I care to be judged by man's day, saith the Apostle, - he speaks so slightly of it, - there is God's day. It is not, saith he, how things appear now, and what name I have now; but what it will be in God's day and in Christ's day in the world to come. Who shall sit at Christ's right hand, and who at his left, as it was not Christ's to give, so it is not ours to know. Poor saints that stand in the alley may sit at Christ's right hand, when another, one that yet goeth to heaven, and hath a great repute in this world, not only civil, but in repute otherwise too, may stand at his left in comparison. There will be names, my brethren, different from what is in this world. - That is the second observation.
Thirdly, You see that all principalities and powers are subjected to Jesus Christ. Then fear not devils, fear nothing. It is the use the Apostle makes, Rom. vin. 38 : 'I am persuaded,' saith he, 'that neither angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.' It is not as if the good angels would hinder you; but the Apostle, though he knew they would not, yet he makes that supposition, as he dotli Gal. i. 8, 'If an angel from heaven,' saith he, 'preach any other gospel.' He might well think a good angel from heaven would never preach any other gospel; but he makes a supposition of it, merely to show the truth of this gospel. So here, to show the certainty of the estate of the elect, he makes a supposition. Suppose, saith he, they should, yet fear not. Why? Because Jesus Christ sitteth at the right hand of God, and hath angels, and principalities, and powers under him; so you have it, 1 Peter in. 22.
And as good angels shall not, so it is certain likewise that evil angels shall not; good angels will not, and bad angels shall not. Matt. xvi. 18, saith he, 'I will build my church upon this rock,' - that is, this faith and confession that Christ is the Son of God, and a heart and life answerable, - ' and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.' They may assault it, but they shall not prevail. My brethren, this devil whom you fear, and who tempteth you, as Jesus Christ hath him under his feet, so he will have him under your feet too one day; do but stay a while, he shall tread down Satan under your feet shortly, Rom. xvi. 20. You need fear nothing therefore, either in heaven or in earth.
The fourth observation is this. I have told you there are two sorts of rulers in this world. There are visible ones, whom you all reverence and adore, as indeed you ought to do, principalities and powers here in this world, the higher powers, superior dignities; but there are greater than these, there are higher than they, as Solomon saith in Ecclesiastes; there are angels, both good and bad, that are greater princes than these. Do but think with yourselves now, how little you know of the story of this world; you know much, it may be, of the plots and policies of the princes of this world; but do you know those conflicts of Satan, those underminings the good angels have against him? Do you know the transactions whereby this world is governed? You do not know them; but the day of judgment will be a gallant day for that, for then you will have the story of all the world broke open; you will not only have the story of all the actions of princes, what they have done in their bed-chambers, - not only the reason of this petty thing, and that petty thing, - but all the agitations between angels good and bad shall be all made known to you.
The bad angels, these wicked spirits that do us all the mischief, have plots beyond the plots of princes; they have methods, as the Apostle calleth them; art beyond the art of princes; and there are transactions between good angels beyond all what the men of the world have. The story of this world, how pleasant would it be to a man; but the story of the world to come, my brethren, will be far more pleasant; you shall not only be ear-witnesses of all, but judges of it. The Apostle saith expressly, 1 Cor. vi. 3, that the meanest saint shall judge the angels; that is, the bad angels shall all be brought before the judgment-seat of Christ, - nay, for ought I know, the good angels shall be brought too, to give an account of what they have done, - for it is spoken of all in general at the day of judgment, that to him 'every knee shall bow, both things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth.'
Now then, what a story will the world produce at the latter day, that hath had two such governments run all along in it! Lastly, you see here, when the Apostle reckoneth up the best things that are, what are they he reckoneth up? Powers and names, when he would reckon up the greatest excellencies; for indeed these are the greatest excellencies, therefore the men of the world contend so much after them, after name, and glory, and honour, and principality, to subdue men; these are the great pursuits of the wisest of the sons of men. It is not so much pleasure of the body; that fools pursue after most; but men of wisdom and parts pursue after power, and name, and principality: these are the best things. According to the account the Holy Ghost himself maketh when he instanceth in things that are great, 'A good name is better than great riches.'
The devils do not live upon pleasures of the body, and riches, and such things as these are; but what they live upon, what they please themselves with, is in having power, in subduing nations, ruling kings, as you saw in Daniel, and to have his name set up; as the devil was worshipped four thousand years in the world before our Saviour Christ came. What a name had he! Power and name, you see, are the greatest things that are; which therefore the best of creatures, good angels and bad angels, pursue after; therefore here they are instanced in. He doth not mention riches, but 'principality, and power, and every name that is named.'
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