RPM, Volume 17, Number 12, March 15 to March 21, 2015

A Practical Exposition of The Lord's Prayer

VOL. r. Part 10

By Thomas Manton

It is such an evidence of the worth and reality of the unseen glory as draweth off the heart from things seen, which are so pleasing to the flesh. Faith sets it before the eye of the soul in the promises of the gospel: Heb. vi. 18, 'Who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us' Heb. xii. 2, 'Who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross' &c.

[2.] As he dealeth with us by promise. Everything we hope to get by sin is a kind of promise or offer of the devil to us; as suppose by unconscionable dealing in our calling. Here consider two things:

(1.) The falsity of the devil's promises.

(2.) The truth and stability of God's promises.

(1st.) The falsity of Satan's promises. Either he giveth not what he promised, as he promised our first parents to be as gods: Gen. iii. 5, 'Ye shall be as gods;' and what ensued? Ps. xlix. 12, 'Man that is in honour and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish;' degraded to the beasts, as the brutish and bestial nature prevailed in him when he fell from God. Or else, if we have them, we were better be without them; we have them with a curse, with the loss of better things: Jer. xvii. 13, 'Lord, all that forsake thee shall be ashamed, and they that depart from me shall be written in the earth.' They are condemned to this felicity: we have them with stings of con science: Mat. xxvii. 4, 5, 'I have sinned, in that I have betrayed innocent blood; and he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and went and hanged himself;' which are most quick and sensible when we come to die: Jer. xvii. 11, 'He that getteth riches, and not by right, shall leave them in the midst of his days, and at his end shall be a fool.' Now rise up in indignation against the temptation. Shall I sell my birthright? lose my fatness to rule over the trees? as the olive-tree in Jotham's parable, Judges ix. 9.

(2dly.) The sufficiency and stability of God's promises.

First, Sufficiency: Gen. xvii. 1, 'I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect;' 1 Tim. iv. 8, 'Godliness is profitable for all things, having the promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come; 'of heaven and of earth: Mat. vi. 33, 'Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and the righteousness thereof, and all these things shall be added to you.' It may be you have less than those that indulge themselves in all manner of shifts and wiles, but you shall have enough, not to be left wholly destitute: Heb. xiii. 5, 'He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.' Arid you shall have it with contentment: Prov. xv. 6, 'In the house of the righteous is much treasure, but in the revenues of the wicked is trouble;' and 'better is a little with righteousness, than great revenues with sin,' Prov. xvi. 8. And you have it so as not to lose other things.

Secondly, Stability: 2 Cor. i. 20, 'All the promises of God in him are Yea, and in him Amen;' and Heb. vi. 18, 'That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation,' &c.; Ps. cxix. Ill, 'Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: they are the rejoicing of my heart.'

IV. Observe Fall down The pride of the devil: he sinneth from the beginning, 1 John iii. 8. The sin of pride was fatal to him at first, and the cause of those chains of darkness in which now he is held; yet still lie sinneth the same sin, he requireth adoration, and would be admitted into a partnership of divine worship. He obtained it from pagans and idolaters, not from Christ. The angel deprecates and detests it: Rev. xix. 10, 'And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not; for I am thy fellow-servant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship thou God.' So Rev. xxii. 9, 'I fell down to worship before the face of the angel that showed me these things. And he said to me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellow-servant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them that keep the sayings of this book: worship God.' Paul, when the priests at Lycaonia were about to sacrifice to him: Acts xiv. 14, 15, 'When the apostles heard of it, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out, and saying, Sirs, why do you these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God.' But the evil angels they are apt to invade the right of God.


Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. MAT. IV. 10.

THIRDLY, Christ's answer and reply, which is double:

I. By way of rebuke, defiance, and bitter reprehension: Get thee hence, Satan. II. By way of confutation: For it is written, &c.

1. The rebuke showeth Christ's indignation against idolatry: 'Get thee hence, Satan.' This was not to be endured. Twice Christ useth this form of speech, vTraje ^aravd, to Satan tempting him to idolatry here, and when his servant dissuaded him from suffering: Mat. xvi. 23, 'Get thee behind me, Satan, for thou art an offence to me; for thou savourest not the things that be of God, hut those that be of men.' This suggestion intrenched or touched upon the glory of God, the other upon his love to mankind; and Christ could endure neither; Satan is commanded out of his presence with indignation. The same zeal we see in his servants: in Moses in case of idolatry, Exod. xxxii. 19, He brake the tables; so in case of contradiction to the faith of Christ, Paul taketh up Elymas, Acts xiii. 10, 'full of subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteous ness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?' Open blasphemy must be abhorred, and needeth not only a confutation but a rebuke. Besides, it was an impudent demand of Satan to require adoration from him, to whom adoration is due from every creature; to ask him to bow down before him, to whom every knee must bow: and therefore a bold temptation must have a peremptory answer. There is no mincing in such cases. It is no way contrary to that lenity that was in Christ; and it teacheth us, in such open cases of blasphemy and downright sin, not to parley with the devil, but to defy him.

2. By way of confutation: 'For it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve' Where observe:

[1.] Christ answereth to the main point, not to by-matters. He doth not dispute the devil's title, nor debate the reality of his promises; to do this would tacitly imply a liking of the temptation. No; but he disproveth the evil of the suggestion from this unclean and proud spirit: a better answer could not be given unto the tempter. So that herein we see the wisdom of Christ, which teacheth us to pass by impertinent matters, and to speak expressly to the cause in hand in all our debates with Satan and his instruments.

[2.] He citeth scripture, and thereby teacheth that the word of God, laid up in the heart and used pertinently, will ward off the blows of every temptation. This weapon Christ used all along with success, and therefore it is well called, 'The sword of the Spirit' Eph. vi. 17. It is a sword, and so a weapon both offensive and defensive: Heb. iv. 12, 'The word of God is quick and powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart' And 'a sword of the Spirit' because the Spirit is the author of it: 2 Pet. i. 21, 'Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost' He formed and fashioned this weapon for us; and because its efficacy dependeth on the Spirit, who timeously bringeth it to our remembrance, and doth enliven the word and maketh it effectual. Therefore it teacheth us to be much acquainted with the Lord's written word. The timely calling to mind of a word in scripture is better than all other arguments, a word forbidding or threatening such an evil: Ps. cxix. 11, 'Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against thee; 'pressing the practice of such a duty when we are slow of heart: Ps. cxix. 50, 'Thy word hath quickened me;' or a word speaking encouragement to the soul exercised with such a cross: Heb. xii. 5, 'Ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him;' Ps. cxix. 92, 'Unless thy law had been my delight, I should then have perished in mine affliction:' still it breaketh the strength of the temptation, whatsoever it be.

[3.] The words are cited out of the book of Deuteronomy. Indeed out of that book all Christ's answers are taken, which showeth us the excellency of that book. It was of great esteem among the Jews, and it should be so among all Christians, and it will be so of all that read it attentively. The church could not have wanted it.

[4.] The places out of which it is cited are two: Deut. vi. 13, 'Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, and serve him, and swear by his name;' and again, Deut. x. 20, 'Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, and serve him, and to him shalt thou cleave' Christ, according to the Septuagint, 'Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve' Movy, only, which is emphatical, seemeth to be added to the text, but it is necessarily implied in the words of Moses; for his scope was to bind the people to the fear and worship of one God. None was so wicked and profane as to deny that God was to be feared and worshipped; but many might think that either the creatures or the gods of the Gentiles might be taken into fellowship of this reverence and adoration. Him is only him; avr) is exclusive, if pova) were left out. See the place, Deut. vi. 13, 14, 'Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name; ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the people which are round about you.' And in other places it is expressed; as 1 Sam. vii. 3, 'If you prepare your hearts unto the Lord, and serve him only' The devil excepts not against this interpretation, as being fully convinced and silenced by it. And it is a known story that this was the cause why the pagans would not admit the God of the Jews, as revealed in the Old Testament, or Christ, as revealed in the New, to be an object of adoration, because he would be worshipped alone, all other deities excluded. The gods of the heathens were good-fellow gods, would admit partnership; as common whores are less jealous than the married wife: though their lovers went to never so many besides them selves, yet to them it was all one, whensoever they returned to them and brought their gifts and offerings.

[5.] In this place quoted by our Saviour there is employed a distinction of inward and outward worship. Fear is for inward worship, serve is for outward worship, and the profession of the same. Fear in Moses is expounded worship by Christ; so Mat. xv. 9, compared with Isa. xxix. 13, 'In vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men;' but in the prophet it is 'Their fear towards me is taught by the precepts of men.' He that worshippeth feareth and reverenceth what he worshippeth, or else all his worship is but a compliment and empty formality. So that the fear of God is that reverence and estimation that we have of God, the serving of God is the necessary effect and fruit of it; for service is an open testimony of our reverence and worship. In this place you have worship and service, both which are due to God only. But that you may perceive the force of our Saviour's argument, and also of this precept, I shall a little dilate on the word service, what the scripture intendeth thereby. Satan saith, 'Bow down and worship me:' Christ saith, 'Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.' Under service, prayer and thanksgiving is comprehended: Isa. xliv. 17, 'And the residue thereof he maketh a god, even his graven image: he falleth down unto it, and worshippeth it, and prayeth unto it, and saith, Deliver me, for thou art my god.' This is one of the external acts whereby the idolater showeth the esteem of his heart: so Jer. ii. 27, 'Saying to a stock, Thou art my father; and to a stone, Thou hast brought me forth.' So, under serv ing, sacrifice is comprehended: 2 Kings xvii. 35, 'Ye shall not fear other gods, nor bow yourselves to them, nor serve them, nor sacrifice to them' Again, burning of incense: Jer. xviii. 15, 'My people have forgotten me, they have burnt incense to vanity' Preaching for them; Jer. ii. 8, 'The pastors also have transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal.' Asking counsel of them: Hosea iv. 12, 'My people ask counsel at their stocks, and their staff declareth unto them; for the spirit of whoredoms hath caused them to err, and they have gone a whoring from under their God.' So building temples, altars, or other monuments unto them: Hosea viii. 14, 'Israel hath forgotten his Maker, and buildeth temples;' and xii. 11, 'Their altars are as heaps in the furrows of the fields.' Erecting of ministries, or doing any ministerial work for their honour: Amos v. 26, 'Ye have borne the tabernacle of your Moloch and Chiuni your images, the star of your god, which ye made to yourselves;' as God appointed the Levites to bear the tabernacle for communion in the service of them: 1 Cor. x. 18, 'Are not they that eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar?' ver. 21, 'Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of devils; ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table and of the table of devils.' So 2 Cor. vi. 16, 17, 'What agreement hath the temple of God with idols?' In short, for it is endless to reckon up all which the scripture comprehendeth under service and gestures of reverence: Exod. xx. 5, 'Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them.' Bowing the knee: 1 Kings xix. 18, 'I have left me seven thousand in Israel, which have not bowed the knee to Baal.' Kissing them: Hosea xiii. 18, 'They kiss the calves.' Lifting up the eyes: Ezek. ii. 15. 'He hath not lift up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel.' Stretching out the hand: Ps. xliv. 20, 'If we have stretched our hands to a strange God.' So that you see all gestures of reverence are forbidden as terminated to idols. Thus strict and jealous is God in his law, that we might not bow down and worship the devil, or anything that is set up by him.

Doct. That religious service and religious worship is due to God only, and not to be given to saint, or angel, or any creature.

Thus Christ defeateth the devil's temptation, and thus should we be under the awe of God's authority, that we may not yield to the like temptation when the greatest advantages imaginable are offered to us. Here I shall show:

I. What is worship, and the kinds of it. II. I shall prove that worship is due to God.

III. Not only worship, but service.

IV. That both are due to God alone.

1. What is worship? In the general it implieth these three things: an act of the judgment, apprehending an excellency in the object worshipped; an act of the will, or a readiness to yield to it, suitably to the degree of excellency which we apprehend in it; and an external act of the body whereby it is expressed. This is the general nature of worship, common to all the sorts of it.

2. The kinds of it. Now worship is of two kinds civil and religious. Religious worship is a special duty due to God, and commanded in the first table. Civil honour and worship is commanded in the second table. They are expressed by 'godliness and righteousness,' 1 Tim. vi. 11; and 'godliness and honesty,' 1 Tim. ii. 2.

[1.] For religious worship. There is a twofold religious worship. One when we are right for the object, and do only worship the true God; this is required in the first commandment. The other when we are right for the means, when we worship the true God by such means as he hath appointed, not by an image, idol, or outward representation. Opposite to this there is an evil idolatrous sinful worship, when that which is due to the Creator is given to any creature; which is primary or secondary. Primary, when the image or idol is accounted God, or worshipped as such, as the sottish heathens do. Or secondary, when the images themselves are not worshipped as having any godhead properly in themselves, but as they relate to, represent, or are made use of, in the worship of him who is accounted God. We shall find this done by the wiser heathens, worshipping their images, not as gods themselves, but as intending to worship their gods in these and by these. So also among some who would be called Christians. Thus the representing the true God by images is condemned, Deut. iv. 15-17, 'Take ye good heed unto yourselves, for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the Lord spake unto you in Horeb, out of the midst of the fire, lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female.' Again, sinful worship is twofold: more gross of idols, representing false gods, called worshipping of devils; or more subtle, when worship is given to saints or holy men: Acts x. 25, 26, 'As Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him. But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man.' Acts xiv. 14. 15, 'Paul and Barnabas, when they heard this, rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out and saying, Sirs, why do you these things? we also are men of like passions with you,' &c. Or to angels: Rev. xxii. 8, 'When John fell at the angel's feet to worship him, he said, See thou do it not; for I am thy fellow-servant, and of thy brethren the prophets'

[2.] Civil worship is when we give men and angels due reverence, and

(1.) With respect to their stations and relations, whatever their qualifications be, as to magistrates, ministers, parents, great men; we are to reverence and honour them according to their degree and quality: according to the fifth commandment, 'Honour thy father and thy mother;' 1 Thes. v. 13, and to 'esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake.' Or,

(2.) A reverential worshipping or esteeming them for their qualifications of wisdom and holiness: Acts ii. 47, Good men had 'favour with all the people.' Such respect living saints get, such angels may have when they appear: Gen. xviii. 2, Abraham 'bowed himself to wards the ground:' and Gen. xix. 1, Lot 'rose up to meet them, and bowed himself with his face towards the ground'

Now, whether the worship be civil or religious may be gathered by the circumstances thereof; as if the act, end, or other circumstances be religious, the action or worship itself must be so also. It is one thing to bow the knee in salutation, another thing to bow in prayer before an image.

II. That worship is due to God. These two notions live and die together that God is, and that he ought to be worshipped. It appeareth by our Saviour's reasoning, John iv. 24, 'God is a spirit, and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth' He giveth directions about the manner of worship, but supposeth it that he will be worshipped. When God had proclaimed his name and manifested himself to Moses, Exod. xxxiv. 8, 'Moses made haste, and bowed himself and worshipped' It is the crime charged upon the Gentiles, that when they knew God, they glorified him not as God,' Rom. i. 21. They knew a divine power, but did not give him a worship, at least competent to his nature. God pleadeth his right: Mai. i. 6, 'If I be a father, where is mine honour? If I be a master, where is my fear?' And God, who is the common parent and absolute master of all, must have both a worship and honour, in which reverence and fear is mixed with love and joy; so that if God be, worship is certainly due to him. They that have no worship are as if they had no God. The psalmist proveth atheism by that: Ps. xiv. 1, 'The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God;' and ver. 4, 'They call not upon God.'- The acknowledgment of a king doth imply subjection to his laws; so doth the acknowledgment of his God imply a necessity of worshipping him.

III. That both worship and service is due to God: 'Him shalt thou worship, and him shalt thou serve.' The worship of God is both internal and external: the internal consisteth in that love and reverence which we owe to him; the external, in those offices and duties by which our honour and respect to God is signified and expressed: both are necessary, both believing with the heart, and confession with the mouth: Rom. x. 9, 10, 'If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thy heart that God raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.' The soul and life of our worship and godliness lieth in our faith, love, reverence, and delight in God above all other things; the visible expression of it is in invocation, thanksgiving, prayers, and sacraments, and other acts of outward worship. Now, it is not enough that we own God with the heart, but we must own him with the body also. In the heart: 'Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling' Ps. ii. 11. Such as will become the greatness and goodness of God; with outward and bodily worship you must now own him in all those prescribed duties in which these affections are acted. The spirit must be in it, and the body also. There are two extremes. Some confine all their respect to God to bodily worship and external forms: Mat. xvi. 8, c This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their hearts are far from me.' They use the external rites of worship, but their affections are no way suited to the God whom they worship: it is the heart must be the principal and chief agent in the business, without which it is but the carcase of a duty, without the life and the soul. The other extreme is, that we are not called to an external bodily worship under the gospel. Why did he then appoint the ordinances of preaching, prayer, singing of psalms, baptism, and the Lord's supper? God, that made the whole man, body and soul, must be worshipped of the whole man. Therefore, besides the inward-affections, there must be external actions, whereby we express our respect and reverence to God.

IV. That both these, religious worship and service, are due to God alone. I prove it by these arguments:

1. Those things which are due to God as God are due to him alone, and no creature, without sacrilege, can claim any part and fellowship in that worship and adoration, neither can it be given to any creature without idolatry. But now religious worship and service is due to God as God: 'He is thy Lord, and worship thou him' Ps. xlv. 11. Our worship and service is due to him, not only for his super-eminent excellency, but because of our creation, preservation, and redemption. Therefore we must worship and serve him, and him only: Isa. xlii. 8, 'I am the Lord; that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, nor my praise to graven images.' God challengeth it as Jehovah, the great self -being, from whom we have received life and breath, and all things. This glory God will not suffer to be given to another. And therefore the apostle showeth the wretched estate of the Galatians, chap. iv. 8: 'When ye knew not God, ye did service to them that by nature are no gods;' that is, they worshipped for gods those things which really were no gods. There is no kind of religious worship or service, under any name whatsoever, to be given to any creature, but to God only; for what is due to the Creator as Creator cannot be given to the creature.

2. The nature of religious worship is such, that it cannot be terminated on any object but God; for it is a profession of our dependence and subjection. Now, whatever invisible power this worship is tendered unto must be omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent. Omniscient, who knows the thoughts, cogitations, secret purposes of our heart, which God alone doth: 1 Kings viii. 39, 'Give unto every one according to his ways, whose heart thou knowest; for thou, even thou only, knowest the hearts of all the children of men.' It is God's prerogative to know the inward motions and thoughts of the heart, whether they be sincere or no in their professions of dependence and subjection. So omnipresent, that he may be ready at hand to help us and relieve us: Jer. xxiii. 23, 24, 'Am I a God at hand, and not a God afar off? Can any hide himself in secret places, that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord' The palace of heaven doth not so confine him and enclose him but that he is present everywhere by his essential presence, and powerful and efficacious providence. Besides omnipotent: Ps. Ivii. 2, 'I will cry unto God most high, unto God who performeth all things for me' Alas! what a cold formality were prayer if we should speak to those that know us not, and who are not near to help us, or have no sufficiency of power to help us! Therefore these professions of dependence and subjection must be made to God alone.

3. To give religious worship to the creatures, it is without command, without promise, and without examples, and therefore without any faith in the worshipper, or acceptance of God. Where is there any command or direction, or approved example, of this in scripture? God will accept only what he commanded, and without a promise it will be unprofitable to us: and it is a superstitious innovation of our own to devise any religious worship for which there is no example at all whereby it may be recommended to us. Certainly no action can be commended to us as godly which is not pre scribed of God, by whose word and institution every action is sanctified which otherwise would be common; and no action can be profitable to us which God hath not promised to accept, or hath accepted from his people. But giving religious worship to a creature is of this nature.

4. It is against the express command of God, the threatening of scripture, and the examples recorded in the word. Against the express command of God both the first and second commandments, the one respecting the object, the other the means; that we must not serve other gods, nor go after them, nor bow down unto them. It is against the threatenings of the word in all those places where God is said to be 'a jealous God.' God is said to 'put on jealousy as a cloak' Isa. lix. 17; that is, the upper and outmost garment. He will be known, and plainly profess himself to be so. So Exod. xxxiv. 14, 'The Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.' Things are distinguished from the same kind by their names, as from different kinds by their natures. Now, from the \ey6fj,evot, deou, God will be distinguished by his jealousy, that he will not endure any partners in his worship. It is against examples: Rev. xix. 10, and xxii. 8, 'When I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which showed me these things. And he said unto me, See thou do it not,' &c. The argument is, 'I am thy fellow-servant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.'

Use 1. To condemn those who do not make conscience of the worship of God. There are an irreligious sort of men that never call upon him, in public or in private, in the family or in the closet; but wholly forget the God that made them, at whose expense they are maintained and kept. Wherefore had you reasonable souls, but to praise, honour, and glorify your Creator? Surely if God be your God, that is, your Creator and preserver, the duty will presently fall upon you: 'Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God.' If you believe there is a God, why do not you call upon him? The neglect of his worship argueth doubting thoughts of his being; for if there be such a supreme Lord, to whom one day you must give an account, how dare you live without him in the world? All the creatures glorify him passively, but you have a heart and a tongue to glorify him actually. Man is the mouth of the creation, to return to God the praise of all that wisdom, goodness, and power which is seen in the things that are made. Now you should make one among the worshippers of God. A heathen could say, Si essem luscinia, &c. Are you a Christian, and have such advantages to know more of God, and will you be dumb and tongue-tied in his praises?

2. To condemn the idolatry of the Papists. Synesius said that the devil is etSeoXo^apr)?, that he rejoiceth in idols. Here we see what was the upshot of his temptations, even to bring men to worship and bow down before something that is not God. Herein he was gratified by the heathen nations, and no less by the Papists. Witness their worshipping of images, their invocation of the Virgin Mary and other saints, the adoring before the bread in the Eucharist, &c. I know they have many evasions; but yet the stain of idolatry sticketh so close to them, that all the water in the sea will not wash them clean from it. This text clearly stareth them in the face, 'Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.' Not saints, not angels, not images, &c. They say, Moses only said, and Christ repeateth it from him, 'Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God;' but not only, so that the last clause is restrictive, not the first, but some worship may be given to the creature. Civil, we grant, but not religious; and worship is the most important word. They distinguish of Aarpet'a and Aov\eta. The devil demanded of Christ only Trpo&icvvria-ai, 'fall down and worship me;' not as the supreme author of all God's gifts, but as subordinate: 'all these things are delivered unto me.' But then Christ's words were not apposite to refute the tempter's impudency. Besides, for the distinction of AovXeia and Aarpeia, the words are promiscuously used; so their distinction of absolute and relative worship; besides that they are groundless, they are unknown to the vulgar, who promiscuously give worship to God, saints, images, relics. Some of the learned of them have confessed this abuse, and bewailed it: Espencaeus, a Sorbonnist: 'Are they well and godly brought up, who, being children of an hundred year old, that is, ancient Christians, do no less attribute to the saints, and trust in them, than to God him self, and that God himself is harder to be pleased and entreated than they?' So George Cassander: 'This false, pernicious opinion is too well known to have prevailed among the vulgar, while wicked men, persevering in their naughtiness, are persuaded that only by the inter cession of the saints whom they have chosen to be their patrons, and worship with cold and profane ceremonies, they have pardon and grace prepared them with God; which pernicious opinion, as much as was possible, hath been confirmed by them by lying miracles. And other men, not so evil, have chosen certain saints to be their patrons and helpers, have put more confidence in their merits and intercession than in the merits of Christ, and have substituted into his place the saints and Virgin mother. Ludovicus Vives: 'There are many Christians which worship saints, both men and women, no otherwise than they worship God; and I cannot see any difference between the opinion they had of their saints, and that the Gentiles had of their gods.' Thus far he, and yet Rome will not be purged.

3. Use is to exhort us to worship and serve the Lord our God, and him only.

[1.] Let us worship him. Worship hath its rise and foundation in the heart of the worshipper, and especially religious worship, which is given to the all-knowing God. Therefore there must we begin; we must have high thoughts, and an high esteem of God. Worship in the heart is most seen in two things love and trust. Love: Deut. vi. 5, 'Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.' We worship God when we give him such a love as is superlative and transcendental, far above the love that we give to any other thing, that so our respect to other things may give way to our respect to God. The other affection whereby we express our esteem of God is trust. This is another foundation of worship: Ps. Ixii. 8, 'Trust in the Lord at all times, pour out your hearts before him.' Well, then, inward worship lieth in these two things delightful adhesion to God, and an entire dependence upon him. Without this worship of God we cannot keep up our service to him. Not without delight, witness these scriptures: Job xxvii. 10, 'Will he delight himself in the Almighty? will he always call upon God?' Isa. xliii. 22, 'But thou hast not called upon me, Jacob; but thou hast been weary of me, Israel!' They that love God, and delight in him. cannot be long out of his company, they will seek all occasions to meet with God, as Jonathan and David, whose souls were knit to each other. So for dependence and trust, it keepeth up service, for they that will not trust God cannot be long true to him: Heb. iii. 12, 'Take heed lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God.' They that distrust God's promises will not long hold out in God's way, for dependence begets observance. When we look for all from him, we will often come to him, and take all out of his hands, and be careful how we offend him and displease him. What maketh the Christian to be so sedulous and diligent in duties of worship? so awful and observant of God? His all cometh from God, both in life natural and spiritual. In life natural: Ps. cxlv. 15-20, 'The eyes of all things wait on thee, and thou givest them their food in due season. Thou openest thy hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing' &c.; 'The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth. He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him; he will hear their cry and will save them. The Lord preserveth all them that love him' implying that because their eyes are to him, the author of all their blessings, therefore they call upon him and cry to him.

[2.] Serve him. That implieth external reverence and worship. Now we are said to serve him, either with respect unto the duties which are more directly to be performed unto God, or with respect to our whole conversation.

(1.) With respect unto the duties which are more directly to be performed unto God, such as the word, prayer, praise, thanksgiving, sacraments, surely these must be attended upon, because they are acts of love to God, and trust in God; and these holy duties are the ways of God, wherein he hath promised to meet with his people, and hath appointed us to expect his grace, and therefore they must not be neglected by us. Therefore serve him in these things; for, Mark iv. 24, 'With what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you.' It is a rule of commerce between us and God.

(2.) In your whole conversation: Luke i. 74, 75, 'That we might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life' A Christian's conversation is a continual act of worship; he ever behaveth himself as before God, doing all things, whether they be directed to God or men, out of love to God, and fear of God, and so turneth second table duties into first table duties. 'Pure religion and undefiled, before God and the Father, is this, to visit the fatherless and the widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world' James i. 27, Eph. v. 21, 22, 'Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God;' and next verse, 'Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.' So alms are a sacrifice: Heb. xiii. 16, 'But to do good and to communicate, forget not; for with such sacrifices God is well pleased'

[3.] Worship and serve God so as it may look like worship and service performed to God, and due to God only, because of his nature and attributes. His nature: John iv. 24, 'God is a Spirit, and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.' When hearts wander, and affections do not answer expressions, is this like worship and service done to an all-seeing Spirit? His attributes; Greatness, goodness, holiness

(1.) His greatness and glorious majesty: Heb. xii. 28, 'Let us serve him acceptably, with reverence and godly fear.' Then is there a stamp of God's majesty on the duty.

(2.) His goodness and fatherly love: Ps. c. 2, 'Serve the Lord with gladness, and come before his presence with singing.'

(3.) His holiness: 2 Tim. i. 3, 'I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers, with pure conscience;' 2 Tim. ii. 22, 'With them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.'


Then the devil leaveth him, and behold angels came and ministered unto him. MAT. IV. 11.

IN these words you have the issue and close of Christ's temptations. The issue is double: (1.) In respect of the adversary; (2.) In respect of Christ himself.

I. In respect of the adversary: then the devil leaveth him.

II. In respect of Christ himself: behold angels came and ministered unto him.

I shall consider in both the history and the observations.

First, The history of it, as it properly belongeth to Christ: and there

1. Of the first branch, the recess of Satan: 'Then the devil leaveth him.'

[1.] It was necessary to be known that Christ had power to chase away the devil at his pleasure; that, as he was an instance of temptations, so he might be to us a pattern of victory and conquest. If Satan had continued tempting, this would have been obscured, which would have been an infringement of comfort to us. The devil being overcome by Christ, he may be also overcome by us Christians: 1 John v. 18, 'He that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and the wicked one toucheth him not.' That is, he useth all care and diligence to keep himself pure, that the devil draw him not into the sin unto death, and those deliberate, scandalous sins which lead to it. Christ having overcome Satan, in our name and nature, showeth us the way how to fight against him and overcome him.

[2.] Christ had a work to do in the valley, and therefore was not always to be detained by temptations in the wilderness. The Spirit, that led him thither to be tempted, led him back again into Galilee to preach the gospel: Luke iv. 14, 'Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee' All things are timed and ordered by God, and he limiteth Satan how far and how long he shall tempt.

[3.] In Luke it is said, chap. iv. 13, 'He departed from him, a-^pi 'caipov, for a season.' He never tempted him again in this solemn way hand to hand; but either abusing the simplicity of his own disciple: Mat. xvi. 22, 23, 'Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord; this shall not be unto thee. But he turned and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me Satan! thou art an offence unto me;' or else by his instruments, laying plots to take away his life; as often, but especially in his passion: Luke xxii. 53, 'This is your hour, and the power of darkness.' So John xiv. 30, 'The prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.' Satan shall join with the Jews to destroy me, but they shall find nothing to lay to my charge; nor, indeed, have they power to do me any hurt, but that, in obedience to my Father's will, I mean voluntarily to lay down my life for sinners. So he had a permitted power over him, and was the prime instrumental cause of his sufferings; set aside his voluntary condescension to be a ransom for sinners, Satan had not any power over him, or challenge against him. Well, then, though he lost his victory, he retained his malice.

2. The second branch, the access of the good angels: 'And behold the angels came and ministered to him.' There observe three things:

[1.] The note of attention: behold. The Holy Ghost would ex cite our minds, and have us mark this: the angels are always at hand to serve Christ, but now they come to him in some singular manner some notable appearance there was of them, probably in a visible form and shape; and so they presented themselves before the Lord to minister to him, as the devil set himself before him to molest and vex him. As Christ's humiliation and human nature was to be manifested by the devil's coming to him and tempting assaults, so the honour of his divine nature by the ministry of angels, lest his temptations should seem to derogate from his glory. When we read the story of his temptations, how he was tempted in all parts like us, we might seem to take scandal, as if he were a mere man; therefore his humiliation is counterbalanced with the special honour done to him: he was tempted as man, but, as God, ministered unto by angels.

[2.] Why they came not before the devil was departed? I answer:

(1.) Partly to show that Christ had no help but his own when he grappled with Satan. When the temptations were ended, then the good angels came, lest the victory should seem to be gotten by their help and assistance. They were admitted to the triumph, but they were not admitted to the fight: they were not spectators only in the conflict (for the battle was certainly fought before God and angels), but partners in the triumph: they went away to give place to the combat, but they came visibly to congratulate the conqueror after the battle was fought and the victory gotten. Our Lord would alone foil the devil, and, when that was done, the angels came and ministered unto him.

(2.) Partly to show us that the going of the one is the coming of the other. When the devil is gone, the angels come. Certainly it is true on the contrary: 1 Sam. xvi. 14, 'The Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him;' and it is true in this sense, if we entertain the temptation, we banish the good angels from us: there is no place for the good angels till the tempter be repulsed.

[3.] Why now, and to what end, was this ministry?

(1.) To put honour on the Redeemer, who is the head and lord of the angels: Eph. i. 20, 21, 'He hath set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principalities and powers, &c., and gave him to be the head over all things to the church.' So 1 Pet. iii. 22, 'Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels, and authorities, and powers, being made subject to him.' Christ, not only as God, but as mediator, hath all of them subject to him: Heb. i. 6, 'And unto the Son he saith, Let all the angels of God worship him.' They, as subjects and servants, are bound to obey him. Therefore, on all occasions they attend on Christ; at his birth: Luke ii. 13, 14, 'A multitude of the heavenly host praised God, saying, Glory be to God on high, on earth peace, good will towards men.' Now, in his temptations, 'The angels came and ministered unto him.' At his passion: Luke xxii. 43, 'There appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him.' At his resurrection, 'An angel rolled away the stone from the grave,' and attested the truth of it, Mat. xxviii. 2. At his ascension, the angels declared the manner of his going to heaven, and return to judgment, Acts i. 10, 11. So now they come to attend Christ, as subjects on their prince, to tender their service and homage to him, and receive his commands.

(2.) For his consolation, inward and outward.

First, Inward, as messengers sent from God; and so their coming was a token of God's special love and favour to him, and care over him. The devil had mentioned in one of his temptations, 'He shall give his angels charge over thee' This is a truth, and in due time to be verified; not at Satan's instance, but when God pleased. There fore it was a comfort to Christ to have solemn messengers sent from heaven to applaud his triumph.

Secondly, Outward, they were sent to serve him, either to convey him back from the mountain, where Satan had set him, or to bring him food, as they did to Elijah: 1 Kings xix. 5, 6, 'And as he lay and slept under a juniper-tree, behold then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat. And he looked, and behold there was a cake baken on the coals, and a cruse of water at his head: and he did eat and drink, and laid him down again.' AiaKovzlv, the word here used, is often taken in that sense in the New Testament: Mat. viii. 15, 'She arose and ministered unto them' that is, served them at meat. So Mat. xxv. 44, 'When saw we thee an hungered, &c., and did not minister unto thee?' The name of deacons is derived hence, as they' served tables' or provided meat for the poor, Acts vi. 2. So Luke x. 40, 'My sister hath left me, Siafcovew, to serve alone' meaning, to prepare provisions for the family: so Luke xvii. 8, 'Gird thyself and serve me' that is, at the table: again, Luke xxii. 27, 'Whether is greater, he that sits at meat, or he that serveth?' or ministereth. So John xii. 2: 'They made a supper, and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those that sat at the table with him.' Thus the angels ministered unto Christ. This sort of ministry agreeth with what was said of his hunger, which was the occasion of Satan's temptations.

Secondly, The observations. As Christ is a pattern of all those providences which are dispensed to the people of God.

Doct. 1. That the days of God's people's conflicts and trials will not always last.

There are alternative changes and vicissitudes in their condition upon earth; sometimes they are vexed with the coming of the tempter, and then encouraged and cheered by the presence of angels; after storms come days of joy and gladness, 'the devil departeth, and the angels came and ministered to him:' So Ps. xxxiv. 19, 'Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.' Here is their present conflict and their final conquest. Look on a Christian on his dark side, and there are afflictions, and afflictions many for number and kind; look on his luminous part, and there is the Lord to take care of him, to deliver him; and the deliverance is complete, 'the Lord delivereth him out of them all.' God will put an end to their conflict sooner or later; sometimes visibly in this life, or if he doth not deliver them till death, or from death, he will deliver them by death; then he delivereth them from all sin and misery at once, for death is theirs. The reasons are these:

1. God considereth what will become himself, his pity and fidelity.

[1]. His own pity and mercy: James v. 11, 'Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord, that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy' God will give an happy end to our conflicts and trials, as he did to Job, that he may be known to be a God pitiful and merciful: Job is set up as a public visible instance and monument of God's tender mercy. We must not measure our afflictions by the smart, but the end of them; what the merciful God will do at length: the beginning is from Satan, but the end from the Lord. If we look to the beginning, we draw an ill picture of God in our minds, as if he were harsh, severe, and cruel to his creatures, yea, to his best servants; but in the end we find him very tender of his people, and that sense hath made lies of God. At the very time when we think God hath forgotten us, he is ready to hear and to remove the trouble: Ps. xxxi. 22, 'I said in my haste, I am cut off; nevertheless thou heardest the voice of my supplications.' The Son of God was hungry, transported and carried to and fro by the devil, from the pinnacle of the temple to a high mountain, tempted by a blasphemous suggestion to fall down and worship the impure spirit; but at length 'the devil leaveth him, and the angels came and ministered to him.'

[2.] His fidelity, which will not permit him to suffer you to be tempted above measure. We do not stand to the devil's courtesy, to tempt us as long as he list, but are in the hands of the faithful God: 1 Cor. x. 13, 'There hath no temptation taken you but what is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.' What a heap of consolations are there in that one place as (1.) That temptations are but ordinary and to be looked for: there is no Treipao-pos, but it is avdparmvos, incident to human nature; it hath nothing extraordinary in it. If the Son of God in human nature was not exempted, why should we expect a privilege apart to ourselves, not common to others? (2.) That God's conduct is gentle; he inflicteth nothing and permiteth nothing to be inflicted upon you beyond measure, and above strength; but, as Jacob drove as the little ones were able to bear, so God proportioneth trials to our strength. Before you have final deliverance, you shall have present support. (3.) That he will, together with the temptation, give e'cfiaa-iv, a passage out, a way to escape. And all this is assured to us by his faithfulness; the conflict shall be tolerable when it is at the highest, and the end comfortable. God doth bridle the malice and hatred of Satan and his instruments; he hath taken an obligation upon himself to do so, that he may omit no part of his care towards us. A good man will not overburden his beast.

2. The Lord considereth also our frailty, both with respect to natural and spiritual strength.

[1.] Natural strength. The Psalmist telleth us, that 'He will not always chide, and keep his anger for ever,' Ps. ciii. 9. Why? One reason is, that 'He knoweth our frame, and remembereth we are dust' ver. 14. He may express his just displeasure, and correct us for our sins for a while: but he taketh off his punishing hand again, because he knoweth we are soon apt to faint and fail, being but a little enlivened dust, of a weak constitution, not able to endure long troubles and vexations. Job pleadeth, chap. vi. 12, 'Is my strength the strength of stones? or is my flesh of brass? 'We have not strength to subsist under perpetual troubles, but are soon broken and subdued by them.

[2.] With respect to spiritual strength, the best are subject to great infirmities, which oft betray us to sin, if our vexations be great and long: Ps. cxxv. 3, 'The rod of the wicked shall not rest on the lot of the righteous, lest the righteous put forth their hands to iniquity.' The oppressions of wicked men shall not be so lasting and durable as that the temptations should be of too great force; this might shake the constancy of the best. He knoweth nothing in divinity that knoweth not that God worketh congruously, and attempereth his providence to our strength, and so will not only give an increase of internal grace, but lessen and abate the outward temptation; that his external government conduceth to the preservation of the saints, as well as his internal, by supporting their spirits with more liberal aids of grace. Therefore God will cause the temptation to cease when it is over~ pressing. But all must be left to his wisdom and holy methods.

3. With respect to the devil and his instruments, to whose malice he sets bounds, who otherwise would know no measure.

[1.] For the devil, see Rev. ii. 10: 'Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer. Behold! the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that you may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days.' Mark how they are comforted against the persecution coming upon them: Partly because the cause was clearly God's, for all this trouble was by the instigation of the devil, making use of his instruments; Eph. ii. 2, he is called 'the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that worketh in the children of disobedience:' Partly because the persecution raised would not be universal some of you, not all arid those not persecuted unto the death, but only cast into prison: Partly from the end, that they should be tried it was not penal or castigatory, but probatory; the devil would destroy you, but God would suffer you only to be tried, so that they should come forth like the three children out of the furnace, without singeing of their garments, or like Daniel out of the lions' den, without a scratch or maim, or as Christ here the devil got not one jot of ground upon him: Partly from the duration, ten days that is, in prophetical account, ten years, reckoning each day for a year: Num. xiv. 34. It was not long; the saddest afflictions will have an end. All which showeth how God bridleth and moderateth the rage of Satan, and his evil influence.

[2.] For his instruments, God saith, Zech. i. 15, 'I am very sorely displeased with the heathen that were at ease; for I was but a little displeased, and they helped forward the affliction.' The instruments of God's chastisements lay on without mercy, and being of cruel minds and destructive intentions, which are heightened in them by Satan, are severe executioners of God's wrath; and if God did not restrain them by the invisible chains of his providence, we should never see good day more. Well, then, you see the reasons why the children of God, though they have many troubles and conflicts, yet they are not everlasting troubles.

Use of instruction to the people of God. It teacheth them three lessons comfort, patience, obedience.

1. Comfort and encouragement to them that are under a gloomy day. This will not always last. He may try you for a while, and you may be under great conflicts, and wants, and difficulties, as he tried the woman of Canaan with discouraging answers; but at last, 'Woman, great is thy faith; be it unto thee even as thou wilt,' Mat. xv. 28. He tried his disciples when he meant to feed the multitude: John vi. 5,6, 'Whence shall we buy bread that all these may eat? This he said to prove them, for he himself knew what he would do.' A poor believer is tried, children increase, trading grows dead in hard times; how shall so many mouths be filled? He promiseth Abraham a numerous posterity, but for a great while he goeth childless. He promiseth David H kingdom, yet for a while he is fain to shift for his life, and skulk up and down in the wilderness. He intended to turn water into wine, but first all the store must be spent. He meaneth to revive the hearts of his contrite ones, but for a while they lie under great doubts and fears. Moses' hand must be made leprous before it wrought miracles. Jesus loved Lazarus, and meant to recover him, but he must be dead first. But I must not run too far. There will be tedious conflicts and trials, but yet there is hope of deliverance: God is willing and God is able. He is willing, because he is sufficiently inclined to it by the grace and favour that he beareth his people: Ps. cxlix. 4, 'The Lord taketh pleasure in his people; he will beautify the meek with salvation.' The Lord loveth their per sons, and he loveth their prosperity and happiness: Ps. xxxv. 27, 'He hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servants' He is able either as to wisdom or power. Wisdom: 2 Pet. ii. 7, l The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptation.' Many times we know not which way, but God knoweth; he is never at a loss. Then for his power: power hath a twofold notion, of authority and might. He hath authority enough. The sovereign dominion of God is a great prop to our faith. All things in the world are at his disposal to use them for his own glory: Ps. xliv. 4, 'Command deliverances for Jacob.' Angels, devils, men, the hearts of the greatest men, are all at his command. He hath might and strength: Dan. iii. 17, 'Our God, whom we serve, is able to deliver us,' and what then can let?

2. Patience: we must be contented, with the Son of God, to tarry his leisure, and undergo our course of trial, as Christ patiently continued, till enough was done to instruct the Church: Isa. xxviii. 16, 'He that believeth will not make haste.' The people of God miscarry in their haste: Ps. xxxi. 22, 'I said in my haste, I am cut off, but thou heardest the voice of my supplication:' Ps. cxvi. 11, 'I said in my haste, All men are liars;' even Samuel and all the prophets who had assured him of the kingdom. It will come in the best time when it cometh in God's time, neither too soon nor too late; it will come sooner than your enemies would have it, sooner than second causes seem to promise, sooner than you deserve, soon enough to discover the glory of God to you: Ps. xl. 1, 'I waited patiently for the Lord, and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.' God will not fail a waiting soul; his delay is no denial, nor a sign of want of love to you: John xi. 5, 'Jesus loved Lazarus;' and yet, ver. 6, 'When he had heard that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was.' It may come sooner than you expect: Ps. xciv. 18, 'When I said, My foot slippeth, thy mercy, Lord, held me up.' David was apt to think all was gone, help would never come more to him, and in that very season God delivered him.

3. Obedience: the son of God submitted to the Holy Spirit while the impure spirit tempted him. If you would look for a ceasing of the conflict, do as he did, carry it humbly, fruitfully, faithfully to God.

[1.] Humble carriage will become you under your conflicts: 1 Pet. v. 6, 'Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.' The stubbornness of the child inaketh his correction double to what it otherwise would be. The more submissive you are, the more the cross hath its effect; whether you will or no, you must passively submit to God.

[2.] Carry it fruitfully, otherwise you obstruct the kindness of the Lord. He proveth us, that we may be fruitful: John xv. 2, 'Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away; and every branch that beareth fruit he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.' The rod hath done its work when it maketh us more holy; then the comfortable days come: Heb. xii. 11, 'Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous; nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.' Righteousness brings peace along with it, inward and outward. This maketh amends for the trouble. Then God beginneth to take it off.

[3.] Carry it faithfully to God, still opposing sin and Satan; for the more you give way to Satan, the more you are troubled with him, and your misery is increased, not lessened. But if you repel his temptations, he is discouraged: Eph. iv. 27, 'Neither give place to the devil.' The devil watcheth for a door to enter and take possession of your hearts, that he may exercise his former tyranny. If he gaineth any ground, he makes fearful havoc in the soul, and weakeneth not only our comfort but our grace. Therefore imitate Christ's resolution and resistance here. But this will deserve a point by itself. Therefore:

Doct. 2. When the devil is thoroughly and resolutely resisted, he departeth.

As here, when the adversary was put to the foil, he went his way. Therefore this is often pressed upon us in scripture: James iv. 7, 'Resist the devil and he will flee from you.' If you resist his suggestions to malice, envy, and strife, he is discouraged; so 1 Pet. v. 9, 'Whom resist, stedfast in the faith.' We must not fly nor yield to him in the least, but stoutly and peremptorily resist him in all his temptations. If you stand your ground, Satan falleth. In this spiritual conflict Satan hath only weapons offensive, cunning wiles, and fiery darts, none defensive; a believer hath weapons both offensive and defensive, sword and shield, &c.; therefore our safety lieth in resisting.

About which is to be considered:

1. What kind of resistance this must be.

2. Arguments to persuade and enforce it.

3. What graces enable us in this resistance. 1. For the kind of resistance.

[1.] It must not be -faint and cold. Some kind of resistance may be made by general and common graces; the light of nature will rise up in defiance of many sins, especially at first, before men have sinned away natural light; or else the resistance at least is in some cold way. But it must be earnest and vehement, as against the enemy of God and our souls. Paul's resistance in his conflicts was with serious dis likes and deep groans: Rom. vii. 9, 'The good that I would I do not, but the evil which I would not, that I do;' and ver. 24, 'Oh wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?' In apparent cases a detestation and vehement indignation is enough, 'Get thee behind me, Satan!' in other cases there need strong arguments and considerations, that the temptation may not stick when the tempter is gone, as the smutch remaineth of a candle stuck against a stone wall. When Eve speaketh faintly and coldly, the devil reneweth the assault with the more violence: Gen. iii. 3, 'Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die' As to the restraint, she speaketh warmly, and with some impatience of resentment, 'not eat' 'nor touch,' in the commination too coldly, 'lest ye die' when God had said, 'ye shall surely die' A faint denial is a kind of grant; therefore slight Satan's assaults with indignation. Though the dog barketh the traveller passeth on. Satan cannot endure contempt. At other times argue for God stoutly; thy soul and eternal concernments are in danger. No worldly concernment ought to go so near to us as that which concerneth our eternal good and the salvation of our souls. What would the devil have from thee but thy soul, and its precious enjoyments, peace of conscience, hope of everlasting life? What doth he bid? worldly vanities. As the merchant putteth up his wares with indignation when the chapman biddeth an unworthy price.

[2.] It must be a thorough resistance of all sin, 'take the little foxes,' dash 'Babylon's brats against the stones' Lesser sticks set the great ones on fire. The devil cannot hope to prevail for great things presently. At first it is, 'Hath God said?' and then, 'Ye shall not surely die.' The approaches of Satan to the soul are gradual, he asketh a little, it is no great matter. Consider the evil of a temptation is better kept out than gotten out. Many think to stop after they have yielded a little; but when the stone at the top of a hill begins to roll downward, it is hard to stay it, and you cannot say how far you shall go. 'I'll yield but once,' saith a deceived heart; 'I'll yield but a little, and never yield again' The devil will carry thee further and further, till he hath not left any tenderness in thy conscience. Some that thought to venture but a shilling, by the witchery of gaming have played away all; so some have sinned away all principles of conscience.

[3.] It must not be for a while, but continued; not only to stand out against the first assault, but a long siege. What Satan cannot gain by argument he seeketh to gain by importunity; but 'resist him, stedfast in the faith, I as his instrument spake to Joseph, 'day by day' Gen. xxxix. 10. Our thoughts by time are more reconciled to evil. Now we must keep up our zeal to the last. To yield at last is to lose the glory of the conflict. Therefore rate away the importunate suitor, as Christ doth.

2. Arguments to persuade it.

[1.] Because he cannot overcome you without your own consent. The wicked are 'taken captive by him at his will and pleasure' 2 Tim. ii. 26, because they yield themselves to his temptations; like the young man, Prov. vii. 22, 'He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, and as a fool to the correction of the stocks' There is a consent, or, at least, there is not a powerful dissent. Satan's power lieth not in a constraining efficacy, but persuasive allurement.

[2.] The sweetness of victory will recompense the trouble of resistance. It is much more pleasing to deny a temptation than to yield to it; the pleasure of sin is short-lived, but the pleasure of self-denial is eternal.

[3.] Grace, the more it is tried and exercised, the more it is evidenced to be right and sincere: Rom. v. 3-5, 'Knowing that tribulation worketh patience, and patience experience, and experience hope, and hope maketh not ashamed, because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts, by the Holy Ghost, which is given to us' It is a comfortable thing to know that we are of the truth, and to be able to assure our hearts before God.

[4.] Grace is strengthened when it hath stood out against a trial; as a tree shaken with fierce winds is more fruitful, its roots being loosened. Satan is a loser and you a gainer by temptations wherein you have approved your fidelity to God; as a man holdeth a stick the faster when another seeketh to wrest it out of his hands.

[5.] The more we resist Satan, the greater will our reward be: 2 Tim. iv. 7, 8, 'I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith; henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness' The danger of the battle will increase the joy of the victory, as the dangers of the way make home the sweeter. There will a time come when he that is now a soldier will be a conqueror: Rom. xvi. 20, 'The God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly.

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