The true Picture of Iohn Preston Dr. in Diuinity, and sometimes Preacher of Lincolnes-Inn.

THE SAINTS SVBMISSION, and Sathans over­throw. Or, SERMONS ON IAMES 4. 7. ‘Submit your selves therefore unto God, resist the divell, and he will flee from you.’

By that faithfull and reverend Divine, IOHN PRESTON, Doctor in Divinitie, Chaplaine in ordinarie to his Majestie, Master of Emmanuel Colledge, sometime Preacher of Lincolns-Inne.

LONDON, Printed by I D. and are to be sold by Peter Cole at the signe of the Glove in Cornhill, neere the Royall-Exchange. 1638.

The Contents.

  • SVbmission to God what Pag. 9
  • 1. It must bee with the whole heart. 11
  • Reason, God will have the whole heart or nothing. 18
  • The inward man must bee subject. 22
  • Reason. 23
  • Rebellions of the inward man what 27
  • 1. Thoughts
    • vaine, 29
    • wicked, 30
  • 2. Affe­ctions
    • 1. Manifest. 43
    • 2. Secret 44
  • Rebellions of the outward [Page] man what. 48
  • 1. Speeches. 49
  • 2. Actions 53
  • Why we must bee subject to God, 3. Reasons 59
  • 1. Vse to justifie God 61
  • 2. Vse to humble us 64
  • Signes of submission to God. 87. 108
  • Motives to submit to God, 109. 114
  • Why we must resist the di­vel, Satan is our adver­sary. 119
  • How Sathan tempts. 131
  • 1. By substracting the means God useth to bring men to himselfe. 131
  • 2. By laying snares and baites. 148
  • [Page] Sathans subtiltie appeares
    • 1. in fitting his baites ac­cording to mens callings, 153
    • 2. Fitting them according to occasions and opportu­nities offered. 154
    • 3. In the glosses hee covers sinne withall 159
  • How to resist Satan 166
  • 1. We must have our hearts filled with grace 168
  • 2. We must remove all false friends, viz. our lusts. 186
  • How to root lusts out of the heart, and how to know it, 194
  • 3. Wee must seeke to Christ for helpe. 198
  • Three things hinder Christ [Page] from helping us.
  • First, unfruitfulnesse. 206
  • Secondly sins unrepented of. 209
  • Thirdly, thrusting our selves into temptation. 210
  • Wee must resist the divell, 215
  • 1. We must watch and pray 216
  • 2. We must resist the divell at first motion. 221
  • Doctrine. Whosoever doth truly resist the divel, shall get the victory of him. 234
  • 1. Reason. 136
  • 2. Reason. 137
  • 3. Reason. 141
  • Objections answered page the 244. to 269.
  • [Page] 1 Vse. Reproofe of those that doe not resist the divell.
  • 2 Vse. The fearfull estate of those that have not put Satan to flight by resisting which are of two sorts. First those that never resi­sted Satan at all. 274
  • 2. Those that after resisting a while fall back. 278
  • Three causes of falling back. 280
  • 3. Vse of exhortation not to faint, be Satans temptati­ons what they will. 287
  • Satan tempts concerning,
    • 1. Our effectual calling 288
    • 2. Our Iustification. 291
    • 3. Our sanctification. 293
  • Signes of yeelding to Sa­tans [Page] temptations. 206
  • 1. When wee lay aside our weapons. 298
  • 2. When we are lesse trou­bled at the temptation. 299
  • 3. When sinne prevailes more. 300
  • Helpes against Satans temptations.
  • 1. Wee must use strong meanes. 301
  • Viz▪ Fasting and prayer, with diligent use of the Word. 304
  • 2. Wee must get strong rea­sons against strong lusts 306
  • 3. We must labour willingly to undergoe tentations & waite till God send deli­verance. 310

THE SAINTES SVBMISSION and Sathans over-throw.

IAMES 4. 7.‘Submit your selves therefore unto God: resist the Divell and he will flee from you.’

IN this whole context from the begin­ning of the Chapter [Page 2] to the end of this verse, the Apostle doth five things, first he reproves his dispersed brethren of the Iewish nation for divers of their sinnes. Secondly, He shewes the cause of all these sinnes: Thirdly, The meanes to avoide them. Fourthly, The hinderances and im­pediments hereof that it takes not effect. Lastly, The way and [Page 3] course to be taken for the removall of these impediments. The sinnes or vices here principally taxed are foure. First, their contentions, illustra­ted from the cause of them, vers, 1. viz. Their lusts which fought in their members, from whence come warres saith hee, and figh­tings among you? come they not hence even of your lusts that [Page 4] warre in your members. Secondly, Their re­missenes in prayer, set forth by the effect of it, not obtaining their desires, verse 2. yee lust and have not &c. yee fight and warre yet yee have not be­cause yee aske not. Thirdly, their asking amisse or not praying according to the will of God, declared by the cause of it verse 3. Yee aske amisse, that [Page 5] yee may consume it upon your lusts. Fourth­ly, Their cove­vetousnesse or im­moderate affecting the things of this earth, aggravated from the nature of the vice and Gods affection to it, its, en­mity with him, vers. 4. Yee adulterers and adulte­resses, know yee not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God. For the second particular the [Page 6] the cause of all these sinnes and lustes is set downe vers. 5. Doe yee thinke saith he, that the Scripture saith in vaine, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy. The corrupt frame of our nature alwayes in­clines & stirs us up to that which is evill. The third particular, the meanes to avoide these lusts, wee have expressed in the be­ginning of vers. 6. But [Page 7] he giveth more grace. Fourthly, the hinde­rances and impedi­ments of this grace that it takes not effect are two, first, Pride of heart, a vaine conceit of a mans owne suffi­ciency and upright­nesse before God. Se­condly, yeelding to temptations & snares, to each of which in the last place, the A­postle applies an ex­hortation, wherein he [Page 8] shewes how these hinderances may bee removed, if the Iewes of the dispersion de­sire to remoove the first, they must submit themselves to God; if the latter they must resist the Devill, submit your selves thereefore unto God, resist the Devil, and he wil flee from you. So then you see what the words of this text containe, a double ex­hortation, and upon [Page 9] what occasion pro­pounded.

For the better un­derstanding of the first exhortation, wee may consider these particulars. First, what the submission here required is. Se­condly, what are the reasons to enforce it. Thirdly, the uses of the point. For the first, this submission may be thus descri­bed, it is a gracious [Page 10] frame of the heart whereby the whole man doth submit it selfe unto the Law of God, in all things & in all estates. For the particulars in this de­scription, they may thus be explained, first the heart must be brought into a right frame and order, concerning this frame & order of the heart see, 1 Chron. 29. 18. and Isa. 43. 21. This frame [Page 11] must be of the whole heart, it's called a gra­cious frame to distin­guish it from that evil frame of heart which is in wicked men mentioned, Gen. 6. 5. the reason why this gracious disposition of the heart is requi­red, is, because God at the first did plant his Image in man, wher­by hee was set in an excellent frame, and this image God re­quires [Page 12] to be repaired againe in man, even the same image for substance though not for degree: the same for all the parts, though not for the perfections of the parts, and therefore we finde that the re­generating of a man to be the renewing of Gods image in him. This gracious frame of heart God hath promised to his peo­ple, [Page 13] as wee may see, Ezek. 36. 26. A new heart will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you, I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and will give you an hart of flesh: the fulfilling of this promise we may see, Rom. 8. 29. This image of God there­fore must be restored in the soule as ap­peares, 1 Cor. 15. 49. As wee have borne the image of the earthly, so shall we [Page 14] beare the image of the heavenly, Ephes. 4. 23, 24▪ it's required that Chri­stians should be renew­ed in the spirits of their minde, and that they should put on the new man which after God is created in righteousness and true ho­linesse. Now in Adam this image was per­fect, in us it's imper­fect, in him it was as the light in the ayre at noone day, when the Sunne shines in [Page 15] his strength, in us it's as the light in the aire at the dawning of the day, then the light is in every part of the aire, though not in the same de­gree, but it increaseth more and more, un­till the perfect day. Hence those words of Salomon, Prov. 4. 18. The path of the iust is as the shining light, that shi­neth more and more unto the perfect day. This re­newing [Page 16] of Gods i­mage is also called the new man, the new birth, Ephes. 4. 24. Now we know that a child in the wombe hath all the parts that a man hath, but onely there wants the strength of these parts: so it's likewise in the new regene­rate man.

Here it will be ob­jected, that no man is able to come to [Page 17] this perfect renew­ing of Gods image.

To which I answer, that a man may, and every man must at­taine to it, otherwise all his labour is in vaine, the heart had as good never a whit be changed, as not wholly; an instru­ment unlesse all the strings be in tune, wil make no good har­monie, one string out of tune will marre [Page 18] the harmonie as well as more.

The reason why there must be this whole change is, be­cause God will either have the whole heart or nothing. The holy Ghost will not dwel [...] in the heart unlesse it be a polished Tem­ple, and the whole frame set up: No man will dwell where there are but a few postes and studdes [Page 19] set up towardes the rearing of the buil­ding.

Object. If the heart must be renewed, how comes it to passe that there are many rebellions both of heart and life in the best men?

Ans. There are so indeed, but their re­bellions, differ from the rebellions of the wicked, for first their rebellions are be­tweene [Page 20] the flesh and the spirit, between their spirituall reason and their Carnall rea­son: betweene Car­nall affections and spirituall, which shall get the prehemi­nence. But the re­bellions of the wic­ked are between one lust and another, one carnall affection and another, their rebel­lion is against the providence of God [Page 21] and the light of na­ture which is in them. Secondly, there is difference in regard of the end of their rebellions; the Godly [...]are to rebell against God least they should displease him, and [...]oose their sweet Communion with [...]im: but the wicked [...] rebelling feare on­ [...]y the punishment which will follow, [...]ey feare God as the [Page 22] malefactor feares th [...] judge.

Secondly, it follow in the descriptiō, tha [...] by the gracious fram [...] of the heart, th [...] whole man be mad [...] subject &c. by th [...] whole man, we ar [...] to understand the inward man and th [...] outward. First, the inward man must be made subject, that [...] the heart. For Go [...] especially require [...] [Page 23] the obedience of the heart, see therefore the Wise-mans coun­sell to this purpose, Prov. 4. 23. and the A­postles, Heb. 3. 12. The reason hereof [...], because God sees [...]ot as man sees, he [...]udgeth not as man [...]udgeth, according to the sight of the eyes. God especially looks to the heart, because that is the spring-head [...]om whence all the [Page 24] streames of our spee­ches, & actions flow Now we know i [...] the spring-head b [...] slimie and muddie the streames flowing from it must neede [...] be slimie & muddie but if that be faire & cleare the streames will be so also, thus it's with the heart, the heart is as the chiefe wheele in a clocke which sets all the res [...] on going, an unskil­ful [Page 25] man cannot judge of the clocke but by [...]he sound; the arti­ficer lookes to the [...]ward workman­ [...]hip of it; so like­wise, God especially [...]ookes to the heart. The like wee see [...]en in some sort use [...]o doe, for when a [...]an hath injurie of­fered him, he pre­sently lookes with what heart the o­ [...]er did it, if he did [Page 26] it ignorantly or a­gainst his will, hee who hath received the wrong, will bet­ter beare with him [...] but if the other did it of malice, then he takes it more hei­nously. We shall finde therefore in Scrip­ture, that God lesse esteemes faire per­formances with a [...] corrupt and crooked heart, then an up­right heart with [Page 27] weake performan­ces. The first of these was in Amasia, 2 Chr. 25. 2. the latter in David, who though [...]e had many great [...]lippes, yet was a man [...]fter Gods owne heart: now the re­bellions of the in­ward man, or of the heart, are either in thoughts or af­fections; rebellious thoughts are either [...]aine or such as are [Page 28] wicked. First vaine thoughts are rebelli­ous, for it's rebellion as well, not to doe that which is com­manded, as to doe that which is for­bidden. If a Prince should come to a subjectes house, and he instead of enter­taining him, should continue vainly tal­king and prating with some base fellow, it would be [Page 29] counted wonderfull neglect and con­tempt: the like offence doe they commit who when they should entertaine God in their hearts have them filled with vain thoughts, and so banish God from them. None indeed are free from these re­bellions, yet we must continually strive a­gainst them, for here is the difference; the [Page 30] wicked have them with delight, or at least without re­luctancy: the godly although they have them, yet it is with much striving against them, and continuall sorrowing for them, so that they get dai­ly more and more strength against them

The second sort of rebellious thoughts are such as are wic­ked, and that either [Page 31] for substance or man­ner, evill thoughts for substance are all those, whose objects are evill, as when a man thinkes how he may fulfill any par­ticular lust. These evil imaginations are one of those seven things that are abominati­on to the Lord. Pro. 6. 16. These six things doth the Lord hate, yea seaven are an abominati­on unto him, a proud [Page 32] looke, a lying tongue, and hands that shed in­nocent bloud, an heart that deviseth wicked imagi­nations &c. Such evill thoughts have the covetous man, the malicious man, the envious man, for the fulfilling of their particular lustes. If we would have God delight in the beauty of our soules, wee must wash our hearts from wickednesse [Page 33] according to Gods Counsell, Ier. 4. 14. O Ierusalem wash thy heart from wickednesse that thou mayst be saved, how long shall thy vaine thoughts lodge within thee? as dirt cast upon the face takes away the beau­ty of it: So the beau­ty of our soules is stayned and defiled by wicked thoughts: that common pro­verbe was certainly invented by the divel, [Page 34] that thoughts are free for God more respects the heart then out­ward performan­ces. Rebellious evill thoughts for the manner, are such as having a good object yet are conversant a­bout that object af­ter an evill maner: & these againe when a man is either con­versant after an evill manner about things that are holy, or that [Page 35] [...]re civill. About holy things, as first about God, either when a man thinkes there is [...]o God, and these are most blasphemous thoughts, or when a man conceives not [...]right of God. Thus [...]oore silly people [...]hinke God to be an [...]ld man sitting in [...]eaven. Secondly, [...]bout the word of God, and his attri­ [...]utes, when a man is [Page 34] [...] [Page 35] [...] [Page 36] not perswaded aright concerning them. These evill thoughts againe are two-fold, either they are ma­nifest, such as men perceive to be in themselves: such re­bellious thoughts the Pharisees had concer­ning Christ, and Simon Magus, concering the buying of the holy Ghost with money: or else they are simple and not reflexed, such [Page 37] as men perceive not to be in themselves, and yet in truth are in them, as may be discovered by their lives and courses. He that lives a presump­tuous life, shewes that he hath a secret rebellious opinion of the mercy of God: he that lives a desperate life, shewes that hee conceives amisse, (though it may be he sees it not) of the [Page 38] justice of God. Those that are of civill things are of three kindes, the first is when a man thin­king of some civill thing, thinketh that he can of himselfe with his own power compasse the same, such the Apostle blames who say not with their mouthes but rather in their heart we will go into such a Citie, and there wee [Page 39] will buy and sell and get gaine, Iam. 4. 13. After he addeth vers. 16. that they did re­joyce in their boa­stings, that is, in that which they thought they were able to doe, but indeed were not. Now often­times the man that hath such rebellious thoughts, if he misse of his expectati­on hecomes impati­ent. The second kind [Page 40] is when we make our selves the ends of our own actions these kinde of re­bellious thoughts the Prophet Zacha [...] blameth, Chap. 7 ver 6 When yee did eate and when yee did drinke, did you not eat [...] for your selves, and drink [...] for your selves? Thus men sinne when they eate onely to satisfie their hunger, and to strengthen them fo [...] [Page 41] the fulfilling of some [...]ust. Both these kindes of evill thoughts are [...]oyned together in that proud speech of Nebuchadnezar, Dan. 4. [...]0. Is not this great Babel, which I have built for the house of the kingdome, by [...]he might of my power [...]nd for the honour of my Majestie? The third kind is, when wee [...]hinke of civill things with putting some [...]rustin them, chearing [Page 42] up our selves in re­gard of them, this the rich man doth whe [...] he makes his wealth his strong Citie, as Salomon speakes, Pro. 10. 16. that is, when he thinkes himselfe as safe by reason of his riches, as a man doth when hee is in a strong and well fen­ced City. Thus the rich man in the Gos­pell did Luke. 12. When his barnes were ful [...] [Page 43] then he bids his soule take her rest, not be­fore, although God was as neere him before as then, so then his trust was in his riches, but if we consider his sudden destruction, we shall see the folly of that his trust. The second kinde of the rebel­ [...]ions of the heart are [...]n the affections; and [...]hese are two-fold, ei­ [...]her manifest, earnest [Page 44] and boyling affecti­ons, such are com­monly the markes of the wicked, such a boyling lust after ho­nour was in Haman: the like was in Ahab after Naboths Vine­yard: the like affecti­on is worldly griefe which makes many pine away, or else they be more secret, such as are not yet stirred up into act. This secret thirsting [Page 45] after riches was in Balaam, see Numb. 22. 18 The like secret affecti­on was in Hazael which the Prophet told him of, though he little thought it to be so, yet it after­wards proved true, as appeares 2 King. 8. 12. that these secret lu­stings are rebellious and therefore odious in Gods sight, is evi­dent, because his spi­rit never dwelleth in [Page 46] any heart where they are, because they de­file the heart accor­ding to that of our Saviour, out of the heart proceed evill thoughts, murders &c. these are the things which defile a man, Math 15. 19. 20. Now the spirit de­lights not to dwell in a polluted heart, and though wee see not these secret lusts in our hearts, yet Gods Spirit sees them, for [Page 47] he sees not as we see. God knowes the se­cret good motions of his spirit in our hearts Rom. 8. 27. and there­fore also the secret corruptions of our hearts, although we see them not our selves. It concernes us therefore especial­ly to looke to our hearts, the thoughts and affections there­of. The hypocrisie of Amasia and Ioas was [Page 48] manifest at last, be­cause their hearts were not upright.

The rebellions of the outward man follow; which are ei­ther in speeches or actions. Both these are expressed, Isa. 3. 8. Ierusalem is ruined and Iuda is fallen, because their tongue and their doings are against the Lord, to provoke the eyes of his glory. Rebellious speeches consist ei­ther [Page 49] in the vanitie or rottennesse of them. First, there must be no vanitie in our speeches, we must as the wise man speaketh, ponder our words, not speake any thing, till ha­ving pondered it, we find it to be of suf­ficient waight, worth the uttering. Did we seriously consi­der, that we must give account of eve­ry [Page 50] idle word, that e­very idle word is a rebellion, we would surely make more conscience of idle words then wee doe. Secondly, rotten speeches are such wherewith there is joyned some corrup­tion Ephes. 4. 29. the contrarie to these are called gracious speeches, Col. 4. 6. Now there are two sorts of either kind; [Page 51] a speech is called gra­cious, either because it proceedeth from some inward grace, that is called a zea­lous speech which proceeds from the af­fection of zeale; or else because it mini­sters some grace to the hearers, or stirres up some grace in them which lay dead be­fore: So those are cor­rupt speeches, which either proceed from [Page 52] some corruption in the speaker, or stirre up some corruption in the hearer. Our speeches should be poudered with Salt. Col. 4. 6. un­lesse they be seasoned with grace, they are like unsavoury meate which for want of Salt becomes putrified Pro. 10. 20. The tongue of the iust man is as fined silver, that is, his words are preti­ous as silver, and like [Page 53] fined silver, they have no corruption joy­ned with them: but the heart of the wicked is little worth, and there­fore his words can­not be gracious.

Rebellions in acti­ons are, either the omitting of some good commanded, or the committing of some evill forbidden, the omission of some good is rebellion, al­though there con­curre [Page 54] not an act of the will at the same time for the omission, first because the will at the same time doth concurre with the doing of some thing which should not then be done: that the doing of evill is rebellion against God, as the committing of Murder or Adultery none will deny.

Next it followes in the description, that [Page 55] the whole man must be subject to the law of God, viz. the Law of righteousnesse, not the Law of sinne, which reignes in our mortal members, and that in all things, and in all estates as well prosperitie as adver­sitie. There are two sorts of professors, sometimes the true professor, the upright man when he grows fat, strikes with the [Page 54] [...] [Page 55] [...] [Page 56] heele, whereas before in adversity he sub­jected himselfe to the Lord; like an horse which being kept low, will easily be ruled by his rider, but being pampered and kept very lusty and fatte, lifts up the heele against him, and will not suffer the bit. Contrarily others, so long as they con­tinue in an even and pleasant course will [Page 57] subject themselves to God, and his service, but when afflictions come, when God lea­deth them through craggie and thornie wayes, then they will goe no further, the reason is, because their feete are not shod with the prepa­ration of the Gospell of peace, they have not that peace of consci­ence which will make them willing to [Page 58] passe through all e­states, which is like shoes to the travel­lers feet. We know he that is well shod will easily passe through Craggy and thorny wayes, whereas hee that is not so shod, dares not. Thus much for explication of the point: in the second place follow the rea­sons to enforce the exhortation, & from every word a reason [Page 59] may be gathered.

First, seeing every sinne is a rebellion a­gainst God, let this the rather move us to submit our selves un­to him, that we may not be so great offen­ders as traitors.

The Second may be taken from the person of God, to whom we are ex­horted to submit our selves, first in respect of his greatnesse o­ver [Page 56] us, this reason the Prophet Malachy useth Chap. 1. 6 14. Second­ly, in respect of his goodnesse towards us, who is so merci­full a father to us, this we may see ur­ged, Isa. 2. 2, 3. Isa. 5. 23, 4.

The third may be taken from our selves who are exhorted to this duty. First consi­der that we are all his Creatures, we hold [Page 57] our being, and all that we have conti­nually from him, ther­fore it concernes us to yeeld all homage to him, the more a man holdeth of his Lord, the more ho­mage he oweth him Secondly, we are all his servants, therefore we are not to fulfill our owne lusts, or to obey Sathan, but on­ly to doe our Lords worke; yea we are [Page 62] not his servants only, but besides bought with a deare price, even the precious blood of his onely Sonne, 1 Cor. 6. 20. when a man hath bought a servant and that at an high rate, he expectes the more and better service to be done by him. Thirdly, we are all his children, therfore we must yeeld all duty & obedience to him, this reason the Apo­stle [Page 63] useth, 1 Pet. 1. 14, 15. As obedient children fashion not your selves ac­cording to the former lusts in your ignorance, but as hee which hath called you is holy, so be yee holy in all manner of conversati­on. Lastly, we are all the Temple of the holy Ghost: a Temple that is consecrated to holy uses must not be profaned by put­ting it to common uses, this is sacriledge; [Page 60] so when we are tem­ples consecrated to the holy Ghost it's sa­criledge to profane these temples, to put them to base uses, this reason the Apostle useth, 1 Cor. 6. 19. What? know yee not that your [...]ody is the temple of the holy Ghost which is in you, which yee have of God, and yee are not your owne? &c. We now come to the uses of that which hath [Page 61] beene delivered.

This serves to cleare the justice of God who punisheth sinne with eternall death both of body and soule.Vse 1.

Obj. Sinne being a re­bellion, deserveth in­deed punishment, but death seemes to be too severe a pu­nishment. Ans. When we heare that a re­bellious childe is put to death, we judge him worthy of it & [Page 66] to have deserved it of his father, because the child received life from the father his father is so farre above him, and de­served well at his hands. By the same reason may God in an higher degree punish every sin with death.

Obj. But it seemes much that God should punish one sin with eternall death. Ans. The reason hereof is [Page 67] because the rebelli­ons of the wicked are continuall. If they would cease to rebell and submit themselves to God, he would cease to pu­nish. Againe it's just because God set be­fore Adam life and death eternal, for him and his posterity, as by justice for his o­bedience he should have had eternall life, so for transgression [Page 64] he and all his deser­ved eternall death.

This may also serve to humble us for our sinnes,Vse. 2. seeing the least of them is a re­bellion against God. The reason why ma­ny goe on quietly in their course of sin­ning is, because they consider not that God is highly provoked to anger by the same. For the better working of this humiliation in [Page 65] us, let us consider a few meanes. The first is to make catalogues of our sinnes, to set them in order before the light of our coun­tenance, for other­wise God will surely set them in order be­fore the light of his countenance. By set­ting them in order before us is meant that we should set the greatest in the first ranke, and so accor­dingly [Page 70] in order, un­till we come to the least, so that it is needfull to know the greatnesse & heinous­nesse of every one of them. For the better understanding of the greatnesse of every one of them, let us consider but this; a traitour, if after his treason committed, the King sends out his Proclamation to take him, and he af­ter [Page 71] a third or fourth Proclamation, will not yet come in, it doth much more ag­gravate the offence, so often as we have despised the word & not hearkned to the reprehension for our rebellions commit­ted, so often have we refused to be called in, when the King of Heaven hath sent out his Proclamations for us; therefore we [Page 68] cannot but conceive our former rebellion to be much more ag­gravated therby, ther­fore our soules should be humbled for it, for the multitude of our rebellions: it will be objected that we can­not possibly number them, yet a speciall meanes to discover them unto us will be to examine our selves by the word. For al­though a man have [Page 73] never so many spots about him, yet if he have not a glasse to looke in, how will he espie them? If a man come into an house in the darke, though it be all besmeared with slime and dirt he cannot discerne it without bringing a light with him; the word is this light which wil discover to us the foulenes & cor­ruption of out soules [Page 68] [...] [Page 73] [...] [Page 74] and hearts, the rea­son is, because God on­ly is able to search the heart, and find out the corruptions thereof, it is he that made the heart, and not man, therefore it is too deepe for him to search, the wise­dome of God is con­tained in his word, hence the word will helpe us in the sear­ching of our hearts, here by the way we [Page 75] may note why so many suddenly fal in­to despaire. God doth suddenly kindle a cleare light within them, whereby they come to see the foul­nesse of their sinnes and the multitude of them, which having never looked into be­fore, they deeply ap­prehend that it's im­possible for them to obtaine mercy, and so despaire. The se­cond [Page 76] means, after we have set our sinnes before us with their aggravation, is, then to stay long in the consideration of them, many at the ripping up of their sinnes will be ready to say Lord have mercy upon me, but this is not sufficient. Hence is that usuall doctrine, that repen­tance is a continued act. A sparke of fire [Page 77] under wet wood will not at the first flame out, yet with continuall blowing at length it may burne: that sparke of grace which is smo­thered in a mans hart at the first sight of his sinnes, will not kindle his affections, but at length with continuall meditati­on, it will breake forth, and may work much remorse. The [Page 78] Prophet blames the people, that in their humiliation they did but hang down their head like a Bulrush, Isa. 58. Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soule? is it to bow downe his head as a bulrush &c. they did wel in humbling thē ­selves, but their fault was in that they did not continue the same but were like the bul­rush, [Page 79] which whilst the storme or blast of winde lasteth, hangs downe it's head, but after lifts it up againe. David in his repentāce, had alwayes his sins before him, Psal. 51. 3. the more he consi­dered it the more hu­miliation it wrought in him. The third means is, we must have the spirit of God to soften our hearts, or else all our labour [Page 80] will doe no good, an hard stone while it so continues, will not be bruised with a blow, but being changed into flesh, a little blow wil bruise it. Our stonie hearts must be turned into flesh, before they can be broken with consideration of our sinnes, which is only the worke of Gods spirit, this point is gathered out of [Page 81] Zach. 12. 10. Those who have had the greatest measure of sorrow for their sins it hath bin wrought in them by the spirit of God. But how shal we attaine to this spirit will some say? our Saviour tells us, the way is to aske and pray for it, and confirmes the same by an argument, Luk. 11. 13. If yee being evill know how to give good [Page 82] gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the holy spirit to them that aske him? Obj. If we were children indeed as our Saviour there argueth, it is likely God would heare us, but we are not For answer hereun to marke the parable beginning at the 5. vers. and continued to the 9. verse, the con­clusion is verse 8. I say [Page 83] unto you though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet be­cause of his impor­tunity he will rise and give him as ma­ny as he needeth. God is our friend, if we could so perswade our selves; if we can­not, If we continue constant and fervent in asking, God will at length heare us for our importunity, and [Page 84] give us as joyfull an answer as the wo­man of Canaan had after her repulse, this may the more com­fort us, the longer we expect an answer with patience, the better and more comfortable answer shall at length be given us. Many think that they want not this humiliation for sinne, but let such examine whether [Page 85] they have left off their course of sin­ning which they lived in before, this will be a speciall signe of their repen­tance. If a man have done thee an inju­rie, and pretend that he is very sorry for it, yet if he offer thee the same wrong a­gaine and againe, thou wilt judge that he did but dissemble: So he doth but dis- [Page 86] dissemble in his re­pentance, that doth continue in sinne sorrowed for, that keepes the same course of sinning still.

Another use may be of exhortation,Vse 3. to our selves, to our whole man, inward ond outward, that we rebell not any longer, but submit our selves unto the Lord. For the farther enforcing hereof let [Page 87] us consider. First, some signes of this our submission. Se­condly, the motives to it. Thirdly the means to attaine it. For the first,Signes the signes of this submission The first may be re­spect to Gods word, and delight in it, if we neglect his word and are not moved with the judge­ments and promises therein contained, [Page 88] then are we rebells. That Subject that heares the Proclama­tion of his Prince read, with the pu­nishment annexed to be inflicted upon such as breake it, neg­lectes the same, re­gards not the pu­nishment, but mani­festes his contempt of them, shewes that he will not obey that law of his Prince, but rather [Page 89] rebels against it. That neglect of Gods word is a signe of rebellion is most evident, Isa. 30. 8, 9. 10. Now (saith the Lord by his Prophet) Goe, write it before them in a Table, and note it in a booke, that it may be for the time to come, for ever and ever, that this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that wil not heare the Law of the Lord, which say to the [Page 90] seers see not, and to the Prophets prophesie not un­to us right things, speake unto us smooth things, prophecy deceites. A com­mon excuse of sim­ple people is, that they are not booke learned, though they delude their owne consciences, yet God is not mocked, he that made the eye shal not he see? he that made the understanding shall not he know? [Page 91] God knowes that this is but an excuse, and that sloath and negli­gence is the true cause that they have no more knowledge in Gods word, these thinke they have knowledge enough, and therfore need no more; but this will be tried, if they ex­amine their desire to know more, & their delight in Gods word, which alwayes ac­companies [Page 92] know­ledge. Thus the Apo­stles reason stands 1 Pet. 2. 2, 3. If they had tasted how gracious the the Lord is, then as new horne babes they would desire the sincere milke of the word, that they might grow thereby. Act. 20. Paul tells them that he had revealed to them the whole Counsell of God, intimating that he had bin in fault, if he had kept [Page 93] the least part there­of secret: although the Pastour, if he be not diligent to teach be in fault, yet that excuseth not the peo­ple: though God re­quireth the blood of the people at those Pastours hands, that doe not feed them, yet the people pe­rish notwithstanding. God oftentimes com­plaines that his peo­ple perish for want [Page 94] of knowledge: but poore silly people perswade themselves that to have much knowledge is not re­quired of them, but of Schollers and Pa­stors; This obstacle will be taken away if we compare 1 Cor. 1. 5, 27, 28. with Heb. 6. 1. and 5. 12. We know although a man take no poyson nor lay violent hands upon himselfe, yet if [Page 95] he refraine the taking of his meate, he will soone famish, though a man abstaine from murder, adultery, and such heinous sinnes as will bring de­struction to his soule yet if he take not the food of the soule, the word of God, his soule must needes famish.

Obj. But if we should spend much time in getting knowledge our estates would [Page 96] decay. Ans. Christ saith the contrary, Math. 6. 33. First seeke the Kingdome of God, and the righteousnesse thereof, and all these things shall be added unto you. Sure­ly the cause why many decay in their estates notwithstan­ding their continuall toyle, and labour, is, because they seeke not the kingdome of God first: because Sa­lomon asked wisedom, [Page 97] we see he wanted not riches & wealth, but had them in a­bundance. Let us take the Prophets Counsell in this case Mal. 3. 11. Bring yee all the tithes into the store­house, that there may bee meate in my house, and prove mee now herewith, saith the Lord of hoastes, if I will not open you the windowes of heaven, and powre you out a blessing, that there shall not be [Page 98] roome enough to receive it. A speciall motive hereunto should be, the consideration of their miserable con­dition, who wander not being guided by the light of the word. They are like a traveller who is to take a great journey in the night, and knowes not the way, yea, that wants a lanthorne to give him light. See further [Page 99] two fearefull judg­ments denounced a­gainst the people which profited not by Gods word, but were uncapable of being taught the same Isa. 28. 10. 11, 12. Neg­lect also of the fear­full judgement de­nounced in Gods word without trembling at them is fearefull rebellion, the punish­ment whereof we may see, Ier. 5. 14. So [Page 100] likewise not to be moved with the pro­mises contained in Gods word, is an evill signe, that we have not submitted our selves, to the Lord, it is wonderfull that so few come under Christs banner, and fight his battailes, seeing there are such excellent and in­comparable privi­ledges promised to such as doe, Heb. 12. [Page 101] 22, 23. Whereas King Cyrus wanted not Souldiers, after he had Proclaimed that they who were Gentle­men should be made Knights, they that were Knights Lords; Surely if Christs pro­mises had bin of this kinde, he should have had more followers then now he hath. Another signe of re­bells is to obey Sa­than and not God, his [Page 102] His servants wee are whom wee obey, Rom. 6. 16. Here many will say, they defie Satan, but let them learne of the Centurion, that they are surely Satans servants, if when he bids them doe this, they doe it when he bids them come they come, the godly indeed may somtimes be violent­ly lead captive of Sa­tan, but they are never his subjects for they [Page 103] never obey him wil­lingly, nor Confesse themselves to be his servants. The wicked man walkes with his face towards hell, his back towards heaven, yet somtimes he may looke backe but not long together: wher­as the righteous man walkes with his face towards heaven, & his backe towards hell: and although some­times he fall back­ward, [Page 104] yet he re­covers himself quick­ly and goes forward, like a ship which sayles from East to West, which though it be turned backe with some storme or tempest, yet when that is over, it sayles forwards, as before. Another signe of a rebell is to purchase goods and lands in the enemies Coun­trie, that shewes he [Page 105] doth not purpose to returne. The world may be called the Devills Countrie and therfore he who set­teth his affections upon any thing here, and labours to purchase the same, hath this signe of a rebell: For no man can serve two Masters, Luk. 16. Some will object that they seeke for wealth out of a pro­vident care to pro­vide [Page 106] for themselves and those who be­long to them, not because they make riches their treasure or set their hearts upon them. There­fore these must thus examine themselves, if they esteeme their riches above any thing else, care for the increasing of them more then for any thing else, if they do, they make riches [Page 107] their treasure A man ascending upon an hill, the higher he ascends, the lesse all things beneath seeme unto him. So when a man is ascending up to heaven in his con­versation, the higher he goes, the lesse e­steeme will he have of all earthly things here below. That which a man makes his treasure he spends most of his time, if [Page 108] if not all in increa­sing of it, and he who doth thus with his riches, makes them his treasure. The rich man may fur­ther know, whether he trusts in his riches by the effectes of his trusting in them, as by his feare of loosing them, by his griefe for their losse, and his joy in getting of them. He trusts in his riches when his [Page 109] heart failes, if they faile, as a Cripple trust­ing to his Crutches, when they are taken away, his legges faile him, hee can goe no further. Thus we have the notes or signes of tryall: now follow two or three motives to perswade us to this duty of sub­mission.

First, Consider that we shall never have successe in any thing, [Page 110] so long as we con­tinue rebells against God. For the feare of the wicked shall bee hrought upon him, Prov. 10. 24. an excellent example hereof see, Ier. 42. The wicked man alwayes either misseth of his desire, or if it be fulfilled, it turneth to his great hurt. When God suffers the wicked worldling to grow rich according to his desire, he either takes [Page 111] from him the use of his riches, or else suf­fers him so wholy to set his affections up­on them, that he for­gets God, which is worse. Another mo­tive should be the fearefull judgements that are every where denounced against the wicked & rebelli­ous, Psal. 11. 6. Isa. 30. 13, 14. They are very emphatically compa­red to a swelling wal [Page 112] and a broken Vessell. Thirdly, another mo­tive should be the mercies that God be­stowes upon his faith­full subjectes. He is as full of Compassi­on and bounty unto them, as the Sunne is full of light, or the Sea full of water. Lastly, another mo­tive should be the easinesse of Christs yoake, and compare herewith how base a [Page 113] master the Devill is, how hard his yoake is, and withall how small his wages, a little pleasure here & eternall paine here­after. Now Christs yoake becomes light and easie by these meanes.

First, they that take this yoake are strengthned to beare it: if a childe had an heavy burden layd upon him, and his [Page 114] strength accordingly increased, he would beare it with ease. Se­condly, they who beare this yoake de­light in it, it becomes easie, what will not become easie to a man if he delight in it? The Hunter delightes in his sport, and there­fore endureth winde and weather to follow it


IAMES. 4. vers. 7.‘Submit your selves therefore unto God: resist the Devil and he will flee from you.’

THe second ex­hortation fol­lowes, Resist the Devill and hee will flee [Page 116] from you. Which words containe two particulars. First, the exhortation it selfe, resist the Devill. Se­condly, the encou­ragement hereunto which may stirre us up to the perfor­mance of the duty, and hee will flee from you. For the first ex­hortation, resist the Devill; Surely belo­ved there is no need of motives to stir up [Page 117] Christians to take up this exhortation, as a man being set upon by a Lyon needs no perswasion to flee from him, for that he will do as fast as he can, onely desires to have some way shewed him where­by he may escape: so the Christian which truely sees in what great danger he is continually, by the continuall lying in [Page 118] waite for him of Sa­tan, needs no exhor­tation to flee from him, & shun him, only wantes a way to be shewed him, wherby he may escape this great danger. There­fore passing by all such motives as might be here propoun­ded, let me set down only three particulars implyed in the text. First, the Devill is our adversary. Secondly, [Page 119] we must be furni­shed with strength and weapons, to re­sist him. Thirdly, we must put in practise this strength, and use these weapons, o­therwise they wil not profit us.

For the first, that Satan is our adversary and that we must re­sist him, and fight with him; though wicked men that are dead in their sins take [Page 120] no notice of it, yet it's evident by Scriptures Eph. 6. 12. Wee wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against Principalities and powers, against the Rulers of the darkenesse of this world, against Spirituall wickednesses in high places. If the Devill were not our enemie why should the A­postle here exhort us to resist him? so that text, 1 Pet. 5. 8. is most evident for this [Page 121] purpose. Bee sober and vigilant, because your ad­versarie the Devill goes about like a roaring Lyon seeking whom hee may devoure. Here we see what kinde of ad­versarie he is. First, his strength appeares in that he is called a Lyon. Secondly, his fiercenesse and cruel­tie, in that he is cal­led a roaring Lyon. Thirdly, his diligence in that he is said to [Page 122] walke about seeking whom he may de­voure. That Satan is our professed adver­sary, and takes all oc­casions hee can of tempting us, ap­peares, partly by ex­perience, partly by reason. By experience as Eve in Paradise was tempted by Satan, so at this time we have many experiences of the like kinde, in Witches, to whom [Page 123] the Divell hath ap­peared in sundry shapes, as many of them have confessed and others also have seene, so that it can­not be doubted of. And surely if Satan take upon him a voyce to be heard of the outward eare, as he did to Eve and doth now to many VVitches, then with­out doubt he being a spirit can much more [Page 124] by a mans phantasie present things to the minde, and so speake to the minde. Fur­ther also it cannot be doubted, but that he can make and frame propositions and rea­sons, & present them to the minde, and per­swade by these his reasons as we see in Eve, Gen. 3. And this truth is also evident by reason, those which are usually [Page 125] called Faedae tentationes cannot but be sug­gested by Satan, as will appeare, whe­ther we consider the manner of the sug­gestions, or the mat­ter of them.

First for the man­ner by which they are cast into a mans minde, that they come not accidental­ly appeares, in that they come so often, and continue so long. [Page 126] Many have bin trou­bled with them for many yeares toge­ther. Againe, they come not by dis­course, as appeares from the suddennesse of them, in that they are cast into a mans minde without any former thoughts which might bring them in. Againe, that they come not by the strength of a mans affections, ap­peares [Page 127] in that he doth presently abhor them, in many there is no consent at all given to them, it remaines therefore that they must needes proceed from Satans suggesti­on.

Secondly, it ap­peares in the matter of temptations, as to instance in that one for a man to kill himselfe, seeing it's a principle deeply graf­ted [Page 128] into every crea­ture (as it cannot be otherwise) to pre­serve it selfe its own life, this thought in a man to seeke all meanes to kill him­selfe, cannot come by any other meanes then by the suggesti­on of Satan, for we never knew any o­ther creature willing­ly worke it's owne destruction, onely the Swine in the [Page 129] Gospell into whom the Devil had entred. Therefore surely man but by the Devills perswasion (man be­ing a reasonable crea­ture may be moved with reason) would never doe it.

Here it may be said that reason will move a man to un­der-goe a lesse danger to escape a grea­ter,Obj. and for this cause men make a­way [Page 130] themselves.

With the heathen indeed,Ans. who knew neither heaven nor hell this might pre­vaile, but how can this be true in a Chri­stian (I meane one borne in the Church) who is perswaded there is a Hell for the wicked? can any such man be so fearelesse and so voyd of rea­son, as to cast him­selfe into hell which [Page 131] he seekes to shunne? would any man stan­ding by the fire, vo­luntarily throw him­selfe into the fire that he might not be burnt? or cast himself into the water, that he might not be drow­ned? the reason is the same here.

There are two spe­ciall wayes by which Satan useth to tempt men, the first by sub­tracting the meanes [Page 130] [...] [Page 131] [...] [Page 132] God useth to call men by to himselfe. The second is, by laying snares and baites of his owne. For the first, there are three meanes, by which God useth to unite man unto himselfe. The first and principall is his word, the second his mercies, the third is afflictions. Which two latter serve to quicken the first and make it ef- [Page 133] effectuall. Concerning the first his word, Sa­tan labours to fru­strate it many wayes either by keeping it from men so he kept S Paul from comming to the Thessalonians to preach the word, 1 Thess. 2. 18. We would have come unto you, even I Paul once and a­gaine, but Satan hindered us. Or else keeping men from the word as in the parable Luk. [Page 134] 14. 17, 18. Or if men come to heare it by making it unprofita­ble unto them, either by making them de­light only in the plea­santnesse and sweet­nesse of the style wherein it is delive­red, and so neglect the word: as if a man should only delight to behold the curi­ous workmanship of a peece of cloth he hath, and never use [Page 135] the same to cloath himselfe with, or by making them delight in observing the de­fectes and infirmities of him which prea­cheth, so that the Ser­mon being ended their whole talke is of the slips and infir­mities of the preacher These men are like a strainer through which the pure and good milk runs with­out stay, only the [Page 136] haires and motes re­maine behind. Or else Satan doth it by ma­king men at the hea­ring of the word to be senslesse & stupid either by blinding their eyes that they cannot discerne the truth, thus saith the Apostle, 2 Cor. 4. 4. The God of this world hath blinded the mindes of them that beleeve not, least the light of the glorious Gos­pell of Christ who is the [Page 137] image of God should shine unto them. Or by hindering their assent that they cannot re­ceive the word nor beleeve it: So that though the word be a hammer, yet it can­not breake them; though it be a sword yet it cannot enter into them. And fur­ther if the hearer a­rise with some good purposes in him; to reforme his courses [Page 138] and lead a new life, whereas the right way is now present­ly to worke them on his heart; Satan labours forthwith to quench them or to steale them away: if there be likelihood of reformation and turning, then pre­sently he presents to a man his beloved sinnes which he is loath to part with, to see if they will [Page 139] stay him; and calls to minde the reproches & ignomines which will surely attend up­on that profession: he suggestes that he wil never be able to un­dergoe it, in regarde of the strictnesse and rigour of it, with ma­ny other difficulties By this meanes of­tentimes, the good motions which were in a mans minde be­come but a cloud [Page 140] which Satan blow­eth over.

A second meanes to quickē the former are Gods mercies, the goodnesse of God is said to lead us to repentance Rom. 2. 4. Despisest thou the riches of his goodnes, & forbearance and long suffe­ring not knowing that the goodnes of God leadeth thee to repentance, the word there signifies a lea­ding proper to man. These mercies of God [Page 141] often become snares to that wicked, accor­ding to the impreca­tion of the Psalmist, Psal. 69. 22. Cited by the Apostle Rom. 11. 9. Let their table be made a snare, & a trap, a stumbling blocke & a recōpense unto them. Thus, riches are a great blessing of God and so Iacob accoun­ted of them, yet when they increase, Satan tempts men to set their hearts upon [Page 142] them, and so to make an Idole of them. Thus wit and lear­ning are gifts of God, but when a man hath them in any good measure, Satan temptes him to seeke his owne praise by them, and so to neg­lect Gods honour. So likewise preferment which should make a man more usefull and profitable both to God and his Church [Page 143] to how many is it made a snare, who make it the end of their desires? Thus when a man is in fa­uour with the Prince or some great man whereas he should make the use of it which Nehemiah did, yet he useth it for his own turne, for sinister endes.

The third meanes followes, namely af­flictions, when a man [Page 144] will not profit by the bare word, these open a mans eares, and seale to him the instructi­on, according to that in Iob 33. 16, 17, 18, 19. Whereas before the word did fume in his braine, afflictions make it sinke downe into his heart. This effect especially ap­peares in such a sick­nesse, wherein a man takes deepe apprehen­sion of death. For if [Page 145] any thing will change his heart, then in all likelihood is the time; but in many al­though their purpo­ses and resolutions at that time bee chan­ged; yet afterward being restored to health, these good motions are stollen out of their hearts by Satan, and they be­come the same men they were; so that their sicknesse hath [Page 146] beene but like a sud­den showre, which falling into a great water makes a sound, and for the present doth much trouble the same, but present­ly the force of the motion being past, the water returnes to his former calmnesse. Their sorrow is but like the hanging downe of the head of the bull-rush for two or three dayes, in the [Page 147] time of a storme or tempest, which being over, immediatly it lifteth up the head a­gaine. Such sorrow was that of the hy­pocriticall Iewes, tax­ed, Isa. 58. 5. Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soule? Is it to bow downe his head like a bul­rush, and to spread sack­cloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable [Page 148] day to the LORD.

Thus much con­cerning Satans first way of tempting; now wee come to speake of the second, which is his great di­ligence, and wonder­full subtiltie in laying his snares and baites. Our adversaries dili­gence appeares in the innumerable snares he layes for us; his snares and baites are in so many things as [Page 149] any corrupt affection of man is set upon. In peace most com­monly his baites are pleasure, gaine, pre­ferment; in anger re­venge; in extremity seeking to unlawfull meanes; so that his baites are every where. Any thing which is an object to these filthy Iusts which are in a mans heart, he useth as gins and traps to captivate [Page 150] us in; in all things he layes some baite or other to catch us by: in our affections hee strives to have us im­moderate and car­nall: in our thoughts first vaine, and then blasphemous: in com­pany prophane, in re­ceiving of benefits unthankfnll: in cros­ses, impatient and di­strustfull; as his dili­gence, so likewise must wee know his [Page 151] subtiltie to bee won­derfull, which ap­peares many wayes.

First, by the fitting of his baites and ten­tations unto a mans divers Calling, con­dition, and dispositi­on: as the water of a fountaine is con­veighed thither whi­ther it naturally tends by the Chanell, so Satan useth our seve­verall dispositions, as chanels to conveigh [Page 150] [...] [Page 151] [...] [Page 152] the corruption of our heart that way it ten­deth. Thus he fitted the covetous disposi­tion of Iudas with a baite of thirty peeces. He inflamed aspiring Human with the baite of preferment; so likewise hee fitted A­chitophel. Thus hee fits all men tempting them to such lusts as he knowes they are most addicted unto.

We must thereforeVse. [Page 153] consider our perso­nall sinnes, wherein the divell doth most usually foyle us, and take heed lest hee a­gaine foyle us in them. Hee which is subject to anger, let him take heed of that passion especially. He which is given to co­vetousnesse, let him especially take heed to the baites of profit. Let not the angry man looke upon the [Page 154] covetous to see his fault, lest he forget his owne; nor let the covetous looke upon the angry man to see his fault, lest hee for­get his covetousnesse But let every one consider his owne personall faults, and take especiall heed lest he bee overtaken in them.

Secondly, the Di­vels subtiltie appeares by fitting his baites, [Page 155] and tentations to all occasions and oppor­tunities offered. Hee did not alwaies tempt David to murder, but when opportunitie was offered to adul­terie: he tempted Pe­ter upon an occasion to deny his Master; that this is most true, every Christians pri­vate experience will tell him. When Herod had made the people wonder at his elo­quence, [Page 156] the divell tempted him to as­sume the glory to himselfe, which brought that fearfull judgement upō him Thus when they are called to any pub­like duty, then Satan tempts them, and tels them, this is a fit oc­casion to shew your selves, to winne esti­mation among men, so the true end of that duty is neglected. [Page 157] As adversitie is the time of tryall, so is opportunity. Vpon all opportunities the divell tempts men to some sinne or other. Hence the Apostle, 2 Cor. 2. 7. exhorteth the Corinthians to for­give the incestu­ous person amongst them, and to comfort him, lest otherwise the divell might have more power over him, and tempt him [Page 158] to despaire, or some such sinne; Ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should bee swallow­ed up with over­much sorrow, wher­fore I beseech you, that you would con­firme your love to­wards him.

Hence it stands e­very man in hand,Vse. when Satan drawes him into some sinne [Page 159] by occasion, as by e­vill company, or the like, then to consider and looke what sinne he is most exposed unto by that occasi­on, and so to defend himselfe that Satan foyle him not.

Thirdly, his subtil­tie appeares in the convenient glosses, which hee covers sin withall, whereby he blinds a mans judge­ment, so that either [Page 160] he sees it not to be a sinne, or else he sees not the punishment of it. So that as a blind man knowes not whether hee goe aright or no, or when he is right: no more doth hee; Hee useth two meanes to blind mens judgements in this manner, first by stirring up in them some immoderate af­fection, which whiles it raignes, hinders the [Page 161] judgement from dis­cerning aright of things. As the eye of a man when it is trou­bled sees all things a­misse, and not as they are indeed, yet after­wards the impedi­ment being removed, it sees things as per­fectly as before: so when the mind of a man is distempered with anger, or some immoderate affecti­on, hee judgeth not [Page 162] aright of Kings, but being carried with violence of passion doth many things a­misse, afterwards when his distemper is ceased he comes to his right judgement, and plainly sees how he was deceived be­fore. Secondly, hee doth it by hindring us from applying the rule aright to our a­ctions. Thus in Vsu­ry, when a man is [Page 163] possessed with the love of money, and takes great delight in it, that man is not a­ble to apply the rule in Scripture to him­selfe, whereby this his sinne is forbidden. Satan is so crafty, that he invents sundry di­stinctions, whereby he perswades him of the lawfull tolerati­on hereof. So when the rule in Scriptures for Ministers is, that [Page 164] they ought to care and bee solicitous onely for their flocke to feed it, yet few can apply this rule to their actions, but seek chiefly their owne gaine & preferment. When a man beholds a thing through his affection, like as his affection is, so seemes the thing to be, like as a man when hee sees any thing through a glasse, the object [Page 165] seemes to bee of the same colour that the glasse is: thus af­fection deceiveth a man. But these things though they are hid­den from men here, yet for the most part at their death they are layd open before them, the immode­rate affection that hindered judgement is then taken away, and Satan also who blinded men before, [Page 166] makes things appeare unto them as they are. Who sees him­selfe thus beset with his adversary, and de­sires not to have strength and wea­pons wherby he may resist him? which is the second point.

The strength and meanes whereby we may resist him, are e­specially these three;

First, to have our hearts filled with [Page 167] grace, that so the di­ [...]ell may find no roome to enter.

Secondly, to cast [...]ut our false friends, which when our ad­versary assailes, will turne from us and take his part; these are our wicked lusts.

Thirdly, to seeke this help from Christ, we have no strength of our selves, it is hee onely which can helpe and uphold us.

[Page 168] For the first, Wee must have our hearts filled with grace, which is an especiall meanes, the reason may bee gathered out of the Parable, Luk. 11. 24, 25. When he commeth he findeth it swept, and garnished; that is, voide of goodnesse, empty of grace: were it not for this hee could not have entered, our hearts therfore must be filled with grace. [Page 169] The Conscience of man is like a strong fortresse, out of which he casteth this his enemy who had possession of it, or like an house where­in the divell dwelt and tooke delight, which when hee is cast out of, hee go­eth up and downe through dry places, that is seeking to get in, and enter into some others; seeking [Page 170] rest and finding none, that is not able to en­ter into any others, hee returnes againe, and as an enemy cast out of a strong hold, if hee bee not with­stood by a garrison, gets possession again; So if Satan returning findes not a garrison of graces and ver­tues fortifying the man, if there be but the least roome voide enters againe into [Page 171] him, which if the conscience had been full of grace he could not have done. As in nature, non datur vacu­um, there is no place empty; So in the heart of man there will be something or other, if it be not filled with good thoughts, it will be filled with bad: if it bee not filled with the graces of Gods Spirit, it will be filled with Satans temptati­ons. [Page 172] This may rather be called emptinesse then fulnesse; a thing is said to be empty, when it is voide of that it should be fil­led withall. A Well when there is no wa­ter in it, is said to be empty, though it be full of ayre. So long as the true fulnesse of Gods grace tastes in our hearts, so long the divell cannot enter, but when there is not [Page 173] this fulnesse, then ac­cording to the mea­sure of vacuity more or lesse, Satan entring into a man doth pos­sesse him. Moreover, as there is a double emptinesse, so there is a double fulnesse. First, there is an emp­tinesse of knowledge, such was in those Gentiles of whom the Apostle speakes, Rom. 1. 22. Professing themselves to be wise, they [Page 174] became fooles: and vers. 21 they became vaine in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Answerable to this there is a fulnesse of knowledge, and of all the graces of Gods Spirit. Such is that which the Apostle prayes for, Coloss. 1. 9. Wee cease not to pray for you, and to desire that yee might bee filled with the knowledge of Gods will, in all wisdome, and spirituall [Page 175] understanding. Ephes 3. 14. For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Iesus Christ, that yee may bee able to comprehend with all Saints, what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height, and to know the love of CHRIST which passeth knowledge. Se­condly, there is an emptinesse of conver­sation, voide and empty of the duties [Page 176] which are performed in a good Conversa­tion. This is called vaine Conversation, 1 Pet 1. 18. Yee were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vaine conversa­tion, received by tradition from your fathers. So likewise there is a fulnesse of conversa­tion opposed to this emptinesse, when a mans whole life is filled with the fruits [Page 177] of Gods grace, such the Apostle prayes for Phil. 1. 10, 11. This I pray, that yee may approve things that are excellent: that yee may bee sincere, and without offence till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruites of righte­ousnesse.

Wee must labour to have this fulnesse of grace in our hearts.Vse 1. For as inke sinkes in­to wet paper, and runnes abroad upon [Page 178] it, but when the pa­per is covered with oyle, it slideth and sinkes not: so when the divell offers his snares to any empty heart, they enter in and foile him, but when the heart is fortified with the ful­nesse of grace, Satans baites cannot take hold, nor enter in Wee may discerne when this fulnesse is, there is no roome for [Page 179] vaine thoughts, for unchast desires, for any immoderate affe­ctions. One would think an empty heart could not bee discer­ned so well: as wee know an empty bar­rell by the sound, so wee may discerne whether there be this emptinesse in men, or no, by their speeches and actions.

VVee must have this fulnesse of Con­versation,Vse 2. [Page 180] wee must alwayes be exercised in the fruites of god­linesse, never without some good speeches, actions, thoughts, or affections. When we are not busie in Gods service, the divell takes an occasion to tempt us to serve him when wee are not doing some good, the divell tempts us to some evill.

But whether is anyQuest. [Page 181] man able to have this fulnesse of Conver­sation here requi­red?

It is sure,Ans. 1. every Christian ought to have this fulnesse. Se­condly, it is sure eve­ry true Christian hath the same in some measure which may thus be expressed; all the actions of a Chri­stian life may bee re­duced to these three heads. Either they are [Page 182] actions of his gene­rall Calling, as he is a Christian, so they are all good; or secondly they are actions of his particular Calling, which if not done for any by-respect, but all for a good end in obedience to God, they are good also. Or thirdly, they are such actions as further a man in do­ing his duty in either of these Callings, [Page 183] which doe either strengthen him, as ea­ting and drinking, which being used without excess, make us fitter for our Cal­lings, being good a­ctions, or else they are recreations to re­fresh us, which also used as the former are good actions. If all these actions may be good, as wee see they may, seeing a Christian may be al­wayes [Page 184] performing some of them, hee may alwayes bee do­ing good, (according to the substance of his actions) though there be many imperfecti­ons in them, and so may have the ful­nesse of conversation. VVhen wee are idle Satan takes hold of us, and looke how much we are empty, so much roome the divell takes up in our hearts.

[Page 185] VVe must there­fore take heed that we be neither idle nor ill occupied;Vse 3. we must put on the whole armour of God; we must not onely put on the brest-plate of righte­ousnesse, and leave off the sword of the spirit, but wee must put on the whole ar­mour of God, if there be but one part left naked and uncove­red, [Page 184] [...] [Page 185] [...] [Page 186] there the divell will bee sure to wound us.

The second means whereby wee are to resist Satan, is to re­move all false friends, our lusts, and corrup­tions, which lye in our mindes, and like tinder are ready to take fire by the least sparke of tentation. Therefore S. Iames tels them, it was their lusts which caused [Page 187] contention amongst them. It may be spo­ken to our comfort, that Satan hath not power to compell a­ny to evill. Daemon non dicitur iussor, sed incensor vitiorum, he cannot move the will and af­fections, onely by Gods permission hee may somwhat move [...]he phantasie by cer­ [...]aine objects: but it [...]s mans corruption which yeeldeth to [Page 188] his tentations, tha [...] makes him so much prevaile with me [...] This is plainly shew [...]ed, Iam. 1. 14. Every ma [...] is tempted, when hee i [...] drawne away of his own [...] lust, and enticed. Act. 5. 3 [...] Why hath Satan filled th [...] heart, (saith Peter to A [...]nanias) to lye to the hol [...] Ghost, and to keepe back [...] part of the price of th [...] land? So that Sata [...] doth no more, the [...] if a man should per­ [...]wade [Page 189] to evill, onely is [...]perswasions are [...]ronger, and farre [...]ore subtill, therfore Peter asked Ananias [...]hy he suffered the [...]ivell to fill his heart, [...]hich implyes it was [...]is yeelding to him, [...]hich caused the di­ [...]ell to prevaile. So [...]hen David returned [...]om the slaughter of the Philistims, and the wo­ [...]en came out of all the Ci­ [...]es of Israel to meet Saul, [Page 190] 1 Sam. 18. 6, 7, 8. It is sayd that Saul being [...] exceeding wroth tha [...] the singers ascribe [...] to David tenne thou [...] sand, and to him bu [...] one, hee had an ey [...] that is, an evill eye [...] on David, from tha [...] day forwards, and (i [...] is added) on the mor [...] row (this his corrup [...]tion of envy having made place for it) th [...] evill spirit came upo [...] him. Thus in Iuda [...] [Page 191] the strength of his covetousnesse made way for the divels [...]entation: if the same [...]entations had beene offered, or cast upon [...]ny other of the Dis­ciples, they would never have taken [...]lace, because they wanted this corrup­ [...]ion of covetousnesse which was in Iudas. This advantage Satan [...]ath of us, he knowes what sinnes all men [Page 192] are most given to, by reason of their cor­ruption. Therefore when hee tempts them with objects answerable to their corruptions, hee knowes they cannot, (or if they can, very hardly) resist them; Hee tempts the drun­kard with company which wil draw him to fall into that sinne▪ because hee knowes the drunkard cannot [Page 193] refuse such company being offered. The lascivious hee tempts with an unchast ob­ject, which he knows hee cannot resist. Thus he makes mens corruptions betray them, although some corruption and lust may be still, and dead in a man for a while, yet when a fit object is offered, if it be not fully mortified, it will take hold, and [Page 194] shew it selfe.

But by what means may these corrupti­ons and lusts lying in a mans heart be re­moved?Quest.

Onely by repen­tance:Answ. when our hearts are hardened and made senslesse with these corrupti­ons, and with the custome of sinne, the sorrow of repen­tance can onely humble the heart, and [Page 195] mollifie it againe, and make it fit to take a­nother impression; as waxe when it is mel­ted loseth the stampe it had before, and is plyable to take any other▪ so the heart be­ing softened through­ly by the sorrow of repentance, loseth the former stamp which sinne had left upon it, and is [...]dy to take another. But a little sorrow is not [Page 196] sufficient to mollifie the heart enough, it must be a deepe sor­row and continuall; Wee may perhaps by a little sorrow cut off the tops of sinne, but unlesse the ground of our hearts bee suffici­ently broken, where­in sinne had taken roote, the rootes of our sinnes will still re­maine▪

How shall a man know,Quest. whether his [Page 197] lusts bee sufficiently rooted out of him?

This may be a spe­ciall signe that they are;Answ. when any such objects are offered, which prevailed with him before, if now there bee in his heart a true hating and loa­thing of them, so that they cannot prevaile with him againe: but if the like objects work on him againe, it is sure his lusts re­maine [Page 198] still in him.

The third meanes whereby we may be enabled to resist the divell, is by seeking to Christ for helpe, of him onely wee have spirituall strength; hence the Apostle ex­horts the Ephesians, besides, Putting on the armour of God, to bee strong in the LORD, Ephes. 6. [...]0. The Co­nies which the Wise man speakes of, Prov. [Page 199] 30. 26. if they come out of their rocks, lye open to bee devou­red by the lyons & o­ther wilde beasts: so also if wee be out of our rock, we are expo­sed to the greedy de­sire of the roaring ly­on, the divell and his tentations; it is not sayd that wee are stronger then hee is, but he which is in us, Christ, is stronger then he which rules [Page 200] in the world Let us learn wisdome of the conies, which though they bee very weake, yet because they make their houses in the rocks, and conti­nually keepe in them, no wilde beast can devour them, though we be never so weak, yet if we will flee to our rock Christ, and alwayes rely on him, we need not feare the divell, and all his ten­tations, [Page 201] if there were any strength in our selves, this might not seeme needfull, but seeing Adam before hee fell, having such strength could not resist the divell in Paradise, much lesse can wee now; our onely strength is by faith in Christ. As Gideon was to send a­way a great part of his hoast by Gods command before hee [Page 202] could overcome the Midianites, so must we cast away all con­fidence in our selves, before wee shall be a­ble to overcome the divell by relying on Christ. We must ther­fore cast our selves wholly upon God, and relie on him, and say with Iehosaphat, Wee know not what to doe, O Lord, but our eyes are upon thee, 2 Chron. 20. 12. We must take [Page 203] heed of assuming any strength to our selves, when God raiseth a man up, he thinkes that he rose, partly by his owne strength, this is to take away the glo­ry which belongs to God alone, and great­ly to dishonour him: we see that those who trust in their owne strength, are often suffered very grie­vously and desperate­ly to fall. So Peter [Page 204] when in confidence of his owne strength, as may appeare Math. 26. 33. Hee followed Christ into the high Priests hall, then the divell tempted him and gave him so fearefull a foyle. This and the like examples should teach us to bee very thankfull to God, that hee hath preserved from such like falls hitherto, & to cleave the neerer to him, [Page 205] that we may not in the like manner bee foyled hereafter.

But some may ob­ject,Object. that grace is a very good thing, and therefore a man may trust in his owne grace?

This is all one to number the people with David, Ans. and to make flesh our arme. To make flesh our arme, is no more then to trust in some [Page 206] creature, grace is a creature created in man by the gracious worke of Gods spi­rit, therefore to trust in a mans own grace is to make flesh his arme.

VVe must withall know this Caution, that there are three things which will constraine Christ to forsake us, and not help us at need.

The first is unfruit­fulnesse,1. Hindr. [Page 207] when God finds not the increase of his grace, which he lookes for in us, the figtree was cur­sed, because it bare no fruit when Christ ex­pected to have found fruit upon it. God layed waste and de­stroyed his vineyard, because it was un­fruitfull, after much cost and labour had been bestowed upon it, God looked it should [Page 208] have brought forth grates, and it brought forth wilde grapes, Is 5. 4. The same is expressed in the Parable, Math. 25. 26. The reason hereof is, because God will not suffer his name to be taken in vaine, by whatsoever God is knowne, that is his name, so that the gra­ces of God, which after a speciall man­ner are the names of God, he will not suf­fer [Page 209] to bee taken in vaine, he will not suf­fer that they should be idle in a man, de­caying daily, and ne­ver increased.

The second Hin­drance is any sin that lyes in a man unre­pented of,2. Hindr. as we may evidently see Rom 1. 26 2 Thess. 2. 10. the rea­son why this makes Christ with-hold his helpe from us, is, be­cause one [...]nne makes [Page 210] way for another, and causeth another, not onely effectivè, making a man the more rea­dy by custome to commit sinne againe, but also meritoriè, for the committing of one sinne, is often a punishment for the committing of some other sinne before.

The third Hindrance is,3. Hindr. the thrusting of our selves into battel; therefore we alwaies [Page 211] reade that the Israe­lites (whensoever they went out to bat­tell without asking counsell of the Lord,) fell before their ene­mies. As it is with the head, so it must be with the members. Our head Christ Ie­sus was tempted of Satan being led aside by the spirit into the desart. Moreover, we are Gods champions, and if we goe out to [Page 212] battell without his leave, wee are not in his wayes, and there­fore have no promise of protection or de­fence. When hee which is our full strength doth leave us, what strength have we to resist our adversary. Let us consider the example of Salomon and Paul; Salomon because hee tooke a wife of the Aegiptians contrary [Page 213] to Gods command, and so thrust himselfe into tentation, was left to himselfe; and so fell shamefully. S. Paul was led into tentation, there was given him a prick in the flesh the messen­ger of Satan to buffer him, therefore Gods grace was sufficient for him, and he over­came the tentation.

This reproves manyVse. who travell for plea­sure, [Page 214] or to see fashi­ons, and that goe to battell without Gods sending: therefore they speed thereafter, for they never re­turne without some wound taken, and that many times mor­tall. This they are to consider, who thrust themselves upon oc­casions of sinning, us into evill company, where they have no promise of Gods pro­tection.

[Page 215] The third generall thing drawne out of the text was,The third ge­nerall. that we should put in practise the strength we had, and stirre up those graces which are in us; This the Apostle especially aimes at in this place, exhorting them to resist the di­vell; for all these gra­ces will doe us no good, except we put them in practise, and stirre them up in us. [Page 216] We are therefore con­tinually to watch and pray; this ward wee are to keepe over our selves, is not easie, no, not then when any tentati­on is newly over­come, for then ano­ther is ready to enter: So that wee must be like the builders of the Temple, which held a sword in the one hand, and built with the other, being [Page 217] in continuall feare of their enemies: Wee must watch continu­ally armed, when we have least care, then is Sathan most pow­erfull over us; wee must have our hearts both hard and soft, hard to resist all the tentations of Satan, & impressions which hee would set upon them: but soft to re­ceive any grace, or im­pression from the [Page 218] Spirit of God. VVe must not quench the spirit, but the fiery darts of Satan, that wee may performe this, three duties are required of us.

First, wee must by all meanes labour to bee acquainted with the policies of Satan, as S. Paul testifies of himselfe that he was, and to the end wee may see his policies, wee must pray unto [Page 219] God to open our eyes, and enlighten our mindes, that wee may have a sight of them, and that is here worth the observing, which some Divines hold concerning the fall of the Angels, that it was onely through the want of stirring up those ex­cellent things, and lights of knowledge which were in them, that brought them to [Page 220] their fall; the want of this was also the cause of Adams fall.

Secondly, we are to runne over all the tentations wherwith Satan hath tempted us, and see his manner of proceedings, and what policies hee hath used, that so when the like policies come againe, wee may be able to resist him, knowing how hee did formerly de­ceive [Page 221] us. Why should Satan every day grow more and more subti [...]e to tempt us, and wee not grow more and more ac­quainted with his po­licies to resist him?

The second duty is to resist him at the first, for when wee give place unto him at the first, then God doth in judgement give us over to him, and suffers him to o­vercome [Page 222] us: See this in the example of Saul, 1 Sam. 18. 8, 9, 10. Now for the di­vell to take place in us, and overcome us, differ not as may appeare, Ephes. 4. 26, 27. Let not the Sunne goe down upon your wrath, that is, let not the di­vell overcome you in this, neither give place to the divell. Although by every sinne the divell doth not take place, [Page 223] yet every sin makes more roome for the divell, untill at the length hee enter. Marke what the Pro­phet Hosea saith, Chap. 7. 6. They have made their hearts ready like an oven, whiles they lye in waite: their baker sleepeth all the night, in the morning it burneth like a flame of fire. Here then wee see, that as an oven if there bee but little fire left in it [Page 224] over night, yet if the baker sleep & quench it not, yet in the mor­ning the whole oven is as hot as fire, and flames as fire: So if there bee the least sparke of sinne left in a mans conscience, if hee neglect, and doe not quench it at the first, it will quickly get strength and flame forth, so that it will bee very hard to quench it. Many who [Page 225] have given way to vain & idle thoughts, and have carelesly gi­ven themselves to i­dlenesse and ease, at length have become altogether in Satans power: like as a soft thing yeelding at the first, presently re­ceives impression, their hearts being once polluted, pre­sently all their affe­ctions receive the same impression. It is [Page 226] the heart which set­teth the seale upon all the actions, like. as a seale which alwayes sets the same impres­sion on the waxe which it hath it selfe.

The third duty is, wee must resist him in every sinne what­soever, and not in some sins onely. Al­though we overcome many sins whereun­to Satan doth tempt us, yet wee doe not [Page 227] overcome Satan, un­lesse wee overcome all sins whatsoever. Every sinne is as it were a doore into a mans heart whereby the divell doth enter; Now suppose all these doores were shut but one onely, the divell could enter into the house of our hearts by that one doore, and possesse them as well as if there were more doores. Sup­pose [Page 228] a mans house hath many doores, although all bee shut but one, a man may as well take possessi­on by entring at one, as if all were open: Also every sinne is a snare: what matter is it, whether Satan hold us fast by many or one? the divell hath many weapons whereby hee playes with us, and though we can beate him at [Page 229] many, yet if hee be but too hard for us at one, that is suffici­ent for him, for hee can slay us with that one weapon: and what matter if hee slay us with a pen-knife, or a speare, a great sinne, or a lit­tle one, for sure it is, that the least sinne seene and continu­ed in, or delighted in, is sufficient to keepe us in the divels [Page 230] power, and for the divell to hold us fast with.


IAMES. 4. vers. 7.‘Submit your selves therefore unto God: resist the Devil and he will flee from you.’

THus much hath hither­to been spo­ken of those words [Page 232] of the text, Resist the divell, now wee come to the second part, the promise, in these words, and hee will flee from you. This is a promise of incou­ragement to resist the divell, because they that doe so shall sure­ly overcome. The like argument the A­postle useth, Rom. 6. 14 Thus Captaines use to encourage their soul­diers in hope of vi­ctory; [Page 233] when we have fought with Satan a long time, and yet find not that we pre­vailed, presently wee are ready to saint, and to give over battell: now to prevent this, we have here a pro­mise of victory. Yea, the words intimate something more the divell shall flee from you; wee shall not onely prevaile against him, but also wee shall be [Page 234] lesse tempted by him hee shall depart from us, wee may see this in our owne head Christ, Math. 4. 11 [...] hence then the do­ctrine ariseth;

That whosoever doth truly resist the divell,Doct. shall get the vi­ctory of him.

Which victory is double, both generall, according to the ge­nerall resolution a man hath to resist Sa­tan [Page 235] in all his tentati­ons, and also particu­lar in every tentati­on. For proofe of this doctrine wee have those words, 2 Pet. 2. 9. The Lord knoweth how to deliver the Godly out of tentation, and those 1 Cor. 10. 13. God is faith­full, who will not suffer you to bee tempted above that you are able: but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that yee may be able to beare it. [Page 236] This promise Go [...] performes, either by encreasing the strēgth and patience of him that suffers, or else by lessening the affli­ction and tentati­on according to his strength.

The reasons of this doctrine may bee these,Reas. the first is taken out of Rom. 6. 14. where the promise is this, Sinne (that is ori­ginall corruption) shall [Page 237] [...]ot have dominion over us, [...]en neither shall the [...]ivell himselfe have [...]ominion over us, [...]ut sinne, saith the A­ [...]ostle, shall have no do­ [...]inion, therefore not [...]e divell.

The second reason 2 [...]ay be, because wee [...]e in Christs kee­ [...]ing, 1 Pet. 1. 5. we are [...]ept, saith the Apo­ [...]le, by the power of God, [...]rough faith unto salva­ [...]n. Christ is our [Page 238] shepheard, and wee his sheepe, so that hee will take care for eve­ry one of us, hence those most sweet and comfortable words▪ Ioh. 10. 27, 28. My sheep [...] heare my voyce, and [...] know them, and they fol­low mee. And I give unto them eternall life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any man plucke them out of my hand. Yea, Christ testifies of himselfe, Iohn. 17. 12. [Page 239] that hee had not lost one of those whom his Father had given him. Besides, if the death of Christ was able to reconcile us unto God, then much more his life being a more powerfull meanes, shall preserve us to eternall life, this is the Apostl [...] owne argument, Rom. 5. 9. O Much more, being iusti­fied by his bloud, wee shall bee saved from wrath [Page 240] through him. For if when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Sonne: much more being reconciled, wee shall bee saved by his life. And although wee have not this preser­vation for our owne sakes, yet God will preserve us for his owne names sake, we being his portion, The Lords portion is his people, Iacob is the lot of his in­heritance, saith Moses in [Page 241] his most divine songs Deut. 32. 9. Surely God will not loss his por­tion, therefore hee will preserve his chil­dren which are his portion.

The third reason is drawne from the weaknesse of our e­nemy,3 with whom we fight, namely Sa­tan, who hath re­ceived his deaths-wound, and over whom Christ hath [Page 242] triumphed, as appears Col. 2 15. Hee hath spoiled, saith the Apostle, prin­cipalities and powers, and hath made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them on his crosse. Now the divels strength is not taken from him, but he is spoyled of that liberty which he had before, of ex­ercising his power upon us; for hee had power as a tormen­tor once over us, and [Page 243] liberty to use that power, but now all his liberty is taken a­way, and therefore hee onely tempts and afflicts the children of God by permissi­on, and hee can goe no further then God permits. Hee could not tempt Iob at all, untill hee had permis­sion from God, and then also hee could afflict him onely af­ter that measure, and [Page 244] by that means which God suffered him. For the further clearing of this truth some objections that may be made, and which use to arise would be answered.

If indeed in the time of tentation I were perswaded that I were truly in Christ,Object. then I should not doubt to get the vi­ctory, but in tentati­on I cannot finde [Page 245] this perswasion.

Some men are in the state of grace,Answ. others are not. Now this promise indeed, as all of the like kind, per­taine to them that are in the state of grace; and for such, in ten­tation they are nei­ther to beleeve Satan, nor their owne rea­son; for a man in ten­tation, is like one in a swound, who hath no use of his senses, let [Page 246] a man therefore con­sider his former life, whether there hath beene any reformati­on in that; whether he hath felt a change in his heart, which if he can find, whatso­ever he feeles for the present, he needs not doubt but hee is in Christ. Now amongst other signes this is a speciall one, if he can find that hee doth truly resist the tenta­tion, [Page 247] not for the avoi­ding of vexation or perplexity that doth accompany it, but for the avoiding of sinne which hee is tempted unto. Otherwise, if the party bee not in the state of grace, then first he must ap­ply to himselfe the promise of sanctifica­tion, and must be­leeve his engrafting into Christ, before he can have the promise, [Page 248] or apply to himselfe the victory.

But it may bee ob­jected,Obj. that a man may beleeve a fals­hood, which hee is not bound to doe.

For answer here­unto we must know that there is,Ans. a two­fold act of faith, the first is to cast a mans selfe upon Christ for the remission of his sinnes, and this is suf­ficient for justificati­on [Page 249] as appeares, Rom. 4. 5. To him that worketh not, but beleeveth on him that iustifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousnesse. After this application truely made, will follow love, repentance, and obedience. The se­cond act is a reflex act, whereby a man is perswaded that hee doth beleeve, from whence ariseth spiri­tuall joy. Hence the [Page 250] Apostle in his prayer for the Saints at Rome, Rom. 15. 13. phraseth it thus, Now the God of hope fill you with all ioy and peace in beleeving. He that will exercise this second act of faith before the for­mer, beleeves a fals­hood, otherwise if a man have the for­mer, hee ought to ex­ercise the second, and then hee needs not doubt of the victo­rie [Page 251] in tentation.

Many have had ex­perience of the con­trary,Object. so that although they have often and long resisted Satan, yet they are still foy­led by him.

Though indeed they be foiled for the present,Answ. yet they get more strength after­wards, according to that, Rom. 8. 28. All things worke for the best unto those which love God, [Page 252] to them who are called ac­cording to his purpose. Yea further, the divell failes in both his ends in tempting them, his first end is to have his house swept, the other to have it garnished, that is, to empty the heart of grace, and to strengthen sinne in him, now this ende­vour to strengthen sinne, is frustrated, both in regard of the [Page 253] guilt and power of it; First, for the guilt he is not able to make that plaine against us, because God accepts of our persons, and nothing in the old man can hinder God from accepting the new man in us. And although upon the committing of every sinne there doth ne­cessarily follow a guilt, yet repentance & the righteousnesse [Page 254] of Christ comes be­tweene, and hinde­reth the same from redounding upon the person of the belee­ver.

Secondly, in regard of the power of sin, his tentation makes not sinne have more dominion over us, or more sway in us, but the contrary, like as the water of a well that hath mud at the bottome, although [Page 255] some may thinke it the fouler for the mudde, yet it is the clearer. So the cor­ruptions of a mans heart being stirred by tentation, after be­come lesse, this being an occasion of their purging, for hereby a man sees his corrup­tions which lay dead before, and so labours to purge his heart from them, see this evidently in Hezekiah [Page 256] for his failing, which is set downe 2. Chron▪ 32. 3. he had a profita­ble end of it, as is ex­pressed vers. 26. David had a secret trusting to the multitude of the people before he numbred them, al­though he saw it not in himselfe, but as soone as he had num­bred them, his heart smote him, and then he was humbled for his sinne. Secondly, [Page 257] tentations are so farre from emtpying us of grace, that they increase it in us divers wayes. First, because they drive us neerer to Christ, to seeke him, they make us fitter to receive him, for wee must be em­ptyed of our selves, before we are fit to receive Christ. Se­condly, because they increase humility in us, which is the [Page 258] ground of all Gods graces, so that there is no grace but hath his rooting herein, that tentations doe hum­ble us, and empty us of all conceit of our selves, appeares plain­ly in the example of Paul, 2 Cor. 12. 8. Third­ly, because grace is purified by afflictions, as spotted clothes, are clensed by washing, and like as gold is pu­rified by the fire; so [Page 259] then the meanes which Satan useth to winnow out the good corne, and to leave the chaffe, to purge out the pure gold, and leave the drosse, the same meanes God turnes to the contrary, to win­now out the chaffe from the good corne, and to purge out the drosse from the pure gold.

Another answer to [Page 260] the former objectio [...] may be this, thoug [...] God suffer Satan t [...] foile his children, ye [...] in the end they over [...]come and becom [...] conquerors, as in bat [...]tell a man may re [...]ceive many foyles [...] and many wound [...] of his enemies, and yet in the end over­come him.

But wee have had experience,Object. that many have lyen under a [Page 261] [...]entation to their [...]eath, and have not [...]eemed to have over­ [...]ommed it, how [...]ould these prevaile [...]ver Satan?

For answer,Answ. wee [...]ust know the spirit [...]eing in the child of God tempted, there [...]ust needs bee some [...]ct and fruit of the [...]pirit, although the [...]arty himselfe dis­ [...]erne it not, and this [...]orke of the spirit is [Page 262] such as God accepts▪ Rom. 8. 26, 27. So the [...] the victory is in truth though not in shew, and therefore as pro­fitable to them But here this caution must bee added, that wee looke not to o­vercome whilest we stand still and remain idle, wee must per­forme our duty, be­fore wee can expect that God will per­forme his promise, [Page 263] we must therefore resist the divell. God keepes and preserves us, but it is by means, as appeares 1 Pet. 1. 5. God keepeth us through faith unto salvation, and the Apostle S. Iohn saith, that hee who hath a true hope, will purifie him­selfe as God is pure, 1 Ioh. 3. 3. Although God be said to keepe us, yet wee are said to keepe our selves, which is to be done by a care­full [Page 264] use of the meanes which God hath ap­pointed. If a Patient should professe that hee had committed his life unto the skill of the Physitian, and wholly depended up­on him, whereas notwithstanding hee would neither ab­stain from the things which his physitian told him to bee hurt­full, nor take any thing which hee pre­scribed, [Page 265] were this man to be beleeved? The like may be said of him who profes­seth, he desires to get the victory in ten [...]a­tions, and that he de­pends upon God wholly for it, and yet never useth the meanes God hath ap­pointed for it. Now these are especially three, two whereof are things to be ab­stained from, name­ly [Page 266] reasoning and con­ferring with Satan and gazing upon the object, one thing is to be done to get the armour of salvation, to be girt with it, to have the shield of faith especially; there is none which hath beene overcome in tentation, but he hath failed in one or all of these. Eve failed in all, she conferred with the Serpent. Second­ly, [Page 267] shee gazed upon the object, the fruit of the forbidden tree. Thirdly, she u­sed not the shield of faith, to reject the lyes of the Serpent, who said you shall not dye at all, when God had said to the contrary. The like wee see in Davids tentation, hee gazed upon the object till he was taken, neither did he use the ar­mour [Page 268] of salvation as he ought to have done. Iob failed in nei­ther of them, when as hee said, Iob 31. 1. I made a covenant with mine eyes, there is his resolution, for not reasoning or dispu­ting with his corrup­tions; why then should I thinke upon a maid? there is his resoluti­on for not staring upon the object, For what portion of God is [Page 269] there from above? and vers. 3. it is evident that it was faith in beleeving the threat­nings of God to­wards the wicked, whereby he was ter­rified from walking in their wayes; Is not destruction to the wicked? saith hee, and a strange punishment to workers of iniquity? Doth not hee see my wayes, and count all my steps?

Now followes someVse 1▪ [Page 270] Consectaries or Vses from the former do­ctrine, the first may be for reproofe of those who stirre not up themselves to re­sist the divell, not­withstanding they have the promise here made them: Such are those who by cu­stome, and the bad inclination of their natures, give them­selves to some lusts which they never set [Page 271] themselves against, and herewithall they excuse themselves, it is their weaknesse and inclination of their nature, they must be borne with, their heart is good, and their mind is good, but to these bee it spoken, their excuses wil not defend them, for if they would re­sist as they ought, the promise is made to them, they should not [Page 272] faile to overcome. This is the excuse u­sually made of most men for some princi­pall lust that raignes in them. But where­as they have the pro­mise of God for vi­ctory, there should be no doubt of over­comming: and who­soever doth not last out these Anakims, these lusts, which are his deadly and sworn enemies betimes, hee [Page 273] shall find they will be pricks to his sides, and thornes to his conscience, even all his life-time, and at the houre of his death especially.

The second Vse is for tryall.Vse 2. Herē wee may have a rule to try whether we have resisted Satan or no, and surely most fear­full is their estate, who have not put Sa­tan to flight by resi­sting, [Page 274] but are put to flight by him in yeel­ding, and of these there bee two sorts; First, those who ne­ver resist at all. Se­condly, those who after resisting a while fall away, and give over. First for those who never felt any combat of Satan, and know not what his assaults meane, it is impossible that they should bee escaped [Page 275] out of Satans power, he will never leave his possession so easi­ly. We see when he was cast out of one, whose body hee did but possesse, before his departure, he rent and tare him, and will he so easily leave the possession of a soule, which is his more proper seat? How then can any man think he hath gotten the victory in this spi­ritual [Page 276] combate when he hath not stricken a stroake, nor felt a­ny blow, none are Christs souldiers, or those whom he came to redeeme, but such as are described, Isa. 61. 1, 2, 3. The Apostle saith, Rom. 8. 15. Yee have not received againe the spi­rit of bondage to feare, &c. intimating that they received that, before they received the spi­rit of adoption; who­soever [Page 277] therefore hath not felt any assault from Satan, sure it is that as yet Satan raignes in him as his king, and those men who themselves have had no skirmish with Satan, for the most part censure rashly of such whom they observe to bee more fearefull of of­fending in lesser mat­ters. Yea, indeed they judge foolishly of the [Page 278] wayes of God, having had no experience of them. But the estate of the second sort who fall away is most fearfull, and those men become most dangerous of all, and greatest ene­mies to the most sin­cere professors, be­cause they have had some knowledge in the wayes of God; that the estate of these men is fearfull [Page 279] appeares Heb. 10. 26. If wee sinne wilfully after wee have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sinne, but a certaine fearefull looking for of iudgement, and fiery indignation, which shall devoure the adversaries; and verse last, wee are not of them who drawe backe unto perdition. Here is implied, that such as draw back doe it un­to perdition. Now [Page 280] that these men resi­sted not truely ap­peares, because they fell away, for if they had they could not but have gotten the victory. Men use to bee deceived in this kind three wayes, and when any of these happen they fall a­way. First, when men thinke they sor­row and repent for their sinnes, whereas indeed it is for the pu­nishment [Page 281] and smart which they feele for them, thus did the people Hos. 7. 14. it was for the losse of their corne and wine for which they how­led, they had onely an outward humilia­tion, there was no crying to God in the heart; so much the Lord testifies by the Prophet, They have not cryed to mee with their heart, when they howled [Page 282] upon their beds: they as­semble themselves for corn [...] and wine, and they rebe [...] against me. The same people are compare [...] to a brittle bow, vers. 16. they stood bent with many faire promises, but when they came once to be proved, they failed of their pretences, as a brittle bow that knaps asunder being tryed, thus many are humbled for some [Page 283] present affliction that lyes upon them, or for the avoyding of some sensible trou­ble, when they have no resolution to re­pent, and turne to God, it is seldome done, but in passion, and so continues not. Evill men never doe good but in passion, as good men never doe evill but in passi­on; but when the blast of passion is o­ver, [Page 284] then every man goes his owne way, the good man for­ward to heaven, the wicked man forward to hell. This was the fault of the second ground, which thogh it received the Word, yet brought forth no fruit, because the seed had no rooting. Se­condly, it may be that the reasons which perswade a man at the first to breake off [Page 285] his sins, are not strong enough, and there­fore when stronger reasons are brought on the other side, hee is not able to resist, but is constrained to yeeld, and so fall a­way; He doth like a King, which with ten thousand souldi­ers would goe meet his adversary with twentie thousand, and so is overcome. Thirdly, a man will [Page 286] breake off some sins though not all, and so thinke hee repents, whereas there re­maines some speciall corruption which he will not part withall, and therefore when religion and this lust shall stand in opposi­tion, religion must give way, and thus he falls from the truth, of this sort were Hy­meneus and Alexander, 1 Tim. 1. 20.

[Page 287] The third Vse is for exhortation,Vse 3. nor man ought to faint, bee Satans temptations what they will, for there is a promise of victory which ought to sustaine every one. Now Satans tempta­tions are of three sorts, either against a mans effectuall cal­ling, and the certain­ty thereof, or else a­gainst a mans justifi­cation, or thirdly a­gainst [Page 288] a mans sancti­fication. First for our effectuall calling, wee have the spirit of God which doth witnesse the same to our spirits, and all the difficulties here arise from the want of our full resolution to re­sist Satan Consider what Christ saith, Math. 11. 30. My yoke is easie, and my burden light; The difficultie hereof, that Satan would [Page 289] make us beleeve to bee, in leading a Christian life is not so. Christs law is there called a bur­den, because it is so to our corrupt nature, and it is also called a yoke, because it con­taines a man within the bounds of his o­bedience, as the yoke containes the Oxe in his ranke, and order, but as soone as the burden of sin, which [Page 290] is truly a burthen, be­comes heavy and irk­some to us, then the burthen, of Gods law will bee light, and when the yoke of sin is heavy to us, then the yoke of the law will be easie and light. Satan therefore is a lyer, as he alwaies hath beene, when he tells us, of the heavi­nesse of Christs yoke, for if we bring with us a resolution to [Page 291] beare it, a will and an endevour, Christ will make it easie to us.

Secondly for our justification, a Chri­stian in this tentati­on, must imitate Iob, who being tempted very strongly in this kinde, yet held his hold, and it will al­wayes be to his praise that hee did so; as a Christian ought not to conceive his cor­ruptions to bee lesse [Page 292] then they are, so also hee ought not to conceive the graces of God in him, to be lesse then they are: his faith ought never to faile to lay hold on its object, so that although God for a time seeme to hide his face; yet as wee doubt not, but the Sunne shines when it is under a cloud, so even then the Chri­stian ought not to [Page 293] doubt of Gods fa­vour, but to beleeve that the light of his countenance will a­gaine shine out.

Thirdly, to over­come tentations a­gainst our sanctifica­tion, let us take up the duty commen­ded by the Apostle, 1 Cor. 16. 13. Watch yee, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men. The Apostle himselfe as a good captaine, leades [Page 294] this way which hee points out to others, as we may see 1 Cor. 9. 27. I keepe under my bo­dy, and bring it into sub­jection, left that by any meanes when I have prea­ched to others, I my selfe should bee a castaway. It was the sinne and ruine of the Israe­lites, in that they would not beleeve the victory, which GOD promised to them in subduing the [Page 295] Canaanites, and so it will bee our ruine al­so, if we beleeve not the promise of God for victory over Sa­tan. We must know that we are as well to beleeve the promises of our sanctification, as of our justificati­on, as may be gathe­red from that of the Apostle Iames 1. 5. If a­ny man want wisdome, let him aske of God, and it shall be given him. The [Page 296] same may bee said of any other grace, and it followes ver. 6. Let him aske in saith and wa­ [...]er not, for [...]ee that wave­ [...]eth, is like a wave of the Sea; he is like a wave, in that hee is carried backward & forward without any constan­cy. Let us therefore stirre up our selves to resist Satan, and not to faint in the com­bate, for Satans chiefe end is to weary us [Page 297] out, that so we may give over, for so long as wee continue stri­ving, hee getteth no victory; the victory is then gotten, when we give over; if wee give not backe, but beleeve, and continue striving. we shall bee sure to be saved, H [...]b. 10. 39. Here because some think they have overcome, when they have not, it is necessary to know [Page 298] the signes of yeelding unto Satan, which are these;

1 The first signe is, when wee lay aside the weapons of our spirituall warfare, as, to pray lesse, to heare the word of God more seldome, to forsake religious company, to avoide occasions of sin lesse, and when wee doe not continue, to use these weapons wher­with [Page 299] Satan is resi­sted, then surely wee yeeld unto him.

Secondly, when a 2 mans griefe and trou­ble, such as use to ac­company the resi­sting of Satan, are lesse, and his security more. There is a two­fold peace of consci­ence; the one ariseth from yeelding to Sa­tans tentation, after a man hath beene long sollicited by him. The [Page 300] other ariseth from vi­ctory by a constant resisting: the former is proper to the wic­ked, the other to the godly.

3 Thirdly, when sin begins to prevaile in a man more, which is then, when a man be­gins to have a fuller purpose of sinning afore-hand, lesse re­luctancy in the com­mitting of it, and when hee passeth o­ver [Page 301] it more steightly, and with lesse griefe being committed. These are the signes of yeelding unto Sa­tan. Now followes some helpes against him to procure the victory.

1 First, wee must know that strong lusts will not be over­come but by a strong meanes. Dangerous diseases are not cured but by strong poti­ons, [Page 302] and more then ordinary medicines. Many not conside­ring this, have not gotten the victory o­ver their lusts, which otherwise they might have done. Lusts are of two sorts, some are naked and simple, cōming onely with their own force, stirre up thy selfe, that thou maist resist these, for so shalt thou bee sure to overcome. Others [Page 303] are whetted on by Sa­tan, & his force doth accompany them, such a tentation was that of S. Paul, 2 Cor. 12. 7. he had a thorne in the flesh, and the messenger of Satan to buffet him; It is most likely that the cor­ruption was in his nature before, but now it assailed him more powerfully in regard of the force of Satan, which did ac­company [Page 304] it. These tentations comming with more force then their owne, must bee resisted by us, with more power then our owne; the chiefe meanes are two, first prayer, and fasting joyned with it to sharpen the duty, Eph. 6. 18. Secondly, the Word diligently read, and meditated upon, for as the ene­mies are not carnall, [Page 305] neither are the wea­pons carnall. This Word is the wisdome of God, and the po­wer thereof may bee seene, Prov. 6. 23. The Commandement, Saith Salomon, is a lampe, and the Law is a light: and re­proofes of instruction are the way of life. Psal. 19▪ 7. The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soule: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.

[Page 306] 2 Secondly, we must get strong reasons a­gainst our strong lusts, the lusts of our flesh are called deceit­full lusts, Ephes. 4. 22. That yee put off according to your former conversa­tion, the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitfull lusts; they de­ceive a man, and this is the reason they hold a man fast so long: therefore sinnes are called errors, and [Page 307] ignorances; Contra­rily, the new man is renewed in know­ledge, Col. 3. 10. And have put on the new man, which is renewed in know­ledge, after the Image of God which created him. For the removing therefore of our lusts, the understanding which was before deceived, must bee rightly informed of the truth, and then bee confirmed in it [Page 308] by sound reasons: which being done, the understanding will change the will, and affection. So for the lust of anger, it is said to rest in the bo­some of a foole, Eccles. 7. 9. Bee not hasty in thy spirit to bee angry: for an­ger resteth in the bosome of fooles. Folly then be­ing the cause of it, the readiest way to bee cured of it, is, by ha­ving the judgement [Page 309] rightly informed, which being streng­thened with reason, will move the affecti­ons So S. Peter calleth the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of igno­rance, 1 Pet. 1. 14. be­cause these lusts pro­ceed from their igno­rance, they then who have their judge­ments truly infor­med, will with grea­ter case, overcome a corruption by oppo­sing [Page 310] strong reasons a­gainst it: but when a mans judgement is inclined to the con­trary, then hee hath lost the victory for lusts get place.

3 Thirdly, wee must labour to undergoe willingly the tedious­nesse of a tentation, and patiently expect, till God send delive­rance. First this makes many a man weary, when hee sees, not­withstanding [Page 311] his re­sisting, that his cor­ruptions grow stron­ger and stronger: but wee must know that our corruptions are not alwayes the grea­test, when they seeme so to us: if when we truly resist them they seeme stronger, it is a signe wee have more spirituall feeling in us then before; we must not thinke to over­come them without [Page 312] any trouble, for wee are commanded to crucifie our lusts, which crucifying necessarily imitates paine. Secondly, this makes many wea­ry under tentation, when after diligent use of the meanes, they find no fruit nor ease. But this should not discourage them, for the meanes will have their effect in the end. Like as sinne [Page 313] though it lye quiet at the doore a great while, yet at length will call downe some heavy judgement; if wee sowe to the Spi­rit, wee shall be sure to reape of the Spirit. None of our grones, none of our teares, which wee shed in this case will bee lost or spent in vaine, for God will put them in his bottle, as holy David saith, and will [Page 314] surely reward them see this in the exam­ple of Cornelius, Act. 10. 4. Thy prayers and thy almes are come up for a memoriall before God.

Fourthly, we must avoide irksomnesse, wee must consider, that it is part of the obedience, God re­quires at our hands, patiently to under­goe a tentation, and therefore it behoveth us, of duty to doe it.


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