THE PARABLE OF THE VNCLEANE SPIRIT: Pithily opened, and plainly applied; wherein is shewed Sa­thans possession, his dispossession, and repossession.

A worke needfull for these secure times, in which the most neglect the meanes of their salvation.

1 Pet. 5. 8.
Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devill, as a roaring Lyon, walketh about, seeking whom he may devoure.
August. Epist. 7.
Ego ex eorum numero me esse profiteor, qui scribendo proficiunt, & proficiendo scribunt.

Preached, and now published, by Edmund Cobbes Minister of the Word of God.

Printed at London by T. Cotes, for Iohn Bellamie dwelling at the three Golden Lyons in Cornehill, 1633.

To the Right Worship­ful Sir Nathanael Brent Knight, Doctor of the Civill Law, Vicar ge­nerall in causes spirituall for the Pro­vince of Canterbury, Commissary for the Diocesse of the same, and Warden of Merton Colledge in Oxford: And to the Right vertuous and honoured Lady, the Lady Martha Brent his wife:
The best blessings of this life, and eternall blessednesse in the world to come.

RIght Worshipfull, al­though Gods word can countenance it selfe, and needes no shelter from the arme of flesh: yet experience shewes, that not [Page] onely the writings of the most, but even some of those sacred bookes which were breathed from heaven, have beene dedicated to renowned Saints on earth. If that hea­venly Evangelist, dedicated his [...]uke 1: 3: Gospell, and Treatise of the holy Acts of the Apostles un­toActs 1: 1: that most excellent Theo­philus: And that eminent pil­lar of the Church, directed2 Iohn 1: 1: that heavenly Epistle to that elect Lady whom he loved in the truth: In imitation where­of I have made bold to devote this poore mite (in compari­son of that rich treasure) unto [Page] your Worships, whose ver­tues and pieties have also dig­nified you for the counte­nance and respect which you beare to religion and learning. The subject of my discourse is divine, answerable to your af­fections; not unbefitting your place, and most necessary, and so not unworthy your studies. Here I have discovered Sa­thans inveterate malice against the godly, and for their sakes have prescribed such spirituall Antidots as Christ the Saints comforter hath confected. In which if I have passed the bounds of modestie, I humbly [Page] crave pardon for the same, relying upon the innate goodnesse that rests in your nature, I have presumed to of­fer unto your acceptations a taste of such fruits as my bar­ren orchard could afford; my meaning hereby is not to crave any thankes or praise where none is deserved, but (that so farre as I may) I might make evident to others for imitation, those excellent ver­tues which God hath made so eminent in you. And also ac­cording to my poore abilitie, leave to the world a testimo­niall of that duty and respect [Page] which I beare unto either of your Worships, for those ma­ny favours you have extended towards me, which I have no other way to requite, saving my prayers; which shall be, that you may goe forward in your pious courses to serve God, your King, and Country; that you may stand couragi­ously for religion before men, and then it will stand for you before God. Thus shall you gaine glory from your God, favour from your King, pur­chase peace to your consci­ence, and shame them that say Law and piety cannot stand [Page] together, or that greatnesse is any hinderance to goodnes; then shall you cause all them that feare God to love and re­verence you; and mee among the rest to be your servant in Christ, and remaine

Your Worships humbly devoted and ready to be commanded, Edmund Cobbes.

To the Curteous Reader, grace, mercy, and peace.

DEarly beloved, you may be pleased to remember, that not long since I set forth a Treatise under this Title, The worldlings look­ing-glasse, In which I promised to pu­blish this present Parable; And seeing promise is counted a due debt, though I have stayed long, before I have perfor­med that which I then undertooke, yet at last, as you see, I am as good as my word, and now tender you paiment. In this pre­sent Discourse, I have laid open the fear­full estate of all Hypocrites, who have Christ rife in their mouths, and there­fore would seeme better than any; when [Page] as indeed they are worse than many, for God accountes a devout Hypocrite, no better than a prophane Epicure, he cannot endure a Devill though he be in Samuels mantell; and that because they respect not the reward of vertue, but the regard of men; as if vertue were not a sufficient recompence to it selfe. Happy is that man that can espy this cursed vice in himselfe; happier that laboures by the power of God to purge it out. They that will have helpe against this spirituall wickednesse, must seeke unto God, and get directions out of his Word, which is mighty through2 Cor. 10, 3 God to the pulling downe of strong houlds. Praying dayly for the assistance of hisEph. 6, 18. Spirit, else it will not bee enough to fight with Gods weapons, unlesse wee borrow his arme. The enemy of our Saluation is powerfull, and therefore called the godEph. 2, 2. of this World, and the Prince that ruleth in the Aire: who laboures mightily to keepe us in league with our sinnes. And therefore useth innumerable stratagems [Page] to hinder us in our journey, to the Cele­stiall Canaan: Working either upon the corruption of our nature, to disturbe us in the practise of Piety, or else by dishart­ning of us under the crosse, when wee should be most resolute for Gods glory: and therefore seeing he is so resolute to worke our ruine, it should make us carefull toPhil. 2, 12. worke out our owne salvation with feare and trembling, and give all diligence to make our calling and election sure, and to2 Pet. 1, 10 let our conversation be such as becommeth the Gospell of Christ; that so we may beePhil. 1, 27. blamelesse and harmelesse, the sonnes of God without rebuke in the middest of aPhil. 2, 15. crooked and perverse nation. Else if wee neglect the meanes of our salvation, and spend our daies in sensuality, carnall se­curity will seaze upon us, and then when we would cast off these bonds, wee cannot, because our Dalilahs; our own follies have beguiled us. Therefore seeing our ene­my is so potent, and malicious, let us not1 Thes. 5, 7 sleepe as doe other, but let us watch and [Page] be sober. Nature can teach men to care for those things that concerne their tem­porall life; but it is grace that must teach men to minde those things that concerne their spiritual life: & seeing that upon the breath of our lives hanges two eternities, the one of endlesse felicity, the other of easelesse and endlesse paines; what maner of persons ought we to be passing the time of our pilgrimage heerein feare, and with Iob, 14. 14. to waite all the daies of our appointed time, till our change come? Happy will that servant bee whome his Master when hee commeth shall finde so doing. But least I should seeme monere memorem, more laborious than need requires, I surcease, desiring you to accept of this simple scarce ripe fruit of these my Meditations, and to looke over my fai­lings with an eye of compassion, and to co­ver my slippes and infirmities with the mantell of Charity, for Bernardus non videt omnia. So shall I remaine thanke­full to you, and will endevour to provide [Page] some better Present, whereby I may de­clare the sincerity of my affection towards them that feare the Lord. In the meane time I commend you to God, and this present worke to your charitable Censure, and my selfe to your Christian prayers, and alway rest,

Yours in the Lord to be commanded, Edmund Cobbes.

A TOPICALL INDEX, OR TABLE Alphabeticall, pointing out the materiall heads contained in the whole Booke.

  • ACtions.
  • A godly man will not justifie himselfe in any sinfull action. Page. 29
  • The Devill ready to hinder good actions. 67
  • He is Gods Apo. 33
  • He gets advantage by mans carelesnes. 84
  • He hath many Agents. 74, 75
  • Is a purgative to the purse. 17
  • A hell to the Soule. ibid.
  • Hatefull to God. ibid.
  • [Page]Destroyes the noble name of a Christian. ib.
  • Hatefull to God. ibid.
  • A sinfull trick of youth. ibid.
  • Adulterer is the Devils house. 118
  • A great helpe. 60
    Admoniti­on. Apostacy,
  • Exceeding dangerouse. 89, 166, 167
  • Makes men loose all their labours. 89
  • Preservatives against it. 168
  • Satans walkes. 89
  • Places of wickednesse. 74
  • Will make men climbe to honour, by bas [...]
    meanes. 115
  • Barrennesse under the word, armes Satan. 174
  • Of innocency put off by Satan. 14, 74
  • It is complete. 156
  • Invincible. 98
  • It must be buckled on. 86
  • Without it a man is like an unwalled Citty. 157
  • Tale-bearers are archers. 81
  • DAngerouse. 155
  • Dishonours God. 167
  • Backesliders loose all their labours. 167
  • [Page]
    Naturallmen Satans bond-men. 16, 133
  • Reasons why Christ frees his children from Satans bondage. 25
  • The Devill deceives men with sugred baites.
  • Vnder the preaching of the Word armes Sa­tan.
  • Christians must be better and better. 16
  • Mens callings subject to Satans temptati­ons.
    84, 85
  • Conscionable walking in a mans calling brings comfort.
  • Carding and dicing, no meanes to bring comfort. 91
  • The bane of Charity. 82
  • MEn are carelesse amids dangers. 86
  • Carelesnesse gives the Devill advan­tage. 84
  • Hypocrites are covetous. 74
  • A covetous man will digge downe to hell for wealth. 115
  • They have the Devill in them. 55
  • The Devill observes mens constitutions. 66
  • [Page]Constancy required. 87
  • Prophane Company dangerouse. 91, 137
  • Satans conditions dishonourable. 103
  • Gods children must be valiant. 103
  • They shew their weakenesse in the time of danger. 104
  • Conference very profitable. 162
  • The Devill cannot indure it. ibid.
  • Custome of sinne takes away the sence of sinne. 16
  • It must be forsaken. 123
  • God will have no Corrivall. 131
  • Violence not so dangerous as craft. 3
  • How wrought. 19
  • It is a supernaturall worke. 41, 19, 20, 26, 135
  • Satan envies it. 19
  • Christ foyled Sathan. 22
  • Reasons why. 22, 26
  • How Satan is foyled. 25
  • What it is. 53
  • Wherein it consists. ibid.
  • Civill men will not ransack their hearts. 55
  • They are well conceited of themselves. ibid.
  • Their conceit proved a deceit. 55, 56
  • They reject admonition. 6
  • Contemners of grace great sinners. 45
  • Contentious men have the Devill in thē. 56
  • [Page]Devill cruell to children that have not of­fended him. 147
  • Christians must strive to be better and bet­ter. 168
  • They must lay a good foundation. 169
  • Good counsell to be remembred. 169
  • Sinne against conscience fearefull. 170
  • DArling sinnes must be pared away. 109
  • The Devill will not let men take notice of them. 31
  • Gods ape. 133
  • He is a Spirit. 10, 11, 12
  • He was an angell of Gods making, and a De­vill of his owne. 13
  • His sinne. 12
  • He is an enemy to godlinesse: 13
  • Good actions. 67
  • He hates man for Gods cause. 74
  • He envies mans happinesse. ibid. 18
  • His malice endlesse: 84, 70
  • Restlesse. 64
  • No place free from his temptations. 84
  • He feares none. 66
  • He is a continuall tempter, 66, 64
  • [Page]He gets advantage by mens carelesnesse. 84
  • He is a murderer. 64
  • Worse than a theefe. 83
  • He stirres up sinfull dreames. 66
  • He spreades his net over all the world. 83, 70
  • His circuit. 84
  • He dwels in wicked men. 158
  • He deludes the sences. 114
  • He knowes mens nature, what they love or hate. 115
  • He knowes the tide of mens affections. 74
  • He will make a shew of holinesse. 51
  • He is ready to ensnare men by their vertues or their vices. 67
  • He will be cast out in one sinne to bee enter­tained in another. 52
  • He will let men performe holy duties, and why. 51
  • He will gratifie his servants, 51, 134
  • What he teaches them. 134
  • He hath his Agents. 74
  • Who they be. 79
  • There are infinite number of Devils. 71
  • They certifie one another what is done in all places. 71
  • They discourage ministers. 67
  • [Page]And people. 69
  • Dangerous to come in Satans walks. 89
  • Or to be idle. 91
  • A drunkard loath to part with the Divell. 35
  • A drunkard is Belphegors stie. 118
  • The Divels garnished house. 132
  • To discourage men in the practise of piety very fearefull. 166
  • Devill when expelled. 6, 7
  • How expelled. 18, 22
  • His power must give place to Christ. 22
  • Reasons why. 23, 25
  • How he foiled him. 23
  • Duties of them that are delivered from Sa­tans bondage. 25, ad 30
  • Ministers duties. 29
  • Private mens duties. ibid.
  • Defending of sinne, a signe of a gracelesse man. 30
  • Wicked men will rather part with Heaven than their sinnes. 35
  • Decay in grace dishonours God, and shames Religion. 167
  • Popery great darknesse. 173
  • Dry places what they signifie. 61, 62
  • [Page]ENvie the doore of iniquity. 82
  • The bane of Charity. ibid.
  • The corruption of health. ibid.
  • They are sencelesse fooles. 92
  • An envious man the Devils cage, 118
  • He hath a Devill in him. 118
  • The Devill is encouraged by mans weake­nesse. 114
  • He knowes not who are elected. 106
  • Wicked men run from one extreame to ano­ther. 78
  • He hath good entertainement among them. 123
  • Empty what it signifies. 108
  • Words must tend to edification. 5
  • Examination how it must be made. 172
  • Sinne must have no entertainement. 144
  • FAith invincible. 172
  • Historicall Faith. 48
  • Wherein it consists. 48
  • Triall of Faith is obedience. 172
  • [Page]Ioyned with good workes. 108
  • The Devill opposes it. 92
  • Envious men sencelesse fooles. 82
  • The Devill deceives under the name of friendship. 113
  • To fall from piety to prophanesse a great fall. 165
  • A fornicatour hath a Devill in him. 55
  • GAming house Satans walk. 89
  • Garnished what it signifies. 110, 133, 136
  • Why pleasing to the Devill. 132, 133
  • The Gentiles had many Gods. 6
  • Their Idolatry. 7
  • How Christ prevailed with them. 6, 7
  • The Devill laboures to dishonour God. 93
  • And to destroy the godly. 95
  • Yet they are preserved. 101
  • They must have an eye to his malice. 102
  • The Devill an enemy to Godlinesse. 13
  • The Godlies infirmities their triumphs.
  • Of the Devill and his instruments. 75, 79
  • He bends his forces against them. 94
  • Yet he cannot prevaile. 94
  • [Page]The Devill is a chargeable guest. 159
  • Grace of God must be stirred up. 156
  • Dangerous to oppose the Grace of God. 8, 170
  • Hindrances in Gods service a griefe to the
    Godly. 29
  • Wicked mens conversation their griefe. 29
  • They will not justifie themselves. 29
  • It is a signe of a gracelesse man to plead for sinne. 30
  • Gifts of Nature, if they be not sanctified by grace, fit preyes for the Devill. 48
  • Gospell a great blessing. 173
  • The meanes to expell Satan. 174
  • THe Devill labours to hinder the God­ly. 135
  • He envies their happinesse. 74
  • The Devill knowes what men love and hate. 71
  • He knowes the heart by outward signes. 73
  • God requires the heart. 131
  • Mans heart Satans den. 118
  • Full of filthinesse. 109
  • Ready to open to Satan. 119
  • [Page]Tale-bearers compared to Hell. 82
  • Wicked men hardned in prophanes. 123
  • Happinesse of the Godly, a grief to Satan. 19
  • Heaven would bee full, if sinfull pleasures would send them thither. 129
  • Men must take great paines to get thither. 36, 37
  • Hypocrites are covetous. 7
  • They are garnished with hypocrisie. 110
  • They are Satans house. 118
  • They have all maner of furniture to enter­taine him. 110
  • They are his resting place. 108
  • They are a swept house. 108
  • They have roome enough for many sinnes. 160
  • They Indent with God for a dispensation. 131
  • They will not part with their darling sinnes. 45
  • They are temporisers. 4, 7, 50
  • How farre they may go. ibid. 49, 51
  • They deceive the world. 162
  • Their morrall vertues. 47
  • They discover themselves. 50
  • Hypocrisie odious. 132
  • Swept what it signifies, 108
  • [Page]Godly never empty houses and why. 125
  • IEwes ingratitude. 2
  • Their Religion full of blind Ceremonies. 7
  • Their malice paid home. 172
  • How they prophaned their temple. 7
  • Ignorant men Satans bond-men. 32
  • Their estate fearefull. 32
  • Idlenesse the Devils pillow. 90, 118
  • The mother of mischiefe. 123
  • A fit subject for the Devill to worke upon. 123, 124
  • Condemned by the heathen. 124
  • God severely punishes it. 123
  • Inconstancy in Religion fearefull. 171
  • KNowledge and practise must goe toge­ther. 171
  • God regards not the quantity but the qua­lity. 48
  • It must not floate in the braine. 172
  • But men must make use of it. 172
  • [Page]LAw how it prepareth the heart. 19
  • Satans power limitted. 22
  • Lets and hinderances in Gods service a grief to the godly. 29
  • To pretend Religion, and intend vilany, one of the Devils lessons. 134
  • Lukewarmnesse dangerouse. 170
  • To forsake our first love fearefull. 170
  • Makes Men loose all their labours. 89
  • Fleshly Lusts Satans porter. 14
  • THe Divels malice is to destroy. 12, 15, 83
  • He is a murtherer. 64
  • A bloody midwife. 95
  • The godly have must an eye to the Devils malice. 162
  • Wicked mens malice limitted. 96, 99
  • Disapointed. 101
  • Tale-bearers malice to the godly. 81
  • Ministers how tempted. 67, 87, 113
  • Their duty. 29
  • [Page]Mercy despaired damnable. 121, 173
  • Man quickely made miserable. 128
  • He perceives not his misery. 36, ad 40
  • SLuggish Nature to be awakened▪ 88
  • The Devill by observing our Nature tempts us to sinne. 115
  • Naturall men Satan bond men. 16, 38
  • Negligence dangerouse. 4
  • VVIcked men oppose the grace of God. 8
  • They use variety of objects to satisfie their lusts. 78
  • The Devill wakes by outward objects. 66
  • Hee waites his opportunity. 7, 8
  • Originall sinne. 15, 38
  • Vniversall obedience a signe of sineerity. 28
  • The tryall of Faith. 172
  • The onely way to be approved of God. 31
  • Occasions of sinne Satans baite. 136
  • They must be avoided. 139
  • Stopped. 143
  • [Page]THe Devill deceived our first parens. 14
  • Perseverance crownes Religion. 168
  • Piety rewarded. 119
  • Prophane men wil doe that in Gods presence which they are ashamed to doe in mans. 90
  • Their company dangerous. 91
  • They are hardned in sinne. 123
  • The Devill labours to batter our patience. 92
  • His power limited. 95
  • He hath no power but from God. 103
  • He cannot prevaile against the godly. 95, 22
  • There is an howre appointed for the power of darkenesse. 99
  • Gods children are pretious in his sight, 98
  • He miraculously preserves them. 96, 99
  • Their prayers are very profitable. 163
  • Persecuters loose their labours. 168, 106
  • They fight against God. 106
  • Heaven would bee full if sinfull pleasures send men thither. 129
  • Sinfull lusts Satans porter. 14
  • The devil in Adam poisoned all man kind. 15
  • [Page]He will keepe a pawne and pledge in his hand, and why. 135
  • Dangerous not to profit under the Word. 174
  • Popery darknesse. 173
  • HOw the Devill may be said to be gone out of a man and yet remaine in him. 44, 45
  • He labours to quench mens zeale. 87
  • How the Divell can tempt all man kind. 71
  • SAtan restlesse to doe mischiefe. 64
  • What rest he seeks. 62
  • Hypocrites his resting place. 108, 109
  • Repentance a hard work. 169
  • It begins when sinne is forsaken: 27
  • Counterfeit repentance. 4
  • Swept house. 125
  • Of no worth. 130
  • [Page]Men must be reformed, or else they have not repented. 130
  • Relapses dangerous. 270
  • Men must make a league with Religion. 171
  • Religion whence it came first. 144
  • Men must resolve to come out of their sins. 136
  • Piety rewarded. 87
  • Men must learne of the Devill to be resolute▪ 87
  • Covetous men will dig to hell for riches. 115
  • Revengefull man Baalberiths pallace. 118
  • It is a dangerous thing to be ashamed of Re­ligion. 123
  • Iewes religion full of blind ceremonies. 7, 8
  • Mans redemption wonderfull. 19, 20
  • PRophaners of the Sabboth loath to forsake their sinne. 35
  • Soule must be committed unto God in well doing. 172
  • It is no easie thing to be saved. 129
  • The best time must be spent for it. 88
  • Wicked men have filthy soules. 172
  • It hath enemies. 93
  • Security in sinne dangerous. 154, 156
  • Satan dwels in sinners, 158
  • [Page]What he workes in them. ibid.
  • He sets a false varnish on sinne. 159
  • Sinne will not be cleansed with sweeping. 125
  • It poysons all good things. 37
  • Penitents must take revenge on themselves. 127
  • Sinners are slovens. 128
  • Darling sinnes are the Devils windowes. 130
  • Originall sinne. 3 [...]
  • Sinne how aggravated. 149
  • How made worse. 150, 151
  • It gets strenght by committing. 152
  • Proppes of sinne must be removed. 152
  • Compared to the soares of the body. 169
  • The Devill hath a great band of souldiers 70
  • His instruments allure to sinne. 74
  • The Devil laies his snares over all the world 83
  • Solitary places Satans walke. 90
  • His undaunted courage. 111
  • His great strenght. 111
  • Vpon what he relies. 113
  • Security dangerouse▪ 119
  • The Devill makes men secure. 115
  • He is a spirit. 10
  • [Page]His sinne. 12
  • TAle-bearers the Devils Champions. 79
  • They are archers. 81
  • They carry their swords in their mouths. 81
  • They are worse than Crowes. 81
  • Compared to hell. 82
  • Their malice to the godly. 81
  • Temples of our body must be kept holy. 136
  • Wicked mens trade is to drawe one another in sinne. 32, 74
  • Devill worse than a theefe. 83
  • No place free from his temptations. 11. 6
  • He began to tempt. 84
  • He is never weary. 113, 64, 66, 116
  • Wicked men tempt themselves. 143
  • Evill thoughts are stirred up by Satan. 66
  • Triall of a mans state how made. 26, 27, 28
  • Time cannot be better spent than upon God, to glorifie him; and upon our souls, to save them. 87
  • Time servers are miserable. 171
  • Men must not conforme themselves to the sinfulnesse of the times. 171
  • [Page]A sinne of times. ibid.
  • Satan is the head of Tyrants. 111
  • Their malice limited. 99
  • God hath a hook in their nostrils. 100
  • Their malice cannot compell the fire to burne us. ibid.
  • Thankefulnesse opens Gods hand, 154
  • Gods Talents must be imployed to his honor. 171
  • THe Devill will ensnare men by their Vertues or their Vices. 67
  • Saints vertues are to be imitated. 171
  • The Devill is a vanquished slave. 104
  • Vsury unlawfull. 130
  • Vnbeleevers miserable: 32
  • VVAlke, what it signifies. 61
  • The Devill walketh any way to do mischiefe. 76
  • His walkes are dangerous. 89
  • Where his walke are, 86, 90
  • Watchfulnesse needfull. 87, 112
  • [Page]Required. 92, 93
  • Why neglect of it full of danger. 116, 117
  • Wicked mens trade is to draw men to sinne. 70. 74
  • They are restlesse in sinne. 77
  • They are the Devils standards bearers. 70
  • They rejoyce at the fall of the godly. 75, 79
  • They are enemies to godlines. 75
  • They are hatefull to God, and hurtfull to men 32
  • They are quiet among themselves. 160
  • They use variety of objects to satisfie their pleasure 78
  • They run from one extreme to another. 78
  • The world is the Devill circuit. 84
  • He knowes how to handle his weapons. 157
  • Mans weakenesse encourages him. 114
  • Spirituall weapons must be used. 126
  • It is not enough to fight with Gods weapons unlesse we borrow his arme. 105
  • Gods children shew their weakenesse in dan­gers. 104
  • Words must bee weighed in the ballance of wisedome, and tend to edification. 45
  • Gods Word is the star that leads to Christ. 41
  • [Page]ADultery a sinfull trick of Youth. 17
  • THe Devill labours to coole and under­mine our Zeale.
  • To decrease our Zeale dangerous. 171


Mens works have faults since Adam first offended.
And those in these are thus to be amended.

PAge 57. l. 8 supply, Papists in profession, yet many of them are Papists in ignorance, and prophanes, &c. p. 67. l. 1. r. Iehosuah. p. 62. l. 6. put out Sa­tan seek. l. ult. r. bodies. p. 66. l. 18. r. so now. p. 81. in margent r. habeo & meum. p. 110. p. 24. Courage. l. 4, r. plowing. p. 144. in the margent, r. scintilla. p. 144. r. after evill spirits. q. 148. l. 8. r. restlesse.


Matth. 12. 43.‘When the uncleane Spirit is gone out of a man, hee walketh through drie places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will returne into my house whence I came out, & when he is come, he findeth it emp­ty, swept, and garnished.’

OVr Saviour Christ in great humility and mer­cy, came to save and to seeke the lost sheepe of Israel; unto whom hee came, not [Page 2] empty handed, neither did hee leade an unprofitable life among them: but all his workes were wit­nesses of his love, to their soules and bodies, in curing the one, and feeding the other; for he went a­bout Act. 10. 38. doing good, curing all that were oppressed of the divell.

Yet for all his manifold mercies & manifest miracles wch he wroght among these stubborne Iewes, they requited him with inveterate hatred, and maliciously interpre­ted his workes, to be wrought by the power of the Divell; for so they say, This fellow doth not cast Vers. 24. out Divells but by Beelzebub the prince of the Divells. But our blessed Saviour knowing their cursed ma­lice and obstinate wickednesse, by sound arguments confutes their calumnies, and discovers their in­tollerable blasphemie. So that in this Story, the holy Evangelist [Page 3] doth lay open a double conflict of­our Saviour; the first is against Sathan the enemy of mankinde, in the body of a poore man; the other in the tongue of these obstinate pharises. In the one, he was a blinde & dumb divell, in the other a seeing and perverse adver­sarie. Now, because violence doth not make an enemy so dangerous as cunning and craftie: therefore our Saviour casts him presently out of the blinde and dumbe man. Where in he shewed himselfe by force; but out of these subtill and malicious Pharises, he did not so easily cast him out, but is forced to come from sound arguments (which might have stopt their mouths) to passe a doome upon them in the conclusion ofVers 45. this Parable; Even so shalt it be al­so to this wicked generation.

When the uncleane spirit is gone out of a man.

Whether these words were di­rected to the poore man, out of whom the divell was gone out, or to the stubborne Iewes, may seeme a Question. No doubt but it may very fitly be applyed to the former, that having received so great a benefit, he should not be unthankefull to the Lord for his deliverance, or grow secure and carelesse; least by his negli­gence and misdemeanour, the de­vill which now was cast out of him, should returne and take pos­session of him againe; and so his last end should be worse than the be­ginning. Or else these words may serve to be a witnesse against these perverse Scribes and Pharises, to seale up their further damnation: It may serve for both, and bee as a patterne for the godly to imi­tate; to teach them to order their speech, that their words being weighed in the ballance of wise­dome, [Page 5] and powdered with the salte of discretion, may tend to edification, and minister grace to the Col. 4. 6. hearers. For, many times the stan­ders by, doe more heedefully marke what is delivered, than those unto whom the speech is di­rected.

When the uncleane spirit is gone out of a man. This uncleane spirit which keepes possession by the power of sinne, was after a sort formerly cast out of the Iewes, when they received the Law of Moses, and so were taught to wor­ship the true God aright; then this uncleane spirit, with his fil­thy troope, being destitute of so convenient a lodging, walked through drie places, amongst the Gentiles to seeke rest, whom hee corrupted in such a vile manner, that hee made them leese both sence and humanity, and fall into [Page 6] all manner of blindenesse and Ido­latry, as we may see Rom. 1. 24. in so much, that being seduced by him, they worshipped and ser­ved him, with manifold Idolatries; so that at the last, hee had so farre infatuated their understanding, that they also worshipped Catts, Serpents, and other filthy crea­tures, as may appeare by the te­stimony of divers historians. Hesi­od (as Eusebius observes) saith, There was worshipped upon the earth 30. thousand gods. In which Idolatrie the Gentiles continued, untill the Lord Iesus preached the truth of his Gospel amongst them; which glad tydings they embra­ced, and forsooke their former errours, and beleeved in him, and when they saw his miracles, they spake very honourably of him, and acknowledged him to be Saviour of the world; of whom it was [Page 7] foretold by the Prophet, that He Esay 35. 6. should open the eyes of the blinde, and unstop the eares of the deafe. Then Sathan this uncleane spirit, was forced to goe out of them also. But the Iewes, unto whom Christ the Saviour of the world was sent, opposed and disgraced him in his workes and miracles, and by all means laboured to withstand him. Sathan finding this opportunity, returned backe againe unto these stubborne Iewes, whose Religi­on he found stuffed with a number of blinde Ceremonies and phari­saicall traditions, contrary to the Law of God. In the Temple, in stead of Pastors to teach the word, he found Drovers & Brokers, ma­king of sale: In stead of pues for prayer, tables for Vsurers & money changers; and in stead of a Con­gregation for the Saints, he found a denne of Theeves. Sathan I say, [Page 8] finding this opportunity, enters in­to them, and houlds them in blind­nesse and ignorance; so that their last end is worse than their begin­ning: For, now they are deprived of their Temple and liberty, and are as vagabonds upon the face of the earth, as appeares this day. By which we may see, what a wo­full judgement all those are liable unto, which oppose the grace of God, when it is offered unto them. They doe as much as in them lyes, lay themselves open to the malice of Sathan; who ha­ving gained any opportunity, will hardly be driven from them.

Thus having sayd as much as is needefull for the understanding of this present Parable; yet, that we may receive the greater pro­fit by it, we will for methods sake (which is memories guide) re­duce the matter therein con­tayned [Page 9] under these foure heads.

1. Wee will shew the manner and the measure of Sathans depar­ture from the soule of man; and then how he demeaneth himselfe, when he is gone.

2. His diligence to regaine his former possession, with the rea­sons that induce him thereun­to.

3. When he hath regained pos­session, how forciblie hee sences himselfe to prevent expulsion.

4. The miserable estate of all those hee repossesses, how and wherein their end is worse than their beginning.

These 4. points by Gods grace shall be the substance of my ensu­ing discourse, of which in their order. We will begin with the first, contayned in these words, When the uncleane spirit is gone out, &c.

In these words is contained the uncleane spirits departure, and de­meanour when he is gone. This uncleane spirit is here descri­bed:

1. By his essence, he is a spirit.

2. By his quality or condition, an uncleane spirit. He is a spirit. The word spirit in Scripture, sometime doth signifie the essence of the god-head, as God is a Spirit. Iohn 4. 24. 1 Iohn 5. 6.

Sometimes the third person in the Trinity, called the Spirit of truth.

Sometime the gifts and graces of the Spirit, as the Angell did foretell of Iohn, that he should beLuk. 1▪ 15. filled with the holy Ghost.

Sometime it signifies the souleLuk. 23. 46. Psal. 3 1, 5. of man, as Father, into thy hand I commend my Spirit. But that wee may not spend our time about the divers acceptation of the word Spirit, we are to know, that when­soever [Page 11] wee finde the word Spirit set downe without any other word to expresse the meaning of it, then we are to know, that the third person in the Holy Trinity is meant, as Rom. 8. 26. The Spirit helpeth our infirmity. But when it is set downe with his adjective, the nature and quality of his adjective will easily demonstrate what the substantive importeth; as the evill spirit vexed 1 Sam. 16, 15. Saul; that is, the Divell. And in this place he is called An uncleane spirit, whereby his nature is ex­pressed to be uncleane. And thus much for his essence. He is a Spi­rit. Come wee now to speake of his quality and condition; He is uncleane. The divell is an uncleane spirit, but not in regard of his creation, but in respect of the condition hee brought upon him­selfe. The Scriptures teach, that the Divell was not created evill; [Page 12] For, God saw every thing that he had Gen. 1. 31. made, and behould it was very good. He was created an Angell of Light, and a spirit without mixture of body; immortall without feare of corruptiō; intellectuall with excee­ding promptnesse of wit; free that nothing could force his will, wise with fulnesse of naturall know­ledge; powerfull above all inferi­our creatures: wholy decked with admirable vertues; capable of see­ing God clearely, with promise of this glory, if he persevered in his service. But not being content with this his estate, but seeking to pry into the majesty of the deity,Esay 14. 12. and to usurpe the glory of his maker, was therefore dejected and cast in­to hell; and so from being a blessed Angell in Heaven, he is become a damned devill in hell. As he de­rived his nature from God, so he is good; but this depravation of [Page 13] his nature is from himselfe. An Angell he was of Gods making, & a divell of his owne. And now be­ing deprived of the glory of God, he delights in all uncleannesse, & is an utter enemie to all holinesse. Therefore he useth all meanes to make mankinde as unhappie as himselfe, and to wrappe every mothers Childe under the curse of God. As soone as our first Pa­rents were set in Paradise; though they were furnished with the in­vincible army of innocencie and righteousnesse, so that he was not able to conquer them by force and violence; yet out of an inveterate hatred which he bare to the Image of God shining in them, and out of envie to their happinesse, hee entered into a treacherous parlie with our Grandmother Eve, and so bewitched her sences with flat­tery, that he caused her to wandor [Page 14] from the truth of Gods Word; and to intice her husband to trans­gresseGen. 3, 16. the Commandement of God; whereby they put off the Armour of innocencie and righteousnesse, and entertayned into their soules a troupe of his ambitious tentati­ons; and then having gayned the possession he sought for, presently he ransacked their soules, and de­prived them of all spirituall gra­ces, and brought them like inferi­our Captives under his dominion. And that he might the more se­curely keepe them under subjecti­on, he did not onely kill and wound Gods graces in their soules, but in stead of them, hee placed a strong Garison of carnall corruptions and fleshly lusts, which should be as a Porter to o­pen passage to his temptations, whensoever he please to make any entrance. Thus having so poyso­ned [Page 15] the fountaine and head spring of all mankinde; all men now they are conceived in sinne, and brought forth in iniquitie. And are de­prived Psal. 51. 5. Rom. 3, 23. of the glory of God. And re­maine under the governance of this uncleane spirit. And in this miserable condition, every one had remained, if the wisedome of God had not found out a way to redeeme us, out of this his bon­dage and servitude. Thus we have discovered our adversarie, to be in power a spirit, and in nature and condition an uncleane spirit, one that for his pride and rebelli­on was cast out of Heaven: there­fore woe to the Inhabitants of the Earth, for hee will doe as much mischiefe as he can; he knowes his time is but short, and therefore he will loose no opportunitie, but will labour by all meanes, to make all mankinde as filthy as himselfe. [Page 16] Thus he made Caine swell in envieGen, 4, 8. to his brother, and to bathe his hands with cruelty in his blood: Achan with theft, Gehazi and An­nanias Iosu. 7. 1. 2 King. 5. 22. Act. 5. 1. and his wife with lying and dissembling. Thus hee defiles all men with sin, and pollutes the land Ezek, 23. 18. with transgressions. For, every sinne, as it dishonours God; so it holds the sinner in perpetuall bon­dage. For, whosoever committeth Iohn 8. 34. sinne, is the servant of sinne. Then in this bondage and Captivitie, all naturall and unregenerate men re­maine, bound under the curse of the Law, untill the custome of sinne hath taken away the sence of sinne; and then this Tyrant, plunges them under the curse of God before they are aware. As every sinne is uncleane in the Con­creat; so there is a sinne called uncleannesse in the Abstract; as if it were in a speciall manner brea­thed [Page 17] out of the mouth of this un­cleane spirit. This uncleane and filthy sinne, is the sinne of Adulterie and Fornication, which though it seeme a Paradise to the desire, yet it is a Purgatory to the purse; and a hell to the soule, and dishonours the noble name of a Christian. And though the wanton minions of this age exte­nuate it, and say, it is but a tricke of youth; yet let them know, that it is a sinne hatefull in the sight of God, who will not let them goe unpunish­ed; for, whoremongers and Adulterers Heb. 13. 14. God will judge. But of the filthinesse and fearefulnesse of this sinne I have spoken at large in a Treatise, Intitu­led The Worldlings looking Glasse.

When the uncleane spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.

In these words is contained Sathans departure, and demeanour when he is gon. In his departure observe these particulars:

1. The mannerof his going out.2. The measure of his going out.

First, for the manner of his going out; Sathan will not depart but by compulsion; for he keepes possession like a strong armed man, which will not be amooved, till a stronger, even the strength of Israel come against him; he alone and none but he, canMath. 17, 19, master and subdue him. The disci­ples were unable to doe it; and by his owne good will, he will never depart.Math. 8, 29, Mark. 5. 7. He loves his dwelling so well, that he accounts it no lesse than a Torment to be cast out. And so envious hee is to mankinde, that he will never leave him till hee have brought him to de­struction; because he is greeved that mankinde should enjoy that happi­nesse he himselfe hath lost.

Secondly, In regard of the curse that was given him in Paradise, that the seede of the woman should bruise Gen. 3 15. his head. Therefore he pursues man­kinde with deadly hatred and impla­cable [Page 19] malice, that either he may fru­strate the truth of Gods word, or bring mankinde into perpetuall bon­dage. Yet for all his power and ma­lice, there is a time when he must be gon; and that is when the Lord by the powerfull working of his Spirit, dispelleth the blindnesse of nature, and the sinfull corruptions thereof, out of the hearts of his children, and doeth inlighten them with the saving knowledge of himselfe. This he do­eth, when by the ministery of the Law he convinceth their consciences of sinne; and sheweth them the hey­nousnesse and fearefulnesse thereof, and then the grievous punishments due to them for the same; which areLevit. 26. Deut. 28. not onely all the plagues and punish­ments denounced in the Law, but al­so the eternall torments of Hell for ever and ever: And that no mortall man is able to free them from this condition, no not all the world is able to make satisfaction for one soule; for [Page 20] The Earth is the Lords, and all that is Psal. 24, 1, therein. Nay, if all the Angells in Hea­ven should offer themselves, they were unable to deliver one soule, (be­cause they are ingaged to God for their creation; and they were crea­ted but a finit & temporarie good) are not able to make satisfaction for infi­nite sinnes committed against the ma­jesty of a most holy and glorious God. Thus when the Lord hath1 King. 19. 11, 12. brought his children to the gates of Hell, and by the strong winde of his wrath hath broken their hearts, and by the Earthquake of his judgement awakened their soules, and by the fire of his spirit ransackt their conscien­ces, and by the ministery of his word hath plowed up the fallow ground of their hearts, and by the terrours of conscience made them to despaire of salvation in respect of themselves: Then he makes them to heare the still voyce of his Spirit, by which he re­vealeth to them his infinit mercy and [Page 21] free grace, and his eternall love to [...]hem in Christ Iesus with all his me­ [...]its; then he worketh in their soules [...]aith, whereby they apprehend Christ, [...]nd rest upon him alone for their sal­vation; and in their judgements a wonderfull esteeme of Gods mer­cies and Christs merits, from whence and by whom they receive and ob­taine remission of all their sinnes. This assurance of Gods favour, worketh in their soules, a hungering and thir­sting after Christ and his righteous­nesse; and in their wills, a constant resolution, to rest upon him alone, for justification and salvation: And in the whole course of their lives, a detestation and hatred of all sinne whatsoever. And stirres up in them a care and conscience, to use all good meanes whereby they may be assured that they shall have their part in the mercies of God, and in the merits of Christ. Then God joyneth them un­to him as the head unto the body, and [Page 22] then as soone as Christ is joyned to them, they are made members of his body, who by his Spirit reneweth their will and affections, and frameth in them a spirituall life that they may serve him in holinesse and righteousnesse Luk. 1. 74. all the dayes of their life. Thus the Lord by these meanes casteth this uncleane spirit out of the hearts of his children, so that he shall never totally regaine his former possession; for it is a certaine Maxime in Philosophie, that two contraries cannot stand together at one time, in one and the same subject. There can be no agreement betweene light and darkenesse, God and Belial; but when grace comes in, vice must goe out. When the holy Spirit ta­keth possession, the uncleane spirit must packe away. So then from the truth of the premisses wee may con­clude:

That Sathans power must give place Doctr. to Christs.

This was promised, that The seede [Page 23] of the woman should bruise his head. Gen. 3, 15,

This Christ performed in his temp­tations, Luk. 4. 8. for which the divell doth feare him so much, Matth. 8. 29. His chiefest labour in the dayes of his flesh was to overthrow his kingdome and cast him out, Matth. 9. 33. Luk. 11. 14. Ioh. 12. 31. Act. 10. 38. which was a Type of this spirituall deliverance. This was foretold, that hee should bring out the prisoner from the Prison, Esa. 43, 6, and them that sate in darkenesse out of the prison house, and proclaime liberty to Esa. 61. 1. the captives, and the opening of prison Luke 11, 22, to them that are bound.

Hereby he manifested his power prevailing against the strong man; whose power Gamaliel acknowled­ged.Act. 5, 39, This he performed by his death, when he spoyled Principalities and pow­ers, Col. 2, 15, and made a shew of them openly, tri­umphing over them. And led captivi­tie Ephe, 4, 8, captive. And by his death de­stroyed him that had the power of death, Heb, 2, 14, Ioh▪ 10, 29, that is, the divell. Hereby he shewed [Page 24] himselfe greater than all; and stron­ger than all. For, all power is given him Math. 28, 18, in heaven and earth. And hath made good his power by the preaching of his word, which Sathan was not able Act. 6, 10, Act▪ 8, Revel. 12. 15. to resist, though hee raised up perse­cution, and cast out floods to drowne his children; and by sorceries, la­boured to turne away their hearts from him; Yet hee pulled his chil­drenAct, 8, 9, out of his hands, and daily Ad­ded Act. 4, 4, to the Church such as he had appoin­pointed to be saved. And for all his power and malice, at the last he will give his children power to tread himRom, 16, 20▪ under their feete. And thus we have confirmed the truth of the doctrine, by evidence of Scriptures, that Sa­thans power must give place to Christs.

The ground of this truth is;

1 For this very purpose the Sonne of 1 Ioh, 3, 5, 8 God was manifested in the flesh, that hee might destroy the workes of the divell. Esa, 49, 1, 5 And take away the captives from the Luk, 1, 74, [Page 25] mighty, and deliver his subjects out of his hand; for the Lord is stronger than Sathan, and hath a better title to his children than he.

2 Sathan is his enemy, and labours to set up the kingdome of sinne, whichEphe. 2, 2, 3 he hates; and to governe his subjects in all righteousnesse.

3 His honour is deepely ingaged for the delivery of his Church, be­cause Sathan labours to overthrow his kingdome, and continually an­noyes his subjects by persecutingRevel, 2, 10, Math. 13, 25, them, and corrupting them. And if he should not deliver them, it would bee a great disgrace for him, to let his sub­jects be overcome by his mortall ene­my. And if he did not preserve his servants, he could not bee king of his Church, nor rule his subjects in peace.

4 If he did not deliver his children, hee should want a people to call up­on his Name, for they cannot serve him, till they bee freed from the de­vills power. Thus also wee have pro­ved [Page 26] the truth of the point, by evi­dence of reasons. Come wee now to make use and application.

This doctrine is usefull, and that in Vse. a threefold respect.

  • 1. For examination and tryall.
  • 2. For comfort and consolation.
  • 3. For Terrour.

We will begin with the first.

Must Sathans power give place un­to Christ? then examine thy heart and try thy wayes, whether this uncleane spirit be cast out of thee or no? Thou must try it by the meanes which God useth to make entrance, and to take possession of his children for his owne service; which is by the ministery of the word of God. For when the flesh with the lusts thereof are terrified with the canon shot of legall threat­nings, making a great breach into the heart and conscience, wounding and smiting it, for the breach of Gods Commandements; which workes feare and shame in the soule, for of­fending [Page 27] so gracious a God: and then by the Trumpet of the Gospell, re­mission of sinnes, and eternall salvati­on is offered to all that beleeve and repent; and when the humbled soule doth embrace the grace of God when it is offred; then this triumphant Cap­taine maketh his entrance, and taketh possession of his soule for a Temple for himselfe to dwell in.

2. We may try whether this un­cleane spirit bee cast out of us, by the reformation of our lives and conver­sations; for by vertue of the sanctifi­cation of the heart, Gods children are brought to a sight of the danger of their naturall estate, and what neede they have of repentance and of Christ, and of inward purging from their corruptions. Regeneration be­gins at repentance, and repentance begins when sinne is forsaken; let eve­ry one of us then consider our thoughts and actions, and try our sanctification thereby: consider I say, [Page 28] thy thoughts and thy actions when thou art alone, is thy care then to me­ditate upon Gods righteous judge­ments; and doest thou strive with thy selfe, how thou mayst advance Gods glory and benefit his Church? Doest thou strive by all meanes, to cast out this uncleane spirit out of thy soule, whose power consists in the cor­ruption of nature, the maine pillar whereof is ignorance and unbeleefe? And dost thou labour for knowledge and sanctification, that thereby thou maist be enabled to yeeld obedience to all the cōmandements of the Lord, though they crosse thy nature, and curbe thee in thy profits and delights; yet for all this thou strivest to walke in all Gods ordinances without re­proofe,Luk, 1, 75, and doest so walke in thy cal­ling towards the world, as if Gods eye did alwayes behold thee, and were privie to all thy actions? Againe, dost thou so carry thy selfe with reverence to the glorious majesty of God, in thy [Page 29] private devotions, as if the eye of man did alwayes behold thee? Do­est thou labour also to subvert the kingdome of Sathan in others? If thou bee a private man, in love and Charity, by exhortation to moove to good workes, shewing thy selfe by practise in obedience to God andTit. 2, 7, the king; a patterne of all goodnesse. If thou bee a Magistrate, to restraine from evill by the power of the sword: If a Minister, to allure to vertue, by the power of the word, and unblama­ble conversation. Art thou troubled and greeved in thy minde, when thou meetest with hinderances and lets, whereby thou canst not serve God, in such manner as thou wouldest? And dost thou carefully redeeme the time for thy soules good? Is it a vexation & greefe for thee to live among such peo­ple as have not the feare of God be­fore their eyes, and are carelesse to use those meanes wch God hath appointed for their salvation? If at any time thou [Page 30] hast fallen into some scandalous sinne, how stands the case betweene God and thy soule, dost thou extenuate or defend thy faults, and so justify thy selfe in thy transgression? or, on the contrary, canst thou not be quiet and at rest, till thou hast humbled thy selfe before God, and craved pardon for thy sinnes? And then canst thou more comfortably rejoyce in the favour of God, than in any earthly blessing whatsoever? Then if thou canst finde these or the like markes of salvation in thy soule; then I pronounce unto thee out of the word of God, that this uncleane spirit is gone out of thee. For if hee held thee under his bon­dage, he would not suffer thee to take notice of thy darling sinnes, but ra­ther to justifie thy selfe in thy trans­gressions. Hee would not have thee question thy want of faith, inward pride, malice, covetousnesse, or foolish speaking, conforming thy selfe to the corruptions of the time. These with [Page 31] many other sinnes he would not have thee take notice of, by which thou maist conclude that God in mercy hath freed thee from the bondage of this Tyrant. Hath Christ by the pow­erfull worke of his Spirit, cast this un­cleane spirit out of thee? Vse 2 Then be ex­horted all yee that feare God, to sub­mit your selves unto Christ, to bee guided by his word, for he is able to2 Tim, 1, 22, Rom. 14. 18, keepe that which is committed to him. And by this meanes yee shall be accepted of God, and approoved of men; else wee shall be in danger to revolt, and then wee may see our2 Pet, 2, 21, fearefull case and condition. There­fore having received so great a bene­fit, let us bee sure to give God theRevel. 12, 10, praise of his mercies, for he deserves it, and it is all that he lookes for; andPsal, 50, 15, there is great reason he should have itGratiarum Actio est ad plus dandum in vitatio. Chry [...]. in Gen. Hem. 52. because we shall neede his helpe ano­ther time.

And thus much for the former uses. Come we now to the latter, which is [Page 32] an use of terrour unto all that are un­der Sathans bondage.

Vse 3 Come hither and behold thy feare­full estate and condition, thou whoe­ver thou bee, that remainest in this fearefull bondage and slavery: Sa­than is their god which hath blinded2 Cor. 4, 4, the eyes of all unbeleevers, least the light of the Gospell of Christ should shine unto them. He is thy Father; andIoh. 8, 44, workes his owne worke in thee; and1 Ioh. 3. 8, makes thee to resemble him in pride and disobedience, and to fight for him, against God and his word, which he makes thee to hate, and to oppose, and to draw others from the worship of God, and to lay a stumbling blockeRevel. 1, 15, in their wayes, to cause them to sinne.Deut. 32, 33, And so makes thy best workes like the poyson of Dragons, hatefull unto God, and dangerous unto men. Be­sides all this, hee holds thee as a slave, and keepes thee in ignorance, andEphe. 4, 18, 2 Cor, 2, 14, Luk, 8, 12, robbs thee of the use of Gods word. And while thou remainest in this mi­serable [Page 33] estate, there is no goodnesse in thee, nor nothing good can come from thee. Thy reason is blinde, thy heart is rebellious, and thy wise­dome is enmity against God; andRom. 8, 7. art uncapable of the meanes of salva­tion; and art given over to a repro­bate sence; to worke all uncleannesse with greedinesse. And remaining inEphe. 4, 19 this estate, thou art without Christ, and so a stranger from the covenant of promise, having no hope, and with­out God in the world. So long as thou continuest in this estate, thou art under the rigour of the Law, which exacteth at thy hands the perfor­mance of all it requires; and also the blessings of the Lord, they tend to thy damnation, for so he saith, I will Mal. 2, 2, curse your blessings, yea I have cursed Pro. 1, 32, them already. Againe, The prosperity of fooles destroyeth them. And as All Rom. 8 28 things worke for good to Gods children; so all things worke thy hurt and ruine, Thy table is made a snare; and thatPsal. 69, 22 [Page 34] which should have beene for thy wel­fare Rom. 11. 9. is become a trap. Yea Christ him­selfe, which is unto the godly a sweet smelling savour of life, is unto thee a stumbling stone and a rocke of offence. Rom. 9, 23, Crosses and afflictions which God useth to purge out the sins of his chil­dren; these work in thee hatred against God, & stirres up thy corruptions, to murmure & to be impatient; and still to shun the gracious presence of God, and to hate the meanes of salvation.

Thus wee see the miserable estate of all those which are under Sathans bondage; how miserable they are in this life, and how miserable they shall be in the world to come. But alasse, how may wee lament the de­sperate estate of many in our age, who though they remaine in so fearefull an estate, yet they are unwilling to come out of it. Tell the drunkard that this uncleane spirit must bee cast out of him, else hee shall not inherit the kingdome of God; and hee will [Page 35] for your paines give you a squib, or, watch opportunity to doe you a mis­chiefe. Tell the Prophaner of the Lords Sabbath, and the filthy livers of our time, that this uncleane spirit must be cast out of them, and you shall heare them roare like the divell in the Gospell, that they will not be tormented before their time. Oh! what a lamentation may we take up for the desperate sinnes of our time, which furiously march to hell under Sathans colours, and will not be re­claymed? God hath offered them the meanes, and hath shewed them the way how they may be freed from this fearefull bondage, and yet they will not, but had rather be Sathans vassalls in the Egypt of sin, than the Lords freemen in the land of Canaan:

The servant under the Law, that would not bee free from his masters service when he might, was to have his eare boared through with an aule, and so to bee made a servant for ever. [Page 36] So it is just with God, to let such wil­ling and carelesse men to be slaves to Sathan for ever.

Question. But may some say, if their state be so miserable, how comes it to passe, that they doe not see and feele their miserable condition?

Answer. Sathan blindes their eyes with the pleasures and profits of sinne (which are very agreeable to their nature) that they never consider of their miserable condition, and so at last the Custome of sinne takes away the insuetudo occandi [...]llit sensum [...]eecate. feeling of sinne. Againe, they were never sensible of any better estate, and therefore no marvaile if Sathan hoodwinkes them to their destructi­on.

Let the consideration here of moove all men to labour in time to see their miserable condition, and to repent, least they bee plunged under Gods judgements, before they are aware. Spare no paines then and give no rest unto thy soule, untill thou art assu­red [Page 37] that thou art freed out of this miserable condition; Ply Christ with thy prayers, and take no nay at his hands, till he set thee free; hee hath the Keyes of Heaven and hell, and if Revel. 1, 18, Ioh, 8, 30, he make thee free, thou art free indeede. Confesse thy selfe to bee a wretched creature, and without his helpe un­done; powre forth thy soule in sence of thy misery, before the Throne of grace, and say; Father I have sinned Luk. 15, 18, against heaven and against thee, and not worthy to be called thy sonne. O my God, I am ashamed and blush, to lift up my face to thee my God; for my iniqui­ties are increased over my head, and my trespasse is growne up into the heavens: Ezra. 9. 6. crying for vengeance to fall downe upon me. Lord, I am a sinfull crea­ture, and thou art a God of infinite puritie and holinesse. Sinne hath left me no good thing, all is wounded, all is poysoned; how shall I appeare before thee, whose glory the Angels cannot behold? I was conceived in [Page 38] sinne, borne in sinne, and all my daies have lived in sinne. My heart is a seed­plot of sinne and corruption; my eyes the windowes of vanity, my eares the eares of folly, my mouth the mouth of deceipt, my hands the hands of iniquity; and every part of my body, and faculty of my soule, which thou hast created for thy service, hath dishonoured thee. My understan­ding apprehendeth nothing but sinne, my will delighteth in nothing but wickednesse, my memory retaines nothing but evill things which disho­nours thee. As for thy holy precepts and heavenly ordinances, I have not observed; but have prophaned thy Sabbaths, contemned thy Sacra­ments, and lived in contempt of thy providence all my dayes; I have beene so farre from keeping any part of thy law, that I have added transgression unto blindnesse, malice to ignorance, and rebellion to sinne. And because thou hast spared mee, and wayted for [Page 39] my repentance, and hast suffered me with such patience, to run on in my sinnes, and because thou hast beene so mercifull unto me, and multiply­ed thy favours towards mee; I have tooke liberty to my selfe to commit great sinnes against thee; so that the same medicine which thou hast ap­pointed to purge out my sinnes, I have made a provocation unto sinne. Yet Lord for thy names sake, thy mercy sake, thy truths sake, take away all mine iniquities, and magnifie thy mer­cy, in the pardoning of my sinnes which I have committed against thee, mine owne knowledge, and many motions of thy Spirit, and purposes of my heart. I doe acknowledge I have beene dull and unprofitable in thy service; I have not had care and zeale which I should have had to serve thee; I have beene weary of well doing, and have not taken to heart my misery as I should, nor mourned for my transgressions against thee my [Page 40] God, as becommeth such a notori­ous offender as I am; but have hard­ned my heart against thy judgements, and have walked stubbornly before thee, in the light of thy countenance.Psal. 90. But though I am full of wickednesse, yet thou art full of goodnesse. Lord, thou madest me at the first of nothing, save mee now I pray thee, which am worse than nothing. It is thou (O Lord) which knowest my heart, and it must bee thou which must re­new and change it. Take it therefore into thy owne hand, and take from it the hardnesse, deadnes, and dulnesse, which the custome of sinne hath brought upon it; and frame it accor­ding to thy owne liking; cast out of it all the cursed fruits of the flesh which fight against thy grace and my soule. Enlarge my understanding, and encrease my knowledge, that being guided by thy wisedome and assisted by thy Spirit, I may understand and perceive those things which may [Page 41] please thee; and refraine those things which may dishonour thee; that so being directed by thy grace, and gui­ded by thy Spirit, I may clearely see what thou requirest of mee▪ and what may make for my peace and future happinesse. Lord, this must bee thy worke, for I confesse that my reason is blinde, my will is froward, my wit is crafty, ready to deceive me, my un­derstanding, is quite estranged from thee; but Lord dispell these clowds of errour and ignorance, and rectifie the perversnesse of my understanding, and indue me with thy holy Spirit of grace and wisedome, that my soule may be cleansed from the corruption of this sinfull world, and the eyes of my understanding opened to embrace the mystery of redemption by Iesus Christ. Make thy word unto me like the starre which led the wisemen to my Saviour in the time of his infan­cy; make thy benefits and graces like the Pillar which conducted thy [Page 42] people to the land of promise.

Kindle thy love in my heart, that in respect of thee and thy service, I may despise whatsoever is against thee and thy truth. Confirme my faith in thy promises, that by thy Spirit I may be assured that thou hast forgiven my sinnes, and that thou wilt not reject me a poore sinner, that relyeth whol­ly upon thee. Lord, thou desirest not the death of a sinner, but hast promi­sed that if I repent thou wilt bee plea­sed; thou onely canst raise me out of the grave of sinne, for I am dead and buried in trespasses and sinnes, quic­ken mee by thy grace, that I may praise thy name. Let mee not want any mercy, whereby I may be fitted for thy service, and so dispose and guide the remainder of my life, in such manner as that thou mayest bee honoured, and my soule comforted; which grant unto me for the Lord Ie­sus Christs sake, my blessed Saviour and Redeemer, Amen.

Thus wee have proved the truth [...]f the proposition, that Sathans [...]ower must give place unto Christ. We have also confirmed it by Scrip­ [...]ure, proved it by reasons, and have made use and application of it to our selves.

In the next place wee are to ex­amine the measure of his going out. Sathan is so expelled out of the god­ly, as that hee shall never returne againe. But he goeth out of hypo­crites so, as that he still remaineth. For if hee were once reallie cast out, (as wee have heard,) he could never returne againe. But this speech of going out, is rather a forme of speaking, than a reall action.

This phrase of speech is used with other of like signification, as Heb. 10. 6. If wee sinne willingly after wee have received the knowledge of the truth, there remayneth no more sacrifice for sinne. Againe the same [Page 44] Author saith, It is impossible for those which were once inlightned, and have ta­sted of the heavenly gifts, and were made partakers of the holy Ghost, and have ta­sted Heb. 6. 4. the good word of God and of the pow­er of the world to come, if they fall away, to renew them by repentance. Then from hence I reason thus. If a man may receive the truth and yet sinne willingly, and then forsake the truth; be inlightned and tast of the heaven­ly gift, and be made partakers of the holy Ghost, and yet fall away: then by the same reason Sathan may bee said to goe out of a man, and yet still remaine in him. Therefore where­soever we finde such phrases of Scrip­ture, as these of Sathans going out, or of being made partaker of the holy Ghost, and yet by the sequell of the words, wee reade of their Apostacie and falling away, we must not thinke that such men, were ever effectually called, and indued with the Spirit of God, but that the Lord would have [Page 45] us take notice of the riches of his mer­ [...] offered unto hypocrites in the out­ [...]ard meanes of salvation, as the [...]ord and Sacraments for the casting [...]t of Sathan out of them. And also [...]e may see what a desperate judge­ [...]ent they bring upon themselves, [...]hich neglect and contemne the [...]eanes God offers for their delivery;Mat. 23, 37, [...]nd this made our blessed Saviour [...]ourne for the hardnesse of the Iewes [...]earts, that looked for a Saviour, [...]hich should free them out of their [...]isery, and when he was come to seeke [...]nd to save the lost sheepe of the house of [...]srael, then they scorned and contem­ [...]ed him.

This uncleane spirit may bee sayd [...]o farre to goe out of a man and yet [...] reprobate, as the good spirit of God may be said to depart from a Childe of God, and yet still remaine the cho­sen of the Lord. That the spirit of God may seeme to depart from a Childe of God; let David a man af­ter [Page 46] Gods owne heart speake; he [...] prayes, Cast me not away from thy presence, Psal. 51, 11. and take not thy holy Spirit fro [...] mee. And in another place, he bewailes the absence of Gods SpiritPsal. 77, 8. yet for all this, hee had it still▪ For, The gifts and callings of God ar [...] Rom. 11, 29. without repentance, yet they may ly [...] hid without feeling, as fire under [...] heape of ashes, which cannot be [...] seene or perceived till the ashes be [...] stirred; so this uncleane spirit may lye hid a while, till hee be stirred up by some scandalous sinne or other.

2. So farre may this uncleane spi­rit seeme to goe out as the minde i [...] inlightned; this▪ the Apostle affirmes, may be in a reprobate: Hee may bee inlightned, and yet fall away. Se [...] this in Herod, he amended many things, at the Preaching of Iohn, and this un­cleane spirit seemed to begon out, in regard of outward reformation; for [...] when an hypocrite hath understan­ding of Gods word, hee may acknow­ledge [Page 47] the truth, as Balaam did; and leave his sinnes for a time, as Simon Magus did his Sorcery, when hee beleeved and was Baptized; and may humble himselfe for his sinnes, as Pharaoh and Ahab did: yet for all this, hee may lye frozen in the dregges of his sinnes, and this [...]ncleane spirit may keepe possession; for an hypocrite will not part with his darling sinne, but rather part with his first borne; yea loose his owneMicha. 6, 6. soule, rather than leave it, as may be seene by the love which Herod bare to his Herodias. An hypocrite will cleave unto Christ so farre as the world will [...]et him, and if hee may share with him in his benefits, and not bee hin­dred in his profits and pleasures; but [...]f he must part with them, this is so hard a saying, that they cannot abide [...]t. By which we may see, that their obedience, is but for feare of Gods [...]udgements, and their understanding [...]s but inlightned with historicall faith, [Page 48] which consists in quickenesse of wi [...] and plausibility of speech; this fait [...] is effectuall to inlighten the understanding, but not to save the soule Now so farre as this speculative fait [...] is admitted, so farre this uncleane spirit is sayd to goe out. God in th [...] knowledge regards not the quantit [...] so much as the quality; an Hypocrit [...] may exceede a childe of God in th [...] gifts of nature, which God esteeme no better than shining sinnes. Mistake me not, I would not have knowledge vilified, but rather rectified, an [...] vertue added to knowledge, else the gifts of nature, if they be not sancti­fied by grace, are fit preyes for the Divell.

3. So farre this uncleane spirit i [...] gon out of an hypocrite, as he hath received some sparckles of conversion For by the illumination of his mind [...] hee may behold the kingdome o [...] Christ to be glorious, and in many de­grees to exceede the glory of th [...] [Page 49] world. This made the mother of Zebe­dees children thinke, that if she could procure a place for her sonns that one might sit at Christs right hand and the Mat. 20, 21. [...]ther at his left in his kingdome, shee would have beene abundantly satis­fied. Another thought him a happyLuk. 14. 15. man that might eate bread in the king­dome of God. This also made Balaam earnestly desire to dye the death ofNum. 23, 10. the righteous, and that his last end might be like theirs. Now what may bee the reason of this that hypocrites are so ravished with the apprehension of future glory, and happinesse▪ Surely this; they perceive, that Gods kingdome is full of happinesse, and they see a possibility of obtaining this happinesse for themselves; for they have tasted of the heavenly gifts flo­ting in their braines, which makes them imbrace the Gospell, and to doe many things that they are com­manded; therefore they hope they shall be saved. On the contrary, they [Page 50] see this sinfull world to bee full of trouble and vexation, and they feare that there will bee great bitternesse in death.

Therefore hearing of a full delive­rance by Christ from these dangers, they are content to yeeld obedience to the Word; but yet for want of theIoh. 5, 34, sappe of grace, this abides with them but for a season. And so for all their outward conformity, they may bee rotten and unsound. For they doe not love the truth, for the truths sake, but for some private ends; as to gaine estimation of men, and to be accounted good Common wealths men, and so thought fit to live in a societie. As for their desire after the Word, it is either with Eve to get knowledge, or with Simon Magus to make gaine of it, or with the Pha­risees to get a name by it; for they discover themselves in the time of temptation, and are either allured with the baits of prosperity, or pinch­ed [Page 51] with crosses and afflictions; so that at last, they fall away and be­come Apostates from the faith.

4. This uncleane spirit is so farre gone out of a man, as he lies hid and covered; Hee may keepe his hold, though he doe not shew himselfe in hostile manner; he can transforme himselfe into an Angell of light, and will make a shew of holinesse, that he may doe the more wickednesse; he cares not though Abimelech enter­tayne Abraham and give him the best of his land, if he can but make him to commit adultery with his wife. Hee cares not though Iudas become a Di­sciple and a professor of Christ, if he can fill his heart with covetousnesse to betray his Master. Hee cares not though Annanias and Saphirah sell their goods for the Churches good, if he can make them lye and dissem­ble. Hee cares not though many of us come to Church to heare Gods word, if hee can make our mindes [Page 52] wander after our profits and plea­sures, then hee knowes he can wrap us under the curse of the Lord, in do­ing his worke negligently. Hee will be content to bee expelled out of an ignorant heart, if so be he can corrupt his knowledge with faction and Schisme. He can be content to bee cast out in one sinne, if he can be en­tertained in another. He cares not if he be cast out of an Idolatrous heart, if he can keepe possession by prophane Atheisme, then he hath as much as he desires. And by this one sin he markes them for his owne.

5. This uncleane spirit may be cast out in the opinion of the partie in whom he dwells, and not in the worlds account; for every man is ready to deceive himselfe in this particuler, seeming pure in his owne eyes, though he be not washed from his filthinesse. Pro. 30. Let us see how nature occasions this deceipt, and how many delude them­selves, in thinking they are someGal. 6, 3, [Page 53] body, when as indeede they are no body.

1. Deceipt is to make a man thinke he is a good Christian, because hee leades a civill life, and is just and up­right in his dealings. This is indeede an excellent vertue in it selfe, and a good step to Christianity, and it were to be wished, that all Gods Children would be carefull to walke unblamea­bly in respect of the world. But yet for all this, this Commendable ver­tue is made evill by accident, & so be­comes a dangerous outward meanes to exclude grace. For civill honesty, if it be severed from true piety, is no­thing else but glorious iniquitie. For the ornament thereof is, to rest in the performance of outward actions, as to deale justly and uprightly with their neighbours, and to be free from the reproachfull crimes of the world; Now here they rest and thinke them­selves good Christians, though all this while they bee ignorant of the true [Page 54] God, and the grounds of his worship. And in their honest dealing with men they ayme not at Gods glory, that by their unblameable conversation his name may be magnified; yet for all this, because the world cannot con­demne them, they rest contented with a probable errour of being in the state of grace; and the rather because they know that if they should step forwards in religion, and labour for inward sanctification, they should not onely stirre up against themselves many thundring stormes and the con­temptuous Censures of this spite­full world, but also from the bottome of hell, many disturbances and feare­full temptations; therefore Sathan labours to keepe them in this estate, and perswades them, that this civill righteousnesse will carry them to hea­ven; and that God will exact this precise and strict obedience at the hands of the Preachers and those which are better learned than them­selves. [Page 55] But these men must know, that though their workes make a glorious shew in the sight of men, yet they are odious in Gods sight, if they bee not done in obedience to his Commandements, and in zeale for his glory.

2. Men will not be perswaded they are so bad, as indeed they are. Will you see how this deceipt is also occa­sioned? It is, because they compare themselves with those that are Sa­thans outragious revellers, whom they doe excell in regard of their ci­vill moderation and morall cariage: now finding themselves in a better condition, they are in their owne opi­nions Canonized Saints, and so neede no reformation. Thus it comes to passe, that the proud man will not be perswaded, that hee hath a filthy Lucifer in him. The covetous man will not be perswaded that Mammon rules in him. The fornicator and Adul­terer will not be perswaded that As­modeus [Page 56] a filthy and uncleane spirit reignes in him: The envious man will not be perswaded that Beelzebub an irefull divell governes him. The contentious man he will not beleeve, that Baalberith a troublesome Divell is in him. The drunkard hee will not beleeve that Beelphegor a beastly Di­vell domineers in him. The idle per­son, he doth not thinke that Astaroth a lazie Divell is in him. Thus all men are ready to deceive themselves; but we must know that where the workes Vbi opera [...]bi operans. are, the workemaister is at hand. And though the world cannot detect them for their sinnes; yet the Allseeing God is privie to their corruptions. The Scribes and Pharisees were just and upright men to the world, in regard of their austere life and strict observa­tions, but yet our Saviour tells his Di­sciples, and in them us; That except your righteousnesse exceede the righte­ousnesse Mat. 5, 20. of the Scribes and Pharisees, yee shall in no case enter into the kingdome [Page 57] of Heaven. These men were carefull to abstaine from such sinnes, as the world takes notice of; but the Lord Iesus the wisedome of his Father, de­tectsMat. 23. them of much hypocrisie. So he knowes these Iusticiaries well enough, and though they bee not Papists in ignorance and prophanenesse, or in Idolatry; making their good mea­ning their God, their wit and poli­cie their God, nay, peradventure their money or their belly their god. AndPhil. 3, 19. for all their civill honesty, Sathan sees them make little conscience of pro­phaning the Sabboth; swearing by their faith or troth, Masse, or our La­die. Now, because they count these small sinnes, the devill holds them fast enough as his vessales and slaves.

3 Many men deceive themselves, because upon some good motions of Gods Spirit, by the powerfull mini­sterie of the Word, their consciences are awaked, and they brought to a sight of their sinnes, so that they be­gin [Page 58] to hate those sinnes they delighted in, and to performe some holy duties, and so now they thinke that this un­cleane spirit is gone out of them: but for want of watchfulnesse, he comes againe, and allures them to the com­mitting of one sinne or other, or else by covetousnesse sets them as deepe in their gainefull sinne of Vsury, de­ceipt, gaming and the like, as ever they were; so with Iudas they receive the soppe, and the Divell againe; and so their former righteousnesse, is but a morning dew, and their unrighte­ousnesse by little and little returnes againe, and they become as disorde­red in their courses, and as sinfull in their practices as ever they were.

6. This uncleane spirit, may seeme to bee cast out in the opinion of the godly, and not of the partie him­selfe.

Thus the Disciples had a good opi­nion of Iudas, because of his outward conformity to the word, and because [Page 59] Christ had put him in trust with the bagge: therefore when our Saviour told them, that one of them should betray him, they suspected them­selves rather than Iudas, and yet all this while Christ knew he would prove a Traitor to him, and a butcher to himselfe, and Iudas himselfe knew that he had a covetous, envious divel with­in him. Thus we have seene how farre an hypocrite may go by natures light, and how they may attaine to much knowledge, and so may shine in out­ward profession; and yet for all this gallop to hell under Sathans colours. And though they are well perswaded of their owne estate, yet Gods Word doth discover, that they are misera­ble, and are hoodwinked of Sathan to their owne destruction; Because by the shining lampe of outward pro­fession, and standing upon the good­nesse of their nature, and their corre­spondencie with the world, they de­prive themselves, of the benefit of [Page 60] godly admonition, which is a notable meanes ordayned of God to re­clayme many desperate sinners, from their sinfull courses, and to bring them home by repentance. Now be­cause they post off this to others which are more scandalous to the world, and so doe not feele that they stand in neede of Christ to purge them from their sinnes; therefore they re­maine strangers from the covenant ofEphe. 2, 2, promise, and without God in the world.

And thus wee have seene the mea­sure of Sathans going out of an hypo­crite; he so seemes to goe, as that he alwayes continewes.

We are now to consider of his de­meanour when he is gone, contayned in these words, He walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. In which words observe:

  • 1. His labour, he walkes.
  • 2. His station, in dry places.
  • 3. The end of his walking, he seekes rest.
  • [Page 61]4. The issue or event, he finds none. He walketh through dry places, &c.

We will first indeavour to free the words from obscurity, and then draw such conclusions as may be profitable for our edification.

He walketh. This word is a metaphor or borrowed speech taken from Tra­vellers, who out of a desire they have to come to their journeyes end, put forth all their strength to the end they may the more speedily obtaine their desires. And this speech being ap­plyed to other actions, noteth celerity and continuance of that thing unto which it is applyed. Which speech being applyed unto Sathan, noteth his restlesse diligence; hee doth notArentia lota dicuntur respect [...] Sathanae; illa talia sunt omnia, quae eum exclu­dunt, quali [...] sunt [...]ector [...] fidelium Aret. in locum. goe drowsily or sleepily, but cou­ragiously and constantly, for so much the word walketh importeth. He wal­keth through dry places, is also a meta­phor taken from dry ground which for want of moysture cannot bring forth fruit; so that by dry places, as [Page 62] afterwards shall appeare, is meant the hearts of Gods children; his banish­ment frō them is as uncomfortable to him, as a drye wildernesse is to a thir­stie Traveller seeking rest. What rest doth he seeke, Sathan seeke? Doth he seeke to be reconciled unto God? No. Would hee bee reconciled unto man whom hee hath so much wron­ged? No. What rest doth hee then seeke? Surely this, to doe all the mis­cheefe he can doe to mankinde, to de­face Gods Image in our soules, and to wrap all mankinde under the curse of God. The hearts of Gods children which are watred with faith and re­pentance, whereby he is excluded with all his temptations, are sayd to be dry places because they yeeld him no moysture, whereby hee may set his temptations a working; so that when he cannot hurt us in our soules, then he labours by all meanes to plague us in our bodies. If he cannot mischeefe us in our bodies, then he labours to [Page 63] hurt us in our states; and if hee can­not hurt us in our substance, then he will vex us in our good names and re­putations; and cast out floods of re­proaches against us; and if he cannot prevaile against us herein, then hee will destroy the fruits of the earth, fish in the Sea; and if he cannot hurt us in them, then hee will corrupt and infect the ayre, that thereby hee may infect our bodies with noysome di­seases; and if God will not give him leave to annoy us in these or the like, then hee is sayd to walke in dry pla­ces, for he accounts all those places dry and uncomfortable to him, in which he can doe no mischeefe. And thus you have the sence and meaning of the words.

When the uncleane spirit is gone out Doct. of a man, he walketh through dry places seeking rest. Hence learne, That Sa­than1 Pet. 5. 8. is very diligent, to watch all opportunity to doe as much mis­cheefe as he may to mankinde; there­fore [Page 64] hee is said to walke about like a1 Pet 5, 8. roaring Lyon, seeking whom he may devoure. Hee goes not about as a king in Progresse for delight; but his going about is to devoure. Hee is no idle spectator, but a diligent temp­ter; he is one that will never be wea­ry, for hee will never give over his temptations, till there bee an end of time. He began earely, as soone as our first Parents were created; he set up­on them, and rested not till they were turned out of Paradise, and wrapped under the curse of God. Yet for all this he was not content, but as soone as Adam had two sonnes, by whom mankinde might be increased, he la­boured to destroy the body of one of them, and the soule of the other. Therefore he filled Caines heart with envie, and made him kill his innocent brother. And then the first age of theGen. 4. world, hee so corrupted and filled with iniquitie, which did so pro­voke the Lord, that he drowned all [Page 65] the world. And after the world was to be repayed by Noah and his Fami­ly, presently he filled it with Idola­try;Gen. 6, and ever since hee hath shewed himselfe an enemy that is never wea­ried with toyling, nor weakned with watching, but at all occasions is ply­ant and watchfull, and labours by all meanes to molest the godly, and make himselfe sure of the wicked. His hand like Ismaels is against every man, but especially against the godly. Hee beguiled Evah in the likenesse of aGen. 3, Serpent, and deceived Saul in Samu­els mantle. He is very forward to of­fer his service; if God call, Who shall 1 King. 2 [...], 22, goe forth to deceive Ahab? Hee is at hand, and sayes, Send mee; for now still he is at hand to tempt all men. He puts into our hearts evill thoughts into our mouths lewde speeches, into our members sinfull actions. When we are awake, hee stirreth us up to un­lawfull deedes; and when wee are asleepe, hee stirreth up in us filthy [Page 66] dreames. If wee be merry, then hee maketh us wanton; if sad and me­lancholy, then he labours to bring us to despaire. Hee tempts all men and in all places; and by outward objects he stirrs up inward corruptions. Hee tempted our Saviour Christ presently after his Baptisme; he was not af­fraid of the holinesse of his person, though hee were proclaymed from heaven to be the Sonne of God. Hee tempted David, a man after Gods owne heart, to number the people; Peter to deny and forsweare his Ma­ster. Neither the holinesse of the place nor action can hinder his temptation. He set upon Iudas, in the presence of his Master; and is alwayes at hand to hinder the word of God, Least the Math. 13. 13. people should be converted and saved; therefore hee labours to corrupt the word; or to turne away our hearts from Act. 13, 8. 2 Cor. 4, 4, it; or to blinde our understandings. Let a man betake himselfe to any good action, he will presently be at his el­bow [Page 67] to hinder him. When Ioshua the high Priest began to pray, Sathan stood Zach. 3, 1, at his right hand to resist him. If he can­not hinder us in the performāce of ho­ly duties, then he labours to makes us overweene our selves, and to be proud of those things which are none of our owne; & if he cannot overcome us by his owne vices, he labours to insnare us by our vertues; therefore he fills our hearts with boasting, that thereby we might be arrogant in our owne eyes. Hee perswades the Minister not to preach, because the people doe not re­gard him nor his doctrine; & if he can­not disswade him frō preaching, then he will perswade him to preach plea­sing things, that thereby he may be ad­mired for his gifts & learning. Then he comes to the people, & perswads them not to heare; and tells them the Prea­cher either is no Scholler, or else hee vents his owne fancies, and layes o­pen their sinnes out of envie, to dis­grace them; and if he cannot hinder [Page 68] them from hearing, then hee steales away their hearts, and fills their mind with wandering thoughts; he com­passes their eyes with shewes, their eares with sounds, their sences with sleepe, their thoughts with fancies; and all to make them forget what they heare, and so to wrap them under the curse of the Lord, doing his work negligently. Hee labours to discou­rage men from the practise of pietie, by perswading them that to be too strict in their life, savours too much of singularity. If he meete with pro­phane wicked men, as drunkards, swearers and fornicatours, he tempts them to the contempt of God and his worship, and to defend their grace­lesse courses, and to glory in their sins, Phil. 3, which should be their shame. Hee makes those which have cast off the feare of the Almighty, to scorne and despise the Spirit of grace, in the Children of God, and to become his Standard-bearers, to march furiously [Page 69] against the Majestie of God, to their owne destruction, by discouraging and disgracing, vexing and perplex­ing his children, whom he meanes to honour. Sathan is a cunning Mer­chant and a crafty Sophister, hee knowes how to use riches and pover­ty, sicknesse and health, and make them instruments to serve his pur­pose. Hee is continually in motion, and hath all those which are without Christ, at his becke and command, to take up armes against their Saviour, either by ignorance, not knowing him, or by a negligent life not fol­lowing him, or by violence resisting him. He walkes any way to destroy; he tempts the godly to destroy them, and the wicked that they may tempt others. If Ionah will runne away from his God, he shall not want a ship to carry him to Tarshish. The Tyrant shall not want a flatterer, the Theefe a receiver, the wanton a minion. He hath a sack full of oathes for the swea­rer, [Page 70] a budget full of lyes and excuses for the Lyar. Whither can a man walke, but Sathan will finde him out? Hee dares enter into the Church to hinder the word; Nay clymbe up in­to the Pulpit, and broach sects and schismes. Hee will not leave any meanes unattempted to worke our ruine. He deales with us in our temp­tations as he did when hee destroyed Iobs children; the Text saith, hee rai­sed a winde from all the world; if the East winde failed, then the West might effect his purpose; if the West did not, then the North and South might. So if he cannot overcome us by the East winde of prosperity, then hee will try what he can doe by the West winde of adversity; If he can­not prevaile by Idolatry, he will see what hee can doe by vaine glory and popular applause. If he cannot over­come by drunkennesse, then he wil [...] see if he can allure by adultery. If he cannot prevaile by carelesnesse, he [Page 71] will try by distrust. If hee cannot overcome by despaire, hee will see what he can doe by presumption. If a man be zealously affected, he will see if he can make him factious. Hee is alwayes in one extreame or other; and by lesser temptations hee makes way for greater.

Ob. How is it possible that the Di­vell Quest. can tempt all mankinde? Answ. There are infinite troopes of Divells, a whole Legion in one man, which according to the learneds Computa­tion is 6666. And if there were so many in one man, there must needs be many more. Now these Divells flie a­bout by troupes in the Ayre, & certi­fie one another what is done in all pla­ces. They know every mans nature, by observing their manners, compa­ny and imployment; They know what men love and hate, what they want▪ and what they desire; and so they fit their temptations according. [Page 72] And though it be Gods Prerogative to know the heart, yet by outward actions, the Divell comes to rove at the inward: for when hee sees men in­flamed with anger and wrath, and their eyes sparkle, their nostrillsThe divell conjectures our affecti­ons by our actions, and our inward thoughts by out out­ward lookes▪ smoake, their mouths breath out fiery, and rayling speeches; by these and the like, he knowes what is within▪ murther and revenge, and then hee hales them forwrd unto all mis­chiefe. Thus he saw Iudas repine at the oyntment which was spent upon his master, and accounts it waste, be­cause it came not to his purse; there­fore he filled his heart with covetous­nesse, and gave him no rest, till hee had sould his master for thirty peeces of silver, the price of a Slave. Thus also hee saw Ananias and Saphirah co­vetous in their hypocriticall devoti­on, and therefore hee filled their hearts with dissimulation to lye to the holy Ghost. Hee saw Abimelech am­bitiously affected, therefore he tempts [Page 73] him to murther his brethren, that hee may make himselfe sure of the King­dome. He knowes the tide of all our affections, and therefore hee labours to drive us violently to all manner of sinne, and to draw us from Gods ser­vice, unto his owne.

Thus we have seene, how malici­ous our enemies are to destroy us.Rea [...] Come wee now to examine the rea­sons that make and induce him there­unto. He beares an inveterate hatred to mankinde, partly for Gods cause, and partly for our owne.

1. He hates us for Gods cause, be­causeIf he cannot hurt his deity, he will vex his humanitie. he hath justly cast him out of Heaven for his pride & rebellion, and judged him to torments in hell: now because hee cannot offer violence to his sacred Majesty, he will persecute his Image, man, with deadly ha­tred.

2. He envies mankinde because he is ordained to that happinesse he hath lost. He hates all mankinde, but espe­cially [Page 74] the Children of God, and tha [...] because they are contrary to him, an [...] Gal. 4, 4. Revel. 12, 9. fight against him, and were once hi [...] vassalls; therefore he envies the mean [...] of their salvation, and labours to hinder the proceeding of the Gospel, and to withstand the Ministers of the Word on every side, and therefore he labours to winnow them and to buffet 1 Thess. 2, 18. Luk. 22. 31 2 Cor. 12. 7. them. And what he cannot effect by himselfe, he hath his instruments and servants at hand couragiously to fight under his colours, and to allure to draw men from God and godlinesse. Thus hee had Elymas at hand to dis­swadeAct. 13, 10. the Governour from the faith. And what a number of Divells hath he now in the world, which are con­tinuall instruments of wickednesse, to draw men from the practise of Piety? their trade is nothing else but to allure men unto evill; such are they that draw men into the Alehouse, and in­tice them to drinke to excesse; such are they that draw men to gaming [Page 75] houses, and stirre up men to braw­ling and contention. What a number of agents hath hee in every place, to hinder mens salvation? Some dis­grace the Ministers and raise up ill re­ports against them, to make their doctrine stinke in the eyes of the peo­ple; or else to persecute them, that either they may remoove them out of their places, or else bee quickly wea­ry of well doing. And if they take a godly man tripping in some smal errour in his carriage, and that peradventure but some misprision of their conceite, then they raise matter not onely of tryumph and insultation, but take occasion to applaude and in­courage themselves in their sinfull courses. What could the divell doe more if he were present? Hee is an enemy to all goodnesse, so are they: he is an accuser of the brethren, so areRevel. 12. 2 Tim. 3, they: Their feete runne to evill, and they make haste to shed innocent blood, Pro▪ 4, 16 they cannot sleepe till they have done mis­chiefe. [Page 76] And the more God opposes them by the power of his word, to set himselfe against them, the more rest­lesse they. See this in the Sodomites; how restlesse were they to commit filthinesse: young and old came from all places of the Citty; they could not sleepe till they had done their villanie; and when Lot perswades them to desist, then they were the more furious; and when the AngellGen. 19, 45. had smitten them with blindnesse, yet they sought al night for the doore: they strived and contended who should have the mastery in sinne, therefore they worke all uncleannesse Eph. 4, 19, with greedinesse. How restlesse were the Iewes, and how did they thirst after Christs blood? They send out in the night to take him; and though Christs by his word lay them on their backes, yet the more eager they are and restlesly cry out, his blood be up­on us and our Children. They had rather Gods judgements fall upon [Page 77] them and their Children, than give over and obey the truth. See how resolute those were, that had Bound Act. 23, 14▪ themselves with an oath, not to eate nor drinke till they had killed Paul. And are there not many to be found in our age, that are as bould and impudent in sinne? Some sell themselves to com­mit iniquity as Ahab did. How vio­lently are some carried in their rio­tous courses of drinking, swaggering and dissembling; as if they were swine carried by the Divell into the lake of all manner of filthinesse? Let the Magistrate and Minister seeke to reclayme them, they will rage and foame, like the Divell in the Gospel, and like desperate wretches, will fol­low their lusts, though they goe to hell for it. These men shew them­selves as restlesse as their father the Divell. Now leas [...] they should grow weary of their sinfull courses, they will use variety of objects, to take away tediousnesse. When they are [Page 78] weary of gaming they will fall to drinking, and from drinking to swea­ring, from swearing to quarrelling, and from quarrelling to fighting; and from one extreame they will fall into another, drinking downe sinne like water, and make it a pastime to com­mit iniquity. But of all the sworne souldiers of the divells band, none serve him better than the talebearer and the envious man. We will begin with the flattering talebearer; he is also a busie walker, the divell walkes in the greater circuit to doe mis­chiefe, and hee in the little; hee can quickly goe from one man to another, with tales and accusations, to make enmitie and debate, and to charge men openly or secretly, with things utterly untrue and false; sometimes blazing infirmities, which love would have covered; and sometimes aggra­vating of facts or speeches, of wch cha­rity would give a better constructi­on. But if these wretches can fasten any [Page 79] thing upon Gods Children, then are they the divell swiftest Dromedaries to cary newes, & to make it passe through Tavernes and Alehouses, Gath and Ascalon, farre and neare, as currant and authenticall, under the seale of their good fellowship, never to be contro­led untill the matter be determined by that everlasting judge at his gene­rall session and Gaole delivery, at that great and terrible day when the thoughts of all hearts shall be disclo­sed. There is no name given to the Divell, but that may bee applyed to him. The Divell is a lyer, so is the talebearer: he is an accuser, so is the talebearer; hee is an enemy to all goodnesse, so is the talebearer.

A second property of the divell is to roare in his walke; so doth the talebearer, he roares like a Lyon, and bellowes like a bull; and rather than faile, if hee thinke hee shall not be heard, hee will tell his tale over and over, and deprave the truth, by ad­ding [Page 80] or substracting, to or from his neighbours words; though peradven­ture his speeches hang together, like a sicke mans dreame. Againe, the di­vell in his walkes seekes to devoure, so doth the talebearer, hee devours a mans good name. There is (saithPro. 30, 14. Agur) a generation whose teeth are as swords, and their jaw teeth as knives, to devoure the poore from off the earth. Other enemies carry their swords by their sides, these carry theirs in their mouthes, that they may shoote them out at their pleasure. These men are worse than the Crowes, for they feede on dead carcasses, but these on living men. If Serpents sting us and mad dogges bite us, there may bee some remedy found; but against the tongue of the slanderer, there can bee none. To whom shall I liken this fil­thy generation, they are like an Ar­cher, men are their marke, and evill report their arrowes; Their tongue is an arrow shot out. Hell and the tale [Page 81] bearers are much alike; the one is ne­ver satisfied with sinners, nor the other with slanders.

The second Champion, for the divell is the envious man, who, saith Salvian, Lib. 5. de gubernat dei. esteemes anothers good, his hurt. Pa­rum est si ipse sit faelix, nisi alter fuerit infaelix. Therefore when Bion saw an envious man sorrowfull, hee wouldLaertius in vita Bion. aske him whether some evill had happe­ned to him, or good to his neighbour. En­vie is ostium iniquitatis, the doore of iniquity, by which death entred into the world. By this Habel was persecu­ted of his brother, Iacob of Esau, David of Saul, and Christ of the Iewes. 2. Envie is Toxicum charitatis, the bane of Charity; for if it were not for envie, every one would rejoyce at another good, and grieve for their harmes. Therefore Augustine saith, Take away envie; and that which ITolle in vi­diam, tuum est quod ha­beot, emeum est quod ha­bes. have is thine, and that which thou hast is mine.

3. Envie is putredo sanitatis the cor­ruption [Page 82] of health, for by envyingDiez Con. 1. [...]n festo Ioa. Bapt. others, men consume themselves. And therefore one saith well, An en­vious man hath a great deale of lesse wit in his malice than the brute beasts; for whereas no fowles nor fishes are taken in a snare without baits, the spitefull wretch is brought to the de­vills hooke without any pleasant baite. The voluptuous man hath a little pleasure, for his soule. The co­vetous man, a little profit for his soule. The ambitious man a little honour for his soule. But the envi­ous man hath nothing of the devill for his soule, but a little hearts griefe, and yet for all this the wretch toiles out himselfe in Sathans service.

Thus you have heard how Sathan hath his servants at command to worke the ruine of Gods Children, and hee is restlesse in his owne ende­vours, as you have heard. Hee hath many by-wayes to bring men to hell, and therefore he hath set infinite snares [Page 83] before our feete, and hath filled allEoce tete [...]. dit [...]te pe [...] nostros lae­queos infint [...]s, & omn [...] vias nostra decipulis r [...] ple vit ad c [...] piendas an [...] mas nostra & quis eff [...] giet? Laqueos p [...] suit in div [...] tijs, laqueo posuit in p [...] pertate, la­queos tete [...] dit in cibo [...] in potis & [...] August. So [...] loq. cap. 1 our wayes with traps to catch our soules; and who can escape them? He hath set snares in riches, snares in poverty; hee hath laid snares in our meate, in our drinke, in our pleasure, in our sleepe. Nay hee layes snares for us in our best workes, in the duties of godlinesse which we performe, and is ready to make us proude of our knowledge, & overweene our selves, as you have heard before. All his malice tends to this end, to deprive us of happinesse. Theeves and rob­bers steale our goods to inrich them­selves, but Sathan hee labours to de­prive us of grace, not to doe himselfe any good, but to doe us mischiefe. Thus you have seene the truth of the doctrine, that Sathan watches all op­portunity to doe mischiefe.

This doctrine is also usefull and that for exhortation, reprehension, and direction.

1. Seeing the whole world is Sathans Vse. [Page 84] circuit, then remember in what dan­ger we are in by reason of his malice. There is no place, but that he watches his opportunity in, to doe us mis­chiefe. There are but two places in the world, where men may be safe, and they are the places of Gods wor­ship, and the place of our particular callings. The former because God is present in the Congregation of his Saints, and the latter because he hath promised to keepe his in all their [...]sal. 91. wayes. Yet for all this, Sathan is not affraid to set upon us at Church in the time of Gods worship, and to divert our thoughts from that we heare, and fill our mindes with sleepinesse and drowsinesse; and after we have heard, by casting other thoughts into our hearts before the seede of the word is harrowed by meditation. Now this advantage he hath against us, by our owne carelesnesse, because wee doe not by prayer and meditation prepare our hearts, before wee come into Gods [Page 85] presence; and when we are come, doe not so reverently carry our selves as we should. Hence it comes to passe, that God hath no delight in our Sa­crifice; and therefore gives Sathan leave to deprive us of the benefit of the word.

2. He tempts us in our particular callings, and makes us carelesse in them, or to use some indirect cour­ses to raise our selves by unlawfull meanes, that thereby he may deprive us of the Lords protection. In each of these places we had neede to looke about us, as if the devill were alwayes at our elbowes, and with feare and trembling checke our selves for gi­ving way to such a dangerous enemie; and when wee feele his temptations begin to worke, then say to our soules, Surely this uncleane spirit is here, and I was not aware.

Vse 2 This doctrine is usefull for repre­hension, seeing Sathan is so malicious & for estlesse in his temptations; then [Page 86] this reprooves many, that make light account of such an adversary, whose power is so great, Ephe. 6 12. and therefore called a roaring Lyon, 1 Pet. 5. 8. A red Dragon, Revel. 12. 1. A Prince of the ayre, Ephe. 2. 2. The God of the world, 2 Cor. 4. 4. having great in­terest in us by reason of our sinnes, which mightily take his part: and yet for all this, they will walke without their spirituall armour, and carelesly thrust themselves into the middest of his armed souldiers, and so with Pe­ter in the high Priests Hall, fall feare­fully before they be aware; and so their case becomes fearefull, because they have had so many watch words, and yet will not be warned.

Vse 3 This doctrine is usefull for directi­on, seeing Sathan and his instruments are so resolute to doe mischiefe, and will not bee hindred in their enter­prises; if they cannot prevaile one way, they will try another: Let us learne of them to bee resolute in well

doing, and not to be discouraged or driven backe from any good purpose and intendment. This is a point ne­cessary to bee urged in these times, wherein the divell labours to coole zeale, & to hinder us in the practise of piety; sometime he puts on the sheeps skin to hide his woolvish nature; hee comes to the Minister and perswades him to pitty himselfe, and not indan­ger his health and life, by preaching so often; and the rather because the people do not regard it, and would thinke better if he preached not at all, or preached pleasing things. But against these temptations Gods chil­dren must take examples of his vassals, who are diligent and constant in his service; who will reward them here with shame, and eternall torments hereafter. Then should not Gods ser­vants bee resolute in their Masters cause? who in his mercy will cover their sinnes, and crowne their weake endevours, which he himselfe work­eth [Page 88] in them, in such a manner as that a cup of cold water, shall not goe un­rewarded. The consideration hereof should make us diligent in our cal­lings; for can we spend our time bet­ter, than to glorify God, and save our soules? therefore let every one of us? say to our soules, as once the Prophet did to Ahab; Get thee up, eate and drinke, for there is a sound of much raine. So should we say to our slug­gish natures, up and be doing; Get thee to thy study, to preaching and pray­ing, loose no time; for there is a sound of much trouble. We may be depri­ved of the word, before we are aware; wee may be stopped in our courses and pious intendments suddenly, wee may be deprived of our lives in a mo­ment; the night of sickenesse, adversity & death wil come, and then we cannot worke. Oh what a comfort will it be to our soules when death approach­eth, if then wee can say in sincerity of heart with godly Hezekiah, Remem­ber [...]sa 38, 3. [Page 89] O Lord, I have walked before thee with an upright heart! Therefore bee not weary of well doing; remember it is a fearefull thing to begin in the spirit and to end in the flesh; there­fore let every one of us say to Sathan and his discouraging Instruments, as once Nehemiah did to his crafty Coun­sellers, What, should such a one as I flie? Nehem. 6, 11. No? I will not loose my labour and that crowne of life, that is promised to all them, that are faithfull to the Revel. 2, 10, death, to please Sathan and his instru­ments.

2. Seeing Sathan is so restlesse in his temptations, and is so diligent a walker; be exhorted to keep out of his walkes: though he walke in all places, yet hee frequents some places more than the rest; and, they are the Ale­houses, the gaming houses, and the whore house: unto which hee hath other walkes, and they are gardens of pleasure, and solitary walkes; in these places hee eyes us, and many times [Page 90] finds them fit places to set his temp­tations on worke; in these places he prevailed over Eve, Lot, David, &c. These places like him well, and into such places he drave those which hee possessed, Luk. 8. 29. and there usually shewes himselfe to witches: Solitarie places be his walkes, and in these he delights, because hee is the Prince of darkenesse, and hates the light because his workes are evill: he knowes how ready man is to sin when he is alone, and when mans eye is not over him to hinder him; he knowes that many dare doe that in the darke, in the pre­sence of God, which they would blush and bee ashamed to doe in the presence of a mortall man. There­fore the godly must bee carefull to shunne and avoyd idlenesse which is Sathans pillow, by which hee takes many tripping, and lulls them asleepe to their eternall destruction. There­fore when we are alone let us alwayes be speaking to God, by our prayers, or [Page 91] [...]rayses, or meditating of his good­ [...]esse; hereby we shall bee fitted for [...]ur callings, and made more watch­ [...]ull over our wayes: thus if wee be [...]mployed, though Sathan be alwayes walking, and in continuall action, let him walke whither he will, for we are [...]n our calling, walking with God. And if at any time hee set upon us in our solitary walkes, let us take the be­nefit of companie as soone as we can, but herein learne wisedome; Let your company be good, and such as feare God; else wicked and prophane company are worse than solitarinesse. For wee heare of many, who when they are troubled by Sathan, runne to sinfull company, and spend their time in Carding, dycing, drinking, and so thinke to cast out the divell by Beel­zebub the Prince of divells; but there­in they deceive themselves, and har­den their hearts against the meanes of their salvation.

3. Seeing Sathan goes about to [Page 92] tempt, and to doe what mischiefe hee can, let Gods children take the quite contrary course, and endevour to doe as much good as they can, by provoking one another to good workes, and shewing themselves pat­ternes of all goodnesse. For, shall our enemy watch for our destruction, and shall not we watch for our preservati­on? Sathan is a Fox, and therefore subtill; he layes siege to the Castle of our soules, and labours mightily, eyther to scale the walls of our faith, or to batter the Bulwarke of our pa­tience, or to undermine the Turrets of our zeale and fortitude; or one way or other to drive us from our hould, and then by some Stratageme or other to surprize us before wee are aware. Wee had neede therefore to looke about us, and say to our soules as Dallilah did to her husband, Vp Sampson, the Philistims be upon thee. So O my soule, stand upon thy guard, and looke to thy selfe. What? hath thy [Page 93] purse enemies on the highway, and [...]hy goods enemies about thy house, [...]nd hast thou no enemies for thy [...]oule? Sathan is malicious, therefore [...]e will spare none; strong, therefore [...]e will feare none; up therefore and [...]and upon thy guard. Sathan is walk­ [...]ng to doe thee a mischiefe; there­ [...]ore bee thou watching and praying, [...]o resist and withstand all his tempta­ [...]ions. For Sathan is vigilant and watchfull, ready and cunning to abuse [...]ll outward objects to our hurt. Hee [...]abours by all meanes to dishonour God, and to crosse him in his provi­ [...]ence, and to deprive all mankinde [...]f happinesse. Therefore he labours [...]o draw such to sinne which have most [...]eanes to withstand it, and have had [...]ore mercies to encourage them to [...]oe forward in Gods service; and if [...]ee can overcome them by his temp­ [...]ations, he knowes how to dishonour God in a high degree. If hee can get [...]dam to sinne in Paradise, he knowes [Page 94] how to fill the world with sinners quickly. If hee can tempt David ( [...] man after Gods owne heart) to commit adultery and murther, he is su [...] hee can make The name of God to b [...] 2 Sam. 12, 24. blasphemed, 2 Sam. 12. 24. If hee ca [...] make Iudas one of the twelve to betray his Master, hee thinks hee hat [...] shaken Christs kingdome; and if he [...] can make Peter that great Champion to deny and forsweare him, then h [...] doubts not but to lay his honour i [...] the dust. So at this day, if hee ca [...] make the professers of the Gosp [...] carelesse and prophane, he thinks h [...] hath notably dishonoured God; i [...] making his ordinance unfruitfull a [...] unprofitable. Seeing therefore he [...] is so malicious and so diligent, let [...] labour to resist him stedfastly and co [...] stantly, Iam. 4, 7. and then he will flye from [...] And thus much for his labour a [...] diligence, hee walketh through d [...] places, seeking rest.

Come wee now to the issue an [...] [Page 95] event, he findeth none. Hee walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and fin­deth none. Hence then we may learne, That though Sathan seeke the godlies Doctr. overthrow, yet hee shall be preven­ted, hee shall be disappointed of his expectation. Though Sathan bee strong and mighty whose power no mortall man is able to resist, yet the victorious Lyon of the Tribe of Iudah is stronger, and will rescue his ser­vants, and make him know, that his chosen are kept by the power of God 1 Pet. 1. 5. through faith unto salvation. And though the godly bee as sheepe ap­pointed to destruction by the malice of Sathan, yet they are not so in the purpose of God. Though Sathan stand like a bloudy Midwife, ready to devo [...]e the Child the woman brings forth; Revel. 12. 4: yet the Lord pro­spered her in her travell, and when earth could not secure the man-child she brought forth, God tooke up theRevel. 1 [...], 5. child unto his throne. Though Sa­than [Page 96] laboured by all meanes to over­throw Iobs faith, yet the Lord stood by him & gave him deliverance. Though Herod that crafty Fox pretended to adore Christ in his infancy, when he intended to murther him, hee may travell in his mischiefe, but hee shall not effect it; for the watchfull eye of God, shall warne Ioseph to flye for the Babes safety. Though the DevillAct. 23, 31. (If they had kept their vow, they had fasted to death. 1 King. 17, 5. make the Iewes to binde themselves with a curse, that they will not eate nor drinke till they have killed Paul, yet they were disappointed; the Lord delivered him out of their hands▪ Though Iezabel vowed the death of the Prophet Elijah, and send hue and cry after him; yet rather than shee shall doe his Prophet any hurt; he will hide himselfe in a Cave at Hore [...] the mount of God. Though Hama [...] plot the ruine of Gods people, and maliciously accuse them as seditious and Traitors; yet he that never slum­bers nor sleepes, will laugh him to [Page 97] scorne, and hang him upon the Gal­lowes,Ester 7, 10. which hee had prepared for Mordecai the kings friend. Though Saul persecute David, and labour by subtiltie to take away his life, be­cause he thinkes hee would be an hin­derance to his sonnes preferment to the Crowne; yet see how the Lord disappoints him of his hope. Saul layes violent hands on himselfe, and so prepares way for David to come to the Crowne; And thus you have this truth confirmed, that though Sathan and his instruments doe seeke the godlies overthrow, yet they shall bee prevented: And reasons proove the same.

1. Because Gods care and provi­dence Reason. is over his Children, and his eyes runne to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himselfe strong2 Cron. 16, 9, in the behalfe of them whose heart is perfect towards him. And though the Lord do not presently free them from the exercise of troubles, yet he leaveth [Page 98] them not till he hath delivered them.

2. Hee that is with us is stronger than hee that is against us. And for [...]uk. 11, 22. [...]ph [...]. 1, 19. [...]ol. 1, 11, this end the Sonne of God undertook our nature and temptations, Heb 2. 8. And for this very end hee sanctified himselfe, Ioh. 17. 19. therefore he hath provided an invincible armour for his children, and exhorts them to standEphe. 6, 10, 11. fast. And therefore hee sayes unto them, Feare not. Lam. 3. 57. for hee is with them, Esay 43. 1. 2. For if one peece of this armour, namely faith, be able to quench all his fiery darts, what will the whole doe?

3. Gods promise is, yt he wil not suffer his to be tempted above that they are ble to beare, therefore at length he wil deliver them, and make them see the salvation of the Lord, & that because they are precious in his sight, and heZa [...]h. 2, 8, Deut. 32, 10. that toucheth them toucheth the ap­ple of his eye. And therefore lest the wicked should thinke that hee is an idoll, hee shewes himselfe strong in [Page 99] the defence of his Children.

Againe, he would have his Chil­dren know, that though Sathan as­saults them furiously, by himselfe, and by his instruments; yet their pow­er is limited: there is an houre ap­pointed for the power of darkenesse to worke in; and till that houre come, and no longer than it last, shall they molest and vex the godly. God in his providence, hath limited Sathan and his instruments their time sometime longer, as Israel in Egypt 400. yeares: sometime shorter, as in the Babilonish Captivitie 70. yeares, sometime shor­ter than so. Yee shall suffer persecu­tion 10. dayes; and then though heavi­nesse may endure for a night, yet joy shall come in the morning. Tyrants which are Sathans Instruments, shall not live ever. Where is proud Pha­raoh, railing Rabshekah? Where is cru­ell Nero, bloudy Bonner? Are they not gone, and their honour laid in the dust? God hath spoken to them in [Page 100] his wrath, and vexed them in his sore [...]d. 2. displeasure. And though the Churches enemies are malicious; yet God hath a hooke in their nostrills, to pull them backe, and will not suffer them to execute their malice upon his Chil­dren. Though the King of Babilon cast the three Children into the fiery Oven, yet he cannot command theabilon. fire to burne them. And though hee cast Daniel into the Lyons den, yet hee cannot compell the hungrie Ly­ons to devoure him. The worst that Tyrants can doe, is to send us to heaven in a Chariot of bloud, they can doe no more than God pleases; hee knowes how to deliver his Israel out of all their troubles.

This doctrine is usefull, and that Vse. for consolation to the people of God: though they have a vigilant enemy which pursues them with a deadly ha­tred, as Laban did Iacob; yet the Lord will step in, and commaund him not to hurt them: though the godly live [Page 101] among wicked men, who like rave­nous Woolves thirst after their blood; yet the Lord will not give his children as a prey to their teeth. Though every wicked man in whom Sathan ruleth, be like a Canaanite to the Israel of God, yet hee will not let their furious floods carry them a­way. Though the godly lie open to the snares of Sathan, and they like silly birds are ready to be carried a­way; yet for all this, when Sathan and his instruments, seeme to have made most sure of them, then his snares are suddenly broken and they escaped, by the providence of God. When Herod had maliciously castAct. 12, 3. Peter into Prison, and that for no of­fence, but to please the Iewes; while he was sleeping betweene two Soul­diers, bound in chaines, the Lord de­livers him miraculously out of his hands. Seeing God is a present helpe in the time of neede, and able and rea­dy to deliver his children from the [Page 102] malice of wicked men. The conside­ration hereof, should make them goe on cheerefully in the workes of their callings, and not to feare what man can doe to them. Therefore as they must looke up to God for helpe and deliverance in the time of their trou­bles; so also they must have an eye to Sathans malice to expect it, and to be resolved not to shrinke for all his temptations and cunning Strata­gems. Shall the Israelits returne backe to Egypt, because Pharaoh pursues them? No no, but let them make the more haste to the land of Canaan; So let every one of us resolve with our selves, not to give over any good acti­on, because the world hates us and reproaches us for it; No no, let us not neglect any good duty which God and a good conscience requires at our hands, to please the world or to stop the devills mouth. For if wee studie to please men rather than God, then wee cannot be the servants of [Page 103] God; Let us then couragiously shew our selves on Christs side by taking his part against the enemies of his truth, because there is no peace to be expected with Sathan or his instru­ments, unlesse it be upon dishonou­rable conditions. Sathan is like to Nahash the Ammonite, that would not1 Sam. 11, make a league with the men of Iabesh Gilead unlesse hee might put out their eyes; so Sathan will not admit of any conditions, unlesse he may coole our zeale, and hinder us in the meanes of our Salvation, and therefore wee had neede to stand upon our guard: for if hee prevaile, hee will leade us captive unto sinne, and inthrall our bo­dies and soules to miserable bondage; and therefore let us shew our selves valiant, and encourage one another, as the Philistins did, and quite our1 Sam. 4, selves like men and fight it out; away with base cowardice, wee shall pre­vaile. Sathan hath no power but from God; nor is able to molest us [Page] without his permission; to incourage us to fight, let us remember hee is but a vanquished slave. Christ our Captaine hath overcome him, Heb. 2. 14. with all his ayds the world, Ioh. 16. 33. the flesh, Rom. 8. 1. Againe, he hath promised wee shall prevaile, and that if we resist the divell he shall flie from [...]m. 4, 7. us; and hath promised to tread him under foot, Rom. 16. 26. as hee hath beene by the godly before us, 1 Ioh. 2. 14. This is a point necessary to bee considered in our dayes, wherein Sa­than and his instruments so much pre­vaile over Gods people abroad: the consideration hereof makes many a poore soule stagger, as if God had cast off the care of his people; and there­fore they discourage themselves with needelesse feares, and begin to fawne and curry favour with Sathan and his instruments, Papists, Atheists and the like; as if God were like to have the worst, and his Children were like to goe to the wall. But let us re­new [Page 105] the battell, for Christ seemes to [...]ll from heaven as Iehu once, Who is [...]n my side? Who? Let us then cry to [...]od for helpe, and manfully use those [...]eapons hee hath sanctified for that [...]urpose, the word which is mighty [...]rough God to the pulling downe of [...]rong houlds, 2 Cor. 10. 4. The shield of [...]aith whereby we shall be able to quench [...]ll the fiery darts of the wicked, Ephe. 6. [...]6. And remember above all things, [...]hat it is not enough to fight with Gods weapons, unlesse wee borrow his Arme; and therefore when wee prevaile, let him have the glory, Psal. 50. 51.

2. This doctrine is usefull for ter­rour to all Sathans instruments that march under his colours against Gods Children; they doe but loose their labour, and kicke against the prickes; for God must prevaile, and will disap­point all his enemies of their hopes, and let the world see they doe but loose their labour, and plucke downe [Page 106] vengeance upon their soules, for God will speake to them in his wrath and vex them in his sore dispeasure. Psal. 2, 5,

And thus much for Sathans depar­ture and demeanour when he is gone, He walketh through dry places seeking rest, and findeth none.

Then he saith, I will returne into my Vers. 44. house from whence I came out, & when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept and garnished.

Wee are now come to the second generall point propounded, wherein we are to observe Sathans diligence to regaine his former possession, and to examine the reasons that induce him thereunto.

Then he saith, I will returne to my house. The divell being ignorant of Gods secrets, and so not knowing whose names are written in the Booke of life, hopes to gaine the day upon the best of Gods Children; and if he can­not prevaile, hee will not cease to be an enemy, but will come on with [Page 107] more and more malice; and if he can­not prevaile by policie, hee will see what he can do by furie. Then he saith, I will returne.

In the words observe these parti­culars.

1. Sathans undaunted resolution contained in these words, I will re­turne.

2. The Terminus ad quem or place whither, To my house, which hee exemplifies by the affection he beares to it; My house whence I came out.

3. The reasons that induce him to make his re-entrie, and they are de­scribed by 3. adjuncts.

  • 1. The house is emptie.
    Emptie Per pigri­tiam et neg­ligentiam.
  • 2. It is swept.
  • 3. It is garnished.

Wee will first endeavour to free the words from obscurity, and then according to the method proposed, gather such instructions as naturally arise.

He findeth it emptie. Ob. What is [Page 108] meant by this? An. To be empty, is to be voyd of faith, and hee that hath no faith, is also empty of good works. For true faith is never alone, though in the worke of justification, it justifies alone without any dependencie of good workes; yet in the declaration and manifestation thereof, it is al­wayes joyned with good workes,Iam. 2. which are inseparable companions of faith. But hypocrites are empty of faith, the mistresse, and good workes the handmaide, and so being empty of both, they are fit places for Sa­than to set up his rest.

2. He findeth it swept. Ob. WhatSwept. Per consue­tudinem peccati. is meant hereby? An. Hypocrites content themselves, with a little counterfeit repentance, and to make shew of a little humiliation for the sinnes which the world takes notice of. These are swept over slightly, and superficially, with the besome of hypocrisy; but the sinnes of profit and pleasures, these are baked on: [Page 109] but if wee will be a swept house for God, then all our darling and plea­sing sinnes, must be scraped and pa­ [...]ed away, by greater labour than [...]weeping. A stayned and defiled cloth [...]s not easily made cleane, there must bee washing and cleansing and great paines. An old inveterate sore (saith the wise man) troubleth the Physitian. So old inveterate sinnes, which are baked and caked to our nature, will not easily bee sweeped away; it is a hard matter, to bring men to repen­tance which are dyed in graine in sin, there must be much scraping and dig­ging, to cast out this filth; sweeping will not serve the turne; for sinne by long continuance have defiled these houses which are our bodies. How will this appeare, may some say? Doe but consider how much rotten and un­savorie communication proceeds out of our mouth; how much envie and malice boiles in our hearts; doth not this shew, that there is much filthi­nesse [Page 110] within? and doe wee then thinke a little counterfeit repentance will serve the turne? no, no, there must be powing, paring and scraping out of the uncleannesse of our nature, much purging out of the drosse out of our soules; else wee are but swept houses of Sathan. It is garnished. Ob. What is that? An. The hypocrites heart isGarnished, Per hypo­crysim. garnished with hypocrisie and coun­terfeit holinesse, his heart is empty of faith and good workes, swept and slighted over with counterfeit repen­tance, to bleare the eyes of the world, and garnished with counterfeit holi­nesse; so that Sathan shall have roome enough, it is empty. He shall have it pleasing and delightfull, it is swept and garnished, it hath all manner of furniture fit to receive him. And thus you have the sence and meaning of the words. Then he saith, I will returne to my house.

Here we may see the carriage and boldnesse of Sathan, though he be ex­pelled [Page 111] and have received the foile, [...]et hee will returne. He is audacious [...]nd will aske no leave; though hee [...]e chained by his maker, yet he will [...]oe as farre as he can, hee will feare [...]o colours. Would you know the rea­ [...]ons why he is so bould and audaci­ [...]us. The reasons are these two.

  • 1. He relies upon his owne strength.
  • 2. Hee takes advantage of mans weakenesse.

1. Hee is able to doe much by his owne strength, therefore he is called the God of this world and the Prince that ruleth in the ayre, and hath all wicked men at his becke and com­maund, which daily hee musters up to take part against God and his chil­dren; he is the head of all Tyrants and wicked men, and makes them doe as Athaliah did, kill and persecute the godly that hee may rule himselfe: therefore this powerfull enemy know­ing his owne strength, and his Soul­diers courage and fidelitie, is so con­fident, [Page 112] that by one meanes or other he shall prevaile; and so desperate and venturous, that he will returne to his house againe, nothing shall crosse and hinder him. Good Lord, what will not Sathan doe? If thou O tryumphant Lyon of the Tribe of Iudah doe not hin­der him, his malice is against thee and thy glory, and cannot abide that thou shouldst be glorifyed by thy people; he hates thy worship, and therefore labours to defile it: therefore shew thy selfe strong to perserve thy children, and to save them from his malice, and to keepe them alwayes in thy feare. Seeing then Sathan is so watch­full and diligent to doe mischiefe; this must teach us to be watchfull and alwayes to stand upon our guard and be prepared to resist his temptations: for as soone as one is gone hee will come with another; he will returne to his house one way or other; and what hee cannot effect by force, hee will performe by flattery. Thus ma­ny times under the name of friend, he [Page 113] allures us to some one sinne or other; thus hee stirred up Peter to move his master to pitty himselfe, and not to die when he might live. So hee per­swades many Ministers of the word, to pitty themselves, and not to weare out themselves in Preaching and stu­dying, as many doe; telling them that many good Ministers take their pleasure, and yet discharge their du­tie well enough. But in this case, we must say to him as our Master once: Get thee behind me Sathan, for thouMatth. 16. art an adversarie and enemy to Gods glory, and his peoples salvation. And if hee cannot prevaile with friendly termes, then he perswades them, they take too much upon them, the Lords people are holy enough, and that there needs not so much adoe. If hee cannot prevaile this way, then hee will see if he can make them proud of their gifts; so to make them rob God of his glory. He spends all his time in open rebellion against God, and per­secuting [Page 114] his children. Hee workes wonderfully in the Children of diso­bedience.Ephe. 2, 2. Thus hee wrought upon the prophane heart of Esau to sell his birthright for a messe of pottage; up­on the covetous heart of Iudas to be­tray his master. As hee is cunning in his secret temptations, so hee is very craftie to delude the sences by out­ward objects. Thus he deceived Saul in Samuels mantle; so in the time of ignorance he deceived many, by en­tring into the corps of some dead bo­die, making them speake what hee pleased. Thus we have seene the ma­lice of our enemy, and how he is im­bouldned by his owne strength.

In the second place wee are to see how our weakenesse gives him ad­vantage: he observes our negligence and sinfull backesliding, therefore like a cunning thiefe, he often comes to view the house, and to spie out the weake places before he make any en­try; he lookes whether we be fallen [Page 115] into those sinnes which before wee made a shew of repentance, and when hee findes a man fallen into his old sinnes againe, then behold a swept house for Sathan. He knowes our na­ture, what wee love, delight, and hate, and so fits his temptation according­ly. Thus hee can make the covetous man dig to Hell for riches: The ambi­tious man to use many indirect cour­ses to climbe to honour and prefer­ment: The wanton to commit forni­cation and adultery. With these sugred baites he hath not onely deceived the wicked, as Achan, Gehazie, Saul, Anna­nias, but even Gods deare children, as Noah, Lot, David, Peter, and many in our dayes. Thus by knowing our nature hee provokes us [...]o sinne, hee stirrs up the cholericke man to anger and revenge; the melancholy man to despaire, and distrust, and to take things in the worst sence. So he per­swades all mankinde to sinfull secu­rity, and that they have time enough [Page 116] to repent and amend their lives; and so wraps them under the curse of God, before they are aware.

I will returne.

Sathan he thinkes there is none so holy, but that he may pervert; hee knowes the just falles seven times a day, and therefore may take them tripping at one time or other; and make them abuse the mercie of the Lord. Againe hee knowes that there is none so sinfull, but that he may be converted, and therefore hee tempts all good and bad; and rather than he will faile of his temptations, he will raise up a tempest from all the foure corners of the world, as he did when he blew downe Iobes house and killed his children. If the East winde of prosperity cannot puffe up Gods children, hee will see what hee can doe by the west winde of adversity; he labours alwayes and by all meanes to dishonour God, and to bring man­kinde to ruine: and had not we neede [Page 117] to stand upon our watch, and to take heede of security, least he deale with us as Iael did with Sisera, naile us to the posts of Hell before wee are a­ware? He alwayes stands armed, so let us; let us not then let our armour lie rustie, but by prayer buckle it on; let us alwayes keepe in our calling, and then we are under Gods protecti­on, and then we may bouldly crave his assistance. Let us remember wee have a craftie divell to deale withall, that will watch us at all turnes and times; he hath his tearmes and vaca­tions, his goings and commings, though sometime by Gods restray­ning power he may stay away a long time, yet he will returne; therefore bee not secure, but prepare for his comming, he hath not done with us, he will by one meanes or other labour to get possession, and therefore wee had neede to have a vigilant eye over all the parts and faculties of our soules and bodies, least they become win­dowes [Page 118] to let in Sathan to take pos­session.

And thus much for his courage and resolution, contayned in these words, I will returne.

Come we now to the Terminus ad quem, or whither hee will returne. I will returne to my house. Sathan calls the hypocrites heart his house, and so it is indeed, but not by creation. So every man is Gods house, 1 Cor. 3. 16. & cap. 6. 19. but by the wilfull refusall of Gods mercies, they then become denns for Sathan to lodge in. Thus the proud mans heart is a house for Luci­fer to lodge in. The Adulterers heart, an Inne for Asmodius to roost in. The envious mans heart a Cage for Beelzebub to lurke in. The re­vengefull mans heart is a pallace for Baalberith to domineere in. The drun­ [...]ards heart a stie for Beelphegor to re­side in. The idle mans heart is a Tur­ret for Ashtaroth to keepe Rande vowes in. Though men may flatter [Page 119] themselves, and thinke they are in good case, yet while they live and re­maine in their sinnes, they are in Gods account no better than uncleane houses for Sathan to roost in; though they fare daintily and have sumptu­ous houses, yet all this while, they are but filthy Parlours for Sathan.

Here we may take up a bitter lamen­tation,Heu dom [...]s antiqua, &c. and with Ieremy weepe day and night for the miseries which are befallen the sonnes of men. Man was created holy and for Gods service; but now these glorious houses are be­come denns for Sathan to dwell in. Where pride and malice domineers and carnall security beares sway, vice and all manner of wickednesse let in, and piety and the feare of the Lord shut out: Pride and carnall security hath barred the doore against the Lord the holy one of Israel; he stands knocking, but wee will not let him in. If pride, malice and revenge knocke, we are ready to open, and willingly [Page 120] embrace them; but the motions of Gods Spirit wee chocke and grieve, and will not entertaine them; The Lord lay not our sinnes to our charge.

The Lord hath wooed us by his Mi­nisters, invited us by his mercies, and drawne us by the bands of love, and would have married us to himselfe;ose. 2, 20. but wee like desperate wretches and despightfull creatures, will marry our selves to our pleasures, to our delights, to our sinnes, nay to Sathan himselfe. O! consider this all yee that forget God, and so preferre hell before Heaven. The Gaderens were branded for infamous wretches, for preferring their swine before Christ the Saviour of the world: And the Iewes accursed for choosing Barrabas a filthy murtherer, before Iesus a meeke Saviour. But O alas! how shall wee bee registred for infamous wretches, if wee neglect so great salvation? Let the consideration hereof move every [Page 121] one of us, to consider of these things which belong to our peace, and now to make up an agreement with our adversary; while wee are in the way with him.

It followes,

I will returne to my house.

See heere what love Sathan beares to his former house, and his wise­dome and policie to provide him a resting place; if hee may not be where hee would, yet he will be where hee may. If he cannot be a king in heaven, he will reigne as a god in earth; and if he cannot rest in the hearts of Gods Children, then he will dominere in the children of disobedience; He had rather be in any place, than in hell; therefore he will consider his future place, before hee will leave his for­mer habitation; hee would not goeMath. 8, 31. out of the man hee possessed, before hee had liberty to goe into the swine. He had rather be in the hogs, than no where. While hee is in earth, he tor­ments [Page 122] others, but while hee is in hell he is tormented himselfe. And there­fore like an envious wretch, he thinks hee finds rest if hee can revenge him­selfe upon mankinde, or any thing that belongs to man. Hee can finde no rest in a Papist or Atheist, for hee knowes that their worme-eaten con­sciences lackes nothing but searing with the hot Iron of Gods wrath; he is sure enough of them, because they are hardned in their prophanenesse, and so the custome of sinne hath ta­ken away the sence of sinne; yet for all this, if hee cannot prevaile against Gods Children, hee will to his old house againe, there he is like to have good entertainement, which is bet­ter to him, than to walke in dry places, where he findes so much resistance.

Come we now to see what enter­tainement he findes; the house is emp­tie, that is, voyd of the graces of Gods Spirit; he findes the hypocrite after he is inlightened, fitter to receive him [Page 123] than hee was before, hee findes the house empty. The Divell shall never want roome wheresoever hee comes; he shall not be troubled with inmates, nor with any thing which shall of­fend him. There are many profes­sors now adayes, will cast off good motions and the performance of ma­ny good duties, to please Sathan and his Instruments, rather than they would be tearmed Puritans and Pre­cisians. Lord lay not this sinne to their charge.

Hee findes it empty both of faith and good workes. Now this empti­nesse proceeds from idlenesse, which is the mother of all mischiefe. An empty house is a cage for all unclean­nesse; So an idle man is a fit subject for Sathan to worke upon; he knowes God cannot endure idlenesse, but pu­nished it in the men of Sodome, Gen. Ezek. 16. 49. 19. 24. and the men of Laish, Iudg. 18. 27.

And wise men in all ages have con­demned [Page 124] it. Cato by natures light tellsIomines [...]ihil agen [...]o, discunt [...]alo agere. us that men by doing nothing learne to do evill: and Themistocles termed idle­nesse, the Toombe or grave of such as are alive; and sayd, that there was little difference betweene an idle man and one that is dead, for none of them doe any good. Therefore the anci­ent Romans would not suffer men to walke in the Streets, unlesse they car­ried their manuall instruments with them; all which shewes how they ha­ted idlenesse. When men are idle, then Sathan hath most advantage a­gainst them. When David was wal­king2 Sam▪ 11. upon the roofe of his house, then Sathan stirred up lust in his heart, and made him goe to his neighbours bed, and so caused the name of God to be blasphemed: so that hence wee may conclude, that the end of lazinesse, is the beginning of lewdnesse▪ When Sathan findes his house empty, ten­nantlesle; no marvaile if hee make it a cage for all filthinesse. Sathan can­not [Page 125] finde this emptinesse in the chil­dren of God, for their hearts are fil­led with the grace of Gods Spirit; faith stands as a Porter armed with the sword of the Spirit, which drives backe all the temptations of the De­vill.

The next thing that mooved Sa­than to make his reentry is, he findes the house swept; what a swept house is you have partly heard, how that a little counterfeit repentance will not serve the turne to get out the dirt and filth which is baked and seated in na­ture. A house that is made foule and filthy, by much resort of people, will not bee made cleane by a little swee­ping; there must be paring and scra­ping with a paring Iron, else the filth will hang on and will not be remoo­ved: Even so these temples of our bo­dies, these earthly houses, will not bee clensed and purged from the corrup­tion of sinne, with the beasome of counterfeit repentance; but the sharpe [Page 126] knife of the law must be set on worke, there must be a searching of the heart, a plowing up of the fallow ground, there must bee a mortifying of the fruits of the flesh, there must be a de­ [...] of our selves in our profits, plea­ [...]s and delights; a little crying of God mercy will not serve the turne, [...] there must bee an aggravation of [...]e by circumstances, sinne must be [...]m [...]lified in regard of the meanes that we had to resist it, if we had had grace to use them aright; therefore when we have failed in using our spiri­tuall weapons, then we must con­demne our selves, and take a holy re­venge upon our nature, which did in­ [...]ice us to such and such sinnes. WeeLuk▪ 1 [...]. must doe as Mary Magdalen did, shee had abused her eyes to wantonnesse, and her haire to pride; therefore up­on her repentance shee tooke revenge of her selfe; she made her eyes, a foun­taine of teares to wash her Saviours feete, and her haire a towell to wipe [Page 127] them; so must we, if wee have offen­ded by gluttony, or drunkennesse, wee must bring under our bodies, by fast­ing and humiliation. Thus did David when he had sinned against his neigh­bour in giving way to sinfull lusts and uncleannesse: so when he had desired to drinke of the waters of Bethleem, 1 Chro. 11, 18. and after hee did see it was brought with the jeopardie of the lives of his three Worthies, then he tooke a holy revenge of himselfe; hee would not drinke of it, but powred it out as a sa­crifice before the Lord. Thus the cunning men being converted by the preaching of the word and brought to repentance, burned their Bookes,Act. 19, 19, that were deere unto them, for a re­venge upon themselves for their sinne; by which they shewed, both an in­dignation in their affections, and a just revenge in their actions: thus if men would judge themselves, they should1 Cor. 11, 37. not be judged of the Lord. Man is made miserable quickely, but hee is [Page 128] not so soone made happie againe. Esau suddenly lost his birth-right, but hee could not gaine the blessing with many teares. A swept house will not serve the turne, it must bee a sorrow­full and contrite heart that God de­lights to dwell in. Let us then set up­pon our sinnes, and up with them by the rootes; downe with pride, cove­tousnesse, and all manner of sinne that offends God and grieves our neigh­bour; else we are but deceiptfull hypo­crites, and garnished and swept houses for Sathan.

If swept houses will not serve the Vse. turne, then how may we bewaile our times, wherein so many slovens de­light themselves in all manner of sin and prophanenesse? How many are there to bee found in our dayes, that thinke it an easie matter to be saved? But brethren deceive not your selves, these filthy soules which have beene defiled with so many sinnes, will not be so easily cleansed. We have ma­ny [Page 129] wayes defiled our selves with vaine and unsanctified thoughts, many foule and unsavory words have pro­ceeded out of our mouthes; and doth not this shew that wee have filthy soules? Againe, how many lewde and sinfull acts have wee committed and doe commit from time to time? and will a small repentance make amends for all these transgressions? No, no, there must be striving and preassing to enter in at the straight gate. TheLuk. 13, 24. kingdome of heaven suffers violence and the violent take in by force. But alasse! how many of us sit still, spor­ting our selves in our pleasures and delights? If eating and drinking, swearing and swilling, would send us to heaven, there are a great ma­ny would come thither. There are many also to be found, that when they are rebuked for their sinnes, and per­swaded to amend their lives, they will give good words, and wish that they could doe as they should, but [Page 130] how few of many are willing to plucke up their sinnes by the rootes? Many will use the broome of repentance in sweeping the house of their soule lightly and superficially; but they will leave still behind their evill customes and wicked habit of sinne which clea­veth fast to them, and is as deare as their right eye. Wee see by expe­rience, that many griping Vsurers will hate adultery, make conscience of swearing and forswearing, &c. these cobwebbes they will sweepe away; but for the filthy habit, and wicked trade of Vsury, because it is a gainefull sinne, and brings them an easie life, the broome shall not come so farre. So againe, many Adulte­rers (though well monied) hate Vsu­ry, because it is unlawfull and con­demned by God, Psal. 15. Ezek. 18: but for adultery their beloved sinne, this dirte, this filth must remaine un­swept. The like may bee said of all other sinnes. Thus hypocrites will [Page 131] indent with God as if he kept a court of Faculties, to dispence with their darling, their beloved sinnes, which they are loath to forgoe. But brethren marke (I pray you) the policy of Sathan: If he can keepe but one cor­ner in this spirituall temple, it shall suffice him, he knowes how to keepe possession well enough; but brethren deceive not your selves, if the divell have any part in your heart, God will have none, he will not admit of a Cor­rivall; he will be, aut Caesar aut nihil, he will have the whole, or else let the divell take all; therefore learne wee to use violence against our beloved sinnes, and let the divell have no cre­visses to looke into our hearts, lest he circumvent and surprise us before we are aware, as he hath and doth many, deceiving them daily with outward shewes and the leaves of religion, without substance and through-refor­mation of the heart; but if we will be a swept house for the Lord, wee [Page 132] must cast away all our sinnes; out­ward shewes will not delight him, he cannot endure a divell in Samuels Mantle.

It is garnished.

The house swept and garnished, is a similitude borrowed from the use and custome of men, who delight to have all things handsome, cleane and comely, when they are to entertaine their friends. But the divell hee de­lights in no such matter, this uncleane spirit hee delights in all manner of filthinesse, and all manner of ungod­linesse, nothing pleaseth him better.

The beastly drunkard, the abomi­nable swearer, the lustfull talker, the filthy liver; these men are garnished houses for him; These men are as a princely pallace for him to domi­neere in. When men have bidden farewell to God and all godlinesse, then they are fit houses for him, when the feare of God is choaked in mens hearts, and the remembrance of Gods [Page 133] judgements is not before their eyes. When the house is swept from all god­inesse and vertue, & garnished with the damnable sins of swearing, lying, & all maner of wickednes then behold these are trimmed houses for Sathan to roost in.

Sathan delights to have his house garnished, that thereby hee might seeme Gods Ape; for God will have his house garnished, saith the Apo­stle: For this is the will of God, even our 1 Thess. 4, sanctification, that every one should know how to possesse his vessell in holi­nesse and honour. God will have the beames of his house Cedar, and the Galleries firre; hee will have sanctifi­cation for the groundworke, & holi­nesse of life for the ornament; So the devill, he will have his house garnish­ed also, but the beames of his house, are the ougly workes of darkenesse, and the galleries sin and all manner of prophanenesse. Now if hee can get this house whited over with a coun­terfeit [Page 134] it shew of Religion, then this is a house well trimmed and garnished for him to dwell in.

Sathan will allow his servants some­time to make shew of sanctity, that thereby they may doe the more mis­chiefe; and to pretend Religion in shew, that they may act wickednesse in substance. He is loath to discourage his servants, therefore he will gratifie them a little, & sometime give them the bridle in their hands. Thus hee was contented Abimelech should en­tertaine Abraham in the best of his land, and that Iudas should be Christs disciple; he cared not, seeing he could allure the one to Adultery, and per­swade the other to betray his Master. If he can allu [...] any to the love of any one sinne [...]en he is well enough. Sathan de [...]es with sinfull men as Pharaoh did with the Israelits, when he was compelled by the judgement of God to let them goe; then hee would have some pawne to remaine [Page 135] in his hand: goe, saith he, and sacrifice to the Lord your God, but leave your sheepe and your cattell behind you. What, had Pharaoh any neede of their goods? No no, it was not their goods that hee aymed at, hee had a further reach. He knew that the Iewes were covetous and worldly minded, and therefore if they should bee punished with want in the Wildernesse; hee knew they would remember their cattell in Egypt, and quickly come backe againe for them. So Sathan deales with those he hath a long time kept in bondage, if at any time he be commanded by Moses and Aaron, that is, by the powerfull preaching of Gods word, to let the Lords people goe, and come out of the Egypt of their sinnes, and to travell in the de­sert of repentance; then how many blocks and hinderances doth he cast, how many stormes doth hee raise to discourage them, and to hinder them in their journey to the Caelestiall [Page 136] Canaan? And if he cannot hinder us, then hee labours to make our mindes wander after our profits and plea­sures: but as Moyses and Aaron were resolute, that they would not leave any of their goods behinde them to please the King, but were resolved to obey the Lords commaund: so must wee when God calls unto us to come out of sin, wee must not retaine any of them to please Sathan, but must keepe the temples of our bodies pure, that they may be a garnished house for the Lord to dwell, by his Spirit.

He findes it garnished.

Wee have heard how a garnished house pleases Sathan, and how an hy­pocrite may be sayd to be a garnished house: we will (notwithstanding all that hath beene sayd) spend a little more time in examining what is meant by the word (Garnished:) by the garnished house, wee may not unfitly understand also the occasions of sin, for the occasions of sinne are Sathans [Page 137] [...]aites, whereby he is invited to make re-entry: therefore the Apostle would [...]ave us not only abstaine from sinne, but also from the appearance of evill. 1 Thes. 5, 22. If we cast out sinne, and doe not cast but the occasions of sinne, we leave aPignus a [...]ud damonem relinquimus. pledge in the devils hands, which he knoweth we wil at one time or other returne backe to fetch again, and then he will surely hould us captived. Take heede then of the occasions of sin, for [...]t is the occasion that makes the theefe.Occasio faecit furem. If by the mercy of God, thou hast re­pented thee of thy sinnes, take heede of the occasions of sinne. Hast thou beene a whoremaster? Now take heed of wanton company, alluring harlots, [...]ascivious talking, amorous songs, wanton pictures, idlenesse and the [...]ike, which are occasions of sinne. If [...]hou hast forsaken the damnable cu­stome of swearing, and by the mercy of God, hast bound thy tongue to the good behaviour, shunne also the company of prophane swearers.

If thou have forsaken the beastly sinne of drunkennesse, abandon also thy boone companions, for the occa­sions of sinne are the divells baites, which he layes to ensnare silly soules. Iron is hard, yet at last fire will dis­solve it; so a holy man by familiarity with sinners, will quickly be brought to sinne. It fares with our corrupt na­ture as it doth with a little fire, which though it be almost out, yet a little Gunpowder or Brimstone will re­vive it and make it flash out againe; so every little occasion will make a godly man breake out into sinne. Fa­miliarity with sinners giveth occasion to sinne. See this in Ioseph a holy andFamiliari­tas saepe occasionem dedit. godly man, his mistresse could not allure him to follie; but yet the pro­phane Courtiers of Pharaoh quickly taught him to lye and dissemble, and to sweare by the life of Pharaoh. HowGen. 44. quickly did the daughters of Moab in­tice the Children of Israel to sinne, for which the judgement of God [Page 139] brake out upon many thousands of [...]em. Our nature is like unto dryNum▪ 25. 1. [...]ood, which is apt to kindle as soone [...]s fire is put to it. Occasion is the wayOccasio [...]nim iter est quod ducit ad peccatum. [...]hat leadeth unto sinne. There needs [...]o divell to tempt us, for if any occa­ [...]on be offred, we are ready to tempt [...]ur selves. Thus Moses knew wellNem [...] l [...] ­ditur nisi ase. [...]nough, therefore when the people [...]ad committed Idolatry with the golden calfe which Aaron had made,Eoxd. 32. [...]e burnt it in the fire, and ground it [...]o powder, and strewed the ashes up­on the water, and then made the peo­ple drinke it. He would not have any remembrance left which might put them in minde of their former Ido­latry.

When godly Hezekiah saw that the people burnt incense to the brazen2 King. 18, 4. serpent (though it were made by Gods appointment) yet when it was abused by Idolatry hee brake it in peeces and called it Nehushtan, a peece of Brasse. Our Savious Christ teacheth us, that [Page 140] if our right eye offend us, we mustMatth. 18, 19. plucke it out. In many places of Scrip­ture we finde, how carefull the Saints have beene, to shunne the occasions of sinne.

Iob to prevent Adulterie, madeIob 31, 1. a covenant with his eyes, that hee would not looke upon a maid. Happy had it beene for David if he had done the like. Solomon to prevent drunken­nesse, would not have men looke uponPro, 23, the wine in the Cup when it is red: and to prevent gluttony, would have men offer a knife to their throat. Paul when hee had received a commission from the high priests to persecute all that call on the name of the Lord Ie­sus, and to bring them bound backe to Ierusalem. But being convertedAct. 9, 19, from heaven and made a chosen ves­sell to carry the Lords name before the gentiles; see how carefull he was to shun the occasions which might coole his zeale, and hinder him in his holy intendments; hee did not goe [Page 141] backe to the High priests which had set him a worke, for they would have befooled him, as they did the souldiers which they sent to appre­hend Christ, What, will you be one of his disciples? which he knew well enough; therefore hee joynes himselfe to the Disciples, that hee might bee the more strengthened in the knowledge of God.

So Abraham the Father of the faithfull, having received Gods commandement, to offer in sacri­fice his Sonne, his onely Sonne, the Sonne of the promise; hee did not consult with flesh and blood,Gen. 22, 2. nor with his wife Sarah, but early in the morning to prevent any occa­sion that might hinder him, he makes himselfe ready to obey Gods Commaundement. When Peter, Matth. 27. that godly man, had denyed his Master in the High priests Hall amongst those wicked servants, when hee came [Page 142] to the sight of his sinne, he fled away out of their company, as if it had beene for his life. So when Ioseph was tempted to Adultery by his un­cleane Mistresse, he shunnes the oc­casion by rushing out of her presence; whose practise and example teachethMora dat vires. the godly to take heede of the occa­sion of sinne, and to stop the course thereof in the beginning, least by en­tertayning them, they are plunged over head and eares in sinne before they are aware. One sinne drawesNon Solum gravia sed et lev [...]a peccata sunt cavenda, Multa enim levia vnum grande efficient Bernard. on another, and great sinnes spring out of small occasions; bee carefull then to avoyd the least occasion of sinne, least it usher on a greater: and the occasions of sinne, also the gar­nishing of the house for this uncleane spirit to roost in.

Then how may we lament the care­lesnesse of many in our age, that are so farre from shunning the occasions of sinne, as that they lay themselves open to all manner of temptations, [Page 143] and so become dangerous instruments for Sathan to tempt others to sinne; like Thamar that sate in the highwayGen. 38, to tempt Iudah her father in law to whoredome; and like the whoorish woman which saluted the young manPro. 7, 13, in a bould and wanton manner, and to entice him to take his fill of love with her. But let us learne to stop the course of sinne in the beginning, and to crucifie the flesh, with the lusts thereof, and to say with the spouse in the Canticles, I have put off my coate, Cant. 5, 3. how shall I put it on againe? I have wash­ed Qui mini­ma asperni [...] cadit in maiora. Peccatum nullū adeo par [...]um est quod non cres [...]at neg­lectum. Au­gust. de vera & falsa pe­nitentia cap. 8. Flumina magna vi­ [...]es parvi [...] de fontibu [...] orta. Ovid. my feet, how should I defile them a­gaine? If God have washed thee by his Spirit, and pulled from thee the filthy raggs of sinne, take heede of al­luring objects. For hee that despiseth small sinnes, doth easily fall into greater. For there is no sinne so little, but if it be neglected it will increase.

The drops of raine are but little in quantitie, yet they cause great floods which beares all before them.

We see by experience that littleParva scintell [...] c [...]ntempta, magnum excitavit incendium. Qu [...]t, Curt. Ephe. 4, 19, sparkes of fire neglected, cause great burning. Therefore if wee would not commit sinne with greedinesse, let us learne to take heed of the beginnings of sinne. If there bee nothing but a a little dust in our Chamber, a broome will sweepe it away: but if the dirt and filth be hard and baked on, there must bee a spade to dig it out: so if sin be resisted at the first, it will not easily grow and encrease. Wee must not give sinne entertainement, least it prove our ruine. As men are care­full to kill Serpents in the shell, Ra­vens in the nest, so must we doe with our sinnes: we must strangle them in the birth, and not suffer them to grow to perfection; else if wee doe not, wee shall remaine a garnished house for Sathan.

Motives to induce us to shunne the occasions of sinne.

Nature hath made the creatures carefull to prevent bodily danger. [Page 145] The horse that hath beene plunged in a Quagmire, will not easily come in­to it againe, but will shun it with all his might. The fish which hath beeneIctus Pisci [...] fugit ha­mum. wounded with the hooke, will warily shunne the baite. Then if the crea­tures by natures light shunne the oc­casions of danger, what a shame is it for man which hath not onely natures light, but also is indued with reason, and hath the light of Gods word to be a Lanthorne to his feete and a light to his steps, if hee doe not shunne the occasions of sinne?

And thus much for Sathans enter­tainement; he findes his house emp­ty, swept, and garnished.

Then goeth hee and taketh with him­selfe Vers. 45. seven other spirits, more wicked than himselfe, and they enter in and dwell there. And the last state of that man is worse than the first.

In these words we may observe Sa­thans policy, to fortifie himselfe, hee encreases his strength; his confede­rates [Page 146] are heere described:

  • 1. By their essence, they are spirits.
  • 2. By their number, they are seven.
  • 3. By their malice, they are more wicked.
  • 4. By their victory, they prevaile; they enter in and take possession.
  • 5. The issue and event, the lamen­table estate of that man is not onely miserable, but it is worse than the first.

The enemies that strive for posses­sion are spirits, and so unresistable; they come in the suggestion of un­righteousnesse, and if we consent un­to them, then wee entertaine them. When Ananias and Iudas consented to the wicked motions that the divell inspired into them, the divell is sayd to fill the hearts of the one, Act. 3. and to enter into the other, Luk. 22. 3. So all those that walke in evill, evill hath possession of them.

But it may bee replyed and said; Quest. What man is there that doth not sin, and [Page 147] so give place to the divell?

Ans. In many things wee sinne all, and 1. Ioh. 1, 8. If we say we have no sinne, wee deceive our selves, and the truth is not in us. Yet the divell dwelleth not alike in all; for those which with consent of heart entertaine his suggestions, hee hath full hould of them; but the god­ly, when they give place to him through infirmity, they let him come into the Suburbs and out places; but Christ by his Spirit dwelleth in their hearts by faith, from which he forces him to retire. As for the wicked, if Sathan get advantage, as hee will be restlesse in his temptations, as you have heard; so hee will be in his tor­ments; hee will spare none, old nor young; as you may see, Luk. 9. 39. 42. and if hee be so cruell to children, which for want of knowledge have done him no hurt, how cruell will hee be to those which have set them­selves against him?

He taketh with him seaven other spi­rits more wicked.

The spirits are described by their number, they are seaven; which is a certaine number put for an uncer­taine, by which is meant a number of capitall sinnes. These Divells are lestlesse; when Sathan entred into Iudas, he gave him no rest, till hee had betrayed his Master; hee called and allured him by covetousnesse, to get the money, and when hee had it, he stirred up such stormes in his con­science that hee could not be at rest, till he had hanged himselfe.

These spirits are more wicked than the former, because they make those whom they possesse more wicked: and sinne may be increased and made more wicked and that in divers re­spects, and that,

1. In the greatnesse of the mercy offered; thus Iudas his sinne in be­traying his Master, was worse than the Iewes in conspiring his death. Iu­das [Page 149] had many watchwords to take heede of the treason, and yet for all this, hee would not rest till hee had brought the blood of his Saviour up­on his owne soule. Sinne is increa­sed in regard of the mercy offered, How shall we escape if we neglect so great Heb. 2, 3▪ 1 Sam. 2▪ 17. salvation? Thus the sinnes of Elies sonnes was greater than the peoples, because they should have exceeded them in holinesse.

2. Sinne is aggravated in regard of the tendernesse of Gods love, without any difference of respect or desert. God invites all wearie andMath. 11▪ 28. Esa, 55, [...] heavy laden soules To come unto him; againe, Every one that thirsteth; and hath made a firme promise that they shall not come in vaine: I will ease you, Math. 11▪ 29. and you shall finde rest to your soules; and therefore hath sent his servants to2 Cor. 5▪ 29. 2 Cor. 6▪ entreat men to be reconciled unto God. And not to receive The grace of God in vaine. And therefore hee la­ments the folly of men, that they will [Page 150] neglect grace when it is offered. O that they were wise, that they under­stood [...]ut, 32, this, that they would consider [...]l, 8, 13, their latter end! Now when the pa­tience [...], 48, 18, and mercy of God is thus neg­lected and abused, sinne is augmen­ted, and this sottish negligence is in­excusable, because they doe reject such gracious favour when it is offe­red.

3. Sinne is made worse in respect of the time: Thus to sport and play, and follow our worldly businesse upon the Lords day, is a great sinne, because the time is holy, and ought to be imployed in his service; which must be an item to victualers and In­houlders, that they doe not set open their doores, to receive idle compa­nions to drinke and tipple in their houses, when Gods house stands open to receive his servants to heare his word; Else if they doe, they open their doores to the contempt of Gods ordinance.

[Page 151]4. Sinne is made worse in regard of the place: for swearing and fight­ing in a Church or Church-yard, is worse than in a Taverne or other place; for God will have even the skirt of his Sanctuary kept holy.Levit. 19▪ 30, Then out of the premisses wee may conclude, that if sinne may be aug­mented in regard of circumstances, then by the same reason seaven new spirits may make a sinner more wick­ed than he was when the first left him. The more meanes any one hath to escape the snares of the divel, the grea­ter shall be their punishments, if they neglect the meanes to escape them.

Then hee taketh to him seaven spirits worse than the former.

Hence then wee may learne, that there is a difference of sinnes, sinners, and consequently of punishments.

The first was said to be an uncleane spirit; yet the latter are seaven worse. Sinne is very fruitfull, how manyQuot cri [...] mina tot demon [...]. evills therebe so many divells.

There is alwayes a fruitfull croppe [...]ccati fru­ [...]fera seget. [...]. de mor­ [...]l. of sinne; If covetousnesse be rooted up, lust springeth up; if lust be van­quished, ambition succeedeth, and so one sinne followes another, hand in hand, according to the Proverbe, An evill weede growes apace. Now these sinnes encrease from one degree of comparison unto another, and cree­peth like a Canker which commeth to maturity by degrees. Sinne get­teth strength by committing as fi­gures in Arithmeticke by numbring. The first figure standeth but for one, the second for ten, the third for one hundred, and so increasing their value according to their places; so it is in sin. [...]atth. 5, Anger without cause is liable to judge­ment: Exasperating gestures, to the punishment of a Counsell; but rai­ling speeches are worthy of hell fire. Iudas was first a cunning dissembler. Secondly, a close fisted theefe. Third­ly, a bloody traytour. And lastly, which is worst of all, a desperate re­probate. [Page 153] But I would not so be un­derstood, as if I did lessen and exte­nuate sinne, for The wages of sinne is Rom. 6, 23. death; yet some sinnes shall feele the [...]orments of death more than other. Ba­ [...]abas murther was great, but Iudas vil­ [...]any in betraying his Master was grea­ [...]er; in so much, that it had bin good [...]or him, if he had never beene borne.

If sinne be so fruitfull, and bee in­creased Vse. by circumstances, then let it [...]e our wisedome, in time, to roote [...]p those plants, whose increase is so dangerous, and whose sappe is so ve­ [...]emous. About holy matters, let allIn rebus sa­cris nulla sit delibera­tio. Cyp. delay bee absent. Secondly, seeing sinne proceedeth from footing to roo­ [...]ing, and from rooting unto shooting forth to encrease; let us weaken the [...]bility of sinne, by taking away the [...]rops and sustainements of sinne. If [...]he currents and passages bee stopt, [...]hat leadeth to a Lake, it will at [...]ast be dryed up; take away the props and foundation of a house, and it will [Page 154] at last fall of it selfe. So sinne if it be not cherished, will quickly bee extin­guished. But if men will not make use of the meanes and mercies God hath given them to withstand sinne▪ but will give the reines unto their af­fections, to wallow in sinne, with greedinesse, not resting till they have gon through Genera singulorum the kinds of all sinnes, and Singula gene­rum the particulars of all those kinds; leaving if it were possible no sinne for others to commit, retayning still Vo­luntatem peccandi a will of sinning, though for age or sickenesse they have not facultatem peccare, ability to sinne; yet for all this, they are wil­ling to engrosse it into their owne hands: such men deserve to be given up to a reprobate sence, and to bee pestred with seaven spirits more wicked than the former. God will severely revenge himselfe upon un­thankefull persons that abuse his grace and mercy, and squares out his [Page 155] judgements according to the pro­ [...]ortion of the blessing conferred and [...]bused.

As the seaven spirits are the re­ [...]ard of him that makes much of one [...]ad and uncleane one; so are seaven [...]ood spirits bestowed on him that [...]seth one good spirit well. God [...]ownes his owne graces in his chil­ [...]en, and when he findes thankeful­ [...]esse for his mercies, hee opens his [...]and wider: hee is delighted to see [...]is graces flourish and increase in his [...]hildren, therefore he that is righte­ [...]us, let him bee righteous still, andRevel, 2, 11, [...]ee that is holy, let him be holy still. God delights to have his graces en­ [...]reased; Then if wee stand still or [...]oe backward in the practise of piety, [...]e may feare the doome of the un­ [...]rofitable servant that hid his talent [...]n a napkin, whose sentence was to [...]e bound hand and foot, and to bee [...]ast into utter darkenesse. God can­ [...]ot endure drones in his service, but [Page 156] will have his growe more and more therefore those which are dull schollers in his schoole, may justly fear [...] that they are in the number of thos [...] whom he hath rejected; for if he ha [...] had a love to them, hee would hav [...] increased his graces in them. Th [...] Apostle exhorted godly Timothy, t [...] stirre up the gifts of God that wer [...] in him, 2 Tim. 1. 6. intimating unto us▪ that the graces of Gods spirit, are lik [...] unto fire, and fire will quickly be ex­tinguished, unlesse it be cherished and blowne up. Sathan labours by all meanes to blow out the fire of our zeale, and therefore wee must use al [...] meanes to keepe it burning; else the more inexcusable we are, if we have experience of his policy, and have no grace to resist it.

And they enter in, and dwell there, Vers. 45. and the last state of that man is worse than the first.

Heere wee may see the miserable estate of a carelesse and secure sinner: [Page 157] for want of watchfulnesse Sathan en­ [...]ers in, and gaines possession without [...]ny resistance. God hath provided [...] compleate armour for to defend his [...]hildren, as you may see described, Ephe. 6. 14. 15. 16. Stand therefore, ha­ [...]aving your loynes girt about with truth, [...]nd having on the breastplate of righte­ [...]usnesse: And your feete shod with the [...]reparation of the Gospel of peace. Above [...]ll, take the shield of faith, wherewith yee [...]hall be able to quench all the fiery darts [...]f the wicked. This armour is firme, [...]and able to secure those that buckle it [...]on, from all dangers, if they will play the men and quit themselves valiant­ly; but this backslider hath not a piece of it to ward off the least blow. Sathan is a cunning fencer, which knowes how to handle his weapons, but this silly wretch hath never a weapon to defend himselfe, and offend his enemie; but is like an unwalled Citty, exposed to the malice of his enemy. No marvaile then if these [Page 158] foule spirits enter in & take possession, seeing there is no opposition made to resist them, nor desire to repell them.

His misery now followes:

They enter in and dwell there.

They that are fallen from common graces and illumination, are twise more subject to Sathan than they were before. Hee dwelleth in them Non tanquam corpus locatum in loco, as the Philosophers say, as a bodie seated in a place; for the Divells are spirits, and not contained in any place. Nor yet Tanquam forma in materia, as the soule doth dwell in the body; but the divells dwelling is by his power and operation. He dwelleth in them by working in them. Would you know what hee workes? The Philo­sopher saith, Omne agens sibi simile agit. Every Agent worketh like himselfe, that is, he maketh them as proud, cru­ell, envious, and uncleane as himselfe. Would you know how he workes in them? Sathan cannot compell or [Page 159] enforce any man to wickednesse; yet he is able to worke upon the affecti­ons, and by a spirituall power to dar­ [...]en the mindes of the ungodly, That [...]he light of the Gospel of Christ should not 2 Cor, 4, 4, [...]hine unto them, 2 Cor. 4. 4. Hardning [...]heir hearts, that being past feeling, they [...]ight give themselves over unto lasci­ [...]iousnesse Ephe, 4, 19, to worke all uncleannesse with greedinesse. Hardning their hearts from [...]he feare of Gods judgements, and so trea­ [...]ure Rom, 2, 5, up wrath against the day of wrath. Sathan sets an edge upon the affecti­ [...]ns, and stirrs them up to desire and [...]oe evill. Thus he makes the wedge [...]f gold glister in the covetous mans [...]ght, the red wine in the glasse plea­ [...]ant to the drunkards sight: As hee [...]ets a false varnish upon sinne, so also [...]e makes the way of vertue hard and [...]npleasant, so that where Sathan doth [...]ule and raigne, there hee is sayd to [...]well. The Lord defend us from his [...]ower, that hee may never dwell so [...]mong us, for he is an unreasonable [Page 160] guest, he will not bee gon till he hath eaten his Landlord out of house and home.

They enter in and dwell there.

There is roome enough in an hy­pocrites heart for many sinnes; Mary Magdalen had seaven, but this wretch hath eight. Absalon had pride, treason, ambition, incest, and ingratitude; all these lodged in a small piece of flesh. Hee that will carefully observe how much filthinesse our blessed Lord dis­covers lodged in one heart, which sends out evill thoughts, Murthers, Matth. 15, 19. Adulteries, Fornication, Theft false wit­nesse bearing, Blasphemies; cannot but wonder, how so small a thing could containe, so great a quantitie; yet here we see that innumerable sinnes are in­volved in one man. The divells know that a kingdome divided, cannot stand, and therefore they are quiet among themselves. Would God the factious spirits of our age would con­sider this; then there would not bee so [Page 161] much contention for things indiffe­rent, as there is.

The last state of that man is worse than the first.

His state was bad enough before, but now it is worse, by reason of the strong possession hee had; but one divell before, but now hee hath eight; which will the sooner worke out his damnation. The last state of such a man is worse than the former, and that in a threefold respect:

  • 1. Of the Devills.
  • 2. Of the Sinner.
  • 3. Of God.

1 In respect of the divell, who now will use him worse than before; hee let him enjoy his pleasures and his vanities before; but seeing him in any good moode, he feares least hee get from him; he cannot endure that a man should repaire to the place of Gods worship or converse with good company; hee knowes, the power of the word and godly conference are [Page 162] to convert a desperate sinner; therefore if he can finde his opportu­nity, he will remoove him from all meanes whereby he might be saved; and harden his heart, and dead his affections, till hee hath plunged him under the wrath of God unrecovera­blie.

2. His state is worse in regard of himselfe, while he was mantled un­der the garment of piety, and was cloathed with the lambe skin of out­ward profession, so long he injoyed a good estimation among the godly, and enjoyed the benefit of their prayers: but when his counterfeit ho­linesse appeares to be double wicked­nesse, as before his hypocrisie decei­ved the world, so now his Apostacy hath deceived himselfe; therefore his estate is worse. As before he did but counterfeit his repentance, so now he hath got not onely a whoores forehead that he cannot blush; but al­so,Ier. 3. 3. he hath gotten a brazen face, that [Page 163] he can no more blush, than a blacke dogge.

3. His estate is the worse in respect of God, who will turne him out of his protection: when God seeth that he esteemes the dung, huske and trash of this world above him; then hee forsaketh his dwelling being so inju­riously used, and will not let his pro­vidence any longer take charge of him, but let him wallow in his sinnes with all greedinesse; and so, the fur­ther hee goes from Gods mercy, the nearer hee comes unto his ju­stice. God cannot endure backesly­ding, but will severely punish it. Car­nall men, they thinke nothing of the slacking of their zeale, but God ac­counts it as a grievous thing; if any draw backe, his soule shall have no pleasure in him, Heb. 10. 38. Nebu­chadnezzers Dan, 4, fall was great when hee was stript of his Empire, and in stead of ruling men, was turned into the Wildernesse to live among the beasts; [Page 164] but Apostates and backeslyders, they goe from the society with the godly, to wicked Atheists worse than beasts; yea to the company of divells. Nebu­chadnezzar for all his fall, had a stumpeVers. 13. left in the ground, which after sea­ven yeares should sprout out againe, and so should returne to a better estate than hee had before; but those that are revolters and backsliders, have no stumps at al left in the ground but are unrecoverable. For if wee sinne willingly, after that we have re­ceived the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice forHeb. 10. 26, 27. sinnes, but a fearefull looking for of judgements and fiery indignation. Nothing doth so provoke the ven­geance of God against men as Apo­stacie doth. For a man to fall from riches to poverty, from honour to abasement, is a matter of nothing; God loves a man never the worse for his abasement in the world, as may be seene in Iob on the dunghill, or La­zarus [Page 165] at the rich mans gate; but when a man falls from piety to prophane­nesse, from the society with the Saints, to be companions with divels; this is a lamentable thing. Against these men the Lord complaynes, because they have changed their glo­ryIer. [...]. 11. for that which doth not profit. Therefore hee tells them, Thine owne wickednesse shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reproove thee; know therefore and see, that it is an evill thing and bitter, that thou bast forsaken the Lord thy God, and that my feare is not in thee, saith the Lord God of hosts. How fearefull was Iudas fall, to comeVers. 19. from a Preacher to bee a Traytor? Demas from a Gospeller to bee a worldling? So fearefull is the case of all those which have entred into the way of Godlinesse and have made a good beginning, and yet leave off the race in the midds; such men as they are not worthy of the crowne, so also they disgrace not onely them­selves, [Page 166] but also the godly, and pro­cure to them great reproach. For when a man falls from the profession of the truth, the world sees hee was but a painted hypocrite when he was at the best; hence it comes to passe that they loose their honour, and their glory is turned into shame. And if shame rested upon them alone, it were well; but their falls opens the mouths of prophane men to insult and tri­umph and say, These are your profes­sors, and Scripture men, they are as bad as any are; therefore I will trust none of them, for such a mans sake. Now if the spyes which brought an evill report upon the land of Canaan, were never suffered to enter into the land because they discouraged the people; so the Apostate because hee hath laid a stumbling blocke in Gods Childrens way, deserves to bee shut out of the Lords rest, whereof the land of Canaan was a type. Thus you have seene the fearefulnesse of [Page 167] sinne, let us now make application of it to our selves.

Is the decay of grace in the soule Vse. the greatest decay, and to fall from re­ligion the greatest fall, because the things that are lost, are the most pre­cious, and the ruines of the soule which is the most noble and excel­lent, produces dishonour to God, and shame to religion? then what a con­troversie hath the Lord with many of us which with the Church of Ephe­sus have forsaken our first love? How many are there to be found which formerly have shined like the morning starres by their bright pro­fession, which now are turned retro­grade like wandring Planets, and so their glory hath ended in shame, be­cause like the foolish Galathians, they began in the spirit, and ended in the flesh. If a righteous man turne from his righteousnesse & committeth ini­quity, all his righteousnesse shall be forgotten, Ezek. 18. 24. Lots wife, [Page 168] had beene as good have stayed in So­dome, as to have gone out and be tur­ned into a pillar of salt for looking backe.

2. Seeing the sinne of Apostacie is so dangerous, then be exhorted all ye that feare God, if yee would not have a great and shamefull fall, then take direction from Iude the servant of Ie­sus Christ, to Build up your selves in your [...]de 20: most holy faith, striving every day to be better and better, for we are like a boate that goes against the streame; if we doe not labour with might and maine, to row upward, wee shall be carried by the streame of our affecti­ons downeward; therefore if wee would receive the crownes of life, we must continew faithfull unto the death. For he that continueth unto the end shall [...]evel. 2, 10. [...]ath. 24, [...]3. he saved. Therefore in the compasse of our profession we must goe a puncto ad punctum, from point to point, from Alpha to Omega, from the first to the last. Let us dig deepe and lay a good [Page 169] foundation, that wee may be able to [...]ould out when the stormes of po­verty, affliction, disgrace and con­tempt beate upon us. For these ma­ny times come like a wirlewinde, and will be ready to overturne us, if we be not well grounded; therefore that wee may stand fast, make use of these or the like directions.

1. Be carefull to avoyde the least sinne, least it usher in a greater; for sinne and Sathan, as you have heard, winde themselves in by some small temptations, till at the last like the sores of the body, which at first are vicious humors, then swelling tu­mors, and after that impostumate, and so become uncurable; so the sores of sins waxe greater and greater till they breed & bring eternal death: therefore when thou art fallen, thinke of our Saviours counsell; remember whenceRevel. 2, thou art fallen, repent and amend, confesse your sinnes daily and crave [Page 170] pardon for them. Let a man turne byRedcat h [...] ­ [...]o [...]er quo­tidian [...] [...] ­menta un­de corruit per van [...] d [...]lecta men­t [...], Aug. de temp. Ser. 182. daily lamentations, to that from which he is fallen, by vaine delectation. Take heede of lukewarmnesse in religion, and of backsliding. If Christ have washed thee in his blood, bathed thee in his wounds, and cured thee with his stripes, and tooke off this burthen from thy shoulders; take heede of lading thy selfe againe by new trans­gressions, but if thou be made whole, sinne no more, least a worse thing hap­penIoh, 5, 14, unto thee.

2. Take heed of sinne in generall, so in a speciall manner; take heed of vilifying the worke of grace that shines in Gods servants, and is made evident to your consciences by the word or worke of God. This was the fearefull sinne of the Iewes, that daily saw the divine power of Christ shining in their consciences, yet they did oppose themselves against him, and charged him that hee borrowed [Page 171] helpe of the divell, and that hee cast out divels by Beelzebub the Prince of Divells.

3. Take heede of in constancy in re­ligion, and of time-serving. Some thinke that if they bee young Saints, they may proove old divells; there­fore they slacke their zeale in youth, to conforme themselves to the time, and resolve to bee more religious in their old age; but wee see such flut­ter with Noahs Raven, and hardly re­cover themselves againe: but if wee finde our affections running with an irregular motion, let us stay our selves, and make a league with reli­gion, as Ruth did with Naomi, resolve never to part.

4. What vertue soever you finde in the Saints, endevour to imitate, and what God reveales unto you, be care­full to practise; God lookes that his talents should be imployed to his glo­ry, therefore let not your knowledge [Page 172] swimme idlie in your braines for vaine speculation, but let it be fruit­full in your lives for others imitation.

5. Labour for the Spirit of prayer and suplication, for this is an invinci­ble bulwarke against Sathans darts; Crave daily the Lords assistance, and commit your soules unto him daily in well doing, and daily examine your heart by the rule of Gods word, by which try whether you have faith to beleeve Gods promises, & if you have it will make you carefull to obey his Commandements; thus he that keeps the forte of faith towards God, and a cleare conscience towards the world, Sathan may assault him, but shall ne­verOppugnat diaboluine [...] [...]ugnal. subdue him; for whosoever can practise these directions shall be sure to stand fast and firme.

The application doth now follow, Even so shall it be to this wicked ge­neration.

Wee have at large shewed you [Page 173] Gods mercy to the Iewes, and their ingratitude to him againe, and that God hath paid them home, and made them spectacles of his wrath, for all ages to looke upon; therefore we will leave them unto G [...]ds mercy, and in his good time to open their eyes, that they may behold their crucified Sa­viour, and see what may make for their everlasting good; and apply this doctrine to our owne soules.

If I should begin to number the mercies the Lord hath continued un­to the Land in generall, I might spend much time and yet not report the one halfe; of an infinite number take a few. We were all possessed with the spirit of blindnesse, as other nations were, and were tempted to as much uncleanenesse as ever the Pagans were; but yet it pleased the Lord to expell the darkenesse of Popery, and to send the light of the Gospell a­mongst us, which we have enjoyed in [Page 174] peace and purity, this threescore and thirteene yeares; so that we have had peace within our walls, and prosperi­ty within our pallaces, and no com­playning in our streets. And by the powerfull preaching of the Gospell, Sathan this uncleane spirit hath beene cast out of us; now let us take heede least hee creepe into us againe by hy­pocrisie, and unthankefulnesse for the Lords mercies; and so make us thinke that our religion stands in shewes, and consists in outward formality, least wee abusing the Lords mercies, and grow leane and ill favoured after wee have devoured so many yeares of store and plenty under the powerfull preaching of the word, wee arme our enemie against us, who regaining entrance, brings seaven spirits worse than he did before, and so fortifie his habitation with hypocrysie and other foule sinnes (for our unthankefulnesse for the Lords mercies) and then there shall bee more prophanenesse than [Page 175] there was before. But that this feare­full judgement may not overtake us, let us speedily amend our lives, and turne to the Lord with all our hearts; and then our latter end shall be better [...]han our beginning.

Walafridus Strabo, lib. de rebus Ec­clesiasticis.
Siquid in hoc (Lector) placet, assignare memento.
[...]d Domino: quicquid displicet, hocce mihi.
What here is good, to God ascribed bee,
What is infirme, belongs of right to mee.

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