Satan’s Sophistry Answered by Our Savior ChristWilliam Perkins (1558-1602) - The Father of Puritanism
Today, many Christians are turning back to the puritans to, “walk in the old paths,” of God’s word, and to continue to proclaim old truth that glorifies Jesus Christ. There is no new theology. In our electronic age, more and more people are looking to add electronic books (ePubs, mobi and PDF formats) to their library – books from the Reformers and Puritans – in order to become a “digital puritan” themselves. Take a moment to visit Puritan Publications (click the banner below) to find the biggest selection of rare puritan works updated in modern English in both print form and in multiple electronic forms. There are new books published every month. All proceeds go to support A Puritan’s Mind.
Election is God’s decree “whereby on his own free will, he hath ordained certain men to salvation, to the praise of the glory of his grace.” Reprobation is “that part of predestination, whereby God, according to the most free and just purpose of his will, hath determined to reject certain men unto eternal destruction, and misery, and that to the praise of his justice.”
Satan’s Sophistry Answered by Our Savior Christ and in Diverse Sermons Further Manifested
William Perkins (1558-1602)
SATANS SOPHISTRIE ANSWERED BY OVR SAVIOVR CHRIST, AND in diuers Sermons further manifested by that worthy man Maister William Perkins. To which is added, a Comfort for the feeble minded: wherein is set downe the temptations of a Christian.
In that he suffered, and was tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.
Heb. 2. 18.
LONDON, Printed by Richard Field for E. E. and are to be sold at the signe of the Swanne in Paules Church-yard. 1604.
❧To the right Honorable Sir William Russell, Lord Russell, Baron of Thornehaugh, yonger sonne to that most Christian and Honorable Earle, Frauncis Earle of Bedford, with the vertuous Ladie his wife: Grace and Peace.
RIGHT Honorable, as Iohn the Baptist was in one desert,* so our Sauiour Christ he was in an other:* but as these two differed in their being in the world: so did they not accord in their being in the wildernesse. Iohn was with some men, Christ with none; Iohn was with wild men, Christ with wild beasts; Iohn was preaching, Christ praying; Iohn was baptizing, Christ fighting; Iohn was feeding, Christ fasting; Iohn was encountring with Diuels incarnate, Christ did encounter with the Prince of those Diuels. From Iohn preaching in the desert, learne we diligence in our callings: from Christ tempted in the desert, see we troubles at our calling: a Many are the troubles of the righteous, but the Lord delivereth them out of all.
If it please you to giue these after-lines the reading, you shall see set downe that monomachie or single combat, which was hand to hand betwixt Christ and the Devil. And as for Christ Jesus, you shall see him fasting, fighting, conquering. Fasting and an hungry, to shew he was man: fighting & encountring, to shew he was Messiah; and conquering and triumphing, to shew he was God. And as for the Devil, you shall see him obiecting, answering, flying. Obiecting, thatb Christ might despaire;c answering, that he might presume; andd flying, when he could not ouercome.
In Christs temptations, we see the estate of thee Church; in Satans assault, we see his malice to thef Church. Is Christ tempted? thinke it not strange if we fall intog tēptations. For the griefe of the head, is the griefe of theh members: & the temptations of Christ, shew the temptations of i Christians. It is true of Christ, thatk by many tribulatiōs he did enter into the kingdom of God: thatl our High Priest was consecrated by afflictions, that so he must suffer and enter into his m glory.
He is no sooner borne into the world, but he is a hunted by Herod; baptized at Iordan,b but Satan sets on him; a Preacher for repentance, but thec Scribes proscribe him; tod worke miracles, but the Pharisees slaunder him. He is no sooner to suffer, bute the Devil assaults him; apprehēded, but thef Iewes deliver him; delivered, but g Herod derides him; derided, buth Pilate condemnes him; condemned, but the souldiersi abuse him. Is he on the crosse? thek people will not pitie him: is he risen? the high Priests willl belie him. In a word, is he vpon earth? he is tempted in hism person; is he in heaven? he isn tempted in his members. Thus the life of Christ was a warfare vpon earth, and the life of Christians must be a warfare vpon earth. We live here in a sea of troubles: the sea is the world, the waves are calamities, the Church is the ship, the anker is hope, the sailes are loue, the Saints are passengers, the haven is heaven, and Christ is our Pilot. When the sea can continue without waves, the shippe without tossings, and passengers not be sicke vpon the water, then shall the Church of God be without trials. We begin this voyage so soone as we are borne, and we must saile on till our dying day.
We do reade in Gods word of many kinds of temptations: God, Satan, Man, the World, & the Flesh, are said to tempt. God tempteth man to trie his obedience, Satan tempteth man to make him disobedient: men do tempt men to try what is in them: and man tempteth God, to trie what is in him. The world is a tempter, to keepe man from God: and the flesh is a tempter, to bring man to the Devil. So God tempted Abraham a in the offering of his son: Satanb tempted Iob in the losse of his goods: acQueene tempted Salomon in trying his wisedome: mend tēpted God by distrust in the desert: the world tempted Demas,e when he forsooke the Apostles: and the flesh tempted Dauid,f when he fell by adulterie. Doth God tempt us? take heed of hypocrisie: doth Satan tempt us? take heed of his subtiltie: doth man tempt man? take heed of dissembling: doth man tempt God? take heed of inquiring: doth the world tempt man? take heed of apostacie: doth the flesh tempt man? take heed of carnalitie. But do we so? are we warie of these tempters? No, we are not, and therefore we fal. We fal on the right hand, by temptations in prosperitie, and we fall on the left, by temptations in aduersitie. Of the one it may be said, it hath slaineg thousands: of the other, that it hath slaine ten thousands.
When we come and see cities dispeopled, houses defaced, and wals pulled downe, we say, the souldier hath bene there: and when we see pride in the rich, discontent in the poore, and sinne in all, we may iustly say, the Tēpter hath bin there.
Now of all other temptations, it pleaseth God to suffer his Church to be tempted with afflictions. It is neuer free either from the sword of Ishmael: which isa a reuiling tong: or the sword of Esau, ab persecuting hand. Neither was there yet euer Christian man found, who had not his part in the cup of affliction. We must drinke of thec same cuppe our maister did:d the disciple is not aboue his maister.
The reasons why God doth visit us thus with afflictions,* are: 1. To humble us. 2. To weane us. 3. To winow us. 4. To preuent us. 5. To teach us. 6. To enlighten us. 7. To honour us. 8. To cure us. 9. To crowne us. 10. To comfort us. 11. To protect us. 12. To adopt us. And last of all, to teach & comfort others. Toe humble us, that we be not proud:f to weane us, that we loue not this world:g to winnow us, that we be not chaffe:h to preuent us, that we do not sinne:i to teach us, that we be patient in aduersitie: tok enlighten us, that we see our errors: tol honor us, that our faith may be manifest: to cure us, that wem surfet not of securitie: ton crowne us, that we may live eternally: too comfort us, that he may send his spirit:: top protect us, that he may guide us by his Angels: toa adopt us, that we may be his sonnes:b and to teach others, that they seeing how sin is punished in us, they may take heed it be not found in them: that theyc seeing our comforts in troubles, may not be discouraged in the like trials.
Thus a Christian mans diet is more sowre thē sweet: his physicke is more aloes then honie: his life is more a pilgrimage then a progresse: & his death is more despised then honoured. This if men would thinke of before, afflictions would be as welcom to the soule of man, asd afflicted Ruth was to the field of Boaz. But because we looke not for them before they come, think not on Gods doing when they are come, and do desire to be happie both here and hereafter: therfore we can away with the name of Naomi, but in no case would we be callede Mara. Wef see the sea, not the whale: theg Egyptian, not the saluation: the h Lions mouth, not him that stoppeth the Lions mouth. If we could see God in our troubles, asi Elisha did in his, then would we say: There are more with us, then there are against us. But because we do not, therefore at euery assault of the Assyrians, we say, as the seruant tok Elishah did: Alas maister, what shall we do? and with the disciples: l Carest thou not maister that we perish? Yet it is good for us to suffer affliction.m Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receiue the crowne of life which the Lord hath promised to thē that loue him. It isa commanded by God,b practised by Christ, c yeelded to by the Saints,d assigned by Gods prouidence, and good for us each way. We are Gods e trees, we shall grow better by pruning: Gods pomander, smell better by rubbing: Gods spice, be more profitable by bruising: and Gods conduits, we are the better by running. Let us suffer afflictions, they aref momentanie in respect of time: g fauors, if we respect Gods loue, and a meanes to bring us to the kingdome of God. If they did consume us, we might wish them an end: but they do purge us, let us be content. Theyh are Gods fan, we are Gods wheate: they are Gods boulter, we are Gods meale: they are Godsi flame, we are Gods bush: they are Godsk cords, we are Gods sacrifice: they are Gods f•rnace, we are Gods gold. The wheate will not be good without the fan, nor the meale without the bolter, nor the bush without the flame, nor the sacrifice without the cords, nor the gold without the fornace: they are trials, not punishments, if we be sons: punishments, not trials, if we be slaves. Let us then beare thē, they l will have an end: ioym will follow: theyn shew us our weaknesse: theyo moue us to pray: theyp shew we are in the path way to heaven: andq make us contemne this present world. By them wea learn to repent us of sin past,b to take heed of sinne present, and to foresee sin to come. By them wec receiue Gods spirit,d are like to Christ: are acquainted e with Gods power: havef ioy in deliverance: know benefite of prosperitie: made more hardie to suffer: andg have cause to practise many excellent vertues. They cause us (as one saith) to seeke out Gods promise: the promise to seeke faith: faith to seeke prayer: and prayer to find God.h Seeke, and ye shall find:i call, and he will answer:k waite, & he wil come. I am to write an Epistle, I must not be long. Iobsl messengers came not so fast on him: but Iobs afflictions may come as fast vpō us. Hath Dauid slainem a Bere? he shall encounter with a Lion: hath he killed a Lion?n he must fight with Goliah: hath he subdued Goliah? he must make a r•ad vpon the Philistims: are the Philistims conquered?o Saul wil assault him. Remēber Dauids troubles, and foresee what may be our troubles. The more righteous we are, the more manifold are our troubles: and the better we are, the better we may indure them.
But as our troubles are many, so are our deliverances many: God will deliver us out of all. He that deliveredp Noah frō the floud,q L•t frō Sodome, r Iacob from Esau,s Ioseph from Potiphar, Moses from Pharaoh,ab Israell frō Egypt,c Dauid from Saul,d Eliah from Acab,e Elysha from the Syrians,f Naaman from his leprosie,g Hezechiah from the plague,h the three children from the fire,i Daniel from the Lions,k Ioseph from Herod, the Apostlesl from the Iewes,m and Christ from the Devil: he, euen he will either deliver us frō trouble, or comfort us in trouble, or mitigate troubles when they come vpon us.
He,n he hath promised to do it, and he that hath promised, is able to do it. And this he doth sometimes by no meanes, sometimes by small means, sometimes by ordinarie means, sometimes by extraordinarie, sometimes contrarie to all meanes. By noo meanes he cured a creeple at Bethesda: byp small meanes he fed fiue thousand in the desert: byq ordinarie meanes he was brought from the pinnacle: by meanes extraordinarie he was prouided for in hunger:r and contrarie to all meanes were thes three children preserued in the fornace of fire.
I have good cause to thinke of Gods gracious deliverance, being my selfe delivered frō a great trouble.* Since the time I was vnkindly dismissed from my poore charge, where I would have continued, if malice had not hindred me, I have lived in an end of this City: dangerously in respect of the sicknesse; poorely, in regard of maintenāce; and painfully, in respect of my ministerie: yet ti• this time hath the Lord delivered me: and 〈◊〉 Paule said:a he will deliver me, if that he se• it be best for me.
Let man thereforeb comfort himselfe in the Lord:c after two dayes he will reuiue us, and the third day he will raise us vp againe:d Heauinesse may endure for a night, but ioy will come in the morning.e Doubtlesse there is a reward for the righteous: verily,f God retaineth not his wrath for euer. Could he ouercome the world, and can he not ouercome many troubles in the world? Yea, let one plague follow another, as one quaile sings to another: yet as theg viper leaped on Paules hand, and forthwith leaped off again, so one trouble shall leape vpon the righteous, and anon leape off againe:h though he fall, he shall rise againe, the righteous shall not be forsaken for euer.
If he hath delivered us from the guilt of our sinnes, he will deliver us from the punishment of our sins. Let us then therefore be patient in trouble, constant in hope, rooted in loue: let us waite 〈◊〉 he will come, call and he will heare, beleeue and he will performe, repent us of our euill committed against him, and he will repent of his euils intēded against us. He is ouer us by his prouidence, about us by his Angels, in us by his spirit, with us by his word, vnder us by his power, and vpon us by his Sonne. In him is our helpe, from him is our comfort, by him is our victorie, and for him is our trouble.a In thee have I trusted, saith a king:b who euer was confounded that trusted in the Lord, said a friend? and as El•anah was toc Hannah in stead of many sons, so God is to his in stead of many comforters. Of other comforters, we may say as Iob did of his friends: d Silly comforters are you all. They wil leave us, as mice do a ruinous house: but the Lord (like e Ruth to Naomi) will neuer leave us, nor forsake us. Especially in the houre of death,f which is in remēbrance bitter to great men: in that houre of death he will be with us, and command hisg Angels to take charge of our soules, theh earth to be as a bed for our bodies: that so the onei may go into glorie, the other reserued in hope of like glorie, k and be made one day like vnto the glorious bodie of Christ Jesus. Thus right Honourable you have seene the righteous in afflictions: asl Israel was in Babylon: and that the Lord likem Zorobabel is readie to deliver them. Though in trobles Christ seemes as in then ship to sleepe, yet in deliverance he awakes as a man out of sleepe, and as a Giant refreshed with wine. He will rebuke the waves and winds of trobles and persecution, and they shall flie before him as Sysera did before a Debora, & theb Philistims before Ionath• and his seruant. And as Christ asking the wom•• of her accusers, she answered:c There was none: 〈◊〉 in the end aske a Christian of his troubles, & h• will say, There are none. He is a buckler for ou• left hand, and a sword in our right: he is an helmet on our head, and harnesse for our bodie. We shall look vpon troubles, asd Israel did on the Egyptians, as thee Iewes did on Goliah, and as the Grecians did on Hector, to triumph ouer them: and as the Angell said to Ioseph:f They are dead that sought the childs life, so the Spirit shal say to the afflicted, They are dead that did seeke your life. A day of deliverance, a yeare of Iubile will come, and theng Ioseph shall be out of prison, h Iacob out of seruitude, andi Iob shal lie no more in the dust of the earth:k Let us comfort our selues with these words.
I have exceeded an Epistle, especially to such a small booke. If the wals seeme too great for this citie: abundans cautela non nocet. It is usuall for Students not onely to present their owne labours, but also other mens to great personages, especially such Works wherin they have bene either Translators or ouerseers. It were infinit to instance this point. I am bold to do the like to your Honour at this time. This Copie it was brought vnto my hand, I have conferred it with another, I have perused it at the Presse, I heard diuerse of the Sermons, I have added nothing of mine owne: and I desire, that of thosea many baskets ful of most delicate diet, which this worthie man hath now left behind him, there may not so much as any one be lost. If any such come vnto my hand, surely they shall not be lost. By his life had I much comfort, and I will seeke to honor him after he is dead. I was twentie yeares acquainted with him:* I at his request made the first fruites of his labours to speake English. And now I am bold to present this his posthume to your patronage.* Your honorable Nephew, his vertuous Lady, your worthy sister, have heretofore accepted the labours of this man. If it shall please your good Honour to do the like,* this Preface of mine shall remaine as a perpetuall testimonie of my dutie to you: and the booke following as fully armed against all such aduersaries as shall speake against it. The God of heauē, who hath made you honorable in your most honorable Progenitors, make you thrice honorable in your future successors: that the memoriall of the righteous may be euerlasting,* when as the name of the wicked shall r•t.
Your Honors at commandement, ROBERT HILL, Fellow Of S. Iohns Coll. in Cambridge.
London, S. Martins in the fields.Ian. 12. 1604.
The Printer to the Reader.
GEntle Reader, in the life of that worthie man Master Perkins, his books for the most part were printed at Cambridge. The onely reason was, his desire to be Corrector to his owne bookes. Since he departed this life, some good men have brought me certaine labours of his. I desire not to print them to make gaine to myselfe, but because I would not have his labours to be lost. He was heard of many by his speech, read of many in his writings, and his works have bene translated into many languages. Mislike not this booke, because it was printed at London, his auditors can tell it was as he spake it. If you say, it was hard to write as he spake: know this, that he obserued his auditors, and so spake, as a diligent Baru• might write verbatim al that was spoken by this Ieremiah.* Use this, and communicate that which thou hast of his.
SATANS SOPHISTRIE ANSWERED BY OUR SAVIOUR CHRIST.
MATH. 4. 1.
Then was Jesus led aside of the Spirit, &c.
IN the eleuen first verses of this Chapter, are recorded and set downe vnto us the seuerall temptations of our Sauiour Christ: and in them we are to consider three especiall points: First, the preparation vnto the combat▪ vers. 1. and 2. Secondly, the combat it selfe in three seuerall temptations, vers. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Thirdly, the issue and effect of this combat, vers. 11.
The preparation hath two parts: first, the going forth of Christ into the wildernesse, in the first verse. Secondly, his abode and conuersation in the wildernesse, in the second verse.
The going forth of Christ into the wildernesse, is set out by sundrie circumstances: first, the time, then. Secondly, the mouing cause, whereby he was caried thither, namely he was led of the spirit. Thirdly, the place, the wildernesse. Fourthly, the end, to be tempted of the Devil.
Then was Jesus led] In the Chapter going before is set downe the baptisme of our Sauiour Christ, as also the great honour of his Baptisme. And it pleased him to be baptized, to shew that he was now installed into the office of a Mediator: and for the greater solemnitie of his baptisme, he was proclaimed by the voice of God the Father from heaven, to be the chiefe Doctor, and the true Prophet of the Church of God: for chap. 3. 17. it is said: There came a voice from heaven, saying, this is my welbeloued Sonne, in whom I am well pleased. And also it is said, that the Spirit of God in the likenesse of a Doue descended and light vpon him. Now so soone as Christ was installed into his office of Mediator, and thus solemnely baptized, and proclaimed, euen from heaven, to be the sole Doctor and Prophet of the Church of God, presently without delay, as is Marke 1. 12. he was led aside to be tempted of the Devil.
In that Christ is no sooner baptised,* but he is presently tempted, it sheweth us, that all those which have bene baptised, and giuen vp their names to Christ, must make account to be tempted, and looke for temptations. For if Satan durst be so bold to set vpon Jesus Christ the head, who was not onely man but very God; how much more will he be bold to set vpon us, who be but weake and sinfull men? And therefore so soone as we have truly giuen vp our names to God, and become the faithfull souldiers of Christ, and refuse to serue sinne and Satan, then will the Devil incounter us, and set vpon us▪ and we must looke for to be tempted, preparing our selues to this spirituall battell, and put vpon us the whole complete armour of God. Ephes. 6. 11.
But most men will say, this doctrine is not true: for they neuer felt any such combat in themselues, though they have bin baptized many yeares.
I answer; such men whatsoeuer they be, they have onely the outward baptisme of water, and neuer receiued the inward baptisme of the Spirit: and such men do indeed weare Christs liverie, but do seruice to the Devil his enemie. And therefore let such persons reforme them selues, turne from their wicked and sinfull lives, and seeke to serue the Lord, and then they shall find this doctrine most true. For the children of Israel so long as they lived vnder Pharaoh in Egypt, they were not persecuted by Pharaoh: but when they did set their faces towards the land of Canaan, then presently he pursued them with all his malice and might. So all the while men live in Egypt▪ that is, in sin and wickednesse, and serue the Devil, he will let them be at quiet: but if euer we once set our hearts on that heavenly Canaan, and giue our selues to the seruice of God, then he will with open mouth pursue us, follow us with many armies, and cast an hundred temptations in our way. And as a poore bird which cometh to the shop, and when she thinketh to get away, then cometh all her paine, and the net is spread ouer her: so when men begin to leave their euill courses, and to set themselues to serue the Lord, presently the Devil doth spread his net to intangle them. This must teach us to watch and pray, that we enter not into temptation.
Secondly,* in that our Sauiour is no sooner baptized, & ordained to be the great Doctor of the Church, but he is presently tempted and encountred by Satan: hence we learne, that all those which be appointed of God to any speciall office in the Church or common-weale, they must make account they shall be tempted, and looke for Satans temptations one way or other: it was that which befell the head, and therefore let us all that be his members reckon of it. Example of this we have in Moses,* who so soone as he was new called to be the guide and deliverer of the children of Israel, he was faine to flie when he had killed the Egyptian.* And Dauid was no sooner appointed by God to be King of Israell, but Saule did persecute him. As soone as our Sauiour Christ had called the Apostles to that office, he brought them to the sea, and there by his diuine power raised a storme,* so as they cried out, Maister, save us, or else we perish.
And this the Lord doth in great wisdome: for by this meanes he sheweth a man that he is not able of himselfe to execute the duties of his particular calling without the speciall grace of God: and by these temptations and trials, the Lord stirreth vp a greater loue of his Maiestie in the hearts of his children, and with it many other graces, as prayer, patience, &c. and maketh these graces the better to shew themselues.
Seeing that our Sauiour Christ begins his propheticall office of teaching the Church of God with temptations:* this should admonish the Ministers of the word of God, that they of all other men are subiect to Satans temptations, because they be the Lords Standard-bearers, and his Lieutenants, against whom Satan and al his souldiers bend all their forces, as souldiers often do against the standard-bearer. When as Iehoshua the high Priest stood before the Lord, Satan stood at his right hand to hinder him, Zach. 3. 1. He was a lying spirit in the mouth of foure hundred false Prophets:* and this old red Dragon, Reu. 12. with his taile draweth downe the third part of the stars of heaven: he desired to winnow Peter, and to trie him by temptations, Luke 22. And as the king of Aram said of Acab:*Fight not against small or great, but against the king of Israel: so Satan fighteth not against any so much, as the Prophets of Israel, the Ministers of the Church.
So then we may see, that temptations are necessary for the Ministers of the word, that they may both know what they be, and also learne how to comfort others in time o• temptation. Also to teach us the true use of the word of God, and the force of it in resisting temptation. For certaine it is, that temptations teach men many things which they could neuer learne by bare studie. So that one sayd well: Reading, meditation, prayer, and temptations, these foure make a Diuine.
The second point to be considered, is, what was the cause which moued our Sauior Christ to go into the wildernesse: which was the leading of the Spirit: Jesus was led aside of the spirit: Luke. 4. 1. or as the word signifieth, he was caried apart, Mark. 1. 12. not by a forced, but a voluntary motion. This was not a locall transportation of the bodie of Christ, as that of Eliah, and of Philip from the Eunuch: but by the inward instinct of the holy Ghost he was mooued and made willing to go,* as the word which Luk. 4. 1. useth, sheweth plainely.
And by the Spirit here, is not meant the Devil or an euill spirit, but the holy Spirit of God, euen the third person in the Trinitie. And so we see that Christ may both guide the Spirit, and be guided by the Spirit: for Christ as he is man is led and guided by the Spirit; but as he is God, he doth guide and send his Spirit.
Obiection. Christ sendeth the holy Ghost,* therefore cannot be led by it.*Ans. As Christ was man he was guided by Gods spirit, as he was God he sent the Spirit.
Hence we may behold the exceeding holinesse of the manhood or humane nature of Christ,* who as he was man was guided by the Spirit of God, euen in his mouing from one place to another. And it is that which euery one should desire, to be like vnto our Sauiour Christ in this, viz. to suffer our selues to be guided & directed by Gods holy spirit in all our thoughts, words and deeds: for this is a true note of Gods children, Rom. 8. 14. but as many as are not led by the Spirit of God, the same are none of his, Rom. 8. 9. And therefore let us all become plyable to the motions and directions of Gods blessed spirit, so as we can say as Dauid saith: When thou saydst, Seeke ye my face:*my heart answered vnto thee: O Lord, I will seeke thy face.
Againe,* from this that Christ was led vnto temptations by the spirit of God, we learne, that temptations come not by chance, nor yet by the diuels will and appointment: for he could not touch Iob or any thing he had, till he had leave giuen him by the Lord: and he could not so much as enter into swine, till Christ gave him leave; but they come by his •ust permission, and the speciall prouidence •nd appointment of God. For as God de•reed, that he which had ouercome all mankind, should be ouercome by Christ: so he •ath appointed this combat by temptations •o all men:* the place where it is tried, is the world as a theater: the persons as souldiers tried, are Christians: the person tempting, is Satan our aduersarie: the beholders are men and Angels: the Iudge or vmpire is the Lord himselfe, so that the issue shall be good. And therefore when we be tempted, we must not thinke it strange: but rather as Iam. 1. 2. Accompt it exceeding ioy when we are tempted for the triall of our faith and obedience. And also seeing they come by Gods appointment, it should moue us all to endure them patiently, seeing they cannot be auoyded.
Seeing Christ was led to be tempted:* hence we learne, that no man must wittingly of his own head, cast himself into places of danger: for Christ went not into the place of temptation til he was led by the spirit of God. And so indeed, if a man find himselfe moued by some extraordinary motion and instinct of the spirit, he may offer himselfe vnto danger. So Paul went bound in the spirit to Ierusalem:* that is, he did willingly follow the motion 〈◊〉 Gods spirit, which inforced him to go to Ie•rusalem. And so many of the Martyrs, thoug• they might have fled, yet being moued 〈◊〉 the inward motion of the holy Ghost, di••stand to the truth, abide the danger, and en•dured the fire. But otherwise no man is wittingly to cast himselfe into danger; yet if the Lord send any danger vnto a man in the performance of his calling and vocation, walking according to Gods word, he is patiently to endure it, and may not seeke to auoide the same.
Here may be demaunded,* whether a ma• may with good conscience and safely, abid• in such places where it is certainely known• that euill spirits do haunt and use to be?
Although some be so venturous and bold that they feare nothing,* yet it is no wisdome neither is it lawfull for men to frequent and abide in those places, but rather to shunn• them, seeing the Lord hath delivered them vp into the power of the Devil. And therefore such men as frequent such places know• to be possessed, do wilfully tempt God, and cast themselues into needlesse danger, vnlesse they have extraordinary warrant from God.
This may serue to reprooue those men who say they care not into what companie they come, for they perswade themselues that no companie can hurt them: but let such men beware; for how can it be but they shall be infected with the sinnes of those whose companie they usually do haunt and use?*He that walketh with the wise, shall be wise: but a companion of fooles shall be like vnto them. He that toucheth pitch, shall be defiled: and if sinners intice thee, yeeld not vnto them.
Againe,* here we see that so long as Christ lived a priuate life at home with his father in his trade, all this while the Devil lets him alone; neither hath he these gifts of the holy Ghost: but after he was once installed to the office of a Mediator, presently the Devil sets vpon him: and when he must now be another kind of man in teaching the people of God, he is led now by the spirit of God, and furnished for this high and excellent calling.
Hence then we must learne, that when we are appointed of God to any speciall office, either in Church or Common-weale, we must then become new men fit for those places, and carie our selues sutable to our callings. Thus when Saul was annointed to b• King, he became another man; thus whe•Dauid became of a shepheard a King, he be• haved himselfe as a King; thus the Apostle at the first were poore ignorant fisher-men but being called to be Apostles, they le•• their old trade and became new men, eue• messengers of Christ to preach the Gospel to all nations.
This confuteth those which pleade extraordinary callings,* as those men who ca• themselues Elias, Iohn Baptist, &c. for if thes• were such men, and had such extraordinari• callings, they should be endued with extraordinarie gifts fit for their calling; but they are not, nay we see they be but ordinary men.
[ 1] Againe, by nature we be all borne the children of wrath and enemies to God, but by grace are called to be Christians: now the• it behoueth us all to become new men, to leade new lives fitting and sutable to our holy calling, giuing our selues wholy to the seruice and worship of God. Now if any aske• how Christ was furnished with these gifts: • answer out of S. Luke, that he was filled with the holy Ghost, chap. 4. vers. 1. If any furthe• obiect, that if he were so filled after his baptisme, then he was not filled before: I answer• againe, that as in his infancie he had a mea•ure of gifts fit for that age; so from time to ••me he increased in grace, and after his bap••sme had a greater appearance and measure •f gifts then before his calling to preach.
It followeth,*Into the wildernesse. Here is •he third circumstance, namely the place, into •he wildernesse or desert place: which place Christ did of purpose choose to be tempted •n. There be diuers opinions concerning this place, some thinke it to be a litle wildernesse betwixt Ierusalem and Iericho; others iudge •t to be the desert of Arabia, where Elias fa•ted fortie dayes and fortie nights, and where •he children of Israel wandred fortie yeares. But seeing the holy Ghost doth not shew what wildernes it was, we are not curiously •o inquire after it, but onely know it was a desert and solitary place.
Let us rather seeke the reasons wherefore he was tempted in the wildernesse:* first, because Christ comming into the world to be •ut Mediator,* tooke vpon him the base estate of a seruant, and came in humiliation: therefore when he was now baptized, he would not go to Ierusalem to publish his honour, but he went into the desert, a solitary wildernesse.
[ 2] Againe, he went into the wildernesse, tha• he might not onely the more easily incounter, but more victoriously ouercome his enemie the Devil: for if Satan had seene him i• his glorie, he durst not so fiercely and so eagerly have set vpon him; and therefore dot• as the fisherman, who hideth the hooke and sheweth onely the baite: so Christ he sheweth his manhood, but couereth as it wer• with a mantle his Godhead, so that the Diu•• seeing him in the base estate of humiliation might be the more fierce in his temptation• and he might get a more glorious victorie.
Another reason why Christ was tempte• [ 3] in the wildernes, was this, that he might giu• the Devil the aduantage of the place, and 〈◊〉 ouercomming, might giue him the greate• foyle: for in the wildernesse we want the societie and fellowship of men to comfort v• and such places be noted as solitarie an• voide of comfort, and such Satan will choo•• especially:* for when a man is alone and solitarie, it is that which is fittest for the Diuel• purpose; for when the woman was alon• how soone had the Devil ouercome her And therfore our Sauior Christ in going in•• the wildernes, graunts the Diuel that he 〈◊〉 desired, to have him alone by himselfe.
Fourthly,* Christ would be tempted in the wildernesse, where was none to help him nor to assist him, because the whole praise of the victory belonged to himselfe alone.
Lastly,* Christ went into the wildernesse, that so after he might returne againe with greater authoritie and reuerence to preach the Gospell: for we know that when one hath lived with us, and departs for a season, and after returnes againe, we do receiue him with greater reuerence, and make more account of him.
From this practise of Christ his going into the wildernesse,* the Papists gather that men may live monasticall lives, in cloisters, woods, dens, cels, &c. from the societie and companie of men: but this their collection •is but fond, as may appeare by these reasons: first, Christ did this by the speciall motion and direction of Gods spirit: they go into their cels without any warrant from God. Secondly, he went but once for a certaine time: they continue alwaies there. Thirdly, Christ during his abode in the wildernesse fasted and abstained from all sustenance; but those amongst the Papists that live monasticall and solitarie lives, enioy all their pleasure and delights in eating and drinking, And therefore though solitarinesse at some times is commendable, to fit us for meditation, prayer, repentance, &c. yet to live continually without the company and societie 〈◊〉 men, is neither commendable nor warrantable.
To be tempted of the Devil:]* Here is the en• wherefore Christ was led of the Spirit int• the wildernesse,* namely, to be tempted of th• Devil.
Now this action, to tempt, is ascribed t• God,* to man, and to the Devil. The Lord 〈◊〉 said to tempt, when he proueth and maket• triall of his children, to make manifest wha• hidden thing is in their hearts, Gen. 22. 1. Abraham was tempted by God when he offered his sonne.
Secondly,* man is said to tempt God, wh•• as he shall by vnlawfull meanes trie the prouidence, power, mercy and iustice of God.
Thirdly,* the diuel is said to tempt, when 〈◊〉 he allures by some suggestion inwardly, 〈◊〉 by some obiect outwardly; and in this thi•• sense it is vnderstood here, that the Devil di•tempt Christ, that is, sought to allure him 〈◊〉 some meanes to sinne. And though Chri•• could have confounded Satan by a word 〈◊〉 his mouth, yet notwithstanding he did wi••lingly permit and suffer him to tempt him, because now he stood in our stead: and this was a part of his sufferance to be thus tempted of the Devil.
But how could Christ be tempted,* seeing he was most holy,* euen as he was man? Ans. For all that he might be tempted, as our first parents were before they had sinned.
The Diuel tempts men either by conueying into their minds some secret suggestion, or else moues them by some outward obiect, that he may put into them some conceipt of that sin which he would have them commit: as vnto Iudas, the Diuel cast this vile thought into his heart, Iudas betray thy maister, Iohn 13. 27. So here the Devil suggests vnto the mind of Christ these motions, to moue him to vnbeleefe, idolatrie and couetousnesse. But here is the difference: first, that Christ his most holy heart withstands all Satans temptations. Againe, as these wicked motions disquiet and trouble mens minds, and bring molestations vpon them; so it befell our Sauiour Christ, for he was moued with these temptations, but yet without all sin. Thirdly, men when they are tempted, though they do not altogether receiue and approoue of the temptations, yet they be tainted with them: but yet Christ was neuer so much as any whi•• tainted, nor his holy heart did euer approue of them in any sort, but constantly repelled them. As if a man cast a match into tinder, 〈◊〉 will catch fire and burne; but cast it into water, it will quench it: so temptations coming into our hearts which be like vnto tinder, we are easily tainted with them, though we d• not altogether entertaine them: but the most holy heart of Christ was as water to quench them at the first.
The Devil tempts men with sundry blasphemous, horrible, and vncleane thoughts. Now that we may discerne them, and keepe our selues from despaire when we find them in us, we must know that in the mind there be many cogitations which arise of the flesh, and from our owne corrupt hearts, and these be sinne. Besides these there be other cogitations conueyed aud suggested vnto us by th• Devil, and these be the Diuels temptations▪ but no sinnes to us, vnlesse we entertain• them, receiue and approoue of them: they b• indeed our crosses, but Satans sinnes: fo• Christ was tempted by the Devil, but with standing and repelling his temptations, an• not giuing the least approbation of them, h• was free from sinne, and remained holy aft•• he was thus tempted.
The causes wherfore Christ was tempted,* are these:
First, because he was to vanquish the diuel in his owne kind,* and at his owne weapon: and as the first Adam was ouercome by his temptations, so now the second Adam Christ Jesus might vanquish him in the midst of all his most fierce temptations.
Secondly,* he was tempted, that by his example he might teach us how to resist temptations, as also to shew what temptations are, and the power of them. And therefore that common opinion, that if any be grieuously tempted, men thinke they be notorious sinners, and hauing forsaken God, he now hath forsaken them: it is a false and erronious opinion: for here we see, that the most holy Sonne of God himselfe was tempted.
Againe, seeing Christ the head was tempted,* no member of Christ must looke to be free from temptation, but we must euen make account to be tempted.
Lastly,* our Sauiour Christ was tempted, that so feeling the waight and daunger of temptations, he might be a mercifull high Priest to helpe us in our temptations: as the Apostle doth witnesse.*
The next point to be noted, is the cause and author of his temptation: He was tempted of the Devil. This name Devil, signifieth a cauililer, a slaunderer, a priuie accuser: for he accuseth God to man, as he did to Euah. Gen. 3 •. Hath God said indeed ye shall die?* Nay, but it is because God loues you not: for when ye eate of the tree, God knoweth ye shal be like vnto God.
Secondly, the Diuel accuseth man to God, and is therefore called the Accuser of the brethren;* one which ceasseth not to put vp bils of accusation against us, and to accuse us vnto God, as he dealt with Iob.
Thirdly, the Devil accuseth one man to another, by raising suspitions and bad surmises and by backbiting one another. And seeing the holy Ghost calleth Satan an accuser,* let us all beware of accusing our brethren, of slaundering and backbiting: for such men become like vnto the Devil. Againe, it must admonish al men to beware that they do not by any accusations or slanders, seeke to draw men from embracing the Gospell: for they which take this course make themselues Diuels incarnate. Of this sort was Elyma• the sorcerer, Act. 13. 10. whom Paul therefore calleth the child of the Diuel. And thus much of the first part of the preparation.* Now followeth the second part, viz. the abode of Christ in the wildernesse: which is set out by three circumstances. First, by his fasting forty daies and forty nights. Secondly by his companie there, namely, the wild beasts, Manke 1. 12. Lastly, by those temptations wherewith the Devil did incounter him within the space of those fortie dayes, Luke 4. 2. though the particulars be not set downe by the Euangelists.
The first point, is Christs fasting in the wildernesse the space of fortie dayes.
There be three sorts of fastings:* First, a dayly fast, which is nothing else but the vertue of sobrietie, or a moderate using of the creatures of God with abstinence: and this kind of fasting all men must use continually, and we must take heed of the abuse of Gods creatures by surfetting and drunkennesse. Rom 13. 12.
The second kind of fasting is a religious [ 2] fast, when we abstaine from meate and drink for a certaine time, that we may be more fit for the exercises of repentance, prayer and duties of religion: and this kind of fasting,* the Iewes used sometimes for one meale,* sometimes for two or three, sometimes for many, as 1. Sam. 31. 13. they fasted seuen dayes.
[ 3] The third is a miraculous fast, when any one shall fast many dayes, and that beyond the course of nature:* thus Moses fasted fortie daies and fortie nights in the mountaine; and so fasted Elias. Now there is no man able to fast so long by the course of nature. Indeed Paul did fast three dayes after his conuersion; and those which were with Paule in the ship in that dangerous voyage, Act. 27. 33. are said to have fasted foureteene dayes, which though some thinke is not meant of abstaining from all sustenance, but that they did eate very litle; yet the words are plaine, that they did eate nothing for the space of foureteene dayes. And though it be true that Phisitions affirme, that a man may live seuenteene dayes without meate, yet he cannot endure longer, as twentie or thirtie dayes. Now our Sauiour Christ fasted fortie dayes, and fortie nights, and for all this his complexion was not changed, nor the strength of his bodie weakened; nay he was not hungrie till the end: though men cannot fast a short time, but it wil weaken them and make them hungry, which doth proue this fast of Christ was miraculous.
Now there be some reasons why Christ fasted so long and no longer.* First, that when he came to preach the Gospell, he might come with more authoritie and reuerence: as when Moses had fasted fortie dayes, and brought the two tables, the people receiued him with greater reuerence.* So likewise Elias when he was to restore Religion, he fasted forty dayes and forty nights.
Secondly, he fasted so long, that he might answer vnto the time that Moses and Elias fasted.
Thirdly, he fasted no longer, lest any man should call into question his humanitie, whether he was true man yea or no, if he had fasted threescore or an hundred dayes.
From this miraculous fast of Christ,* the Papists fondly gather their superstitious fast in Lent; being but an apish imitatiō of Christ: and in truth their fasting is no fast, but a plaine mocke-fast, seeing they eate as liberally, and fare as daintily then, as at any other time of the yeare: whereas Christ abstained from all use of meate and drinke.
Secondly, Christ was moued thereunto by the instinct of Gods holy spirit; they have no word to warrant them.
Thirdly, Christ did thus fast but once in all his life: but their fast is continuall, euery yeare, and therefore these reasons proue that their collection is friuolous.
The second speciall point to be marked in the abode of our Sauior Christ in the wildernesse, is his conuersing with the wild beasts, Marke 1. 13.
Some say the cause of his conuersing among the wild beasts,* was, that they might do him that homage which is due to the Creator: but this opinion hath no warrant out of the word of God, and litle truth in it: for though it be true that Jesus Christ is worthy of all homage, yet he came not to this end into the world, but rather to take on him the shape of a seruant.
But the true cause is this: whereas there be two kinds of wildernesses, one which was inhabited, and where Iohn Baptist did baptize & preach: and another not inhabited, where lived all kinds of wild beasts, as Lions, Tygers, Beares, &c. Christ made choise of that which was without the societie of men, wherein were onely the wild beasts to beare him companie, that so in this great combat against the Devil, he might shew he had no aide nor comfort of any man; but that he ouercame by his owne power, and therefore 〈◊〉 the honour and praise of the victory belonged to Christ Jesus alone.
And besides, in the person of Christ we may behold the estate of Gods church here vpon earth, that she liveth here with wicked men, which be no better then wild beasts, as Esay 11. 6. doth testifie.
The third circumstance whereby the abode of Christ in the wildernesse is described,* be those temptaions which befell him within the compasse of the forty dayes, for before the three great conflicts, Luke 4. 2. there is mention made of other temptations, which though they be not specified, yet it is very likely that the Devil did set vpon Christ by sundrie, small, light and weaker temptations, thereby making an entrance to his fiercer and stronger temptations. For it is the diuels maner to go on, and to proceed by degrees in his temptations. As first he cast into Cains mind an angry thought against his brother Abel: after he preuailed, and Caine had conceiued displeasure against his brother, then •he proceedeth to tempt him to murther, and there he did not stay till he had brought him to vtter despaire. So he dealt with Iudas, first he put into Iudas mind this thought; Iudas betray thy maister: which though Iudas did receiue at the first, yet after he letteth it ta•• place, and then the Devil proceedeth by d•grees with him, till he had brought him to h•• purpose. And it is the diuels subtiltie, first 〈◊〉 get if it be but a talent in, then he will thr•• in his foote, yea his head, and wind in hi• whole bodie.
Out of this subtile dealing of the Diuel• that he begins with lesser temptations,* an• proceeds by degrees, it must teach us to b• wise, and to labour, that we may stop the fir•• motions and inclinations to sin, to resist th• very beginnings to euill. For if Satan preuail• in them, he will proceed to more forcibl• temptations.
The fourth and last point in the abode 〈◊〉 Christ in the wildernesse,* is in these word•He was afterward an hungrie: that is, when h• had by the diuine power and vertue of h•• Godhead fasted forty daies and forty night• he was at the last hungry. And this Christ di• for our sakes: for though Christ was the So• of God, yet for our good he was content t• take our nature vpon him, and became tru• man like vnto us in all things excepting sin• and had not onely the will, mind, affection▪ and conscience of man, but also tooke vpon him the infirmities of humane nature, so farre foorth as they be without sinne: and therefore he was subiect to hunger and thirst.
The causes wherefore our Sauiour Christ was hungrie,* are these: first, that he might •hew himself to be true man, and that he had •he infirmities of humane nature: and so we see he would stop the mouthes of such as should say, it was a small matter for him to last so long being the sonne of God. But least we should doubt of his manhood, he is here •s we see touched with hunger, a true infirmitie of mans nature.
Secondly, he was thus hungrie, that by this meanes he might cast vnto the Devil an ob•ect to worke on, and giue him occasion to be more fierce in his assaults.
Then came to him the Tempter,*and said. Here begins the first combat betweene the Diuel and Christ,* and in it we are to consider three especiall points: First, the diuels preparation: Then came to him the Tempter, and said.
Secondly, the temptation it selfe, in these words: If thou be the Sonne of God, commaund that these stones be made bread.
Thirdly, the answer and repulse of Christ, vers. 4.
In the preparation note, first the author, the Tempter: secondly, the time, then: thirdly the occasion of this temptation, namely, the hunger of Christ: fourthly, the diuels coming vnto Christ.
The author is here intituled the Tempter,* s• 1. Thess. 3. 5. and the cause why he is so called is, because it is his desire, his studie and continuall practise to tempt men, and to seeke as much as he can, to draw men from God to his kingdome: and to this purpose he sparet• no paines night and day, assaulting and tempting men to bring them to destruction. He goeth about as a roring Lion,* seeking whom he may deuoure.
Well then, seeing we know it is the diuels study night and day to tempt us,* it should teach us all, as we loue our soules, to watch and pray continually, least we be led into temptations, and so be ouercome of Satan.
[ 2] It is our dutie to seeke to be as vnlike the Devil as possibly we can, because he is the patterne of al euill. Now we see it is the diuel• study to hinder men from the kingdome of heaven, and so to bring them to hell: then o• the contrary, seeing he labours to draw me• from seruing of God, we should quicken vp our selues in the seruice and worship of God▪ and to be more careful to seeke the kingdom of God our selues, and to draw others to the same.
We must beware, that we be no meanes to draw any from embracing of true religion, and from the seruice and worship of God; for if we do, we become euē diuels incarnate. When Christ went vp to Ierusalem to performe the worke of mans redemption, Peter he begins to disswade him from it, and bids him fauour himselfe:* but Christ turneth him backe, and saith, Get thee behind me Satan.
- The second thing is the time when the Devil sets vpon Christ,*Then, namely when he perceiued Christ most weake, and as he thought, not able to resist him. Herein appeareth the pollicie of Satan, when he seeth Christ most weake, the Devil taketh occasion to lay his strongest assaults. So then in the example of Christ we may see the exceeding pollicie of the Devil in tempting of men, namely, he maketh choise of the fittest time to broach his temptations; for he marketh & prieth into men and women, and when he findeth us most weake and most vnable to resist him, then is he the most strong in tempting us, especially at the houre of death, and in the time of afflictiōs, he bendeth the force of his temptations against us.
Oh then,* how should this admonish us al to prepare our selues against the day of afflictiō▪ and the pangs of death; to be stedfast in the faith, to make our calling and election sure that so we may neuer finally fall away; and to intreate the Lord that then when we seeme to be most weake, he would aide and strengthen us by his holy spirit, to resist Satan• assaults.
The third point in the diuels preparation,* i• the occasion wherby the diuel was especially moued to tempt Christ, which was his hunger. Such was Satans malice against the Lord Jesus, that when he could find no sin in him▪ then he takes aduantage of Christs infirmity, and seeing him now hungry, begins to tempt him to vnlawful means to satisfie his hunger.
Now then seeing the Devil takes occasion to tempt Christ, euen from the infirmitie of his humane nature, as he was man: hence we learne whence the Devil hath the ground of all his temptations, namely from our selues▪ and from our own nature, and we our selue• affoord him the matter of his temptations; h• brings the fire and bloweth it, but we affoord him the fewell to set it a work. The Devil obserueth the nature of men, their dispositions inclinations and behauiours, and continually prieth into their dealings, and like vnto a prudent Captain, who besieging a citie, marketh where it is most weake and of least resistance, and there he bends all his forces, and placeth his greatest ordinance, Euen so the diuel watcheth us and our behauiours, to obserue vnto what sin we be most addicted, and by nature most inclined, & then he followes our humor and feeds us in our owne vaine. As if a man be impatient of pouertie, he will egge him to stealing, and to vnlawfull shifts to helpe himself: if a man be couetous, he wil help to prick him forward that way, that he may by hook or crooke inrich himselfe: and so in other sins according as he finds men affected, he will fit his temptations.
Nay, the Devil is so skilfull by the experience of so many hundred yeares, that he will be prying into mens complexions, and the very constitutious of their bodies; and finding what humour doth most a bound, he can giue a shrewd guesse, to what sinne a man is inclined. As if he perceiue a man to be of a cholericke complexion, then the Devil will stirre him vp to quarrelling, fighting and killing. If he find a mans complexion to be sanguine, then he seeketh to allure him to be delighted with vaine and vngodly mirth and wantonnes, or at the least with immoderate mirth. 〈◊〉 a man be subiect to melancholy, then he wil• feare a man with heauy & dumpish thoughts and great feares and cares in his mind. And thus he dealt with the poore man that wa• lunatick:* for the Diuel tooke occasion by the course of the Moone, and the humour of hi• bodie, to moue him to cast himselfe into the fire and into the water. And in a word, look• how many infirmities & weaknesses we have we do as it were giue the diuel so many dar• to wound us withall: for we giue him the matter of all his temptations, and he taket• aduantage of our weaknesse and infirmities▪
This being Satans cunning & his dealing▪ it must warne euery man to search his own• heart,* to find what be his speciall infirmities and corruptions, to which he is most pron• by nature: and when we know them, we mu•• labour against them, to represse and subdu• them; otherwise they will be so many dart• and weapons which Satan will turne against our owne selues, to hurt and wound us: and therefore it must be our wisdome to weake• these infirmities, and to labour by all goo• meanes to preuent the Devil in these hi• temptations.
The fourth point in the preparation of the Devil vnto his temptations,* is his coming vnto Christ. And by this that it is said, the Tempter came vnto him, it appeareth that he came in some visible forme: as he did come to Euah in the shape of a Serpent: so it is very likely he came in some bodily shape to our Sauiour Christ, seeing it is said here, that he came and spake vnto him.
If thou be the Sonne of God, &c.] The Diuel hauing made this solemne preparation, and hauing made choise of the fittest place and time, and taken aduantage of the infirmitie of our Sauiour Christ, now he sets vpon him, and incounters Christ with his first temptation: wherein the cunning Diuel disputeth like a subtill Sophister, and disputeth very syllogistically; and his syllogisme may be framed thus: If thou be the Sonne of God, then thou canst commaund that these stones be made bread; but thou canst not make these stones bread, therefore thou art not the son of God.
The maine scope of the diuels disputation in this his first temptation, was this, to bring Christ to distrust of his Fathers prouidence, to ouerturne the faith of Christ, that is, that gift in Christ, whereby he as he was man did beleeue in God his father, and depend vpon him.
And in this dealing of the diuel with Christ, we may behold what is the maine and principall end of all Satans temptations in the children of God, viz. he labors to bring us if it be possible, to this, to make shipwracke of faith, whereby we beleeue the word of God• to be true: and thus he dealt with Euah. Gen. • he did labor to bring her to call Gods word into question, and so to deny credence to it▪ And thus he dealeth with all men, seeking to keepe them in ignorance and blindnesse, o• else in errors and wickednesse, that they may not beleeue the truth of Gods word, and 〈◊〉 performe obedience to it.
The special part of the word of God which the Devil aymed at, and which he labored to• bring Christ to deny credit too, is that voice of God the Father coming from heaven: This is my beloued Sonne in whom I am well pleased.*
And here let us see the practise of Satan against all the faithful children of God; namely, as he dealt with our Sauior Christ, to perswade him if he could, that he was not th• Son of God: so he labours to perswade God• children that they are not the sonnes and daughters of God: he labours to make m• doubt of their adoption.
And therefore seeing the Diuel aimeth at this one thing especially,* to ouerturne our faith in Gods promises, it should stir us all vp to an earnest care to make our calling and election sure,* euen to have it sealed vp by comfortable assurance to our soules: and this will be a most sweet comfort vnto us in time of affliction, if we can find this blessed and setled perswasion, that we are the sonnes and daughters of God. And the Devil he careth not what men professe no though they have all the common gifts of Gods spirit, to heare the word, to vnderstand, to giue assent vnto it, so that they want this blessed assurance of Gods speciall loue in Christ.
Againe, in this first temptation the Devil [ 2] tempts Christ to practise a worke of vnbeleefe. For now Christ wanting bread, the Devil tempts him in the absence and want of bread, to make bread of stones, and so by vnlawfull meanes to help himselfe. And as the Devil dealt here with Christ, seeking to tempt him to practise a work of vnbeleefe: so doth he deale with us, to moue men and women in time of distresse to use bad and vnlawfull shifts to helpe themselues. As in time of pouerty and want, when men see not ordinary means, such as they desire, he will tempt them to shift for themselues, to filch and pilfer from their neighbors, and to get bread by bad meanes. In time of sicknesse, when men cannot find help in the lawfull use of phisick, then he labours to draw them to seeke to the Devil for helpe, by sending men to wise men and women (as they call them) and so by wicked meanes to seeke recouery of their health.
If thou be the Sonne of God] What moued the Devil to moue this question vnto Christ rather then any other?*Ans. First,* because the Diuel knew right wel, that if Christ were the Son of God, then he was that promised Messiah and Sauiour of the world; and if he were that promised Messiah, then he knew it was he that should bruise the Serpents head,*Gen. 3. 15. Now of all things the Devil could not abide to heare of that, and therfore he makes choise of this question before all other, to proue, or at least to go about to proue, that Christ was not the Sonne of God.
[ 2] Another reason may be this: since the diuel• fell, and for his pride was cast downe out of heaven, he beares a deadly hatred against the• Lord God himselfe, and we shall see that 〈◊〉 this question he doth notably bewray hi• spite against God: for when as the Lord ha• spoken from heaven, saying, This is my 〈◊〉 beloued Sonne in whom I am well pleased: here the Devil comes and contradicts the voice of God, nay, goeth about to proue God a lier, in that he would make Christ beleeue that he was not the true Sonne of God.
Hence we may by this practise of Satan learne to discerne false teachers.* There have bene many both excellent and learned men, which have denied Christ to be the sonne of God, as Ebeon, Cerinthus, and others, onely affirming that Christ was an excellent man, and a worthy Prophet. Now seeing they denie Jesus Christ to be the true Son of God, they shew themselues to be false teachers, and such as be the diuels scholers, for so saith the Apostle Iohn, 1. Iohn 4. 1, 2, 3.
Again, in that the diuel seekes to perswade [ 2] Christ that he is not the son of God, (though God by his owne voice from heaven had immediatly before proclaimed him to be his Son:) hence we may perceiue the impudent malice of Satan, who seeketh in all things to contradict God himself. For if the Lord pronounce a blessing vpon any man, the Devil he wil presently pronounce cursing and damnation. If God testifie to a mans soule that he is the child of God, the Devil he wil labour to perswade him that he is not the child of God. If the Lord affirme a wicked man to be out of Gods fauor, and no child of God; the diuel will labour on the contrary, to perswade him that he is in good estate, & shal be saved, and so fils his heart with extreme presumption, & maketh him more bold then he ought to be.
Commaund] That is, as if Satan should have said to Christ, Bid this, or do but speake the word and it shall be done. And herein appeareth the maruellous pollicy of Satan, who in these few words (the better to bring his purpose to passe) toucheth three especiall points of Diuinitie: First, that he which is the son of God, is true God equal to the Father, which many heretickes have denied, and the Pharisies also did not graunt; for to worke a miracle, it is the proper and peculiar work of God alone. Secondly, the Devil confesseth, that God is able to make all things of nothing, and that without all meanes, matter or helpers, by his almightie power. Thirdly, he confesseth that God can effect a true miracle, and that is proper to God alone, neither can any creature whatsoeuer worke a miracle.
Now when the diuel acknowledged al this, one would have thought he should have intended no harme in these words: but the truth is, we shall see that in the propounding of these points, his pollicy was to ouerthrow the faith of Christ; and he in propounding of the truth, doth it not for any loue or liking to it, but that he might more easily deceiue our Sauiour, to bring him to doubt whether he was indeed that Sonne of God or not.
This must admonish us to take heed that we do not alwayes giue credit to the diuel, & listen vnto him though he speake the truth: for such is Satans pollicie, that when he wold seeme most to speake the truth, then he meaneth to deceiue us most; and by speaking the truth, he seeketh most to ouerthrow our faith in the truth. But as our sauiour Christ did refuse their testimonie, though the diuels spake the truth;* and as Paul did not suffer the Diuel to speak in the maid,* though he did acknowledge the Apostles to be the seruants of the true God: so we must beware how we listen to Satan, euen when he speakes the truth; for he neuer speakes the truth because he loueth the truth, but that speaking the truth he might be sooner beleeued, and more easily deceiue us, and do us the greater harme.
That these stones] S. Luke saith this stone,* in the singular nomber. To reconcile these two places, whereas Mathew speaks in the plural number of many stones, this we must vnderstand that he speakes of Satans temptations, as he first set vpon Christ, and then in the beginning of his temptation, he bids Christ to turne all these stones into bread. Luke, he saying this stone, speaking but of one, must be vnderstood as the Devil vrged and inforced his temptation, the better to perswade Christ to yeeld vnto it: as if the Devil should have said, It may be thou thinkest it too much to turne all these stones (being so many) into bread, do but turne this one stone into bread, because I would not trouble thee ouermuch, that so I may beleeue thou art the son of God.
By this dealing of the diuel with Christ,* we may learne, that when the Devil hath once begun his temptation, then he will be more instant in vrging of it, he is very loth to have the repulse, and therefore will vrge it and follow it: but if he can gaine but a litle ground, at least in some smaller matter, he would be content; as here to perswade Christ, though he would not turne many stones into bread, that he would turne but this one stone into bread. And therefore we must learne, that as the Devil is very instant to inforce and vrge his temptations, so we must be as instant to resist them, and yeeld no not in the least matter that he tempts us to.
Vers. 4. But he answering, said, Man shall •ot live by bread onely, but by euerie word that •roceedeth out of the mouth of God. These words containe the most wise and heavenly •nswer of our Sauior Christ to the first temptation of the Devil; and in this answer of his, note three points: first the answer it self, And Jesus answering said: secondly, whence our Sauior Christ took his answer, It is writtē: thirdly the words of his answer, Man shal not live, &c.
First the Spirit of God sets downe the answer of Christ, to shew that he was not onely willing to incounter the Devil, but that he was most able to vanquish & foile the Devil.
Now what a singular comfort is this to Gods Church and children,* to remember that our Lord and Sauior Christ Jesus, was in •his base estate of a seruant whē he lived here vpon earth, able to incounter with Satan, to ouercome the Devil, notwithstanding all his might and malice! how much more is Jesus Christ able now being aduanced vnto the right hand of God his Father in heaven, hauing all power and maiestie, and being King of Kings, and Lord of all Lords, how much more able is he now to confound Satan, & to destroy al the works of the diuel in his members! And this may be a great comfort vnto euery beleeuer in the midst of temptations.
It is written] Here we see whence our Sauior Christ tooke his answer: though that 〈◊〉 could have confounded Satan by the lea•• word of his mouth, and could (if he had 〈◊〉 pleased) called for many legions of Angel• from heaven to have guarded him, being th• true and onely son of God: yet he mak• choise of this weapon, It is written. And th• he did to teach us, that the most sufficien• weapon to beat back all Satans temptation• and to quench all the fierie darts of the diue• is the word of God written: & therefore 〈◊〉 bids us take vp the sword of the spirit, whi• is the word of God, both to defend our selu•• and also to put Satan to flight, Ephes. 6. 16.
Hence from the example of Christ we ma• learne sundry instructions:* First, seeing th• he made choise of the word of God, as th• most sufficient weapon to repel Satan: it condemneth that vaine and vile practise of th• Church of Rome, who instead of this, 〈◊〉 into mens hands other weapons not wor• a rush, as holy water, the signe of the cross• &c. and affirmeth that these be sufficient we•pons to skarre away the Devil. Alas, th• Devil is not so childish to feare a drop 〈◊〉 water, or the shaking of a straw: but our Sa•iour Christ shewes what is that which is ab•••〈◊〉 a most sufficient weapon to beate back all •atans temptations which he can hurle a•ainst us. And therefore wicked is the pra•tise of the Papists, who locke vp the word of God from the people, keeping it in an vn•nowne tong, and so betray the poore soules •f the people into the hands of the Devil.
We see here the miserable estate of all such [ 2] •en or women, which do either contemne •r neglect the knowledge of the word of God: they do wilfully betray themselues in•o the hands of the Devil, lay themselues o•en as a prey vnto him: so as they hauing no •eapon to defend themselues, nor to repell •atan, thus he smites them & wounds them, •ea euen cuts the throat of their poore soules •efore they be aware.
We may hēce gather what is the cause why [ 3] •o many sins abound in euery place, namely, •e vile and grosse ignorance of the word of God, Hos. 4. 1. 3. The want of the knowledge of the Gospell and the word of God, is the •ery cause that sin so abounds in al places: for •he word of God should be vnto us as Sauls•eare which he used to set at his beds head, 〈◊〉 that if any enemy set vpō us on the sodain, •ur weapō might be euer at hand in readines •hat we might answer the Diuel in his instruments if he tempt us to any sin whatsoeu•• that as here Christ said, It is written; so 〈◊〉 must say, I may not lie, sweare, commit ad••tery, &c. for it is written. &c.
[ 4] Seeing Christ by his own practise, teache• us that the word of God written, beleeue• vnderstood, & truly applied, is the most al• and all-sufficient weapon to resist the diue• how ought this to stirre vp all men to serio•• studie of the word of God? How should moue euery man as he loueth his soule, to •• bor for a sound knowledge & vnderstanding of the holy Scripture, seeing this is the b• weapon to foile the Devil? If we knew th• any man had vowed our death and sough• our lives, how careful wold we be to proui• the best weapons we could get, and also 〈◊〉 learne how to handle them and to use the• so as we might be able to defend our selue• when we meet with our enemy? Wel, we 〈◊〉 not be ignorant that the Devil is the swo•• enemy of our soules, he lies in waite conti••ally seeking our bloud: oh then if men 〈◊〉 that care of their poore soules that they oug•• to have, how prouident would it make the• to store themselues with this most sufficie•• weapon, euē the true knowledge of the w•• of God! and therfore it must moue all of v••eare the word continually, to study it, to lay •t vp in our hearts against the time of need, •o resist the Devil when he assaults us.
It is lamentable to consider how poore ignorant people deceiue them selues; they •ooth themselues, and say, they defie the di•uel, they spit at him: but alas, what if two men that be enemies meet together, the one well appointed with weapons of death, the other hauing nothing in his hand to defend himself, but defies his enemy, spits at him; wil this do him any good, will not the other wound him and kil him? And so though poore ignorant people say they defie the Devil, & spit at him, he wil shew them no pity, but giue them their deadly wound, and they shall neuer know who hurt them till it be too late.
Now follow the words of Christs answer: Man shall not live by bread onely, &c. This answer of Christ is taken out of Deut. 8. 3. where Moses shews the children of Israel, who were now in great extremitie, pinched sore with famine, and had nothing to eate, that the Lord fed them with Manna, to teach them that man lives not by bread only, but by euery word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Man shall not live] That is, man shall not preserue his naturall or temporall life in t•• world: I say his natural or temporal life, fo• is not meant of his spiritual life, by bread〈◊〉 that is, all things necessary for the naturall• of man, as meate, drinke, clothing, sleep, p•• sick, &c. euen all naturall and ordinary mea• used of man for his temporall life, is meant b• bread.
But by euery word] He saith not in genera• by the word, but by euery word. Now 〈◊〉 hath diuers acceptions in the scriptures: first it is takē for the second person in the Trinity Iohn. 1. 1. Secondly, for the word of God, Is• 40. 6. but neither of these is vnderstood i• this place. Thirdly, the word is taken for th• decree and wil of God, for his prouidence 〈◊〉 the good wil & pleasure of God: and so m•• we vnderstand it in this place, where our sauiour Christ saith, man shall live by eue•• word, that is, euery decree and blessing o• God for the life of man: so it is taken Heb. 1. 3▪ where Christ is said to beare vp all things by his mightie word, that is, as the Lord ha• created al things, so doth he vphold and preserue them by his decree and prouidence.
Now Gods word and decree concerning the life of man, may thus be distinguished▪ namely, that God hath decreed that some men should live by bread, that is, by ordinary meanes: secondly, some should live without ordinary bread, that is, without all ordinary meanes: thirdly, that some should live without any means at al, either ordinary or extraordinary, as Moses, Eliah, our Sauiour Christ, in their fortie dayes fast: fourthly, that some should live against meanes, and contrary to the course of nature, as Daniel in the Lions den, & the three children in the fiery fornace.
Which proceedeth out of the mouth of God: That is, by euery decree of God, by euery blessing & decree that God giueth out concerning the life of man. So then we see the meaning of the words.
If any say,* It seemes we must live onely by the word of God, & without meate or drink, euen by the scriptures and the written word. I answer,* No: but we must live and preserue our lives by euery word, that is, euery decree that God giueth out to preserue the life of man: so that without the speciall decree and blessing of God, nothing could preserue and maintain the life of man: our meat could not norish us, our apparel could not warm us, &c.
Now let us see how this answer of Christ is applied to the diuels temptation. The diuel had labored to proue that Christ was not the sonne of God, his argument was this: If th•• be the sonne of God, commaund that the•• stones be made bread; but thou canst no• make these stones bread, therefore thou 〈◊〉 not the sonne of God.
Our Sauior Christ doth alleage this plac• of Scripture, and doth deny the proposition or first part of the diuels argumēt: for where•as the Devil takes this for graunted, that if • man be hungry, he must have bread by an• meanes to preserue his life: Christ answers, 〈◊〉 is not necessary, because a mans life is no• preserued by bread onely, but it is maintained by the special decree & blessing of God▪ And indeed this is a speciall point and wo• thy lesson to be learned, as may appeare i• that the Lord was no lesse then fortie yeares teaching it to the children of Israel, Deu. 8. 3.
The use of this doctine is manifold:* first▪ hence we learne to consider aright of th• creatures of God, namely, that we do no• content our selues to looke vpon the substance of them; but besides the outward substance, we must consider the secret blessing o• God vpon his creatures proceeding from hi• word, that is his decree. As for example, 〈◊〉 must not onely looke vpon the outward substance of bread, but besides that, we m•• consider the blessing and decree of God, that bread should be the meanes to nourish man: for besides the bread, there is the staffe of bread, that is, that power and facultie whereby it nourisheth and maintaineth life,* which it hath from the decree and blessing of God vpon it. And as we see an old weake man, take away his staffe and he wil soone fall to the ground: euen so if the Lord take away the staffe of bread, that is, his secret blessing, though a man had all the dainties vnder heaven, his life would faile in the midst of thē all; for the weake life of man must needs fal & decay, if once the Lord take away the staffe of bread.
For what reason is there, that bread which hath no life in it, should nourish our bodies, giue life & strēgth to us: and that that which hath no heate in it, as our clothes, should keepe us warme, were it not for Gods word and decree, and his blessing vpon them? And that we may know, that it is not so much bread that preserueth mans life, as Gods blessing vpon bread by vertue of his word and decree, we may see it plainely, in that the poore mans child which fareth hardly, & •is but meanely clothed, is as well legged and 〈◊〉, and likes as well, euen as the child of the Prince: now the reason is, because God• blessing is all in all vpon the poore fare of the poore mans child, aswell as the Kings.
2 Againe, seeing it is not so much bread, as Gods blessing vpon bread, that preserueth mans life, it should teach us al sobriety in the use of Gods creatures: for neither meate, nor drinke, nor clothing, can do us good, vnlesse the Lord send out his word and decree, and giue a blessing vnto them, euen to euerie b•• of bread we put into our mouthes. Now if we abuse the good creatures of God, in sur•etting and excesse, how can we looke that the Lord should blesse them vnto us? nay we may rather feare he will curse them for our abuse and intemperancie, so that they shall hurt, yea choake us rather then do us good.
- We must learne from hence, to use the creatures of God with inuocation vpon his name for a blessing vpon them; for seeing it is not the substance of bread that nourisheth us, but the blessing of God vpon the bread▪ who seeth not, that we ought before we use the creatures of God, to crave a blessing 〈◊〉 God vpon them?
- This should teach us to be content with our estate, to moderate our affections, and to take heed we do not so eagerly desire & see• for abundance: for the blessing of God is riches enough,* & hath not these cutting cares with it: & he which hath but a meane estate, may be as wel blessed of God, as he that hath the greatest abundance: nay this immoderate seeking for abundance, it argueth great distrust and vnbeleefe in the prouidence of God.
- If mans life stands not in abundance, and our life is not preserued by bread alone, though a man had all the bread in the world, vnlesse God infuse a blessing into it: this teacheth us, that we may not be so much intangled with the things of this life: we must not so eagerly seeke after meat, drinke, clothing, lands, liuings, gold, siluer, &c. for in taking too much care for these things, we see many mens harts are so caried away, that no grace can take place in them.
But you will say,* meate, drinke, cloathing, and such things, they be my liuing, I cannot live without them.* I aunswer, that our lives do not stand in these things alone, but especially in the blessing of God vpon these meanes: without which, though we had all the world at commaund, it could doe us no good. Againe, the Lord can not onely preserue our lives by bread, but euen without all meanes, yea, if so it please him against meanes. Now then seeing our lives stand not in these meanes, but especially in the blessing of God vpon them, we must first seeke for the blessing of God, without the which all these meanes shal become vnprofitable vnto us and do us no good: and it is not wisedome, too greedily to seeke for the things of the world, seeing our life is not preserued by them alone. Mans life standeth not in abundance, saith Christ, Luk. 12.
6 Seeing man lives not by bread alone, that is, mans life is not maintained by these outward meanes, but by Gods blessing vpon them: this must teach us all to be content with that estate the Lord sends us, though it be poore and meane: and we must learne patience in extreame miseries and afflictions. And if the Lord should deal• with us as he did with his seruant Iob, euē〈◊〉 all from us, yet we must be content, and take heed that we do not suffer our selues to be swallowed vp of too much griefe. For our life is not maintained by these outward meanes of themselues, but by Gods blessing vpon thē, which is all in all: and when all meanes faile, the Lord can preserue our life euen without bread▪ and against meanes too, if he please▪ Indeed if a man wāted the outward meanes and the inward meanes too, namely, Gods blessing, then he had some cause to be grieued: but seeing the Lord can save our lives both without all outward meanes, and against meanes: though we want bread, yet let us cast our selues vpon the Lord, and neuer distrust his mercie; but say with Iob: Though the Lord kill me,*yet will I trust in him. And let us know, the Lord can increase the poore womans cruse of oile,* and make it last as well as the rich mans abundance,
7 This should teach us all to moderate our affectiones, and to carrie an euen saile, so as neither in the estate of wealth and abundance, we be not puffed vp with pride: nor yet in pouertie to be ouerwhelmed with sorrow. For though a man have abundance, it followes not that he is therefore blessed; nor if he be poore and want riches, that he is therfore cursed, and wants the blessing of God: but in wealth and pouertie, the blessing of God is all in all to make men happie.
8 Lastly, this should teach euery one of us to labour all our life long to know the prouidence of God, and to depend vpon it in all estates of life, whatsoeuer the Lord shall send us: and when we can see this prouidence of God, we must then hang vpon it, as well in aduersitie as prosperitie, in sicknes and health, in life and death. True it is, men can acknowledge Gods prouidence in prosperitie: but we must learne to see the prouidence of God aswell in aduersity, and then to hang vpon it with both the hands of faith,* so as we can roule our selues vpon it, and can euen wholly depend vpon it, and commit our selues and all our waies to the Lord. The children of Israel were fortie yeares learning this lesson: which shewes it is an excellent point, and not easily learned. And therefore seeing it is of so great use, and so necessarie, let us studie to know the prouidence of God, and shew the true use of it in our lives and conuersations.
Then the Devil tooke him into the holy citie, &c.] Now followeth the second conflict betwixt the Devil and Christ, in the 5. 6. 7. verses. Now though S. Luke chap. 4. 9. placeth this temptation in the last place, yet doth this breede no great difference betwixt the Euangelists: for Luke in pēning of the words and deeds of Christ, sets them downe as the Spirit of God directed him, not regarding precisely the time when they were done, but sometime setting that first which was done last: but Mathew he sets thē down in order as they were performed by our Sauiour Christ.
Then the Devil tooke him, &c.] In this second cōflict, we are to consider three points. First, the diuels preparation to the combat, vers. 5. Secondly, the temptation it selfe, vers. 6. Thirdly, the answer of Christ, vers. 7.
In the diuels preparation: first, the time, then: secondly, the parts of his preparation, which be two. First, he tooke Christ from the wildernesse, and caried him to the holy citie. Secondly, he setteth him there vpon a pinnacle of the temple.
First, in the circumstance of time, then: that [ 1] is, as soone as Satan had taken a repulse and was foiled of Christ in the wildernesse, he presently setteth vpon him afresh, and caries him to the holy citie to tempt him there.
By this we may perceiue the malice of the Devil,* who as soone as he hath ended one temptation ceasseth not there, but presently prouideth another. The Devil neuer maketh truce with man, but either he is busie in tempting of us, or else he is deuising and plotting new temptations; for he is neuer idle.
Againe, hence we learne, that when we have ouercome in one temptation, we must presently prepare our selues for another: we must not look to be at ease when we have giuen the Devil the foile: for he will set vpon us afresh, and tempt us againe and againe. Nay, our life is a continuall warfare against sinne and Satan: & therfore we must euer be in a readines to encounter with our enemie.
And if this lesson were well learned, and as well practised, men would not be so impatient in temptations when they befall thē: then temptations would be farre more easie to them, so as a man wold willingly and chearefully indure them, & vndergo them though neuer so many.
The Devil tooke him to the holy citie: Here is the first part of the diuels preparatiō. Now by the holy citie is meant Ierusalem, as Luk. 4. 9. it is plaine.
But how did the Devil carie our Sauiour Christ from the wildernesse to Ierusalem?* He might do this three waies: first, in vision: Secondly, by the ordinarie way: Thirdly, cary him in the aire,
First, by vision, as it was usuall in the time of the prophets.* So Ieremiah was caried in vision to the riuer Euphrates: but Christ could not thus in vision be caried from the wildernesse to Ierusalem; for then it should have bene no temptation vnto him in vision onely to cast▪ himselfe from the top of the temple.
Secondly, our Sauiour Christ might be led [ 2] by the ordinarie way, and so indeed the words will beare it: but I take it, it is not the sense and meaning of this place. For if the Devil led our Sauior from the wildernesse to Ierusalem, then either with or against his will; either of his owne accord, or else at the perswasion of the Devil. But he went not of his owne accord: for seeing he was led into the wildernesse, and came to be tempted there, he now being in the conflict, and it being not yet ended, he would not of his owne accord depart thence to Ierusalē. Secondly, he would not go at the perswasion of the Devil: for we neuer reade that he would do any thing at the diuels perswasion, though in it selfe lawfull.
Thirdly, the Devil might conuey and carie [ 3] the bodie of our Sauiour Christ in the aire, from the wildernesse to Ierusalem: and this is the opinion of the best Diuines, that the Devil had power by Gods permission, to transport the bodie of Christ in the aire, from the wildernesse to the holy citie: and this seemeth to be confirmed by the words following, where it is said, that the Devil set him on a pinnacle of the temple. Now it is as likely that he caried Christ from the wildernesse thither, as that the diuel had power to place and set him on the top of the temple.
Now then if the Devil had permission to transport the bodie of Christ from the wildernesse to Ierusalem:* this makes for that opinion which is common in the world, that the Devil can carrie a man or woman from one countrey to another, if God giue him leave: but so as he cannot do it with such celeritie and expedition as men imagine. Some foolishly thinke, he can carrie one many hundred miles in an houre, which is a thing impossible: for such a violent motion would stop a mans breath; as we see if a man fall from the toppe of an high steeple, his wind is gone ere he come halfe the way to the ground.
[ 2] Againe hence we see, that the Devil may by Gods permission have power ouer the bodies of godly men, and those which have greatest graces, and strongest faith in God. For seeing he had power ouer the bodie of Christ, to transport it from place to place by the permission of God, why may he not if God giue him leave, have power of any mās bodie, though he be neuer so true a beleeuer? If he had power in the head, why not in the mēbers? if he had power to annoy Iob, to kill his childrē & destroy thē, though they were no doubt the holy seruants of God, why may not the Devil have power ouer our bodies, to carie a mā frō one place to another? If the Devil could by Gods permissiō tormēt the bodie of one that was a daughter of faithfull Abraham,* and euen 18. yeares afflict her, so as she was bruised and bowed together by Satan; then no doubt he can do the lesse, to remoue mens bodies from place to place.
And this may serue to admonish those,* who thinke their faith is so strong, that the diuel cannot annoy thē or any way bewitch them. But if the Devil have power by Gods permission to torment the bodies of the faithfull, yea to destroy the bodies of Iobs childrē, who no doubt were the true seruants of God, he may if God giue him leave, bewitch the godliest man that liveth. For we know what the holy Ghost faith: that all things fall out,* and all things come alike to good and bad; and there is no difference in outward things oftentimes betweene the children of God and the wicked.
To the holy citie] That is Ierusalem,*Luk. 4. 9. Now this citie was called holy for sundrie causes. First, because in Ierusalem was the temple of the Lord where were the sacrifices and other ceremonies prescribe• by God for his own worship. Secondly, i• the temple they had the law of God and the bookes of Moses and the Prophets read an• expounded vnto them. Thirdly, becaus• Ierusalem was a mother Church, frō whenc• religion did flow and was dispersed into many places of the world. Now for these considerations Ierusalem is called the holy citie.
This church at Ierusalem though it hao many corruptions in it,* yet our Sauiour Christ cals it holy: and it was a true Church of God. Then hence I conclude, that the Church of God in England, though there be in it many blemishes & corruptions, yet may it be, and in truth is the true Church of God. For the Church of God in England is proprotionable to the Church at Ierusalē for as they had Moses and the Prophets read and expounded, so have we: nay, we have the Gospell now soundly preached▪ which they then had not in so plaine and plentifull manner as we have. They had the Sacraments of the old Testament: so we have Baptisme and the Supper of the Lord. Their Church was a mother church to deriue Religion to many other: and though our Church cannot be called a Mother church, yet it may be truly called a nourcing Church to many neighbour churches round about us.
As Christ and his Apostles did not therfore separate themselues, or refuse to ioyne [ 2] with them in the seruice of God, because of the corruptions in this church at Ierusalem, but did teach and preach in the Temple: so none may therefore separate themselues, and refuse to ioyne with the people of God in his seruice and worship, because of some few corruptions that remaine in it. Nay, such as for these do separate themselues from Gods people, do cut themselues from Christ himselfe, seeing they seuer themselues from the Church of God.
If any shall say, that the church of Rome is the true Church of God, as well as the Church of Ierusalem, seeing the Romish church hath as many priuiledges as the Church at Ierusalem; I answer, By examining the particulars it will appeare to the contrarie.* As first, the Church of Rome braggeth, that she hath her succession from the Apostles: but I answer, succession from persons, without succession in the Apostles doctrine, can be no true note of the Church. Secondly, the Church of Rome hath the sacrament of Baptisme, yet that proues he• not the true Church: for in Samaria they had the Sacrament of circumcision, and so in other places, and yet it cannot be proued that they were the true Churches of God. Besides, I answer, the church of Rome hath baptisme no otherwise then a theefe hath a true mans purse: now it cannot be said, that a theefe is therefore a true man, because he hath a true mans purse. Lastly, though the Church of Rome have the outward baptisme, yet she in doctrine ouerturnes the inward baptisme: namely, the true imputed iustification and inherent sanctification of Christ by the spirit.
3 The Church of Rome holdeth the Apostles Creed, but it is onely in word: for the truth is, their God whome they worship is an Idoll, and their Christ is a false & counterfeit Christ, forged by their owne braine, as may appeare to all that will search their doctrine.
4 She saith, that they hold the word of God, and the writings of the Apostles: but it will appeare in their writings, that they hold it but in shew, not in truth: for in the maine grounds of religion they ouerturne the doctrine of the Prophets & Apostles. Againe, they hold the Scriptures but as a lanthorn holds the candle, not for it selfe, but for those that passe by: so the Church of Rome have the word of God, not for themselues, but for the good of Gods children, which euer lye hid in the middest of Poperie.
5 She brags that she is the mother-church of many Churches: I answer; we must consider that citie, as Rome is, and as Rome was: the old Rome which was in the time of Paul, was the true Church of God; but as for that old Rome, it is dead and buried, and this new Rome is that whore of Babylon, & no mother-church, but a cruell step-mother to Religion. By al this we may see, that the present church of Rome, is no Church of God, but onely in name and outward shew.
And seeing that the Devil tempts our Sauiour Christ in the holy citie, we learne that there is no place so holy; but the Devil can broach his temptations in it, as we may see Zach. 3. 1. 2. and therfore this condemnes that dotage and sorcery of the Church of Rome, who teach that their charmed holy water, their coniured bread, and the signe of the crosse, and such stuffe can driue away the Diuel from their houses, and from their persons: and yet we see here, that neither the holinesse of Christs person, nor yet of the place, could hinder Satan, but he did tempt him
Againe, we see it is to small purpose, to the ende wee may bee freed from temptations, to change the place, or to change the aire; for what place is there so holy, or so sound and wholesome, where Satan cannot and will not set his temptation on foote and assault us? Indeed to remoue the diseases of the body, these may be of some force, to change the ayre, &c. but to cure the conscience, and to help the diseases of the soule, this and such like can do nothing at all.
And set him on a pinnacle of the temple.] Here is the second part of the Diuels preparat•on, who hauing caried Christ from the wildernes to Ierusalē, now he placeth him vpon a pinnacle of the temple, or a litle wing of the tēple. Some think that it was a sharpe broach gilded to some especiall use: but it is either the battlements which were made by Gods commaundement, least any should fall, because their houses had flat roofes, o• else some corner of the temple; howsoeuer, it was a dangerous place.
If thou be the sonne of God, cast thy selfe downe, &c.] In this verse is set downe the second temptation, and in a syllogisme it may be thus concluded▪ If thou be the sonne of God, then cast thy selfe downe: but thou sayest, and art perswaded that thou art the sonne of God, therefore thou mayest cast thy selfe downe.
Here we must marke the scope of the Devil in this second temptation, which is this, to tempt our sauiour Christ to presumption, to perswade him to presume of Gods mercy, and to bring him to a vaine confidence in his fathers protection, without using lawfull meanes.
And in this second temptation we may obserue one especial thing,* which the Diuel aimes at in his temptations, namely, to perswade him to a vaine presumption of Gods mercy. And surely we see the diuel preuails much in these days by this argument: for we see how some men crie, God is mercifull, God is mercifull, and so presume & grow secure in sinne, and take occasion of Gods mercie to sooth themselues in their sins. Others, they say, I am either elected or reiected, and if I be elected, I am sure I shal be saved howsoeuer I live; if I be reiected I am sure I shall perish, though I live neuer so well: and thus men live as they list. Others say, I know the Lord will prouide for me, and therefore refuse to live in any calling. And as for those which make profession of the Gospell, the Devil he labours to perswade them, that it is sufficient to professe religion, though they practise not the duties of religion: as the fiue foolish virgines, who held out their blazing lampes, yet wanted the vessel of oile to maintaine their lampes.
This being so,* it should admonish us al to take especiall heed, that we be not ouer com• of Satan in this kind, seeing the Devil knowes our nature, and seeth that to presume and thinke well of our selues, it is a thing very fitting and pleasing our nature: whereas despaire, it is a troublesome thing, and brings men often to a greater sight of their misery: and the truth is, the Devil preuailes with a thousand to one more by presumption then by despaire: despaire kils thousands, securitie ten thousands.
And it is to be noted, that when the Devil had in the former temptation laboured to bring Christ to despaire of his Fathers prouidence, now he labours the cleane contrary, to bring him to presume of Gods prouidence. And here we may see the Diuels exceeding cūning, that he fought to cary our Sauiour Christ from one extreame to another. And thus doth the Devil deale with all men, he seeks to draw men either to presumption or else to despaire, and labors to cary them from one extreame to another, as from couetousnes to prodigalitie, and so of the rest. And therefore we must labour to auoide both the extreames,* neither to presume too much, nor yet to be cast downe by despaire, but to keepe the golden mediocritie, euen as Christ doth in this place.
Cast thy selfe downe.] He would have Christ not to shew by his doctrine, but to worke a miracle, that he may know him to be the son of God. This shewes the nature of all wicked men; they care not for the doctrine of God, but they crie out for miracles: as we may see in Herod, he desired to see our Sauiour Christ worke some miracle, but he contemned his word and doctrine. And the Iewes who persecuted Christ and his Gospel, yet when he was vpon the crosse, they would have him worke a miracle, to come downe when he was nailed hand and foote. And all wicked men are of the same nature, more to regard and desire a miracle, then to heare the blessed doctrine of Jesus Christ.
Cast thy selfe downe] The Diuel hauing proued before the faith of Christ to be most cōstant, that he would not so much as doubt of his fathers prouidence in his greatest need, now he takes occasion from the graces and gifts of Christ to bring him to presume, and to have a vain confidence of his fathers protection. And so wil the Diuel deale with all the members of Christ; if he cannot preuaile by our weaknesses to bring us to despaire, then he wil take occasiō by the graces and gifts he sees in us, to make us presume: as often he preuailes by this meanes to make men swell and thinke highly of themselues for some grace they have receiued, of learning, wit, eloquence, &c. to puffe men vp with satanicall pride and ouerweening o• themselues.
Then cast thy selfe downe.] The Lord gave the Diuel permission to place Christ in a dangerous place: but yet the Devil coul• not go any further to hurt Christ there; 〈◊〉 cast him downe he had no power, but perswades him to cast himselfe downe. Where we see, the Diuels power is limited, his power is not so great as his malice is to mankind; but the Lord doth limit Satans power, and in all things hath care of his owne children, that Satan can do them no harme. For the Diuel, though he had set Christ vpon the top of the temple, could not for his life cast him downe; where we may see, the Devil for all his malice can go no further then God giues him leave. And this must comfort us: for as God the Father limits Satan in respect of Christ our head, so doth he in us his members.
Now followes the reason which the Diuel useth, the better to perswade Christ to yeeld vnto his temptation: For it is written, he shall giue his Angels charge ouer thee. When as the Devil heard our Sauiour Christ alleage Scripture; he like an ape imitates Christ, and begins to alleage Scripture roundly as wel as he.* And therfore we must be wary how we entertaine doctrines of heretikes, and false teachers, though they seeme to proue them by the Scriptures: for the Diuel he hath his scriptum est, it is written, as ready as may be. But we must learne to proue the spirits, that is, the doctrines of men, whether they be of God or not, 1. Iohn 4. 1. lest the Diuel and wicked men deceiue us; for we see here how the Diuel can alleage Scripture, and that fitly for his purpose. And it is the subtil practise of the diuel to alleage Scripture, that so he may perswade men to receiue his damnable doctrines, and become heretickes and scismatickes. And to this end he doth grosly abuse the Scriptures; yea when he would perswade men to live in sinne, he hath his, Scriptum est, very ready, and can tel them, At what time soeuer a sinner doth repent him of his sinne, he shall have mercie: and truly by his abusing of Scripture he preuailes with many.
The wordes which the Devil alleageth are taken out of the fourescore and eleuenth Psalme, the eleuenth verse: For he shall giue his Angels charge ouer thee, to keepe thee in all thy wayes, &c. Now the Devil in alleaging and propounding the words is very precise, and sheweth himselfe very carefull in repeating of the words: in so much as he will not leave out no not this particle [For] which might well have bene left out. Yet in the end he stickes not to leave out a whole clause, which is the maine point and ground of Gods promise: namely, this: to keepe thee in all thy wayes. Where we may see, how the Devil doth most vil•ly abuse the Scriptures of God: and it is usuall with him in his allegations, to put in, or to put out something, or some way or other to deprave them, or to corrupt the sense and meaning of the Scriptures, to serue his owne turne.
And as this is the diuels manner in his alleaging and dealing with the Scriptures, so do the Papists as his scholers. For though in word they hold the Scriptures, yet it is usuall with them to put in, or leave out, or by some meanes to corrupt and deprave thē in the sense and meaning, as might be shewed by example.
Well, seeing the Devil is so skilfull in the Scriptures, and can alleage them so readily and so fitly for his purpose, and withall is so malicious to mince them and deprave them, it should make all men to studie the holy Scriptures, that so we might be acquainted with them, and be able to disclose and to descry Satans fallations and subtilties: and we should wish with Moses,* that all the Lords people could prophecie. But especially the Ministers of the word, they must labour to be thorowly acquainted with the booke of God, to obserue euen the circumstances of the text, else the Devil will cast a mist before their eyes, and beguile them with his subtill fallations: and therefore they must do as Ezechiel did, eate vp the book of God.
And that we might not perceiue Satans subtilties and deceit, he labours to keepe men in ignorance of the word, and by all meanes to have the Scriptures hid and darke: and if it were possible, to root out the schooles of learning, and that the Bible might be burned. And as he preuailes in Poperie, to bring men to this, that all religion, and the Scriptures might hang on mens deuises and mans learning, as they do in Poperie ground all vpon Lumbard the maister of the Sentences, and barre the common people from the Scriptures, locking them vp in an vnknowne tong: so with Christians he taketh the like course, for he perswades them, that the Scriptures are hard to be vnderstood, and very obscure and troublesome, and therfore he drawes men• minds from the studie of them, to reade the writings of men, because they seeme to be more pleasant and delectable; that so 〈◊〉 being not acquainted with the text, might not descrie his deceipts and subtilties.
Againe,* seeing the Devil can alleage the word of God and say, It is written, and that he can bring in Scripture fit for his purpose; what a shame is it for Christians, if they do not labor so to know the Scriptures of God, that they may alleage them as occasion shall serue: & that not as some do, to heape place vpon place without all reason, but to alleage them fitly and to the purpose?
Lastly, seeing this is a Devilish and satanicall [ 3] practise, in alleaging the Scriptures to deprave and corrupt them, to leave out and put in at his pleasure, it must warne us, that when we are lawfully called, we do speake and vtter the words of other men, euen all, & no more but all, neither putting to them nor taking from thē, and that without changing their words or the sense and meaning of them.
He shall giue his Angels charge ouer thee] The true sense of the place is this, that the Lore had a speciall care of his people; and when he sent any iudgement vpon the Israelites, he gave them this comfortable promise, that in the middest of all their troubles he himselfe would protect them. And as this promise was made to them, so it is generall to the whole Church of God, and belongs to us. For in all common iudgements and calamities, the children of God which walke in his waies, shal be sure to have protection and securitie: for the Angels of God, by his appointment, do hold them vp, as it were in their hands. In which words there is a comparison taken from nurses, who hauing children committed to their care, do hold them very charily and tenderly in their hands, and dare not let them go out of their armes: euen so the Angels of God by his appointment▪ become euen as nurses to his children in all their lawful wayes,* and do attend vpō them, and are very carefull to protect them from danger, so long as they keepe themselues within the compasse of Gods word.
It is true indeed, that iudgement begins at the house of God, and he often afflicts his dearest children to trie their faith and patience, yet is is most certaine, that in commō calamities the children of God shall have protection and security: yea the Angels of God (as it were nurses) shal hold them in their hands, and defend them, so long as they keepe themselues in the wayes of God, and within the compasse of his will in his word▪ But if they leave the way of Gods commandements, and wāder in by-paths, and go out of their lawfull callings, they have no assurāce of Gods protection, neither have Gods Angels any charge to watch ouer them,
Seeing then God hath made so mercifull a promise of protection, to all them that walke in his wayes, and within the compasse of his commaundements, it should warne us all to beware how we go out of our wayes and lawfull callings, but that we studie the law of God, and as we looke for his protection, to keepe within the compasse of it.
Jesus said vnto him,*It is written againe, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.] In these words is cōtained the answer of our Sauiour Christ, to the second temptation of the Devil; wherein he doth oppose Scripture against Scripture. But to expound that place which the Devil alleaged, and to shew how vilely Satan abuseth the word of God, he alleageth another place of Scripture, wherein our Sauiour Christ answers the Devil, that it is true, God hath made sundry promises in his word, of protectiō to his people, but yet so, as if they refuse to walke in the cōmandements of God, and to use such lawfull meanes as he prescribeth in his word, he is not bound to perfome them, for they be made vpon that condition,
Againe it is written,] Seeing our Sauior Christ doth alleage another place of Scripture, to expound that the Diuel brought against him, and to shew how he abused Scripture: hence we gather, that the holy Scriptures are of themselues sufficient to interprete themselues,* for so Christ alleageth another text of scripture to expound that which Satan alleageth, and to confute his abusing of it.* So we find that Ezra did expound the law of God, and giues the sense of it by the scriptures, and so expounds the one by the other, Nehem. 8. 9. (Iunius.) Now if the seruants of God could do this in the old Testament, how much more may we in the new, wherein many things are most plainely opened and expounded by Christ and his Apostles?
But the Papists cannot by any meanes yeeld to this doctrin, for they hold, that that which must interprete the scriptures, must have iudiciall power and authoritie to iudge of the sense of the scriptures; but they hold the scriptures are but a dumbe letter, and therefore are not able to iudge of the sense ād meaning of the scriptures. Yet for all that▪ we see (by the example of our sauior Christ) that the scriptures are of sufficient power to giue the sense of the scriptures, to interprete thēselues, and to shew what is the true sense of the scriptures, though they be dumbe. And as we see, that a mā may aswel shew his mind to his friend by letters and writing, as by word of mouth: euen so the Lord God speakes now to his people by the scriptures, as well as he did in olde time by his owne lively voice from heaven.
But if the Papists will yet deny the scriptures to have power to iudge and determine of the sense of the Scriptures; then would I know, who hath this power giuen vnto him? They answer, the church must giue iudgement, and determine of the sense of the scriptures: but that is false, for the Lord hath not giuen any such power to the Church, to determine of the sense of the scriptures at her pleasure, but only he hath giuen to the ministery of the word, to open and expound the scriptures by the scriptures thēselues. As a Lawyer hath not that power to iudge of the law of his Prince, and to giue what sense he listeth, but onely to expound the law, and to giue the sense of it by the words of the law, and other circumstances cōcerning the same.
The Church of Rome say further; they 〈◊〉 determine of the sense of the scriptures, either by the rule of faith, or the consent of the fathers: or, if they faile, then the Pope he is 〈◊〉 determine of them, as one that cannot erre.
1 Concerning the rule of Faith (by which they vnderstand vnwritten traditions) how can they be fit iudges to determine of the sence of the scriptures, vnlesse we will gi•e more authoritie to vnwritten verities then to the written word of God? Nay onely the scriptures must be the rule of faith, and only the scriptures iudge and determine of the sense of themselues.
2 Neither is the consent of Fathers a sufficient rule to giue iudgement, and to determine of the sense of the scriptures: for we know that they being men, and many of thē (hauing not the knowledge of Hebrew and Greeke, yea and most of all in expounding the word) are subiect to error, and sometimes do erre. And by the same reason the Pope is no meete man to be the iudge of the scriptures, and to determine what should be the sense of thē, seeing he is subiect to manifold errors, and many Popes have erred in the foundations of Religion.
Now follow the words of Christs answer, taken out of Deut. 6. 16. Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. First we must search what this word, to tempt, signifies: secondly, the maner how God is said to be tēpted: thirdly the cause and root of this tempting of God.
First,* To tempt God, is to proue or to make trial whether God be such a one as the scriptures report him to be: namely, whether he be so iust, so mercifull, so mightie as the word of God describes him to be. So the Propet Dauid expounds it, Psal. 95. 9. Your fathers tempted me, and proued me in the desert. Where to tempt, is to proue Gods iustice and mercie, whether he were so iust and mercifull as the word sets him out to be, and as he promised to be.
Secondly, for the manner, it is not simply to tempt and to make triall of God, but to tempt God, is to make needlesse triall of Gods power &c. when we have no cause to try the Lord: and so it is taken here in the words of Christ, Thou shalt not tempt, that is, thou shalt not take needlesse and vnnecessarie experience and triall of Gods power and goodnesse.
Thirdly, the cause which moueth men to tempt God, is a distrustfull and vnbeleeuing heart, euē want of faith. So the Israelites tēpted God, Psal. 78. ver. 18. 22. They tempted God in their hearts, and required meate for their lust. And the reason is, vers. 22. because they did not beleeue in God, and did not trust in his helpe, because they did not relye vpon his care and fatherly prouidēce: so that vnbeleefe was the roote of this their tempting of God.
So then to tempt God, is to make needlesse and vnnecessarie triall and experience of his mercie, goodnesse, power and iustice, proceeding from a distrusting heart.
Now God may be tempted fiue maner of wayes.* First, when men will take vpon them to appoint God the time when, the place where, and the maner how God must helpe them, and accomplish his promise to them. Thus the Israelites in the wildernes wanting water,* they say: Is the Lord amongst it us or no• shewing, that through the Lord had promised he would be with them, yet vnlesse he would at that time giue them water in their need, they would not giue credit to his promise. Againe, Psal. 78. •0 though the Lord had giuen them water, yet they say: Can he giue bread also, or prepare flesh for his people• still shewing, that vnlesse the Lord would at their pleasures, & now presently send them meate, they were readie to distrust his prouidence.
And therefore it must admonish us,* that we must not in our requests and petitions (as the Bethulianes did) appoint God the time,* place, or meanes how we would be helped in pouertie, sicknesse, or other waies; but cōtinuing in prayer, waite vpon the Lords leysure, and leave these circumstances to his good will and pleasure.
Secondly, God is tempted, when men will not beleeue his word, but do demaund signes and wonders from heaven, as the Scribes and Pharises did (Ioh. 2. 18.) tempt our Sauiour Christ, not beleeuing his doctrine, vnlesse he would confirme it by some miracle. And thus all they tempt God, who refuse to beleeue the doctrine of God, because it is not confirmed vnto them at their pleasure by signes and wonders.
But some may say:* What, is it not lawfull thē to demaund and require a signe at Gods hands?* Yes we may sometimes: and so we reade that Gedeon did require a signe of God and sinned not:* so did Hezechiah. 2. King. 20. 8.
In two cases men may aske a signe of the Lord. First, when the Lord giues a man commaundement to aske a signe, then we may aske it lawfully: and thus the Lord bid•Achaz to ask a signe,* and he sinned in refusing to do it.
Secondly, a man may aske a signe of God, when it is necessarie for the confirmation of a man in some extraordinarie calling: as we see in Gedeon being extraordinarily appointed of God to be the Captaine and deliverer of Gods people; he being not fully perswaded of this his vocation, desired a signe of God, not of infidelitie, but the better to resolue himselfe of Gods calling him to that busines. And so it was in Hezechiah, to perswade himselfe of Gods extraordinarie deliverance from an extraordinarie di•ease.
The third way whereby men tempt God▪ is when men live in sinne continually without repentance, and so will trie Gods mercie: and thus the Israelites tempted God, Num. 14. 18. And so all those which live in •inne from day to day without repentance, do indeed tempt God and abuse his patience, Mal. 3. 15.
And therefore seeing that this is euen to tempt God,* to live in sinne without repentance, it must stirre us vp all to take heed how we runne on in sinne: but that we do wi•• speed repent and breake off the course of our sins: for so long as we live in sinne without repentance, we tempt God, and then we can promise no safetie to our selues, neither looke for the protection of Gods Angels, but ly euen naked to all Gods heauie iudgements.
The fourth manner of tempting God, is [ 5] to inioyne men the obseruations of the ceremoniall lawe, as it appeareth Ast. 15. 10. the Iewes are said to tempt God, in that they vrged the obseruation of the ceremonies of Moses.
And by this we may iudge of the present estate of the Church of Rome, and of their religion; which stands for the most part in vaine and superstitious ceremonies; and that which is worse, of Iudaisme and Gentilisme.
The last way how men tempt God, is, not to use the lawfull & ordinarie means which God hath appointed, either concerning mens soules, or concerning their bodies: and this is here vnderstood in this place, when Christ saith: Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. When we shal refuse such lawfull and ordinarie meanes as the Lord hath appointed, and use extraordinarie; euen as a man hauing a readie way ouer a bridge, should leave that, and thrust himselfe into the water, what were this but to tempt God? Or when a man hath the ordinarie way to come downe by the steppes or staires, and refusing that shold cast himselfe downe from the top of a steeple? So those men who contemne the word of God, and will not vouchsafe to heare, what do they else but euen tempt God; seeing they refuse the preaching of the word, which is the ordinarie meanes to save mens soules?
And thus Satan tempted our Sauiour Christ to tempt God. For hauing now set him on the toppe of the temple, in a dangerous place, he perswades him to cast himselfe downe: and he addeth, that he may be bold to do so, because God hath giuen his Angels charge to looke vnto him, that he take no harme. But our Sauiour Christ answers him; That were to tempt God, seeing he had the lawfull and ordinary way to go downe by the staires, and therefore he had no reason to cast himselfe downe.
In a word, all those tempt God, which either refuse the ordinary meanes God hath appointed, or do wilfully cast themselues into daunger, being not called thereunto of God: as Peter hauing no calling of God, went and thrust himselfe into Caiphas hall, to see what became of his maister: & the three Worthies which ventured through the hoast of the Philistims to fetch water at the well of Bethell for Dauid, whereas he might have had it without danger at home.
Here some may aske, What we are to iudge of those which use to walke on ropes on high places, and on the toppe of houses: whether do such men sin or not? Ans. These men do so either with a calling or without a calling, Such as do it by vertue of their lawfull calling, as Mosons and such as build churches and houses, and so by reason of their trades work on high places, cannot be said to tempt God: nay rather so long as they walke faithfully in their lawfull callings, they may assure themselues of Gods blessing and his protection.
But as for those who to shew their agilitie; and to make sport, walke on ropes, or runne vpon the roofe of houses, these men hauing no calling from God so to do, they cannot looke for Gods protection; nay, they in so doing tempt God, casting themselues vpon daunger. And our Sauiour Christ might a thousand times better have done this which Satan wold have him here to do• yet would he not put himselfe into needlesse daunger, lest he should tempt God; much lesse ought any man else aduenture to do it.
And in this, that our Sauiour Christ useth the ordinarie way, euen the staires, we may learne, that if any man looke to have Gods protection and blessing, he must also make sure to use the lawfull and ordinarie meanes appointed of God, & keepe himselfe within the compasse of his calling: yea if we desire to find comfort in any of Gods gracious promises, we must be wary to keepe our selues within the compasse of his commaundements: but if we leave them, then we find no true comfort, neither have we any promise of protection from God. But so long as we walke in obedience of Gods commaundements, and within the compasse of our callings, we have this blessed promise from God, that his Angels shall take the care of us, to guard and to defend us.
Againe,*the Devil taketh him into an exceeding high mountaine.] In the seuen verses going before, we have heard of the two first temptations of our sauior Christ; now followeth the third. In this third temptation we are to consider againe three especial points first, the preparation of the Diuel, ver. 8. Secondly, the temptatiō it selfe, ver. 9. Thirdly, Christ his answer, ver. 10.
And first of all seeing the Devil doth thus arme himselfe,* and comes prepared three times, in three seuerall temptations, it should teach us all on our parts to prepare our selues continually, and to be ready to resist his temptations.
In the Diuels preparation note two parts: first, he taketh him to an exceeding high monntaine: secondly, he shewes him all the kingdomes of the world, and the glorie of them.
But how could the Diuel cary our Sauiour Christ to this high mountaine?* I answer,* he might do it two wayes: first, by vision: secondly, by reall transporting of his body from Ierusalem to this mountaine. Some thinke that this was onely in visiō: but I rather thinke our Sauiour Christ was caried locally and really; for our Sauiour Christ his temptations are not imaginary, but true and reall temptations; and the words import no lesse, but that he was really and locally transported from the citie to the mountaine.
The reasons why the Devil caried our Sauiour Christ to the mountaine, are these: First, because the Devil in all things desire• to imitate God, and to become as it were Gods ape. Now we reade, that the Lord caried Moses to the mount Nebo,* to shew him all the land of Canaan; so the Devil to imitate God, and by imitating God, to match him, and so to disgrace the Lord, carieth our Sauior Christ to the mountaine, as it is likely, to imitate Gods dealing with Moses.
Secondly, the Devil caried our Sauiour Christ to this high mountaine, as a most fit and conuenient place to broach this his third and last temptation now in hand.
In that the Devil doth carie our Sauiour Christ from Ierusalem to this hill locally; hence we learne, that he may by Gods permission, have like power ouer the deare children of God, not once, but twise, nay thrise, & oftentimes. We see this true in our sauior Christ the head: therefore if the Lord permit Satan, and by his permission giue the Devil libertie to transport our bodies from place to place, we must not be discouraged. Seeing the same thing befell the head, it may also befall his members, which we are.
[ 2] The second part of the Diuels preparatiō, is this, that he shewes him all the kingdomes of the world, &c. Now concerning this, we may not think the Devil could do this in deed and truth, to shew Christ all the seuerall kingdomes of the world, as they be here placed vpon earth, for that is a thing impossible: for there is no hill so high, that a man might see them all. Nay, if a mā were as high as the Sunne, and could see neuer so clearely, yet he could but see the one halfe of the earth; and therefore we must know, he shewed them in a counterfeit vision.
Now these visions of the Devil, they be either of the outward senses, or else of the vnderstanding. Of the outward senses, as the delusions of the Diuel, making men thinke they see that they do not see indeed. So the Diuel is said to shew Samuel to Saul in a vision in his proper habite: and this was indeed but a coūterfet Samuel,* not that true Samuel, who rested in the grave concerning his bodie, and remained in heaven concerning his soule.
Secondly, there be false visions and deludings of the vnderstanding; as the Lord speaketh,* that he will make the false prophets ashamed of their lying visions. And some of these visions come vnto men sleeping, called dreames. Deut. 13. 1. some come waking, as to such as have their braine crased, they oftentimes have visions, and thinke themselues to be Kings or Prophets, as Iohn Baptist, &c. Now concerning this vision of Christ offered by the Devil, he did it not onely to the mind of Christ, but also to his out ward eye, and visibly.
By this practise of the Devil we may behold his wonderfull skill and power, in that he can resemble to the outward senses in such a strange manner, euen as he listeth, so great and wonderfull matters. And the like is done by Magicians and Coniurers, who by the helpe of the diuel, can reueale and shew things done in a farre countrey, or things that be lost, in a glasse: or for things long passed, can resemble them to outward sense in a glasse, or in the aire. So that those are deceiued who are of mind, that they cannot do this: for if the Devil could shew Christ all the kingdomes of the world and the glorie of them in so short a time, then much more can he shew some one particular thing to the eye and sense of man.
Now let us marke the diuels drift in this temptation, & setting before Christs eyes this goodly and glorious sight: sure it was to this end, that the Devil might by this meanes more easily wind himselfe into the heart of Christ: and therefore he sets this thing before his eyes, that Christ might be moued by them, and take some delight in them, and delighting in them might desire them, and so Satan might in the end ouercome him and insnare him.
And this hath bene the auncient practise of the Devil, as Genes. 3. first, to moue Evah to cast her eye vpon the apple, to marke the beautie of it, then to like it, thē to desire and lust after it, and so in the end to tast of it. And thus he dealt with Christ: first, he shewes this glorious sight, and the beautie of all these things, that if he could, he might have moued him to desire them, and so make his temptation take place.
Seeing this is Satans auncient subtiltie,* it must warne us to take great heed of our outward senses, especially the two senses of learning, namely, seeing and hearing. The eyes and the •ares be the two windowes of the Soule: and if the Devil can get in his head there, he will easily wind in all his bodie, and poison our soules.
We had need therefore to counterguard our hearts,* to keepe them with all diligence, euen aboue al watch and ward, and euermore to take heed who, & what enters into our eyes and eares, and to make sure w• keep carefull watch at those doores. We mu•• pray with Dauid:*O Lord set a Watch before my mouth, and keepe the doore of my lippes: and with holy Iob,* make a couenant with our eyes that they behold no vanitie. This if we do, death shall not enter in by these doores and windowes, but we shall preserue our soules in puritie.
Now when the Devil shewes our Sauiour Christ this goodly shew, let us mark the maner: he shewes Christ all the beautie, the glorie and delight of them: not the troubles, vexations, calamities and daungers of them. And thus will the diuel deale with us; if he would tempt any one to some sinne, he neuer shewes but hides the miserie & daunger, the curses and calamities that will ensue vpō that sinne: but he shewes the profit, gaine, pleasure, delight and commoditie that that sinne will affoord them: that by this meane• he may bring them to his bow, and moue them headlong to rush into the commiting of sinne. Indeed when he hath got his purpose, and preuailed thus farre to bring a man into sin, then he will lay it open in most vgly maner, and lay before a poore sinner the horror and punishment due to his sinne, that so he may make a poore sinner breake the necke of his soule in despaire.
Further, marke how the cunning Devil shewed not these goodly and glorious sights in the first or second temptation, but reserued them for the last, and that in great subtiltie. For the Devil know very well, that if any would peruaile, then surely the desire of honor, of preferment, of profit and pleasure, would moue the heart of Christ.
And in this subtiltie he shewes, that this is a most daungerous temptation which comes from the right hand, that is, which proceeds from profit, pleasure, preferment and honour. And by this temptation he preuailed more against Dauid, then he could when he was in great conflict, and persecuted by Saule.
So prosperitie and ease in the Primitiue Church in the dayes of Constantine, did more preuaile with Christians, then persecution and tribulation could do for the space of three hundred yeares before. And those which could be moued by no other meanes, yet the hope of honor, profite and pleasure hath ouercome and preuailed with them. Thus ease slayeth the foolish: prosperitie is as a slipperie way: and few hauing rest are edified, and walk in the feare of the Lord, & the comfort of the holy Ghost, Act. 9. 31.
Luke cap. 4. 5. he addeth the circumstance of time, that the Devil shewed all this to Christ in a point or moment of time, in so short a time as possibly might be, with maruellous speed & celeritie. And this the Devil did being subtill, the more to inflame th• heart of Christ to desire them: and therefore he set his wares open, and as it were in a glimpse gave him the beholding of the beauty of thē. So we see, if mē see some st•āg• and beautifull thing, and have but a blush or a litle glimpse of it, they desire it with mor• eagernesse, & more greedily affect it. Eue• so he would have dealt with our Sauiour Christ, he would have affected his hea• with this sudden and glorious spectacle.
Now followeth the temptation it selfe, in these words: And said vnto him, All these will I giue thee,* if thou wilt fall downe & worship me.
In this temptation we must first marke the scope and drift of the Devil therein. In the first temptation he laboured to tempt Christ to distrust and vnbeleefe: in the second, to puffe him vp with vaine confidence and presumption: now in this third, he tempted Christ to commit idolatrie, euen to worship the Devil.
And truly this hath euer bene the practise of the Devil, to seeke to ouerturne religion and good conscience by these three things, honour, profite, and pleasures. Among Protestants and Protestant Ministers he hath preuailed much by these meanes. When as for the Ministers of the word, many have in hope of profit and preferment, forsaken true religion & cleane abiured it, and taught the cleane contrarie, euen that which the papists hold and teach: so we see that protestant Merchants for hope of gaine, do carrie ouer to the Church of Rome all such merchandize of waxe, &c. as the Papistes use to maintaine their superstitions and Idolatrie.
And among common Professors, many of them to save their lands, liuings, and places, have chaunged as religion hath changed; now Papists, now Protestants, like to Camelions into any colour. Of this we had experience in Queene Maries dayes: few great men remained Protestants, but yeeded to the Idolatrie of those times.
This third temptation hath two parts: first, a promise: secondly, a condition. And here the Devil saith not: I will procure thee these things at Gods hands; but in his own• name, I will giue thee, all these, to make Chrit depend vpon him for them, to trust in him, and to deny his confidence in God, and to relie vpon the Devil for an inheritance in this world.
In which vile practise of the Devil, we may behold his shamelesse boldnesse, who dares offer Christ the gift of all these, conditionally, if he would worship him: whereas indeed they did all most properly belong to Jesus Christ himselfe, and were his owne; neither had Satan any title to them, but onely by usurpation.
And as the diuel here with Christ, so he dealeth with most men of the world, to tempt them to depend vpon him for the wealth of the world, and to make the Devil their God. For though mē deny this in word, and say, All they have, God hath sent it, they thanke God: yet their wicked practises shew the contrarie, that they do indeed depend vpon the Devil for gaine and profite: seeing most men get their goods by false waight• and measures, by deceit, fraud, cousinage, by lying, swearing & forswearing. Now while they get that they have thus by such vile and wicked meanes, it plainly shewes that all they have, they have it of the Devil, & depend vpon him for wealth, & so make him their God, though in word they deny it neuer so much.
Secondly, the Devil knew Christ was a King, and that his kingdome was not of this world, but spirituall, exercised especially in mens consciences: now the Diuel he labours to tempt Christ to become an earthly King, which if it had taken place in Christ, he knew then that he could not be that true Messiah, who should raigne spriritually in mens consciences.
And in like maner deales the Devil with the members of Christ: for the church of God hath a kingdome, and that is spiritual in the word of God. Now the stewardship is the dispensation and ministery of the word preached, and against this the Devil laboureth that it may become an earthly kingdome, not spirituall but carnall, not in the power of the spirit, but in the carnall wisedome of mans eloquence; and so by all means to ouerturne the true kingdome of Christ.
Thirdly, we see here how the Devil maketh very large and liberall promises, though he meant to performe nothing, neither could he though he would.
This must teach us to study that we may be contrary to the Diuel, and therefore that we do warily consider what promises we make, whether the thing we promise be lawfull, and in our owne power, and that we do it with sincere harts, voide of deceit, and with purpose to be as good as our word: and when we have promised, accordingly to performe our promise;* for that is a marke of Gods children,* and a fruite of the spirit and true faith, in doing the duties of equitie.
And in that the Diuel shewed all these vnto Christ, euen the seuerall kingdomes of the world, it is manifest he knew them all, and was well acquainted, and had travelled through them, as he confesseth, Ioh. 1. 7. And in that he could shew the chiefest glory and beautie of them in such a short time, it is cleare he was cunning in them, and the seuerall estates and conditions of them all.
And we see, that the Diuel in propounding all these glorious kingdomes vn•• Christ, he did tempt him to ambition, tha• he would set his heart on them and so desir•• them. And herein note one of his most principall practises, which is the ouerturning 〈◊〉 kingdomes: for the Devil desireth to do the greatest harme and most mischiefe that he can. Now in the ouerthrow of a kingdome, many go to wracke; and to effect this, he seekes continually to puffe men vp with ambition, that they may desire and gape for preferment and honor. The Lord hath in mercy placed ouer us in this kingdome a gracious Prince and a Christian Queene, & the Devil hath long enuied this our prosperitie, and sought sundry by-plots and manifold practises to ouerthrowe our state, to cut off the head, and to cast her crowne into the dust. And to this purpose he hath raised vp many wicked and rebellious subiects: but the Lord hath in mercie brought all to nought. And therefore the remembrance of this should moue us all to thankfulnesse, for this great mercie of God in defending both Prince and people, and bringing to nought all such rebellious wretches, confounding those ambitious heads, and all their vile and trecherous plots and deuices: and we must shew this thankfulnesse in the duties of repentance and sincere obedience.
Secondly, this must teach us to pray vnto God continually, for the preseruation of our Prince and kingdome, that he would euermore confound and bring to nought all Satans policies, and vile plots and practises of ambitious heads. And it is our duty, in token of true ioy and thankfulnesse, to do as the people did in the dayes of Salomon, who shouted so loud, and cried out God save king Salomon,* that the very earth rang againe: euē so should all true Christians, to expresse the ioy of our hearts, pray day and night, God save Queene Elizabeth.
And herein is our comfort, that though the Devil with all his malice seekes to destroy both Prince and people, and the whole kingdome, and hath his wicked instruments to effect the same: yet the Lord God hath his Angels which take care of his Church and people, and stand round about them, to defend them both by sea and by land, that all the Diuels in hell cannot hurt them: but the Angels of God defend his children at home, and beate back all our enemies from inuading of us.
All these will I giue thee] These words are the very words of the Pope of Rome, who as Satans vicar, hath indeed the two hornes of the lambe, but he speakes like the Dragon: he makes himselfe equall to God, he can (as he sayth) send to heaven and to hel, set vp and pul downe Princes, he can do what he list, he can open and shut at his pleasure, pardon sinnes, and I know not what: which shewes he speakes the Diuels language, the language of Ashdod, not of Canaan.
Luke. 4. 6. The Devil ads a reason further to perswade Christ: for he saith, All these kingdoms are mine, and I cā giue them to whom I will.
Where first the Devil tels a loud lie, chalenging to himselfe the right of all the kingdomes of the world: for it is the Lord his right alone, as we may see Dan. 4. 2•. where the Lord speakes to that proud king N•buchadnezar by the ministerie of Daniel: I beare rule ouer the kingdomes, & I alone (sayth the Lord God) can giue them to whom I please. So then the Devil hath no power to giue them, neither hath any title to them, that he can bestow them at his pleasure: no, that belongs to God alone: yet we see Satan will be an usurper at large.
Secondly, marke the Diuels arrogancie and shamelesse boasting, in that he dares chalenge all the kingdomes of the earth to himselfe, as though he were soueraigne Lord of them, to do with thē at his pleasure. And let us all learne by this shamelesse lying and notorious boasting of the diuel, to take heed that we be not like him in these sinnes, but study to be contrary to him: and therefore we must desire and study to speake the truth at all times, and take heed of boasting yea rather let us thinke as humbly and basely of our selues as possibly we can, which is a good meanes to humble and cast downe our proud hearts: and let such know that are giuen to these sins, to lying and vaine boasting of this and that which they have not, it argues great pride, and shewes they be very like the Devil himselfe in this point.
[ 1] If thou wilt fall downe and worship me.] Here is the second part of the temptation: namely, the condition, and the maine drift of the Devil in these words, is to bring our Sauiour Christ to manifest Idolatrie, euen to worship the Devil himselfe.
First, seeing the Devil durst be so bold to tempt our sauiour Christ to Idolatrie, and to worship himself; hēce we see that the maine scope of the Diuel is especially to deface Religion, and the true seruice and worship of God, and therefore he assaults the Church of God, and tempts men to bring them to embrace heresies, schismes, idolatry, that he might destroy the church of God: and thus he became a lying spirit in the mouth of foure hundred false prophets at one time.* And when Iehosuah the high Priest came into the Temple to performe the worship of God,* he stood vp to hinder him, when he was praying for the good of the Church. And so doth he in these dayes stand vp and seeke by all meanes to hinder Gods Ministers in the building vp of Gods Church. When Christ hath sowne good wheate,* thē the Devil soweth tares; and whē Paul would have gone to preach the Gospell to the Thessalonians,* the Devil hindred him; and it is his speciall study to stop the ministery of the Gospell: and therefore it is said that the Devil cast many of Gods ministers into prison, Reuel. 2. 10.
Reu. 16. 13. 14. there came 3 euill and vncleane spirits out of the mouth of the beast, which entred into Kings houses, to turne thē from the entertaining of the Gospell, because that Kings be either especiall nurses to the Gospell, or else if Satan can preuaile with them, become greatest enemies to hinder the course of the Gospel. Such frogges be these Seminarie Priests, Monkes, Friers, and popish Iesuits, which lurke commonly in Kings courts, and in the places of mighty men.
Then seeing the Devil is so painefull to stop the course of the Gospell, to ouerturne true religion & the seruice of God: it must stirre vp all the Ministers of the word of God, to labour and take paines, that their diligence in defending and vpholding true religion, and building the church of God, may counteruaile Satans diligence in hindering of it.
[ 2] Secondly, it behooueth all Christians not onely to pray for themselues, but seeing the Devil labours the ruine of the church, specially in preuailing with Princes and great men, we must pray for the good of Gods Church and children, and euery member of it: by name, for Kings & Queens, &c & good reasō is there that we should do so: for in the good and flourishing estate of the church we all receiue benefite by it, and fare the better for it.
Thirdly, if Satan durst set vpon the Sonne of God, and tempt him to idolatrie and to worship the Devil, then much more will he be tempting us to the like sinne, and set vpō sinfull man to moue him to worship him, and make him his God.
But you will say,* there is none so mad to worship the Devil, to make him our God: oh we defie him.
True it is,* men say they defie the Devil, and spit at him, but alas if we consider their dealings, we shall see the Devil sits in their hearts, and rules there as God. Do but cast your eye vpon the three maine Religions of the world, the religion of the Turke, of the Iew, and of the Papist; and it will appeare that most men worship the Devil and make him their God: because the Turke he is ignorāt of the true God: the Iew worships God the Father, but not by Jesus Christ, whom they deny: the Papist worships a false and counterfeit Christ forged by themselues, and neuer read of in the word of God: for they make him a Sauior in part, & a Priest to be creator, or the maker of his Creator.
That it may appeare, that these three sorts of people do not worship the true God, but euen the Devil himselfe, let us marke these 2 principles. First, that al doctrines set downe and inuented by man, concerning Gods seruice and worship, being against the word of God, they be the doctrines of Diuels: so saith Paule 1. Tim. 4. 1. 3. that there shall come false teachers, which shall teach doctrines of Diuels: and what are these? Vers. 3. he saith: Such as forbid to marrie: and teach men that some meates be holy in themselues, & some vnholy and not lawfull to be eaten. The second principle is this, all worship of God deuised by man, being against the word of God, is the doctrine of Diuels. So the Gentiles offering to Idols Paule saith they offered to Diuels:* yet none of them intended that, but rather by the idols offered to God. So whatsoeuer worship shall be inuented, being against the word of God, it is indeed the worship of the Devil, not of God.
Now by these two principles it appeareth, that the worship of God performed by the Turkes, and by the Iewes, it is no worship of God, but the worship of Diuels: seeing both of them worship the Father out of the Sonne. And the worship of God in Poperie, it is no better then the worship of the Diuel, seeing they worship God out of the true Christ, and have forged to themselues a false counterfeit Christ. And if Paule might truly affirme of the Gentiles, that they worshipped not the true God, but offered to diuels: then mnch more may it be auouched of that abominable sacrifice of the Masse, that it is indeed the worship of the Devil, seeing it is more vile idolatrie then that of the Gentiles.
Now it will be said:* Though the Devil preuaile thus with them, yet he cannot preuaile so with Protestants, neither can they be said to worship the Devil.* I answer: That in truth there be thousands of Protestants in the world who do worship the Diuel: for all those which do onely in outward shew professe true religion, but in heart loue the world, set their hearts vpon pleasures, profites and preferments, such professours do in truth make the Devil their God, and may be said to worship the Devil. For to whom soeuer they giue their hearts, to them they do giue worship: but while they set their hearts on these things, they do not loue God neither do they beleeue in God, and rest vpon him as their God; and therefore they make the world their God, and so worship the Devil. [ 4]
Fourthly, by this practise of the Devil, we see those men confuted, who thinke that the Devil cannot make a league with men, as with witches, coniurers, &c. For we reade and know such things have bin done, and here we have a manifest proofe of it: for the Devil offers a league to Christ: there was nothing wanting but our Sauiour Christ his cōsent. And if sinfull mā had bene in Christs stead, questionlesse there had bene a league▪ and for so great gaine he would have the Devil his seruice.
Then said Jesus vnto him,*Auoide Satan, &c.] Now followeth the answer of our Sauiour Christ. And first in Christs answer marke, in propounding of it he useth first a speech of indignation and of defiance to the Devil and his offer: Auoide Satan: as though Christ should have said: I have heard thee blaspheme both me and my Father, & have thus long suffered thee, but I will suffer thee no longer, get thee hence Satan, I will not vouchsafe to answer to thy temptations any more.
Marke here in the answer of Christ, that he was content to endure the diuels temptations and reproches, which concerned his owne person: but when he is so bold to blaspheme God his Father, he can endure him no longer. Now when he makes challenge and claimes title to all the kingdoms of the world, as though he were Lord of them, and could bestow them at his pleasure, therin he blasphemed God his Father.
Then this teacheth us,* that if we shall heare vngodly wretches blaspheme the name of God, we may not endure it, but have indignation & great dislike of it. And if we heare black-mouthed Rabshekahs blaspheme the holy name of God, by swearing, cursing, banning, we must be touched with griefe, to heare the glorious name of our God dishonoured, and if time and place require, manifest our dislike in open reprehension of it. Whē Ahab and Iezabel being both wicked, heard that Naboth had blasphemed God, they rent their cloathes in token of sorrow. So when Hezechiah heard the blasphemies of Rabshekah,* he rent his cloths and was very much grieued for it. Whē Dauid heard the Gentiles say,* where is now their God? this blasphemous speech did greatly affect him, so as his very teares were his drinke. And the bad speeches of the men of Sodome, did much affect Lot, & vexe his righteous soule, 2. Pet. 2. 8.
And as all men must be grieued to heare wicked men blaspheme the name of God, so especially those that be gouernours of others, and by name, maisters of families: as Dauid saith Psal. 101. he would not suffer a talebearer in his house, much lesse a blasphemer. And the Magistrate is especially bound to looke to this, seeing it is the law of God▪ that the blasphemer should be stoned to death: now this law is perpetuall. And if a man for speaking a word of disgrace against the person of the Prince wittingly and willingly, shall iustly lose his life: then he that is a blasphemer, and speakes to the disgrace of the eternall God, is much more worthie to die a thousand deaths.
[ 2] Secondly, by this answer of Christ, we learne how to behave our selues when any shall go about to perswade us to depart frō his Church, to renounce true religion; we must accompt of them in that respect as the instruments of Satan. If the father should seeke to withdraw his owne child from the true religion, the sonne must not spare the father, but must cast the first stone at him, Deut. 13. And when Peter would have disswaded Christ from going to Ierusalem,* he saith: Get thee behind me Satan: though he was an excellent Apostle, yet in this Christ accompts of him as of the very Devil.
[ 3] Againe, in that Christ bids Satan now auoide, and will dispute no longer with him▪ we must hereby learne how to answer the Devil in his temptations: though at the first, when his temptations be more mild, we may reply by the word of God, yet when Satan shall be more violent in his assaults, we must imitate our Sauior Christ, & bid him auoide, and dispute no more with him. And whatsoeuer he shall bring against us, when we are not able to answer him, yet let us hold the maine conclusion in the word of God, not vouchsa•ing him an answer.
It is written] Seeing our Sauior Christ now the third time answers the Devil by the scriptures, saying, It is written: we learne that the written word beleeued and vnderstood, is the most sufficient weapon to confute & to confound Satan & his vile tēptations, else Christ wold not now euē the third time have made choise of this weapon: It is written againe.
This confutes the Papists, who make two Scriptures, one vnwritten and inward, which is traditions, the consent of the fathers which have lived in all ages; & the other written in the holy scriptures. Now they do make their vnwritten scriptures, as they call them, and the consent of fathers, to be of equall authoritie with the written word of God, which our Sauior Christ doth shew here, to be the most powerfull meanes to repell all Satans temptations. And the holy scriptures which they call a dead letter, and make as though it had no power in it, eue• this alone is the sword of the spirit to confound satan: and therefore damnable is that their doctrine, which so abuseth the holy Scriptures, & sets vp the erronious tradition of sinfull men. For if the written word had bene but a dead letter, our sauiour Christ would neuer have made choise of it abou• all other weapons three seuerall times to confute Satan, euery time answering, It is written.
[ 2] Secondly, by this answer of Christ, saying, It is written, we learne how to behave our selues when any shall seeke to turne us from true Religion, to embrace false Religion, though we cannot answer their arguments, but they set such a colour on them by their wit and eloquence, and seeme to dazle our eyes that we can not see their deceits; yet we must sticke to the scriptures, and clea•• fast to the text of the Bible: and if we find but one sentence in al the Bible to perswade us of the truth of Religion, we must hang vpon it with both hands, and let not o• hold go; nay it must be of more force & credit with us, then a thousand arguments that tend to the contrary.
Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God only,] In these words is contained the answer of our sauiour Christ to the third temptation of the Devil. The words are takē out of Deut. 6▪ 13. where they are read thus, Thou shalt feare the Lord thy God, and serue him. Now there may seeme to be some difference in the words, as they be alleaged by Christ: for in that place of Deuteronomy it is said, Thou shalt feare the Lord thy God: our sauiour Christ saith, Thou shalt worship. Againe, our sauiour Christ addes a word, which is not added by Moses in that place, namely, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God onely: this word onely is not in that text of Moses.
But if we vnderstand two points concerning the alleaging of scripture, there will appeare to be no difference; the first is this, that Christ and his Apostles in their alleaging of scripture, do not so much sticke to the very •illables, as aime at the sense of the scriptures which they alleage. The second thing is this, that our sauiour Christ in alleaging scripture, seekes to expound scripture, and to open it in alleaging of it; and so doing, he may well adde a word, when as the word he addeth maketh much for the meaning of the text.
And thus Christ in this place chaungeth the word, not mistaking of it, but rather to expound Moses; for whereas Moses saith, Thou shalt feare the Lord, he meaneth that religious feare whereby we feare God, and worship him. Now our sauiour Christ he saith, Thou shalt worship, shewing Moses meant that feare whereby we do with reuerence and bowing of the body and adoring of God worship him, moued thereunto by religious feare, either in praying for some mercy we want, or giuing thankes for some benefite receiued.
Againe, Christ in alleaging this text of Scripture, he addes a word, yet so, as he doth it without any fault: for though this word (alone) be not in Moses his text expresly set downe, yet it is included, and in sense it is vnderstood: for where he saith in the thirteenth verse, Thou shalt feare the Lord, and ads no more; in the fourteenth verse he saith, Thou shalt not walke after any other gods; so that a mā may easily perceiue he did in sēse include it, though not expresse it in words: and thus we see our sauiour Christ cleared.
In the text of scripture alleaged by Christ, note two points: first, what this worship and feare is: secondly, to whom worship is due.
First, worship taken generally, signifieth the giuing of honor and reuerence to another. Now this honour is either ciuill or diuine. Ciuill honour is that outward reuerence we giue to men, by •rostrating of the body, or bowing of the knee; and the end of this ciuill worship is, that thereby we might acknowledge another to be our superiour: & therfore it is giuen of subiects to Princes, or of inferiours to those that by some meanes are their superiours. And thus Iacob worshipped, that is, gave ciuil worship to Esau seuen times, Genes. 33. 3. This reuerence Abraham gave to the Hittites, Gen. 23. 7. & Lot to the Angels bowed himselfe to the ground, Gen. 19. 1. where he gave them onely ciuill worship and honour. So then it is manifest by these examples, that we may lawfully bow and bend the knee and kneele to Princes, to giue thē this ciuill honour, thereby shewing we do acknowledge them to be placed aboue us in authoritie and dignitie in the world by God.
The second kind of honour is diuine or religious worship, when we giue such honor to another, that thereby we do ascribe diuinitie & diuine power vnto it, acknowledging thereby that it is some diuine thing aboue all creatures. And this we do first, when we ascribe the godhead to it, and make it God: secondly, when we ascribe Gods attributes to it, as omnipotencie, prouidence, &c. thirdly, whē we acknowledge it to be the creator and maker of all things: fourthly, when we acknowledge it to be the giuer of those good things we enioy, and the defender of us from euill.
This diuine worship is either inward in the heart, or outward in the body. Inward diuine worship is whē a man giues his heart to any thing, by beleeuing in it, by louing of it, and reioycing in it aboue all other creatures; and that because it hath in it the god-head, or diuine nature, or is God, because it hath the attributes of God, because it is the Creator and defender of all things, or else because it giues us all good things, and keepeth us from all euill.
The outward diuine worship, is when a man any wayes by prostrating himselfe and bowing of his body, doth it to manifest his faith, hope, loue, confidence, feare, or any gift in his hart, thereby confessing it is his Creator, defender and preseruer.
So then here is a manifest difference betweene outward ciuill worship, and that diuine worship which is outward: because by that ciuill worship we do only acknowledge them to whome we do it, to be our superious: but by this outward diuine worship, we do acknowledge that to which we do this worship to be God, Creator and defender of us and all other things.
Now in this place our sauior Christ meaneth not that ciuill worship, but he vnderstandeth outward diuine worship.
There is another seruice mentioned, which is feare: when we giue & performe obedience to another, it is either a seruice absolute or in part: absolute, when we obey the commandement of another simply without all exception: when we obey another, not onely outwardly in body, but inwardly in soule, will, affections, & with the conscience: and this is proper to God alone, neither may this absolute obedience be giuen to any creature, onely God alone is to have this absolute worship, so as we must obey him without all exceptions or question, and that in body, soule, will, affections, and in the very conscience.
There is a second seruice, which is only in part, which we may giue to men, as to the Magistrate being in authoritie aboue us, vnder God; for God hath giuen them leave to make lawes, and power to giue commandements; and they must be obeyed in ciuill things, yet with condition, In the Lord, so long as their commandements stand & agree with Gods commandements. Again, they must be obeyed onely with our bodies: their lawes cannot reach vnto mens hearts and consciences, to bind them. And of these two in this place, we are to vnderstand that obedience which is absolute, to obey the commandement of the Lord absolutely and simply without condition or exception euen in all things whatsoeuer he commaunds us: following herein our father Abraham, who to performe obediēce to the Lord, forsooke his natiue countrey, & was ready to offer his sonne his onely sonne, his beloued sonne, his sonne Izak the sonne of the promise.
Now followeth the person to whom this worship must be giuen. This diuine worship, whether outward or inward, is due to God alone, neither may it be giuen to any other creature, though neuer so excellent. And this is taught us plainly by Christ his answer, and it is agreeable to the first and second commandements, where we are forbidden expresly to giue this diuine and religious worship either to any creature, or to idols, but we must have & acknowledge Iehouah to be our God alone. Reuel. 19, 10. whē Iohn was about to worship the Angell, and to giue him some part of this diuine worship, he forbids him, and tels him that he is but his fellow seruant, and chargeth Iohn to worship God alone.
So then by this which hath bene said, we see how fitly our Sauiour Christ answered the Devil, & alleaged this place of Scripture to stop his mouth. The Devil had shewed him all the kingdomes of the world and the glorie of them all: and tels Christ, if so be he would but acknowledge him to be the giuer of them, he would bestow them all vpō him. Now our Sauiour Christ answereth, that he may not giue that honour to him, which belongeth to God alone and to none else.
First,* we learne from this answer of Christ, that it is not lawfull for us to giue this diuine worship either inward or outward to any creature, though neuer so excellent; neither to Angels, nor Saints: because it is peculiar and proper to God alone. And therfore if any mā shal prostrate his bodie before Saints to pray vnto thē, he maketh them no lesse then Gods, in giuing them that priuiledge which is proper to God: namely, to search the heart, that they can heare our praiers, that they be omnipotent, omni-present, that is, present in all places at once, with all things: which can be affirmed of none but God alone. And yet this is the common practise of the Papists, to yeeld this diuine worship to Saints, and dead men and women, and to adore and worship them.
But the Papists answer: They do not worship Saints with that worship which belongs to God, neither do they worship thē as Gods. Why, no more would the Devil here have Christ so to do, neither durst he presume to tempt Christ to worship him as God, but to acknowledge him to be the giuer of all the kingdomes of the earth. And the Devil requires no more but outward worship: and yet our Sauior Christ tels him, that this outward worship which he demaunded, was proper to God alone, & none may or ought to have it, save he alone. Now the Papists do giue that to Saints, which Christ denyeth to the Devil: for they auouch, that Saints can deliver them from this disease and that disease. They make them patrons not onely of priuate men, but of whole kingdomes & coūtries, as of Italie S. Martin, of Spaine S, Iames, of England S. George. &c. Now to giue a kingdome (which Christ denied to Satan) is a lesse matter then to be a patron of a kingdome: for one may giue a kingdome, that cannot defend a kingdome.
Nay in truth, whatsoeuer they say, they make the Saints gods: for they pray vnto them, they make them intercessors for them vnto God, to procure them fauour in things concerning the life to come. They call the Virgin Mary the Queene of heaven, they make Christ to be her vnderling & a punie: for they pray her to commaund her sonne, & to cause him to heare their prayers, which is to make her euen aboue God himselfe. And therfore in truth they giue more to Saints, then the Devil required of Christ.
Againe they answer: That which may be done to earthly Princes,* may much more be done to Saints in heaven. Now say they, we kneele and bow to earthly Princes, and do reuerence to the chaire of Estate: why then may we not to Saints?* But we answer them: It is true, we do kneele and bow vnto earthly Princes, but all this that we do, we do it not so much to their persons, as to that authoritie God hath laid vpon them: and we do it onely to shew our subiection vnto thē▪ But to kneele to Saints is no token of ciuill honour, as this is which we giue to earthly Princes, but a part of diuine honour. For by that, they do acknowledge, that the Saints can heare their prayers, search the hearts, that they be omnipotent, and present in euery place, which honour is due to God alone.
Yet though we may not thus adore Saints as the Papists do,* we do acknowledge a certaine honour due vnto them: & this honour stands in three things: First, by giuing thāke• to God for them, in that the Lord hath giu• his Church in former times such worthy instruments. Secondly, by a reuerent estimation of them, in that we accompt of them as the friends of God. Thirdly, by honouring them, though not with diuine worship, yet by imitating their vertues: and this is all that honour we owe vnto the Saints departed.
Now if that the adoring of Saints be flat vnlawfull and forbidden,* then it is not lawfull to appoint and dedicate solemne dayes vnto them, to fast for them, to worship the• to worship their reliques: all these be vnlawfull, and yet common among the Papists. Neither can the Church of Rome iustly accuse us of the like, though we have and retaine the names of Saints dayes in the church of England; because we dedicate those dayes not to the worship of Saints as they do, but to the seruice and worship of God alone.
We must mark how our Sauiour Christ in alleaging and expounding of Moses ioynes worship and feare together:* to shew, that none can truly worship God but they that do truly feare God.
Men commonly think they have done enough if they come to church on dayes appointed, listen a while to the word, receiue the Sacraments; they thinke this is all the worship of God that he requires, though they want the feare of God in their hearts: but alas all this is to no purpose, if men want the feare of God, & practise iniustice in their particular callings. Reade the first of Esa. vers. 14. The Lord hates all the seruice and worship which the Iewes offered him: not simply, because these things were vnlawfull in themselues,* for the Lord had commaunded them: but because they ioyned not not so much to their persons, as to that authoritie God hath laid vpon them: and we do it onely to shew our subiection vnto thē. But to kneele to Saints is no token of ciuill honour, as this is which we giue to earthly Princes, but a part of diuine honour. For by that, they do acknowledge, that the Saints can heare their prayers, search the hearts, that they be omnipotent, and present in euery place, which honour is due to God alone.
Yet though we may not thus adore Saints as the Papists do,* we do acknowledge a certaine honour due vnto them: & this honour stands in three things: First, by giuing thākes to God for them, in that the Lord hath giuē his Church in former times such worthy instruments. Secondly, by a reuerent estimation of them, in that we accompt of them as the friends of God. Thirdly, by honouring them, though not with diuine worship, yet by imitating their vertues: and this is all that honour we owe vnto the Saints departed.
Now if that the adoring of Saints be flat vnlawfull and forbidden,* then it is not lawfull to appoint and dedicate solemne dayes vnto them, to fast for them, to worship the• to worship their reliques: all these be vnlawfull, and yet common among the Papists. Neither can the Church of Rome iustly accuse us of the like, though we have and retaine the names of Saints dayes in the church of England; because we dedicate those dayes not to the worship of Saints as they do, but to the seruice and worship of God alone.
We must mark how our Sauiour Christ in alleaging and expounding of Moses ioynes worship and feare together:* to shew, that none can truly worship God but they that do truly feare God.
Men commonly think they have done enough if they come to church on dayes appointed, listen a while to the word, receiue the Sacraments; they thinke this is all the worship of God that he requires, though they want the feare of God in their hearts: but alas all this is to no purpose, if men want the feare of God, & practise iniustice in their particular callings. Reade the first of Esa. vers. 14. The Lord hates all the seruice and worship which the Iewes offered him: not simply, because these things were vnlawfull in themselues,* for the Lord had commaunded them: but because they ioyned not to the seruice of God, the feare of God, but their hands were full of crueltie & iniustice, and they practised no mercie to men: and whatsoeuer men professe in the worship of God, and shew not the feare of God, & conscience in their particular callings and dealings with men, all is but hypocrisie.
Whereas we teach that a man may be certainely perswaded by faith of his election and saluation:* the Papists say, we cannot proue it out of the word of God. Now what though we cannot find this sentence in so many words: (I am elected) yet as our Sauiour Christ by alleaging Scripture gathered the sense of it: so may we without blame gather that out of the word which is the same in sense, which we hold in this point.
We see it is our dutie not only to worship God with outward worship of the bodie,* but with inward worship in the soule, mind, will, affections, and in the conscience. Paul he preached the Gospell of God vnto the the Corinthians,* to bring their very thoughts into subiection: that is, so to order them, that they might not thinke any thing but that which was holy and according to the will of God.
Then the Devil left him,*&c.] In this verse is set downe the third and last part of the conflicts of Christ with the Devil: namely, the issue and euent of them, which is that glorious victorie and conquest which our Sauiour Jesus Christ got against the Devil. And this is the most principall part of all the rest. For what comfort could we have had in Christs temptations, in the preparation, in the conflicts & seuerall temptations, vnlesse Christ had vanquished Satan, and got the victorie? Nay all the comfort of Gods children stands in this victorie of our Lord and Sauiour Jesus Christ: because now Christ stood in our stead, and was tempted for our sakes: so that he being our head, and getting victorie ouer the diuel, the Church & euery member of the Church in Jesus Christ, got victorie ouer Satan.
In the victorie we are to obserue two things: First, that the Devil departed from him: Secondly, the Angels ministred vnto him.* In this departing of the Devil from Christ, we may behold the vnspeakable goodnesse of God to his Church, for that which befell Christ, befalleth the Church of God. Now the Devil hauing tempted Christ in three seuerall and sore temptations, he encountred him in all three, and resisted the Devil in all his temptations: and then the Devil leaveth him, and goeth his way. Wherein we see the endlesse loue of God, in that he puts an end to the afflictions of his Church, though they be many and sore, yet they shall last but a time and have an end. So the Lord speaketh of Salomon:* If he sinne I will chastise him with the rods of men and with the plagues of the children of men: such as should not be too extreame, but that he should be able to beare. So the Prophet Habacuck, he in the first chapter breaketh out into impatient speeches, for the afflictions of the Church: but chap. 2. vers. 3. the Lord bids him waite, and tels him, it shall be amended, and that he will put an end to their miseries: the Lord hath promised that he will not suffer his children to be tempted aboue that they shall be able to beare, but shall find a blessed issue of their temptations. The two Prophets which were slaine for doing their message,* and for the testimonie of Jesus, lay vnburied three dayes and an halfe: but after the Lord puts into them the spirit of life againe, and they reuiued, and stood vp before the Lord, and they that saw them shall be afraid, and see them ascend vp into heaven. So that we may see, the Lord in mercie puts an end to all the afflictions of his children.
And this we may see by dayly experience, some of Gods children are visited with grieuous and fearefull temptations, some halfe a yeare, some a whole yeare, some, two, three, foure, ten yeares, yet at length the Lord giues them a good issue, and puts an end to their miserie; and in stead of horror of conscience, sends them comfort; & in stead of griefe, ioy vnspeakable. And though the Lord should suffer them to be tempted all their life long til their dying day, yet then the Lord would giue them a blessed issue of all their miseries, and fill their soules with exceeding comfort.
Here we see a notable differēce betweene the first Adam and the second Adam.* The first Adam was tempted, and yeelded to Satans temptations, and suffered the Devil to enter into his hart: the second Adam Jesus Christ, he was likewise tempted, yet he yeelded not to the least assault of the Devil, neither could he euer enter into his holy heart, but departeth from him, and is faine to leave him.
In this departure of the Devil from Christ, first, marke when he departed: secondly, for how long he departed.
For the first, Then the Devil left him, that is, after the three temptations were ended, and Christ had in great indignation bid him auoide Satan, for his blasphemous speeches, then the Devil departed.
Here we see the best way to put the Devil to flight,* and to giue him the repulse: namely, to resist him at the first, & giue him no ground. But as S. Iames saith, Resist the Devil,*and he will flie from thee: when as we depend on Gods word, and the blessed promises of the Gospell, praying for grace from God to resist satan; he shal neuer preuaile against us, but will depart. And therefore it is but foolishnesse to thinke or imagine that he can be put to flight by musick, merry companie, sports and pastimes, or such like vanities: but the onely meanes to cause him to depart, is the word and prayer, by them alone he is resisted.
[ 2] They take a bad course, who thinke they may yeeld to Satans temptations when they are yong, and purpose in their old age to resist him: but if we euer yeeld vnto him, we do set open the doore of our hearts vnto the Diuel, we do willingly receiue him, and bid him welcom, and then he will not easily be driuen away: nay we shal find it a hard matter, if not impossible, to put him to flight in our old age. But as men in a dropsie, the more they drinke, the more they desire: so the more men yeeld to his temptations, the more violently will he set vpon them.
After that our sauiour Christ saith vnto him, Auoide Satan, presently he departeth, and is obedient to his commaundement. What? was this any vertue in the Diuel to obey Christs commandement? No surely, it was no vertue in the Devil: for we are to vnderstand, there be two kinds of obedience, one is voluntary and chearfull, the other by constraint and forced. Voluntary obedience is that, when any of the creatures of God do willingly through Gods grace mouing them, obey the commaundement of God, as all the good Angels of God, and Adam before his fall, and all the children of God that be effectually called, iustified, and sanctified, do willingly and with chearfulnesse yeeld obedience vnto God in part. Besides this, there is a constrained obedience, when one is vrged and compelled whether he will or not to obey another; as one that is a malefactor, being condemned to die, he is obedient and yeeldeth himself to death, he submitteth him selfe, because he must neither will nor choose. So the Devil here obeyeth the voice of Christ, and departeth at his commaundement: but this obedience in him is no vertue, because he was compelled to do it, and could do none otherwise.
And that which here befell the Diuel, shall befall all wicked & impenitent sinners if they will not now obey the commandement of Christ, to repent and beleeue the Gospell, they shall one day in spite of their teeth be constrained, will they nil they, to obey that commandement at the last day of iudgement, Depart ye cursed into euerlasting fire, prepared for the Devil and his angels. The consideratiō of this one point, should 〈◊〉 all men now in the time of grace, to yeeld hearty and willing obedience to the voice of Christ, in repenting and turning to God, le•• one day we be constrained to yeeld to our eternall confusion.
Luke 4. 13. he saith, When the diuel 〈◊〉 ended all the temptation, then he departed. Where we may note, that before the Diuel• left our Sauiour Christ, he imployed all 〈◊〉 might, skill, subtiltie and fraud in tempti•• of Christ. And from this malicious pract•• of the Devil, we may gather, that Christ was tempted with no smal and easie temptation, but that he was tempted in the highest degree that could be: for the Devil made an end of his temptations before he left him, and had his will in tempting of him, and therefore no question, in these three maine temptations that we have spoken of, he tēpted him as much as he could, and shewed his greatest extremitie and fraud. And this may appeare, in that the Angels were faine to come & comfort our Sauiour Christ: so that he was not tempted with some light and ordinarie temptations, but in most extreame manner, so as his heart within him was in perplexitie, anguish and griefe, yet without all sinne.
And this may minister comfort to the children of God;* if any man be tempted with some grieuous temptation, in some wondrous and fearefull maner, that he is almost at the point of despaire, yet let him stay himselfe, and let him not thinke that therefore he is cast away: for here we see, that Jesus Christ the Son of God was tempted in the highest degree that might be, and therefore the dearest seruants of God may be extreamly tempted.
We must learne from hence to suspend our iudgements:* and if we see any so fearfully tempted, & their temptations so extreme and grieuous, that they say of them selues that they be cast-awayes, or that while they yet live they are already in hel; let us take heed we be not too rash in condemning of them, neither let us speake or thinke of them as cast-awayes: for our Sauiour Christ was tempted in the highest measure that could be, and why thē may not these kind of temptations befall the dearest children of God? Therefore that which is written of Francis Spira, that he was a reprobate & a cast-away, was penned very inconsiderately, though he affirmed the same of himself; for there did nothing befall him, which may not befall a child of God: for we see that our Sauiour Christ himselfe was tempted in the greatest measure that might be, and we have dayly experience from time to time, that some of the deare children of God have bene in like sort assaulted to despaire for a time, to thinke themselues reprobates and cast-awayes, yet it hath pleased the Lord in time to restore them to the feeling of his loue, and they have continued the faithfull seruants of God till their dying day.
And as it is said, the diuel departed as soone as he had ended all his temptations: we may gather, that these three wherewith he assaulted our Sauiour Christ, they be the most principall temptations of the Devil, & the very ground of all other his temptations: and therefore it shall be good for us to learne to know them, and the daunger of them, that we may arme our selues by the example of Christ against them especially.
The second circumstance to be marked in the Diuels departure, is that which S. Luke addeth, though it be not expressed in Mathew, namely, that the Devil left Christ but for a season: but we neuer reade that the Devil did tempt our Sauiour Christ after this, but once vpon the crosse: then indeed the Devil and all his Angels set vpon him, Coloss. 2. 15. I answer, the Devil tempts either by himselfe, or else by wicked men. It is true indeed, we reade not that the Devil did euer tempt Christ after his departure from him, but once when he was on the crosse; but he set wicked men a work in persecuting of him continually. So he tempted Euah but once by himselfe, but no doubt he tēpted her after many times by other means
Secondly, the Devil tempts by his instruments, namely, by wicked and vngodly mē: and thus he tempted Adam, not by himselfe, but by Euah: so he tempted Iob, not onely by himselfe, in casting the house vpon his children, but also by his vile instruments the Sabeans and Caldeans, whom he set a work to rob and spoile him, and after by his mistaking friends.
So though we reade not that the Devil did tempt Christ all his life time after this by himselfe, yet did he it by his instruments, as the Scribes and Pharises, the cruell Iewes, yea by Herod, Pontius Pilate, Annas and Caiphas, and the rest: he neuer ceased tempting of him after this; and these temptations by his vile• instruments were very great and grieuous vnto his sacred soule.
Seeing the Devil tooke this course to tempt Christ, and then to depart for a while, and after to returne againe: we may see what is the estate of Gods Church in this world, namely, that the Church of God vpon earth is in a continuall intercourse of afflictions: now afflicted; after, the Lord giues it peace for a time: and then the Lord sendeth afflictions againe: and as winter followeth sommer, so doth ioy afflictions.
This being the estate of the church of God vpon earth, a continuall intercourse of afflictions, we must then learne what is our own particular estate while we live in the church, namely, a state that is in a continuall intercourse of troubles and afflictions. If we now inioy peace and rest, we must make account it cannot alwaies indure, but there must come a change: and therefore we must beware in time of peace to prepare our selues against the time of affliction and of triall, and perswade our selues the Sunne will not alwaies shine, but this state will change, and triall will come. It followeth.
And behold the Angels came and ministred vnto him.] Here is now the second part of the victorie: when as our Sauiour Christ had foiled the Devil, and put him to flight, then the Angels come and minister vnto him, to comfort him after this tedious combat.
Behold] This word is a word of wonder, and it sheweth there is some matter of moment that followeth: and what is that? the wonder is, that that person whom the Devil despised, and would have troden vnder his feete, euen this person is here attended vpon by the good Angels of God, who are readie to offer him their seruice, and come to comfort him.
In this ministerie of these Angels consider, first the bond which caused them to attend on Christ: secondly, the number, how many they were: thirdly, the time when they came to him.
First the bond which maketh these glorious Angels and heavenly spirits to attend and waite vpon our Sauiour Christ, is this, that the man Christ, not the manhood of Christ, but Christ God and man, is Lord of all creatures, euen of the Angels in heaven. And the manhood of Christ, though it be not Lord of Angels, yet it is farre more excellent then any creature whatsoeuer, yea then the blessed Angels.
And here we may behold the great goodnesse of God, who hath exalted mans nature which was most vile by reason of sinne, to be farre more excellent then any Angell in heaven, as it is ioyned to the Godhead in the person of Christ.
So then the Angels minister to Christ not as simply man, but as God-man, or God and man: and so they minister to all the true members of Christ Jesus, which are truly coupled and vnited vnto his mysticall bodie. Christ is that ladder of Iacob, whereby the Angels of God do ascend and descend, to do seruice to all those which are truly ioyned vnto Jesus Christ, Gen. 28.
This ought to make us all admire the endlesse and vnspeakeable goodnes of God,* who hath not onely giuen us to be Lords of heaven and earth by the meanes of Christ, but euen the glorious Angels, which are farre aboue man in excellencie, to be our seruants, to minister vnto us, to comfort and defend us.
This should moue us all to carrie and behave our selues reuerently and holily in all our actions and speeches,* seeing the glorious and blessed Angels of God do waite and attend vpon us. Truly this ought to make us have great regard that no vnseemely speech or action passe from us, seeing we be in the presence of these most excellent creatures of God, the blessed & holy Angels, to behave our selues with greater reuerence then we would before an earthly Prince, and in the presence of a mightie Monarch.
2 The number of them.* It is not said, there came one Angell, as in the garden: but, the Angels came vnto him: shewing there were mo then one. And we find in the word, that our Sauiour Christ had sometimes one, somtimes mo to attend vpon him. And so the wicked Angels come sometimes one alone as here in Christs temptations: sometimes many, as when Christ was on the crosse, Colossians 2. 15. And so it is likewise with the good Angels of God: sometimes they come one alone, sometimes moe together.
Mow if this be true, then that opinion fa•leth to the ground, which holds, that euery man hath his two Angels: an euill Angel to tempt him, and his good Angell to defend him. But if God so please, he hath a legion of bad Angels to torment the bad• and ten thousands of good Angels to comfort the good.
[ 3] The third point is the time when the•• Angels came vnto Christ; [Then] when the Devil had now ended all his temptations not in the time of the temptations whi•• Christ was tempted, but immediatly after they were ended.
True it is, the good Angels of God be ••waies readie to attend vpō Christ & to ob•• his will; yet here it is said, they came not 〈◊〉 our Sauiour till after his temptations: 〈◊〉 then when he had most need, they are 〈◊〉 of God to comfort him: and as it is like• they tooke vpon them some bodily sh••••the time, as the Devil did, that so they ••ght the better do him seruice.
And here in the person of our Sauiour Christ we may obserue the dealing of God •ith his children, euen as he dealt with Christ himselfe: namely, that the Lord doth sometime conceale his fauour, and not •hew his accustomed mercie to his children, 〈◊〉 least the comfortable sense and feeling of 〈◊〉 for a time, to trie his children. As here the Lord with held for a time the comfort of his Angels from our Sauiour Christ, yet after in is greatest need sent them to comfort him. •o the Lord dealeth with his children, euen 〈◊〉 a nurse dealeth with her child, setteth it •owne, and goeth and hideth her selfe for 〈◊〉 time, letteth it sit still, so as the child ta•eth a knocke; and it may be hurteth it selfe, so as it bleedeth againe: now all this she doth, not because she loueth not her child, 〈◊〉 that when she taketh vp her child againe into her armes, it may loue her better, and cling faster vnto her. Euen so dea•eth the Lord with his children, he often withdraweth the comfortable feeling of his mercie, and doth as it were hide himselfe for a time, that so we may the better 〈◊〉 what we are without his mercie, and make more accompt of it, when the Lo•• doth giue us the feeling of it againe, and 〈◊〉 we may loue him euer after more earne•• and more constantly.
To conclude, most men will say, There 〈◊〉 no need of this doctrine of temptations: 〈◊〉 they neuer felt any such matter, nor are 〈◊〉 acquainted with them: nay, they hope (th• say) neuer to feele any such temptations: 〈◊〉 they thank God that they neuer knew 〈◊〉 temptations meant. Indeed these po•• soules may thinke themselues happie, 〈◊〉 they be in a most pitifull case, and a mise••ble estate: for whosoeuer belongs to Ch••• he must be made in some measure con•••mable; and if they be the true member• Christ, they must be made sutable to th• head,* in suffering temptations. Nay, it is 〈◊〉 ioy, and we have iust cause of reioyci• when we be tempted: especially if we 〈◊〉 able (by the power of Christ) to resist 〈◊〉 temptations, as he did. So saith the 〈◊〉 Ghost, Iam. 1. 2. My brethren (saith 〈◊〉 Apostle) accompt it exceeding ioy, when ye 〈◊〉 into diuerse temptations.
And those men which say, they neuer 〈◊〉 tempted all their lives, alas they have a 〈◊〉 full iudgement of God vpon them, 〈◊〉•••dnesse of heart, which makes them that 〈◊〉 feele no temptations, though they be ••yly tempted by the Devil to a thousand 〈◊〉 and impieties. As the Disciples of Christ 〈◊〉 though they saw the miracle of Christ, 〈◊〉 saw that the bread was multiplied in •eir hands, yet vnderstood it not, because 〈◊〉 the hardnesse of their hearts: so these blind ••les, though Satan tempt them from day 〈◊〉 day, yet they be so blinded & their hearts 〈◊〉 hardned, that they perceiue no such mat••.
But if these men would learne once by the •ord of God to see and feele their miserie, •nd so repent and be truly humbled for their 〈◊〉, and become new creatures, they would 〈◊〉 be of another mind. And therefore let 〈◊〉 such men pray to God, that he of his mer•le giue them the sight of their wofull mise•le, that he would giue them soft and tender •earts to be humbled for their sinnes, that so ••ey may feele the want of grace; and they ••il then confesse it is not an vnneedful thing ••or them to know and vndergo temptations, and that vnlesse they be tempted with Christ, they can have no true ioy nor sound comfort in Christ.
Maister Perkins his Prayer before his Sermons.
OAlmightie Lord God, most merci•• and louing Father in Jesus Christ, 〈◊〉 are here assembled before thy glorious Mijestie, to be partakers of thy heavenly wor• which of thine infinite goodnesse and mer•• thou hast ordained to be the ordinary me•• to worke our saluation: we beseech th• therefore most mercifull Father, to blesse•uery one of us in the hearing and the sp•• king of thy holy word. Good Lord op•• our blind eyes, that we may be able to vnderstand it: and whereas our hearts are 〈◊〉 of hardnesse, full of sinne, full of manifo•• rebellions: good Lord soften our hard ha•• graunt that thy holy word may be the tw• edged sword of the spirit to cut downe sin•• and corruption in us, and make us new 〈◊〉 tures in Jesus Christ. And whereas we 〈◊〉 troubled with many impediments in h••ring of thy word, as wandring imagination in our hearts, suggestions of Satan, and the dulnesse of our owne flesh: good Lord remoue these impediments, and giue us eue•••ne grace to heare thy word in feare and ••uerence, as in thy presence; and to receiue the same not as from man, but as from Jesus Christ: and when we have heard thy word, graunt that it may be not the sauor of death to our deeper condemnation, but the sauor of life to our eternall comfort and saluation. For this cause write the same in euery one of our hearts, and tranforme us into the obedience of the same in our life and conuersation. And because Satan is a deadly enemie to the ministerie of thy word, good Lord confound Satan, dissolue in euery one of us the cursed workes of the Diuel, worke thine owne good works, shew thy selfe more merciful in blessing of thy word, then Satan is or can be malicious in hindring of the same. Heare us, we beseech thee, in these requests, and graunt these graces to euery one of us, not for our owne merits (for vnto us belongeth nothing but eternall shame and confusion for our sinnes) but for the merites of thy deare sonne Jesus Christ, in whom thou art well pleased: to whom with thee and the holy Ghost, be giuen of euery one of us all praise, honor and glory, both now and for euermore. Amen.
The voice of a person
- 1. Carnall, of
- Euill: I do it, and will do.
- Good: I do it not, nor will do.
- 2. Regenerate, of
- Euill: I do it, but would not do it.
- Good: I do not that I would.
- 3. Glorified of
- Euill: I do it not, neither 〈◊〉 I do it.
- Good: I do it, and will do it.
To the right Honorable and vertuous Ladies, the Countesse of Cumberland, and the Countesse of Warwicke, grace and peace.
RIght Honorable, in the former 〈◊〉 is the combat of Christ: in this latter is set downe the combat of a Christian. He that fought with our head, will fight with the members▪ and he that assaulted Christ, will assaile all Christians. But Christ did beare troubles, and was borne out of them: we must have troubles, and shall be borne out of them. If our afflictions were plagues, as to the Egyptians: curses, as to Cham: destruction, as to Sodome: desolation, as to Israel: then had we cause to flie from them, as Moses did from that miraculous serpent. But since they are but the trials of faith, corrections of a father, visitations from the Bishop of our soules: since they are as Phlebotomie to a Pleurisie, and a purgation to a Plethora, they are to be endured with all patience. How Christ did endure them, you may reade in that Treatise: how a Christian must, you may see in this. The former Treatise I presented to your honorable brother: this latter to you most honorable sisters. I desired to annex this to the former discourse, because it is sutable to that present argument: and I know not to whom I may better present it, then to you who have experience of this Christian warfare. If it please you but to reade these holy meditations, and to entertaine this poore mite into your rich treasury by the reading I doubt not but you shal have much comfort; and by your entertaining, the church shal have much good. Now that good God who hath giuen your mind to know him, giue you also an heart to lo• him: and as you are Honorable in the eyes of this world, so he make you most honorable in the eyes of his Maiestie. And thus crauing pardon, I commit you to the grace of that God, who will honor them that loue him, and comfort them that seeke comfort from him.
Your Honors in the Lord, Robert Hill.
A comfort for the feeble minded: wherein is set downe that spirituall combat which is betwixt a Christian and Satan.
SIr, I heard you with much comfort, when you preached vpon the temptations of Christ. I pray you instruct me concerning the temptations of a Christian, and giue me leave to aske you certaine questic•s.
What is it which we call Christi•• warfare?
Christian warfare is concerning the right way of fighting in the spirituall battel.
Which be the parts thereof?
The parts thereof, are the preparation to battell, and the combat it selfe.
How may I prepare my self vnto it?
To the preparation, you must use the complete armor of God. Eph. 6. 13. For this cause, take vnto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to resist in the euill day: and hauing finished all things, stand fast.
How many parts hath this armor?
The parts thereof are especially six: 1. truth: 2. iustice: 3. Euangelicall obedience: 4. faith: 5. the word of God: 6. continuall and feruent prayer with watching: as you may reade, Eph. 6. 14. Stand fast therefore, your loynes girded about with veritie, and hauing o• the brest-plate of righteousnesse, 15. And your feet shod with the preparation of the Gospell of peace. 16. Aboue all, take the shield of Faith, wherewith ye may quench all the fierie darts of the wicked. 17. And take the helmet of saluation, and the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God. 18. And pray alwayes with all maner of prayer and supplication in the spirit, and watch thereunto with al perseuerance and supplication for all Saints. 1. Pet. 5. 8. Be sober, and watch: for your aduersarie the diuel, as a roring Lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may deuoure.
What then is the combat?
The combat is a mutuall conflict of them that fight spiritually.
Who are the warriors?
The warriors, are the tempter and the Christian souldier. Ephes. 6. 12. For we wrastle not against flesh and bloud, but against principalities, against powers, and against the worldly gouernors, the princes of the darknesse of this world, against spirituall wickednesses, which are in high places.
Whom call you the tempter?
The tempter, is the Prince or his helpers. The Prince is Satan and his Angels, which are spirituall wickednesses in high things. His helpers are the flesh and the world.
What is the conflict of these warriors?
The conflict of all these, is temptation, whereby a man is prouoked to commit such wickednesse as is hurtfull to the saluation of his soule. 1. Pet. 2. 11. Dearely beloued, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrimes abstaine from fleshly lustes, which fight against the soule.
What must I note in this Christian souldier?
In the souldier, two things are to be considered: his resisting, and his fall.
What is his resistance?
Resistance is an action, whereby the souldier doth withstand temptation, through grace working inwardly in him. 1. Iohn 2. 14. I write vnto you babes, because ye have knowne the Father: I have written to you fathers, because ye have knowne him that is from the beginning: I have written to you yong men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have ouercome the wicked. 1. Pet. 5. 8. Ephes. 6. 16. Psal. 91. 13. Thou shalt walk vpon the Lion and Asp, the yong Lion and the Dragon shalt thou tread vnder feete.
How is this resistance confirmed?
To confirme this, these preseruatiues which follow are very necessary.
- When you are tempted to sinne, do not only abstaine from it, but earnestly loue and follow after the contrary. Iohn 8. 44.
- Neuer yeeld or consent to Satans words, whether he speake the truth, accuse falsly, or flatter dissemblingly. Iohn 8. 44. Ye are of your father the Devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do: he hath bin a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him: when he speaketh a lie, then speaketh he of his owne; for he is a lier, and the father thereof. Marke 1. 24. And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus the sonne of the most high God? And Jesus said, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. Act. 16. 17. She followed Paul and us, and cried, saying: These men are the seruants of the most high God, which shew vnto us the way of saluation, &c. August. serm. 241.
- One temptation is to be looked for after another, and then especially when our enemie after he hath set his snares, is at rest: for the diuel neuer maketh an end of his malice, 1. Pet. 5. 8.
I have heard how to resist: teach me (I pray you) what is his fall.
The fall is, whereby the souldier through infirmitie fainteth, being subdued by the power of the enemie. Gal. 6. 1. Brethrē, if a man be fallen by occasion into any fault, ye which are spirituall, restore such a one with the spirit of meeknesse, considering thy selfe least thou also be tempted.
If I fall, how may I rise?
To this appertaineth the spirituall remedie: now a remedie, is a thing hauing aptnesse to restore him which is fallen to his former estate. Gal. 6. 1.
And here two things must alwayes be thought on.
- If there be a willing mind, euery one is accepted for that grace which he hath, not for that which he hath not. 2. Corint. 8. 12, For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.
- In all these things, whosoeuer wil leade a godly life in Christ, the power of God is to be made perfect through their infirmitie. 2. Cor. 12. 9. And he said vnto me, My grace is sufficient for thee, for my power is made perfect through weaknesse: very gladly therefore will I reioyce rather in mine infirmities, that the power of God may dwell in me. 10. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproches, in necessities, in persecutions, in anguish for Christs sake, for when I am weake, then am I strong.
But since Satan is mine aduersarie, instruct me how many his assaults be.
Assaults are three-fold.
Which is the first?
The first is about the Christian mans effectuall calling: and the temptation is the enterprise of the Devil, to blindfold mans mind and to harden his hart, lest the word of God should work in him to saluation. Mat. 1• 4. And as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowles came and deuoured them vp. 5. And some fell vpon stonie ground, where they had no• much earth, and anon they sprang vp, because they had no depth of earth. 6. And when the sun rose vp, they were parched; & for lack of rooting withered away. 7. And some fell among thornes, and the thornes sprung vp and choked them. 19. Whensoeuer a man heareth the word of the kingdome, and vnderstandeth it not, the euill one cometh, and catcheth away that which was sowne in his heart: and this is he which hath receiued the seed by the way side.
How may I resist this assault?
A resistance in those that are called, is wrought by the spirit of God, that causeth men to lend their eares to heare, and doth ingraffe the word in their hearts, that the immortall seed of regeneration may spring in them. Psal. 40. 6. Ioh. 6. 44. Act. 16. 14. Iam. 1. 21. Wherefore lay apart all filthinesse, and superfluitie of maliciousnes, and receiue with meeknes the word that is graffed in you, which is able to save your soules. 1. Pet. 1. 22. Seeing your soules are purified in obeying the truth through the spirit, to loue brotherly without faining, loue one another with a pure heart feruently. 1. Ioh. 3. 9. Whosoeuer is borne of God sinneth not, for his seed remaineth in him, neither cā he sin because he is borne of God. A resistance in those that are to be called, is, when in a sincere heart they do ioyne the word which they have heard with faith. Luke 8. 15. But that which fell in good ground, are they which with an honest and good heart heare the word and keepe it, and bring forth fruit with patience, Heb. 4. 2.
What certaine preseruatiues are to be noted in this resistance?
- Premeditation of the power and use of the word. Eccles. 4. 17. Take heed to thy feete when thou entrest into the house of the Lord, and be more neare to heare then to giue the sacrifice of fooles, for they know not that they do euil. Cha. 5. 1. Be not rash with thy mouth, n• let thine heart be hastie to vtter a thing before God: for God is in the heaven, and thou art 〈◊〉 the earth, therefore let thy words be few.
- Diligent attentiō of the mind, Act. 16. 14.
- An hungring desire of the heart. Ioh. 7. 37. Now in the last and great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying: If any man thirst, let him come to me and drinke.
- Integritie of life. Psal. 26. 6.
- The casting away of euill affections Iam. 1. 22. And be ye doers of the word, and n• hearers onely, deceiuing your owne soules.
- The inward consent and agreement of the heart with the word preached. Act. 2. 37.
- An hiding of the word in the heart lest we should sinne, Psalm. 119. 11. I have hid thy word in mine heart, that I might not sinne against thee.
- A trembling at the presence of God in the assembly of the Church, Esa. 66. 2. For all these things hath mine hand made, and all these things have bene, saith the Lord, and to him will I looke, euen to him that is poore and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my words. Act. 10. 33. Then sent I for thee immediatly, and thou hast well done to come; now therefore are we all here present before God, to heare all things that are commaunded thee of God.
The God of power preserue me from this assault by these preseruatiues: but how may I fall in this temptation?
Your fall, is either by a coldnesse in receiuing the word, and a neglect therof, or else by falling into errors.
What then must be my remedy?
The remedie for this, is subiection, which must be made to the iudgement and censure of the brethren and Ministers. Reuel. 3. 15. I know thy workes, that thou art neither cold nor hote: I would thou werest cold or hote. Gal. 6. 2. 1. Tim. 1. 20. Of whom is Hymeneus and Alexander, whom I have delivered vnto Satan, that they might learne not to blaspheme.
What is the second assault?
The second assault is concerning faith.
How may one be thus assaulted?
By an illusion, which the Devil casteth into the hearts of godly ones: as when he saith: Thou art not of the number of the elect: thou art not iustified: thou hast no faith: thou must certainely be condemned for thy sinnes, as Mat. 4. 3. Then came to him the tempter, and said: If thou be the Sonne of God, command that these stones be made bread. Now as he dealt with Christ, so will he with Christians.
What helpes doth the Devil abuse, for the strengthening of such illusions as these?
- He abuseth Aduersitie: as dangers, losses, persecutions, iealousie, grieuous offences, &c. So in Dauid, Psal. 73. 12. Loe, these are the wicked, yet prosper they alway, and increase in riches. 13. Certainely, I have cleansed mine heart in vaine, and washed mine hands in innocencie. In Iob 13. 23. How many art mine iniquities and sinnes? Shew me my rebellion and my sinne. 24. Wherefore hidest thou thy face, and takest me for thine enemie? 25. Will thou breake a leafe driuen to and fro, and wilt thou pursue the drie stubble?
2 The remembrance of sinnes past. Iob 13. 26. For thou writest bitter things against me, and makest me to possesse the iniquities of my youth.
3 A feeling of death euen alreadie at hand.
How may I withstand these?
By a true faith, applying Christ with all his merits particularly, after this manner: I assuredly beleeue that I shall not be condemned, but that I am elected and iustified in Christ, and am out of all doubt that all my sinnes are pardoned. Esa. 53. 11. He shall see the travell of his soule, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous seruant iustifie many: for he shall beare their iniquities. Rom. 8. 38. For I am perswaded, that neither death, nor life, nor Angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come. 39. Nor heighth, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the loue of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Giue me a preseruatiue that I may resist.
Your best preseruatiue is, in temptation, not to behold faith, but the obiect of faith, which is Christ. So did Paul, Philip. 3. 12. Not as though I had alreadie attained vnto it, either were alreadie perfect: but I follow, that I may comprehend that, for whose sak• also I am comprehended of Christ Jesus. 13. One thing I do, I forget that which is behind, and indeuour my selfe to that which is before. 14. And follow hard toward the marke, for the price of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. So must all. Ioh. 3. 14. And as Moses lift vp the Serpent in the wildernesse; so must the sonne of man be lift vp, that he that beleeueth in him should not perish, but have life euerlasting.
What is my falling in this assault?
Your falling is doubtfulnesse, and distrust of your election, & of Gods mercie Psal. 77. 6. I called to remembrance my so•• in the night: I com••ned with mine own heart and my spirit searched diligently. 7. Will in Lord absent himselfe for euer, and will he shew no more fauour? 8. Is his 〈◊〉 cleane gone for euer? doth his promise faile for euermore? So Dauid of himselfe saith: Psalm. 22. 1. My God, my God; why hast thou forsaken me, and art so farre from my health, and from the words of my roaring?
What is my remedie?
The remedie is double:
First, the operation of the holy Spirit, stirring vp faith and increasing the same. Philip. 1. 6. I am perswaded of this same thing, that he that hath begunne this good worke in you, will performe it vntill the day of Jesus Christ. Luk. 17. 5. And the Apostles said vnto the Lord, Increase our faith.
The second is, an holy meditation, which is manifold:
1 That it is the commandement of God, that we should beleeue in Christ. 1. Ioh. 3. 23. This is then his commaundement, that we beleeue in the name of his Sonne Jesus Christ, and loue one another, as he gave commaundement.
2 That the Euangelicall promises are indefinite, and do exclude no man, vnlesse peraduenture any man do exclude himselfe, Esa. 55. 1. Ho, euery one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and ye that have no siluer, come, buy, and eate: come, I say, buy wine and milke without siluer and without money. Mat. 11. 28. Come vnto me all ye that are wearie and laden, and I will ease you. Ioh. 3. 15. That whosoeuer beleeueth in him should not perish, but have eternall life. Also the Sacraments of Baptisme and the Lords Supper, do to euery one seuerally apply indefinite promises, and therefore are very effectuall to enforce particular assurance or plerophorie of forgiuenesse of sinnes.
3 That doubtfulnesse and despaire are most grieuous sinnes.
4 That contrarie to hope, men must vnder hope beleeue with Abraham. Rom. 4. 18. Which Abraham aboue hope beleeued vnder hope, that he should be the father of many nations: according to that which was spoken to him, So shall thy seed be.
5 That the mercie of God, and the merit of Christs obedience, being both God and man, are infinite. Esa. 54. 10. For the mountaines shall remoue, and the hils shall fall downe: but my mercie shall not depart from thee, neither shall my couenant of peace fall away, saith the Lord, that hath compassion on thee. Psal. 103. 11. For as high as the heaven is aboue the earth, so great is his mercie toward them that feare him. 1. Ioh. 2. 1. My babes, these things write I vnto you, that ye sinne not: and if any man sinne, we have an aduocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the iust. 2. And he is the reconciliation for our sinnes: and not for ours onely, but also for the sinnes of the whole world. Psal. 137. 7. Let Israel waite on the Lord: for the Lord is mercie, and with him is great redemption.
6 That God measureth the obedience due vnto him, rather by the affection and desire to obey, then by the act and performance of it. Rom. 8. 5. For they that are after the flesh, sauour the things of the flesh, but they that are after the spirit, the things of the spirit. 7. Because the wisedome of the flesh, is enmitie against God: for it is not subiect to the law of God, neither indeed can be. Rom. 7. 20. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but the sinne that dwelleth in me. 21. I find then by the law, that when I would do good, euill is present with me. 22. For I delight in the law of God, concerning the inner man. Mal. 3. 17. I will spare them, as a man spareth his son, that reuerenceth him.
7 When one sinne is forgiuen, all the rest are remitted also: for remission being giuen once, without any prescription of time, is giuen for euer. Rom. 11. 29. For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. Act. 10. 43. To him also giue all the Prophets witnesse, that through his name, all that beleeue in him, shall receiue remission of sinnes.
8 That grace and faith are not taken away by fals of infirmitie, but thereby are declared and made manifest. Rom. 5. 20. Moreouer, the law entred thereupon, that the offence should abound: neuerthelesse, where sin abounded, there grace abounded much more. 2. Cor. 12. 7. And lest I should be exalted out of measure, &c. there was giuen vnto me a pricke in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me. 8. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 9. He said, My grace is sufficient for thee.
9 That all the workes of God are by contrarie meanes. 2. Cor. 12. 9. My power is made perfect through weaknesse.
By the blessing of God I will not forget to practise these soueraigne remedies if Satan at any time seeke to take away my faith, and to cut off this hand by which I must apply, or to blindfold this eye, by which I may behold Christ sitting at Gods right hand, as Stephen did. Let me heare, I pray you, the third assault, and what it concerneth.
The third assault is concerning Sanctification.
What is this temptation?
The temptation is a prouoking to sinne, according as the disposition of euery man, and as occasion shall offer it selfe, 1. Chron. 21. 1. And Satan stood vp against Israel, and prouoked Dauid to number Israel. Ioh. 13. 2. And when supper was done, the Devil had now put into the heart of Iudas Iscariot, Simons sonne, to betray him.
Let me not be ignorant of Satans enterprises. How will he allure to sinne?
In this temptation, the Devil doth wonderfully diminish and extenuate those sins which men are about to commit, partly by obiecting closely the mercie of God, and partly by couering or hiding the punishment which is due for the sin. Besides, there are helpes to further the Devil in this his temptation: as first, the flesh which lusteth against the spirit, sometimes by begetting euill motions and affections, and sometimes by ouerwhelming and oppressing the good intents and motions, Gal. 5. 17. For the flesh lufteth against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh: and these are contrarie one to another, so that ye cannot do the same things that ye would. 19. Moreouer, the workes of the flesh are manifest: which are, adulterie, fornication, vncleanenesse, wantonnesse. 20. Idolatrie, witchcraft, hatred, debate, emulations, wrath, contentions, seditions, heresies. 21. Enuie, murthers, drunkennesse, gluttonie, and such like, whereof I tell you before, as I also have told you before, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdome of God. Iam. 1. 14. But euery man is tempted, when he is drawne away by his owne concupiscence, and is entised.
Secondly, the world, which bringeth men to disobedience, through pleasure, profite, honour, and euill examples, Ephesians 2. 3. Among whom we also had our conuersation in time past, in the lustes of the flesh, in fulfilling the will of the flesh, and of the mind, and were by nature the children of wrath, as well as others. 1. Iohn 2. 16. For all that is in the world, as the lusts of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the father, but is of the world.
How may I resist this temptation?
Resistance, is made by the desire of the spirit, which worketh good motions and affections in the faithfull, and driueth foorth the euill. Gal. 5. 22. But the fruite of the spirit is loue, ioy, peace, long suffering, gentlenesse, goodnesse, faith, 23. Meekenesse, temperancie: against such there is no law. 24. For they that are Christs, have crucified the flesh, with the affections and the lusts thereof. 26. Let us not be desirous of vaine glorie, prouoking one another, enuying one another.
Giue me here some preseruariues, that I may resist.
The preseruatiues are these.
1 To account no sinne light or small. Gal. 5. 9. Alitle leaven doth leaven the whole lumpe. Rom. 6. 23. For the wages of sinne is death, but the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
2 To auoide all occasions of sinne. To these rather agreeth the Prouerb used of the Plague: longè, tardè, citò: that is, aloofe, slowly, quickly. 1. Thessal. 5. 22. Abstaine from all appearance of euill. Iud. v. 23. And other save with feare, pulling them out of the fire, and hate euen the garment spotted by the flesh.
3 To accustome thy selfe to subdue the lesser sinnes, that at the last, thou maist also ouercome the greater. Rom. 13. 4.
- To apply thy selfe to thy appointed calling, and alway to be busily occupied about something in the same.
5 To oppose the law, the iudgements of God, the last iudgement, the glorious presence of God, and such like, against the rebellion and loosenesse of the flesh. Pro. 28 14. Blessed is the man that feareth alway: but he that hardeneth his heart, shall fall into euill. Gen. 39. 9. There is no man greater in this house then I: neither hath he kept any thing from me, but onely thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickednesse, and so sinne against God?
But alas, I see Satan foyles me in many sins: instruct me I pray you, with some rules against them. Say I be angrie vnaduisedly, or desire to reuenge wrongs done vnto me, how may I remedie this my sinne?
Against vniust anger, or priuate desire of reuenge. Here meditate, 1. iniuries; they happen vnto us by the Lords appointment for our good. 2. Sam. 16. 10. 2. God of his great goodnesse forgiueth us farre more sinnes, then it is possible for us to forgiue men. 3. It is the dutie of Christian loue, to forgiue others. 4. We must not desire to destroy them, whom Christ hath redeemed by his precious bloud. 5. We our selues are in daunger of the wrath of God, if we suffer our wrath to burne against our brother. Forgiue saith he) and it shall be forgiuen. 6. We know not the circumstances of the facts, what the mind was, and purpose of them against whom we swell.
Bridles or externall remedies, are these: 1. in this we shall imitate the clemencie of the Lord, who for a very great season doth often tolerate the wicked. Learne of me, for I am humble and meeke. 2. There must be a pausing and time of delay, betwixt our anger and the execution of the same. Atheno••rus counselled Augustus that he being angrie, should repeate all the letters of the Alphabet, or A B C, before he against another did either speake or do any thing. 3. To depart out of those places where those are, with whom we are angrie. 4. To auoide contention, both in word and deed. Do nothing through contention.
Say I sinne by couetousnesse and ambition: what must I do?
Remedies against those bad desires of riches and honor, are: 1. God doth euen in famine quickē and reuiue them which feare him. Psal. 33. 18. 19. The eye of the Lord is vpon them that feare him, to deliver their souls from death, and to preserue them from famine. 2. Godlinesse is great gaine, if the mind of man can be therewith content. 1. Tim. 6. 6. 3. we do waite and looke for the resurrection of the bodie, and eternall life: therefore we should not take such carking care for this present mortall life. 4. We are seruants in our fathers house, therefore looke what is conuenient for us, that will he louingly bestow vpon us. 5. The palpable blindnesse of an ambitious mind, desireth to be set aloft, that he may have the greater downe-falle and he feareth to be humbled, lest he should not be exalted. 6. Adam when he would needes be checke-mate with God, did bring both himselfe and his posteritie headlong•• destruction. 7. He is a very ambitious rob God, which desireth to take that comme•dation to himselfe, which is appropriate only to the Lord.
Admit Satan allures me to carnal vncleanenesse; how may I preserue my selfe that I may with the wise virgins enter with the bridegrome?
Preseruatiues against the desires of the flesh: are, 1. He that will be Christs disciple, must euery day take vp his crosse, Luk. 9. 23. 2. They which are according to the spirit, sauour of such things as are according to the spirit, Rom. 8. 5. 3. We ought to behave 〈◊〉 selues as citizens of the kingdom of heaven, Philip. 3. 20. 4. We are the temple of God• 1. Cor. 3. 6. Our members, they are the mēbers of Christ. 1. Cor. 6. 15. And we ha•• dwelling within us the spirit of Christ• which we should not grieue, Eph. 4. 30.
How may I fall in this temptations?
When you being preuented, fall 〈◊〉 some offence: Gal. 6. 1.
What doth Satan when one is thus ••llen?
Here Satan doth wonderfully aggrauate the offence committed, and doth ac•use and terrifie the offender with the iudgements of God. Mat. 27. 3. Then when Iudas which betrayed him, saw that he was condem••d, he repented himselfe, and brought againe the thirtie peeces of siluer to the chiefe Priests and Elders: 4. Saying, I have sinned, betraying the innocent bloud: but they said, What is that to us? see thou to it. 5. And when he had cast downe the siluer peeces in the Temple, he departed, and went and hanged himselfe.
What remedie is there if that I fall?
The remedie is, a renewed repentance, the beginning whereof is sorrow, in regard of God for the same sinne; the fruites hereof are especially seuen. 2. Cor. 7. 9. Now I reioyce not that you were sorrie, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye sorrowed godly, so that in nothing ye were hurt by us. 10. For godly sorrow causeth repentance vnto saluation, not to be repented of: but worldly sorrow causeth death. 11. For behold, this thing that ye have bene godly sorrie, what great care hath it wrought in you: yea, what clearing of your selues: yea, what indignation: yea, what feare: yea, how great desire: yea, wh•• zeale: yea, what punishment: in all things 〈◊〉 have shewed your selues, that ye are pure in this matter.
Repeate out of this place those seuen fruites of repentance.
First, a desire of doing well.
Secondly, an Apologie, that is, a confession of the sinne before God, with a requiring of pardon for the offence. Psalm. 32. 5. Then I acknowledged my sin vnto thee, neither hid I mine iniquitie: for I thought, I will confesse against my selfe my wickednesse vnto the Lord, and thou forgavest the punishment of my sinne. 2. Sam. 12. 13. Then Dauid said vnto Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord: and Nathan said vnto Dauid, The Lord also ha•• put away thy sinne, thou shalt not die.
3 Indignation against a mans selfe, for his offence.
4 A feare, not so much for the punishment, as for offending the Lord. Psal. 130. 3. If thou streightly markest iniquities, O Lord who shall stand?
5 A desire to be fully renewed, and to be delivered from sinne.
6 A feruent zeale to loue God, and to embrace and keepe all his commandements.
- Reuenge, whereby the flesh may be ta•ed and subdued, lest at any time afterward such offences be committed.
Blessed be God, that thus teacheth •e by you. Let me speake yet vnto you concerning calamities: I reade in the Scriptures of the patient bearing of the crosse; what wil it teach me?
The patient bearing of the crosse, teacheth how Christians should vndergo the burden.
What (I pray you) is the crosse?
The crosse is a certaine measure of afflictions, appointed by God to euery one of the faithfull. Math. 6. 24. If any man wil follow me, let him forsake himselfe, take vp his crosse and follow me. Col. 1. 24. Now reioyce I in my sufferings for you, and fulfill the rest of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh, for his bodies sake which is the Church.
How must this crosse be taken vp?
We ought to take vp this crosse willingly, euen with both hands, when it shall please God to lay it vpon us. And after we have taken it vp, we must beare it with patience and perseuerance. Col. 1. 11. Strengthened with all might through his glorious power, vnto all patience and long suffering with ioyfulnesse. Luke 21. 19. Possesse your soules with patience.
How may I preserue patience?
The preseruatiues of patience, are first strength by the holy Ghost. Phil. 4. 13. I am able to do all things through the helpe of Christ, which strengtheneth me. Phil. 1. 20. It is giuen to you for Christ, that not onely ye should beleeue in him, but also suffer for his sake. 2. An holy meditation which is manifold.
- That the afflictions of the faithful come not by chance, but by the counsell and prouidence of God, which disposeth all things in a most excellent sort. Gen. 45. 4. 5. It was God that sent Ioseph into Egypt. 2. Sam. 16. 10. The Lord biddeth Shemei curse Dauid. Psal. 119. 71. It was good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learne thy statutes. Hence it is euident, that afflictions to the godly are ineuitable. Act. 14. 21. By many afflictions you must enter into the kingdome of God. Mat. 7. 14. The gate is streight and the way narrow that leadeth vnto life, and few there be that find it. Iohn 16 20. In the world ye shall have troubles.
2 That albeit afflictions are grieuous, yet are they good and profitable. For they are helpes, whereby men being humbled for their sinnes before God, obtaine peace and holinesse of life. 2. Cor. 1. 9. We receiued sentence of death in our selues, because we should not trust in our selues, but in God, which raiseth the dead. Esa. 26. 16. Lord, in trouble have they visited thee, they powred out a prayer when thy chastening was vpon them. Hos. 5. 15. I will go and returne to my place, till they acknowledge their fault and seeke me: in their affliction they will seeke me diligently. Psal. 78. 34. When he flue them they sought him, and they returned, and they sought God early. Ierem. 31. 18. I have heard Ephraim lamenting thus: Thou hast corrected me, and I was chastised as an vntamed calfe: conuert thou me, and I shall be conuerted. Heb. 12. 11. No chastisement for the present see•eth ioyous, but grieuous: but afterward it bringeth the quiet fruit of righteousnesse vnto them which are thereby exercised. Psa. 30. 5. Weeping may abide at euening, but ioy commeth in the morning. Iohn 15. 2. Euery branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth ••re fruite. 1. pet. 1. 6. Wherein ye reioyce, though now for a season (if need require) ye are in heauinesse through many temptations. 2. Cor. 1. 4. The God of all comfort, which comforteth us in all our tribulations, that we may be able to comfort them which are in affliction, by the comfort wherewith our selues are comforted of God. Rom. 5. 3. We glory in afflictions, knowing that affliction bringeth patience. Heb. 2. 10. He did consecrate the Prince of their saluation through affliction. We permit Chirurgians that they both bind us lying diseased in our beds, and seare us with hot irons, yea lanch and search our members with rasors: and lastly, we send them away usually with friendly and kind speeches, & often with a golden fee for their thus handling us. Shal we thē suffer so many things of a Chirurgian, to cure a bodily disease, and will we not giue God leave to cure by afflictions the most festered diseases of our sicke soules?
What is to be gathered hence?
By this we may gather, that the afflictions of the godly, are signes of their adoption. Heb. 12. 6. Whom the Lord loueth, he chasteneth, and he scourgeth euery sonne that he receiueth. 7. If ye endure chastisement, God offereth himselfe vnto you as vnto sonne•. And that they are to them, the Kings high way to heaven. Iames 1. 12. Blessed 〈◊〉 the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receiue the crowne of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that loue 〈◊〉 2. Cor. 4. 17. For our light affliction which i• but for a moment, causeth vnto us a farre more excellent and an eternall waight of glory.
3 That God hath promised fauour, mitigation of punishment, his presence and deliverance. Philip. 1. 29. 1. Cor. 10. 13. God is faithfull, who will not suffer you to be tempted aboue measure, but with temptation will giue deliverance. 2. Sam. 7. 14. Psal. 50. 15. Call vpon me in time of trouble, and I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorifie me. Psal. 121. 4. He that keepeth Israel, will neither slumber nor sleepe. Esa. 43. 2. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee, and through the flouds, that they do not ouerwhelme thee: when thou walkest through the very fire, thou shalt not burne, neither shal the flame kindle vpon thee: 3. For I am the Lord thy God, the holy one of Israel thy sauiour.
4 That in all troubles of the faithfull, Christ is a companion. 1. Pet. 4. 13. Reioyce that ye are partakers of the afflictions of Christ. 2 Cor. 4. 10. Euery where we beare about in our bodie the dying of Christ, that the life of Jesus might also be made manifest in our bodies. Col. 1. 21.
5 That the Angels are readie to defend such as feare God. Psal. 34. 8. 2. Kings 6. 16. Feare not, there are more with us then against us.
But of all calamities, the remembrance of death is fearful vnto me: giue me (I pray you) some few preseruatiues against it.
Against the feare of death, note these preseruatiues:
First, death it freeth the godly from the tyrannie of Satan, sinne, the world, the flesh, and eternall damnation; yea frō infinite both perils and losses, and doth place us both safe and happie vnder the shadow (as it were) of Christs wings.
Secondly, Christ by his death hath sanctified vnto us both death and the grave.
3 Christ is both in life and death, gaine to the godly, Phil. 1. 12.
4 Those consolations which the spirit of Christ doth suggest to the soules of the faithful, do by many degrees surmount the dolors of death.
5 The desire of that most bright and glorious beholding of God, and the presence of those Saints which are departed before us.
6 In stead of our bodies we shall be clothed with glory, 2. Cor. 5. 1.
7 The sting of death, namely sin, is then so taken away, as that that serpent can no more hurt us. 1. Cor. 15. 55. O death, where i• thy sting! O grave, where is thy victory! Heb. 2. 15. That he might deliver all them, which for feare of death, were all their life time subiect to bondage.
8 We should not so much thinke of our death, as to take an exact account of our life. For that man cannot die ill, who hath lived well: and he seldome dieth well, that hath lived badly.
9 The Angels they stand at our elbowes, that so soone as a Saint departeth, they may with al speed immediatly transport his soule into heaven.
Soules being once in heaven, remain ther• till the last day of iudgement, where they partly magnifie the name of God, and partly do waite and pray for the consummation of the kingdom of glory, and ful felicitie in body and soule. Reu. 5. 8. And when he had taken the booke, the foure beasts and the foure and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, hauing euery one harpes and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of the Saints: 9. And they sang a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the booke, and to open the seales thereof, because thou wast killed, and hast redeemed us to God by thy bloud, out of euery kinred, and tong, and people, and nation. Reuel. 14. 2. I heard the voice of harpers, harping with their harpes, 3. And they sung as it were a new song before the throne: and they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long Lord, holy and true? doest not thou iudge and avenge our bloud on them that dwel on the earth?
Yet for all this, Satan in the time of temptation, and at the houre of death, wil go about to perswade me that these things do not belong vnto me: what must I do then?
Descend into your owne heart, see whether you have Gods spirit or no, testifying vnto you that you are Gods child: for as many as have the spirit of God, they are the children of God.
But how shall I know whether this testimonie come from Gods spirit, or from carnall presumption?
First, by a full perswasion which you shall have; for the holy Ghost will not barely say it, but perswade you that you are Gods child, which the flesh cannot do. Secondly, by the maner of perswasion; for the holy Ghost draweth not reasons from the works and worthinesse of man, but from Gods fauour and loue: and this kind of perswasion differeth much from that which Satan useth. Thirdly, by the effects of that testimonie; for if the perswasion arise from presumption, it is a dead perswasion: but contrariwise, it is most lively and stirring, if it come from the holy Ghost: for such as are perswaded that they are elected and adopted the children of God, they wil loue God, trust in him, and cal vpon him with their whole heart.
Alas, I find this testimonie maruellous feeble in me: are there not other meanes by which I may be comforted in this temptation of Satan, that I am not Gods child?
Yes verily, if you feele not the flame of Gods spirit in you, then must you iudge of it by the heate: and if you find the effects of sanctification in you, you are without doubt in the state of grace.
Which (I pray you) be they?
Of all the effects of sanctification, you may iudge of your adoption by these that follow: First, if you feele your wants, and with griefe bewaile the offence to God in euery sinne. 2. If you striue against the flesh, that is, resist and hate the first motions thereof, and with griefe, thinke them burthenous and troublesome. Thirdly, if you desire earnestly and vehemently the grace of God, and merite of Christ to obtaine eternall life. 4. When you have obtained it, to account it a most precious i•well, and all things to be as dung in respect of it, Phil. 3. 9. 5. If you loue a Minister of the Gospell, as he is a Minister, and a Christian as he is a Christian; and if need require, can be readie to giue your life for them, 1. Iohn 3. 16. 6. If you call earnestly vpon God, euen with teares. 7. If you desire Christs comming to iudgement, that an end might be made of these dayes of sin. 8. If you flie all occasions of sin, and endeuor to come to newnesse of life. 9. And last of all, if you perseuere vnto the last gaspe in these things. For, as one saith, he that wil serue God, must beleeue that which he cannot see, hope for that which is deferred, loue God when he shewes himself an enemie; and thus remaine to the end.
These indeed are sure effects of sanctification, but euen these are weake in me as the former.
Are they so? Then know that God tameth you, yet so as you must not therewith be dismaied: for it is certaine, that if you have faith but as a graine of mustard-seed, and be as weake as a yong infant, it is sufficient to ingraft you into Christ: and therefore you must not doubt of your owne election, by reason of your weaknesse. A child holding a staffe in his hand, holdeth it as well as a man, though not with so much strength; and you laying hold vpon Christ by faith, though you do it neuer so weakely, it will suffise for your saluation. Nay, if one have not yet felt these effects in his heart, he must not conclude, he is a reprobate, but must rather use the word of God and the Sacraments, that he may have inward sense of the power of Christ drawing him vnto him, and an assurance of his redemption by Christs death and passion.
He that opened the heart of Lidia to heare Paul, open my heart to know and do these things.
Sundry necessarie obseruations meete for a Christian, published long since by some religious man.
- I. THat you keep narrow watch ouer your heart, words and deeds continually. Psal. 93. 1. Mat. 24. 42. Luke 12. 36. 1. Cor. 10. 13. 15. 34. 16. 13. Col. 3. 17.
- II. That with all care the time be redeemed that hath bene idly, carelesly and vnprofitably spent. Eph. 5. 16. Col. 4. 5.
- III. That once in the day at least, priuate prayer and meditation be made. Psal. 119. 164. Dan. 6. 10. Luke 18. 1. Ephes. 6. 18. Col. 4. 2.
- IV. That care be had to do and receiue good in companie. 1. Thess. 5. 11.
- V. That your familie be with all diligence and regard instructed, watched ouer, and Christianly gouerned. Gen. 18. 19. Deut. 4. • & 5, 6, 7. Pro. 31. 27. Eph. 6. 4.
- VI. That no more care be spent in matters of this world, then must needs. Mat. 6. 31. Col. 3. •. 1. Iohn. 2. 15.
- VII. That you stirre vp your selues to liberality to Gods Saints. Gal. 6. 10. Heb. 13. 16.
- VIII. That you prepare your selues to beare the crosse, by what meanes soeuer it shall please God to exercise you. Mat. 16. 24. Luke 9. 13. & 24. 27.
- IX. That you giue not the least bridle to wandring thoughts. Iob 31. 1. Eph. 5. 3.
- X. That you bestow some time in mourning, not onely for your owne sinnes, but for the time and age wherein you live. Ezech. 9. 4. Psal. 119. 136.
- XI. That you looke dayly for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, for your full deliverance out of this world. Mat. 24. 44.
- XII. That you acquaint your selfe with some godly person, with whom you may conferre of your Christian estate, and open your doubts to the quickning of Gods graces 〈◊〉 you. Iames 5. 16.
- XIII. That you obserue the departure of men out of this life, their mortalitie, the vanitie and alteration of things below, the more to contemne the world, and to continue your longing after the life to come. Esay 57. 1. Phil. 3. 3. 1. Pet. 1. 24. Reu. 22. 20.
- XIIII. That you meditate often vpon your death and going out of this life, how you must lie in the grave, go to dust, leave all glorie and wealth: and this will serue to beate downe that pride of life which naturally is in you. Eccles. 7. 4. & 12. 1.
- XV. That you reade something daily of the holy Scriptures, for the further increase of your knowledge. Math. 22. 29. Iohn 5. 39. Act. 17. 11.
- XVI. That you make a couenant with the Lord to striue against all sinnes, especially against the specialsins and corruptions of your heart and life, wherein you have most dishonored God: and that you carefully see that your •ouenant be kept and continued. Neh. 9. 38. •. Chron. 34. 31.
- XVII. That you marke how sinne dieth and is weakened in you, and that you turne not to your old sinnes againe. Matt. 18. 8. 1. Thess. 5. 22. 2. Pet. 2. 22.
- XVIII. That you fall not from your first loue, but continue still your affection to the liking of Gods word, and to all the holy exercises of religion, diligently hearing it, and faithfully practising it: that you may prepare your selfe before you come, and meditate of that you have heard, either by your self or with other, and so mark your daily profiting in religion. Heb. 3. 12. & 12. 15. Reu. 2. 4.
- XIX. That you be often occupied in meditating vpon Gods benefits and workes, and sound forth his praise for the same.
- XX. That you exercise your faith, by taking delight in the great benefit of your redemption by Christ, and the fruition of Gods presence in his glorious and blessed kingdome. Psal. 116. 12. 13. & 118. 15. Eph. 5. 20.
- XXI. Lastly, that you make not these holy practises of repentance common for the time, nor use them for fashion sake. Luke 8. 13.
In Adamo potuimus non mori, in Christo non possumus mori.