Puslapio vaizdai

bolical: which fhould teach us by all means to mortify and renounce it; and instead of it, to endeavour to be like God, in all the ways of Beneficence and Charity.

(5.) Lying is another Work of the Devil that we are to renounce: When he speaketh a Lie (faith the Apostle) he Speaketh of himself; for he is a Liar from the beginning, and the Father of it: John 8. 44. He deceiv'd our first Parents with a Lie; re fhall not furely die, (faid he) when God had told them they, fhould: yea, he made them believe they should be like Gods, by doing that which made them like Devils. Thus did he ruin Mankind at firft with a Lie, and hath continu'd to beguile the World ever fince with his Lies and Impoftures. This fhould warn all Chriftians. to abhor this evil Practice of Lying, which makes them not the Children of God, but to be of their Father the Devil. But efpecially they fhould avoid that fort of it, that confifts in flandering and falfe accufing, which makes them moft nearly refemble him, who is therefore call'd SiaCon, The Calumniator or Accufer of the Brethren, Rev. 12. 10.

Laftly, To tempt or draw any into Sin, is a Work of the Devil, and fuch a one too, as carries a more efpecial Cha racter or Stamp of Satan upon it; for he is ftyl'd the Tempter, and they that any way follicit or importune others into any kind of Sin, are of their Father the Devil, and imitate him in his prime Work and Bufinefs; which is to go up and down, seeking whom he may devour.

In a word, all fuch as delight themselves in the Love of Practice of any known Sin, or draw others into it, are the Imps of Satan, and do the Works of the Devil.

But how hath the Son of God deftroy'd the Works of the Devil? Or what kind of Victory hath he given us over them?

In answer to which, I fay, That he hath not at prefent fo far deftroy'd them, as to root out the very Being of Sin, or totally free us from the Affaults and Temptations of Satan: No, this is referv'd for the Happiness and Perfection of our future State. But he has broken their Power, and vanquifh'd the Dominion of them; infomuch that Sin fhall not reign in our mortal Bodies, nor force us to obey it in the Lufts thereof: and tho Satan may tempt us, yet without our own Confent he cannot prevail, or overcome us.

Vot. I.



And this Victory we have gain'd over them, not by any natural Strength or Ability of our own, but wholly by the Efficacy and Affiftance of divine Grace for tho our own Power be too weak, yet his Grace is fufficient for us; the Son of God having inftructed us in the Wiles, and by the gracious Aid of his holy Spirit, fortify'd us against the Works of the Devil.

And now we may fee what Encouragement we have to renounce the Devil and all his Works, fince his Power is vanquifh'd, and his Works are all destroy'd for us.

may be added,

To which

1. That this is no more than what we have all folemnly vow'd and promis'd to do, having difclaim'd Satan, and bid an open defiance to all his Works. And if we confider the time when this was done, together with the manner of doing it, you will eafily fee the Strength and Firmnefs of this Obligation; 'twas at the time of our Admiffion into the Church, and Entrance upon Chriftianity; 'twas when we lifted ourselves in Chrift's Service, giving up our Names to him, and taking his upon us; then it was that we difclaim'd this deadly Foe, entring into a holy War against him, and promifing our Saviour to be faithful and conftant in his Service: And can any thing import us more than to anfwer fuch a folemn Engagement? Muft it not be a fhameful thing for us now to be found working the Works of Satan, and forfaking Chrift, to whom we have promis'd all Fidelity? What is this, but to defert the Captain of our Salvation, and bafely fly to the Enemy we have renounc'd? than which nothing can be more perfidious. Again,

2. Our Text exprefly declares the great End of Christ's coming into the World, to be the Destruction of Satan's Kingdom: For this purpose was the Son of God manifefted, that he might destroy the Works of the Devil. Yea, this was the End not only of his Life, but his Death too: For he gave himself, faith the Apostle, to redeem us from all Iniquity, and to purify to himself a peculiar People, zealous of good Works; Tit. 2. 13. And is it fit, think you, to dif appoint the Saviour of the World in the main End of his coming into it? and to defeat the Defigns of his Good-will and Kindness unto Mankind? Shall we give up ourselves to the Rage and Cruelty of that roaring Lion which he came on purpose to deftroy, and yield ourfelves willing


Bond flaves to the Enemies from which he came to rescue and deliver us? This is to make the Son of God live and die for us to no purpofe; and to fay in effect with thofe in the Gofpel, We will not have this Man to reign over us.` This is the Senfe and Language of all fuch as fo readily hearken to Satan's Temptations, and are fo eafily milled by them; they renounce their own Vows, inftead of the Devil's Works; and leaving their best Friend, choose rather to adhere to the worst and vileft of all Enemies. But farther to encourage you to mind your Promife of renouncing the Devil and all his Works; confider,

3. The great Benefit that will accrue to you by this folemn Abjuration; for hereby you are tranflated from the Power of Satan unto God, you become the Subjects of Chrift's Kingdom, and are intitled to all the Glories and Privileges of it: He is become the Author of eternal Salvation to all thofe that obey him, Heb. 6. This gives you an Intereft in the Merits of Chrift's Death and Satisfaction, and in all the Happiness obtain'd and purchas'd by them Infomuch that by renouncing the Devil, you rescue yourfelves from his Power and Malice; and by adhering to Christ, you are made Partakers of all the Promifes and Bleffings of his Incarnation. Whereas,


4. The Danger of not obferving our Promife to forfake the Devil and all his Works, is very great and inexpreffible; for hereby we forfeit all the Benefits and Privileges of our Baptifm: instead of being made Members of Chrift, we continue Slaves to the Devil; inftead of being Children of God, we are the Brats and Inftruments of Satan; and instead of Inheritors of the Kingdom of Heaven, are only Heirs of Hell and Damnation.

What the Apoftle told the Jews concerning Circumcifion, may be fitly apply'd to Chriftians touching their Baptifm: For Circumcifion, faith he, verily profiteth, if thou be a Keeper of the Law; otherwife, thy Circumcifion is become Uncircumcifion. In like manner, Baptifm indeed profiteth much, if thou obferve the Promise made in it; otherwife, if thou break it, thy Baptifm is no better than Heathenifm. Unless we perform our part of the New Covenant, Baptifm will avail us nothing, but will leave us ftill in the natural and forlorn Condition of Infidels: without forfaking Sin and Satan, we fhall remain under the power of both, and fo can have no Benefit by any thing that Chrift did or fuffer'd for us. Twill be in vain to alledge at the last day,

G 2


Part L. that we have been baptiz'd, or have prophefy'd in his Name; if we have not renounc'd the Works of the Devil, we fhall be bid to depart, as Workers of Iniquity, into the Place of Torment prepar'd for the Devil and his Angels.


What remains then, but that we may learn from hence, to fet ourselves against this first and grand Enemy of our Souls; that as the Son of God was manifefted to destroy the Works of the Devil, fo we manifeft our Duty to him, by an utter difclaiming and forfaking of them. unto we ftand oblig'd in point of Juftice, being under a folemn Vow and Promife fo to do; and we must be falfe and unjust if we do otherwife. Befide, we are bound to it in point of Gratitude, our bleffed Saviour having subdu'd Satan under our feet, and thereby tranflated us from a State of Bondage into the glorious Liberty of the Sons of God. Finally,

We are engag'd to it in point of Intereft, all the Mercies and Privileges of our Baptifm being fufpended upon this Condition; infomuch that the Waters of Baptifm will fave us, if they drown our Sins, and bury in them the Works of the Devil; otherwife, they will serve only to fink us into the deeper Perdition.

But how are we to renounce the Devil and all his Works? I fhall add a word to this, and conclude. To which end, you must know, that thefe things being abfolutely and entirely evil, are to be totally and thorowly renounc'd by us: we must not cherish any Referve of Love or Kindness to any one Sin, but muft univerfally abhor and abandon all the kinds and degrees of it. The World and the Flesh have a mixture of fomething that is good and lawful in them, and fo may have fome moderate degrees of Affection and Regard allow'd to them. But the Devil is that Wicked one, that hath all Evil in himself, and is the cause of all Evil in others, and therefore is to be abfolutely and entirely renounc'd by all that love God, or wifh well to their own Souls; for there is no Concord between Chrift and Belial; we cannot ferve two Masters: if we do not renounce the Devil and all his Works, we must renounce Chrift and all his Ways. And then what can be expected, but that he will renounce and difown us at the last day?

Thus I have spoken to the firft Enemy we are oblig'd by our Baptifm to renounce, and that is the Devil; to which we have abundant Encouragement both from St. James,


who tells us, That if we refift him, he will fly from us; and from St. John, who declares, That the Son of God pear'd on purpose to deftroy the Works of the Devil.


I JOHN ii. 15.

Love not the World, nor the Things that are in the World; if any Man love the World, the Love of the Father is not in him.


Treated, in the two laft Difcourfes, of the first and grand Enemy which by our Baptifmal Vow we ftand engag'd to renounce; and that is, The Devil and all his Works. I come now to the

Second, and that is, the World, with all the Pomps and Vanities thereof: Of which I fhall difcourfe to you from thefe words of St. John, Love not the World, nor the things of the World, &c. In the Verfes immediately foregoing, he declares his writing both to Fathers and Young-men was, because they had overcome the Wicked one; meaning, that they had gotten fome ground upon their firft Enemy the Devil, and had in a great measure vanquifh'd Satan. From thence he proceeds here, in the words of my Text, to fet them against the fecond, and to arm them against the Temptations of the World. In fpeaking therefore hereunto, I muft enquire,

First, What is meant by the World, which we are bid here not to love.

Secondly, What by the Things that are in the World, which we are requir'd to renounce.

Thirdly, What we are to understand by the not loving or renouncing of them.

Fourthly, I muft fpeak to the Reafon here given, taken from the Inconfiftency of the Love of the World with the Love of God: If any Man love the World, the Love of the Father is not in him. For the

G 3


« AnkstesnisTęsti »