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creaseth strength," &c. " "They that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength." (Isa. xl. 29, 31.) Hence, all the saints of old, and of late too, have tried the Lord's way, and found that the way of the Lord was strength to them; yea, that wisdom's ways are ways of pleasantness. Their delight was in the law of the Lord; in keeping of his commandments there is great reward. One smile of God's countenance is worth all your pains, though you were at a hundred times more. There is always something savoury and sweet in religion, that accompanies the sedulous exercise thereof. Though the soul hath nothing to claim on account of its own works or duties, yet the Lord is graciously pleased to own and countenance his own way when the soul is found in it, besides the glorious and gracious reward that abides it in heaven.

Therefore let faith batter down this temptation of Satan; say, "What though Satan present difficulties in the way ? Christ underwent greater difficulties. He hath borne the burden and the heat of the day. I am not called to go and satisfy justice; Christ hath done that to my hand. I am not called to go and fulfil the law as a covenant of works; Christ hath done that to my hand. I am not called to work for life, but to work from love to him that worketh all my works in me and for me, and who, as he calleth me to this work of love, so promises to work in me both to will and to do. And therefore, in his name and strength, I will go forward, making mention of his righteousness, and his only; and, in his name, I will encounter and grapple with the devil himself, for Christ hath conquered him to my hand."

4thly. There are temptations of Satan with reference to the commission of sin. He will suggest to them that it is but a little sin, and God will not be angry for a little sin; such as as a lie in a droll, an idle word, &c. Can such a little sin endanger the soul? Now, to guard you against this temptation, consider,

i. That the first sin which brought all mankind into a miserable state was, in appearance, but a small and little sin. It was but eating a little forbidden fruit, the tasting of an apple; yet, had it not been for Christ's satisfac tion, it would have destroyed irrecoverably all the posterity of Adam. There was a man, sirs, that gathered a few sticks upon the Sabbath day; you would have thought that

this was but a little sin, yet God's thoughts are not your thoughts, for God, thought that sin worthy of death. (Num. XV. 32, 33.) Uzziah's putting his hand to the ark and touching it when it tottered, seemed to be but a small sin, and yet you know he was smitten instantly with death for it. (2 Sam. vi. 7.) It is dangerous to give even a little wrong touch to a tottering ark.

ii. Consider the nature of every sin. Though some are comparatively small, and others great; that is, by reason of several aggravations, more heinous in the sight of God than others; yet, in themselves, none are small. The least sin is against an infinite God and infinite authority, and so, objectively considered, an infinite evil, and therefore cannot be expiated without infinite satisfaction. And it is not little promises or little threatenings that your sins do slight; yea, there is no little ingratitude towards God in little sins. There is great unkindness to God in little sins. To displease God, your best Friend, for a little sin, O ungrateful thing! Is this your kindness to your Friend? The wages of every sin is death eternal. It is not little misery that every sin doth expose you to. Will you make light of the wrath of the infinite God? Then do not make light of little sins. In a word, remember that boldness in little sins will be an encouragement to greater. Sin is of an encroaching and bewitching nature; a little theft may open the way to a greater. The devil tempts people to go from one degree to another; he tempts them to the reverse of the blessed man mentioned, Ps. i. 1. He tempts them to walk in the counsel of the ungodly; having taken a walk with them he tempts them next to stand in the way of sinners, which is more; and then, having stood awhile with them, he tempts them last of all to sit in the seat of the scornful, even to the height of wickedness. The devil first makes you sit down with the drunkard, then to drink with him, and at last to be drunk. Thus he leads people from unclean thoughts to unclean looks, words, and actions; therefore let faith resist this temptation, and set you upon your watch against that which you call a little sin. No man that ever saw sin can truly call any sin little or small; nor can it ever be till there be a little law to break, a little God to offend, a little guilt to contract, a little wrath to incur; all of which it were impossible to be, blasphemy to wish, and madness to expect.

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5thly. There are temptations of Satan with reference to unworthy apprehensions of God. Satan may suggest very strange thoughts of God, very base thoughts of God, most unsuitable apprehensions of him, such as are not to be spoken of; and the prince of this world hath much in us, who are so ignorant of God, to further these misshapen thoughts of God. And to fortify you against these assaults, there are these two directions I would offer concerning the way how we are to conceive of God.

i. We are to conceive of him as inconceivable; for the thoughts we are to have of him are overwhelming thoughts. As long as we are merely active, and are able to master our thoughts of God, they are utterly unworthy of him. Whatsoever we know, comprehensively I mean, except we see it to be infinitely beyond us, that is not God nor to be adored. I have read a dialogue between a Christian and a Gentile. The Gentile seeing the Christian very fervent in prayer, and seeing no image before him, asked him whom he worshipped? He answered, "I know not." "Why, then, do you worship him?” "I therefore worship him," says he, "because I cannot know him." "It seems strange," said the Gentile, "to see one so seriously worship that he knoweth not." "More strange is it for one," said the Christian, "to worship that which we can comprehend." If we are not lost in our thoughts of God, our thoughts of God are lost. When we throw a stone into a pond, it makes circles larger and larger, and quickly they come to the shore; but if one should throw a millstone into the midst of the calm ocean, though it would make larger and larger circles, yet it would not reach the shore, because the strength would be spent before it came the length. So, when we think on the creature, we easily enlarge our thoughts so as to see an end of their perfection, and to be more than comprehensive of their excellency; but when we think of God, we can never know him to perfection. Here our knowledge must end in admiration, and our love in ecstasy. Nay, we must conceive of God as above all words, above all knowledge, and above all admiration; above all love and above all ecstacy. But let us go to Scripture; God knows best how to speak of himself, and we may safely acquiesce in Scripture expressions: "Thy glorious name is exalted above all blessing and praise," above the praise of men and angels. (Neh. ix. 5.) This is a very high expression; but doth

this reach him? Nay, if it did, God should not be exalted above all praise, since this would reach him.

ii. We are to conceive God in Christ. Christ must be eyed in our addresses and acts of worship. All the former considerations set us but a greater distance from God, and make us afraid of God, and to fly from him if we go no further; and, indeed, human reason can go no further. The utmost it can do is but to think of mercy without a promise, which is a very arbitrary thing; and we see that God hath not shown mercy to fallen angels, for never was any devil converted; therefore we must necessarily have thoughts of Christ. We are to honour the Son as we honour the Father; and to honour him,

First. As a King. God hath exalted Christ far above all heavens, and hath commanded us to do all in his name: "And whatsoever ye do, in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus." (Col. iii. 17.) He orders "that all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father." (John v. 23.) I shall relate a history to this purpose; it is this: Theodosius the emperor having made an edict for the giving liberty for the Arians to preach, Amphilochius took this course for prevailing with the emperor to recal that edict. Theodosius having made Arcadius co-emperor and Cæsar with him, several bishops came to salute the emperor, to congratulate Arcadius, and to signify their consent to Theodosius his act, and by their respect and honour done to Arcadius, to show that they took him for the successor of Theodosius in the empire. Among others came this Amphilochius, bishop of Iconium, who, after he had done obeisance very submissively to Theodosius, was going away without showing any respect to Arcadius, though he sat by Theodosius in all his royal robes. Theodosius therefore called to Amphilochius, saying, "Know you not that I have made Arcadius, my son, emperor with me?" Upon which Amphilochius went to Arcadius and, striking him on the head, said he was a very hopeful boy. Theodosius being very angry at this indignity done to his son, commanded him to prison. Amphilochius, after he had gone a little way, turned back, saying, "O Theodosius, you are angry that I give not your son the same honour I give you, since you have made him equal in majesty to yourself; and think you God will be well pleased that you suffer the Arians to abuse Christ, whom he hath set at his right hand in glory, and will have

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all men to honour the Son as they honour the Father?" Upon which the edict was reversed. I may say, "Can you think that God will accept your worship to him, be it never so great, if you take no notice of Christ ?" be sure, God will reject you and your services. But then again,

Second. As God will have Christ to have the glory of his Kingly office, so also of his Priestly. Thus, suppose some great monarch, his son consenting, should lay upon his son the punishment due to some rebellious subjects, intending the son's honour as well as their pardon. The king sends forth a proclamation to them, to let them know that his son had satisfied justice and procured a pardon; but many of them, not trusting to this, would not come in, but would send the king gifts and presents to gain his favour. The emperor scorns their gifts upon that account; especially they thus robbing his son of the honour of making their peace, and thereby also plainly shewing, that they thought their crime was not so great, but a small matter would make it up, such as their gifts. Surely, if gifts would have done the business, his son had greater gifts than theirs; so that he needed not have died or suffered. The reddition of this simile may be easily made. God abhors our prayers, alms, and all our services, if we bring them as satisfactory to his justice, and sprinkle our puddly waters, our tears, upon the mercy-seat, and fill the holy place with the stinking savour, the stinking vapours of our prayers, which are unperfumed with the incense of Christ's righteousness, or that are no better than the reeking steams of a dunghill, the noxious vapours of a hollow cavern, or the smoke of some sulphureous volcano; I say to go to the holy place with these, instead of the incense of Christ's merit and intercession, is not to make atonement, but a provocation. This makes popish austerities to be acts of pride, instead of being acts of mortification.

Third. God will have him get the honour also of his Prophetical office; for it is by his Spirit that he instructs and teaches us how to pray as well as perform. By his merit we have acceptance, and by his Spirit assistance. If a child should write some excellent tract in the mathematics in Greek, we would infallibly conclude some did teach him or dictate to him; so when you pray in the Spirit, and spiritually, for such or such spiritual blessings, who do you think dictates to you? This is not your mother tongue;

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