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When may God be said to lead men into temptation?
1. When by his Providence he suffers men to be tempted by objects which correspond with their inward lusts and corruptions. Achan saw the Babylonish spoils-he coveted and took them. Josh,
vii, 20, 21. The Lord moved David against Israel, to number them. 2 Sam.
xxiv, 1. Judas was tempted by the offer of money, to betray his master.
Matt. xxvi, 15. Every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own last and
enticed. James i, 14. 2. By permitting Satan and wicked men to tempt us. A lying spirit persuaded Ahab to go to Ramotb-Gilead to battle.
1 Kings xxii, 20, 2.. Satan provoked David to number Israel. 1 Chron. xxi, 1. Satan was permitted to afflict Job. Job i, 19; ii, 6. Ananias and Sapphira were tempted by Satan to lie to the Holy
Ghost. Acts v, 3.
3. By withdrawing from us the influences of his Holy Spirit, and leaving us under the power of temptations. God left Hezekiah to try him, that he might know all that was in his
heart. 2 Chron. xxxii, 31. Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone. Hosea iv, 17.
But God cannot really tempt men to commit sin.
James i, 13.
There are many reasons why he should allow us to be exposed to temptations :-He may see it necessary in order to try our faith, and to purify our hearts, that we may come forth as gold from the hands of the refiner; to humble and prove us, and to shew the difference between hypocrites and believers. The Lord thy God led thee forty years in the wilderness to humble
thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart. Deut.
viji, 2, 16. The Lord your God proverb you, to know whether ye love the Lord
your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul. Deut.
xiii, 3. My servant Job still holdeth fast his integrity. Job ii, 3. When he bath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. Job xxiii, 10. They on the rock-have no root, which for a while believe, and in
time of temptation fall away. Luke viii, 13. Blessed is the man that endureth temptation. James 1, 12.
Ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations, that the trial of
your faith might be found unto praise at the appearing of Jesus Christ. 1 Pet. i, 6, 7.
What then are we taught to pray for in the former part of
That God would neither suffer us to be led into temptation to do what is evil, from our own lusts nor froin the devil; but that he would support us onder temptation, and not permit us to fall by it. Keep back thy servant from presumptuons sius; let them not have
dominion over me. Ps. xix, 13. Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation. Matt. xxvi, 41;
Luke xxii, 40, 46. There bath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man ;
bat God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation make a way to
escape, that ye may be able to bear it. 1 Cor. x, 13. The Lord knoweth bow to deliver the godly out of temptations,
2 Pet., ii, 9. Be watchful over your thoughts, desires, and tempers, which often prove strong temptations. See that you do not yourselves run into temptation, but shun all wicked companions which might lead you into sin, and all places where danger to your sond might be expected
We must not suppose because we have been preserved for a great length of time from being overcome by any particular sin, that therefore we are no longer in danger of committing it. David and several other holy persons fell into gross sins in the decline of life, and after a long and consistent profession of religion. We must never cease to watch. What is the evil from which we pray to be delivered ?
1. We pray “that it will please him to save and defen! us from all dangers, both ghostly,” or those to which our souls are exposed;' “ and bodily,” or those to which our persons are liable, as diseases, accidents of various kinds, and sudden death. Innumerable evils have compassed me about. Ps. xl, 12. Because thou hast made the Lord thy habitation, there shall no evil
befall thee, neither shall any plague come near thy dwelling.
Ps. xci, 1-13. That we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men,
2 Thess, iii, 2.
The Lord shall deliver me from every evil work (of men) and will
preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom. Tim. iv, 18.
2. That he will keep us from all sin and wickedness. He will keep the feet of his saints. 1 Sam. ii, 9. O that thou woullest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me.
1 Chron. iv, 10. I pray that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. John xvii, 15.
3. That he will keep us from our ghostly enemy, i. e. Satan, . who uses all possible means to persuade us to commit sin, that he may accuse and torment us. See pages 20, 21. Pat on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand
against the wiles of the devil. Epko vi, 11. Your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking
whom he may devour. 1 Pet. V, 8. He that is begotten of God, keeperb bimself, and that wicked one
toucheth bim rot. 1 John v, 18. Satan does not possess so much power as to compel us to sin, unless we consent to him. He is only permitted to use subtlety, not force, and if we resist him, he will fly from us. When our Saviour was exposed to his temptation, this Wicked One, no doubt, put forth his utmost strength; and yet “ He forced him not: he touched him not: he only said, Cast thyself down; that we may know, that whosoever obeyeth the devil, casteth himself down; for the devil may suggest, compel he cannot.” Chrysostom on Matthew, iv, 6.
4. That he will keep us from everlasting death. Not the death of the body, which is not everlasting, but the dreadful state of the souls and bodies of the wicked in hell, where the worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. It is called death, because they are for ever separated from God, the fountain of life, and because they are no longer capable of enjoying happiness, or of doing any thing that is good. But they do not cease to exist. Life still animates them; but if the life that is in them be death, how dreadful is that death! These (the wicked) shall go away into everlasting punishment. Matt.
XXV, 46. For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be
salted with salt. Mark is, 49. The wages of sin is death. Rom. vi, 23. Sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. James i, 15. Ile that overcometh shall not be burt of the second death, Rev.
The lake of fire; this is the second death. Rev, xx, 14.
second death. Rev. xxi, 8.
To God, whose grace is all-sufficient, and who can so strengthen us with might by his Spirit, in our inner man, that we shall be able to stand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. And this I trust he will do, of his mercy and goodness, through our Lord Jesus Christ. O Israel, thou bast destroyed thyself, but in me is thine help. Hosea
xiii, 9. (Christ] gave hiroself, that he inight deliver us from this present evil
world. Gal. i, 4. He is able to succour them that are tempted. Heb, ii, 18. The Lord knowelh how to deliver the godly out of temptations,
2 Pet, ii, 9. Unto him that is able to keep you from falling. Jade, 29. How are we to obtain the assistance of God ?
We can only expect it in the way of prayer and obedience to his commandments. When Paul was buffeted by a temptation from Satan, he prayed for deliverance, and was answered. My grace is sufficient for thee. 2 Cor. xil, 9. Tke word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked
one. 1 John ii, 14. How little reason have men to be proud when they consider their helpless and dependent situation. If we are enabled to resist the power of temptation, we must ascribe our preservation to God, and nut to ourselves, recollecting into what grievous sins some of the best men recorded in Scripture have been betrayed. Apply then to him who is mighty to save. Put your trust in him, and he will either prevent temporal evils from betalling you, or make them work together for your good. Above all, fly to him for refuge from the assaults of your spiritual enemy, and let it be with full purpose of heart. We should shun whatever we know has a tendency to cause us to sin. We find it very difficult to kee pour hearts from sinful desires, when we meet with objects to excite them, and very hard to refrain from sinful actions when once sinful desires have been awakened. Keep your hearts therefore with all diligence; for out of them are the issues of life. Let every
avenue be closed, that when Satan assaults them he may find no entrance there; for if we sin, the force of the temptation will be no excuse; we have only ourselves to blame. Though Satan suggests impure and sinful thoughts, yet the yielding to temptation is our own free act, and the sin lies at our own door. Collect, 4th Sunday after Epiphany.-O God, who knowest is to
be set in the midst of so many and great dangers, that by reason of the frailty of our nature, we cannot always stand upright; grant to us such strength and protection, as may support us in all dargers, and carry us throngh all temptations, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
ON THE DOXOLOGY. What is the Doxology, or Conclusion ?
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever
This Doxology is not mentioned in Lukexi, 4. In the services of the Church it is used when the subject is thanksgiving; at other times it is omitted. What do we here ascribe to God ?
Sovereignty, Omnipotence, Excellency, and Eternity. Similar doxologies occur in other parts of Scripture. Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and
the victory, and the majesty. 1 Chron, xxix, 11. Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, why only doeth wond
roas things. And blessed be his glorious name for ever : and
let the whole earth be filled with his glory. Ps. Ixxii, 18, 19. Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God,
be honour and glory, for ever and over 1 Tim. i, 17.
ng, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto bim ibat sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. And
the four beasts said, Amen. Rev. v, 13, 14. Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thayksgiving, and honour,
and power, and might, be unto onr God for ever and ever. Rev. vii, 12. He can answer all our prayers, supply all our need, pardon all our sins, deliver us from all evil, and preserve us from all enemies. The kingdom is his, and all is at his disposal; the power is his, and he is both able and willing to do for us more than we can ask or think. We trust he will lear our prayers, and desire that his may be the glory: For if we are disposed to give him the glory of what he does for us, we inay hope that our petitions will be granted.