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yea, and his Votaries too, who worships him with the most barbarous and bloody Sacrisices. The things which the Genr tiles facrifice, faith the Apostle, they sacrifice unto Devils, end not unto God, 1 Cor. 10. 20. He had many solemn Rites, pompous Plays and Processions instituted and perform'd in honour of him. This was the State of the World, and the exorbitant Power the Devil had over it in the beginning of Christianity.
Now when any were converted from Paganism to the Christian Religion, the Primitive Christians expresly requir'd fiom them a publick and open Renunciation, or Abjuration of the Devil; nor were any admitted into the Kingdom or Church of Christ, without an utter disowning and abandoning this his usurp'd Power and Authority. For which reason, the embracing Christianity is in Scripture call'd, A turning from Darkness to Light, and from the 'Power of Satan unto God, Acts 20.18. This' (as a iearned Catechist hath truly observ'd) is undoubtedly what the Primitive Church understood by renouncing the Devil, viz. The casting off" all that Homage, Service and Obedience, that the Pagan World paid him, by worshiping of him or his wicked Angek; together with the rejecting of all thofe bloody Rites, leud Plays, and pompous Processions, that were made and observ'd in honour of him. This likewise was the Sense of thofe Interrogatories that were put in Baptism, Dost thou renounce the Devil? &c. The Answer whereunto is, by Sr. 'Peter, styl'd The Answer os a good Conscience towards God. Which Interrogatories we sind mention'd by Tertullian, and other Fathers ; and are continu'd down in the Chtistian Church to this day.
And this is the sirst way of resisting the Devil, namely, by disclaiming all Subjection to Satan's Kingdom, and becoming the faithful Subjects, Servants and Soldiers of Jesus Christ.
2dly, To resist the Devil, is to resist all his Temptations. Among the other Titles given to this wicked One in Holy Scripture, he is often styl'd 0 «s,«0i£<w, the Tempter^ Mat. 4. 3. 1 Thess. 3. 5. it being his great Business to tempt and entice Men to Sin; and from his unwearied Diligence herein, he is said to be still walking about, seeking whom he may devour.
Sometimes he tempts Men to Presumption of God's Mercy, without using the Means appointed to the attaining
At other times he tempts them to despair, in the most diligent use of them. Sometimes he allures them into Evil, by the Smiles and Flatteries of the World: At other times he affrights them into it by the Frowns and Adversities of it. Sometimes again, he entices Men into Vice by the Baits of Pleasure, and inveigles them with the Softness and Blandishments of sensual Delights: At other times he discourages them from Virtue, by the Pains and Hardships that attend it. These and many other ways he hath to draw Men into Sin, and to get them into his Snare. He set wpon our Saviour with many of them; and tho he was manfully repuls'd by the Captain of our Salvation, yet he is daily tryipg the Strength and Constancy of his Followers ever since. But the various Wiles and Methods of Satan's Temptations, are so largely and learnedly laid open by Dr. Bray, in his tenth and\following Lectures on the Catechism, that I shall not need'to insist farther upon them ; and therefore refer you to thenii.
Now to withstand the Force of these Temptations, so as not to yield or be drawn aside by them, and to repel the Danger and Importunity of them, is the second way that we are requir'd and engag'd to resist the Devil. The +
%d is, To renounce or forsake the Works of the Devil. But these being so many, and so pernicious to the Peace of Christ's Kingdom, as well as the Welsare of our Souls, will require a particular Discourse of them; which sliall be done in the next. In the mean time, let us fee how we may be best enabled to withstand the Power, and resist the Force of Satan's Temptations. To which end, St. 'Paul hath furnish'd Christians with Armour sufsicient for this. Warfare; the Weapons whereof he tells us, are not carnal, for we fight not with Flejh and Blood, but against 'Principalities and Powers, against the Rulers of the Darkness of this World, and against spiritual Wickednesses in high Places. So that the Armour suted to this Combat must be spiritual; And these, he tells us, will be mighty thro" God, to the pulling down of Strong-holds, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the Knowledge of God, and bringing into Captivity every Thought to the Obedience of Christ: 2 Cor. io. 4, 5. \
Now the Armour prescrib'd by the Apostle for this purpofe, is at large set forth in the 6th Chapter to the BpheJians 3 where the
First thing he wills us to put on, is the Girdle of Truth, ver. 14. Having your Loins girt -with Truth; that is, with Knowledge anisound Religion, by which, as by the military Belt or Girdle, all Divine Truths are ty'd and fasten'd on the Mind: express'd elsewhere by girding up the Loins of the Mind, which will keep the Soul from running into Licentiousness, as a Girdle restrains and keeps in the Body.
(2.) The next piece of Armour he directs us to put on, it the Breast-plate of Righteousness; by which is meant, that Integrity ov Heart that is to accompany our Knowledge, without which we are not able to stand in the evil Day: for'tis this Purity of Heart and Mind that guards us from the Wiles of Satan, as a Breast-plate does from the Darts of an Enemy.
(3.) Another thing we are to take care of, is to have oujr Feet shod with the Preparation of the Gofpel of Peace; which signisies our Readiness to do the Will of God, and tun the Paths of his Commandments: for the putting on of Shoes, implies Readiness and Activity; and denotes the Alacrity and Chearfulnefs of our Obedience.
(4.) Another principal part of this Armour, is the Shield of Faith, ver. 16. Above all things taking on the Shield of Faith, wherewith we shall be able to quench all the fiery 'Darts of the Wicked. Now by this is meant a sirm and stedfast Belief, both of the Promises made to penitent Sinners, and the Threats denoune'd against all wilful and impenitent Offenders; which may serve as a Shield to keep off all the siery Darts of Satan.
(5.) The next piece of Armour we are bid to put on, is the Helmet of Salvation, ver. 17. by which is meant the Hope of Salvation. A Helmet serves to defend the Head, as the other Armour does the Body from the Blows of an Assailant; in like manner this Hope of Salvation secures she Soul from the most violent Assaults of our ghostly Enemies. 'Tis sometimes styl'd the Anchor of the Soul, both sure and stedsast, that holds it steddy in a Storm, and keeps it from fluctuating in the greatest Tempest.
(tf.J The next piece of this Armour we are to make use of, is the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, ver. 18. This cuts thro' the greatest Difsiculties, and confounds all the Enemies of the Truth. This Weapon our Saviour made use of in his Conflict with the Devil; alledging on all occasions the Word of God, and baffling all Jiis Temptations with, It is written, Mat, 4. For which
reason the Apostle styles it, A two-edged Sword, quick and powerful, dividing asunder between the Joints and the Marrow, the Soul and the Spirit; and is a Difierner of the 'Thoughts and Intentions of the Heart; Heb. 4. 11.
Lastly, To all this 'he Apostle adds Prayer, to complete the Armour, and to render it successful; ver. 18. Praying always with all 'Prayer and Supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all Perseverance. 'Tis Prayer that gives all the force and efficacy to our Endeavours, for this calls in the Aid and Assistance of Heaven to our Relief; and if God be for us, who can be against us?
This is a brief Account of the Panoply, or whole Armour of God, wh;ch the Apostle exhorts all Christians to put on, that the) may be able to withstand the Evil-One, and to stand too in the Evil-Day.
But what Encouragement have we thus to resist the Power and Temptations of the Devil? The Answer to this will bring me to the
Last Particular of our Text; which gives us abundant Encouragement to engage in this Combat, from a wellgrounded Assurance of Success and Victory : for if we resist the Devil, he will fly from us. We are not bid to encounter an Enemy that we cannot conquer; nor left to the hazard of a Battle, in which we may be foil'd and vanquish'd; No, we are bid only to resist a conquer'd Foe; and if we manfully withstand him, we shall be more than Conquerors thro' Christ that loveth us: for he hath already fuh du'd the Power, and vanquish'd the Forces of the Devil; he hath dethrond the Prince of Darkness, and destroy d his Kivgdom. So that you need not doubt the Issue of your Encounter; your Adversaries Forces are broken and routed; and if you fet yourselves in good earnest to resist him, he will fly from you: 'tis but to keep your
§ round, and you may be sure to win the sield. Let Satan e ever so crafty or formidable a Foe, is you do not cowardly consent or yield to him, his utmost Rage and Subtilty, nay, his greatest Malice and Cruelty, shall not do you any harm : for if you do not too easily surrender, you shall upon request be supply'd with that Assistance from above, which shall not only enable you to hold out, but secure you from the Danger of all his Attempts. And now I think I may well enough renew the Apostle's Advice, and, exhort you fas you have engag'd) to resist or renounce the Devil, against whom you are sufsiciently arm'd, not only with the Knowledge of his Devices, but likewise with Power and Strength enough to overcome them.
To which end, let me counsel you, not to listen to any of the Temptations of the Devil, but to resist and suppress the sirst Motions of them: do not admit a parly with the Tempter, for he is a cunning and sly Adversary e he prevail'd upon our sirst Parents in their Innocency, and hath improv'd his Craft in deceiving, by a long exercise and experience ever since. And therefore do not give way to him but check the very Beginnings of his Assault, and give himf no encouragement to renew his Attempt; but lay with our Saviour (who was much better able to resist him than wo are) Get thee hehind me, Satan.
And the better to enable you to make this Resistance you must frequently implore the divine Assistance by diligent Prayer; for we are too weak of ourselves to withstand so powerful an Enemy, but the Grace of God will be sufficient for us; and tho we can do nothing of ourselves yet we may, with St. <Patil, do all things thro' Christ that strengthens us; whofe Grace and Favour therefore we should not only pray for, but chiefly rely upon.
1 John iii. 8.
For this purpose was the Son of God manifested that he might destroy the Works of the Devil. *
I Began the last time with that part of the Baptismal Covenant which concerns the baptiz'd Party . who is thereby requir'd and engag'd, First, Solemnly to renounce and abjure the three great Enemies of God and our own Souls, viz. The Devil the World, and the Flesh. I have made some entrance on our Renunciation of the First of these, from thofe words of St. James, Resist the 2)evil, and he will fly from you: where I mention'd three ways of resisting him, viz.