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and even the Lord Jesus Himself, were called to endure so many trials and afflictions, all that we have ever had to suffer, nay, all that we are capable of suffering, is unspeakably less than the justice of God might have exposed us to. We should never forget, that the moment we yield to the suggestions of Satan, we deserve to be for ever abandoned to his dominion. We should never forget, that the moment we dare to resist the counsels of the Holy Spirit, to neglect to avail ourselves of the means of grace, and of those circumstances which our merciful Father has made favourable to our salvation, to resist the rebukes of our conscience, and to overbear the remonstrances of shame and fear-were God to deal towards us with severity, He would immediately take His Holy Spirit from us deprive us of the means of grace, plunge us into circumstances the most dangerous to our salvation, silence our conscience, and let loose all those restraints and checks, which He has mercifully appointed to curb the headlong wickedness of our nature. To conclude this part of our subject. We have seen, that, considering our ultimate destiny in a future life, and our present destiny in this stage of our existence, there is nothing surprising in the general fact, that we are subjected to a course of trial and temptation. We have likewise seen, that, when we come to consider what our particular trials are, and to compare them either with those to which all mankind are exposed, or with those which have in all ages been suffered by the children of God, or, still more, with those which were endured by our blessed Redeemer Himself, there is nothing in their peculiarity or violence which can justly surprise us. And this, we have also seen, becomes still more evident when we recollect, that our particular temptations are always less severe, either than they might be, or than we deserve to suffer.
Shall we then plead as an excuse for our carelessness and misconduct, that our temptations are peculiar? No, my brethren, they are not peculiar; they never have been, and they never will. “No temptation," saith God, “ hath taken you, but such as is common to man.” Shall we allege, that it is impossible to escape the violence of our temptations ? No, my brethren, it is not impossible; it never can be impossible. In every temptation He declares, that He makes a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. Are we tempted beyond what we are able to bear? No, my brethren, we are not. Satan could not tempt us beyond our ability: God would not suffer him ; He has never yet suffered him, and He never will.
My dear brethren, I would suggest to your minds this one reflection, and I beseech you to let it sink deep into your hearts. What will be the feelings of the lost soul, about for ever to depart from His face with whom is the well of life? In that hour of inconceivable anguish and remorse, his once despised conscience will remind him, the evil being that beguiled him to his eternal ruin will remind him, of the words which we have this day heard from the Apostle :
-No temptation ever took you which was not common to men. God was faithful, and never once did He suffer you to be tempted above what you were able, but with every temptation He made a way to escape, so that, had you been so minded, you might have been able to bear it.
1 Cor. x. 13. “ There hath no temptation taken you but such as
is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
In a former discourse upon these words, my brethren, I have made some observations calculated to explain and to confirm the doctrine which they inculcate. It is certainly not a little remarkable, that men do not perceive, that, in alleging the nature of their trials and temptations, either as an apology for impatience and discontent, or as a palliation for the indulgence of evil tempers and desires, they are in reality