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X.

of your Duty, whether to Good or to Bad, SERM.
is fo fure of a Reward either in this Life or
the next, and in some Measure, in both, that
notwithstanding all the Opposition that is
made to your Endeavours, you have Encou-
ragement enough to be instant in your Call-
ing, and, to use the Words of St. Paul, to
be stedfast, unmoveable, always abiding in the
Work of the Lord, forasmuch as you know,
your Labour is not in vain in the Lord, 1 Cor.
xv. 58. Neither our Planting nor our Wa-
tering shall be vain, if he vouchsafe to give an
Encrease ; and that He may do so, let us all
join to ask his Blessing in these Words of our
Church. * O Almighty GOD,- -make, we
beseech thee, all Bishops and Pastors diligently
to preach thy boly Word, and the People obe-
diently to follow the same, that they may re-
ceive the Crown of everlasting Life, througb
Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.
* Colleet for St. Peter's Day.

SERMON

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SERMON XI.

Chrift tempted.

MATT. iv, I.
Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the

Wilderness, to be tempted of the Devil.

SER M.

XI.

I

Have fixed on thefe Words to discourfe

on at this Time, with the same View that the Church proposes them to our Thoughts and Meditations upon this first Sunday within the Season of Lent. During this Season she fuppofes us to be in fome Degree employed in looking into and examining our Spiritual State, in observing what Progress or Proficiency we have made in Religion and Virtue, and what Hindrances and Obstructions the Enemy of our Salvation still throws in our Way, or lays before us. And whilst we are taken up with such Thoughts as these, she concludes we shall see the Necessity of our continuing still militant here, in order to be victorious or triumphant hereafter. And

there

XI.

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therefore that our present Difficulties and Dif- SERM.
couragements may not flacken our Pursuit
after that Crown of Glory we shall obtain,
provided we manfully continue the War to
the End; she Thews us our Enemy foiled and
subdued, and directs us where we may have
Arms and Strength to keep him under. She
shews us the Holy Jesus alone, set upon with
all the Wiles of the Devil, under the utmost
Disadvantage of Time and Place, and yet fin-
gly repelling that Arch-Fiend and Adversary
of Men, and forcing him to retreat with Con-
fusion and Shame, A Combat worthy the
closest Observation of every Christian, through
every Particular.

But before we descend to
confider it minutely, give me Leave to sug-
gest to you the Reason why Providence as-
signed him this Trial and Conflict as to him-
self, before he should enter upon his Mini-
stry and Office with respect to others.

Now the Reason of the Son of God's being made manifest in the Flesh, St. John tells us, was, that he might destroy the Works of the Devil, ίνα λύση τα έργα τη Διαβόλα, 1 John ji. 8. or rather that he might loose them, (as the Greek Word signifies) iie. that he might counter-act the Devil's Part, and set Men free from the Dominion and Power

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XI.

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SERM. which Satan by tempting our first Parents

had obtained over them. He was to undo,
as the second Adam, all the Mischief that the
first Adam had done ; to begin the Work of
Man again, and consequently to go through
that Trial and Probation of his Virtue and
Strength, which the first Man, alas ! though
sufficiently warned and prepared for the En,
gagement, could not, or rather would not,
stand.

The first Adam, though placed in the
Midst of the Paradise of God; though in-
dulged in the Use of all the Fruits and the
Trees, which even Eden could produce, one
only excepted; though carefully forewarned
of the Danger and Ruin that would immedi-
ately ensue upon the tasting that one forbid-
den Tree ; yet no sooner does the Tempter
approach and allure him with the specious
Beauties and Qualities of the Fruit; no soon-
er does he represent it to be good for Food, to
be pleasant to the Eyes, and a Tree to be de-
fared to make one wise, and to be as GOD's
knowing good and evil, Gen. iii. 5, 6. but
immediately the Wife deluded by the Devil,
and the Husband by the Wife, both prefer-
ring the Gratifications of Sense to the Obedi-
ence of Reason, present Delights to Happiness

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XI.

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in Futurity, they both greedily swallow the SER M.

Bait, and find indeed, as the Devil told them, their Eyes opened, but opened to what? why to see their own Folly, Nakedness and Shame; their knowledge of Good and Evil enlarged, but by the woful Experience of the Loss of every Thing good to themselves, and the implanting of every Thing evil in it's Room.

And the common Parents of all Mankind being thus vanquished by the Devil's Wiles; the whole Race and Progeny of Men that descended from them, under the Curse and Effects of this original Sin, must naturally remain in Subjection to him. A Subjection from which it was impoffible ever again to be free, unless every Man singly for himself, or another general Representative and Head of all Mankind, should, in the Name of all, renew the Combat, and enter the Lists with the Devil again, and by vanquishing and subduing him, spoil him of the Dominion and Power he had before obtained over us.

But now this was .what no natural Son of Adam could ever propose. For if Adam himself, whilft in his original Righteousnefs, and fortified with superior Assistance and Grace, could not stand his Affaults ; how could

any

descended from him after his Fall, after his Nature was

become

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