Saturday, July 08, 2006


I'm Going On Vacation...'ll hear from me on the road as time and connections allow, but all regularly schduled programming is on hiatus for the next 7-10 days.

See Ya!


Links Before Leaving

Buck Sargeant sounds like a drill sargeant.

Why we need 60 Republican Senators RIGHT NOW!

Did it ever occur to "scientists" that religion is not their enemy, God is?

A mouthful.

Bizarre beyond comment.


Why math matters more than hyperbole.

You Are Most Like George H. W. Bush

You're considered boring by people that don't know you well. But like Bush senior, you do crazy things.
Maybe you'll end up banning broccoli in your house, or puking on the Prime Minster of Japan!
What Modern US President Are You Most Like?

(HT: Central Park Bench)

Don't do it Putin.

Perhaps this should be our response to the North Korean missle volleys? Wasn;t that the idea during the Cold War? - Match 'em weapon for weapon.

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Friday, July 07, 2006


Individualism and the Either/Or

Keep reflecting on two links I put up yesterday. This one that looks at the question of Christian activism or wiaitng on God, and this one that looks at doctrine v. emotion. I cannot help but wonder why these are "either/or" questions.

The short answer to my wonder is that when we take an individualistic viewpoint, a person only has so many capabilites and interests, but aren't we called to a communal viewpoint? Further, once our primary viewpoint is individualitstic, the individuals want the community to come along with them, instead figuring out where they belong in the community. Thus the either/or debate is born.

Salvation may indeed be an individualistic event, but sanctification is something that only happens in the context of community. Evangelism is to the individual, but maturity only happens when that individual becomes part of the whole.

Just some thoughts:
1 Cor 12:4 - Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit.
1 Cor 12:21 - And the eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you"; or again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you."
1 Cor 12:7 - But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
1 Cor 12:15-16 - If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body," it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body," it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body.
The simple fact of the matter is that there are some of us good at doctrine and some good at emotions, some good at activism and some good at waiting - but all are necessary, all are part of God's plan, and what a person is good at is not what makes them a good man or woman of God!

We seem to have the hardest time separating character, devotion, and morality from occupation, vocation, and avocation. In the end this is why the old line denomination MUST be preserved. For them the church is something an individual joins, whilst the modern independent evangelical church is supposed to be an "expression of" the individual. Do you not see what happens?

The individualistic viewpoint results in internal bickering. Such internal bickering can only be the desire of the enemy, for if we are busy fighting each other, we are not busy fighting him.

Indeed, the church has let us down so many times, but that does not mean we abandon her - that means we join her and fix her.

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Links Before The Weekend (and VACATION!)

It's poisonous - so let's not tear it apart and clean it up, let's leave it floating on the oceans. 1) Asbestos poisoning requires a LIFETIME of exposure; 2) Asbestos demolition is about as low tech as hazard decon gets; 3) If India wants it, who the h*&^ is anybody else to tell them they can't have it? So, are we going to force these guys out?

You know, this was how it started with the Episcopalians and us PC(USA) folk. There really is such a thing as a slippery slope.

Trying to appeal toa base he left behind long ago, or channeling the spirit of George H.W. Bush? Regardless, I am beginning to think we need to figure out how to make 4 more years work for him.

How come this never happened at church festivals I was involved in?

And you thought Johnny Cash had it rough!?


Some things must be learned from one's self - like democracy. I cannot tell you how much this sounds like some of my former soviet friends, longing for the bad old days.

The last thing we needed!

The problems with Kentucky...are numerous, basketball being just the biggest.

$5,500 to design a product that will make YOU millions?! I don't think so.

Why we need a Department of Homeland Security.

You have to love a Kodak moment.

Quoth Oz Guinness - second time this week.

Tell me again about the lack of connection.

Improve your vocabulary.

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Friday Humor

Provided The Moms Are Out-Of-Sight

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Thursday, July 06, 2006


Is Grace Attractive?

Yesterday, I ended a post this way:
The retort often comes about flies and sugar v garbage - but the object is not attraction - the object is grace - Grace that only has meaning in the context of condemnation. Condemnation as the predecessor to grace is graceful, and often necessary.
This raises an interesting question, the title of this post - Is grace attractive?

Frankly, I am not confident of an answer to the question. Because, as I state in yesterday's post, grace must preceded by condemnation, many, if fact arguably most, never approach grace because they are unwilling to accept the condemnation.

This is particularly problematic when it comes to presenting the gospel, or simply correcting a brother/sister in Christ. How do we convince someone to accept the grace that is inherently offered in condemnation? How do we communicate the offer of grace in condemnation?

Think about it, if we offer the grace too readily, actual conviction of condemnation never occurs and the grace is cheap, if not entirely ingenuine. This is why the 12-step programs all insist on a "bottoming out" - you cannot cure that which does not appear to be ill, and the cure cannot be thought to be of one's own power and capability.

I wonder, in an age where self-image is considered the most important part of human development, must not our presentation of condemnation change? When we can no longer rely on people to understand inherently that they are less than we should be, how can we convince them?

I sense that the answer is indivialistic. For some a brickbat may be required. For other, peeling away the revelation like the layers of an onion may be the order of the day. Given such individualistic needs is the age of mass evangelism past? One must wonder. Certainly one rule is that condemnation cannot come from ideas, doctrines, or emotions. It's about behavior, and only that.

These questions make me seriously wonder about the megachurch as well. Can it effectively create maturity with such a group intensive approach? Can small groups which so often fall into group therapy rather than genuine exploration of God's Word and will fill in the missing pieces?

Or is the water warm, the pool large and there is room for everyone?

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Illuminated Scripture

For July, our vacation month, and a bit into August, "Illuminated Scripture" is featuring photos of beautiful churches we have visited over the years.

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Don't You Wish You Had The Whole Week Off Links

I like this article, (HT: A-Team); however, given the way doctrinal defense often comes out, I am convinced we need to find a whole new way.

Something worth thinking about.

Oh, please.

Finding balance in the key to Christian living.

Most appropriate for this week. (HT: Instapundit)

You have to love a sense of humor.

Well, at least it was a unique experience.

Sure would have been cheaper than those tiles.

Saving the church.

Chemistry is NOT for amatuers.

Environmentalism costs, it costs big, NO ONE can afford it until they are highly developed. Which is why it is more marketing ploy than reality. And why "activists" must once again up the ante, by trying to scare the pants of you.

Sure, they were cynical, but mostly they were just bad.

Reason, actual reason from a court!

Ya gotta love the rumor mill... (HT: RCP Blog)

Utterly tasteless, but very funny.

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Wednesday, July 05, 2006


Can Grace Condemn?

Matt 23:33 - You serpents, you brood of vipers, how shall you escape the sentence of hell?

Matt 16:23 - But He turned and said to Peter, "Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God's interests, but man's."

Matt 19:24-25 - "And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." And when the disciples heard {this,} they were very astonished and said, "Then who can be saved?"

Luke 11:44-47 - "Woe to you! For you are like concealed tombs, and the people who walk over them are unaware of it. And one of the lawyers said to Him in reply, "Teacher, when You say this, you insult us too." But He said, "Woe to you lawyers as well! For you weigh men down with burdens hard to bear, while you yourselves will not even touch the burdens with one of your fingers. "Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets, and it was your fathers who killed them.
These are harsh words of condemnation spoken by grace incarnate. Clearly the answer to the question posed in the title is a resounding YES! And yet we remain hesitant with the answer - there seems to be some boundary between the two that we are constantly probing to find.

Grace and condemnation are not somehow mutually exclusive. I would even go so far as to argue that grace demands condemnation, on purely logical grounds. If there was no need for condemnation, and if that need was not met, there would likewise be no need for grace. If you are not in the territory of condemned, then there is nothing for grace to lift you out of. If utterances of grace are not preceded by declarations of condemnation, then the grace is but an empty genture and is completely meaningless to the receipient.

Thus, I would argue that it is in fact a graceful act to utter condemnation. Consider Christ's utterances above. Do you think Christ intended simply to condemn? One of those utterances is to His most beloved, to the Rock upon which He built the church. No Christ's intent in pronouncing the condemnation was instructive and corrective. He sought to illuminate the condemnation so that the grace could be accepted, and meaningful

The retort often comes about flies and sugar v garbage - but the object is not attraction - the object is grace - Grace that only has meaning in the context of condemnation. Condemnation as the predecessor to grace is graceful, and often necessary.

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After The Fireworks -LINKS!

The right way.

An interesting take on the sonar controversy. Consider this - an organization whose sole purpose is to "break things and kill people" is forbidden from hurting animals. Forget the upside down priorities there and consider simply the selectivity. Smart weapons aren't that smart.

Fascinating Captain.

Becasue I've been there and like the place.

Sometimes you have to laugh.

How does this affect the '08 presidential election?

What price fame?

The "news" as only Pravda can cover it.

Why is this news? I worked on projects like this in the '70's. Do they just get a juvenile thrill from writing about feces? I know I do.

I agree.

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Tuesday, July 04, 2006


It's Independence Day!


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Just A Few Holiday Links

This will be the only serious one - Jollyblogger on Os Guiness on the origins and preservation of FREEDOM!

This blog is part of the internets. This Powerpoint is how they all work - coutesy of this blog (HT: Instapundit) No one expects our elected officials to know everything, but I do expect them to keep their mouth shut when they know nothing.

I'm thinking there is usually more than one. It is near DC after all.
It seems some people emit odours which act as natural insect repellants.
Find one of these people and invite them to your picnic today! However, I would not recommend these.

Maybe, but given how it makes you talk is it worth it?

Because it is WAAAAAAAY Cool! I wanna play!

In case you are looking for something to do today.

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The Terrorbuster Saga


Read this story from the beginning at The Terrorbuster Saga Blog

It was an unhappy day in Happytown. Mean Mister Gray Cloud was hiding the sun from all the boys and girls that had gathered to celebrate the day that Happytown had started - The day that their hero, The Crimson Prozac, had broken the grip of the evil Dr. Depresso.

Why before the arrival of the Crimson Prozac, it wasn't even called Happytown, it was simply called "Town."

No one really knew how Dr. Depresso had come to rule Town, but everybody knew where The Crimson Prozac had come from. Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away, there was a planet called "Uncle Eli". Uncle Eli was a wonderful place, every day heros were born there and dispatched to save worlds throughout the universe from the evil clutches of whatever seemed to trouble that particular planet.

Uncle Eli looked through telescopes and saw only a dark nebula where Happytown should have been. Spectroscopic analysis revealed that the nebula was composed of the emitted gasses of a creature so dark, so awful that they had to create their greatest hero. The worst part was to make sure they got the hero just right, they had to create a small, controlled, and contained version of Town, and its cloud, right there on Uncle Eli, but who to populate this minature world with?

Fortunately, Dr. Depresso had agents that he scattered throughout the universe looking for new places to cover with his emissions. These agents were known as Wet Cats. The Uncle Eli army was dispatched an easily captured dozens of Wet Cats and they were all placed in the minature dark Nebula.

Many a possible hero was sent into that minature place only to be cowed by the awful hissing, or simply break down and cry from the awful darkness of the place. When the Crimson Prozac was created he did something very different, before he entered the nebula he got tools, a brush, a vacuum cleaner, and a blow dryer.

Upon entering the nebula the Crimson Prozac grabbed the first Wet Cat he could find and a mighty struggle ensued, but as the blow dryer turned Wet Cat into dry cat and the brush made its fur shiny and beautiful, the vacuum cleaner grabbed all the flying fur, soon Wet Cat become Purring Cat. Best of all, Purring Cat and the Crimson Prozac worked together on the next Wet Cat they encountered, Purring Cat licking Wet Cat all over, ridding Wet Cat of excess moisture that much faster.

With each Wet Cat turned to Purring Cat a little more of the dark cloud disappeared. Soon minature nebula was gone and all that was left was a pile of vibrating fur.

In the blink of an eye, the Crimson Prozac was sent, with a ship full of brushes, blow dryers and vacuum cleaners to Town. Within days Town had become Happytown. That was what the celebrated today, but alas, Mean Mister Gray Cloud threatened the celebration.

Not to worry. The Crimson Prozac dispatched his army or Purring Cats. They encircled Mean Mister Gray Cloud and the emissions of their purrs simply dibursed him into nothingness. The celebration was even grander that year and they all lived happily ever after.

The preceding has been a test of the emergency blogging system. Had anyone been actually reading the vain attempt at fiction on my part know as The Terrorbuster Saga the comments would be filled with cries of outrage at this insipid interruption of the narrative .

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Monday, July 03, 2006


Missing The Point

Stones Cry Out laments the SBC convention's recent envirnomental statement.
So the bottom line for the Baptists on the environment is for us to get more people saved. That?s wonderful; it really is. But when it comes to the environment, what good are more Christians who don't know how to live their lives in a way that will truly care for God's creation.
I have to say, I think this entirely misses this idea the Baptists are laying forth.

Nobody yet really knows how to "live thier lives in a way that will truly care for God's creation." First of all, we do not understand God's created intent sufficiently yet. Did He create the world to be static or dynamic? What balancing point between? How, precisely, does the world even work?

You see, to figure out the standard laid forth here, we must have the perspective of God. Science certainly has not brought us that far. And, as best as I can tell, God is remaining mum on many of the questions. As creatures, we can never have the perspective of the Creator; therefore, our only option is to seek His advice. The path to His advice is indeed through study and evangelism.

Science may aid out understanding, but it can never fully define it. The biggest problem witht hte state of this particular science right now is that it is not properly informed by prayer, scripture and the Holy Spirit. Scientists themselves do ot, in general, place themselves into submission to God. Rather they seek to become God. The great battle between science and religion is not about facts, its about position. Many in science seek to put themselves in God's place, to, in fact, play God. The results of science cannot be reliable on the kinds of scales discussed here until the scientists themselves are God's men and women.

I've made this point before. There are two paths to end abortion. One is to overturn Roe v. Wade, then successfully lobby all the state legislature in the country to prevent them from legalizing it. The other is to evangelize the country. If everybody knows God and understands His priorities, then abortion will end, even with it being completely, secularly legal.

I wonder if it has dawned on Christian environmental activists, that God simply has higher priorities right now? Like maybe the eternal salvation of all mankind. I can't help but think that if all the climatologists and geologists, and chemists were Christians, with their minds subjected to His, that they might find many of the answers that are now elusive, or at least non-conclusive.

God chooses to exercise His control through us. Which means we need to be subject to Him for the world to operate as it should, environmentally, or any other way. Doesn't it then seem that evangelism is the logical first step? Can cooperation on a global scale even be contemplated, absent coercion, unless we are all focused on the one true God?

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Liberty Links

Knowledge without design?

Quick - DUCK!

When it comes tot he environment, scale matters. Microchips are so small, that despite their use of all sorts of environmentally sensitve things, their impact is almost nil. But, when you have a political agenda, not one based in science, the real object is to keep the story alive.

Eh-Ho. Time for Teletubbies - Po goes Nuke!

Not to mention saving a bunch of spotters lives!

Climate change mission teams? Any resemblance between this and a religion is purely coincidental - Yeah, Right. (HT: Greenie Watch)

They have a point. (HT: Josh Claybourn)

Episcopal woes continue.

It's science. That means it should be about facts. Can "consensus" make anything a fact?

Because the world needs more time-wasters.

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Sunday, July 02, 2006


Links Before Church

... I'm preachng the children's sermon this AM - Lord help me.

'Bout time.

Sacriledge or funny? Oh come on, you know it's funny. (HT: BHT)

Silliness. Besides, I know a lot of Christians with PG lives.

Least honorific honorific in history.

Not my favorite house of worship.

The problem is the church has grown "too diverse." There are trends in every direction, and many of the them less than ideal.

Is religion genetic? And if so, is that an arguement for Calvinism?

Great point! One needs to remember that like icons in the orthodox tradition were meant to preserve the stories and ideas for the illiterate, so the hymn for the protestant. They are about lyrical content, not emotional musical content.

It's about making decision, not avoiding them.

Bob Hope found.

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Why We Don't Need This Superman

I wasn't going to post a review of "Superman Returns" - It's Superman for crying out loud and a massive fan like myself just would rather leave it be than say something bad, but alas the character is too good not to let the producers, et. al. know what real fans are thinking.

Firstly, this wasn't a movie in its own right, this was an extended homage to the movies that went before - which means I cannot believe a guy like Singer signed on to this thing. From the Christopher Reeve look alike to the near perfect shot-to-shot matches from the Reeve movies to the reuse of the Williams score, it is clear the makers of this film were simply afraid to stray, at all. More on that in a minute.

Kevin Spacey was doing his best Gene Hackman - Why? Why not just bring Hackman back for crying out loud. I have said before that I thought Lex Luthor was a lame villian, so for the movie they not only use Luthor, they use the lamest vision of the lame villian ever. Luthor has come close to being a genuine evil genius in the comics lately being elected President and all - Now that would have been good. Superman returns to find Luthor US President and the world in love with the 'ol baddie. That is a dilemma Supes coud sink his teeth into.

This movie was ponderous, it moved with the speed of your average sloth in hibernation. This observation contains the seeds of how the frachise can be saved - more to come.

Here's the problem, Superman is not a superhero - He is THE Superhero. - and therein lies the problem. Have you ever noticed how Mickey Mouse has become pointless as an actual cartoon character? Mickey was long ago relegated to the role of corporate icon, and therefore all risk taking with the character itself had to be eliminated. Superman is perilously close to that same precipice. Thus this film was so formulaic.

This movie was clearly designed to preserve the image and promote the franchise. The pacing and outline of the film was very similar to the Smallville TV show, which is also a bit ponderous. This movie also contained an homage not just to the show, but to the Aquaman spin-off soon to come. (See the boy's pajamas near the end of the film.) Such cross-promotional, franchise-preserving, can't tell the difference between TV and movies stuff is what killed the Star Trek franchise.

Superman has always been the superhero hardest to find an emotional hook for. Alien like the X-Men, he is not like them. They are oppressed, he is wreathed in glory. It is hard to muster sympathy for a man cheered by a stadium full of people. Made alone by his alien nature, he is feated and loved by the world. It's like trying to feel pathos for Madonna. There is too much success to buy it.

There is hope. What was the best Superman movie ever? If you answered Superman II - the Zod movie - you would be correct. I would argue it is the second best superhero movie ever, behind Spider-Man II. (By the way, the best thing about seeing Superman Returns was the Spidey III trailer.) Why? Here is a hint - Superman first appeared in Action Comics.

The character is just not that great from a pathos standpoint so go for the gusto, make a straightforward action flick, that's what the Zod flick was. It seems like they got it precisely backwards the summer. X-Men, with pathos to spare played a straight action flick. Supes with pathos hard to find went for all the angst. Crying shame.

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Sermons and Lessons


John Knox, the great Scottish reformer, was born at Giffordgate, four miles from Haddington, Scotland, in 1505. He first made his appearance as a preacher in Edinburgh, where he thundered against popery, but was imprisoned and sent to the galleys in 1546. In 1547 Edward VI secured his release and made him a royal chaplain, when he acquired the friendship of Cranmer and other reformers. On the accession of Mary (1553) he took refuge on the Continent. In 1556 he accepted the charge of a church in Geneva, but, after three years of tranquility, returned to Scotland and became a popular leader of the Reformation in that country. His eloquence lashed the multitude to enthusiasm and acts of turbulent violence. As a preacher his style was direct and fearless, often fiery, and he had a habit of pounding the pulpit to emphasize particular truths. He died in 1572


Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness, to be tempted of the devil. - Matt. 4:1

The cause moving me to treat of this place of Scripture is, that such as by the inscrutable providence of God fall into diverse temptations, judge not themselves by reason thereof to be less acceptable in God's presence. But, on the contrary, having the way prepared to victory by Jesus Christ, they shall not fear above measure the crafty assaults of that subtle serpent Satan; but with joy and bold courage, having such a guide as here is pointed forth, such a champion, and such weapons as here are to be found (if with obedience we will hear, and unfeigned faith believe), we may assure ourselves of God's present favor, and of final victory, by the means of Him, who, for our safeguard and deliverance, entered in the battle, and triumphed over His adversary, and all his raging fury. And that this being heard and understood, may the better be kept in memory; this order, by God's grace, we propose to observe, in treating the matter: First, What this word temptation meaneth, and how it is used within the Scriptures. Secondly, Who is here tempted and at what time this temptation happened. Thirdly, how and by what means He was tempted. Fourthly, Why He should suffer these temptations, and what fruits en sue to us from the same.

First, temptation, or to tempt, in the Scriptures of God, is called to try, to prove or to assault the valor, the power, the will, the pleasure, or the wisdom - whether it be of God, or of creatures. And it is taken sometimes in good part, as when it is said that God tempted Abraham; God tempted the people of Israel; that is, God did try and examine them, not for His own knowledge, to whom nothing is hid, but to certify others how obedient Abraham was to God's commandment, and how weak and inferior Israelites were in their journey toward the promised land. And this temptation is always good, because it proceeds immediately from God, to open and make manifest the secret motions of men?s hearts, the puissance and power of God's word, and the great lenity and gentleness of God toward the iniquities (yea, horrible sins and rebellions) of those whom He hath received into His regimen -~ and care. For who could have believed that the bare word of God could so have moved the heart and affections of Abraham, that to obey God's commandment he determined to kill, with his own hand, his best-beloved son Isaac? Who could have trusted that, so many in all his great temptation one foolish word against God? Or who could have thought that God so mercifully should have pardoned so many and so manifest transgressions committed by His people in the desert, and yet that His mercy never utterly left them, but still continued with them, till at length he performed His promise made to Abraham? Who, I say, would have been persuaded of these things, unless by trials and temptations taken of his creatures by God, they had come by revelation made in His Holy Scriptures to our knowledge? And so this kind of temptation is profitable, good, and necessary, as a thing proceeding from God, who is the fountain of all goodness, to the manifestation of His own glory, and to the profit of the suffered, however the flesh may judge in the hour of temptation. Otherwise temptation, or to tempt, is taken in evil part; that is, he that assaults or assails intends destruction and confusion to him that is assaulted. As when Satan tempted the women in the garden, Job by diverse tribulations, and David by adultery. The scribes and Pharisees tempted Christ by diverse means, questions, and subtleties. And of this matter, saith St. James, "God tempteth no man"; that is, by temptation proceeding immediately from Him He intends no man's destruction. And here you shall note that although Satan appears sometimes to prevail against God's elect, yet he is ever frustrated of his final purpose. By temptation He led Eve and David from the obedience of God, but He could not retain them forever under His thraldom. Power was granted to Him to spoil Job of his substance and children, and to strike his body with a plague and sickness most vile and fearful, but He could not compel his mouth to blaspheme God's majesty; and, therefore, although we are laid open sometimes, as it were, to tribulation for a time, it is that when He has poured forth the venom of His malice against God?s elect it may return to His own confusion, and that the deliverance of God's children may be more to His glory, and the comfort of the afflicted: knowing that His hand is so powerful, His mercy and goodwill so prompt, that He delivers His little ones from their cruel enemy, even as David did his sheep and lambs from the mouth of the lion. For a little benefit received in extreme danger more moves us than the preservation from ten thousand perils, so that we fall not into them. And yet to preserve from dangers and perils so that we fall not into them, whether they are of body or spirit, is no less the work of God than to deliver from them; but the weakness of our faith does not perceive it: this I leave at the present

Also, to tempt means simply to prove or try without any determinate purpose or profit or damage to ensue; as when the mind doubteth of anything, and therein desires to be satisfied, without great love or extreme hatred of the thing that is tempted or tried. David tempted; that is, tried himself if he could go in harness. (I Sam. 17.) And Gideon said, "Let not thine anger kindle against me, if I tempt thee once again." So the Queen of Sheba came to tempt Solomon in subtle questions. This famous queen, not fully trusting the report and fame that was spread of Solomon, by subtle questions desired to prove his wisdom; at the first, neither extremely hating nor fervently loving the person of the king. And David, as a man not accustomed to harness, would try how he was able to go, and behave and fashion himself therein, before he would hazard battle with Goliath so armed. And Gideon, not satisfied in his con¬science by the first that he received, desired, without contempt or hatred of God, a second time to be certified of his vocation. In this sense must the apostle be expounded when he commands us to tempt; that is, to try and examine ourselves, if we stand in the faith. Thus much for the term.

Now to the person tempted, and to the time and place of his temptation. The person tempted is the only well-beloved Son of God; the time was immediately after His baptism; and the place was the desert or wilderness. But that we derive advantage from what in related, we must consider the same more profoundly. That the Son of God was thus tempted gives instructions to us, that temp¬ations, although they be ever so grievous and fearful, do not separate us from God's favor and mercy, but rather declare the great graces of God to appertain to us, which makes Satan to rage as a roaring lion; for against none does He so fiercely fight as against those of whose hearts Christ has taken possession.

The time of Christ's temptation is here most diligently to be noted. And that was, as Mark and Luke witness, immediately after the voice of God the Father had commended His Son to the world, and had visibly pointed to Him by the sign of the Holy Ghost; He was led or moved by the Spirit to go to a wilderness, where forty days he remained fasting among the wild beasts. This Spirit which led Christ into the wilderness was not the devil, but the Holy Spirit of God the Father, by whom Christ, as touching His human and manly nature, was conducted and led; likewise by the same Spirit He was strengthened and made strong, and, finally, raised up from the dead. The Spirit of God, I say, led Christ to the place of His battle, where He endured the combat for the whole forty days and nights. As Luke saith, "He was tempted," but in the end most vehemently, after His continual fasting, and that He began to be hungry. Upon this forty days and this fasting of Christ do our Papists found and build their Lent; for, say they, all the actions of Christ are our instructions; what He did we ought to follow. But He fasted forty days, therefore we ought to do the like. I answer, that if we ought to follow all Christ's actions, then ought we neither to eat nor drink for the space of forty days, for so fasted Christ; we ought to go upon the waters with our feet; to cast out devils by our word; to heal and cure all sorts of maladies; to call again the dead to life; for so did Christ. This I write only that men may see the vanity of those who, boasting themselves of wisdom, have become fools.

Did Christ fast those forty days to teach us superstitious fasting? Can the Papists assure me, or any other man, which were the forty days that Christ fasted? Plain it is he fasted the forty days and nights that immediately followed His baptism, but which they were, or in what month was the day of His baptism, Scripture does not express; and although the day were exprest, am I or any Christian bound to counterfeit Christ's actions as the ape counterfeits the act or work of man? He Himself requires no such obedience of His true followers, but saith to the apostles, "Go and preach the gospel to all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; commanding them to observe and keep all that I have commanded you." Here Christ Jesus requires the observance of His precepts and commandments, not of His actions, except in so far as He had also commanded them; and so must the apostle be understood when he saith, "Be followers of Christ, for Christ hath suffered for us, that we should follow His footsteps," which can not be understood of every action of Christ, either in the mystery of our redemption, or in His actions and marvelous works, but only of those which He hath commanded us to observe. But where the Papists are so diligent in establishing their dreams and fantasies, they lose the profit that here is to be gathered; that is, why Christ fasted those forty days; which were a doctrine more necessary for Christians than to corrupt the simple hearts with superstition, as though the wisdom of God, Christ Jesus, had taught us no other mystery by His fasting than the abstinence from flesh, or once on the day to eat flesh, for the space of forty days. God hath taken a just vengeance upon the pride of such men, while He thus confounds the wisdom of those that do most glory in wisdom, and strikes with blindness such as will be guides and lanterns to the feet of others, and yet refuse themselves to hear or follow the light of God?s word. From such deliver thy poor flock, 0 Lord!

The uses of Christ's fasting these forty days I find chiefly to be two: The first, to witness to the world the dignity and excellence of His vocation, which Christ, after His baptism, was to take upon Him openly; the other, to declare that he entered into battle willingly for our cause, and does, as it were, provoke his adversary to assault Him: although Christ Jesus, in the eternal counsel of His Father, was appointed to be the Prince of Peace, the angel (that is, the messenger) of His testament, and He alone that could fight our battles for us, yet He did not enter in execution of it, in the sight of men, till He was commended to mankind by the voice of His heavenly Father; and as He was placed and anointed by the Holy Ghost by a visible sign given to the eyes of men. After which time He was led to the desert. and fasted, as before is said; and this He did to teach us with what fear, carefulness, and reverence the messengers of the Word ought to enter on their vocation, which is not only most excellent (for who is worthy to be God's ambassador?) but also subject to most extreme troubles and dangers. For he that is appointed pastor, watchman, or preacher, if he feed not with his whole power, if he warn and admonish not when he sees the snare come, and if, in doctrine, he divide not the Word righteously, the blood and souls of those that perish for lack of food, admonition, and doctrine shall be required of his hand.

But to our purpose; that Christ exceeded not the apace of forty days in His fasting, He did it to the imitation of Moses and Elias; of whom, the one before the receiving of the law, and the other before the communication and reasoning which he had with God in Mount Horeb, in which He was commanded to anoint Hazael king over Syria, and Jehu king over Israel, and Elisha to be prophet, fasted the same number of days. The events that ensued and followed this supernatural fasting of these two servants of God, Moses and Elias, impaired and diminished the tyranny of the kingdom of Satan. For by the law came the knowledge of sin, the damnation of such impieties, specially of idolatry, and such as the devil had invented; and, finally, by the law came such a revelation of God?s will that no man could justly afterward excuse his sin by ignorance, by which the devil before had blinded many. So that the law, although it might not renew and purge the heart, for that the Spirit of Christ Jesus worketh by faith only, yet it was a bridle that did hinder and stay the rage of external wickedness in many, and was a schoolmaster that led unto Christ. For when man can find no power in himself to do that which is commanded, and perfectly understands, and when he believes that the curse of God is pronounced against those that abide not in everything that is commanded in God?s law to do them?the man, I say, that under¬stands and knows his own corrupt nature and God?s severe judgment, most gladly will receive the free redemption offered by Christ Jesus, which is the only victory that overthrows Satan and his power. And so by the giving of the law God greatly weakened, impaired, and made frail the tyranny and kingdom of the devil. In the days of Elias, the devil had so prevailed that kings and rulers made open war against God, killing His prophets, destroying His ordinances, and building up idolatry, which did so prevail that the prophet complained that of all the true fearers and worshipers of God he was left alone, and wicked Jezebel sought His life also. After this, his fasting and com¬plaint, he was sent by God to anoint the persons aforenamed, who took such vengeance upon the wicked and obstinate idolaters that he who escaped the sword of Hazael fell into the hands of Jehu, and those whom Jehu left escaped not God's vengeance under Elisha.

The remembrance of this was fearful to Satan, for, at the coming of Christ Jesus, impiety was in the highest degree among those that pretended most knowledge of God's will; and Satan was at such rest in his kingdom that the priests, scribes and Pharisees had taken away the key of knowledge; that is, they had so obscured and darkened God's Holy Scriptures, by false glosses and vain traditions, that neither would they themselves enter into the kingdom of God, nor suffer and permit others to enter; but with violence restrained, and with tyranny struck back from the right way, that is, from Christ Jesus Himself, such as would have entered Into the possession of life everlasting by Him. Satan, I say, having such dominion over the chief rulers of the visible Church, and espying in Christ, such graces as before he had not seen in man, and considering Him to follow in fasting the footsteps of Moses and Elias, no doubt greatly feared that the quietness and rest of his most obedient servants, the priests, and their adherents, would be troubled by Christ. And, therefore, by all engines and craft, he assaults Him to see what advantage he could have of Him. And Christ did not repel him, as by the power of His Godhead. He might have done, that he should not tempt Him, but permitted him to spend all his artillery, and received the strokes and assaults of Satan's temptations in His own body, to the end He might weaken and enfeeble the strength and tyrannous power of our adversary by His long suffering. For thus, methinks, our Master and Champion, Jesus Christ, provoked our enemy to battle: "Satan, thou gloriest of thy power and victories over mankind, that there is none able to withstand thy assaults, nor escape thy darts, but at one time or other thou givest him a wound: lo! I am a man like to my brethren, having flesh and blood, and all properties of man's nature (sin, which is thy venom, excepted); tempt, try, and assault me; I offer you here a place most convenient?the wilderness. There shall be no mortal to comfort me against thy assaults; thou shalt have time sufficient; do what thou canst, I shall not fly the place of battle. If thou become victor, thou shalt still continue in possession of thy kingdom in this wretched world; but if thou canst not prevail against me, then must thy prey and unjust spoil be taken from thee; thou must grant thyself vanquished and confounded, and must be compelled to leave off from all accusation of the members of my body; for to them appertains the fruit of my battle, my victory is theirs, as I am appointed to take the punish¬ment of their sins in my body."

What comfort ought the remembrance of these signs to be to our hearts! Christ Jesus hath fought our battle; He Himself bath taken us into His care and protection; however the devil may rage by temptations, be they spiritual or corporeal, he is not able to bereave us out of the hand of the almighty Son of God. To Him be all glory for His mercies most abundantly poured upon us!

There remains yet to be spoken of the time when our Lord was tempted, which began immediately after His baptism. Whereupon we have to note the mark, that although the malice of Satan never ceases, but always seeks for means to trouble the godly, yet sometimes he rages more fiercely than others, and that is commonly when God begins to manifest His love and favor to any of His children, and at the end of their battle, when they are nearest to obtain final victory. The devil, no doubt, did at all times envy the humble spirit that was in Abel, but he did not stir up the cruel heart of Cain against him till God declared His favor toward him by accepting his sacrifice. The same we find in Jacob, Joseph, David, and most evidently in Christ Jesus. How Satan raged at the tidings of Christ?s nativity! What blood he caused to be shed on purpose to have murdered Christ in His infancy! The evangelist St. Matthew witnesses that in all the coasts and borders of Bethlehem the children of two years old and less age were murdered without mercy. A fearful spectacle and horrid example of insolent and unaccustomed tyranny! And what is the cause moving Satan thus to rage against innocents, considering that by reason of their imperfections they could not hurt his kingdom at that instant! Oh, the crafty eye of Satan looked farther than to the present time; he heard reports by the three wise men, that they had learned by the appearance of a star that the King of the Jews was born; and he was not ignorant that the time prophesied of Christ's coming was then instant; for a stranger was clad with the crown and scepter of Judah. The angel had declared the glad tidings to the shepherds, that a Savior, which was Christ the Lord, was born in the city of David. All these tidings inflamed the wrath and malice of Satan, for he perfectly understood that the coming of the promised Seed was appointed to his confusion, and to the breaking down of his head and tyranny; and therefore he raged most cruelly, even at the first hearing of Christ's birth, thinking that although he could not hinder nor withstand His coming, yet he could shorten his days upon earth, lest by long life and peaceable quietness in it, the number of good men, by Christ?s doctrine and virtuous life, should be multiplied; and so he strove to cut Him away among the other children before He could open His mouth on His Father?s message. Oh, cruel serpent! In vain dost thou spend thy venom, for the days of God's elect thou canst not shorten I And when the wheat is fallen on the ground, then cloth it most multiply.

But from these things mark what hath been the practice of the devil from the beginning - most cruelly to rage against God's children when God begins to show them His mercy. And, therefore, marvel not, dearly beloved, although the like came unto you. If Satan fume or roar against you, whether it be against your bodies by persecution, or inwardly in your conscience by a spiritual battle, be not discouraged, as though you were less acceptable in God?s presence, or as if Satan might at any time prevail against you. No; your temptations and storms, that arise so suddenly, argue and witness that the seed which is sown is fallen on good ground, begins to take root and shall, by God's grace, bring forth fruit abundantly in due season and convenient time. That is it which Satan fears, and therefore thus he rages, and shall rage against you, thinking that if he can repulse you now suddenly in the beginning, that then you shall be at all times an easy prey, never able to resist his assaults. But as my hope is good, so shall my prayer be, that so you may be strengthened, that the world and Satan himself may perceive or understand that God fights your battle. For you remember that being present with you and treating of the same place, I admonished you that Satan could not long sleep when his kingdom was threatened. And therefore I willed you, if you were in mind to continue with Christ, to prepare yourselves for the day of temptation. The person of the speaker is wretched, miserable, and nothing to be regarded, but the things that were spoken are the infallible and eternal truth of God; without observation of which, life neither can or shall came to mankind. God grant you continuance to the end.

This much have I briefly spoken of the temptation of Christ Jesus, who was tempted; and of the time and place of His temptation. Now remains to be spoken how He was tempted, and by what means. The most part of expositors think that all this temptation was in spirit and in imagination only, the corporeal senses being nothing moved. I will contend with no man in such cases, but patiently will I suffer every man to abound in his own knowledge; and without prejudice of any man?s estimation, I offer my judgment to be weighed and considered by Christian charity. It appears to me by the plain text that Christ suffered this temptation in body and spirit. Likewise, as the hunger which Christ suffered, and the desert in which He remained, were not things offered to the imagination, but that the body did verily remain in the wilderness among beasts, and after forty days did hunger and faint for lack of food; so the external ear did hear the tempting words of Satan, which entered into the knowledge of the soul, and which, repelling the venom of such temptations, caused the tongue to speak and confute Satan, to our unspeakable comfort and consolation. It appears also that the body of Christ Jesus was carried by Satan from the wilderness unto the temple of Jerusalem, and that it was placed upon the pinnacle of the same temple, from whence it wan carried to a high mountain and there tempted. If any man can show to the contrary hereof by the plain Scriptures of God, with all submission and thanksgiving I will prefer his judgment to my own; but if the matter stand only in probability and opinion of men, then it is lawful for me to believe as the Scripture here speaks; that is, that Satan spake and Christ answered, and Satan took Him and carried Him from one place to another. Besides the evidence of the text affirming that Satan was permitted to carry the body of Christ from place to place, and yet was not permitted to execute any further tyranny against it, in most singular comfort to such as are afflicted or troubled in body or spirit. The weak and feeble conscience of man under such temptations, commonly gathers and collects a false consequence. For man reasons thus: The body or the spirit is vexed by assaults and temptations of Satan, and he troubles or molests it, therefore God is angry with it, and takes no care of it. I answer, tribulations or grievous vexations of body or of mind are never signs of God's displeasure against the sufferer, neither yet does it follow that God has cast away the care of His creatures because He permits them to be molested and vexed for a time. For if any sort of tribulation were the infallible sign of God?s displeasure, then should we condemn the best beloved children of God. But of this we may speak hereafter. Now to the temptation.

Verse 2. "And when he fasteth forty days and forty nights, He was afterwards an hungered." Verse 3. "Then came to Him the tempter, and said, 'If you be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread,'" etc. Why Christ fasted forty days and would not exceed the same, without sense and feeling of hunger, is before touched upon, that is, He would provoke the devil to battle by the wilderness and long abstinence, but He would not usurp or arrogate any more to Himself in that case than God had wrought with others, His servants and messengers before. But Christ Jesus (as St. Augustine more amply declares), without feeling of hunger, might have endured the whole year, or to time without end, as well as He did endure the space of forty days. For the nature of mankind was sustained those forty days by the invisible power of God, which is at all times of equal power. But Christ, willing to offer further occasion to Satan to proceed in tempting of Him, permitted the human nature to crave earnestly that which it lacked, that is to say, refreshing of meat; which Satan perceiving took occasion, as before, to tempt and assault. Some judge that Satan tempted Christ to gluttony, but this appears little to agree with the purpose of the Holy Ghost; who shows us this history to let us understand that Satan never ceases to oppugn the children of God, but continually, by one mean or other, drives or provokes them to some wicked opinions of their God; and to have them desire stones to be converted into bread, or to desire hunger to be satisfied, has never been sin, nor yet a wicked opinion of God. And therefore I doubt not but the temptation was more spiritual, more subtle, and more dangerous. Satan had respect to the voice of God, which had pronounced Christ to be His well-beloved Son, etc. Against this voice he fights, as his nature is ever to do against the assured and immutable Word of God; for such is his malice against God, and against His chosen children, that where and to whom God pronounces love and mercy, to these he threatens displeasures and damnation; and where God threatens death, there is he bold to pronounce life; and for this course is Satan called a liar from the beginning. And so the purpose of Satan was to drive Christ into desperation, that he should not believe the former voice of God His Father; which appears to be the meaning of this temptation: "Thou hast heard," would Satan say, "a voice proclaimed in the air, that Thou want the beloved Son of God, in whom His soul was pleased; but mayst Thou not be judged more than mad, and weaker than the brainless fool if Thou believest any such promise! Where are the signs of His love! Art Thou not cast out from comfort of all creatures! Thou art in worse case than the brute beasts, for every day they hunt for their prey, and the earth produces grass and herbs for their sustenance, so that none of them are pined and consumed away by hunger; but Thou hast fasted forty days and nights, ever waiting for some relief and comb fort from above, but Thy best provision is hard stones! If Thou dost glory in thy God, and dost verily believe the promise that is made, command that these stones be bread. But evident it is that so Thou canst not do; for if Thou couldst, or if Thy God would have showed Thee any such pleasure, Thou mightest long ago have removed Thy hunger, and need eat not have endured this languishing for lack of food. But seeing Thou hast long continued thus, and no provision is made for Thee, it is vanity longer to believe any such promise, and therefore despair of any help from God?s hand, and provide for Thyself by some other means!"

Many words have I used here, dearly beloved, but I can not express the thousandth part of the malicious despite which lurked in this one temptation of Satan. It was a mocking of Christ and of His obedience. It was a plain denial of God's promise. It was the triumphing voice of him that appeared to have gotten victory. Oh, how bitter this temptation was no creature can understand but such as feel the grief of such darts as Satan casts at the tender conscience of those that gladly would rest and repose in God, and in the promises of His mercy. But here is to be noted the ground and foundation. The conclusion of Satan is this: Thou art none of God?s elect, much less His well-beloved Son. His reason is this: Thou art in trouble and findest no relief. There the foun¬dation of the temptation was Christ?s poverty, and the lack of food without hope of remedy to be sent from God. And it is the same temptation which the devil objected to Him by the princes of the priests in His grievous torments upon the cross; for thus they cried, "If he be the Son of God, let him come down from the cross and we will believe in him; he trusted in God, let him deliver him, if he have the pleasure in him." As though they would say, God is the deliverer of His servants from troubles; God never permits those that fear Him to come to confusion; this man we see in extreme trouble; if He be the Son of God, or even a true worshiper of His name, He will deliver Him from this calamity. If He deliver Him not, but suffer.Him to perish in these anguishes, then it ís an assured sign that God has rejected him as a hypocrite, that shall have no portion of His glory. Thus, I say, Satan takes occasion to tempt, and moves also others to judge and condemn God?s elect and chosen children, by reason that troubles are multiplied upon them.

But with what weapons we ought to fight against such enemies and assaults we shall learn in the answer of Christ Jesus, which follows: But He, answering, said "It is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word which proceedeth out of the mouth of God." This answer of Christ proves the sentence which we have brought of the aforesaid temptation to be the very meaning of the Holy Ghost; for unless the purpose of Satan has been to have removed Christ from all hope of God's merciful providence toward Him in that His necessity, Christ had not answered directly to his words, saying, "Command that these stones be made bread." But Christ Jesus, perceiving his art and malicious subtility, answered directly to his meaning, His words nothing regarded; by which Satan was so confounded that he was ashamed to reply any further.

But that you may the better understand the meaning of Christ's answer, we will express and repeat it over in more words. "Thou laborest, Satan," would Christ say, "to bring into my heart a doubt and suspicion of My Father's promise, which was openly proclaimed in My baptism, by reason of My hunger, and that I lack all carnal provision. Thou art bold to affirm that God takes no care for Me, but thou art a deceitful and false corrupt sophister, and thy argument, too, is vain, and full of blasphemies; for thou bindest God's love, mercy, and providence to the having or wanting of bodily provision, which no part of God's Scriptures teach us, but rather the express contrary. As it is written, 'Man doth not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God,' that is, the very life and felicity of man consists not in the abundance of bodily Things, or the possession and having of them makes no man blest or happy; neither shall the lack of them be the cause of his final misery; but the very life of man consists in God, and in His promises pronounced by His own mouth, unto which whoso cleaves unfeignedly shall live the life everlasting. And although all creatures in earth forsake him, yet shall not his bodily life perish till the time appointed by God approach. For God has means to feed, preserve, and maintain, unknown to man's reason, and contrary to the common course of nature. He fed His people Israel in the desert forty years without the provision of man. He preserved Jonah in the whale's belly; and maintained and kept the bodies of the three children in the furnace of fire. Reason and the natural man could have seen nothing in these eases but destruction and death, and could have judged nothing but that God had east away the care of these, His creatures, and yet His providence was most vigilant toward them in the extremity of their dangers, from which He did so deliver them, and in the midst of them did so assist them, that His glory, which is His mercy and goodness, did more appear and shine after their troubles than it could have done if they had fallen in Them. And therefore I measure not the truth and favor of God by having or by lacking of bodily necessities, but by the promise which He has made to me. As He Himself is immutable, so is His word and promise constant, which I believe, and to which I will adhere, and so cleave, whatever can come to the body outwardly."

In this answer of Christ we may perceive what weapons are to be used against our adversary the devil, and how we may confute his arguments, which craftily, and of malice, he makes against God's elect. Christ might have repulsed Satan with a word, or by commanding him to silence, as He to whom all power was given in heaven and earth; but it pleased His mercy to teach us how to use the sword of the Holy Ghost, which is the word of God, in battle against our spiritual enemy. The Scripture which Christ brings is written in the eighth chapter of Deuteronomy. It was spoken by Moses a little before His death, to establish the people in God's merciful providence. For in the same chapter, and in certain others that go before, He reckons the great travail and diverse dangers with the extreme necessities that they had sustained in the desert the space of forty years, and yet, notwithstanding how constant God had been in keeping and performing His promise, for throughout all perils He had conducted them to the sight and borders of the promised land. And so this Scripture more directly answers to the temptation of Satan; for thus does Satan reason, as before is said, "Thou art in poverty and hast no provision to sustain thy life. Therefore God takes no regard nor care of Thee, as He doth over His chosen children." Christ Jesus answered: "Thy argument is false and vain.; for poverty or necessity precludes not the providence or care of God; which is easy to be proved by the people of God, Israel, who, in the desert, oftentimes lacked things necessary to the sustenance of life, and for lack of the same they grudged and murmured; yet the Lord never cast away the providence and care of them, but according to the word that He had once pronounced, to wit, that they were His peculiar people; and according to the promise made to Abraham, and to them before their departure from Egypt, He still remained their conductor and guide, till He placed them in peaceable possession of the land of Canaan, their great infirmities and manifold transgressions notwithstanding."

Thus are we taught, I say, by Christ Jesus, to repulse Satan and his assaults by the Word of God, and to apply the examples of His mercies, which He has shown to others before us, to our own souls in the hour of temptation, and in the time of our trouble. For what God doth to one at any time, the same appertains to all that depend upon God and His promises. And, therefore, however we are assaulted by Satan, our adversary, within the Word of God is armor and weapons sufficient. The chief craft of Satan is to trouble those that begin to decline from his obedience, and to declare themselves enemies to iniquity, with divers assaults, the design whereof is always the same; that is, to put variance betwixt them and God into their conscience, that they should not repose and rest themselves in His assured promises. And to persuade this, he uses and invents diverse arguments. Sometimes he calls the sins of their youth, and which they have committed in the time of blindness, to their remembrance; very often he objects their unthankfulness toward God and present imperfections. By sickness, poverty, tribulations in their household, or by persecution, he can allege that God is angry, and regard them not. Or by the spiritual cross which few feel and fewer understand the utility and profit of, he would drive God?s children to desperation, and by infinite means more, he goeth about seeking, like a roaring lion, to undermine and destroy our faith. But it is impossible for him to prevail against us unless we obstinately refuse to use the defense and weapons That God has offered. Yea, I say, that God's elect can not refuse it, but seek for Their Defender when the battle is most strong; for the sobs, groans, and lamentations of such as fight, yea, the fear they have lest They be vanquished, the calling and prayer for continuance, are The undoubted and right seeking of Christ our champion. We refuse not the weapon, although sometimes, by infirmity, we can not use it as we would. It suffices that your hearts Un¬feignedly sob for greater strength, for continuance, and for final deliverance by Christ Jesus; that which is wanting in us, His sufficiency doth supply; for it is He that flghteth and overcometh for us. But for bringing of the examples of the Scriptures, if God permit, in the end we shall speak more largely when it shall be treated why Christ permitted Himself thus to be tempted. Sundry impediments now call me from writing in this matter, but, by God's grace, at convenient leisure I purpose to finish, and to send it to you. I grant the matter that proceeds from me is not worthy of your pain and labor to read it; yet, seeing it is a testimony of my good mind toward you, I doubt not but you will accept it in good part. God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, grant unto you to find favor and mercy of the Judge, whose eyes and knowledge pierce through the secret cogitations of the heart, in the day of temptation, which shall come upon all flesh, according to that mercy which you (illuminated and directed by His Holy Spirit) have showed to the afflicted. Now the God of all comfort and consolation confirm and strengthen you in His power unto the end. Amen.

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