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step, till unable to invent even a pretence of reconciling his duty to his practice, he at length becomes reckless and desperate, and seeks refuge from the occasional visitations of conscience, in the infidel suggestion—“ Ye shall not surely die.

Herein we imitate but too closely the example of our first parents, when assailed by temptation. Jesus, under similar circumstances, looked only to one single point ; his whole argument was, it is written. God's word was the simple, the invariable rule of action. His answer denoted a stedfast and unchangeable purpose; Satan shrunk back and retired, confounded and baffled.

On the view of these two cases not a single doubt could exist, which of them we ought to imitate. But to excite our fears and our inclinations, to interest us still more in acting conformably to our judgment, it may perhaps not be inexpedient to take a hasty view of the consequences which immediately resulted from the different conduct pursued on these two several occasions.

These will be found such as ought to have á powerful influence upon any man, who regulates his actions, (I will not say, by the rules of right reason, but) by the commonest máxims of prudence and self-defence.

2. No sooner had our first parents transgressed the command of God, and indulged the unlawful desires which the serpent had raised, than their folly appeared to them in its proper light. The pleasures and advantages which he had set forth, proved, upon trial, to be vain and illusive. The denunciation of their Creator, which Satan had derided, now presented itself to their terrified minds in its most appalling colours. Death reared his sting. Sin produced its usual fruits. Shame and sorrow, terror and remorse, overwhelmed them. They would fain have concealed themselves from their offended God. But could the leaves of the thicket hide them from his searching eye, who seeth all things; to whom the darkness and the light are both alike; and to whose view the deepest caverns of the ocean, and the darkest recesses of hell, are disclosed ? Could they flee from his indignation, from whom, though the mountains should “ fall on then," and the “ hills cover them,” they could not be sheltered ? No! They felt that flight and concealment were alike impracticable. Their soul “ fainted within them,” when they heard his voice. They stood trembling before him whom heretofore they had ever beheld with feelings of only love and gratitude. What, at this dread

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moment, were their pleas? What were the palliations of their guilt? The woman exclaimed, “ The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.” The man answered, “ The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, of the tree, and I did eat.' The guilty pair stood without excuse before God.

), 1. His judgment was righteous; the sentence was passed-man had become corrupt and obnoxious to the wrath of God. All hope, every plea for pardon and readmission to God's favour was precluded, had he not in judgment remembered mercy; and once more opened the prospect of return to life, and to the light of His countenance, by promising the BLESSED Seed, who should bruise the serpent's head.

It behoves us to contemplate this scene with alarm, and with profit. We should fearfully remember, that the same malignant foe, who beguiled our first parents of their privileges, is labouring with unabated zeal and activity to deprive us of this, our last, our only hope, and thus to plunge us into inextricable misery. We should remember also, that the way to fall, and way to conquer, is still the same as it was then. If, after the example of the first Adam, we listen to the suggestions of the tempter in preference to the word of God; we perish.

If we tread in 12

the footsteps of the second Adam, and in every temptation faithfully consider only what is written, then, by God's grace, we may hope to have “ victory, and to triumph over the world, the flesh, and the devil.”

For observe the consequences, which our Saviour has shewn by his example, will result from a stedfast adherence to the rule which he has laid down. Satan, baffled and discomfitted, departed from him, and angels came and ministered unto him.

So will Satan always flee from us, if we withstand him in faith. God's Holy Spirit will aid and support us. His ministering angels will attend and watch over us. He will give us all things needful for us. He will lead and uphold us through this vale of misery, till we shall have finished our pilgrimage, and have fitted ourselves in some measure for his heavenly kingdom ; there to become ourselves ministering angels, before the throne of God; rejoicing to fulfil his purposes, satisfied with

, the knowledge of his counsels, and evermore happy in the fruition of the blessings of his presence: To whom, with God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, belongeth, and be ascribed all honour, power, &c. both now and

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Jesus said unto him, it is written again, Thou shalt not

tempt the Lord thy God.

The precept contained in the text, and urged by our Lord in reply to Satan's crafty suggestion, is worthy of our particular consideration. Neither its precise import, nor its application to the proposal of Satan is to be accurately understood, without a more attentive examination than it commonly obtains. There are perhaps not a few, who have never formed any clear notion of what is here meant by tempting God.

In the present discourse I purpose to give a brief explanation of the principal Scriptural cases, which exemplify the violation of this remarkable precept; and to point out the

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