The Tempter’s Method in Applying his Prepared Baits 001/ by Richard Baxter

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Tempt, i.The devil’s first work is, to present the tempting bait, in all its alluring, deceiving properties : to make it seem as true as may be to the understanding : and as good and amiable as may be to the will. To say as much as can be said for an evil cause; he maketh his image of truth and goodness as beautiful as he can: sin shall be sugared, and its pleasure shall be its strength n : sin shall have its wages paid down in hand*: he will set it out with full mouthed praises. ‘ O what a fine thing it is to be rich, and please the flesh continually! to have command, and honour, and lusts, and sports, and what you desire ! Who would refuse such a condition that may have it?’ ” All this will I give thee,” was the temptation which he thought fit to assault Christ himself with. And he will corrupt the history of time past, and tell you that it went well with those that took his way. And for the future, he will promise them, that they shall be gainers by it, (as he did Eve) and shall have peace, though they please their flesh in sinning *.

Direct, i. In this case, first, inquire what God saith of that which satan so commendeth. The commendations and motions of an enemy are to be suspected : God is most to be believed. , 2. Then consider, not only whether it be good, but how long it will be good; and what it will prove at the end; and how we shall judge of it at the parting. And withal, consider, what it tendeth to; whether it tend to good or evil: and, whether it be the greatest good that we are capable of. And then you will see, that if there were no good, or appearance of good in it, it could do a voluntary agent no hurt, and were not fit to be the matter of a temptation. And you will see that it is temporal good set up to deceive you of the eternal good, and to entice you into the greatest evil and misery. Doth the devil shew thee the world, and say, ” All this will I give thee ?” Look to

Heb. xi. 25.2 Pet. ii. 15. ‘ Jer. xliv. 17.Deut. xxix. 19.

Christ who sheweth thee the glory

of the world to come, with all things good for thee in this world, and saith more truly, ” All this will I give thee.” The world and hell are in one end of the balance, and pardon, holiness, and heaven are in the other. Which now wilt thou prefer ? If the devil have more to give thee and bid for thee than Christ, let him take thee.

{to be continued}
I want to read further myself. / No, thank you that piece of advice was enough for now.

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