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Harm and Mischief of Mankind; and if we could suppose their Will and

Sermon Inclinations equal; yet our Comfort is

XV. their Power is not.

3. The Spirit of God hath a more free and immediate access to the Minds of good Men,and a more intimate conjunction with and operation upon them, than the Devil. The Spirit of God is always present to us, and willing to dwell and abide in us, and ready to help and assist us,if we be ready to obey his dictates, and comply with his holy and blessed Motions; if we did not resist, and quench, and grieve him, he would always take up his abode and habitation in us, and would be continually exciting, and guiding, and assisting us to that which is good; he knows our Hearts, and fees all the secrets of our Souls; knows all our Inclinations, knows our weakness and our danger, what Asliftance we want, and when it will be most seasonable; and is as intimate to us, and as conscious to all

the

we

the Motions of our Spirits, as Volume our selves are. XII.

But now the Devil is under great restraint, and cannot make nearer approaches to any man than God permits him ; he does not know our hearts, nor can pry into the secret of our thoughts. God knows, but the Devil does but guess at the Thoughts, and Designs, and Inclinations of men; he hath no power over us, nor no access to us, but what we give him, or God permits. By obedience to God's Will, and refisting the Temptations of the Devil to fin and disobedience, we may not only keep out the Devil, but keep him at a great distance, and make him flee from us, so that we shall have little trouble or molestation from him : for tho' he be unwearied in his malicious Attempts to ruin our Souls, yet because he cannot be every where, he haunts those most where he hath greatest hopes of success, and is too eager and intent upon Mischief to employ his time and temptations where he hath

been

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been often foiled, and hath reason
to despair of victory. So that if all Sermon
things be consider’d, it is our own XV.
fault if we want the assistance of God's
Holy Spirit, or if the Devil have

any
great power over us : for God
does not usually, but upon great
provocation, take away bis Holy
Spirit from men, and lay them
open to the assaults and tempta-
tions of the Devil. If any be led
captive by the Devil at his pleasure,
it' is those who have wilfully for-
faken God, and fold themselves to do
wickedly.

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III. We will consider in what ways the Spirit of God doth move and assist good men.

These two ways.

1. By exciting good Motions in us, and enabling us to bring them

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to effect.

2. By supporting us under Per.
fecution for Religion.
1. By exciting good Motions in

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us,

23

us, and enabling us to bring them Volume to effect. These the Apostle puts XII.

together, Phil. 2. 13. For it is God which worketh in you, both to will and to do, of his good pleasure. It is he that stirs up good Inclinations in us,

and carries them on to effect. And this he makes an Argument why we should be diligent and industrious in the work of our Salvation, because God is so ready to assist us; Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling:for it is God that worketh in you both to will and to do, of his good pleasure.

2. By supporting us under Persecution for Religion. In case of extraordinary Temptations, and violent Assaults upon

upon our Constancy in Religion, by fierte and cruei Persecutions, God affords immediate and extraordinary Supports to good men, whereby they are many times born up under the greatest Sufferings, not only with patience, but with Comfort and joy unspeakable and full of glory. Where God suffers good men

be

ever

to

be tempted above Humanity, he af- is
fords them an immediate Divine Sermon
Asistance, to bear them up and make XV.
them victorious. So St. Peter tells
us, Pet.

1 Pet. 4. 4. That those who suf-
fer and are reproached for the name of
Christ, the Spirit of glory and of God
resteth upon them. so likewise St.
Paul, 1 Cor. 10. 13. speaking of those
who had not yet been set upon by
any Tharp Persecution, No temptation
hath taken you, but such as is common to
man, ει μη ανθρώπινG.,nothing but what
is humane, what the Spirit of a man
may bear: but if such a case happen,
of Temptation above Nature, and
the spirit of a man be too weak
to support it self under it, God will
in that case afford men immediate
and extraordinary Supports and Com-
forts, God is faithful, who will not suf-
fer you to be tempted above what

ye are able ; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear it, and then it immediately follows, Wherefore my dearly beloved, flee from Idolatry; because

God hath promised such an extraí ordinary assistance, in case of Per

secution

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