The Lord's Prayer by Thomas Watson File 23 (... continued from file 22) The Sixth Petition in the Lord's Prayer 'And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.' Matt 6: 13 This petition consists of two parts. First, Deprecatory, 'Lead us not into temptation.' Secondly, Petitionary, 'But deliver us from evil.' I. 'Lead us not into temptation.' Does God lead into temptation? God tempts no man to sin. 'Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man.' James 1: 13. He permits sin, but does not promote it. He who is an encourager of holiness cannot be a pattern of sin. God does not tempt to that to which he has an antipathy. What king will tempt his subjects to break laws which he himself has established? But is it not said, God tempted Abraham? Gen 22: 1. Tempting there was no more than trying. He tried Abraham's faith, as a goldsmith tries gold in the fire; but there is a great deal of difference between trying his people's grace and exciting their corruption; he tries their grace, but does not excite their corruption. Man's sin cannot be justly fathered on God. God tempts no man. What then is the meaning of 'Lead us not into temptation'? The meaning is, that God would not suffer us to be overcome by temptation; that we may not be given up to the power of temptation, and be drawn into sin. Whence do temptations come? (1) Ab intra [From within], from ourselves. The heart is fomes peccati [the kindling of sin], the breeder of all evil. Our own hearts are the greatest tempters: quisque sibi Satan est [everyone is Satan to himself]. 'Every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust.' The heart is a perfect decoy. James 1: 14. (a) Temptations come ab extra [from without], from Satan. He is called the Tempter. Matt 4: 3. He lies in ambush to do us mischief: stat in procinctu diabolus [the devil stands girded for battle], the devil lays a train of temptation to blow up the fort of our grace. He is not yet fully cast into prison, but is like a prisoner under bail. The world is his diocese, where he is sure to be found, whatever we are doing - reading, praying, or meditating. We find him within, but how he came there we know not; we are sure of his company, though uncertain how we came by it. A saint's whole life, says Augustine, is temptation. Elias, who could shut heaven by prayer, could not shut his heart from temptation. This is a great molestation to a child of God; as it is a trouble to a virgin to have her chastity daily assaulted. The more we are tempted to evil, the more we are hindered from good. We are in great danger of the 'Prince of the air;' and we need often pray, 'Lead us not into temptation.' That we may see in what danger we are from Satan's temptations: Consider,  His malice in tempting. This hellish serpent is swelled with the poison of malice. Satan envies man's happiness. To see a clod of dust so near to God, and himself, once a glorious angel, cast out of the heavenly paradise, makes him pursue mankind with inveterate hatred. 'The devil is come down unto you, having great wrath.' Rev 12: I2. If there be anything this infernal spirit can delight in, it is to ruin souls, and to bring them into the same condemnation with himself. This malice of Satan in tempting must needs be great, if we consider three things: (1) That Satan, though full of torment, should tempt others. One would think that he would scarcely have a thought but of his own misery; and yet such is his rage and malice that, while God is punishing him, he is tempting others. (2) His malice is great, because he will tempt where he knows he cannot prevail; he will put forth his sting, though he cannot hurt. He tempted Christ. 'If thou be the Son of God.' Matt 4: 3. He knew well enough Christ was God as well as man, yet he would tempt him. Such was his malice against him that he would put an affront on him, though he knew he should be conquered by him. He tempts the elect to blasphemy; he knows he cannot prevail against them; and yet such is his malice, that though he cannot storm the garrison of their hearts, yet he will plant his pieces of ordnance against them. (3) His malice is great, because though knowing his tempting men to sin will increase his own torment in hell, he will not leave it off. Every temptation makes his chain heavier and his fire hotter, and yet he will tempt. Therefore being such a malicious revengeful spirit, we need pray that God will not suffer him to prevail by his temptation. 'Lead us not into temptation.'  Consider Satan's diligence in tempting. He 'walketh about.' I Pet 5: 8. He neglects no time; he who would have us idle is himself always busy. This lion is ever hunting after his prey, he compasses sea and land to make a proselyte; he walks about - he walks not as a pilgrim, but a spy; he watches where he may throw in the fireball of temptation. He is a restless spirit; if we repulse him, he will not desist, but come again with a temptation. Like Marcellus, a Roman captain Hannibal speaks of, whether he conquered or was conquered, was never quiet. More particularly, Satan's diligence in tempting is seen in this: (1) If he gets the least advantage by temptation, he pursues it to the utmost. If his motion to sin begins to take, he follows it close and presses to the act of sin. When he tempted Judas to betray Christ, and found him inclinable, and beginning to bite at the bait of thirty pieces of silver, he hurried hum on, and never left him till he had betrayed his Lord and Master. When he tempted Spira to renounce his religion, and saw him begin to yield, he followed the temptation close, and never left off till he had made him go to the legate at Venice, and there abjure his faith in Christ. (2) Satan's diligence in tempting is seen in the variety of temptations he uses. He does not confine himself to one sort of temptation, he has more plots than one. If he finds one temptation does not prevail, he will have another; if he cannot tempt to lust, he will tempt to pride; if temptation to covetousness does not prevail, he will tempt to profuseness; if he cannot frighten men to despair, he will see if he cannot draw them to presumption; if he cannot make them profane, he will see if he cannot make them formalists; if he cannot make them vicious, he will tempt them to be erroneous. He will tempt them to leave off ordinances; he will pretend revelations. Error damns as well as vice: the one pistols, the other poisons. Thus Satan's diligence in tempting is great: he will turn every stone; he has several tools to work with; if one temptation will not do he will make use of another. Had we not need then to pray, 'Lead us not into temptation'?  Consider Satan's power in tempting. He is called 'the prince of this world' (John 14: 30), and the 'strong man' (Luke 11: 21), and the 'great red dragon,' who with his tail cast down the third part of the stars. Rev 12: 3, 4. He is full of power, being an angel; though he has lost his holiness, yet not his strength. His power in tempting is seen several ways: (1) As a spirit he can convey himself into the fancy, and poison it with bad thoughts. As the Holy Ghost casts in good motions, so the devil does bad. He put it into Judas's heart to betray Christ. John 13: 2. (2) Though Satan cannot compel the will, he can present pleasing objects to the senses, which have great force in them. He set a 'wedge of gold' before Achan, and so enticed him with that golden bait. (3) He can excite and stir up the corruption within, and work some inclinableness in the heart to embrace the temptation. Thus he stirred up corruption in David's heart, and provoked him to number the people. I Chron 21: 1. He can blow a spark of lust into a flame. (4) Being a spirit, he can convey his temptations into our minds, so that we cannot easily discern whether they come from him or from ourselves. One bird may hatch the egg of another, thinking it to be her own: so we often hatch the devil's motions, thinking they come from our own hearts. When Peter dissuaded Christ from suffering, he thought it came from the good affection which he bore to his Master, little thinking that Satan had a hand in it. Matt 16: 22. Now, if the devil has such power to instil his temptations, that we hardly know whether they are his or ours, we are in great danger, and had need pray not to be led into temptation. Here, some are desirous to move the question: How shall we perceive when a motion comes from our own hearts, arid when from Satan? It is hard, as Bernard says, to distinguish inter morsum serpentis et morbum mentis [between the bite of the serpent and the disease of the mind], between those suggestions which come from Satan, and which breed out of our own hearts. But I conceive there is this threefold difference: First, such motions to evil as come from our own hearts spring up more leisurely, and by degrees. Sin is long concocted in the thoughts, ere consent be given; but usually we may know a motion comes from Satan by its suddenness. Temptation is compared to a dart, because it is shot suddenly. Eph 6: 16. David's numbering the people was a motion which the devil injected suddenly. Secondly, the motions to evil which come from our own hearts are not so terrible. Few are frightened at the sight of their own children; but motions coming from Satan are more ghastly and frightful, as motions to blasphemy and self-murder. Hence it is that temptations are compared to fiery darts, because, as flashes of fire, they startle and affright the soul. Eph 6: 16. Thirdly, when evil thoughts are thrown into the mind, when we loathe and have reluctance to them; when we strive against them, and flee from them, as Moses did from the serpent, it shows they are not the natural birth of our own heart, but the hand of Joab is in this. 2 Sam 14: 19. Satan has injected these impure motions. (5) Satan's power in tempting appears by the long experience he has acquired in the art; he has been a tempter well nigh as long as he has been an angel. Who are fitter for action than men of experience? Who is fitter to steer a ship than an old, experienced pilot? Satan has gained much experience by being so long versed in the trade of tempting. Having such experience, he knows what are the temptations which have foiled others, and are most likely to prevail; as the bowler lays those snares which have caught other birds. Satan having such power in tempting, increases our danger, and we had need pray, 'Lead us not into temptation.  Consider Satan's subtlety in tempting. The Greek word to tempt, signifies to deceive. Satan, in tempting, uses many subtle policies to deceive. We read of the depths of Satan (Rev 2: 24), of his devices and stratagems (2 Cor 2: 11), of his snares and darts. He is called a lion for his cruelty, and an old serpent for his subtlety. He has several sorts of subtlety in tempting. 1st subtlety. He observes the natural temper and constitution. Omnium discutit mores [He attacks the character of all]. He does not know the hearts of men, but he may feel their pulse, know their temper, and can apply himself accordingly. As the husbandman knows what seed is proper to sow in such a soil, so Satan, finding out the temper, knows what temptations are proper to sow in such a heart. The same way the tide of a man's constitution runs, the wind of temptation blows. Satan tempts the ambitious man with a crown, the sanguine man with beauty, the covetous man with a wedge of gold. He provides savoury meat, such as the sinner loves. 2nd subtlety. He chooses the fittest season to tempt in. As a cunning angler casts in his angle when the fish will bite best, so the devil can hit the very joint of time when temptation is likeliest to prevail. There are several seasons he tempts in. 1st season. He tempts us in our first initiation and entrance into religion, when we have newly given up our names to Christ. He will never disturb his vassals; but when we have broken his prison in conversion, he will pursue us with violent temptations. Solet inter primordia conversionis acrius insurgere [He is wont to attack more sharply at the first signs of conversion]. Bernard. When Israel were got a little out of Egypt, Pharaoh pursued them. Soon as Christ was born, Herod sent to destroy him so when the child of grace is newly born, the devil labours to strangle it with temptation. When the first buddings and blossoms of grace begin to appear, the devil would nip the tender buds with the sharp blasts of temptation. At first conversion, grace is so weak, and temptation so strong, that one wonders how the young convert escapes with his life. Satan has a spite against the new creature. 2nd season. The devil tempts when he finds us unemployed. We do not sow seed in fallow ground; but Satan sows most of his seed in a person that lies fallow. When the fowler sees a bird sit still and perch upon the tree, he shoots it; so when Satan observes us sitting still, he shoots his fiery darts of temptation at us. 'While men slept, his enemy sowed tares;' so, while men sleep in sloth, Satan sows his tares. Matt 13: 25. When David was walking on the housetop unemployed, the devil set a tempting object before him, and it prevailed. 2 Sam 11: 2, 3. 3rd season. When a person is reduced to outward wants and straits, the devil tempts him. When Christ has fasted forty days, and is hungry, the devil comes and tempts him with the glory of the world. Matt 4: 8. When provisions grow short, Satan sets in with a temptation; What, wilt thou starve rather than steal? reach forth thy hand, and pluck the forbidden fruit. How often does this temptation prevail? How many do we see, who, instead of living by faith, live by their shifts, and will steal the venison, Though they lose the blessing. 4th season. Satan tempts after an ordinance. When we have been hearing the word, or at prayer, or sacrament, Satan casts in the angle of temptation. When Christ had been fasting and praying, then came the tempter. Matt 4: 2, 3. Why does Satan choose time after an ordinance to tempt? We should think it to be the most disadvantageous time, when the soul is raised to a heavenly frame! (1) Malice puts Satan upon it. The ordinances, which cause fervour in a saint, cause fury in Satan. He knows in every duty we have a design against him; in every prayer we put up a suit in heaven against him; in the Lord's Supper, we take an oath to fight under Christ's banner against him; therefore he is more enraged, and lays his snares and shoots his darts against us. (2) Satan tempts after an ordinance, because he thinks he will find us more secure. After we have been at the solemn worship of God, we are apt to grow remiss, and leave off former strictness; like a soldier, who, after the bathe, leaves off his armour. Satan watches his time. He does as David did to the Amalekites, who, when they had taken the spoil, and were secure, and they did eat and drink, and dance, fell upon them, and smote them. I Sam 30: 17. When we grow remiss after an ordinance, and indulge ourselves too much in carnal delights, Satan falls upon us by temptation, and often foils us. After a full meal, men are apt to grow drowsy; so, after we have had a full meal at an ordinance, we are apt to slumber and grow secure, and then Satan shoots his arrow of temptation, and hits us between the joints of our armour. 5th season. Satan tempts after some discoveries of God's love. Like a pirate who sets on a ship that is richly laden, when a soul has been laden with spiritual comforts, the devil shoots at him to rob him of all. He envies a soul feasted with spiritual joy. Joseph's party-coloured coat made his brethren envy him and plot against him. After David had the good news of the pardon of his sin, which must needs fill him with consolation, Satan tempted him to a new sin in numbering the people; and so all his comfort leaked out and was spilt. 6th season. Satan tempts when he sees us weakest. He breaks over the hedge where it is lowest; as the sons of Jacob came upon the Shechemites when they were sore, and could make no resistance. Gen 34: 25. On two occasions Satan comes upon us in our weakness: (1) When we are alone; as he came to Eve when her husband was away, and she the less able to resist his temptation. He has the policy to give his poison privately, when no one is by to discover the treachery. Like a cunning suitor who wooes the daughter when the parents are from home; when alone and none near, the devil comes wooing with a temptation, and hopes to have the match struck up. (2) When the hour of death approaches. As the crows peck at the poor sheep, when sick and weak, and can hardly help itself, so, when a saint is weak on his deathbed, the devil pecks at him with a temptation. He reserves his most furious assaults till the last. The people of Israel were never so fiercely assaulted as when they were going to take possession of the promised land; then all the kings of Canaan combined their forces against them; so, when the saints are leaving the world and going to set their foot on the heavenly Canaan, Satan sets upon them by temptation; he tells them they are hypocrites, and all their evidences are counterfeit. Like a coward, he strikes the saints when they are down; when death is striking at the body, he is striking at the soul. 3rd subtlety. Satan, in tempting, baits his hook with religion. He can hang out Christ's colours and tempt to sin under pretences of piety. Sometimes he is the white devil, and transforms himself into an angel of light. Celsus wrote a book full of error, and he entitled it, Liber Veritatis, The Book of Truth. So Satan can write the title of religion upon his worst temptation. He comes to Christ with Scripture in his mouth, 'It is written,' &c. So he comes to many and tempts them to sin, under the pretence of religion. He tempts to evil, that good may come of it; he tempts men to such unwarrantable actions, that they may be put into a capacity of honouring God the more. He tempts them to accept of preferment against conscience that they may be in a condition of doing more good. He put Herod upon killing John the Baptist, that he might be kept from the violation of his oath. He tempts many to oppression and extortion, telling them they are bound to provide for their families. He tempts many to make away with themselves, that they may live no longer to sin against God. Thus he wraps his poisonous pills in sugar. Who would suspect him when he comes as a divine, and quotes Scripture? 4th subtlety. Satan tempts to sin gradually. The old serpent winds himself in by degrees: he tempts first to less sins, that so he may bring on greater. A small offence may occasion a great crime; as a little prick of an artery may occasion a mortal gangrene. Satan first tempted David to an impure glance of the eye to look upon Bathsheba, and that unclean look occasioned adultery and murder. First he tempts to go into the company of the wicked, then to twist into a cord of friendship, and so, by degrees, to be brought into the same condemnation with them. It is a great subtlety of Satan to tempt to less sins first, for these harden the heart, and fit men for committing more horrid and tremendous sins. 5th subtlety. Satan's policy is to hand over temptations to us by those whom we least suspect. (1) By near friends. He tempts us by those who are near in blood. He tempted Job by a proxy, he handed over a temptation to him by his wife. 'Dost thou still retain thine integrity?' Job 2: 9. As if he had said, Job, thou seest how, for all thy religion, God deals with thee, his hand is gone out sore against thee; what, and still pray and weep! Cast off all religion, turn atheist! 'Curse God, and die!' Thus Satan made use of Job's wife to do his work. The woman was made of the rib, and Satan made a bow of this rib, out of which to shoot the arrow of his temptation. Per costam petit cor [He aims at the heart through the rib]. The devil often stands behind the curtain - he will not be seen in the business, but puts others to do his work. As a man makes use of a sergeant to arrest another, so Satan makes use of a proxy to tempt; as he crept into a serpent, so he can creep into a near relation. (2) He tempts sometimes by religious friends. He keeps out of sight, that his cloven foot may not be seen. Who would have thought to have found the devil in Peter? When he would have dissuaded Christ from suffering, saying, 'Master, spare thyself,' Christ spied Satan in the temptation. 'Get thee behind me, Satan.' When our religious friends would dissuade us from doing our duty, Satan is a lying spirit in their mouths, and would by them entice us to evil. 6th subtlety. Satan tempts some persons more than others. Some are like wet tinder, who will not so soon take the fire of temptation as others. Satan tempts most where he thinks his policies will most easily prevail. Some are fitter to receive the impression of temptations, as soft wax is fitter to take the stamp of the seal. The apostle speaks of 'vessels fitted to destruction,' so there are vessels fitted for temptation. Rom 9: 22. Some, like the sponge, suck in Satan's temptations. There are five sorts of persons that Satan most broods upon by his temptations. (1) Ignorant persons. The devil can lead these into any snare. You may lead a blind man any whither. God made a law that the Jews should not put a stumbling-block in the way of the blind. Lev 19: 14. Satan knows it is easy to put a temptation in the way of the blind, at which they shall stumble into hell. When the Syrians were smitten with blindness, the prophet Elisha could lead them whither he would into the enemy's country. 2 Kings 6: 20. The bird that is blind is soon shot by the fowler. Satan, the god of this world, blinds men and then shoots them. An ignorant man cannot see the devil's snares. Satan tells him such a thing is no sin, or but a little one, and he will do well enough; it is but repent. (2) Satan tempts unbelievers. He who, with Diagoras, doubts a Deity, or with the Photinians, denies hell, what sin may he not be drawn into? He is like metal that Satan can cast into any mould; he can dye him of any colour. An unbeliever will stick at no sin, be it luxury, perjury, or injustice. Paul was afraid of none so much as those who did not believe. 'That I may be delivered from them that do not believe in Judaea.' Rom 15: 31. (3) Satan tempts proud persons: over these he has more power. None is in greater danger of falling by temptation than he who stands high in his own conceit. When David's heart was lifted up in pride, the devil stirred him up to number the people. 2 Sam 24: 2. Celsae graviore casu decidunt turres, feriuntque summos fulmina montes [Lofty towers crash with a heavier fall, and lightning strikes the tops of mountains]. Horace. Satan made use of Haman's pride to be his shame. (4) Melancholy persons. Melancholy is atra bilis, a black humour, seated chiefly in the brain. It clothes the mind in sable, and disturbs reason. Satan works much upon this humour. There are three things in melancholy which give the devil greet advantage:  It unfits for duty, it pulls off the chariot-wheels; it dispirits a man. Lute strings that are wet, will not sound; so when the spirit is sad and melancholy, a Christian is out of tune for spiritual actions.  Melancholy sides often with Satan against God. The devil tells such a person God does not love him, there is no mercy for him; and the melancholy soul is apt to think so too, and sets his hand to the devil's lies.  Melancholy breeds discontent, and discontent is the cause of many sins, as unthankfulness, impatience, and often it ends in self-murder. Judge, then, what an advantage Satan has against a melancholy person, and how easily he may prevail with him by his temptation! A melancholy person tempts the devil to tempt him. (5) Idle persons. The devil will find work for the idle to do. Jerome gave his friend this counsel, To be ever well employed, that when the tempter came, he might find him working in the vineyard. If the hands be not working good, the head will be plotting evil. Mic 2: 1. 7th subtlety. Satan gives some little respite, and seems to leave off tempting awhile, that he may come on after with more advantage; as Israel made as if they were beaten before the men of Al, and fled; but it was a policy to draw them out of their fenced cities, and ensnare them by an ambush. Josh 8: 15. The devil sometimes raises the siege, and feigns a flight, that he may the better obtain the victory. He goes away for a time, that he may return when he sees a better season. 'When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest: and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house, whence I came out.' Luke 11: 24. Satan, by feigning a flight, and leaving off tempting awhile, causes security in persons; they think they are safe, and are become victors, when, on a sudden, Satan falls on and wounds them. As one that is going to leap, runs back a little, that he may take the greater jump, so Satan seems to retire and run back a little, that he may come on with a temptation more furiously and successfully. We need, therefore, always to watch, and have on our spiritual armour. 8th subtlety. The old serpent either takes men off from the use of means, or makes them miscarry in the use of them. (1) He labours to take men off from duty, from praying and hearing, in order to discourage them; and, to do that, he has two artifices: He discourages them from duty by suggesting to them their unworthiness; that they are not worthy to approach to God, or have any signals of his love and favour. They are sinful, and God is holy, how dare they presume to bring their impure offering to God? That we should see ourselves unworthy, is good, and argues humility; but to think we should not approach God because of unworthiness, is a conclusion of the devil's making. God says, Come, though unworthy. By this temptation, the devil takes many off from coming to the Lord's table. Oh, says he, this is a solemn ordinance, and requires much holiness: how darest thou so unworthily come? you will eat and drink unworthily. Thus, as Saul kept the people from eating honey, so the devil by this temptation, scares many from this ordinance, which is sweeter than honey and the honeycomb. Satan endeavours to discourage from duty by objecting want of success. When men have waited upon God in the use of ordinances, and find not the comfort they desire, Satan disheartens them, and puts them upon resolves of declining all religion; they begin to say as a wicked king, 'What should I wait for the Lord any longer?' 2 Kings 6: 33. When Saul saw God answered him not by dreams and visions, Satan tempted him to leave his worship, and seek to the witch of Endor. I Sam 28: 6. No answer to prayer comes; therefore, says Satan, leave off praying; who will sow seed where no crop comes up? Thus the devil by his subtle logic would dispute a poor soul out of duty. But if he sees he cannot prevail this way, to take men off from the use of means, then he labours: (2) To make them miscarry in the use of means. By this artifice he prevails over multitudes of professors. The devil stands, as he did at Joshua's right hand, to resist men. Zech 3: 1. If he cannot hinder them from duty, he will be sure to hinder them in duty, two ways: By causing distraction in the service of God; and this he does by proposing objects of vanity, or by whispering in men's ears, that they can scarcely know what they are doing. He hinders, by putting men upon doing duties in a wrong manner.  In a dead formal manner, that so they may fail of the success. Satan knows duties done superficially were as good as left undone. That prayer which does not pierce the heart, will never pierce heaven.  He puts them upon doing duties for wrong ends. Finis specificat actionem [The end governs the action]; he will make them look asquint, and have by-ends in duty. 'Thou shalt not be as the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men.' Matt 6: 5. Prayer is good, but to pray to be seen of men, was a dead fly in the box of ointment. The oil of vainglory feeds the lamp; sinister aims corrupt and flyblow our holy things. Here is Satan's policy, either to prevent duty, or pervert it; either to take men off from the use of means, or make them miscarry in the use of them. 9th subtlety. Satan can colour over sin with the name and pretence of virtue. Alcibiades hung a curtain curiously embroidered over a foul picture of satyrs; so Satan can put the image of virtue over the foul picture of sin. He can cheat men with false wares; he can make them believe that presumption is faith, that intemperate passion is zeal, revenge is prudence, covetousness is frugality, and prodigality is good hospitality. 'Come, see my zeal for the Lord,' says Jehu. Satan persuaded him it was a fire from heaven, when it was nothing but the wildfire of his own ambition; it was not zeal, but state policy. This is a subtle art of Satan, to deceive by tempting, and put men off with the dead child, instead of the live child; to make men believe that is a grace which is a sin; as if one should write balm-water upon a glass of poison. If Satan has all these subtle artifices in tempting, are we not in great danger from this prince of the air? Have we not often need to pray, 'Lord, suffer us not to be led into temptation'? As the serpent beguiled Eve with his subtlety, let us not be beguiled by his hellish snares and policies. 2 Cor 11: 3. He has a dexterity in subtle contrivances. He hurts more as a fox than a lion; his snares are worse than his darts. 'We are not ignorant of his devices.' 2 Cor 2: 1. 10th subtlety. He labours to ensnare us by lawful things, in licitis perimus omnes [we all perish through lawful things]. More are hurt by lawful things than unlawful, as more are killed with wine than poison. Gross sins affright but how many take a surfeit and die, in using lawful things inordinately. Recreation is lawful, eating and drinking are lawful, but many offend by excess, and their table is a snare. Relations are lawful, but how often does Satan tempt to overlove! How often is the wife and child laid in God's room! Excess makes things lawful become sinful. 11th subtlety. He makes the duties of our general and particular calling hinder and jostle out one another. Our general calling is serving God, our particular calling is minding our employments in the world. It is wisdom to be regular in both these, when the particular calling does not eat out the time for God's service, nor the service of God hinder diligence in a calling. The devil's art is to make Christians defective in one of these two. Some spend all their time in hearing, reading, and under a pretence of living by faith, do not live in a calling; others Satan takes off from duties of religion, under a pretence that they must provide for their families, he makes them so careful for their bodies, that they quite neglect their souls. The subtlety of the old serpent is to make men negligent in the duties either of the first table or the second. The Lord's Prayer by Thomas Watson (continued in file 24...) ---------------------------------------------------- file: /pub/resources/text/ipb-e/epl-09: watlp-23.txt .