The Lord's Prayer by Thomas Watson File 25 (... continued from file 24) Satan disturbs the saints' peace by drawing forth their sins in the black colours to affright them, and make them ready to give up the ghost. He is called the accuser of the brethren; not only because he accuses them to God, but accuses them to themselves. He tells them they are guilty of certain sins and they are hypocrites; whereas the sins of a believer only show that grace is not perfect, not that he has no grace. When Satan comes with this temptation, show him that Scripture, 'The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.' I John 1: 7. 27th subtlety. Satan, by plausible arguments, tempts men to commit felo de se, to make away with themselves. This temptation not only crosses the current of Scripture, but it is abhorrent to nature to be one's own executioner. Yet such are the cunning artifices of Satan, that he persuades many to lay violent hands upon themselves, as the bills of mortality witness. He tempts some to do this in terror of conscience, telling them, All the hell they shall have is in their conscience, and death will give them present ease. He tempts others to make away with themselves that they may live no longer to sin against God. Others he tempts to make away with themselves, that they may presently arrive at happiness. He tells them, the best of the saints desire heaven, and the sooner they are there the better. Augustine speaks of Cleombrotus, who hearing Plato read a lecture on the immortality of the soul, and the joys of the other world, se in praecipitium dejecit, threw himself down a steep precipice, or rock, and killed himself. This is Satan's plot; but we must not break prison by laying violent hands upon ourselves, but stay till God sends and opens the door. Let us pray 'Lead us not into temptation.' Still bear in mind that Scripture, 'Thou shalt not kill.' Exod 20: 13. Clamitat in caelum vox sanguinis [The voice of blood cries to heaven]. If we may not kill another, much less ourselves; and take heed of discontent, which often opens the door to self-murder. Thus I have shown you twenty-seven subtleties of Satan in tempting, that you may the better know them, and avoid them. There is a story of a Jew who would have poisoned Luther, but a friend sent to Luther the picture of the Jew, warning him to take heed of such a man when he saw him; by which means he knew the murderer, and escaped his hands. I have told you the subtle devices of Satan in tempting; I have shown you the picture of him that would murder you. Being forewarned, I beseech you take heed of the murderer. From the subtlety of Satan in tempting, let me draw three inferences. (1) It may administer matter of wonder to us how any are saved. How amazing that Satan, this Abaddon, or angel of the bottomless pit (Rev 9: 11) this Apollyon, this soul-devourer, does not win all mankind! What a wonder that some are preserved, that neither Satan's hidden snares prevail nor his fiery darts: that neither the head of the serpent, nor the paw of the lion destroys them! Surely it will be matter of admiration to the saints, when they come to heaven, to think how strangely they came thither; that notwithstanding all the force and fraud, the power and policy of hell, they should arrive safe at the heavenly port! This is owing to the safe conduct of Christ, the Captain of our salvation. Michael is too hard for the dragon. (2) Is Satan subtle? See what need we have to pray to God for wisdom to discern the snares of Satan, and strength to resist them. We cannot of ourselves stand against temptation; if we could, the prayer were needless, 'Lead us not,' &c. Let us not think we can be too cunning for the devil, or escape his wiles and darts. If David and Peter, who were pillars in God's temple fell by temptation, how soon should such weak reeds as we are be blown down, if God should leave us! Take Christ's advice, 'Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation.' Matt 26: 41. (3) See how the end of all Satan's subtleties in tempting is, that he may be an accuser. He lays the plot, entices men to sin, and then brings in the indictment; as if one should make another drunk, and then complain of him to the magistrate for being drunk. The devil is first a tempter, and then an informer: first a liar and then a murderer. Having shown the subtleties of Satan in tempting, I shall answer two questions: Why does God suffer his saints to be buffeted by Satan's temptations? He does it for many wise and holy ends. (1) He lets them be tempted to try them. The Hebrew word signifies both to tempt and to try. Temptation is a touchstone to try what is in the heart. The devil tempts that he may deceive, but God lets us be tempted to try us. Qui non tentatur, non probatur [He who is not tempted is not tested]. Augustine. Hereby God tries our sincerity. Job's sincerity was tried by temptation; the devil told God that Job was a hypocrite, and served him only for a livery; but, said he, 'Touch all that he has (that is, let me tempt him) and he will curse thee to thy face!' Job 1: 11. Well, God did let the devil touch him by temptation, and yet Job remained holy, he worshipped God, and blessed God; ver 20, 21. Here Job's sincerity was proved; he had fiery temptations, but he came out of the fire a golden Christian. Temptation is a touchstone of sincerity. By temptation God tries our love. The wife of Tigranes never showed her chastity and love to her husband, as when she was tempted by Cyrus, but did not yield; so, our love to God is seen when we can look a temptation in the face, and turn our back upon it. Though the devil come as a serpent subtly, and offers a golden apple, yet he will not touch the forbidden fruit. When the devil showed Christ all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them, such was Christ's love to his Father, that he abhorred the temptation. True love will not be bribed. When the devil's darts are most fiery, a saint's love to God is most fervent. By temptation God tries our courage. 'Ephraim is a silly dove without heart.' Hos 7: 11. So it may be said of many, they are excordes, without a heart; they have no heart to resist a temptation; no sooner does Satan come with his solicitations, but they yield; like a coward, who as soon as the thief approaches, delivers his purse. He is a valorous Christian that brandishes the sword of the Spirit against Satan, and will rather die than yield. The courage of the Romans was never more seen than when they were assaulted by the Carthaginians; so the heroic spirit of a saint is never more seen than in a battle-field, when he is fighting with the red dragon, and by the power of faith puts the devil to flight. Fidei robur potest esse concussum, non excussum [The strength of faith can be shaken, not destroyed]. Tertullian. One reason why God lets his people be tempted is, that their metal may be tried, their sincerity, love, and magnanimity. When grace is proved, the gospel is honoured. (2) God suffers his children to be tempted, that they may be kept from pride. Quos non gula superavit [Those whom greed has not overcome]. Cyprian. Pride crept once into the angels, and into the apostles, when they disputed which of them should be greatest; and in Peter, when he said, 'Though all men forsake thee, yet I will not,' as if he had had more grace than all the apostles. Pride keeps grace low, that it cannot thrive; as the spleen swells, so the other parts of the body consume; as pride grows, so grace consumes. God resists pride; and, that he may keep his children humble, he suffers them sometimes to fall into temptation. 'Lest I should be exalted, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me.' 2 Cor 12: 7. When Paul was lifted up by revelations, he was in danger of being lifted up with pride; then came the messenger of Satan to buffet him: that was some sore temptation to humble him. The thorn in the flesh was to prick the bladder of pride. Better is the temptation that humbles me than the duty that makes me proud. Rather than a Christian should be proud, God lets him fall into the devil's hands awhile, that he may be cured of his swelling. (3) God lets his people be tempted that they may be fitter to comfort others who are in the same distress, and speak a word in due season to such as are weary. Paul was trained up in the fencing-school of temptation, and was able to acquaint others with Satan's wiles and stratagems, 2 Cor 2: 11. A man that has ridden over a place where there are quicksands, is the fittest to guide others through that dangerous way; so he who has been buffeted by Satan, and has felt the claws of the roaring lion, is the fittest man to deal with one that is tempted. (4) God lets his children be tempted to make them long more for heaven, where they shall be out of gunshot, and freed from the hissing of the old serpent. Satan is not yet fully cast into prison, but like a prisoner who is under bail, he vexes and molests the saints; he lays his snares, throws his fireballs, but it only makes the people of God long to be gone from hence, and pray that they had the wings of a dove, to fly away and be at rest. God suffered Israel to be vexed with the Egyptians, that they might long the more to be in Canaan. Heaven is the centrum, a place of rest, centrum quietativum: no bullets of temptation fly there. The eagle that soars aloft in the air, and sits perching upon the tops of high trees, is not troubled with the stinging of serpents; so, when believers have got into the heaven above, they shall not be stung with the old serpent. The devil is cast out of the heavenly paradise. Heaven is compared to an exceeding high mountain. Rev 21: 10. It is so high, that Satan's fiery darts cannot reach up to it. Nullus ibi hostium metes, nullae insidiae daemonum [There is no fear of enemies there, no snares of devils]. Bernard. The temptations here are to make the saints long till death sound a retreat, and call them off the field where the bullets of temptation fly so thick, that they may receive a victorious crown. What rocks of support are there, or what comfort for tempted souls? (1) That it is not our case alone, but has been the case of God's most eminent saints. 'There has no temptation taken you but such as is common to man,' yea, to the best men. I Cor 10: 13. Christ's lambs, which have had the mark of election upon them, have been set upon by the world. Elijah, that could shut heaven by prayer, could not shut his heart from temptation. I Kings 19: 4. Job was tempted to curse God, Peter to deny Christ; and hardly ever any saint has got to heaven but has met with a lion by the way. Sortem quam omnes sancti patiuntur nemo recusat [No one escapes the lot which all the saints suffer]. Nay, Jesus Christ himself, though free from sin, yet was not free from temptation. We read of his baptism; then he was 'led into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.' Matt 4: 1. No sooner was Christ out of the water of baptism, but he was in the fire of temptation; and if the devil would set upon Christ, no wonder if he set upon us. There was no sin in Christ, no powder for the devil's fire. Temptation to him was like a burr on a crystal glass, which glides off; or like a spark of fire on a marble pillar, which will not stick: and yet Satan was bold to tempt him. It is some comfort that such as have been our betters have wrestled with temptations. (2) Another rock of support that may comfort a tempted soul, is, that temptations (where they are burdens) evidence grace. Satan does not tempt God's children because they have sin in them, but because they have grace in them. Had they no grace he would not disturb them, for where he keeps possession all is in peace. Luke 11: 21. His temptations are to rob the saints of their grace. A thief will not assault an empty house, but where he thinks there is treasure; a pirate will not set upon an empty ship, but one that is full of spices and jewels; so the devil assaults most the people of God, because he thinks they have a rich treasure of grace in their hearts, and he would rob them of it. Why are so many cudgels thrown at a tree, but because there is much fruit upon it? The devil throws his temptations at you, because he sees you have much fruit of grace growing upon you. Though to be tempted is a trouble, yet to think why you are tempted is a comfort. (3) Another rock of support or comfort is, that Jesus Christ is near at hand, and stands by us in all our temptations. Here take notice of two things:  Christ's sympathy in our temptations. Nobis compatitur Christus [Christ suffers with us]. 'We have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities.' Heb 4: 15. Jesus Christ sympathises with us; he is so sensible of our temptations as if he himself lay under them, and did feel them in his own soul. As in music, when one string is touched, all the rest sound, so when we suffer Christ's bowels sound; we cannot be tempted but he is touched. If you saw a wolf worry your child, would you not pity it? You cannot pity it as Christ does tempted ones. He had a fellow feeling when upon earth, much more now in glory. But how can it consist with Christ's glory now in heaven, to have a fellow feeling with our sufferings? This fellow feeling in Christ arises not from an infirmity or passion, but from the mystic union between him and his members. 'He that toucheth you, toucheth the apple of his eye.' Zech 2: 8. Every injury done to a saint he takes as done to him in heaven. Every temptation strikes at him, and he is touched with the feeling of them.  Christ's succour in temptation. As the good Samaritan first had compassion on the wounded man, there was sympathy; then he poured in wine and oil, there was succour (Luke 10: 34); so when we are wounded by the red dragon, Christ is first touched with compassion, and then pours in wine and oil. 'In that he himself has suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.' Heb 2: 18. The Greek word for succour (boethesia) signifies to run speedily to one's help; so fierce is Satan, so frail is man, that Christ, who is God-man, runs speedily to his help. When Peter was ready to sink, and said, 'Lord, save me,' Christ presently stretched forth his hand, and caught him; so when a poor soul is tempted, and cries to heaven for help, 'Lord, save me,' Christ comes in with his auxiliary forces. Noscit Christus, our Lord Jesus knows what it is to be tempted, therefore he is ready to succour such as are tempted. It has been observed that child-bearing women are more pitiful to others in their travails than such as are barren; so the Lord Jesus having been in travail by temptations and sufferings, is more ready to pity and succour such as are tempted. Concerning Christ's succouring the tempted, consider two things: his ability, and his agility to succour. 'He is able to succour them that are tempted.' Heb 2: 18. He is called Michael, which signifies, 'Who is like God.' Rev 12: 7. Though the tempted soul is weak, yet he fights under a good Captain, the Lion of the tribe of Judah. When a tempted soul fights, Christ comes into the field as his second. Michael will be too hard for the dragon. When the devil lays the siege of a temptation, Christ can raise it when he pleases; he can beat through the enemy's quarters, and so rout Satan that he shall never be able to rally his forces any more. Jesus Christ is on the saint's side, and who would desire a better lifeguard than omnipotence? As Christ is able to succour the tempted, so he will certainly succour them. His power enables him, his love inclines him, his faithfulness engages him to succour tempted souls. It is a great comfort to a soul in temptation to have a succouring Saviour. God succoured Israel in the wilderness among fiery serpents. The rock sending forth water, the manna, the pillar of cloud, the brazen serpent, what were these but types of God's succouring poor souls in the wilderness of temptation, stung by the devil, that fiery serpent? Alexander being asked how he could sleep so securely, when his enemies were about him, said, 'Antipater is awake, who is always vigilant.' So when our tempting enemy is near us, Jesus Christ is awake, who is a wall of fire around us. There is a great deal of succour to the tempted in the names given to Christ. As Satan's names may terrify, so Christ's may succour. The devil is called Apollyon, the devourer. Rev 9: 11. Christ is called a Saviour. The devil is called the 'strong man.' Matt 12: 29. Christ is called El Gibbor, the mighty God. Isa 9: 6. The devil is called the accuser. Rev 12: 10. Christ is called the Advocate. I John 2: 1. The devil is called the tempter. Matt 4: 3. Christ is called the Comforter. Luke 2: 25. The devil is called the prince of darkness. Christ is called the Sun of Righteousness. The devil is called the old serpent. Christ is called the Brazen Serpent that heals. John 3: 14. Thus the very names of Christ have some succour in them for tempted souls. How and in what manner does Christ succour them that are tempted? He succours them by sending his Spirit, whose work it is to bring those promises to their mind which are fortifying. 'He shall bring all things to your remembrance.' John 14: 26. The Spirit furnishes us with promises as so many weapons to fight against the old serpent. 'The God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly.' Rom 16: 20. 'God will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able.' I Cor 10: 13. The seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent's head. Gen 3: 15. We are often in times of temptation, as a man that has his house beset, and cannot find his weapons, his sword and gun, in which case Christ sends his Spirit, and brings things to our remembrance that help us in our combat. The Spirit of Christ does for the tempted what Aaron and Hur did for Moses, when they put a stone under him and held up his hands, and then Israel prevailed. The Spirit puts the promises under the hand of faith, and then the Christian overcomes the devil, that spiritual Amalek. The promise is to the soul, as the anchor to the ship, which keeps it steady in a storm. Christ succours them that are tempted by 'interceding for them.' When the devil is tempting, Christ is praying. The prayer which Christ put up for Peter when he was tempted, extends to all his saints. Lord, said Christ, it is my child that is tempted; Father, pity him. Luke 22: 32. When a poor soul lies bleeding of the wounds the devil has given him, Christ presents his wounds to his Father, and, in the virtue of those, pleads for mercy. How powerful must his prayer be! He is a favourite. John 11: 42. He is both High Priest and a Son. If God could forget that Christ were a Priest, he cannot forget that he is a Son. Besides, Christ prays for nothing but what is agreeable to his Father's will. If a king's son petitions only for that which his father has a mind to grant, his suit will not be denied. Christ succours his people, by taking off the tempter. When the sheep begin to straggle, the shepherd sets the dog on them to bring them back to the fold, and then calls off the dog; so God takes off the tempter. He 'will with the temptation make a way to escape,' he will make an outlet. I Cor 10: 13. He will rebuke the tempter. 'The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan.' Zech 3: 2. It is no small support, that Christ succours the tempted. The mother succours the child most when it is sick; she sits by its bedside, brings it cordials; so, when a soul is most assaulted, it shall be most assisted. I have dealt unkindly with Christ and sinned against his love, and surely he will nor succour me, but let me perish in the battle! Christ is a merciful High Priest, and will succour thee notwithstanding thy failings. Joseph was a type of Christ; his brethren sold him away, and the 'irons entered into his soul;' yet afterwards, when his brethren were ready to die in the famine, he forgot their injuries, and succoured them with money and corn. 'I am,' said he, 'Joseph your brother.' So Christ will say to a tempted soul, 'I know thy unkindnesses, how thou hast distrusted my love, grieved my Spirit; but I am Joseph, I am Jesus, therefore I will succour thee when thou art tempted.' (4) Another rock of support is that the best man may be most tempted. A rich ship may be violently set upon by pirates; so he who is rich in faith may have the devil upon him with his battering-pieces. Job, an eminent saint, was fiercely assaulted. Satan smote his body that he might tempt him either to question God's providence or quarrel with it. Paul was a chosen vessel, but how was this vessel battered with temptation! 2 Cor 12: 7. Is it not said, 'He that is begotten of God, that wicked one toucheth him not'? I John 5: 18. It is not meant that the devil does not tempt him, but he toucheth hint not, that is, tactu lethali, Cajetan, with a deadly touch. 'There is a sin unto death.' I John 5: 16. Now, Satan with all his temptations does not make a child of God sin 'a sin unto death.' Thus he touches him not. (5) Another rock of support is that Satan can go no further in tempting than God gives him leave. The power of the tempter is limited. A whole legion of devils could not touch one swine till Christ gave them leave. Satan would have sifted Peter till he sifted out all his grace, but Christ would not suffer him. 'I have prayed for thee,' &c. Christ binds the devil in a chain. Rev 20: 1. If Satan's power were according to his malice, not one soul should be saved; but he is a chained enemy. It is a comfort that Satan cannot go a hair's breadth beyond God's permission. If an enemy could not touch a child further than the father appointed, he would do the child no great hurt. (6) Another rock of support is that it is not having a temptation that makes guilty, but giving consent to it. We cannot hinder a temptation. If we abhor the temptation, it is our burden, not our sin. We read in the old law, that if one forced a virgin, and she cried out, she was reputed innocent; so if Satan by temptation would commit a rape upon a Christian, and he cries out, and does not consent, the Lord will charge it upon the devil's score. It is not laying the bait that hurts the fish if the fish do not bite. (7) Another rock of support is, that our being tempted is no sign of God's hating us. A child of God often thinks God does not love him because he lets him be haunted by the devil. Non sequitur, this is a wrong conclusion. Was not Christ himself tempted, and yet by a voice from heaven proclaimed, 'This is my beloved Son'? Matt 3: 17. Satan's tempting and God's loving may stand together. The goldsmith loves his gold in the fire; and God loves a saint, though shot at by fiery darts. (8) Another rock of support is that Christ's temptation was for our consolation, aqua ignis [water to fire]. Jesus Christ is to be looked upon as a public person, as our head and representative; and what he did, he did for us: his prayer was for us, his suffering was for us; when he was tempted, and overcame the temptation, he overcame for us. Christ's conquering Satan was to show that elect persons shall at last be conquerors over Satan. When Christ overcame Satan's temptation, it was not only to give us an example of courage, but an assurance of conquest. We have overcome Satan already in our covenant head, and we shall at last perfectly overcome. (9)Another rock of support is that the saints' temptation shall not be above their strength. The harper will not stretch the strings of his harp too hard, lest they break. 'God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able.' I Cor 10: 13. He will proportion our strength to the stroke. 'My grace is sufficient for thee.' 2 Cor 12: 9. The torchlight of faith shall be kept burning, though all the winds of temptation are blowing. (10) Another rock of support is that these temptations shall produce much good. They quicken a spirit of prayer in the saints. They pray more and better. Temptation is orationis flabellum [fan], the exciter of prayer. Perhaps before, the saints came to God as cold suitors in prayer - they prayed as if they prayed not. Temptation is a medicine for security. When Paul had a messenger of Satan to buffet him, he was more earnest in prayer. 'For this thing I besought the Lord thrice.' 2 Cor 12: 8. The thorn in his flesh was a spur in his sides to quicken him in prayer. The deer when shot with the dart runs faster to the water; so a soul that is shot with the fiery darts of temptation runs the faster to the throne of grace; and is earnest with God, either to take off the tempter, or to stand by him when he is tempted. God makes the temptation to sin a means to prevent it. The more a Christian is tempted, the more he fights against the temptation. The more a chaste woman is assaulted, the more she abhors the attempt. The stronger Joseph's temptation was, the stronger was his opposition. The more the enemy attempts to storm a castle, the more is he repelled and beat back. A godly man's temptations cause the increase of grace. Unus Christianus temptatus mille; 'one tempted Christian,' says Luther, 'is worth a thousand.' He grows more in grace. As the bellows increase the flame, so temptation increases the flame of grace. By these temptations God makes way for comfort. After Christ was tempted, the angels came and ministered unto him. Matt 4: 2. When Abraham had been warring, Melchizedek brought him bread and wine to revive his spirits. Gen 14: 18. So after the saints have been warring with Satan, God sends his Spirit to comfort them. Luther said that temptations were amplexus Christi, Christ's embraces, because he then manifests himself most sweetly to the soul. That I may further comfort such as are tempted, let me speak to two particular cases. I have horrid temptations to blasphemy, say some. Did not the devil tempt Christ after this manner: 'All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me'? Matt 4: 9. What greater blasphemy can be imagined than that the God of heaven and earth should worship the devil? Yet Christ was tempted to this. If when blasphemous thoughts are injected, you tremble at them, and are in a cold sweat, they are not yours, Satan shall answer for them; let him that plots the treason suffer. But my case is yet worse, say others; I have been tempted to such sins, and have yielded; the tempter has overcome me. I grant that, through the withdrawing of God's grace, and the force of temptation, a child of God may be overcome. David was overcome by temptation in the case of Bathsheba, and in numbering the people. There is a party of grace in the heart true to Christ; but sometimes it may be overvoted by corruption, and then a Christian yields. It is sad thus to yield to the tempter. But yet let not a child of God be wholly discouraged, and say there is no hope. Let me pour in some balm of Gilead into this wounded soul. (1) Though a Christian may fall by a temptation, yet the seed of God is in him. 'His seed remaineth in him.' I John 3: 9. Gratia concutitur, non excutitur [Grace is shaken, not destroyed]. Augustine. A man may be bruised by a fall, yet there is life in him. A Christian foiled by Satan may be like the man going to Jericho, who fell among thieves, and was left 'wounded and half dead;' but still there is a vital principle of grace; his seed remains in him. Luke 10: 30. (2) Though a child of God may be overcome in praelio, in a skirmish, yet not in bello, in the main battle; as an army may be worsted in a skirmish, but conquer at last. Though Satan may foil a child of God in a skirmish by a temptation, the believer shall overcome at last. A saint may be foiled, yet not conquered; he may lose ground, and not lose the victory. (3) God does not judge his children by one action, but by the frame of the heart. As he does not judge a wicked man by one good action, so neither a godly man by one bad action. A holy person may be worsted by a temptation; but God does not measure him by that. Who measures milk when it seethes and boils up? God does not take the measure of a saint when the devil has boiled him up in a passion, but he judges of him by the pulse and temper of his heart. He would fear God; and when he fails he weeps. God looks which way the bias of his heart stands; if that be set against sin, God will pardon. (4) God will make a saint's fall by temptation turn to his spiritual advantage. He may let a regenerate person fall by a temptation to make him more watchful. Perhaps he walked loosely, and was decoyed into sin; but for the future he will grow more curious and cautious in his walking. The foiled Christian is a vigilant Christian; he will take care not to come within the lion's chain any more; he will be shy and fearful of the occasion of sin; he will not go abroad without his spiritual armour, and will gird on his armour by prayer. When a wild beast gets over the hedge and hurts the corn, the farther will make his fence stronger; so, when the devil gets over the fence by temptation, and foils a Christian, he will be sure to mend his fence, and be more vigilant against temptation afterwards. God sometimes lets his children be foiled by temptation that they may see their continual dependence on God, and may go to him for strength. We need not only habitual grace to stand against temptation, but auxiliary grace; as the boat needs not only the oars, but wind, to carry it against a strong tide. God lets his children sometimes fall by temptation, that, seeing their own weakness, they may rest more on Christ and free grace. Cant 8: 5. By suffering his children to be foiled by a temptation, God settles them the more in grace. They get strength by their falls. The poets feign that Antaeus the giant, in wrestling with Hercules, got strength by every fall to the ground; so a saint, when foiled in wrestling with Satan, gets more spiritual strength. Peter had never such strength of faith as after being foiled in the high priest's hall. How was he fired with zeal and steeled with courage! He who before was dashed out of countenance by the voice of a maid, now dares openly confess Christ before rulers and the councils. Acts 2: I4. As the shaking of the tree settles it the more, God lets his children be shaken with the wind of temptation, that they may be more settled in grace afterwards. Let not those Christians whom God has suffered to be foiled by temptation, cast away their anchor, or give way to despairing thoughts. May it not make Christians careless whether they fall into temptation or not, if God can make the temptation advantageous to them? The Lord's Prayer by Thomas Watson (continued in file 26...) ---------------------------------------------------- file: /pub/resources/text/ipb-e/epl-09: watlp-25.txt .