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of God, it is, in the strictest sense, applicable to him; agreeable to the Saviour's method, when Satan tempted Peter to stand in the Lord's way, the Lord rebuked the agent of the action, "Get thee behind me, Satan.” When the Jews persecuted and blasphemed him, he said, “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lust of your father ye will do." When his enemies came to take him, he said, "This is your hour and the powers of darkness." And when Judas had yielded the bent of his mind to gender with the devil's influence, the Lord withdrew his own restraining power, opened his heart with a sop, that Judas might perpetrate the murder that his wicked and mercenary heart had conceived: And when he had received the sop, Satan entered into him and immediately after the conception was brought forth, in his betraying the innocent Son of God.

Ahimaaz. You are right in levelling your arrow at the devil; for I believe there is no wickedness practised by mortals, but he is chief agent in the scheme, and a joint executor of it. But I suppose that Satan did not attempt to bring poor Prodigalis a second time to his sham court of judicature; did he?

Cushi. Indeed Satan brought him to his sham court of judicature more than once, twice, or thrice; but not the next time; if he had, Prodigalis had been in a measure prepared for him. But the devil finds that we have various discipline to pass through, therefore he varies his snares also: for should he

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constantly waylay us in one continued path, the bird would soon get as cunning as the fowler: for, as the wise man says, "Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird." No, no; Satan, in this sense, is no fool; though, in another sense, he is the greatest of fools, because he is the first transgressor; supreme in mischief, and supreme in misery; the furthest from God, and consequently the furthest from true wisdom.

Ahimaaz. Pray, how did he entangle Prodigalis the third time? I long to hear; because some part of your relation so well agrees with my own experience; and that is refreshing and establishing to me.

For my part, I am for what I can get; and you know that Paul tells us to covet earnestly the best gifts.

Cushi. Indeed you have spoken the truth: you are in reality for what you can get; and one of the best sucklings that ever I took to nourish; and would to God that I was as good a wet nurse as Paul was in his days, when he said, "But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children."

The way that Satan made his next attempt on Prodigalis was as follows: the poor man expected, that if ever Satan made another attempt, it would be in the old way, in which he thought he should be able to meet him: this made him too secure. Therefore Satan laid by his violent assaults, and his cloven foot, and endeavoured to come in imitation of the workings of grace; or, as the apostle

says, He transformed himself into an angel of light: and catching Prodigalis off his watch tower, and too secure, he insensibly led him to the court of equity; where he endeavoured to enthrone human reason, as the only competent judge of right and wrong. This scheme took with Prodigalis: he had not the least suspicion of the devil being in all this; therefore, instead of resisting him, he gave him all possible attention, and was determined to hear him out. Satan having gained his ear and attention, proceeded to start every puzzling difficulty, and seeming contradiction, in form following: the plaintiff sheweth, First, That there are many mysteries in the Bible dark and obscure, and the best and wisest of men differ in judgment respecting them. Secondly, That the mystery of the Trinity is incomprehensible; and that thousands of the wise and learned people deny that. Thirdly, That the path to heaven by regeneration is a path that excludes thousands of souls from salvation; and is a road that is to the last degree perilous. Fourthly, That the greatest part that are venturing on that hazardous journey are poor illiterate and despicable people. Fifthly, That those who are the leaders of such bigoted people, are, in the general, people lightly esteemed, much despised, yea, and stoutly withstood, by the great, wise, and learned of the world. Sixthly, That the doctrine of election leaves wife, family, friends, yea, and perhaps all that are near or dear in the ties of affinity or blood, out of the number saved. Seventhly, the plaintiff

sheweth, That the best of friends and of benefac tors, as well as the majority of the whole world, are averse to it, and incensed against it. Eighthly, That the Most High might have prevented the fall of men and devils if he would. Ninthly, That all domestic comforts in wife, family, food, and pleasure, must be foregone, if divine impressions were lasting, conscience kept tender, or the daily cross continued. Tenthly, That fasting, prayer, self-denial, and hourly abstinence, must be rigidly pursued, or else all would fall to ruins as last, and hell would be the hotter for such a barren profession. Eleventhly, That Cain, Judas, Esau, and Sapphira, had fell after all their profession; and were worse than those that never made any: for where little was given little would be required; and therefore the more ignorant the more safe. Twelfthly, That the path to heaven was strait and narrow, and people that would be singular in religion were exposed to all the shafts of men and devils; and that Christ was an austere and rigid master: that there would be nothing but cross upon cross, as we see in Job; and stripe upon stripe, as in Ephraim, even to the end of the journey. Thirteenthly, That the conjugal enjoyment of a wife, an affectionate indulgence of a child, a jocose word, an innocent smile, or even a genteel suit of apparel, would be an iniquity to be punished by the judge the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is so jealous a God.

The plaintiff further shewed, That the Bible

was a doubtful revelation; many obscure phrases, and seeming contradictions, appeared palpable in it; and that many of the learned and wise had examined it, arraigned it, and condemned it; and had set up their own unbiassed and unerring reason as the only lord paramount deemed capable of censuring and determining every matter in debate relative to heaven, earth, or hell.

The plaintiff further shewed, That the continual cross that generally attended those of this singular way of religion was, that there would be an heart to love, and an eye to pity the poor, which would be crossed with a beggar's pocket; there would be an uncommon bigoted spirit to the singular party in religion, and a great anxiety to make proselytes, which would be crossed with a heavy persecution. Spending time in this service, and neglecting other business, had, and would again, bring many to suffer hunger, cold, and nakedness. Besides, people of this strange way make the path to heaven much more difficult than it really is; they are righteous overmuch, and ready to destroy themselves at it; they talk of being partakers of the divine nature, and keep pressing after such a degree of holiness by the Spirit, as they call it, that their sin is not unlike Adam's, who wanted to be like God.

And lastly, the plaintiff added, That the things which he had mentioned were consonant, and not repugnant to some of the plain parts of what is called scripture; where God, if he be the author of the book, says, Let us reason together, Isaiah i. 18.

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