THE SIXTH PART OF THIS TREATISE.
Sin makes a man conformable to the Devil, opened in Six Particulars. First, Sin is of the same Nature with the Devil. Secondly, Sin is from the Devil. Thirdly, Sin is a furtherance of the Devils Kingdom in the World: For 1 By Sin we oppose Christs de∣stroying the Devils Kingdom in the World. 2 By Sin thou opposest thy prayers when thou prayest, Thy King∣dom come. 3 By going on in a way of sin, thou beco∣mest guilty of all the sin in the World. Fourthly, Sin∣ning is a fulfilling the will of the Devil. Fifthly, Sin sells the Soul to the Devil. Sixtly, Sin, it turns the Soul into a Devil.
THe Sixt and Last Demon∣stration of the Evil of Sin; It is from that reference Sin hath to the Devil.
The Scripture speaks of Afflictions, that they make us conformable to Christ; but Sin makes us conformable to the Devil. There are Six Page 358 things to be opened about this: I have men∣tioned the First, which was this, That Sin was of the same Nature with the Devil: every Sin hath the same kind of Malignity in it, that the Devil hath. But,
Secondly, All Sin, it is from the Devil, either Ori∣ginally, or at least by way of a Cause, helping it forward: Sin is the work of the Devil, not only a joyning with him, but his work: therefore Christ is said to come to dissolve the works of the Devil: Sin is from the Devil, therefore it is said in 1 John, 3. 8. He that commits sin is of the Devil, for the Devil sinneth from the beginning; and to this purpose the Son of man was manifest, that he might destroy the works of the Devil: He that commits sin is of the Devil, it comes from the Devil. And so John, 8. 44. Brethren (these things which I speak con∣cerning the reference Sin hath to the Devil, though they may seem hard and harsh, yet) it is to be observed, none speaks so much of Sins coming from the Devil as John, who was of the most loving, sweet Nature of any of the Disci∣ples; and yet when he comes to speak of sin, he speaks of it in the most harsh terms that possibly can be; so that it comes not from harshness, but may stand with a loving and sweet Nature to speak of sin in the harshest terms that we can do: for John the most loving, and beloved Disciple of Christ, so full of love; and yet none spake so harshly of sin, especially in its reference it hath to the Devil, as he saith here, Joh. 8. 44. You are of the Devil, and his lust you will do: Thus Sin, the lusts of Sin come from the Devil, and it makes Page 359 a man or a woman to be the Child of the Devil: So the Scripture is clear it comes from him Ori∣ginally; all Sin that is in you, is Originally the Spawn of the very Devil himself in your souls; and originally it comes from him: as all Sin o∣riginally comes from his temptations and sugge∣stions, so also the Devil helps forward and fur∣thers all sin that is in your souls, this is the evil of it. But here understand this aright, The De∣vil is not so the cause of all Sin, as God is the cause of all Grace, not so: It is true, the De∣vil hath a hand in every Sin, but not such a hand in Sin, as God hath in Grace; for God hath such a hand in the work of Grace, that he doth not only give a principle of Grace, but all the ope∣ration of Grace is so from him, as it would never stir but by him, he gives the will to work and do all; the will and the deed are from him: But all Sin is not so from the Devil, though ori∣ginally it is, and the Devil puts it on; yet we are to know, though the Devil now should tempt no more, yet there is enough in the hearts of men and women to sin against God all manner of sin, even from their own innate corruption that now is in them; if the Devil were destroy∣ed, Sin would not be destroyed: In Grace there is no power to work but by Gods working toge∣ther with it; but in Sin there is a power to work without the Devils working: though the Devil is forward enough to work with our corruption, yet I say there is corruption enough in our hearts for to work al kind of sin, though the De∣vil should not tempt us any more; therfore we Page 360 must not lay all upon the Devil, as many do; when they fall into any wickedness, they will say, this is the Devil, and lay all the fault upon the Devil, and so think to take it off from them∣selves by laying it upon the Devil: No, know, though the Devil labors to further it what he can, yet there is such corruption in you, that it would stream forth from you though the Devil stir it not at all: therefore charge your own hearts as well as the Devil. In the work of Grace, we must give all the glorie to God; but in the work of Sin, we cannot allot all the fault to the Devil; we are not to take any of the glo∣rie of the work of Grace to our selves, but we are to take a great part, yea, somtimes the grea∣test part of Sin to our selves: but however the Devil is the cause of Sin originally, and helps for∣ward to it.
Thirdly, All Sin is the furtherance of the Kingdom of the Devil in the World. You know that the Scripture saith, that the Devil is the Prince that rules in the Air, and is called the God of this World, because he rules in the Children of dis∣obedience. There is a Kingdom of the Devil set up by sin in the World, and maintained by sin in the World; it hath a succession in the World by sin: So that all sinners that continue in waies of sin, they do what in them lies to uphold the Kingdom of the Devil in the World, and the Rule of the Devil in the World.
1 Therefore men in sin, are exceeding opposite to the End of Christs coming in the World: for it is Christs End in coming into the world to dissolve Page 361 the Kingdom of the Devil, as you had it before in 1 John, 3. 8. It is an especial End why Christ came into the world, for to bring down the Kingdom of the Devil, and yet thou by sinning upholdest the Kingdom of the Devil; so thou dost what in thee lies to oppose and resist the ve∣ry End of Christs coming into the world. There is very much in this consideration to humble the hearts of all wicked men for sin; thou hast lived in a course of sin it may be many yeers; now Brethren know, the Lord charges thee with this, this day, That all this time that thou hast lived in a course of sin, thou hast done what in thee lies to oppose the End of Christs coming into the World; that if thou couldest thou wouldest hinder the end of the death of Christ, and of all that he hath done: for the especial end why Christ is come into the World, it is to dissolve the work of the Devil; and thou keepest up the work of the Devil.
2 Again, it follows hence, That thou dost di∣rectly contradict thy own Prayers: When thou prayest, Thy Kingdom come, in the Lords Prayer, thou prayest there that the Kingdom of Christ might come: but in every way of sin that thou takest liberty in, thou dost oppose the Kingdom of Christ: How dost thou take the Name of God in vain, and mock God in this Prayer? Every wicked man and woman in the world mocks God in praying the Lords Prayer, when they say Thy Kingdom come, and yet live in such waies as upholds the Kingdom of the Devil, instead of the Kingdom of Christ.
Page 362 3 Yea further, this follows, That by going on in waies of sin, thou comest to be guilty, and standest char∣ged for all the sins that ever were committed in the world: This may seem to be a hard thing, to charge any man or woman that now lives in waies of sin, that by that sin of thine that thou now livest in, thou comest to be guilty of all the sins that ever was done in the world, since the beginning of the world. I undertake to make that good thus; You know the Scripture char∣geth those that persecuted the Prophets, as guil∣ty of all the persecution of the Prophets that e∣ver were, all the blood that was shed from Abel to Zacharias shall come upon this Generation, saith Christ; why so? why should all the blood shed from Abel to that time, come upon that Ge∣neration? The Reason is this, Because they continued the succession of that sin of persecuti∣on of the Prophets, that as there was a persecu∣tion of the Prophets before, so they go on and uphold this succession of that sin. Now by the holding of the succession of a way of sin, we come to be guilty of all that sin that went be∣fore: As for example, Suppose there should be Treason against a King or State, by some vile treasonable act; now the Father commits the first act, the Son afterward goeth on in the same way, and his Children come after him, and go∣eth on in the same way, and their Children af∣ter them: now I say, the Children, and the Grand-children, and the great Grand-children, are guilty of the first treasonable act that was committed; why? Because they uphold the Page 363 succession of the treasonoble act. So now, Sin that was in the beginning of the world, was to bring in the Kingdom of Satan; and the next Generation upheld it, and the next upheld the same, and the next Generation went on the same way; so that every Generation is not only guilty of those particular sins which they com∣mit; but they be guilty of all that went before, because they uphold the succession of the King∣dom of the Devil, and the opposition of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ: As for instance, Take a scorner of Religion, that is one sin (for we cannot open things but by instancing in particu∣lars) I say, take a scorner of Religion, know thou art not guilty of these acts of scorning only in thy self, but art guilty of all the scorn∣ing of Godliness since the beginning of the world; why? Because thou holdest a successi∣on of that way of scorning of Religion. So a Blasphemer may be said to be guilty of all the blasphemies in the world; why? Because he upholds the succession of that way of sinning a∣gainst God; and so opposing the Kingdom of Christ, and upholding the Kingdom of the De∣vil. This is the third thing, Sin is the uphol∣ding of the Kingdom of the Devil in the World.
Fourthly, A Fourth thing is this, That Sin, it is a fulfilling of the will of the Devil: That is ano∣ther distinct Consideration, and you shall see that in the opening of it, it will be of distinct use to you: I say, it is a fulfilling the will of the Devil; that place is very famous for that in the Page 364 2 Tim. 2. 26. That they may recover themselves out of the snare of the Devil, who are taken captive of him at his WILL: There wicked men be taken cap∣tive by the Devil at his Will, or to do his Will, so you may reade it: some they be insnared by Satan to do his will, his lusts you do, as Christ speaks: you may think you do your own will in sinning, but certainly you do the will of the Devil as well as your own: As for instance, that of passion and anger Ephes. 4. 26. Be angry, but sin not, let not the Sun go down upon your wrath; neither give place to the Devil: you think you give place to your own passion, but you give place to the Devil, and fulfil the will of the Devil: You come by sin to do the Devils drudgery and sla∣very; you do his work he sets you about, and his will you fulfil. Now for such a Noble Crea¦ture as Man is, to come to be a slave of the De∣vil, that is the lowest now of all Creatures; it must needs be a very dreadful thing; it is an e∣vil to be in slavery to any thing vile or base. I remember I have read a Story of one Gunno, King of the Danes, that having overcome a Peo∣ple, he set a Dog over them to be their Gover∣nor; that is thus, he would have all Commands to go out under the name of the Dog, and they should be under the Government of the Dog; this he did in disdain and indignation against those people he overcame. But now, as he would shew the baseness of that People that he designed to be under a Dog; much more de∣basement is it for an immortal Soul to be under the Command of the Devil, as all wicked men Page 365 are under the command of the Devil himself. Thou wilt not fulfil the will of God when it is opened to thee out of his Word and Will, what thou oughtest to do; thou standest out against the Will of God: But now you that think it such a bondage to be obedient to the will of God, you be brought under a worse bondage, you are fain to be obedient to the will of the Devil. And certainly those men and women that think they be at most liberty when they be free from obedience to the Will of God; by that libertie they come to be under bondage, under slavery to the Devil All wicked men that think much to obey God, they must be obedient one way or other; we must be all servants, and obedient ei∣ther to the Will of God, or the Devil: which is best then? Wicked men think it a brave life that they may have their own will; true, if they might have their own will, they might think it a brave life: but know, you have rather the will of the devil than your own, in that you do his will, you fulfil the will of the devil. To be in slaverie, not only to the devil, but to any man, is a great evil, to be at the wil of man, yea, to be at the will of a good man is an evil: I should be loth to live in any such Common∣wealth, as that I should be under the will of man in it, any further than might be revealed and bounded by some set Law. The difference be∣tween a Slave and a Subject is this, A Slave is such a one as lives under Arbitrary Government, that is the WILL of such as are in Authority, is their Law, and they are ruled by no other Law Page 366 but by the Will of such as Govern them, there is no Law set, to know when they shall offend, and when not; but when their Rulers say, this is an offence, that his will is crossed, that is an offence, and they be therefore punished: But now Subjects, they be bound to no obedience to any man, any further than some set Law doth require their obedience; that is a Subject, and that is the very difference between a Slave and a Subject. If men in Authority should command any thing, though good (I mean only indiffe∣rent) yet I am not bound in conscience to obey at al, because they command, except it be by a Law, except they command it by a Law: if he command it meerly as his Will, and only say, I Will, here is no tie upon the conscience. It is ordinarie for people to think, if men in Authori∣tie command, they will have such a thing done, Oh say they, Authoritie commands: We deny it, Authoritie commands nothing but what it commands by a Law; and then we are bound to obey, or to suffer, if it be a Law once: but if it be not a Law, though it should be the will of men in Authoritie, it doth not bind us at all, till it come to be a Law, any further than there is Equity it self in the thing, in its own Nature: for then doth a People come to be in slavery when they come to be subject to the will of men without a Law. Now Brethren thus; If it be a slavery, and a great evil to be subject to men, though good men, subject to their will, and no∣thing else, without Law; then what an evil is it to be in subjection and slaverie to the will of the Page 367 devil? meerly at his will? and yet every wic∣ked man is so. We should account it a very sore thing if we should come under Arbitrary Go∣vernment, to be subject to the will of men. Now so long as thou remainest under the power of Sin, thou remained under the go∣vernment of the devil himself; this is a sorer e∣vil than affliction: A man were better live in a∣ny Countrie, though not so fruitful as England, and suffer hardship in his Estate, so he live like a Free man, than to live here, or in any other fruitful Countrie, and live under Arbitrary Go∣vernment. This we hope for, not to be under the Wills of men, but the Laws made by them. Then it were better to endure hardship and any affliction, than bear this, to be at the will of the Devil, and ful•l his will.
Fifthly, In reference to the devil, Sin hath this evil in it, if it grows to a height, itsels the soul to the Devil: As with Ahab, 1 Kings, 21. 20. when Elijah met Ahab, Hast thou found me, O my Enemy? (saith Ahab) And he answered, I have found thee, because thou hast SOLD thy self to work evil in the sight of the Lord: Now if he sell himself, he must sell him∣self to some body, to somwhat, we cannot sell a thing but we must sell it to some body, or to somwhat; now to what must Ahab sell himself? Certainly, to no body but to the devil; he sold himself to work iniquity and wickedness, and wickedness when it comes to the height, is a sel∣ling of our selves to the very devil himself. We cry out of those poor, miserable Creatures that sel themselves to the devil, we say, Oh how be Page 368 they deluded and besotted that sell themselves to the devil? Certainly every wicked man and woman in the world, when sin groweth to the height sell themselves to the devil.
Sixthly and lastly, Sin when it grows to a height, it doth turn the Soul into a Devil; it makes men and women to become Devils, when it grows once to a height: The Scripture is very clear in that; you know what is said concerning Judas, John, 6. 70. Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a Devil? and so ordinarily the Scripture speaks in this kind of phrase, Revel. 2. 10. Fear none of these things you shall suffer, behold the Devil shall cast some of you into prison: why? is the Devil come to be a Pursevant, or an Officer, or to give Warrants to cast into prison? No, but it is spoken of wicked Persecutors that the Devil sets on work, they be called by the name of the Devil. Sin when it comes to a height, it makes the sinners to be such, that they are pronounced to be Devils: the Devil shall cast some of you into prison; and one of you is a Devil: that is a strange metamor∣phosis. We reade of strange Fictions, of some Creatures turned into other Creatures; but this, for the Creature to be turned into a Devil, is the strangest metamorphosis that can be. Bre∣thren, what made the Devil a Devil? they were once glorious Angels, more glorious Creatures than men and women, but what is it that should make them devils now? Nothing but Sin; it is Sin that hath made Angels to be Devils: and therefore do not so much wonder that sin should make men and women to be devils Incarnate. Page 369 Do not wonder at the phrase of Scripture, seeing Angels by sin, yea, the sin that the Angels did commit, did presently turn them into devils: therefore wonder not, that the continuing the acts of sin, when it groweth to the height, should turn men and women into devils. These be the Six Particulars in this Head, of Sins Refe∣rence to the Devil. 1 It is of the same Nature with the devil, joyns with him against God. 2 It is the work of the devil, that is, he is the Original, and helping Cause of it. 3 It fur∣thers the Kingdom of the devil. 4 It fulfils the will of the devil. 5 When it grows to a height it sels the Creature to the devil. 6 It turns them into devils. These be the Six Particulars of the evil of Sin in the Reference it hath to the Devil.
From these Six, follow these notable Corolla∣ries and Consequences, to shew the dreadful Evil in Sin beyond all Affliction.