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II. [Cast thyself down]

The dart itself is, Cast thy self down[1]: which consists of two points[2]. First, the casting down: secondly, that he himself was to cast down himself.

For the first, it is general, the neglect of ordinary means; as here: whereas the ordinary way was down the stairs, he would have him leap, or throw himself over the battlements. And here a man may see to what end the Devil’s halting comes[3]: he brings a man up by little & little to some high place, that so he may send him at once with his head downward. All the preferments that he bestows on a man, is not to any-other intent, but that he may do as the Devil himself did, (who being on high, did cast himself down) and so be like him. John 8. 23[4], that is, from beneath, not from above: who fell from heaven like lightning, Luke 10. 18[5].

So that howsoever in outward show he may seem to befriend vs, yet this is his inward intention and scope. As the Edomites in time of the prosperity of the Israelites, pretended great good will to them: but in the day of their calamity, they were they that cried, Downe with them, downe with them, Psalm. 137.7[6].

God’s manner is, when he means to exalt a man, he will first humble him, and make him low, Matt. 23. 12. The Devil’s manner is (we see) clean contrary. Is.14. 14, to lift them up to the clouds, that he may bring them down to the grave, yea to the lowest grave, Psalm. 86. 13[7]. He carries them the higher, to throw them down with the greater violence. He lifts up Adam with a conceit [an idea, a thought] to be like God[8], to the very top of perfection to the intent he might be like the beast that perishes Psal. 49. 20.

The second hath some matter of comfort:

The Devil is here a suitor to him[9], to do it himself. Why does not the Devil cast him down?[10]

First, it was not in his power; or if it had, yet would not that have served his turn: then there had been no sin of presumption in it. There must be two persons that must concur in our downfall: well may the Devil induce and move us to it; but unless we ourselves be consenting, & cast ourselves down, there can be no downfall to hurt us. For as Chrysostom saith, Nemo laeditur nisi a seipso[11]: so Nullum precipitium nisi voluntarium[12]. The Devil did not cram Eve with the forbidden fruit: but when she saw it, she took it, and eat it, Gen. 3. 6. So the Devil when he enters into the soul of a man (which he counts his palace) he does not break open the door, no, nor so much as draw the latch[13]; but when he comes, he finds it swept and garnished, Luke 11. 25[14] and so goes in. There must therefore be a reaching out of the hand, & an opening of the door by ourselves, and so a casting down of yourself, or else though the Devil thrust sore at thee that you may fall, the Lord will help you, Ps. 118. 13.[15]

In Deut. 22. 8. God has caused battlements to be made on every house top, by which we may stay ourselves[16]: the Devil tells God, that he had made a hedge about Job1. 10. so that unless Job step over it, or break it down, he is safe.

Notes

Andrews notes two details of the temptation. From these two details, he draws application. First, the temptation is to be cast down. This would require one first to be up, so that it would be possible to fall. Application: God brings a man down before he raises him to usefulness. The first move with God is a move of humility. The Devil works in the opposite direction. He plays to human pride. The Devil raises a man to a place of prestige, of pride so that the man can fall into sin.

Second, the Devil does not throw a man down. To be thrown done is not a sin. Therefore, the Devil must use our desires, our volition against us. Unless we willing sin, we do not sin at all. God provides a protection for you to prevent our fall: it is like the small wall raised around edge of a roof.  There is a wall about us. And so when we sin, it comes from our own willingness.


[1] This is the attack, the temptation of the Devil: Cast yourself down.

[2] A common manner of analyzing a text at this time among English theologians was to break down a proposition into its constituent parts. Here, Andrews breaks it down into the primary verb: casting down; and the agent of that action, “he himself.”

[3] Here we can see why the Devil stopped at this place.

[4] John 8:21–24 (ESV)

21 So he said to them again, “I am going away, and you will seek me, and you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come.” 22 So the Jews said, “Will he kill himself, since he says, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come’?” 23 He said to them, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.”

[5] Luke 10:17–20 (ESV)  17 The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” 18 And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. 20 Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

[6] Psalm 137:7 (ESV)

                Remember, O Lord, against the Edomites

the day of Jerusalem,

          how they said, “Lay it bare, lay it bare,

down to its foundations!”

[7] Psalm 86:11–13 (ESV)

                  11               Teach me your way, O Lord,

that I may walk in your truth;

unite my heart to fear your name.

                  12               I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart,

and I will glorify your name forever.

                  13               For great is your steadfast love toward me;

you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.

[8] Genesis 3:1–6 (ESV)  Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.  He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.

[9] The Devil is pressing a “suit” (like a “lawsuit”). He is asking for something.

[10] Why doesn’t the Devil just throw Jesus down, instead of asking Jesus to jump?

[11] Latin, No one is injured except by himself.

[12] Latin, None fall except by their own will.

[13] When the Devil comes, he does not need to force entry; it is opened for him.

[14] Luke 11:24–26 (ESV) 24 “When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and finding none it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ 25 And when it comes, it finds the house swept and put in order. 26 Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there. And the last state of that person is worse than the first.”

[15] Psalm 118:13 (ESV)

13      I was pushed hard, so that I was falling,

but the Lord helped me.

[16] The Mosaic law required a small fence to be placed around the edges of the house roof. Roofs were flat and were used as living space. Andrews uses this as an image our soul. God has provided a protection for us. This is then extended to the image of Job, where it is said that God has placed a fence around Job (a hedge) to protect him. From this he concludes, that unless we willing go, the Devil will not succeed.