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The Seventh Sermon.


Matt. 4. Ver. 10. 11.

Then Iesus saith vnto him; Get thee hence behinde me Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him onely shalt thou serue.

Then the diuel leaueth him, and beholde the Angels came, and ministred vnto him[1].

The answering of this temptation, if some[2] had had the answering of it, would have been facto, by the doing of the thing that the Devil required: and not in words, standing upon terms in disputation.[3] Insomuch, as they would never have cared for a cushion to kneel on: but have fallen down straight on their very faces, and have thanked him too.

If Balak should say unto any one of them[4], I will promote thee to great honour, Num. 22. 17[5], an angel standing in the way, should not hinder them from going. The manner of flesh & blood is, in cases of preferment to respect nothing, that may bring them out of their conceived hope or desire thereof: and therefore, whatsoever it is that stands in their way, be it never so holy, down it shall for haste, to make the way nearest.

The Sins We Will Commit to Gain a Kingdom

In regard of this, one brother respects not another. When Joseph had had a dream of his brethren, & told it them, all brotherly affection was laid aside, Gen. 37. 5.[6] The son and subject Absalom, forgets his duty as to his father, and allegiance as to his Prince, seeking his life, 2. Sam. 16. 11.[7]

The mother of Ahaziah, Athalia, when she saw her son dead, makes no more ado, but destroys all the Kings seed, 2. King. 11. 1.[8] Jehu makes no bones, nor is abashed at the sight of heaps of dead men’s heads, of King’s sons that he had caused to be slain, but adds more murders to them, 2. King. 10. 8.[9] What’s a basket full of heads to a kingdom? And Herod stack[10] not to kill all the male borne children in Bethlehem, Mat. 2. 16.[11]

So that Gregory might well say, Ambitio est vita, cui etiam innocentes nocent[12], such is the vehement desire of a kingdom.

So that a great many would have made no scruple at the matter, neither would they have counted it a temptation, but good counsel.[13] Neither would so have cut up Peter, as Christ did, to bid him go behind him, and turn their backs on him[14]: but they would rather have turned their backs to God, & their faces after Satan, Ie. 2. 27[15]. •. Ti. 15[16]. And indeed ,it must needs be, that either our Savior was unwise in refusing so good an offer, or else the world (in these days) is in a wrong bias.[17]

Our Savior (we see) doth not only refuse the thing: but also gives him hard [harsh] words, for making the offer and motion. For he doth not only confute him here, by saying, Scriptum est[18]: but he adds words of bitter reprehension, saying, Avoid Satan [Satan, go away!] He might have given fair words, as he did before: but here he seems to have left his patience. The reason why he was more hot in this, than in the former, is: for that this touches the glory of God, & the redemption of mankind: the former Temptations touched but himself in particular, as the turning of stones into bread, but for miracle: and the casting himself down, was but to try God, what care he had of him: But this so much touches the glory of God, as he can hold no longer. Also, his longing to redeem man, caused the same. Neither did he only answer the Devil so: but when his blessed Apostle, who meant friendly to him, moved him to the like matter, he rebuked him sharply.[19]

Two causes there are, wherein Christ is very earnest; one in counsel ministered to him, tending to the impairing of God’s glory: the other in practices, tending to the impairing of God’s Church, John 2. 15. There he was not only vehement in words; but made a whip to scourge them out[20].

And so, in the Old Testament, it is said of Moses[21], Num. 12. 3. that he was a meeke man, aboue all the men of the earth: yet when he came to a case of idolatry, Exod. 32. 19. it is said he threw the Tables out of his hands, and broke them. And so far did he loose his natural affection to his people and country men, that he caused a great number of them to be slain.[22]

And so in a case of the Church, when Korah rebelled, Num. 16. 15. then Moses waxed [grew] very angry[23]: for Glorie be to God on high, and peace on earth, is the Angel’s song and joy, and the Devil’s grief: as on the other side, the dishonor of God, and dissention of the Church, is the  Devil’s joy, and grief of the angels.

Now, besides that he does in words rebuke him sharply, he does no less in gesture also: as by turning his back upon him, (as it is most like he did in saying Avoid Satan) which is such a despiteful disgrace, as if that one should offer us the like, we would take it in very great disdain[24]. Which is to us an instruction that as there is a time, when we are to keep the Devil before us, and to have our eye still upon him, and his weapon or temptation, for fear least unawares he might do us some hurt: so is there a place, a time, and a sin that we are to turn our backs on, and not once to look at his temptation.[25]

In affliction[26], patience is to be tried: there resist the Devil, stand to him, and he will fly from you. James 4. 7.[27] Here we are to set the Devil before us. But in a case of lust, or filthy desire, then do ye [you should] fly from him, 1. Corinth. 6. 18.[28] So in the second Epistle to Timothy, second chapter, and two and twentieth verse, we are exhorted to fly from the lusts of youth, and to follow justice[29]: there is no standing to gaze back on the Devil and his temptations.[30]


[1] Matthew 4:10–11 (ESV)

10 Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written,

                                    “ ‘You shall worship the Lord your God

and him only shall you serve.’ ”

11 Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.

[2] He is going to speak of a category of people “some” who would jump at the Devil’s temptation. They wouldn’t need a cushion for their knees, they would dive on their face. If Balak offered them honor to curse Israel, they wouldn’t be slowed down by an angel with a sword. These people will run after Satan’s deceitful offers.

[3] This temptation held no ambiguity. There was no misuse of Scripture as there had been when the Devil said to throw yourself down. The response to this temptation would be to act or not.  

[4] The “some” mentioned above.

[5] The Moabite king had offered the prophet for hire Balaam great honor if Balaam would curse Israel. “For I will surely do you great honor.” Num. 22:17

[6] Joseph, the oldest son of Rachel, but far younger than most of his brothers born to Jacob’s other wife and his wife’s maids [this was not a “healthy” family], tells of a dream in which his brothers will all bow down to him. Since Jacob so favored Joseph, it appeared that Joseph would become the patriarch at his father’s death. Joseph’s telling of dreams is problematic. His brothers did not take Joseph’s dream well: they kidnapped him and sold him as a slave. This family had problems.

[7] When David did not deal with Amnon’s abuse of Absalom’s full sister (all three had David as a father, but they had different mothers), Absalom took justice into his own hands and dispatched Amnon. Later, Absalom led a rebellion against his father David, who was his father and his king.

[8]

 Now when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the royal family. But Jehosheba, the daughter of King Joram, sister of Ahaziah, took Joash the son of Ahaziah and stole him away from among the king’s sons who were being put to death, and she put him and his nurse in a bedroom. Thus they hid him from Athaliah, so that he was not put to death. And he remained with her six years, hidden in the house of the Lord, while Athaliah reigned over the land.

2 Kings 11:1–3 (ESV)

[9]

Then he wrote to them a second letter, saying, “If you are on my side, and if you are ready to obey me, take the heads of your master’s sons and come to me at Jezreel tomorrow at this time.” Now the king’s sons, seventy persons, were with the great men of the city, who were bringing them up. And as soon as the letter came to them, they took the king’s sons and slaughtered them, seventy persons, and put their heads in baskets and sent them to him at Jezreel. When the messenger came and told him, “They have brought the heads of the king’s sons,” he said, “Lay them in two heaps at the entrance of the gate until the morning.” Then in the morning, when he went out, he stood and said to all the people, “You are innocent. It was I who conspired against my master and killed him, but who struck down all these? 10 Know then that there shall fall to the earth nothing of the word of the Lord, which the Lord spoke concerning the house of Ahab, for the Lord has done what he said by his servant Elijah.” 11 So Jehu struck down all who remained of the house of Ahab in Jezreel, all his great men and his close friends and his priests, until he left him none remaining.

12 Then he set out and went to Samaria. On the way, when he was at Beth-eked of the Shepherds, 13 Jehu met the relatives of Ahaziah king of Judah, and he said, “Who are you?” And they answered, “We are the relatives of Ahaziah, and we came down to visit the royal princes and the sons of the queen mother.” 14 He said, “Take them alive.” And they took them alive and slaughtered them at the pit of Beth-eked, forty-two persons, and he spared none of them.

2 Kings 10:6–14 (ESV)

[10] “Stack” does not seem to be the correct word. Perhaps this was did not “stand,” that is, pause, before killing, etc.

[11] Herod the Great heard of the birth of the “King” from the Magi. While he pretended to wish to meet the child himself, he instead desired to murder the child. When the Magi did not give him the precise location of the child, he decided just to kill all of the boys in the area to make sure he killed the child.

[12] Latin: Ambition is life which will even harm the innocent. Ambition will drive us to harm even the innocent to achieve that ambition. I am not certain which “Gregory” is the source of this quotation.

[13] The perversion caused by sin is such that many would not consider the Devil’s temptation to be a temptation to sin. Instead, they would see the offer as a blessing. Thanks, Devil!

[14]

21 From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. 22 And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” 23 But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”

Matthew 16:21–23 (ESV)

[15]

                  26               “As a thief is shamed when caught,

so the house of Israel shall be shamed:

                                    they, their kings, their officials,

their priests, and their prophets,

                  27               who say to a tree, ‘You are my father,’

and to a stone, ‘You gave me birth.’

                                    For they have turned their back to me,

and not their face.

                                    But in the time of their trouble they say,

‘Arise and save us!’

Jeremiah 2:26–27 (ESV)

[16] 15 For some have already strayed after Satan. 1 Timothy 5:15 (ESV)

[17] There are some who rather than turn away from Satan’s offer (as Christ did with Peter, in a striking event), will turn away from Christ and after Satan. For either Christ was foolish to turn down a good offer, or our world is wrong to go after it.

[18] Latin, it is written.

[19] Jesus’ response to this temptation differs from the other two. On those occasions, the fault of the temptation fell on Jesus. But in this temptation sought to directly rob God of his glory: giving worship to someone other than God, himself. He gives a second reason, that Jesus had in mind his work of redemption. However, if Jesus had sinned in response to either of the other two temptations, Jesus would have been unfit as the mediator. Therefore, I think Andrewes is right on the first point, but wrong on the second.

[20] When Jesus saw the discretion of God’s glory and God’s worship, he made a whip to drive them from the Temple.

[21] Moses is here given as an example of the pattern Andrewes sees in Jesus. Moses was described as the most meek man upon the earth. But, when Moses came down the mountain with the first set of the ten commandments, he threw the tablets to the ground in his anger at the people having fallen into idolatry with the Golden Calf.

[22]

25 And when Moses saw that the people had broken loose (for Aaron had let them break loose, to the derision of their enemies), 26 then Moses stood in the gate of the camp and said, “Who is on the Lord’s side? Come to me.” And all the sons of Levi gathered around him. 27 And he said to them, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel, ‘Put your sword on your side each of you, and go to and fro from gate to gate throughout the camp, and each of you kill his brother and his companion and his neighbor.’ ” 28 And the sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses. And that day about three thousand men of the people fell. 29 And Moses said, “Today you have been ordained for the service of the Lord, each one at the cost of his son and of his brother, so that he might bestow a blessing upon you this day.”

Exodus 32:25–29 (ESV)

[23] Korah led a rebellion against the order and authority established by God. For his rebellion, the ground opened up underneath the rebels and their family. Numbers 16.

[24] If someone treated us with this level of disgrace, we would be very indignant.

[25] Andrewes draws a lesson from Christ’s behavior toward the Devil. In two of the temptations, he answered the Devil: he kept his eye upon him, and paid attention to the trick being played. There are times where it is wisdom for us to keep our eye upon the temptation so that we are not surprised by temptation and fall into sin. But Jesus also turned his back on the Devil in this final temptation. So there are times where wisdom is to turn away from the temptation altogether. In the next paragraph, he explains how this works in practice.

[26] There are basic tactics to bring us to sin. One is affliction, a “trial”, where we are put under pressure. These are the various difficulties of this world, sorrow, pain, loss, death, et cetera. Affliction calls for patience. We cannot simply “flee” disease. The only means is to draw us to sin. We would call this a “temptation.” It is “temptation,” the seduction to sin that we are to flee.

[27] Andrewes here alludes to two separate passages in James:

But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

James 4:6–8 (ESV)

And:

Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door. 10 As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.

James 5:7–11 (ESV)

[28]

12 “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything. 13 “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food”—and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! 16 Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” 17 But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. 18 Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

1 Corinthians 6:12–20 (ESV)

[29]

20 Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. 21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.

22 So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. 23 Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels.

2 Timothy 2:20–23 (ESV) Andrewes’ reference that we are to pursue “justice” comes from the Vulgate, “sectare vero justitiam” where the English translation all have “righteousness.”

[30] He seems here to be alluding again to Lot’s wife. Lot’s turning back to look upon Sodom has been a frequent image in this work.