The prior post on this sermon may be found here.
Here, Manton ends with the practical application:
III. The good of this to us.
It teacheth us divers things, four I shall instance in.
1. To show us who is our grand enemy, the devil, who sought the misery and destruction of mankind, as Christ did our salvation. (Matt. 13:19 & 39; John 8:44)
2. That all men, none excepted, are subject to temptations. (If Jesus was not exempt form temptation, than neither shall we)
3. It showeth us the manner of conflict, both of Satan’s fight and our Saviour’s defence.
[1.] Of Satan’s fight. It is some advantage not to be ignorant of his enterprises: …He assaulted Christ by the same kind of temptations by which usually he assaults us. The kinds of temptations are reckoned up: 1 John 2:16, ‘The lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eye, and the pride of life.’ …
What then shall we do, knowing that we will be tempted and knowing something of how we will be tempted. The answer comes from the way in which Christ defendanted himself
[2.] The manner of Christ’s defence, and so it instructeth us how to overcome and carry ourselves in temptations. And here are two things whereby we evercome:—
(1.) By scripture….
But not as a talisman which is raised to chase off the Devil. That is evident, because the Devil quoted Scripture as part of his temptation.
It is good to have the word of God abide in our memories, but chiefly in our hearts, by a sound belief and fervent love to the truth.
The Scripture is effective because it is embedded and is an automatic element of our thinking. It sets out an intellectual habit. This leads to the next element of defense noted by Manton:
(2.) Partly by resolution: 1 Pet. 4:1, ‘Arm yourselves with the same mind,’ viz., that was in Christ. When Satan grew bold and troublesome, Christ rejects him with indignation. Now the conscience of our duty should thus prevail with us to be resolute therein; the double-minded are as it were torn in pieces between God and the devil: James 1:8, ‘A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.’ Therefore, being in God’s way, we should resolve to be deaf to all temptations.
He ends with encouragement. This sermon could easily be discouraging: The Devil will assault you. He is powerful and intelligent. If it was merely make sure you remember enough Bible and stiffen you spine, this could easily become a matter of discouragement, because then it would make it seem as the power lay wholly with us. Instead, he sets out the example as proof that we will prevail:
4. The hopes of success. God would set Christ before us as a pattern of trust and confidence, that when we address ourselves to serve God, we might not fear the temptations of Satan. We have an example of overcoming the devil in our glorious head and chief. If he pleaded, John 16:33, ‘In the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world;’ the same holdeth good here, for the enemies of our salvation are combined. He overcame the devil in our natures, that we might not be discouraged: we fight against the same adversaries in the same cause, and he will give power to us, his weak members, being full of compassion, which certainly is a great comfort to us.
Having provided a general statement of the case, he proceeds to some particulars.
Use. Of instruction to us:—
1. To reckon upon temptations. As soon as we mind our baptismal covenant, we must expect that Satan will be our professed foe, seeking to terrify or allure us from the banner of our captain, Jesus Christ.
He then tallies up the types that immediately give way to temptation and return to “Satan’s camp.”
One type do not renounce Christ. Rather, they merely live as if Christ did not matter.
Now these are the devil’s agents, and the more dangerous because they use Christ’s name against his offices, and the form of his religion to destroy the power thereof;
A second sort give way in a passive manner. They are not set against Christ in any obvious way; Christ simply does not matter to them. They
tamely yield to the lusts of the flesh, and go ‘like an ox to the slaughter, and a fool to the correction of the stocks,’ Prov. 7:22 ….
A third sort begin well:
But then there is a third sort of men, that begin to be serious, and to mind their recovery by Christ: they have many good motions and convictions of the danger of sin, excellency of Christ, necessity of holiness; they have many purposes to leave sin and enter upon a holy course of life, but ‘the wicked one cometh, and cateheth away that which was sown in his heart,’ Matt. 13:19. He beginneth betimes to oppose the work, before we are confirmed and settled in a course of godliness, as he did set upon Christ presently upon his baptism. Baptism in us implieth avowed dying unto sin and living unto God; now God permitteth temptation to try our resolution.
A fourth sort may not fall like the first three, but they will not leave the battle without a battle:
There is a fourth sort, of such as have made some progress in religion, even to a degree of eminency: these are not altogether free; for if the devil had confidence to assault the declared Son of God, will he be afraid of a mere mortal man? No; these he assaulteth many times very sorely: pirates venture on the greatest booty. These he seeketh to draw off from Christ, as Pharaoh sought to bring back the Israelites after their escape; or to foil them by some scandalous fall, to do religion a mischief: 2 Sam. 12:14, ‘By this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme;’ or at least to vex them and torment them, to make the service of God tedious and uncomfortable to them: Luke 22:31, ‘Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he might sift you as wheat’—to toss and vex you, as wheat in a sieve. So that no sort of Christians can promise themselves exemption; and God permitteth it, because to whom much is given, of them the more is required.
Second, we need to realize that anything can and will be used to temptation, wealth or poverty. We are tempted by ease and affliction.
His end is to dissuade us from good, and persuade us to evil.
On one hand, he
Dissuade[s] us from good by representing the impossibility, trouble, and small necessity of it.
He also tempts us to evil:
He persuadeth us to evil by profit, pleasure, necessity; we cannot live without it in the world. He hideth the hook, and showeth the bait only; he concealeth the hell, the horror, the eternal pains that follow sin, and only telleth you how beneficial, profitable, and delightful the sin will be to you:
This quotation is remarkably similar to a passage in Thomas Brooks
Device (1). To present the bait and hide the hook; to present the golden cup, and hide the poison; to present the sweet, the pleasure, and the profit that may flow in upon the soul by yielding to sin, and by hiding from the soul the wrath and misery that will certainly follow the committing of sin. By this device he took our first parents: Gen. 3:4, 5, ‘And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: for God doth know, that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened; and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.’ Your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as gods! Here is the bait, the sweet, the pleasure, the profit. Oh, but he hides the hook,—the shame, the wrath, and the loss that would certainly follow!
Thomas Brooks, The Complete Works of Thomas Brooks, ed. Alexander Balloch Grosart, vol. 1 (Edinburgh; London; Dublin: James Nichol; James Nisbet and Co.; G. Herbert, 1866), 12–13.
And again, Manton returns to a note of encouragement to close the entire sermon:
4. While we are striving against temptations, let us remember our general. We do but follow the Captain of our salvation, who hath vanquished the enemy, and will give us the victory if we keep striving: ‘The God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly,’ Rom. 16:2. Not his feet, but ours: we shall be conquerors. Our enemy is vigilant and strong: it is enough for us that our Redeemer is merciful and faithful in succouring the tempted, and able to master the tempter, and defeat all his methods. Christ hath conquered him, both as a lamb and as a lion: Rev. 5:5, 8. The notion of a lamb intimateth his sacrifice, the notion of a lion his victory: in the lamb is merit, in the lion strength; by the one he maketh satisfaction to God, by the other he rescueth sinners out of the paw of the roaring lion, and maintaineth his interest in their hearts. Therefore let us not be discouraged, but closely adhere to him.