Natural Law, “Philosophy of the Founding Fathers” (3)


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The prior post in this series may be found here.

The question about what constitutes the fundamental law and rights of the people, and who can articulate the existence of those rights underwent further development prior to the American Revolution. Dean Pound argues that with the Glorious Revolution of the 1688, Britain took the position that the highest law was the positive law as declared by Parliament. This was a movement away from the legal and philosophical position of Coke and Blackstone.

Thus, a philosophical conflict was set up in the streams of English law. The Americans took a position consistent with the earlier understanding and different than that developed in Britain after 1688.

The conflict is distilled in the argument over the Declaration of Independence, which the author of the essay (Manion) calls, “the best possible condensation of the natural law-common law doctrines as there developed and expounded in England and America for hundreds of years prior to the American Revolution.” (16)

It was those arguing on behalf of Parliament against the Americans who were taking the innovative position:

In 1776 the British Government was insisting that the “law of the land” and “the immemorial rights of English subjects” were exclusively and precisely what the British Parliament from time to time declared them to be. This claim for parliamentary absolutism was at variance with all the great traditions of natural law and common law as recored through the centuries from Bracton to Blackstone. (16)

At the time the Americans were insisting upon the Declaration of Independence, they saw themselves not as advancing new arguments as insisting upon old understanding of the law. Thus, ironically, the Revolutionaries were fighting against revolution. 

This also means that we must be careful not to attribute the American Revolution to arguments advanced by Locke (certainly not solely to Locke). In fact, Locke contains elements which militate against the natural law arguments made in the Declaration. For instance, Locke contends that once the government has been properly instituted, “the majority have the right to conclude the rest.” (19) Natural law would argue that the majority have a limited right. They cannot deprive a minority of their natural rights. 

Thomas Jefferson, writing to Francis J. Gilmer on June 7, 1816 explained that the duty of the legislature is to protect the natural rights of the citizen:

 Our legislators are not sufficiently apprised of the rightful limits of their powers: that their true office is to declare and enforce only our natural rights and duties, & to take none of them from us.  No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another; and this is all from which the laws ought to restrain him: every man is under the natural duty of contributing to the necessities of the society; and this is all the laws should enforce on him: and, no man having a natural right to be the judge between himself and another, it is his natural duty to submit to the umpirage of an impartial third. when the laws have declared and enforced all this, they have fulfilled their functions, and the idea is quite unfounded that on entering into society we give up any natural right.

Reference was also made to James Madison’s argument in the case Robin v Hardaway 1772, before the Virginia General Court. The argument is remarkable on many grounds:

The Indians of every denomination were free, and independent of us; they were not subject to our empire; not represented in our legislature; they derived no protection from our laws, nor could be subjected to their bonds. If natural right, independence, defect of representation, and disavowal of protection, are not sufficient to keep them from the coercion of our laws, on what other principles can we justify our opposition to some late acts of power exercised over us by the British legislature? Yet they only pretended to impose on us a paltry tax in money; we on our free neighbors, the yoke of perpetual slavery. Now all acts of legislature apparently contrary to natural right and justice, are, in our laws, and must be in the nature of things, considered as void. The laws of nature are the laws of God; whose authority can be superseded by no power on earth. A legislature must not obstruct our obedience to him from whose punishments they cannot protect us. All human constitutions which contradict his laws, we are in conscience bound to disobey. 

How then would natural rights be protected? The American contribution was to divide the power:

The effective limitation of sovereignty and government by division, judicial review, and democratic forces, was thus held to be a necessary corollary to the doctrine of unalienable rights….Revolutionary America believed that such an evil institution as government would certainly get out of hand unless closely checked from every side….It was not enough … to belabor sovereignty with sound philosophy.  Sovereignty had to be split and checked and degraded to the point where it was obviously a servant of the people’s God-given rights. (21-22)

There were debates about the timing of the Declaration. But the philosophical argument made concerning the excess of the British government was not questioned. The pre-political rights of the people was understood by all American Founding Fathers. 

This essay ends as follows:

Meanwhile, and ever more and more precariously, we continue to be the one remaining country on earth where the individual may protect his God-given rights against his own government and everybody else. (29)

Something which seems inherent in this discussion of rights is what mean by “right.” If a “right” is a pre-political “right” inherent in the individual and given by God, then it is coherent to say the government may not take away that right.

What then if the government (not God) is the source of a “right.” Such a right is merely shorthand way of naming some privilege I currently possess. But if that privilege comes only from the government and is not grounded in anything beyond the positive exercise of power by the government, depriving me of that “right” is quite different. Yesterday, I had the right to drive 45 mph on this street. Tomorrow I may only drive 35. The government’s action may be capricious, but have I really lost a “right”? 

The giving or taking of such “rights” contains no moral component: I may or may not approve such a change in position, but I cannot really say I have been wrongfully treated. To say that I will not be punished or I will be punished for some behavior is all one. But calling the absence of punishment a “right” is to equivocate on “right.” If some appropriately instituted governmental authority exercises its power in some way or another, there has been no real change of “rights” even if their has been a change of law. 

“Right” means merely I do not want to assert an argument and I want to prevent you from advancing an argument against my position. A “right” means something it would be morally wrong to take. But where the rights are not “natural” but merely political, then “wrong” means nothing more than what I want. Immoral thus becomes a matter of counting noses (assuming a democracy). 

We could argue from some pragmatic position, which will be raised in the next essay in the Natural Law Institutes recorded proceedings, “The Natural Law and Pragmatism”. 

The Nature of Joy in the Bible



Sometimes we speak about “joy” as if it were something the Christian was just “supposed to have”. We tell people to be joyful. We speak about “joy in the Lord.” Then we say something along the lines of, “Joy can be independent of circumstances.” But I do not think that is a fair statement of the way “joy” is discussed in the Bible.

The trouble with that statement is that it fails to account for the fact that our circumstance may be complex: there may be multiple frames of reference.

Hebrews 12:2 speaks of Jesus enduring the cross: that is was not “joyful”. That is one frame of reference. But there is a second frame of reference, what would come after the cross, “the joy set before him.”
The encouragement to joy in the midst of difficulty (1 Thess. 1:6) is not because the immediate circumstance does not bring sorrow or pain, but rather that the immediate circumstance is not the only circumstance.

The encouragement to joy does not deny the immediate pain which may be present, “Weep with those who weep.” Rom. 12:15 Your companionship in another’s loss is part of the ground for their ability to find a second context for understanding their present circumstance. (Personal friendship and love is not at all divorced from joy; it is often a basis for it.)

Joy is not divorced from circumstance: it is because of circumstance. But the most immediate circumstance is not the full story. “Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.” Ps. 30:5 Your presence with another in their sorrow is a basis for their hope and thus their joy.


The references to joy typically come in the context of convent fulfillment: (a) The rescue God had performed (such as bringing them into the land, or the delivery from an enemy); or (b) The rescue God will perform. The nature of this delivery changes somewhat at the inauguration of the New Covenant. 

Below, the verses are quoted with reference. Beneath the quoted verse, there is a brief comment.

Deut 16:15
For seven days you shall keep the feast to the LORD your God at the place that the LORD will choose, because the LORD your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you will be altogether joyful.
This is a celebration of the Feast of Booths. Notice the reason they are to rejoice: “Because the LORD your God will bless you.”

Deut 28:47
Because you did not serve the LORD your God with joyfulness and gladness of heart, because of the abundance of all things,
The failure to fulfill the covenant, which includes rejoicing. Cf. Rom. 1:21, they did not give thanks.

Judg 19:3
Then her husband arose and went after her, to speak kindly to her and bring her back. He had with him his servant and a couple of donkeys. And she brought him into her father’s house. And when the girl’s father saw him, he came with joy to meet him.
The joy at military victory and a safe return home.

1 Sam 18:6
As they were coming home, when David returned from striking down the Philistine, the women came out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with tambourines, with songs of joy, and with musical instruments.
Military victory

1 Kings 1:40
And all the people went up after him, playing on pipes, and rejoicing with great joy, so that the earth was split by their noise.
This was a short-lived joy.

1 Kings 8:66
On the eighth day he sent the people away, and they blessed the king and went to their homes joyful and glad of heart for all the goodness that the LORD had shown to David his servant and to Israel his people.
God keeping his covenant with Israel & with David.

1 Chron 12:40
And also their relatives, from as far as Issachar and Zebulun and Naphtali, came bringing food on donkeys and on camels and on mules and on oxen, abundant provisions of flour, cakes of figs, clusters of raisins, and wine and oil, oxen and sheep, for there was joy in Israel.
The enthronement of David.

1 Chron 15:16
David also commanded the chiefs of the Levites to appoint their brothers as the singers who should play loudly on musical instruments, on harps and lyres and cymbals, to raise sounds of joy.
The Ark being brought to Jerusalem.

1 Chron 16:27
Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy are in his place.
This is a song of praise for the Lord who has kept covenant, created the world, and rules over all.

1 Chron 16:33
Then shall the trees of the forest sing for joy before the LORD, for he comes to judge the earth.
To come to judge the earth.

2 Chron 7:10
On the twenty-third day of the seventh month he sent the people away to their homes, joyful and glad of heart for the prosperity that the LORD had granted to David and to Solomon and to Israel his people.
Keeping is covenant with David and with Solomon (because you have not asked for ….)

2 Chron 20:27
Then they returned, every man of Judah and Jerusalem, and Jehoshaphat at their head, returning to Jerusalem with joy, for the LORD had made them rejoice over their enemies.
Military victory

2 Chron 30:26
So there was great joy in Jerusalem, for since the time of Solomon the son of David king of Israel there had been nothing like this in Jerusalem.
Celebrating Passover: God’s rescue from Egypt.

Ezra 3:12
But many of the priests and Levites and heads of fathers’ houses, old men who had seen the first house, wept with a loud voice when they saw the foundation of this house being laid, though many shouted aloud for joy,
Returning the people to Jerusalem, as God as promised.

Ezra 3:13
so that the people could not distinguish the sound of the joyful shout from the sound of the people’s weeping, for the people shouted with a great shout, and the sound was heard far away.

Ezra 6:16
And the people of Israel, the priests and the Levites, and the rest of the returned exiles, celebrated the dedication of this house of God with joy.

Ezra 6:22
And they kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread seven days with joy, for the LORD had made them joyful and had turned the heart of the king of Assyria to them, so that he aided them in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel.

Neh 8:10
Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
Same. Also reading the Law (the terms and content of the Covenant)

Neh 12:43
And they offered great sacrifices that day and rejoiced, for God had made them rejoice with great joy; the women and children also rejoiced. And the joy of Jerusalem was heard far away.
This is the dedication of the wall around Jerusalem.

Esther 5:9
And Haman went out that day joyful and glad of heart. But when Haman saw Mordecai in the king’s gate, that he neither rose nor trembled before him, he was filled with wrath against Mordecai.
He thinks he is going to have victory over his enemy.

Esther 5:14
Then his wife Zeresh and all his friends said to him, “Let a gallows fifty cubits high be made, and in the morning tell the king to have Mordecai hanged upon it. Then go joyfully with the king to the feast.” This idea pleased Haman, and he had the gallows made.

Esther 8:16
The Jews had light and gladness and joy and honor.
Victory over their enemies.

Esther 8:17
And in every province and in every city, wherever the king’s command and his edict reached, there was gladness and joy among the Jews, a feast and a holiday. And many from the peoples of the country declared themselves Jews, for fear of the Jews had fallen on them.

Ps 4:7
You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound.
Delivery from enemies.

Ps 5:11
But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you.

Ps 16:11
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Eschatological: with you.

Ps 19:5
which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber, and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.

Ps 20:5
May we shout for joy over your salvation, and in the name of our God set up our banners! May the LORD fulfill all your petitions!
Receiving from the Lord salvation. Verse one: delivery and protection from enemies.

Ps 21:6
For you make him most blessed forever; you make him glad with the joy of your presence.

Ps 27:6
And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me, and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing and make melody to the LORD.
Triumph over enemies.

Ps 30:5
For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.

Ps 32:11
Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!
Forgiveness of sins.

Ps 33:1
Shout for joy in the LORD, O you righteous! Praise befits the upright.
Praise for creation and God’s rule over the world.

Ps 35:27
Let those who delight in my righteousness shout for joy and be glad and say evermore, “Great is the LORD, who delights in the welfare of his servant!”
Victory over enemies

Ps 43:4
Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy, and I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God.
Verse 1: vindicate me.

Ps 45:15
With joy and gladness they are led along as they enter the palace of the king.
The establishment of the victim and the presentation of the bride. Typologically, this is eschatological

Ps 47:1
Clap your hands, all peoples! Shout to God with loud songs of joy!
God’s victory over all his enemies.

Ps 48:2
beautiful in elevation, is the joy of all the earth, Mount Zion, in the far north, the city of the great King.

Ps 51:8
Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice.
Forgiveness of sin.

Ps 51:12
Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.
Forgiveness of sin.

Ps 63:5
My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips,
Rejoicing in the promised delivery of God.

Ps 63:7
for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.
Ps 65:8
so that those who dwell at the ends of the earth are in awe at your signs. You make the going out of the morning and the evening to shout for joy.
Joy at God’s rule over the earth.

Ps 65:12
The pastures of the wilderness overflow, the hills gird themselves with joy,

Ps 65:13
the meadows clothe themselves with flocks, the valleys deck themselves with grain, they shout and sing together for joy.

Ps 66:1
Shout for joy to God, all the earth;
Joy for God’s rule and victory over his enemies.

Ps 67:4
Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth. Selah
Joy in God’s judgment; eschatological.

Ps 68:3
But the righteous shall be glad; they shall exult before God; they shall be jubilant with joy!
v. 1, “His enemies shall be scattered.”

Ps 71:23
My lips will shout for joy, when I sing praises to you; my soul also, which you have redeemed.

Ps 81:1
Sing aloud to God our strength; shout for joy to the God of Jacob!

Ps 84:2
My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the LORD; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God.
Rescue; eschatological

Ps 92:4
For you, O LORD, have made me glad by your work; at the works of your hands I sing for joy.
v. 1 “Oh LORD, God of vengeance.”
Ps 95:1
Oh come, let us sing to the LORD; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!

Ps 95:2
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!

Ps 96:12
let the field exult, and everything in it! Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy
God’s rule. “He will judge” Eschatological

Ps 97:11
Light is sown for the righteous, and joy for the upright in heart.
God will triumph over his enemies. V. 10, he will delivery his people.

Ps 98:4
Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises!
The Lord has and will judge his enemies.

Ps 98:6
With trumpets and the sound of the horn make a joyful noise before the King, the LORD!

Ps 98:8
Let the rivers clap their hands; let the hills sing for joy together

Ps 100:1
Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth!

Ps 105:43
So he brought his people out with joy, his chosen ones with singing.

Ps 107:22
And let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, and tell of his deeds in songs of joy!

Ps 119:111
Your testimonies are my heritage forever, for they are the joy of my heart.
This is part of a prayer for deliverance. (v. 107) It is personal but it is also covenantal.

Ps 126:2
Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.”
“When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion” v. 1 Delivery, covenantal

Ps 126:5
Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy!

Ps 126:6
He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.

Ps 132:9
Let your priests be clothed with righteousness, and let your saints shout for joy.
This is a prayer for delivery, based upon the covenant with David. We will rejoice when you fulfill your promise.

Ps 132:16
Her priests I will clothe with salvation, and her saints will shout for joy.

Ps 137:6
Let my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth, if I do not remember you, if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy!
A prayer for delivery.

Ps 149:5
Let the godly exult in glory; let them sing for joy on their beds.
v. 4, “He adorns the humble with salvation.”

Eccles 2:26
For to the one who pleases him God has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, but to the sinner he has given the business of gathering and collecting, only to give to one who pleases God. This also is vanity and a striving after wind.
It is a gift.

Eccles 3:12
I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live;
To be thankful.

Eccles 5:20
For he will not much remember the days of his life because God keeps him occupied with joy in his heart.
A gift.

Eccles 7:14
In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider: God has made the one as well as the other, so that man may not find out anything that will be after him.
Joy is a property of prosperity.

Eccles 8:15
And I commend joy, for man has nothing better under the sun but to eat and drink and be joyful, for this will go with him in his toil through the days of his life that God has given him under the sun.

Eccles 9:7
Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart, for God has already approved what you do.

Isa 9:3
You have multiplied the nation; you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as they are glad when they divide the spoil.

Isa 12:3
With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.

Isa 12:6
Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.”

Isa 16:10
And joy and gladness are taken away from the fruitful field, and in the vineyards no songs are sung, no cheers are raised; no treader treads out wine in the presses; I have put an end to the shouting.
Joy is a gift; therefore, it can be taken away. This is sorrow at a loss.

Isa 22:13
and behold, joy and gladness, killing oxen and slaughtering sheep, eating flesh and drinking wine. “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.”
A foolish joy.

Isa 24:11
There is an outcry in the streets for lack of wine; all joy has grown dark; the gladness of the earth is banished.
No joy.

Isa 24:14
They lift up their voices, they sing for joy; over the majesty of the LORD they shout from the west.

Isa 26:19
Your dead shall live; their bodies shall rise. You who dwell in the dust, awake and sing for joy! For your dew is a dew of light, and the earth will give birth to the dead.

Isa 29:19
The meek shall obtain fresh joy in the LORD, and the poor among mankind shall exult in the Holy One of Israel.

Isa 32:14
For the palace is forsaken, the populous city deserted; the hill and the watchtower will become dens forever, a joy of wild donkeys, a pasture of flocks;

Isa 35:2
it shall blossom abundantly and rejoice with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the LORD, the majesty of our God.

Isa 35:6
then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy. For waters break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert;

Isa 35:10
And the ransomed of the LORD shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

Isa 42:11
Let the desert and its cities lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar inhabits; let the habitants of Sela sing for joy, let them shout from the top of the mountains.
Because God will conquer his foes.

Isa 48:20
Go out from Babylon, flee from Chaldea, declare this with a shout of joy, proclaim it, send it out to the end of the earth; say, “The LORD has redeemed his servant Jacob!”

Isa 49:13
Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth; break forth, O mountains, into singing! For the LORD has comforted his people and will have compassion on his afflicted.

Isa 51:3
For the LORD comforts Zion; he comforts all her waste places and makes her wilderness like Eden, her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the voice of song.

Isa 51:11
And the ransomed of the LORD shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

Isa 52:8
The voice of your watchmen—they lift up their voice; together they sing for joy; for eye to eye they see the return of the LORD to Zion.
Delivery; covenant.

Isa 55:12
“For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
Because of God’s victory.

Isa 56:7
these I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.”

Isa 60:15
Whereas you have been forsaken and hated, with no one passing through, I will make you majestic forever, a joy from age to age.

Isa 61:7
Instead of your shame there shall be a double portion; instead of dishonor they shall rejoice in their lot; therefore in their land they shall possess a double portion; they shall have everlasting joy.

Isa 64:5
You meet him who joyfully works righteousness, those who remember you in your ways. Behold, you were angry, and we sinned; in our sins we have been a long time, and shall we be saved?
Eschatological delivery

Isa 65:18
But be glad and rejoice forever in that which I create; for behold, I create Jerusalem to be a joy, and her people to be a gladness.
Eschatological: I will create a new heavens (v. 17)

Isa 66:5
Hear the word of the LORD, you who tremble at his word: “Your brothers who hate you and cast you out for my name’s sake have said, ‘Let the LORD be glorified, that we may see your joy’; but it is they who shall be put to shame.
A false joy.

Isa 66:10
“Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad for her, all you who love her; rejoice with her in joy, all you who mourn over her;
Eschatological delivery

Jer 8:18
My joy is gone; grief is upon me; my heart is sick within me.
Lost joy

Jer 15:16
Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O LORD, God of hosts.
Hope for delivery.

Jer 31:13
Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old shall be merry. I will turn their mourning into joy; I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow.
He will deliver them in the future.

Jer 33:9
And this city shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and a glory before all the nations of the earth who shall hear of all the good that I do for them. They shall fear and tremble because of all the good and all the prosperity I provide for it.
In the future, I will deliver and rebuild.

Jer 48:33
Gladness and joy have been taken away from the fruitful land of Moab; I have made the wine cease from the winepresses; no one treads them with shouts of joy; the shouting is not the shout of joy.
There is no joy when you have been conquered.

Jer 49:25
How is the famous city not forsaken, the city of my joy?
Loss has no joy.

Jer 51:48
Then the heavens and the earth, and all that is in them, shall sing for joy over Babylon, for the destroyers shall come against them out of the north, declares the LORD.
Joy at victory over an enemy.

Lam 2:15
All who pass along the way clap their hands at you; they hiss and wag their heads at the daughter of Jerusalem: “Is this the city that was called the perfection of beauty, the joy of all the earth?”
Lost joy

Lam 5:15
The joy of our hearts has ceased; our dancing has been turned to mourning.
Lost joy.

Ezek 7:7
Your doom has come to you, O inhabitant of the land. The time has come; the day is near, a day of tumult, and not of joyful shouting on the mountains.
Lost joy.

Ezek 24:25
“As for you, son of man, surely on the day when I take from them their stronghold, their joy and glory, the delight of their eyes and their soul’s desire, and also their sons and daughters,
Lost joy

Ezek 36:5
therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Surely I have spoken in my hot jealousy against the rest of the nations and against all Edom, who gave my land to themselves as a possession with wholehearted joy and utter contempt, that they might make its pasturelands a prey.

Joel 1:16
Is not the food cut off before our eyes, joy and gladness from the house of our God?
Lost joy

Hab 3:18
yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.

Zech 8:19
“Thus says the LORD of hosts: The fast of the fourth month and the fast of the fifth and the fast of the seventh and the fast of the tenth shall be to the house of Judah seasons of joy and gladness and cheerful feasts. Therefore love truth and peace.
Kept covenant, delivery.


Matt 2:10
When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.
The coming Messiah.

Matt 13:20
As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy,
Because it is good news.

Matt 13:44
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
Normal emotion.

Matt 25:21
His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’

Matt 25:23
His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’

Matt 28:8
So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples.

Mark 4:16
And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: the ones who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy.
Because it is good news.

Luke 1:14
And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth,
The birth of a promised child.

Luke 1:44
For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.
The Messiah is here!

Luke 2:10
And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.
Delivery, covenant promised fulfilled.

Luke 6:23
Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets.

Luke 8:13
And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of testing fall away.
Good news.

Luke 10:17
The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!”
Delivery over demons.

Luke 15:7
Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
Joy in heaven.

Luke 15:10
Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
Joy in heaven

Luke 19:6
So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully.
Jesus is here.

Luke 24:41
And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?”

Luke 24:52
And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy,

John 3:29
The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete.
The Messiah is here.

John 15:11
These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
It is a promise of delivery and perseverance through trial: you will abide.

John 16:20
Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy.

John 16:21
When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.
Personal joy.

John 16:22
So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.
Because delivery is certain; death has been overcome.

John 16:24
Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
The promise has been fulfilled.

John 17:13
But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves.
The promised delivery.

Acts 8:8
So there was much joy in that city.
Good news had come.

Acts 12:14
Recognizing Peter’s voice, in her joy she did not open the gate but ran in and reported that Peter was standing at the gate.
Personal joy at Peter’s delivery.

Acts 13:52
And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.
At the work God was doing.

Acts 15:3
So, being sent on their way by the church, they passed through both Phoenicia and Samaria, describing in detail the conversion of the Gentiles, and brought great joy to all the brothers.
Good news.

Rom 14:17
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
What causes this joy in the Holy Spirit? It is being contrasted with the conflict between the people over food. It is the in-breaking of an eschatological kingdom.

Rom 15:13
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
Joy tied to hope

Rom 15:32
so that by God’s will I may come to you with joy and be refreshed in your company.
The joy of personal greeting.

2 Cor 1:24
Not that we lord it over your faith, but we work with you for your joy, for you stand firm in your faith.
His goal is their joy.

2 Cor 2:3
And I wrote as I did, so that when I came I might not suffer pain from those who should have made me rejoice, for I felt sure of all of you, that my joy would be the joy of you all.
Joy of personal relationship.

2 Cor 7:4
I am acting with great boldness toward you; I have great pride in you; I am filled with comfort. In all our affliction, I am overflowing with joy.
The joy is based upon hope.

2 Cor 7:13
Therefore we are comforted. And besides our own comfort, we rejoiced still more at the joy of Titus, because his spirit has been refreshed by you all.
The joy in personal greeting – there is also thanksgiving.

2 Cor 8:2
for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part.

Gal 5:22
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
It is a work of the Spirit.

Phil 1:4
always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy,
Because God is working: delivery and conquering have moved from

Phil 1:25
Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith,
Eschatological perseverance,

Phil 2:2
complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.

Phil 2:29
So receive him in the Lord with all joy, and honor such men,
Personal greeting

Phil 4:1
Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.
Because of what God has done for them. In 4:4 “rejoice always” has content and basis. V. 3, your name is written in the Book of Life (eschatological delivery). V. 5, “the Lord is at hand.”

That God has delivered them from their former life. The working out of God’s sanctification is fitting them for an ultimate delivery. “The phrase reminds the readers again of the imminent coming of the Savior from heaven to transform humiliation into glory.” (Hansen). “AMBROSIASTER: “The Lord,” he says, “is at hand.” They must be prepared and wakeful in prayer, giving thanks to God and putting away every worldly care, so as to hope and have before their eyes what the Lord promises. What he promises is, as he teaches, the reason for giving him thanks.”

That joy is the product of a deliberate eschatological posture

Col 1:11
being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy;
This joy is pointed toward the end and is based upon the delivery. You have been rescued by God and are being brought to Eschatological Kingdom.

1 Thess 1:6
And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit,
This is probably the most on-point verse when it comes to joy in the midst of suffering. But notice the context: It springs from their salvation: they have been delivered from their bondage to sin. V. 9, you turned from idols. V. 10, you now are eagerly expecting the victorious return of the Lord. Notice the language of delivery, “Who delivers us from the wrath to come.” The OT language of delivery from an enemy is picked up, and interestingly, the ultimate enemy will be God coming in judgment.

The Thessalonian believers were undergoing persecution at this time and are here assured not only of their own liberation (1 Thess. 5:9) but also of the judgment of God that will come upon those who afflict them (2 Thess. 1:6–10). Whatever the agony and shame of the present, in the end God will reverse their fortunes. Those who are without power now will participate in the final victory, while those who have power over them now will have to meet the Judge, the God of the Christians

Gene L. Green, The Letters to the Thessalonians, The Pillar New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI; Leicester, England: W.B. Eerdmans Pub.; Apollos, 2002), 111.

1 Thess 2:19
For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you?

1 Thess 2:20
For you are our glory and joy.
Personal and eschatological

1 Thess 3:9
For what thanksgiving can we return to God for you, for all the joy that we feel for your sake before our God,
Personal and eschatological
2 Tim 1:4
As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy.

Philem 7
For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you.

Heb 10:34
For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one.
Because of what will happen.

Heb 12:2
looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Eschatological delivery – after loss.

Heb 13:17
Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.

James 1:2
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,
Because it will bring about spiritual transformation

James 4:9
Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.
Loss of joy in repentance.

1 Pet 1:8
Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory,

1 John 1:4
And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.
The advancing of the Kingdom.

2 John 12
Though I have much to write to you, I would rather not use paper and ink. Instead I hope to come to you and talk face to face, so that our joy may be complete.

3 John 4
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.
Personal; the Kingdom’s advance.

Jude 24
Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy,

Edward Taylor, Meditation 39.4


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Fifth Stanza

I have no plea mine Advocate to give.

What now? He’ll anvil arguments great store

Out of his flesh and blood to make me live.

O dear bought arguments: good pleas therefor.

Nails made of heavenly steel, more choice than gold

Drove home, well clenched, eternally will hold.


Since a lawyer is limited by the facts of the case (attorneys’ pleas spring from the state/

The case is in), and since this case is so dire, they “knock me down to woe”, the poet has nothing to help:

I have no plea mine Advocate to give.

There is nothing particularly musical about this line: it is a plain statement of fact. And this leaves him with the wholly prosaic question:

What now?

The first line and-a-half of this stanza contain no clever image, interesting musical devices. It is just a clear statement of fact. But when we turn to the Advocate’s work, the stanza becomes “poetic”. This is an interesting rhetorical tactic by Taylor, increasing the rhetorical fireworks when it comes to the Advocate’s work.

How will the Advocate plead for the poet, when the facts are against the poet?

            He’ll anvil arguments great store

Out of his flesh and blood

The image striking: the argument will come from the Advocate’s own “flesh and blood”. Moreover, he will not merely take these arguments, they will be hammered like a blacksmith with iron at a furnace, He’ll anvil arguments.

The picture is grotesque and wonderful: how does not take an hammer and anvil to one’s own body? And yet it is out of the body of the Advocate that the defense is raised.

Here is a central mystery of the Christian claim. All human beings have a body which is ultimate derived from the body of Adam. All people are of one body: “And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth.” Acts 17:26 (ESV) Thus, in both a representative and physical sense, all human beings are born “in Adam”.

The Son of God is “made flesh”. (John 1:14) Christ then lives a sinless life, and yet suffers the death allotted to all of Adam’s descendants. Being innocent, and being representative, he bears the weight of the judgment against sin: “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.” 1 Peter 2:24 (ESV) In the end he is vindicated (as evidenced by this resurrection, Romans 1:4). Christ becomes a new Adam. (Rom. 5:12-19) As raised, he stands as a new humanity.

42 So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. 43 It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. 47 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. 48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.

1 Corinthians 15:42–49 (ESV) Much, much more could said on this point from the New Testament. But is without question the doctrine of the Apostles that the physical body of Christ in life, death, burial, and resurrection, becomes the plea for our salvation: “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

2 Corinthians 5:21 (ESV) The way in which that life of Christ becomes our life is a further discussion. The point here is that Taylor says nothing but what the Bible teaches. In a roughly contemporary work, William Gurnal uses an image which reminds of the language here in Taylor:

“He lived and died for you; he will live and die with you; for mercy and tenderness to his soldiers, none like him. Trajan, it is said, rent his clothes to bind up his soldiers’ wounds; Christ poured out his blood as balm to heal his saints’ wounds; tears off his flesh to bind them up.”

William Gurnall and John Campbell, The Christian in Complete Armour (London: Thomas Tegg, 1845), 6.

These arguments made from the body of the advocate bring life, “to make me live.” As Paul writes: “But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, 24 but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, 25 who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.” Romans 4:23–25 (ESV)

These arguments come at great cost, “O dear bought arguments”. They will also work, they are “good pleas.”

Ship’s Nail, courtesy Neil Cummings

The final couplet makes an in ironic use of nails:

Nails made of heavenly steel, more choice than gold

Drove home, well clenched, eternally will hold.

At one level, “nails” references the strength of this argument: They are “heavenly steel.” They are more precious that gold. And they have been fit so well, that the argument will be valid for all eternity: “Drove home, well clenched, eternally will hold.”

The final line contains two pauses, which slows down and underscores the proposition raised: This argument will stand.

The use of nails as the image for the argument then alludes to the basis for the argument: Christ’s sacrificial death. He was nailed to the tree, and in so doing, our sins were nailed to the tree. In this seeming loss, there was victory:

11 In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.

Colossians 2:11–15 (ESV)

Edward Taylor, Meditation 39.3


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Fourth Stanza

Joy, joy, God Son’s the sinner’s Advocate

Doth plead the sinner guiltless and a saint.

But yet attorneys’ pleas spring from the state

The case is in: if bad it’s bad in plaint.

My papers do contain no pleas that do

Secure me from, but knock me down to woe.


There are three propositions in this stanza. First, the Son as Advocate can plead the guilty innocent. How this possible is not yet raised. Second, a lawyer’s work can be no better than the material he has to work with. Third, the material I can supply only proves my guilt.

Proposition one:

Joy, joy, God Son’s the sinner’s Advocate

Doth plead the sinner guiltless and a saint.

Aside from the spondee of JOY JOY, these two lines run in regular iambs. There is a usesful alliteration on S which draws primary elements together: Son SinnerS, Sinner, guiltless, Saint.

The work of this advocate does not merely obtain a not-guilty plea. The sinner is not merely left off for insufficient evidence. Rather, the work of the Son transforms the sinner into a saint. He is not only “not guilty”, he is positively innocent.

Proposition two:

But yet attorneys’ pleas spring from the state

The case is in: if bad it’s bad in plaint.

The plea an attorney can enter in a trial is limited by the nature of the underlying facts: the plea “springs from the state the case in.”  To make the negative case clear: if it the facts are bad, the attorney’s plea (his “plaint”, as in “complaint”) is also bad. “If bad it’s bad in plaint” is a fine clause.

Proposition Three

My papers do contain no pleas that do

Secure me from, but knock me down to woe.

We now come to the poet’s particular situation. We have just been told that the quality of the plea will depend upon the quality of the facts. So what facts are here for the poet?

He looks to his legal papers, but there is nothing in the papers to absolve him.

My papers do contain no pleas that do

Secure me

What do the papers say:

The facts “but knock me down to woe.” Woe: that is condemnation.

Thus, the legal conflict is set in full: A lawyer can only plead what the facts permit. The facts here condemn. But the Son can somehow make a plea which can make the poet guiltless. How can this be? That is the matter of the remainder of the poem.

Why groups will do what individuals will not

Groups end up being more competitive than individuals. This “individual-group discontinuity effect” is remarkably robust and easily replicated. Why? First, it is easier to serve the interests of our group than our own narrow interests without seeming greedy. Second, we are apt to see it as our duty as a loyal group member to favor our group. Far from feeling greedy, we take pride in serving our group’s interests. Third, we are much more likely to attribute competitive motives, as well as a host of other negative traits, to outgroups than to individuals; outgroups are more difficult to trust and thus require our vigilance. Finally, any aggressive actions we do take seem to be a collective group action rather than our own individual action, and this diffuses our responsibility for the nastiness that may result.

The Joy of Pain: Schadenfreude

Richard H. Smith

The Wonderful Combat, Sermon 1.5


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IV. [The Temptation]

The fourth point is the end, that is, the conflict, as it concerns Christ, insomuch that he was led to be tempted. In which temptation Augustine saith, Habemus & quod credentes veneremur, & quod videntes imitamur: [That which we have and which we believe we adore; that which we see, we practice] There be two things for faith to adore, and two things for imitation to practice.

First for faith[1], that the temptations of Christ, have sanctified temptations unto us[2]: that whereas before they were curses, like unto hanging on a tree[3]; now, since Christ hath been both tempted and hanged on a tree, they be no longer signs and pledges of God’s wrath, but favors. A man may be the child of GOD notwithstanding, and therefore he is not to receive a discouragement by any of them.[4]

Secondly[5], besides the sanctifying, it is an abatement[6], so that now when we are tempted, they have not the force they had before: for now, the serpent’s head is bruised, so that he is now nothing so strong (as he was) to cast his darts.[7] Also, the head of his darts are blunted, 1. Cor. 15. 55 Death, where is thy sting? Hell, where is thy victory?[8]

 For as his death and resurrection had a mortifying force against the old man[9], and a quickening force toward the new man[10]: so hath his temptation a dulling force to the Devil and a strengthening force to us.

For our life and imitation, there are also two.

First, Compassion: for Christ knowing in what sort we were tempted, as having felt by experience, both how strong the assaulting was, Psa. 118. 13[11], who thrust sore[12] at him that he might fall; & how feeble our nature is to make resistance[13], be nothing but dust, Psalm. 103. 14[14] he is moved thereby to lay away severity[15], and to put on the bowels of compassion[16]. So that Now we have not a high Priest which cannot be tempted with our infirmities, but was tempted in like sort, Heb. 4. 15. So we, (which were before stony judges, and too rough [difficult] for physicians) ought in like sort (having been tempted ourselves) to look upon others defects with a more passionate regard.[17]

The second thing we are to imitate, Christ is our fellow-helper in all our necessities and temptations; who, as he shows us his [the Devil’s] sleights and darts, Eph. 4. 14[18] so he teaches us how to avoid them. This is no small comfort to us, when we consider that he [Christ] is with us, and will be till the end of the world, Matt. 28. 20[19] who hath overcome the world, John 16. 33[20] and the devil: If any temptation happen, that he will bear us out, we may be of good cheer.[21] This was it that did so animate Job, Do thou but take my part, and who shall touch me? Job 17. 3. When as both Christ and we draw together in one yoke, Matt. 11. 29 what can hurt us?[22]

Yet if we be afraid for that we see the enemy coming; let us call for the help of our assistant, and as it is said in Psal. 68. 1 we shall see God will arise, and his enemies shall be scattered: they shall vanish like smoke, and melt like way. When they are ready to attach us[23], let us say, Save me O God, for the waters are entered even into my soul. Psalm 69. 1. When we are feeble, then let us say with Ezekiel, O Lord it hath oppressed me, comfort me, Ezek. 38. 14. Or though they have wounded us, let vs say with David, Bring out thy spear, and stop the way against them that persecute me. Psalm. 35. 3. Say yet to my soul, I am thy salvation. So that we have not only an example, but a comfort too.


What can we take away from a knowledge that Christ was tempted? First, he proposes two points for us to “adore”: (1) We need not look upon a trial or temptation as proof of God’s displeasure or even our sin. Christ was tempted by the Devil himself, and he was brought to the temptation by the Holy Spirit. Since that is true, we can conclude, reasoning from the greater to the lesser, and reasoning from the fact that Christ is our Savior and representative, we can conclude that trials and temptations have a different purpose for us than punishment or God’s displeasure.

(2) The fact of Christ’s work has limited the power of temptation. This happens in two ways. (a) There has been a subjective transformation of us. We are different because our “old man” has been put to death with Christ:

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin.

Romans 6:5–7 (ESV). (b) The Devil himself has suffered a mortal wound by the life, death, and resurrection of Christ:

Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.

1 John 3:8 (ESV).

Second, there are two things for us to do. (1) Look upon others with compassion when we see them in their weakness and distress. Here is the argument: (a) Christ is compassionate to those who are tempted. (b) We are to imitate Christ. (c) Therefore, we are to be compassionate to those in temptation.

The first premise of this argument comes from two passages in Hebrews:

14 Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. 16 For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham. 17 Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

Hebrews 2:14–18 (ESV). And:

14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Hebrews 4:14–16 (ESV). This compassion of Christ is grounded in his knowledge of our weakness, being but dust.

The second premise can be found through-out the NT:

21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.

1 Peter 2:21 (ESV)

The conclusion follows from the first two premises.

(2) We also are given an example of who to navigate and pass beyond trials and temptations of this world, because we have the example of Christ. We also know that Christ has not merely left us an example to follow; but he also will walk through the trials with us. And in that we can have good courage.

[1] By faith, Andrews means that this knowledge is an encouragement to and a strengthening of our faith. We have greater understanding and thus greater hope.

[2] By “sanctified,” Andrews means that Christ having undergone temptation in human flesh has now transformed the nature of temptation which suffered by those who believe in and are united to Christ.

[3] Galatians 3:10–13 (ESV) “10 For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” 11 Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.” 12 But the law is not of faith, rather “The one who does them shall live by them.” 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”—” Paul is quoting Deuteronomy 21:22–23 (ESV) 22 “And if a man has committed a crime punishable by death and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, 23 his body shall not remain all night on the tree, but you shall bury him the same day, for a hanged man is cursed by God. You shall not defile your land that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance.” This an interesting curse, because (1) the curse is not based upon the conduct of the man condemned; it is passive; and (2) the curse defiles the land. This is the reason that the Jews requested Pilate to not allow the bodies to stay on the cross overnight. John 19:31

[4] To be tempted, does not mean that God is displeased with us. Therefore, we need not be discouraged if we are tempted.

[5] Here is a further encouragement to our faith.

[6] The power of sin is limited due to Christ having gone through temptation.

[7] Andrews argues here that we are better able to withstand temptation, because Satan is no longer as strong as before Christ conquered him on the cross. Colossians 2:15 (ESV) “He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.” The bruising of the Serpent’s head is a reference to Genesis 3:14–15 (ESV)

14 The Lord God said to the serpent,

                        “Because you have done this,

cursed are you above all livestock

and above all beasts of the field;

                        on your belly you shall go,

and dust you shall eat

all the days of your life.

            15          I will put enmity between you and the woman,

and between your offspring and her offspring;

                        he shall bruise your head,

and you shall bruise his heel.”

“To cast his dart”: this is a reference to Ephesians 6:16 (ESV) “In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one.”

[8] The 15th chapter of 1 Corinthians concerns the doctrine of the resurrection, moving from Jesus’ resurrection to the resurrection of those found in him. If death has been conquered by the Resurrection, then it’s sting has been removed.

1 Corinthians 15:51–55 (ESV)

51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:

                        “Death is swallowed up in victory.”

            55          “O death, where is your victory?

O death, where is your sting?”

[9] Puts to death our life prior to the knowledge of God. Calvin comments:

That our old man, etc. The old man, as the Old Testament is so called with reference to the New; for he begins to be old, when he is by degrees destroyed by a commencing regeneration. But what he means is the whole nature which we bring from the womb, and which is so in capable of the kingdom of God, that it must so far die as we are renewed to real life. This old man, he says, is fastened to the cross of Christ, for by its power he is slain: and he expressly referred to the cross, that he might more distinctly show, that we cannot be otherwise put to death than by partaking of his death. For I do not agree with those who think that he used the word crucified, rather than dead, because he still lives, and is in some respects vigorous. It is indeed a correct sentiment, but not suitable to this passage. The body of sin, which he afterwards mentions, does not mean flesh and bones, but the corrupted mass; for man, left to his own nature, is a mass made up of sin.

John Calvin, Romans, electronic ed., Calvin’s Commentaries (Albany, OR: Ages Software, 1998), Ro 6:6.

[10] Romans 6:5–11 (ESV) “For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.”

[11] Psalm 118:12–13 (ESV)

            12          They surrounded me like bees;

they went out like a fire among thorns;

in the name of the Lord I cut them off!

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

but the Lord helped me.

[12] “Sore” is an adverb which intensifies the previous action: to be “sore afraid” is to be very afraid. To “thrust sore” means to strike/thrust with great strength.

[13] In our own natural human strength, we are quite week and would not be able to resist.

[14] Psalm 103:13–14 (ESV)

13    As a father shows compassion to his children,

so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.

14    For he knows our frame;

he remembers that we are dust.

[15] Since Christ knows how week we are, being but dust, he takes away the strength of temptation and turns to us with compassion.

[16] Compassion being associated with our guts, our insides. We would more likely make a reference to the “heart,” although we do speak about a “gut instinct” or “gut hunch”.

[17] If Christ can be compassionate with us, when we he sees our weakness in temptation; so, also, we should be far more compassionate with the weakness of others.

[18] Ephesians 4:14 (ESV)  “so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.”

[19] Matthew 28:18–20 (ESV) “And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’”

[20] John 16:25–33 (ESV) ‘’I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures of speech but will tell you plainly about the Father. 26 In that day you will ask in my name, and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf; 27 for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. 28 I came from the Father and have come into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father.’

“29 His disciples said, ‘Ah, now you are speaking plainly and not using figurative speech! 30 Now we know that you know all things and do not need anyone to question you; this is why we believe that you came from God.’ 31 Jesus answered them, ‘Do you now believe? 32 Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. 33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.’”

[21] If we suffer a temptation, but know that while we are in the trial/temptation Christ is with us and will sustain through the temptation, we can bear it with a good spirit.

[22] Matthew 11:25–30 (ESV)  “At that time Jesus declared, ‘I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; 26 yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. 27 All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. 28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’”

[23] When it appears our enemy will overtake us.

Edward Taylor, Meditation 39.2


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Third Stanza

Lord, hold thy hand: for handle me thou may’st

In wrath but, oh! A twinkling ray of hope

Methinks I spy thou graciously gracious display’st.

There is an Advocate: a door is ope.

Sin’s poison swell my heart would till it burst,

Did not a hope hence creep in’t thus, and nursed.


Lord, hold thy hand: for handle me thou may’st

In wrath but, oh! A twinkling ray of hope

The accented first syllable with the vocative “Lord” presses the urgency of the whole. Nothing precedes “Lord;” no “dear Lord”, “Oh Lord” et cetera. He has no time to slow his plea.

The prayer is that God not discipline him in anger. This alludes to

Psalm 6:1 (AV)

O LORD, rebuke me not in thine anger, neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.

In the original Hebrew, there is no injection “O”, it begins directly Yhwh [the name of the Lord, rendered into English as “Lord” following the custom of the earlier Jews to not use God’s covenant, and to substitute Adonai, “Lord”]

Next notice the alliterative H: hold, hand, handle, [wrath], and then, hope. The H’s draw attention to the danger faced by the poet. But the final H changes the direction of the poem’s movement.  God has the right to judge him; this is indicated by the “may’st”; there is a moral permission for God’s action.

                                    A twinkling ray of hope

Methinks I spy thou graciously gracious display’st.

There is an Advocate: a door is ope.

Here the rhyme works perfectly: hope/ope. The use of “poetic” “ope” not only makes the rhyme, it connotates something special by use of “special” language.  The second line makes good use of an adverb/adjective graciously/gracious.

The poet faces danger: God is set to strike him in wrath. And there at the final moment he sees a “ray of hope” through an opening door: He sees and “Advocate.”

Sin’s poison swell my heart would till it burst,

Did not a hope hence creep in’t thus, and nursed.

This introduces an idea which is not intuitive in our contemporary understanding of “sin,” even within the church. Sin only pretends to be a pleasurable thing. We speak of temptation and sin as luxurious pleasures which we must forego, often for no apparent reason. A common conservation is to question “why” this is forbidden. Why would God not let me X.

The understanding of sin presented by Taylor is quite different. He never denies the degree to which is he tempted toward sin. But he also understands that sin is its own punishment. To ingest sin is a danger. No matter how desirable it may seem, it is poison.

Notice the correspondence of God’s judgment upon him and sin bursting his heart with poison: the danger of sin and the judgment of God are two sides of the same event. Notice that his heart is also saved from the poison of sin by the very same hope: His heart would have failed, “Did not a hope hence creep in’t”. The hope then “nurses” his heart to health.

Thus, the hope of his advocate saves him from the wrath of God and the danger of sin. In all salvation of God, the salvation is from death & sin (which are inseparable).

The Wonderful Combat, Sermon 1.4


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III. [Jesus was Led by the Spirit]

Thirdly, we are to consider the leader, He was led by the Spirit. In which we are to note five things: not making any question, but that it was the good Spirit, for so it appears in Luke. 4. 1.[1]

First, that the state of a man regenerate by baptism[2], is not a standing still, Matt. 20. 6. He found others standing idle in the marketplace, and he said to them, Why stand ye idle all day?[3] We must not only have a mortifying and reviving, but a quickening[4] and stirring spirit. 1. Cor. 15. 45[5] which will move us, and cause us to proceed: we must not lie still like lumps of flesh, laying all upon Christs shoulders, Phil. 3. 16[6] we must walk forwards, for the kingdom of God consists not in words, but in power, 1. Cor. 4. 19.[7]

Secondly, as there must be a stirring, so this stirring must not be such, as when a man is left to his own voluntary or natural motion: we must go according as we are lead. For having given ourselves to God, we are no longer to be at our own disposition or direction: whereas before our calling, we were Gentiles, and were carried into errors, 1. Cor. 12. 2[8] we wandered up & down as masterless or careless, or else gave heed to the doctrine of devils, 1. Tim. 4.1[9] or else led with divers [various] lusts, 2. Tim. 3. 6.[10] But now being become the children of God, we must be led by the Spirit of God: for so many as be the sons of God, are led thereby, Rom. 8. 14.[11] We must not be led by the Spirit, whence the Revelation came Matt. 16. 22. from whence revelations of flesh and blood do arise: but by the Spirit from whence the voice came, This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.[12] It came not by the Spirit that minister’s wise counsel, but by that which came down upon them.

Thirdly, the manner of leading, is described to be such a kind of leading when a ship is loosed from the shore, as Luke. chapter 8. verse. 22. it is called launching forth: so, in the eighteenth chapter of the Acts, the 31. verse, Paul is said to have sailed forth.

The Holy Ghost driving us, is compared to a gale [blowing, not storm] of wind, John 3. 8[13] which teaches us, that as when the wind blows, we must be ready to hoist up sail: so must we make vs ready to be led by the spirit. Our hope is compared to an anchor, Heb. 6. 19. which must be hailed up to us; and our faith to the sail, we are to bear as great a sail as we can. We must also look to the closeness of the vessel, which is our conscience: for if we have not a good conscience, we may make shipwreck of faith, religion, and all, 1. Tim., 1. 19. And thus are we to proceed in our journey towards our Country, the spiritual Jerusalem, as it were sea-faring men. Acts. 20. 22. Now behold I go bound in spirit to Jerusalem: to which journey the love of Christ must constrain vs. 2. Cor. 5. 14.[14]

Fourthly, that he was led to be tempted. His temptation therefore came not by chance, nor as Job chap 5. vers. 6. speaks, out of the dust, or out of the earth, nor from the devil, for he had no power without leave, not only over Job’s person, Job. 1. 12. but not so much as over his goods, verse 14.[15] He had no power of himself so much as over the hogs of the Gergashites, who were profan, Matt. 8. 31.[16]

Hence gather we this comfort, that the Holy Ghost is not a stander by (as a stranger) [one who merely stands without responding] when we are tempted, Tanquam otiosus spectator [as if he were an idle spectator] but he leads us by the hand, and stands by as a faithful assistant, Esay chapter 4. verse. 13. He makes an issue out of [is concerned about] all our temptations, and will not suffer us to be tempted above our strength, 1. Cor. Chap. 10. vers. 13.[17] And he turns the work of sin, and of the devil too, unto our good, Ro. 8. 28.[18] So that all these shall make us more wary after to resist them: and hell, by fearing it, shall be an occasion unto us, to avoid that might bring vs to it: and so they shall all be fellow-helpers to our salvation.

[How might they be good?]

So that temptations, whether

[1] they be (as the fathers call them) rods to chasten us for sin committed,

[2] or to try and sift us, Mat. 3. 12. and so to take away the chaff, the fan is in the Holy Ghost’s hand:

[3] or whether they be sent to buffet us against the prick of the flesh, 2. Cor. 12. 7,[19]

[4]or whether they be as matters serving for our experience, not only for ourselves, that we may know our own strength, Rom. 5. 3. and to work patience in us:

[5] but to the devil also, that so his mouth may be stopped, as in Job 2. 3. Hast thou marked my servant Job, how upright he is, and that in all the world there is not such a one?

Howsoever they be, the Devil has not the rod or chain in his hands, but the Holy Ghost to order them, as may best serve for his glory and our good: and as for the devil, he binds him fast, Rev. 20. 2.[20]

Fifthly, by the Greek word here used, is set forth the difference between the temptations of the Saints, and reprobates. In the Lord’s Prayer one petition is, Lead vs not into temptation: but there, the Word imports [carries] another manner of leading, than is here meant. We do not there pray against this manner of leading here, which is so to lead us, as to be with us, and to bring us back again, Heb. 13. 20[21] but we pray there, that he would not cast or drive us into temptations; and when we are there, leave vs, by withdrawing his grace and Holy Spirit, as he doth from the reprobate and forsaken.


In this section, Andrews considers the clause from Mathew 4:1, that Jesus was “led by the Spirit” into the wilderness. From this he draws a series of conclusions.

First, the Spirit which the believer receives is a Spirit which brings about change and movement. Jesus was led, but we too are put into motion.

Second, we are being led: the Spirit has now taken control: “we are no longer to be at our own disposition or direction.” Before, we were led about by our own passions. But if we now are God’s we are led by the Spirit: Romans 8:14 (ESV) “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.”

Third, as such, we are like ships which are blown by the wind. He takes this from the analogy of the Spirit to the wind (the two words are the same in Greek) in John 3. From this he draws out the analogy to the a “shipwreck of our faith” if we defile and refuse our conscience.

Fourth, being led out to be tempted is not a whole evil, because God uses all things for God. To be tempted and tried may prove to be (1) correction for our past sin; (2) a trial which takes sin away from us (sifting us like wheat to remove the chaff and leave the grain); (3) it may be a trouble which protects us from further sin by making us humble; (4) we may be humbled by learning our limitations and dependence; (5) it may even be a rebuke to Devil, as it was in the case of Job.

[1] Luke 4:1 (ESV) “And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness.”

[2] Article 27 of the Church of England respecting baptism provides as follows: “Baptism is not only a sign of profession, and mark of difference, whereby Christian men are discerned from others that be not christened, but it is also a sign of Regeneration or New-Birth, whereby, as by an instrument, they that receive Baptism rightly are grafted into the Church; the promises of the forgiveness of sin, and of our adoption to be the sons of God by the Holy Ghost, are visibly signed and sealed; Faith is confirmed, and Grace increased by virtue of prayer unto God.”

[3] The text cited refers to a parable of Jesus; the language as cited has no direct application to Andrews’ argument. Here he is using the reference as an illustration, not as evidence.

[4] To be “quick” is to be alive and moving. To “quicken” is to make alive, restore life.

[5] 1 Corinthians 15:44–46 (ESV) “44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual.”

[6] Andrews’ argument in this place is better understood and supported if we look to more of the context for v. 16:

Philippians 3:14–16 (ESV) “14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. 16 Only let us hold true to what we have attained.”

[7] 1 Corinthians 4:19 (ESV) “But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I will find out not the talk of these arrogant people but their power.”

[8] 1 Corinthians 12:2 (ESV)  “You know that when you were pagans you were led astray to mute idols, however you were led.”

[9] 1 Timothy 4:1 (ESV) “Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons.”

[10] 2 Timothy 3:6 (ESV) “For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions.” Rather than “various passions,” the Geneva has “divers lustes”.

[11] Romans 8:14 (ESV)  “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.”

[12] Matt. 3:16.

[13] John 3:8 (ESV) “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

[14] 2 Corinthians 5:14 (ESV) “For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died.”

[15]In the first chapter of Job, Satan accuses Job of serving God only for receiving material rewards. He asks and receives power to cause Job injury. First, he is granted power only over such things as around Job. Second, he is granted the power to afflict Job’s body – but not kill him.  Andrews also alludes to:

Job 5:6–7 (ESV)

                      For affliction does not come from the dust,

nor does trouble sprout from the ground,

                      but man is born to trouble

as the sparks fly upward.

[16] After Jesus casts out the Legion of demons from the man, the demons go into a nearby herd of hogs. Matthew 8:31 (ESV) “And the demons begged him, saying, ‘If you cast us out, send us away into the herd of pigs.’”

[17] 1 Corinthians 10:13 (ESV)  “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”

[18] Romans 8:28–29 (ESV)  “28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.”

[19] 2 Corinthians 12:7–10 (ESV) “7 So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

[20] Revelation 20:2 (ESV) “And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years.”

[21] Hebrews 13:20 (ESV) “Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant.”

Designing Agency

Interesting story about how the fangs on a marine worm are made of a remarkable material, and made by a process which is much simpler than our advanced manufacturing process. But I would like to underscore these sentences:

Scientists aren’t sure why the worms opted for copper rather than another metal more typically used by marine invertebrates, such as iron or zinc. However, one possibility is that the copper reacts with the venom stored in the fangs.

How could the worms “opt” for anything? The worm cannot think . I understand anthropomorphizing language. What is interesting is the need to conceptualize of this process in such terms.

Here we have two poisons: copper & venom. The worm needs to storm the venom. The fangs are necessary for the worm to store the venom:

“The worm has the luxury of storing these toxins in some kind of less harmful or inert form and they become toxic as they move through the channels in the jaw on their way into the prey,” Waite says.

The worm also must be careful of the copper, because copper is also poison. (Copper is a great anti-fungal for plants; I use it in the garden, sparingly.) However, these two poisons when kept separate in the jaws, protect the worm.

Until the worm has the copper jaws, there is no place to store the venom. Until the worm has the venom, it has no particular need for copper jaws. It makes perfect sense to think of the process of putting both the jaws and the venom into place at one time. But how would the process proceed piecemeal?

I can try to construct some sort of piecemeal steps: but in that construction, it is hard to avoid some end-point for the steps. For instance, Dawkins uses a random letter generator construct “Me thinks it is like a weasel” (this is Blind Watchmaker). The glaring fault with analogy is that the end-point [the various words, their order, et cetera] are presupposed. When a “good” letter is found, it is locked in place. In reality, each space would be shuffled, and none would remain locked in place.

With our worm, it has to deal with two toxins, neither of which it can keep without the other; both of which could kill the worm if mishandled. How does one construct the independent steps without knowing the end-point. It is hard (not impossible) to think this through without positing some sort of designing agency: Hence, the worm “opting”.

My point is not directly an evolutionary point but more a thought about a “conceptual schema.” We have to organize information into certain schemas to be comprehensible; otherwise, we would have only discrete, unconnected objects. Seeing agency seems to be one such schema. It takes tremendous effort to avoid referring to a designing agent when looking at complex systems.

This could mean this schema is simply a rule-of-thumb run amuck. It could mean we are designed to see design. Just thinking.

The Wonderful Combat, Sermon 1.3


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Then Jesus. This is the description of the entry into the temptation, and it contains (as a weighty [important] history) many circumstances importing [concerning] great matters, which may be reduced to 7. branches or heads[1].

First, the two champions[2] 1. Christ, and 2. Satan.

3. The leader of Jesus into the lists, who is said to be the holy Ghost.

4. The end, which was the conflict itself, that is, to be tempted.

5. The day of the battel, expressed under the word Then:

6. The lists[3] themselves, that is, the wilderness.

7. Christ his preparation to it, that is, his fasting

I.  [The First Champion, Christ]

First, for the party defendant, Christ, who (as God)[4] give food to every living creature, Psal. 136. 25. and (as God and man) with five loaves & two fishes fed 5000, besides women and children, Matt. 14. 11.

He that is said to be the very meat [food, not animal tissue alone] itself, whereby we live eternally, John. 6.[5]  He is here said to be hungry.[6]

He, before whom thousand thousands are said to minister, & 10000. thousands are said to stand before him, Dan. 7. 10[7] has here for his companions the wild beasts: for so saith Mark. chap 1. 13.

He, to whom the Angels minister, vers. 11. is here assailed with devil, which offer unto him matter of great indignity;

and the indignity which he suffered, leads us to the consideration of the grievousness of our sins, & of the greatness of his love, both which are measured by the greatness of those things he suffered for us; as that he was cast out from among the company of Angels (for so Mark 1:12. hath it) into the Desert, to be a companion of beasts, and so led forth to be tempted; where he suffered in his body hunger, in his soul temptation: what is it else, but a proclaiming of his great love toward us?

As if he should (exulting) say, What is it that shall separate me from the love of men? Shall temptation? shall solitariness? shall hunger? shall wearisome labor and travel? shall watching? shall anguish of mind, and bloody sweat? shall mocks [mocking]? shall whips? shall nailes? shall spears? shall principalities?

That we also might use the same challenge which Paul does in the 8. Chapter of his Epistle to the Romans the 35. verse, “What shall separate vs from the love of Christ? shall tribulation? shall anguish? or persecution?” These two profitable points grow out of the consideration of the person of the defendant.


He introduces Christ’s participation in the Temptation through a series of contrasts:

He feeds others; he himself is hungry.

He is the king of all; he is alone with wild beasts.

He is from a throne; he is in the wilderness.

He is ministered to by angels; he is assaulted by devils.

This contrast proves: (1) The greatness of our sin; and (2) the greatness of his love.

He then draws rhetorically upon an exaltation at the end of Romans 8 wherein Paul says that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ:

Romans 8:31–38 (ESV)

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written,

                  “For your sake we are being killed all the day long;

      we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.


II. [The Second Champion, the Devil]

Secondly, the party assailant is the Devil, who is so called, by reason of his foul mouth in defaming: for so does the word Diabolus import[8], whereby we have occasion to detest the sin of infamy: and it shows what name they deserve, and how to be esteemed of, in whom that quality is found.

S. Paule 2. Tim. 3. 3[9] foretold, that in the latter days there should be men devils, foul mouthed men, evil speakers: and 1. Tim. 3. 11[10] he speaks of women devils because of their calumnious speeches.

In the tongue wherein Christ spoke these words, namely the Syriac[11], the fittest word that he could find to signify the devil’s name, is a word that signifes Diuulgator: so that a publisher of infamous reports[12], is good Syriac for the devil; as when a man lightly conveys a reproach, either forging it himself by misconstruction, or credulously receiving it upon the report of others[13], and then is not sorry for his brothers ill, Mat. 5. 22. but rather insults [him]; not considering that he himself may fall into the like temptations, Gal 6. 1[14] and so becomes puffed up, 1. Cor. 5. 2[15] and at last falls a-blazing his brothers imperfections, 3. John 10[16] these come right to the devil’s quality they take upon them the abetting of the devil’s quarrel.

It is the Devil’s occupation to defame us first with God, as he did Iob, as if he had been an hypocrite, and had served God only for gain, Iob. 1. 9[17] and so stands he continually accusing us, Apoc. 12. 10[18] and he also defames God with us, as if he were a God that did envy our good, Gen. 3. 1. and so he here defames God to Christ, as if he were careless in providing for him, in suffering him to be hungry.

And from these two defamations proceeds all evil whatsoever, as well that which the Divines [theologians] call Malum poenae [power of evil] as Job 1. 12[19] accusing Job, that he would curse God if he handled him roughly, and so got power over his goods: as that which they call Malum culpae [fault/responsibility of evil] For his defaming God with us, was the cause of all sin[20]: and everywhere still we see he labors to persuade us, that God is an unkind God; that so we may burst forth into those terms, This good did I get at Gods hand, 2. Ki. 6. 33. to wit, hunger.[21]

To this does he tempt Christ vers. 3. And as to desperation, so sometimes to the contrary, presumption, as vers. 6. Cast thyself down, &c. by bringing us to have a base conceit of God[22], defaming him as if he were a God of clots, not to be reckoned of[23], as if he were a man to wait upon us, and to take us up as oft as we list to throw ourselves down, that we may say in our hearts, as they that were frozen in their dregs did, Sophon. 1. 12 He neither does good nor hurt, it is all one to serve him, and not to serve him. He tells vs (as verse. 9[24]) that he will give us all this, if we will fall down and worship him, as though he were very liberal [generous] in rewards, & as though God were unkind or ungrateful, not once regarding vs for all our service, but suffers us even to starve.[25]

Which brought men to that passe, as to say, Malach. 3. 14. that It is but in vain to serve God, what gain is in his service?[26]

If he [the Devil] cannot prevail this way against us [convince us], then he will try another way: for, when (seeing that this temptation succeeded not) the devil left Christ, he departed not for altogether, but went to come again (as appeares in the fourth of Luke, verse. 13. he departed for a time. Christ was too cunning [smart, able] for him in disputing [responding to the Devil’s temptations] he meant therefore to take another course: for as James notes, chap 1. vers. 14[27] there be two sorts of temptations, one by enticement, as a serpent; another by violence, as a lion; if he cannot prevail as a serpent, he will play the lion. He had also another power at Christ in the garden, the power of darkness, Luc. 22. 53. there he bruised his heel.


Andrews uses the introduction of the Devil as an opportunity to consider the nature of slander and sin. He is not offering an objective examination of the Devil, but is introducing the Devil as our enemy too. Recall the purpose of this study is in part to protect us against our own assault from the Devil.

He uses slander as a basic sin which gives rise to all other sins. He draws this consideration from the name of the Devil which means “slanderer.”

He begins by discussing the sin of slander among human beings, and note that is a devilish thing. It is slander to create a falsehood, and it is slander to repeat a falsehood.

From this he traces the arch sin back to slander. The Devil slandered God in the Garden, alleging that God had lied to them. This led to the sin of Adam which lead to all other sins. Since that time, the Devil’s work has been two-fold: First, to slander us to God. This is under the name “Satan” which means “Accuser”. Second, the Devil slanders God to us.

But such work does not exhaust the Devil’s resources. If he can trick us or entice us, he will threaten us.

It is interesting that a single word in Greek is translated both “trial” and “temptation.” A temptation is an enticement. A trial is a stressful circumstance which pushes us to sin.

[1] A common feature of sermons and discussions in this time was the division of any subject into its various parts. If you were to discuss automobiles, you might divide all cars into oil or electric. You would then divide oil into gasoline and diesel, and so on.

[2] Champion here merely means the combatants. We do not need to read a positive sense into the word “champion” as victor or best party.

[3] Here, by “lists” Andrews means the location of the combat. The “lists” narrowly refers to the boundaries of the place of a joust.

[4] He here asserts the divinity of Christ.

[5] John 6:52–56 (ESV) “52 The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” 53 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. 55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. 56 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.”

[6] Andrews does not provide the reference, but he is here referring to: Matthew 4:1–2 (ESV) “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.”

[7] Daniel 7:9–12 (ESV)

9 “As I looked,

                  thrones were placed,

      and the Ancient of Days took his seat;

                  his clothing was white as snow,

      and the hair of his head like pure wool;

                  his throne was fiery flames;

      its wheels were burning fire.

            10       A stream of fire issued

      and came out from before him;

                  a thousand thousands served him,

      and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him;

                  the court sat in judgment,

      and the books were opened.

11 “I looked then because of the sound of the great words that the horn was speaking. And as I looked, the beast was killed, and its body destroyed and given over to be burned with fire. 12 As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but their lives were prolonged for a season and a time.

[8] The name “Devil” comes from the Greek meaning slanderer. For example, “Slanderers he hated more than thieves, deeming loss of friends graver than loss of money.” Xenophon, Xenophon in Seven Volumes, 7, trans. E. C. Marchant and G. W. Bowersock (Medford, MA: Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA; William Heinemann, Ltd., London., 1925). The word translated “slanderers” being the plural of “diabolos.” If you would like to check, “τούς γε μὴν διαβόλους μᾶλλον ἢ τοὺς κλέπτας ἐμίσει.” Xenophon, “Xenophontis Opera Omnia, Vol. 5” (Medford, MA: Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1920).

[9] 2 Timothy 3:1–3 (ESV) “But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good ….”

[10] 1 Timothy 3:11 (ESV) “Their wives likewise must be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things.”

[11] Aramaic, not Syriac.

[12] Someone spreading slanderous news.

[13] Slander can come from one of two directions: (1) it can be made up by the speaker; or (2) the speaker can repeat something he has heard. Andrews further defines the one repeating as one who does not

[14] Galatians 6:1 (ESV)  “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.”

[15] 1 Corinthians 5:2 (ESV) “And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you.” The Geneva has “puffed-up” for arrogant, “And ye are puffed up & have not rather sorowed, that he which hathe done this dede, might be put from among you.”

[16] 3 John 10 (ESV)

10 So if I come, I will bring up what he is doing, talking wicked nonsense against us. And not content with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers, and also stops those who want to and puts them out of the church.

[17] Job 1:7–10 (ESV) “7 The LORD said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the LORD and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” 8 And the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” 9 Then Satan answered the LORD and said, “Does Job fear God for no reason? 10 Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land.”

[18] Revelation 12:10 (ESV) “And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, ‘Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God.’”

[19] Job 1:12 (ESV) “And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.” The evil one having power to act.

[20] In the Garden, Satan lies about God and says that God is lying to the couple. Thus, Satan slanders God and from that slander comes all other sin.

[21] The king of Damascus had surrounded the royal city of Samaria. This led to a famine in the city. The king blamed God and blamed the prophet Elisha: 2 Kings 6:32–33 (ESV)

32 Elisha was sitting in his house, and the elders were sitting with him. Now the king had dispatched a man from his presence, but before the messenger arrived Elisha said to the elders, “Do you see how this murderer has sent to take off my head? Look, when the messenger comes, shut the door and hold the door fast against him. Is not the sound of his master’s feet behind him?” 33 And while he was still speaking with them, the messenger came down to him and said, “This trouble is from the LORD! Why should I wait for the LORD any longer?”

[22] An evil or bad idea about God.

[23] As if God were a stupid man fit for no other job than to wait upon us.

[24] Matthew 4:8–9 (ESV)

Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.”

[25] When the Devil asks Jesus to make bread from stones, there is the implied slander that God does not care if Jesus starves to death.

[26] Malachi 3:13–15 (ESV)

13 “Your words have been hard against me, says the Lord. But you say, ‘How have we spoken against you?’ 14 You have said, ‘It is vain to serve God. What is the profit of our keeping his charge or of walking as in mourning before the Lord of hosts? 15 And now we call the arrogant blessed. Evildoers not only prosper but they put God to the test and they escape.’”

[27] James 1:14 (ESV)  “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.”