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therefore I shall here confider how far the devil by his temptations is the cause of the fins which men by compliance with those temptations are drawn into.
as we yield to his temptations, he continually makes nearer approaches to us, and gains a greater power over us. 3dly, But for all this, the devil can force no man to fin. His temptations may move and excite men to fin, but that they are prevalent and effectual, proceeds from our own will and consent: it is our own lusts closing with his temptations that produce fin. The devil hath more or less power over men, according as they give way to him; but never so much as to force their wills, and to compel them to consent to, and comply with his temptations. The grace of God doth hardly offer this violence to men for their ood, in order to their salvation ; and therefore much less will he permit the devil to have this power over men to their ruin and destruction. God's commanding us to resist the devil, supposeth that his temptations are not irrefistible. 4thly, From what hath been said, it appears that though the devil be frequently accessary to the fins of men, yet we ourselves are the authors of them. He tempts us many times to fin, but it is we that commit it. His temptations may sometimes be so violent as to extenuate our fault, but never so forcible as wholly to excuse us ; for we are so far guilty of fin, as we give our consent to it; and how powerful, soever the temptation be to any kind of evil, there is always enough of our own will in it to render us guilty. I am far from thinking that the devil tempts men to all the evil that they do. I rather think, that the greatest part of the wickedness that is committed in the world, springs from the evil motions of mens own minds. Mens own lusts are generally to them the worst devil of the two, and do more strongly incline them to fin, than any devil without them can tempt them to it. It is not to be doubted, that the devil does all the mischief he can to the souls of men, fo far as God permits him; and though the number of evil angels be probably very great, yet it is but finite, and every one of them hath a limited power; and though they be very ačtive, yet they can be but Oslo