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VI. SELF, SELF-HURTER.

WHEN God, at the first day of judgment arraigned Eve, she transferred her fault on the serpent which beguiled her. [Gen. iii. 13.] This was one of the first-fruits of our depraved nature. But ever after regenerate men in Scripture, making the confession of their sins (whereof many precedents), cast all the fault on themselves alone: yea, David, when he numbered the people, though it be expressed that Satan 110provoked him thereunto, [1 Chron. xxi. 1.] and though David probably might be sensible of his temptation, yet he never accused the Devil, but derived all the guilt on himself: I it is that have sinned: [1 Chron. xxi. 17.] good reason, for Satan hath no impulsive power; he may strike fire till he be weary (if his malice can be weary); except man’s corruption brings the tinder, the match cannot be lighted. Away, then, with that plea of course: “The Devil owed me a shame.” Owe thee he might, but pay thee he could not, unless thou wert as willing to take his black money as he is to tender it.

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