Temptation (מִסָּה, πειρασμός, both meaning trial) in the modern usage of the term, is the enticement of a person to commit sin by offering some seeming advantage. There are four things, says one, in temptation (1) deception, (2) infection, (3) seduction, (4) perdition. The sources of temptation are Satan, the world, and the flesh. We are exposed to them in every state, in every place, and in every time of life. They may be wisely permitted to show us our weakness, to try our faith, to promote our humility, and to teach us to place our dependence on a superior Power; yet we must not run into them, but watch and pray; avoid sinful company; consider the love, sufferings, and constancy of Christ, and the awful consequences of falling a victim to temptation. The following rules have been laid down, by which we may in some measure know when a temptation comes from Satan:
1. When the temptation is unnatural, or contrary to the general bias or temper of our minds;
2. When it is opposite to the present frame of the mind;
3. When the temptation itself is irrational, being contrary to whatever we could imagine our own minds would suggest to us;
4. When a temptation is detested in its first rising and appearance;
5. Lastly, when it is violent. See Brooks, Owen, Gilpin, Capel, and Gillespie on Temptation; South, Seven Sermons on Temptation, in vol. 6 of his Sermons; Pike and Hayward, Cases of Conscience; and Bishop Porteus, Sermons, vol. 1, ser. 3 and 4.