Quotes from Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices by Thomas Brooks (1608 – 1680)
A WORD TO THE READER
First, You must know that every man cannot be excellent, yet every man may be useful. An iron key may unlock the door with a golden treasure behind it; yes, iron can do some things that gold cannot.
Secondly, Remember, it is not hasty reading, but serious meditating upon holy and heavenly truths, that make them prove sweet and profitable to the soul. It is not the bee’s touching of the flower, which gathers honey, but her abiding for a time upon the flower, which draws out the sweet. It is not he who reads most, but he who meditates most, who will prove the choicest, sweetest, wisest and strongest Christian.
Thirdly, Know that it is not the knowing, nor the talking, nor the reading man, but the doing man, that at last will be found the happiest man. If you know these things, blessed and happy are you if you DO them.
5 But if anyone has caused grief, he has not grieved me, but all of you to some extent—not to be too severe. 6 This punishment which was inflicted by the majority is sufficient for such a man, 7 so that, on the contrary, you ought rather to forgive and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one be swallowed up with too much sorrow. 8 Therefore I urge you to reaffirm your love to him. 9 For to this end I also wrote, that I might put you to the test, whether you are obedient in all things. 10 Now whom you forgive anything, I also forgive. For if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven that one for your sakes in the presence of Christ, 11 lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices. –2 Corinthians 2:5-11
In the 11th verse, he lays down another reason to work them to show pity and mercy to the penitent sinner who was mourning and groaning under his sin and misery; that is, lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices. …
Lest Satan should get an advantage of us -— lest Satan overreach us. The word in the Greek signifies to have more than-belongs to one. The comparison is taken from the greedy merchant, who seeks and takes all opportunities to beguile and deceive others. Satan is that wily merchant, that devours, not widows’ houses, but most men’s souls.
We are not ignorant of Satan’s devices, or plots, or machinations, or stratagems. He is but a Christian in title only, who has not personal experience of Satan’s stratagems, his set and composed machinations, his artificially molded methods, his plots, darts, depths, whereby he outwitted our first parents.
The main observation that I shall draw from these words is this -— That Satan has his several devices to deceive, entangle, and undo the souls of men. I shall—
1. Prove the point.
2. Show you his several devices.
3. Show the remedies against his devices.
4. Show how it comes to pass that he has so many various devices to deceive, entangle, and undo the souls of men.
5. Lay down some propositions concerning Satan’s devices.