Quotes from Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices by Thomas Brooks (1608 – 1680)
DEVICE 2: BY PAINTING SIN WITH VIRTUE’S COLORS.
Satan knows that if he would present sin in its own nature and dress, the soul would
rather fly from it than yield to it; and therefore he presents it unto us, not in its own
proper colors, but painted and gilded over with the name and show of virtue, that we
may the more easily be overcome by it, and take the more pleasure in committing of it.
PRIDE, he presents to the soul under the name and notion of neatness and cleanliness;
and COVETOUSNESS (which the apostle condemns for idolatry) to be but good business; and DRUNKENNESS to be good fellowship, and RIOTOUSNESS under the name and notion of liberality, and WANTONNESS as a trick of youth.
DEVICE 3: BY EXTENUATING AND LESSENING OF SIN.
Ah! says Satan, it is but a little pride, a little worldliness, a little uncleanness, a little drunkenness, etc. As Lot said of Zoar, “It is but a little one, and my soul shall live” (Gen. 19:20). Alas! says Satan, it is but a very little sin that you stick so at. You may commit it without any danger to your soul. It is but a little one; you may commit it, and yet your soul shall live.
Remedy (5). The fifth remedy against this device of Satan, is solemnly to consider, That
other saints have chosen to suffer the worst of torments, rather than commit the least
sin, that is, such as the world accounts little sins. So as you may see in Daniel and his
companions, that would rather choose to burn, and be cast to the lions—than they would bow to the idol which Nebuchadnezzar had set up. When this ‘slight offense’, in the world’s account, and a hot fiery furnace stood in competition, that they must either fall into sin, or be cast into the fiery furnace—such was their tenderness of the honor and glory of God, and their hatred and indignation against sin, that they would rather burn than sin! They knew that it was far better to burn for their not sinning, than that God and conscience should raise a hell, a fire in their bosoms for sin.
DEVICE 4: By presenting to the soul the best men’s sins, and by hiding from the soul
their virtues; by showing the soul their sins, and by hiding from the soul their sorrows
and repentance: as by setting before the soul the adultery of David, the pride of
Hezekiah, the impatience of Job, the drunkenness of Noah, the blasphemy of Peter, etc.,
and by hiding from the soul the tears, the sighs, the groans, the meltings, the
humblings, and repentings of these precious souls.
Remedy (1). The first remedy against this device of Satan is, seriously to consider, That
the Spirit of the Lord has been as careful to note the saints’ rising by repentance out of
sin, as he has to note their falling into sins…..Theodosius the emperor, pressing that he might receive the Lord’s supper, excuses his own foul act by David’s doing the like; to which Ambrose replies, You have followed David transgressing, follow David repenting, and then think you of the table of the Lord.