DEVICE 2. By working them to make false definitions of their graces.
Satan knows, that as false definitions of sin wrong the soul one way, so false definitions of grace wrong the soul another way.
Oh how does Satan labor with might and main to work men to make false definitions of FAITH! Some he works to define faith too high, as that it is a full assurance of the love of God to a man’s soul in particular, or a full persuasion of the pardon and remission of a man’s own sins in particular. Says Satan, What do you talk of faith? Faith is an assurance of the love of God, and of the pardon of sin; and this you have not; you know you are far off from this; therefore you have no faith. And by drawing men to make such a false definition of faith, he keeps them in a sad, doubting, and questioning condition, and makes them spend their days in sorrow and sighing, so that tears are their drink, and sorrow is their food, and sighing is their work all the day long.
The philosophers say there are eight degrees of. Now, if a man should define heat only by the highest degree, then all other degrees will be ruled out from being heat. So if men shall define faith only by the highest degrees, by assurance of the love of God, and of the pardon of his sins in particular, what will become of lesser degrees of faith?
If a man should define a man to be a living man, only by the highest and strongest demonstrations of life, as laughing, leaping, running, working, and walking; would not many thousands who groan under internal and external weaknesses, and who cannot laugh, nor leap, nor run, nor work, nor walk—be found dead men by such a definition, that yet we know to be alive? It is so here, and you know how to apply it.
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