Every time I begin to read a new Puritan work I find myself wondering why I don’t read more Puritan works. I always focus on the classics, which means the process of elimination through the centuries has determined that this one book stands above hundreds or thousands of others as one of the few to stand the test of time. I am always blessed by them.
Thomas Brooks’ Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices is a study on the subtle ways Satan does battle against God by doing battle against God’s people. Over the next couple of months I’ll be offering weekly reflections on some of book’s highlights.
Brooks begins by saying “Christ, the Scripture, your own hearts, and Satan’s devices, are the four prime things that should be first and most studied and searched. If any cast off the study of these, they cannot be safe here, nor happy hereafter.” It has been his job in preparing this book to do his best “to discover the fullness of Christ, the emptiness of the creature, and the snares of the great deceiver.”
Satan is the great enemy of the Christian and he is “so full of malice and envy that he will leave no means unattempted, whereby he may make all others eternally miserable with himself. [He] “makes use of all his power and skill to bring all the sons of men into the same condition and condemnation with himself.” His desire is our destruction and he will do whatever is necessary to bring it about:
Satan loves to sail with the wind, and to suit men’s temptations to their conditions and inclinations. If they be in prosperity, he will tempt them to deny God (Proverbs 30:9); if they be in adversity, he will tempt them to distrust God; if their knowledge be weak, he will tempt them to have low thoughts of God; if their conscience be tender, he will tempt to scrupulosity; if large, to carnal security; if bold-spirited, he will tempt to presumption; if timorous, to desperation; if flexible, to inconstancy; if stiff, to impenitency.