Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices

Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices
Joseph J. Adrian

Our Lord calls "His People" to be holy because He is holy. The writings of the Puritan's reveal the intensity to which they pursued that end. An essential aspect of sanctification is to understand how "The Great Enemy Of Our Souls" labors endlessly to hinder our pursuit of holiness and to deceive (so as to destroy if he were able) the souls of as many as he can. He cannot destroy the souls of believers, but he disrupts their peace, joy . . , and overall well being as much as he can. Perhaps the two greatest Puritan works on "Dealing With Sin" are John Owen's "Sin and Temptation" and Thomas Brooks' "Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices." If one just reads the sub-headings (in the Banner Of Truth edition there are 177) it would likely be more helpful than reading most books on the subject. Here are some of the sub-headings to illustrate that point: Under the heading "Satan's Devices To Draw The Soul To Sin" 1.We ought to keep at the greatest distance from sin and from playing with the bait. 2.The giving way to a less sin makes way for committing of a greater. 3.It is far better to compare our internal and external actions with "The Word" than to compare ourselves with others worse than ourselves. 4.To Repent of sin is as great a mark of grace as not to sin.

I first read this observation a number of years ago, and it is something I've never forgotten. Brooks expands this point in a graphic manner——"Repentance is the vomit of the soul, and of all physic, none so difficult and hard as it is to vomit." Our Lord uses means to keep his people from sin, and similar means are used to bring them to repentance. This point that the author makes also contrasts believers and unbelievers——Both sin, only believers repent. True repentance distinguishes the godly from the ungodly.

Another great hindrance to "The Believers Pursuit Of Holiness" is the influence of "The World." There is a section in the book, "Satan Presents The World In Such A Garb As To Ensnare The Soul." One of the remedies the godly Puritan minister gives to combat this is——"To View The Vanity And Impotency Of All Worldly Good." I think Brooks believed that many admit the vanity of this world in the light of eternity, but how many truly embrace that reality from the heart——"It is sad to think how many thousands there be that can say with the preacher, "Vanity of vanities, all is vanity," yet follow after these things as if there were no other glory, nor felicity but what is to be found in these things. Such men will sell Christ, heaven, and their souls for a trifle. . . ."

Thomas Brooks is most well known for this extraordinary work on "Satan's Devices." A couple of his other outstanding works are "Heaven On Earth" and "The Mute Christian Under The Rod."