As noted in a previous blog post about him snaring people into sin by painting God as all mercy, Satan uses wiles to try to work people to hell, and is constantly in this effort:

1 Peter 5:8 – “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

But we are to resist…

James 4:7 – “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Ephesians 6:11 – “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

…but only with God’s help:

Psalm 28:7 – “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.

That last set of blog posts are taken from Puritan Thomas Brooks excellent book called “Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices”, where he identifies the various ways Satan goes about his work, and offers remedies to help against those devices.

The following is another of those devices, where the devil entices people to sin by suggesting that repentance is an easy thing, and remedies against that device.

You can listen to it here:

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The entire book is scanned in here:

…or you can listen to the entire book on this page:
Thomas Brooks – Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices

From Thomas Brooks:

The sixth device that Satan hath to draw the soul to sin is,

Device (6). By persuading the soul that the work of repentance is an easy work, and that therefore the soul need not make such a matter of sin. Why! Suppose you do sin, saith Satan, it is no such difficult thing to return, and confess, and be sorrowful, and beg pardon, and cry, “Lord, have mercy upon me;” and if you do but this, God will cut the score (footnote: this references notched sticks by which debt accounts were recorded anciently), and pardon your sins, and save your souls, etc.

By this device Satan draws many a soul to sin, and makes many millions of souls servants or rather slaves to sin, etc.

Now, the remedies against this device of Satan are these that follow:

Remedy (1). The first remedy is, seriously to consider, That repentance is a mighty work, a difficult work, a work that is above our power.

There is no power below that power that raised Christ from the dead, and that made the world, that can break the heart of a sinner or turn the heart of a sinner. Thou art as well able to melt adamant, as to melt thine own heart; to turn a flint into flesh, as to turn thine own heart to the Lord; to raise the dead and to make a world, as to repent.

Repentance is a flower that grows not in nature’s garden. “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil”, Jer. xiii. 23. Repentance is a gift that comes down from above. (footnote: Fallen man hath lost the command of himself, and the command of the creatures. And certainly he that cannot command himself cannot repent of himself.) Men are not born with repentance in their hearts, as they are born with tongues in their mouths: Acts v. 31, “Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.” So in 2 Tim. ii. 25, “In meekness instructing them that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth.”

It is not in the power of any mortal to repent at pleasure. (Footnote: it was a vain brag of king Cyrus, that caused it to be written upon his tombstone, I could do all things; so could Paul too, but it was “through Christ, which strengthened him.”) Some ignorant deluded souls vainly conceit that these five words, “Lord! have mercy upon me,” are efficacious to send them to heaven; but as many are undone by buying a counterfeit jewel, so many are in hell by mistake of their repentance. Many rest in their repentance, though it be but the shadow of repentance, which caused one to say, “Repentance damneth more than sin.”

Go on to Remedy 2!

— David