This is continuing from part 2 from Puritan Thomas Brooks’ book “Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices”, where the devil entices people to sin by suggesting repentance is an easy thing.
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Thomas Brooks – Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices
From Thomas Brooks:
By this device Satan draws many a soul to sin, and makes many millions of souls servants or rather slaves to sin, etc.
The word repent implies the continuation of it. (Footnote: Anselm in his Meditations confesseth, that all his life was either damnable for sin committed, or unprofitable for good omitted; at last concludes, Oh, what then remains but in our whole life to lament the sins of our whole life.)
True repentance inclines a man’s heart to perform God’s statutes always, even unto the end. A true penitent must go on from faith to faith, from strength to strength; he must never stand still nor turn back. Repentance is a grace, and must have its daily operation as well as other graces. True repentance is a continued spring, where the waters of godly sorrow are always flowing: “My sins are ever before me,” Ps. li. 3.
A true penitent is often casting his eyes back to the days of his former vanity, and this makes him morning and evening to “water his couch with his tears.” “Remember not against me the sins of my youth,” saith one blessed penitent; and “I was a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious,” saith another penitent. (Ps. vi. 6, xxv. 7, 1 Tim. i. 13.)
Repentance is a continued act of turning, a repentance never to be repented of, a turning never to turn again to folly.
A true penitent hath ever something within him to turn from; he can never get near enough to God; no, not so near him as once he was; and therefore he is still turning and turning that he may get nearer and nearer to him, that is his chiefest good and his only happiness, the best and the greatest. They are every day a-crying out, “O wretched men that we are, who shall deliver us from this body of death!” Rom. vii. 24. They are still sensible of sin, and still conflicting with sin, and still sorrowing for sin, and still loathing of themselves for sin. Repentance is no transient act, but a continued act of the soul.
And tell me, O tempted soul, whether it be such an easy thing as Satan would make thee believe, to be every day a-turning more and more from sin, and a-turning nearer and nearer to God, the choicest blessedness. A true penitent can as easily content himself with one act of faith, or one act of love, as he can content himself with one act of repentance.
A Jewish Rabbi, pressing the practice of repentance upon his disciples, exhorting them to be sure to repent the day before they died, one of them replied, that the day of any man’s death was very uncertain. “Repent, therefore, every day,” said the Rabbi, “and then you shall be sure to repent the day before you die.” You are wise, and know how to apply it to your own advantage.
(Foortnote: If thou be backward in the thoughts of repentance, be forward in the thoughts of hell, the flames whereof only the streams of the penitent eye can extinguish. – Tertullian. Oh, how shalt thou tear and rend thyself! how shalt thou lament fruitless repenting ! What wilt thou say? Woe is me, that I have not cast off the burden of sin; woe is me, that I have not washed away my spots, but am now pierced with mine iniquities; now have I lost the surpassing joy of angels! – Basil.)
Ah, do not poor souls under horror of conscience cry out and say, Were all this world a lump of gold, and in our hand to dispose of, we would give it for the least drachm of true repentance! and wilt thou say it is an easy thing to repent? When a poor sinner, whose conscience is awakened, shall judge the exchange of all the world for the least drachm of repentance to be the happiest exchange that ever sinner made, tell me, O soul, is it good going to hell? Is it good dwelling with the devouring fire, with everlasting burnings? Is it good to be forever separated from the blessed and glorious presence of God, angels, and saints, and to be for ever shut out from those good things of eternal life, which are so many, that they exceed number; so great, that they exceed measure; so precious, that they exceed all estimation? We know it be the greatest misery that can befall the sons of men; and would they not prevent this by repentance, if it were such an easy thing to repent as Satan would have it?
Well, then, do not run the hazard of losing God, Christ, heaven, and thy soul for ever, by hearkening to this device of Satan, viz., that it is an easy thing to repent, etc. If it be so easy, why, then, do wicked men’s hearts so rise against them that press the doctrine of repentance in the sweetest way, and by the strongest and the choicest arguments that the Scripture doth afford? And why do they kill two at once: the faithful labourer’s name and their own souls, by their wicked words and actings, because they are put upon repenting, which Satan tells them is so easy a thing? Surely, were repentance so easy, wicked men would not be so much enraged when that doctrine is, by evangelical considerations, pressed upon them.
Go on to Remedies 5-6!