This is continuing from part 2 from Puritan Thomas Brooks’ book “Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices”, where the devil draws people from holy duties and service using the allurements of the world.

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Thomas Brooks – Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices

From Thomas Brooks:

The first device that Satan hath to draw souls from holy duties, and to keep them off from religious services, is,

Device (1). By presenting the world in such a dress, and in such a garb to the soul, as to ensnare the soul, and to win upon the affections of the soul.

He represents the world to them in its beauty and bravery [finery], which proves a bewitching sight to a world of men.

Now the remedies against this device of Satan are these,

Remedy (1). The first remedy against this device of Satan is, To dwell upon the impotency and weakness of all these things here below.

Remedy (2). The second remedy against this device of Satan is, To dwell upon the vanity of them as well as upon the impotency of all worldly good.

Remedy (3). The third remedy against the device of Satan is, To dwell much upon the uncertainty, the mutability, and inconstancy of all things under the sun.

Remedy (4). The fourth remedy against this device of Satan is, seriously to consider, That the great things of this world are very hurtful and dangerous to the outward and inward man, through
the corruptions that be in the hearts of men.

Remedy (5). The fifth remedy against this device of Satan is, to consider, That all the felicity of this world is mixed.

Our light is mixed with darkness, our joy with sorrow, our pleasures with pain, our honour with dishonour, our riches with wants [lacks]. If our lights be spiritual, clear, and quick, we may see in the felicity of this world our wine mixed with water, our honey with gall, our sugar with wormwood, and our roses with prickles.

(Footnote: Hark, scholar, said the harlot to Apuleius, it is but a bitter sweet you are so fond of. Surely all the things of this world are but bitter sweets.)

Sorrow attends worldly joy, danger attends worldly safety, loss attends worldly labours, tears attend worldly purposes. As to these things, men’s hopes are vain, their sorrow certain and joy feigned. The honours, profits, pleasures, and delights of the world are true gardens of Adonis, where we can gather nothing but trivial flowers, surrounded with many briers.

Remedy (6). The sixth remedy against this device of Satan is, To get better acquaintance and better assurance of more blessed and glorious things.

(Footnote: Let heaven be a man’s object, and earth will soon be his abject. Luther being at one time in some wants, it happened that a good sum of money was unexpectedly sent him by a nobleman of Germany, at which, being something amazed, he said, I fear that God will give me my reward here, but I protest I will not be so satisfied.)

That which raised up their spirits, Heb. x. and xi., to trample upon all the beauty, bravery [livery], and glory of the world, was the acquaintance with, ‘and assurance of better and more durable things.’ ‘They took joyfully the spoiling of their goods, knowing in themselves that they bad in heaven a better and a more durable substance.’ ‘They looked for a house that had foundations, whoso builder and maker was God.’ ‘And they looked for another country, even an heavenly.’ ‘They saw him that was invisible, and had an eye to the recompence of reward.’ And this made them count all the glory and bravery [livery] of this world to be too poor and contemptible for them to set their hearts upon.

The main reason why men dote upon the world, and damn their souls to get the world, is, because they are not acquainted with a greater glory. Men ate acorns, till they were acquainted with the use of wheat. Ah, were men more acquainted with what union and communion with God means, what it is to have ‘a new name, and a new stone, that none knows but he that hath it,’ Rev. ii. 17; did they but taste more of heaven, and live more in heaven, and had more glorious hopes of going to heaven, ah, how easily would they have the moon under their feet.

It was an excellent saying of Lewis of Bavyer, emperor of Germany, Such goods are worth getting and owning, as will not sink or wash away if a shipwreck happen, but will wade and swim out with us.

(Footnote: There is, saith Augustine, goods of the throne; and there are goods of the footstool. When Basil was tempted with money and preferment, saith he, Give me money that may last for ever, and glory that may eternally flourish; for the fashion of this world passes away, as the waters of a river that runs by a city.)

It is recorded of Lazarus, that after his resurrection from the dead, he was never seen to laugh, his thoughts and affections were so fixed in heaven, though his body was on earth, and therefore he could not but slight temporal things, his heart being so bent and set upon eternals. There are goods for the throne of grace, as God, Christ, the Spirit, adoption, justification, remission of sin, peace with God, and peace with conscience; and there are goods of the footstool, as honours, riches, the favour of creatures, and other comforts and accommodations of this life. Now he that hath acquaintance with, and assurance of the goods of the throne, will easily trample upon the goods of the footstool.

Ah that you would make it your business, your work, to mind more, and make sure more to your own souls, the great things of eternity, that will yield you joy in life and peace in death, and a crown of righteousness in the day of Christ’s appearing, and that will lift up your souls above all the beauty and bravery [livery] of this bewitching world, that will raise your feet above other men’s heads. When a man comes to be assured of a crown, a sceptre, the royal robes, etc., he then begins to have low, mean [low], and contemptible thoughts of those things that before he highly prized. So will assurance of more great and glorious things breed in the soul a holy scorn and contempt of all these poor, mean things, which the soul before did value above God, Christ, and heaven, etc.

Go on to Remedies 7-8!

— David