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a sweeter morsel to a deyil than the firstling of the flock. They sacrificed their children to devils, Psalm cvi. 37; and made them pass through the fire to Moloch, Jer. xxxii. 35. If God raises the widow's son, and the son of the Shunamite, the devil imitates him who is the resurrection and the life, and pretends to bring up Samuel. If God grants his children fellowship with himself and his dear Son, the lion of the bottomless pit ceases to rage and roar, and becomes a familiar spirit. If prophets predict future events by the Spirit of prophecy, Satan's children divine, and pretend to the same by enchantments, astrology, and conjuration. If God condescends to espouse souls to himself as a husband, Satan turns wooer and whoremonger; “ And they shall no more offer their sacrifices unto devils, after whom they have gone a whoring,” Lev. xvii. 7. If God keeps that man in perfect peace whose mind is stayed upon him, Satan keeps possession of his palace and his goods in peace also. If the children of God are joyful, the way-side hearers are the same. If a saint departs this life in freedom from fear and bondage, the offspring of Satan are up with him; The wicked have no bands in their death, their strength is firm, Psalm lxxiii. 4.' If God orders Moses to smite the waters and turn them into blood, Satan orders his magicians to do the same, Exod. vii. 22. God calls for frogs, Satan's instruments imitate them, Exod. viji. 7. God orders dust to be turned into lice, and Satan tried to imitate that; but God put
his hook in his jaws, and baffled the king of darkness and all his princes, in the open court of Egypt, by a louse.
Then my reader may say, What are we to do with this arch-hypocrite? Why, the Lord has promised to give us power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and that nothing shall by any means hurt us, Luke X. 19. Nevertheless, we must use Aaron's rod; it is still in the hand of our great High Priest, who is the hope of his people and the strength of the children of Israel. The rod of power, in the hand of Aaron, swallowed up all the rods of the magicians. And the rod of the Lord's strength, that was sent out of Zion, is the gospel, by which he rules in the midst of Jerusalem: this rod is the word of Jesus. “He shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.”
Satan deceived the whole world with two lies, Ye shall not die, but be as gods. This entitled him to the honour of being the father of lies. And there is nothing Satan labours harder at than to get poor souls to trust in a lie ; for God has declared that he who goes down to the grave with a lie in his hand cannot deliver his soul; nor shall any thing enter into the heavenly Jerusalem that loveth and maketh a doctrinal lie. Hence the Saviour's caution, “ Take heed what ye hear;" and his charge, “ Hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown;" and his promise, “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.” There is no playing at the hole of this asp, but in faith ; nor any other way of belabouring Satan, but by the rod of truth; nor of being more than a conqueror, but by sovereign love. Hence you read, “ They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony;” and again, “ We are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” But we must be valiant for truth, and smite every liar with this rod as far as God is pleased by his Spirit to discover truth to us. The father of lies hates the truth, and the king of darkness hates divine light.
I have, in this little treatise, reader, been hunting an old heresy, with which I was pestered and tormented many years ago : the seeds of which have lately been revived; and some few, who are known to me, are secretly leavened with it. I call it a heresy, for such God discovered it to me long since. I have no other end in view, in this work, than to disentangle those that fear God, who may be caught in this snare: as to others, if God gives them up to a strong delusion, they are sure to be steadfast till they lift up their eyes beyond the grave. I have stuck as close to the scriptures as I could in pointing out the error, and have set truth against it as plainly, as clearly, and
made the matter as intelligible, as God has been pleased to enable me; though I expect little else but reproach for my pains : nevertheless it is the truth, and God himself revealed it to me. And I will appeal to every Sabellian's conscience, that holds the lie, for confirmation of this truth; that they never got their doctrine from God upon their knees, as I got mine. They cannot say, with Paul, that their doctrine is not after men. “ For I received it not of man, neither was I taught it but by the revelation of Jesus Christ; for it pleased God to reveal his Son in me,” Gal. i. 12, 16. But, alas, alas ! those that know not the profound deceits of the human heart, and the depths of Satan, believe every word; and no wonder, for they receive not the word at God's mouth.
Reader, carefully attend to what I have written; and beg earnestly of God, before thou read it, to shew thee whether I am right or wrong: then thou wilt act a safe part with thyself, and an honourable part with me. I am earnestly contending for the doctrine of the Trinity; the greatest and grandest article of the faith that was once delivered to the saints, and the most weighty and most dangerous matter to be trifled with in all the book of God. That to cause the simple soul to err in the fountain is the devil's masterpiece I know, by sad experience of the perpetual buffetings of Satan for some years; for which villany he is here beaten with rods.