Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices
Thomas Brooks was an ordained minister of the Gospel in England during the 17th century, where the Church of Christ experienced major upheaval. He was also an avid writer. His books combine deep theological insight with helpful practical application.
Precious Remedies offers significant lessons on discerning and combatting Satan’s attempts to lure us away from Christ. Contrary to many current books on this topic, it avoids speculation and remains within the bounds of Scripture.
Brooks experienced much opposition in writing this book. He says in the preface: “The strange opposition that I met with from Satan, hath put an edge upon my spirit, knowing that Satan strives mightily to keep these things from seeing the light that tend eminently to shake and break his kingdom of darkness, and to lift up the kingdom and glory of the Lord Jesus Christ, in the souls and lives of the children of men”.
Brooks describes twelve of Satan’s devices and offers remedies how to expose and battle them. Consider for example the 8th device by which Satan draws the soul to sin: "by tempting Christians to rest in their performances". How easy we fall into this trap! The suggested remedy includes realizing that our choicest service have their imperfection and weaknesses and that good works, if rested upon, will as certainly destroy us as the greatest sins that we commit. God has met our need of a resting place in Christ Himself! Focusing on these truths unmask Satan's wiles and enables us to stand firm and resist him.
For sure, Satan has different tools available than in the 17th century, but his schemes remain the same. As 20th century believers we will draw much benefit from Brooks' Scriptural insight in the powers of evil and our human soul as the following quotes will tell.
- “The best course to prevent falling into the pit is to keep at the greatest distance from it; he who will be so bold as to attempt to dance upon the brink of the pit, may find by woeful experience that it is a righteous thing with God that he should fall into the pit”
- "Sin is of an encroaching nature; it creeps on the soul by degrees, step by step, till it hath the soul to the very height of sin”
- "Until we have sinned, Satan is a parasite; when we have sinned, he is a tyrant”
- "When a man hath begun to sin, he knews not where, or when, or how he shall make a stop of sin. Usually the soul goes on from evil to evil, from folly to folly, till it be ripe for eternal misery. Men usually grow from being naught to be very naught, and from very naught to be stark naught, and then God sets them at nought forever”
- "Pirates do not use to set upon poor empty vessels; and beggars need not fear the thief. Those that have most of God, and are most rich in grace— shall be most assaulted by Satan, who is the greatest and craftiest pirate in the world”
- "Prayer is a shelter to the soul, a sacrifice to God and a scourge to the devil. David's heart was often more out of tune than his harp. He prays, and then, in spite of the devil, cries, 'Return unto your rest, O my soul.' Prayer is the gate of heaven, a key to let us into paradise. There is nothing that renders Satan's plots fruitless like prayer; therefore says Christ: 'Watch and pray that you enter not into temptation' (Matt. 26:41)”