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11And they listened eagerly to him because for a long time he had amazed them with his magic.

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11. When he saith that they were astonied, from the least to the greatest. For seeing all men, of what estate soever they were, were deluded, what entrance could the gospel have, especially since it was no mean seducing? for all their senses were besotted. And besides that we see thereby how mighty the truth is, there is also set before us an example of constancy in Philip, who, though he saw no way, yet doth he set hand to the Lord’s work with a valiant courage, waiting for the success which God should give. And thus must we do, we must valiantly attempt whatsoever the Lord commandeth, even when our endeavors seem to be vain. Furthermore, whereas Satan did bewitch the Samaritans, let us know that it is the common punishment of infidelity. All men are not bewitched, indeed, with the jugglings of enchanters, neither are there Simons everywhere, which can so seduce and deceive; but my meaning is, that it is no wonder, 502502     “Non esse mirum aut insolens,” that it is not strange or unusual. if Satan do mock men diversely in the dark; for they are subject to all errors whosoever are not governed by the Spirit of God. Furthermore, when Luke saith that they were all seduced one with another, we are taught that neither wit, neither all that reason and wisdom which we have, are sufficient to avoid the craftiness of Satan withal. And surely we see in what foolish and doting errors they were entangled, who were counted in the world wiser than others.

The great power of God. Therefore Satan abused the name of God to deceive, which is the most pestilent kind of deceiving, so far is it from being any excuse. It hath been said before, that Simon did take to himself the name of the principal power of God, that he might suppress and surpass whatsoever was elsewhere divine, as the sun darkeneth all the stars with his light. This was wicked and ungodly profaning of the name of God. But we read of nothing which was done here, which is not done as yet daily; for men are bent to nothing more than to translate that to Satan which is proper to God. They pretend religion; but what did this pretense help the Samaritans? Therefore it goeth well with us when God setteth forth to us his power in Christ, and declareth therewith that we must not seek the same anywhere else, and doth discover the sleights and juggling casts of Satan, which we must avoid, to the end he may keep us still in himself.




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