« Prev III. The Devil Next »

[48] SEEING the devil is so cunning and subtle, it may seem a paradox why he will endeavour to frustrate the designs of an Omniscient Being, or to pretend to controvert him that is omnipotent, and will not suffer any thing but what is for his own glory, seeing that God turns every thing he does to the greater and more illustrious advancement of his own honour. And seeing he has experience of it, for so long a time, all his deep-laid contrivances have at last come out to his own overthrow, and the work has been directly contrary to his design. To this I say, that although the devil be exceeding crafty and subtle yet he is one of the greatest fools and blockheads in the world, as the subtlest of wicked men are. Sin is of such a nature, that it strangely infatuates and stultifies the mind. Men deliberately choose eternal torments rather than miss of their pleasure of a few days; and to esteem a little silver and gold above eternal happiness, makes men choose a few minutes’ pleasure, though eternal misery be joined thereunto, rather than not have it; this do the cunningest of wicked men. Sin has the same effect on the devils to make them act like fools, and so much the more as it is greater in them than in others. The devil acts here according to his deliberate judgment, being driven on to his own inexpressible torment by the fury of sin, malice, revenge, and pride, and is so entirely under the government of malice, that although he never attempted any thing against God but he was disappointed, yet he cannot hear to be quiet and refrain from exercising himself with all his might and subtlety against the increase of holiness; though, if he considered, he might know that it will turn to its advantage.

[220] Devils. It is probable one reason why men have the offer of a Saviour, and the devils never had, was because their sin was attended with that malice, and spite, and haughty scornfulness, that was equivalent to that sin against the Holy Ghost. Their sin was a downright spiteful rebellion, and a direct malicious war against God, a scorn of subjection, and a proud seeking of his throne.

[353] Angels. The fall and misery of the rebel angels contributes exceedingly to the happiness of the faithful angels; it greatly exalts and gives life to their joy, their love, and admiration, and praise; not, however, by any pleasure they take in their misery, but by seeing the miserable state of those of the same kind, from whom they are distinguished by God’s electing love, which leads them to reflect what evil they have escaped, by withstanding the temptation of the chief of the rebel angels.

« Prev III. The Devil Next »
VIEWNAME is workSection