"To present God to the soul as one made up of all mercy."
This device is one that is fairly obvious to see in our current church climate (especially speaking of the Western world). "Go ahead and sin", says Satan, "God is a God of mercy." Satan tricks us into only seeing God's mercy and not his wrath. For remedies consider:
- That it is the sorest judgment in the world to be left to sin upon any pretence whatsoever.
- That God is as just as he is merciful.
- That sins against mercy will bring the greatest and sorest judgments upon men's heads and hearts.
- That though God's general mercy be over all his works, yet his special mercy is confined to those that are divinely qualified.
- That those that were once glorious on earth, and are now triumphing in heaven, did look upon the mercy of God as the most powerful argument to preserve them from sin, and to fence their souls against sin, and not as an encouragement to sin.
At first glance the first consideration may seem to not fit. However, when you really understand what Brooks is saying it becomes clear. If God does but "wink" at your sins it is a most horrible condition. This is a mark of not being a child of God and though he "winks" now he will come in wrath later. The rest of the devices are reminders that God is just towards sin and also that his mercy is to be used not to continue sinning but as a motivator to turn away from sin.
"A soul given up to sin is a soul ripe for hell, a soul posting to destruction." (50)
"When mercy is despised then justice takes the throne." (51)
"There is nothing in the world that renders a man more unlike to a saint, and more like to Satan, than to argue from mercy to sinful liberty; from divine goodness to licentiousness. This is the devil's logic, and in whomsoever you find it, you may write, 'This soul is lost.'"