Thursday, September 29, 2011

Never More a Devil Than When He Looks Most Like an Angel

Read this from Newton today and thought I should pass it along for your benefit:

[Satan] is never more so [dangerous] than when he pleads for Gospel doctrines in order to abuse them, and when he tries to pass his counterfeit humility, zeal, and sanctity upon us for pure gold.  No coiner can equal him in imitation.

Where Christ has a church, he will have a synagogue; Where the Spirit produces any graces, he, like the magicians of Egypt, will do something like it, and yet as unlike it, as possible. 

He has a something that comes so near the Gospel, that it is called by St. Paul another gospel, and yet in reality it is no gospel at all.  He deals much in half convictions, and almost Christians, but does not like thorough work.  He will let people talk about grace as much as they please, and commend them for it, provided talking will satisfy them…He will preach free grace when he finds people willing to receive the notion, as an excuse and cloak for idleness. 

But, let him look and talk as he list, he is Satan still; and those who are experienced and watchful may discern his cloven feet hanging below his fine garment of light; and he is never more a devil than when he looks most like an angel.

Let us beware of him; for many wise have been deceived, and many strong have been cast down by him.  Let us continually apply to him who is able to keep us from falling, and to present us spotless in the end. 

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