Present the Bait, Hide the Hook

I’ve been doing a lot of reading on sin this week, gearing up for the message on Sunday. One book that I have long wanted to read and just never had the chance to get into until now is Thomas Brooks, Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices. There’s a reason this book is a classic. Go and find a copy of this book and read it. It’s worth it. (In fact, if you’re a kindle owner, you can pick it up for 99 cents on Amazon.)

Early in the work, Brooks identifies one of the chief tactics of Satan: to present the bait and hide the hook. In that section, Brooks describes how the Satan appeals to what attracts us, luring us into his web like a spider, knowing that once we’re caught, he’ll suck the life out of us. One of the many golden paragraphs early on in the book was this one:

“Satan with ease pawns falsehoods upon us, by his golden baits, and then he leads us and leaves us in a fool’s paradise. He promises the soul honor, pleasure, profit–but pays the should with greatest contempt, shame, and loss that can be. By a golden bait he labored to catch Christ (Matt.4:8-9). He shows him the beauty and the finery of a bewitching world, which doubtless would have taken many a carnal heart; but here the devil’s fire fell upon wet tinder, and there fore did not ignite. These tempting objects did not at all win upon his affections, nor dazzle his eyes, though many have externally died of the ‘wound of the eye,’ and fallen forever by this vile strumpet of the world, who by laying forth her two fair breasts of profit and pleasure, has sounded their souls, and cast them down into utter perdition. She has, by the glistening of her pomp and preferment, slain millions; as the serpent Scytale, which, when she cannot overtake the fleeing passengers, does with her beautiful colors, dazzle and amaze them, so that they have no power to pass away until she has stung them to death! Adversity has slain her thousand–but prosperity her ten thousand.”

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