Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices (Banner of Truth | FREE PDF) was first published in 1652. Thomas Brooks (1608-1680) wrote the book to equip Christians in their fight against Satan’s devices, designs, and/or strategies to lead the Christian into sin. Brook’s foundational text in this work is 2 Corinthians 2:11 “so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs.”
Brooks begins by identifying the four prime things that should be most studied: Christ, the Scripture, our own hearts, and Satan’s devices. The last of which is the focus of the work. He also gives 7 reasons as to why he decided to write a book on the subject. Most of the reasons are very relevant to today’s Christian, thus showing the book to be immediately applicable to the reader. These reasons include: Satan’s influence over men who do not realize it, to provide a work of ‘exceeding usefulness’ that covers all areas of temptation, and an apparent lack of writing on the subject at the time.
The last reason is particularly notable. Modern Christianity has much to say about spiritual warfare. Unfortunately, a majority of the writings are gospel-anemic, failing to view the attacks of Satan in light of the finished work of Jesus Christ. On the other end of the spectrum is good doctrine with a proper understanding of Satan, the cross, and the Christian, but a fear of treading the water of spiritual warfare at the risk of charismania. In Precious Remedies Brooks does what the Puritans do best; shows that sound doctrine and practical Christian living are inseparable.
3 Reasons To Read This Book
The format and divisions of this work make it easy for the reader to identify particular struggles or devices of Satan and the remedies Brook’s lists against them. For this reason, this work is beneficial both for a straight reading all the way through as well as a reference guide for spiritual help.
2. Bible-Saturated Application
Brooks does not provide counsel from mere personal experience or modern stories, though those can be helpful. But he grounds his conclusions in the whole counsel of God’s word. The reader sees biblical examples of Satanic attack on God’s people as well as biblical examples of the remedies God gives to protect from such attacks.
In saturating his writing with scripture, Brooks is constantly pointing the reader to the Cross of Christ for help. This is a particularly noteworthy strength in a subject that can easily become moralistic or man-centered. This is seen clearly in Appendix 1 where Brooks shows that Satan suggests to men the greatness and vileness of their sins in and effort to lead them to despair and delay in coming to Christ. Brooks does not counsel the reader to personal motivation but to a biblical understanding of the gospel: the greater your sins are the more you stand in need of a Savior, the greatest sinners have obtained mercy.
3. It’s Concise
Though the printed version is 253 pages, Brooks covers a lot of ground. The sections listed above virtually cover all of the Christian life in a brief but comprehensive way. Again, this is a feature of the book that makes a good reference guide for the Christian.
Here are some great quotes
[I]t is not hasty reading–but serious meditating upon holy and heavenly truths, that make them prove sweet and profitable to the soul. It is not the bee’s touching of the flower, which gathers honey–but her abiding for a time upon the flower, which draws out the sweet. It is not he who reads most–but he who meditates most, who will prove the choicest, sweetest, wisest and strongest Christian.
The best course to prevent falling into the pit is to keep at the greatest distance from it; he who will be so bold as to attempt to dance upon the brink of the pit, may find by woeful experience that it is a righteous thing with God that he should fall into the pit.
For a close, remember this, that your life is short, your duties many, your assistance great, and your reward sure; therefore faint not, hold on and hold up, in ways of well-doing, and heaven shall make amends for all.