by William Perkins
It is not unknown to you (Christian reader) that Satan is the deadly enemy of mankind, and that he goes about continually like a hunger-bitten lion, seeking whom he may devour. For this cause he uses infinite sleights and conveyances. He lays innumerable sins and snares to entrap men and to bring them into eternal bondage under him. Of this point, you may have a plain view in the people of this land. Some of them neither regarding God's providence nor His judgments which He may send upon them for their sins stand aghast at the signs of heaven, at the conjunctions which ordinarily befall; and at this present, their minds are greatly occupied with foolish dreams of the year next ensuing. Some others (and they peradventure of a better sort) are professors of the gospel, and yet live securely, still weltering in their old corruptions and in very truth not returning to the Lord. For they think they have done their duty and are persuaded they are truly faithful if they do not oppose themselves against the gospel, but give an outward reverence to it and to the ministers of it. As the foolish virgins contented themselves with their lamps, never seeking for oil until it was too late, so these men content themselves with outward show and profession of godliness, never regarding to feel the power of it in themselves. Others there are which no doubt might receive profit by the word which they hear preached, but they cannot abide that the word of God should be applied aright to their consciences. For they themselves never think of anything but of the promises of the gospel, and cannot abide the threatenings of the Law. Yea, they like the ministry of the word when general doctrine is delivered, but if the two-edged sword of God's word pierce into the marrow of their bones and ransack the secret affections and lusts of the flesh, then they are forth of order and storm as furious and madmen. Again, some there are which partly by reason of tenderness of their own consciences, partly by their own ignorance in the word of God are ever anon disquieted and troubled with manifold temptations. In all these sorts of men, you may easily perceive how busy Satan is to deceive and be with men and to keep them still under his dominion, that his kingdom may not be diminished. Now, for the preventing of these evils, I have drawn this little treatise. Read it at your leisure and accept in good part this my endeavor. I trust by God's blessing it shall not be unprofitable to you.
Table of Contents
The the Right Honorable Thomas Lord Sorroys
To the Christian Reader
A Fruitful Dialogue between the Christian and the Worldling, Concerning the End of the World