“He hates every word in it” by Jonathan Edwards

“The devil never would attempt to beget in persons a regard to that divine word which God has given to be the great and standing rule for the direction of His church in all religious matters, and all concerns of their souls, in all ages. A spirit of delusion will not incline persons to seek direction at the mouth of God. To the law and to the testimony, is never the cry of those evil spirits that have no light in them…

Would the spirit of error, in order to deceive men, beget in them a high opinion of the infallible rule, and incline them to think much of it, and be very conversant with it? Would the prince of darkness, in order to promote his kingdom of darkness, lead men to the sun? The devil has ever shown a mortal spite and hatred towards that holy book the Bible: he has done all in his power to extinguish that light; and to draw men off from it: he knows it to be that light by which his kingdom of darkness is to be overthrown.

He has had for many ages experience of its power to defeat his purposes, and baffle his designs: it is his constant plague. It is the main weapon which Michael uses in his war with him: it is the sword of the Spirit, that pierces him and conquers him. It is that great and strong sword, with which God punishes Leviathan, that crooked serpent. It is that sharp sword that we read of in Rev. 19:15. That proceeds out of the mouth of Him that sat on the horse, with which He smites His enemies.

Every text is a dart to torment the old serpent. He has felt the stinging smart thousands of times; therefore he is engaged against the Bible, and hates every word in it: and we may be sure that he never will attempt to raise persons’ esteem of it, or affection to it.”

–Jonathan Edwards, “Distinguishing Marks of a Work of the Spirit of God” in The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 4, The Great Awakening. Ed. C. C. Goen (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1972), 253-4.

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