OR, A Letter sent by D. SPRINT, to a man seuen yeares grieuously afflicted in conscience, and fearefully possessed by the Diuel.

Very comfortable and commodious to withst and the assaults of Sathan.


LONDON Printed by B. Alsop for Samuel Rand and are to be sold at his shop at Holborne Bridge.



SIR I am not vn­mindfull of your Letter, though by occasion of busines I haue beene let. I commend your care to seeke comfort from the ordinance of God, that is his 1 Thes. 5. 14. Ministers, who are commaunded of God to comfort the feeble minded, Esa. 10. [...], [...], and to speake comfortably to Hieru­salem, and to cry vnto her, that her warfare is accomplished that her iniquitie is pardoned; As Christ was annoynted, so are his Ministers ap­pointed to preach the Gospell to the Luke 4. 1 [...]. poore, deliuerance to the captiue, re­couery [Page] of fight to the blinde and to set at libertie such as are brused.

Wherefore seeing you haue entrea­ted me helpe, I will (by Gods as­sistance) satisfie your desire.

Your case was strange to be holden as a creature sencelesse for seuen whole yeares. But others also haue beene holden with the like; Nabuchadnezar Dan. 4. 29. King of Babell was turned out a gra­zing among beasts. 7. yeares; yea Gods children haue beene far worse afflicted, as that Daughter of Abraham was for 18. yeares bound of Sathan. The man Luke 13. 16 40. 5. whom our Sauiour cured had beene diseased 38. yeares which are far a­boue the distance of your sicknes, wherefore you ought not to thinke the worse of your selfe, for nothing hath befallen vnto you but that which ap­pertaineth 1. Cor. 10. 13. vnto man; Nay you ought to comfort your heart in your afflicti­on, for as you know the sender which is God, and the cause which is your sinne: So now you know your deli­uerer, and the cause which is his mer­cy; for it is the Lord who killeth and 1. Sam. 2. 6. maketh aliue, bringeth downe to the [Page] graue and raiseth vp: And by how much greater your crosse hath beene, by so much the greater was your deli­uerance; The mighty power of God vpon your body, and his rich mercy on your soule, hath the more appear­ed, that so the more he might be glori­fied, and your heart comforted; for you may argue thus; The Lord might haue in iustice destroyed me, yet hee hath in mercy spared me; the Lord might haue chosen whether hee would haue deliuered me or not; But in great mercy he rather chose to deliuer mee; The Lord might haue left mee my health, and withdrawne his grace from me, and giuen [...]he ouer to the power of Sathan: But hee hath restored my health and vnderstanding, and renued my Grace;

Hereby I see God dearely loueth me, which I could neuer see if I had not thus beene afflicted; How should I hence forth distrust his prouidence, doubt of his promises, dispayre of his mercy, why would I not rest assured, and secured of his present and perpetu­all loue to imbrace me, his mercy to [Page] pardon me, his prouidence to defend me, his goodnes to compasse me and to worke all euils for my good; There­fore my soule returne vnto thy rest, for Psal. 116. 7. 8. 9. 12. 13. the Lord hath been beneficiall to thee; he hath deliuered my soule from death, and mine eyes from teares, & my feete [...]oo [...] falling, I shall walke before the Lord in the land of the liuing, what shall I render to the Lord for all his benefits, I will take the cup of Salua­tion and call vpon the name of the Lord.

The Lord was ready to saue mee, Psa. 38. [...]0. therefore I will sing my song all the dayes of my life in the house of the Lord.

Thus may you comfort your selfe, yet measure not Gods loue so much by your deliuerance, as by his grace which nature gaue you not, nor hath God ta­ken away.

For as afflictions are no certaine to­kens of Gods anger: so deliuerance, is not alwayes a token of his fauour.

For he gaue the Isralites their de­sires, but he sent heauines into their soules: God may in mercy lengthen Psal. 106. 15 [Page] our afflictions, & in iudgement make an end of it. The table of the wicked Psal. [...]9. [...]. is a snare vnto them, and their prospe­ritie their ruine, but it is good for Gods Psal. 119. 7 [...] children that they haue beene afflicted that they may learne his statutes; god­lines is Gods best portion which is 1. Tim. 6. 6, & 4. 8. great gaine, and is profitable for all things, hauing the promises of the life present, and of that which is to come; Wherefore proue the grace that is in you and to measure the loue of God vnto you; Try what godly griefe you haue for sinne; what vexation at your wants, what feare of God, what faith in Iesus Christ, what loue of Gods children, what delight in the word and Ministery, what desire of the grace you lacke, what feruency in prayer, what chearefulnes in praysing God, what care of well doing, and readynes to doe the will of God, what patience in suffering crosses from God, and re­proofe from man, what holy Medita­tions, what gracious speeches, what diligence in your calling, what dutiful­nes to your superiors, what purpose of heart to cleaue vnto the Lord; these are [Page] the sparkles of Gods Image, the fruites of his spirit, the effects of his grace, the assurance of his election, the certaine tokens of his presence; For 2. Cor. 1. 5. 2 the Lord is with vs, whiles wee are with him; and he draweth neare vnto [...]m. 4. 8. vs when we draw neare vnto him.

Now touching the temptations of Sathan that doe trouble you, perceiue when God hath done with you, the Diuell taketh you in hand, God af­flicteth your body, and the Diuel your soule. But as God brought you from sicknes to health: So thinke that God can bring you from temptations to victorie; that being prepared by af­fliction in Soule and body, you may both serue him in this life, and liue with him in the next.

Euery temptation of a Christian, is a ground of strong consolation, be­cause Sathans onsets argue that wee are none of his; for the Dragon strikes not at his owne souldiers (for King­domes Reu. 12. [...]. deuided are at an end) but at Mychaell and his Angels; If Christ Math. 12. 25 had not beene the Sonne of God, hee would not so fiercely haue affailed him; [Page] Warryors neuer besiege nor batter Cities they haue woone, so Satan seekes not the soules he hath deuored; he rageth most at those he cannot get, Reuel 12. 13 14. 15. 17. and is most busie with those he hath least to doe; when this strong man keepeth his Pallace in mens soules, the Luke 11. 21. things that he possesseth are in peace; and when he is restrained and muzze­led by the power of God, hee rageth at the persons, and roareth in the con­science of Gods deere Children; your temptations come not to you by chance, but by the will of God, with­out whose leaue he cannot touch ei­ther Iob. 1. 10. man or beast; But God hath an hand to limit Sathan, and direct his Math. 8. 31. temptation for our good, as he hath an hand to let him loose for our tryall and vexation; Hereby hee humbleth the 2. Cor. 12. 17. pride, tryeth the patience, sifteth the faith and worketh the victory of his Iob. 1. 11. 12. Luke 22. 31 Reuel. 12. 11 Math. 4. 1. beloued Saints: It is Gods spirit that leadeth Gods Children to be tempted of the Diuel and he that leades them into the battle can giue them victory; 1. Io. 4. 4. For greater is hee that is in vs then, he that is in the world; The Serpents Gen. 3. 15. [Page] head is crushed by the seede of the wo­man; The Diuel is conquered and cast Reu. 12. 10. 12. out of heauen, and is come downe in­to the inhabitants of the earth, so that Angels cannot separate vs from the Rom. 8. 38. 39. Luke 22. 31. 32. loue of God in Christ, when Sathan hindereth vs, Christ prayeth that our faith faile not, for he euer liueth to make request for vs; when the mes­senger of Satan is sent to buffet vs, Gods grace is sufficient for vs; where­fore 2. Cor. 12. 9 you must reioyce in these tempta­tions, because it is for the tryall of your faith and patience; And for Sathan [...] Iam. 1. 2. 3. figge for him, resist him onely and hee will flie from you, pray to your Father to free you from temptations, and i [...] he doe not free you from them, yet he Iam. 4. 7. will deliuer you from euill.

The particuler poynts of his temp­tations, I will briefely touch: Hee tel [...] you, that the word of God is false: This is the first lesson that the Diuel teacheth, and it is his way to mak [...] men Atheist; But you must tell hi [...] that God is as true of his word; as h [...] is false of his; God is the God of truth; Psal. 31. 5. Io. 8. 44. and the Diuel is the father of a lye. I [...] is not possible that God should lye. I [...] [Page] is not possible but the Diuel should lye; Heb. 6. 18. say you vnto your soule I must beleeue the truth, and not a lye, least I turne Rom. 1. 25. Gods truth into a lye; for he that be­leeueth not God hath made him a lyer; 1. Io. 5. [...]0. I will rather beleeue the creator then the creature; the maker then the de­stroyer of man: and that which will saue me then that which will con­demne me; yea let God be true, & euery Rom. 3. 4. Iam. 1. 18. Diuel and man a lyer; As for the word of god it is the word of truth it is righ­teousnes altogether, euery word there­of is pure & endureth for euer; This the Psal. 19. 9. godly show, who onely loue it, this the wicked shew who only hate it; this the Pro. 39. 5. 1, Pet. 1. 25. spirit witnesseth in the hearts of Gods Children, this the power thereof pro­claimeth in the conuersion of soules: this experience of all times and places maketh euident, the wicked know it to their cost, (both men and Diuels) the faithfull to their comfort.

Next if Satan seeke to lay your sinnes before your eyes; thereto you must lay the sufferings of Christ before your eyes; If he accuse you, tell him the ac­cuser Reu. 12. 10. of brethren is cast out; If hee [Page] charge your conscience with your sins; aske him who shall lay any thing to the charge of Gods chosen? If he con­demne [...]om. 8. 33. 34. you for them; say it is God that iustifieth, who shall then condemne. If he say your sinnes are many, and more then can be pardoned; tell him where Rom. 15. 20. sinne aboundeth grace ouer abound­eth: If he say you are the greatest sin­ner in the world; tell him it is true, but Christ came into the world to saue sinners, whereof I am the chiefe: If he 1. Tim. 1. 15. alleadge the greatnes of the guilt, say, though my sinnes be as red as Scarlet, Esa 1 18. yet hee will make them as white as Snowe: If he say suppose some of thy sinnes be clensed, yet not all, say that the bloud of Christ clenseth vs from all 1. Io. 1. 7. sinnes: If he say Christ dyed for some but not for all; say he is the reconcilia­tion 1. Io. 2. 2. of the sinnes of the whole world; he is the Sauiour of all men but speci­ally of them that beleeue: If he say sup­pose God pardon thee, it is but for a season till thou sinne againe, tell him 1. Tim. 4 10. Ier. 32. 31. 34 againe of the new couenant of God, which sayeth, I will forgiue their ini­quitie and will remember their sinnes [Page] no more; If he say in all this thou pre­sumest, 2. Cor. 7. 10 shew him your godly sorrow, which causeth repentance to saluation; If he say how knowest thou whether God will accept of thy repentance or not, tell him if we acknowledge our 1. Io. 1. [...]. sinnes, God is faithfull and iust to for­giue our Sinnes, and to clense vs from all vnrighteousnes; If hee say thy sor­row is dispaire, examine your selfe 2. Cor. 13. 5 whether you be in the faith, and say to God, I beleeue Lord helpe my vnbe­leife; Marke 9. 24 If he say thy faith is fained dead and false; say vnto him, hee that be­leeueth 1. Io. 5. 10. in the Sonne hath witnes in himselfe, as for thee O Sathan, I will Iam. 2. 18. shew thee my faith by my wo [...]kes. If he say thy obedience is but fained dead and false, and you are but an Hypo­crite; say of yourselfe, I know nothing by my selfe yet am I not thereby iusti­fied; 1. Cor. 4 4. Turne vnto God and say, O that my wayes were directed to keepe thy Psal. 1. 9. 5. 80. statutes; Keepe my heart vpright i [...] thy statutes that I be not ashamed: if he say thou a [...]t accursed, because thou contine west not in all things that are written; say againe, Christ hath re­deemed Gal. 3. 13. [Page] me from the curse of the law, when he was made a curse for one; If he say thy coruptions be strange and Rom. 7. 24. 25. many; cry out O miserable man that I am, who shall deliuer me from this body of death; I thanke God through Iesus Christ: Pray vnto God create a Psal. 51. 10. cleane heart O Lord, [...]enue a right spi­rit within me; If he say for all this thou shalt be condemned, because Gods iudgements be exact, and giueth euery man according to his workes; say there Rom. 8. 1. is no condemnation to them that are in Christ, to them that walke not after the flesh but after the spirit: lastly if he say, yet thou canst haue no peace of conscience but perpetuall wound; say, the Lord speaketh peace to his people Psal. 85. 8. and to his Saints, that they turne not againe to their folly, For being iustifi­ed Rom, 5. 1. by faith we haue peace towards God through our Lord Iesus Christ.

I know that Diuel may proceed and say, thou art not chosen; But you must say vnto him: that God chose vs in Eph. 1. 4. Christ that we should be holy: and I am sure that God hath chosen to him­selfe Psal. 4. 3. the man that is godly; vertue [Page] ioyned to our faith makes our calling and election sure, for such as God hath predestinated them hath he cal­led, wherefore so long as Gods grace Luke 10. 20. remaineth in me, so long I will reioyce that my name is witten in the booke of life: But Sathan may obiect, sup­pose thou be now in the fauour of thy God, yet thou maist fall away from Rom. 11. 29. grace; he may withdraw his spirit. To this you may answere this againe, the guifts and callings of God are Ier 13. 3. without repentance; i [...] he loue vs hee loued vs from euerlasting, and loueth Io. 13. 1. vs to the end. No creature shalbe able Rom. 8. 38. 39. Psal. 23. 6. to seperate vs from the loue of God in Christ; kindnes and mercy shall fol­low me all the dayes of my. life, and this God is our God for euer and euer Psal. 48. 14. he shalbe our guide vnto the death. But he may say, that Gods minde may alter, and he may hate them for sinne, whom he loued of mercy: God an­swereth Mat. 3. 6. for himselfe, I am the Lord I chaunge not, and ye Sounes of Iacob 1. Sam. 15. 29 are not consumed, for God is not as man that hee should repent. Iesus Heb. 13. 8. Christ that was yesterday, is the same [Page] to day, the same also is for euer; Gods couenaunt of life and peace is euer­lasting. Ier. 33. 20. [...]1. If Sathan thou canst breake Gods couenaunt of the day and night, that there shall not be day and night, in their season, then may Gods coue­nant be broken with his children, for God hath said vnto his chosen. The mountaines shall remoue, and the hills Esa. 54. 10. fall downe, but my mercy shall not de­part from thee, neither shall this coue­nant of my peace fall away, faith the Lord which hath compassion on thee. For that mercy and free grace which Rom, [...]. 10. moued God to accept vs when wee were sinners, strangers, enemies and children of wrath, and to reconcile vs by the death of his Sonne, must much more moue him, (being reconciled) to accept vs, and to saue vs by the life of Christ. Thus the foundation of God remaineth sure.

Yet Sathan may reply, suppose there be no alteration or chaunge in God: yet in thee there is: He is strong, but thou art weake. But Peter answereth 2. Pet. 1. 5. that we are not kept by our owne strength, but by the power of God vn­to [Page] Saluation, and I shall ouercome by Reu. 12. 11. the bloud of the lamb, for in his owne 1. Sam. 2. 9. might shall no man be strong: suppose then I may fall, and that most grie­uously, as Dauid, Salomon, and Peter did: yet though I fall I shall no be cast Psal. 37. 24. 23. off: for the Lord putteth his hād vnder me: The pathes of man are directed by the Lord, he will keepe the feete of his Saints. Wherefore reioyce not a­gainst Sam. [...]. 9. me O mine enemies, though I fall I shall rise, when I sit in darknes Mica. 7. 8. 7 the Lord shalbe a light vnto me.

If Sathan vrge you further thus, how darest thou presume of Gods as­sistance, thou hast not Gods grace at thy commaund, shew him the coue­nant of God, confirmed and sealed by the bloud of Iesus Christ, who saith, Ier. 31. 33. I will write my law in their hearts, I will make an euerlasting couenant Ier. 32. 40. with them, that I will neuer turne a­way from them, to doe them good, I will put my feare into their hearts, that they shall not depart from me, I will giue them a new heart and a new Eze 36. 26. 27. & 11. 19, 20. spirit, I will take the stony heart out of their bodies, and I will giue them a [Page] heart of flesh, I will put my spirit within them, and cause [...]em to walke in my statutes. It is most true we are not sufficient of our selues, to thinke 2. Cor. 3. 5. any thing of our selues, but our suffi­ciencie is of God: As no man cometh vnto Christ, except the father drawe Io. 6. 44. 65. Io. 15. 5. him, so without Christ we can doe no­thing: Yet through the helpe of Christ which strengtheneth me, I shalbe able Phil. 4. 13. Phil. 1. 6. to doe all things. And hee that hath begun this good worke within mee, will performe it vntill the day of Iesus Christ: And his good spirit shall leade Psa. 143. 10 Eph. 4. 30. me into the land of righteousnes, and seale me to the day of my redemption.

As for the helpe that Sathan offereth thee. Aske him, how hee can helpe another that cannot helpe himselfe, and how should one trust the faith of a deceauour: Hee offered the world vnto our Sauiour Christ, and tolde him that the world was his, but he tolde a Luke 4. 6. lye; for albeit he be called the god of this world, because he ruleth in the 1. Cor. 4. 4. children of disobedience; yet the earth is the Lords, and all that therein is, the Eph. 2. 2. Psa. 24. 1. world and all that dwell therein. [Page] Wherefore although the wicked of the world fall downe and worship him, to gaine farre smaller matters then the world, by lying, swearing, and for­swearing, deceiuing, and oppressing, and such euil courses, yet you must vt­terly refuse this offer, with auoide Sa­than, and come behinde me Sathan, for it is written thou shalt worship the Mat. 4. 10. Lord thy God, and him onely shalt thou serue. If Satans helpe might stand a man in steede, hee must haue no fellowship with his vnfruitfull workes of darkenes.

Our Sauiour Christ & his Apostles would none of his assistance to helpe Eph. 5. 11. to publish the Gospell to the world. It was the bane of Saul and Ahaziah Kings of Iudah, to seeke for helpe of Sathan: It is better to trust in the Mat. 1. 25. 1. Cor. 10. 13 Lord, then to put any confidence in man, or euil spirit, for diuels cannot free vs from the hands of God, 2. Kin. 1. 4. but God can keepe vs from the power of diuels: For if God be with vs who Psa. 118. 8. Rom. 8. 31. can be against vs? Hee is not farre from euery one of vs, he is as our sha­dow Act. 17. 27. at our right hand: He is a shield [Page] to them that trust in him: He keepeth Psal. 121. 5. his people as the apple of his eye, vn­der Pro. 30. 5. the shadow of his wings, and as the mountaines about Ierusalem, so is Psal. 17. 8. the Lord about his people, henceforth Psal. 125. 2. and for euer. Say therefore vnto Sa­than, I defie thy power, and renounce thy helpe, as I am none of thine be­cause I am bought with a price, so will 1. Cor. 6. 19. 20. Psal. 181. I none of thee nor of thy helpe: The Lord is my helper, my rocke, my fortresse, my deliuerer, m [...] strength, my shield the horne of my saluation, and Psal. 17. 1. my refuge, my light, saluation, and strength of my life; my defence is in God, who preserueth the vpright in Psal. 78. 1 [...]. heart. The God whom I serue, is a­ble to deliuer me, and though he slay Dan. 3. 17. me I will trust in him: Hee onely maketh me to dwel in safety; the Lord is with me, therefore I will not not feare what man or Sathan can doe vn­to me; For when my flesh faileth, and Iob. 13. 15. my heart also, then God is the strength Psal. 4. 8. Psal. 73 26. of my heart, and my portion for euer: So the father of mercyes, and the God of all comfort, prosper & sanctifie that I haue written vnto you.



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