did those swine run!
(Thomas Watson, "The
"Then they may come to their senses and escape
the Devil's trap, having been captured by him to
do his will." 2 Timothy 2:26.
Men naturally are enslaved to Satan. Satan is called
the prince of this world (John 14:30); and the god
of this world (2 Cor 4:4); because he has power to
command and enslave his dupes. Though he shall
one day be a fellow prisoner in chains—yet now he
insults and tyrannizes over the souls of men. Sinners
are under his rule, he exercises a jurisdiction over
them. He fills men's heads with error—and their
hearts with malice. "Why has Satan filled your
heart?" Act 5:3. A sinner's heart is the devil's
mansion house. "I will return into my house."
Satan is a comprehensive tyrant.
He rules men's minds, he blinds them with ignorance.
"The God of this world has blinded the minds of those
who believe not." 2 Cor 4:4.
He rules their memories. They remember that which
is evil, and forget that which is good. Their memories
are like a strainer, which lets go all the pure—and
retains only the dregs.
He rules their wills. Though he cannot force the will,
he draws it. "You are of your father
the devil, and the
lusts of your father—you will do."
John 8:44. He has
control over their hearts, and they willingly obey him.
His strong temptations draw men to evil—more than
all the promises of God can draw them to good.
This is the state of every man by nature—the devil
has him in his power! A sinner grinds in the devil's
mill! He is at the command of Satan—as the donkey is
at the command of the driver.
How did those swine run—when the
into them! "They entered the swine. And suddenly the
whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea
and perished in the water!" Matthew 8:32
It is a dreadful and dismal case, to be under the
power and tyranny of Satan! He wholly possesses
them. If people should see their pets bewitched and
possessed by the devil, they would be much troubled;
and yet, though their souls are possessed by Satan,
they are not sensible of it! What can be worse, than
for men to be in bondage to the devil, and him hurry
them on in their lusts—to perdition! Yet they are
willingly enslaved to Satan! They love their gawler!
What an infinite mercy it is—when God brings poor
souls out of this house of bondage, when He gives them
a deliverance from the prince of darkness.
As David rescued a lamb out of the lion's mouth—so Christ
rescues souls out of the mouth of the roaring lion! Oh, what
a mercy it is—to be turned "from the power of Satan, unto
God" (Acts 26:18) to be brought out of the house
from being Satan's captives—to be made subjects of the
Prince of Peace!
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