The Children of the Devil, How Expert They Are in Evil (1650)
Friends, - the children of the devil, how expert they are in evil, in all deceit in his kingdom; and yet they may speak of the things of God: but no vulturous eye or venomous beast ever trod in the steps of the just, thought they may talk of the way. For who have their conversation in this world, and only mind the things of this world, in vain do they profess godliness.
But the children of God, who are conceived and begotten of him, are not of this world, neither do they mind only the things of this world, but the things which are eternal. But the children of this world do mostly mind the external things, and their love is in them, and the other live by faith; the one is sanctified by the world, the other painted with the words. The children of God are pure in heart, not looking only at the outside, The favour of the world and friendship thereof is enmity to God, man may soon by stained with it. O! love the strange, and be as strangers in the world, and to the world! For they that followed Christ in his cross, they were strangers in the world, and wonders to the world, and condemned by the world and the world knew him not, neither do it them that follow him now. So, marvel not if the world hate you; for the world lieth in hatred and wickedness. Who live this world, are enemies to Christ; and who love the Lord Jesus Christ, and have him for their Lord over them, they are redeemed out of the world. the world would have a Christ, but not to rule over them; the nature of the world is above Christ in man, until Christ hath subdued that nature in man. While the nature of the world doth rule in man, Oh! the deaf ears and blind eyes, and the understandings, that are all shut up amongst them, with which they judge! But who love the Lord Jesus Christ, do not mind the world's judgment, nor are troubled at it; but consider all our brethren, who have gone before us.
When ye think ye are past all crosses, when the trail doth come, ye will find a cross to that will which doth meddle with the things of God presumptuously; that many may live in joy, but the spirit is in bondage. Rejoice not in the flesh, but in the spirit, which crucifieth all fleshly boasting: if the fleshly will be fed, then carelessness cometh up, and they fall into flatness, (from the spirit,) and are mindless of the Lord God; such are soon up and down. The serpent tempted Eve to eat of the forbidden fruit, and she took and gave to her husband, and so they fell under the serpent's power, and the creatures, out of the power of God, which would have kept them in dominion. And so, Adam and Eve, and the serpent, all went out of truth. and Eve eating of the tree of knowledge, she had knowledge and wisdom after the fall, but not in the dominion, in the power of God. but the seed Christ, which was in the beginning, bruiseth the serpent's head, and he is the wisdom of God.