Jerry Seehusen read me some of this today from A TREATISE OF THE WHOLE ARMOUR OF GOD by William Gurnall, at the end of Direction 1, the Second General Part.
Be still, poor heart, and know that the contest is not between the church and Satan, but between Christ and him. These are the two champions.
Stand now, O ye army of saints, still, by faith, to see the all-wise God wrestle with a subtle devil. If you live not to see the period of these great confusions, yet generations after you shall behold the Almighty smite off this Goliath's head with his own sword, and take this cunning hunter in the toil of his own policies; that faith which ascribes greatness and wisdom to God, will shrink up Satan's subtlety into a nigrum nihil—a thing of nothing.
Unbelief fears Satan as a lion, faith treads on him as a worm. Behold therefore thy God at work, and promise thyself that what he is about, is an excellent piece. None can drive him from his work. The pilot is beaten from the helm, and can do little in a storm, but lets the ship go adrift. The architect cannot work, when night draws the curtain, yea, is driven off the scaffold with a storm of rain. Such workmen are the wisest counsellors and mightest princes on earth. A pinch may come, when it is as vain to say, Help, O king; as, Help, O beggar. Man's wisdom may be levelled with folly, but God is never interrupted. All the plots of hell and commotions on earth, have not so much as shaken God's hand, to spoil one letter or line that he hath been drawing. The mysteriousness of his providence may hang a curtain before his work, that we cannot see what he is doing, but when darkness is about him, righteousness is the seat of his throne for ever.
O, where is our faith? Let God be wise, and all men and devils fools.
What though thou seest a Babel more likely to go up, than a Babylon to be pulled down; yet believe God is making his secret approaches, and will clap his ladders on a sudden to the walls thereof.
Suppose truth were a prisoner with Joseph, and error the courtier, to have its head lift up by the favour of the times; yet dost [thou] not remember that the way to truth's preferment lies through the prison?
Yea, what though the church were like Jonah in the whale's belly, swallowed up to the eye of reason by the fury of men, yet dost [thou] not remember [that] the whale had not power to digest the prophet?
O be not too quick to bury the church before she be dead. Stay while Christ tries his skill before you give it over; bring Christ by your prayers to its grave, to speak a resurrection word.