“Satan is loath to part with a great sinner. ‘What, my true servant,’ quoth he, ‘my old servant, wilt thou forsake me now?
Having so often sold thyself to me to work wickedness, wilt thou forsake me now?
Thou horrible wretch, dost not know, that thou has sinned thyself beyond the reach of grace, and dost thou think to find mercy now?
Art not thou a murderer, a thief, a harlot, a witch, a sinner of the greatest size, and dost thou look for mercy now?
Dost thou think that Christ will foul His fingers with thee?
It is enough to make angels blush, saith Satan, to see so vile an one knock at heaven-gates for mercy, and wilt thou be so abominably bold to do it?’
Thus Satan dealt with me, says the great sinner, when at first I came to Jesus Christ.
And what did you reply? saith the tempted. Why, I granted the while charge to be true, says the other.
And what, did you despair, or how?
No, saith he, I said, I am Magdalene, I am Zaccheus, I am the thief, I am the harlot, I am the publican, I am the prodigal, and one of Christ’s murderers; yea, worse than any of these; and yet God was so far off from rejecting of me, as I found afterwards, that there was music and dancing in His house for me, and for joy that I was come home unto Him.
O blessed be God for grace (says the other), for then, I hope, there is favour for me. Yea, as I told you, such an one is a continual spectacle in the church, for every one by to behold God’s grace and wonder by.”