Amongst all the devices that Satan makes use of, there is none by which he grieves the children of God worse, than his troubling you with blasphemous, profane, unbelieving thoughts; and sometimes to such a degree, that they are as tormenting as it is to be physically tortured.
You that have felt his fiery darts, can tell by fatal experience how often the devil has bid you, “curse God and die,” and darted into your thoughts a thousand blasphemous suggestions, even in your most secret and solemn times; looking back on which makes your very hearts to tremble.
Have not some of you, when you have been lifting up holy hands in prayer, been pestered with such a crowd of the most horrid insinuations, that you have often been made to believe your prayers were an abomination to the Lord? Nay, when, with the rest of your Christian brethren, you have crowded round the holy table, and taken the sacred symbols of Christ’s most blessed body and blood into your hands, and instead of remembering the death of your Savior, have you not been employed in driving out evil thoughts, and thereby have been terrified, lest you have eaten and drank your own damnation?
But marvel not, as though some strange thing happened to you; for this has been the common lot of all God’s children. We read, even in Job’s time, “That when the sons of God came to appear before their Maker, (at public worship) Satan also came amongst them,” to disturb their devotions.
And think not that God is angry with you for these distracting, though ever so blasphemous thoughts: No, he knows it is not you, but Satan working in you; and therefore, though God will certainly punish him; yet he will both pity and reward you. And though it is difficult to make persons in your circumstances to believe so; yet I do not doubt that you are more acceptable to God when performing your holy duties in the midst of such involuntary distractions, than when you are wrapped up by devotion, as it were, into the third heavens; for when the unwanted thoughts come you are suffering, as well as doing the will of God.