Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, Yes, has God said…
In the former chapters we have heard nothing but the Lord said, the Lord said; but now come we to hear the serpent said, and the serpent said. So see we plainly how after the Word of God cometh the word of the devil. It was not so then only, but it hath so continued ever since. When the Lord hath spoken by the mouth of His minister, prophet, apostle, pastor, or teacher, then speaketh Satan by his serpents contrary. They in the Church, these as soon as they be out of the Church, yea, many times even in the Church they will be hissing in their ears that sit next them. If God have spoken to a child by his parents, to a servant by his master, to a man by his friend what is true and good, straight cometh a serpent, one or other, and overthroweth all, leading them captive to a contrary course. What, say these serpents, wilt thou be thus used, will you bear all this? you are now no child, do this and do that, you shall not die, but you shall live and be like gods, knowing good and evil, etc. But as Eve sped by this serpent, so shall you by those, if you avoid them not. Such serpents were those counsellors that made Rehoboam, Solomon's son, do contrary to the advice of the old counsellors, to his great loss. Again, mark here which was first, the word of God or the word of Satan. Dixit Dominus, the Lord said, goeth before Dixit serpens, the serpent said, and so you see truth is elder than falsehood, and God's Word before Satan's lies: that is s rule to know truth by, namely, to look which was first; "Quodcunque primum illud verum, quodcunque posterius illud falsum. Whatsoever was first, that is true, whatsoever was latter that is false, and that is first that was from the beginning, and that was from the beginning, that in the writings of the apostles may find his warrant. Let it not blind you then that such an error hath continued a thousand years, if it be to be proved that a contrary truth is elder far.
Parallel VersesKJV: Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?