Monday 9 March 2009

Thomas Brooks (1608-1680)

This is a very well written piece, but I couldn't help but gasp and giggle nervously to myself at the boldness of brother Brooks! Read on and see for yourself.....

You have been long a-gathering rust

Oh! but my afflictions are greater than other
men's afflictions are! Oh! there is no affliction
like my affliction! How can I not murmur?

It may be your sins are greater than other men's
sins. If you have sinned against . . .
more light,
more love,
more mercies,
more promises,
than others—no wonder if your afflictions are
greater than others! If this be your case, you
have more cause to be mute than to murmur!

It may be that the Lord sees that it is very needful
that your afflictions should be greater than others.

It may be your heart is harder than other men's
hearts, and prouder and stouter than other men's
hearts, it may be your heart is more impure than
others, and more carnal than others, or else more
selfish and more worldly than others, or else more
deceitful and more hypocritical than others, or
else more cold and careless than others, or more
formal and lukewarm than others.

Now, if this is your case, certainly God sees
it very necessary, for . . .
the breaking of your hard heart, and
the humbling of your proud heart, and
the cleansing of your foul heart, and
the spiritualizing of your carnal heart, etc.,
that your afflictions should be greater than
others; and therefore do not murmur!

Where the disease is strong, the remedy must
be strong—else the cure will never be wrought!
God is a wise physician, and He would never
give strong medicine—if a weaker one could
effect the cure!

The more rusty the NAIL is, the oftener we put it
into the fire to purify it; and the more crooked it
is, the more blows and the harder blows we give
to straighten it.

You have been long a-gathering rust; and
therefore, if God deal thus with you, you have
no cause to complain.

"For the Lord disciplines the one He loves, and
punishes every son whom He receives."


I can't help but think that many of the Christians in days gone by were made of stronger stuff than us...

Having said that, where would Job stand in all this, he being a righteous man?

God help us and strengthen us.



ruth said...

I'm not sure where I am, but I'm trying to comment on the piece you posted about God working on our character and using tougher trials to crack tougher nuts (I am really paraphrasing...).

In some ways I think it is true, but I have a dear, dear friend who is going through unimaginable suffering right now. Her son is mentally ill. You would not believe the pain that stems from this... both from the frightening and inexplicable situation itself, and from the awful things that Christian people say to her about it (often they suggest that the son is demon possessed--but until he became ill, he was a vibrant follower of God and student of the Bible; even in his illness, he tries to serve the Lord; the father is a pastor and the family has ministered in foreign counties; the boy made a decision to follow Christ at an early age...).

I can't imagine what God is preparing her for by putting her through this. It must be something huge.

Although I think the piece you published was a good reminder for someone like me, I wonder at how hurtful it might be to someone like her. Not that she complains a lot, but she does need to be able to pour out her heart sometimes. I think there are both good and bad things about the "tact" that is expected in our present time.

FancyHorse said...

Wow, that is very bold! I don't know that I could be so bold in speaking to someone, because I wouldn't know their heart as God knows it. I would offer to pray with the person, and maybe remind her or him of the Scripture quoted, "For the Lord disciplines the one He loves, and
punishes every son whom He receives."