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 . . .
than othersno 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 strongelse the cure will never be wrought!
God is a wise physician, and He would never
give strong medicineif 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." Heb. 12:6
Then the scum appears!
Few Christians see themselves and understand
themselves rightfully. By trials, God reveals
much of a man's sinful self to his pious self.
When the fire is put under the potthen the
scum appears; so when God tries a poor soul,
Oh! how does . . .
the scum of pride,
the scum of murmuring,
the scum of distrust,
the scum of impatience,
the scum of worldliness,
the scum of carnality,
the scum of foolishness,
the scum of willfulness
reveal itself in the heart of the poor creature?
Trials are God's looking-glass, in which
His people see their own faults. Oh! . . .
that sink of filthiness,
that gulf of wickedness,
which trials show to be in their hearts!
"I have tested you in the furnace of affliction."
When Munster lay sick
"Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline."
"The Lord disciplines the one He loves, and
punishes every son whom He receives." Heb. 12:6
All the afflictions which come upon the saints,
are the fruits of divine love.
When Munster lay sick, and his friends asked
him how he did, and how he felt; he pointed to
his sores and ulcers, whereof he was full, and said,
"These are God's gems and jewels with which He
decks his best friends, and to me they are more
precious than all the gold and silver in the world!"
"It was good for me to be afflicted!" Psalm 119:71
God afflicts you, O Christian, in love! Therefore Luther
cries out, 'Strike, Lord, strike, Lord! and spare not!'
Father knows best!
"Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they
thought best; but God disciplines us for our good,
that we may share in His holiness." Hebrews 12:10.
What God, our Father wills, is best.
When He wills sickness, sickness is better than health.
When He wills weakness, weakness is better than strength.
When He wills poverty, poverty is better than wealth.
When He wills reproach, reproach is better than honor.
When He wills death, death is better than life.
As God is wisdom itself, and so knows that which is
best; so He is goodness itself, and therefore cannot
do anything but that which is besttherefore remain
silent before the Lord.
Everything on this side hell is mercy
Oh! labor every day to be more humble and more
low and little in your own eyes. 'Who am I,' says
the humble soul'but that God should cross me in
this mercy, and take away that mercy, and pass a
sentence of death upon every mercy? I am not
worthy of the least mercy, I deserve not a
crumb of mercy, I have forfeited every mercy.'
Only by pride comes contention. It is only pride that
puts men upon contending with God and men.
A humble soul will lie quiet at the foot of God, it
will be contented with bare necessities. A dinner
of green herbs relishes well with the humble man's
palate; whereas a stalled ox is but a coarse dish to
a proud man's stomach.
A humble heart thinks none less than himself, nor
none worse than himself.
A humble heart looks upon small mercies as great
mercies; and great afflictions as small afflictions;
and small afflictions as no afflictions; and therefore
sits mute and quiet under all. Do but keep humble,
and you will keep silent before the Lord.
Pride kicks, and flings, and frets; but a humble man
has still his hand upon his mouth. Everything on
this side hell is mercymuch mercy, rich mercy
to a humble soul; and therefore he remains mute
under the smarting rod.
One unmortified lust!
It is not your strongest resolutions or purposes, without
the grace of the Spirit, which can overmaster a lust. A
soul-sore will continue to runthough we resolve and
say it shall not. It was the blood of the sacrifice, and
the oil, which cleansed the leper in the law. And by
them is meant the blood of Christ and the grace of
His Spirit. Lev. 14:14-16. It was a touch of Christ's
garment which cured the woman of her bloody issue.
Your strongest resolutions or purposes may hide a sin,
but cannot quench it. They may cover a sin, but cannot
cut off a sin. A black patch may cover a sorebut it
does not cure it! Neither is it the papists' purgatories,
watchings, whippings, nor the kissing of the statue
of St. Francis, or licking of lepers' soreswhich will
cleanse the fretting leprosy of sin!
In the strength of Christ, and in the power of the Spirit
set soundly upon the mortifying of every lust! Oh, hug
none, indulge nonebut resolvedly set upon the ruin of
One leak in a ship will sink it!
One stab strikes Goliad just as deadas twenty-three did Caesar!
One Delilah may do Samson as much mischief as all the Philistines!
One broken wheel spoils the whole clock!
One vein bleeding will let out all the vitals!
One fly will spoil a whole box of ointment!
One bitter herb will spoil all the pottage!
By eating one apple, Adam lost paradise!
One lick of honey endangered Jonathan's life!
One Achan was a trouble to all Israel!
One Jonah raises a storm and becomes load too
heavy for the whole ship! Just soone unmortified
lust will raise very strong storms and tempests in the
soul! And therefore, as you would have a blessed calm
and quietness in your own spirits under your sharpest
trials, set thoroughly upon the work of mortification.
Gideon had seventy sons, and but one bastard child,
yet that bastard child destroyed all his seventy sons!
Ah, Christian! do you not know what a world of mischief
one unmortified lust may do? And therefore let nothing
satisfy you but the blood of all your lusts!