Friday, April 11, 2008

Brooks - What does a holy patience not exclude? (Part 4)

Thomas Brooks, The Mute Christian under the Smarting Rod, with Sovereign Antidotes... Seventh Edition. London, 1699. [Abridged, edited, and extracted by SML.]

What does holy patience not exclude? (continued)

Fifthly, a holy, a prudent silence does not exclude moderate mourning or weeping under the afflicting hand of God.

Sixthly, a gracious, a prudent silence does not exclude sighing, groaning, or roaring under affliction. A man may sigh, and groan, and roar under the hand of God, and yet be silent; it is not sighing, but muttering; it is not groaning, but grumbling, it is not roaring, but murmuring, that is opposite to a holy Silence, Exod. 2.23 And the Children of Israel sighed by reason of their bondage. (You may see much of this by comparing the following Scriptures, Lam 1:4,11,21,22. Ps 31:10, Jer. 45:3, Ex 2:24, Job 23:3, Ps 66.) Sometimes the sighs and groans of a Saint, do in some sort tell that which his tongue can in no sort utter.

Seventhly, a holy, a prudent silence, does not exclude or shut out the use of any just or lawful means, whereby persons may be delivered out of their afflictions. God would not have his people so in love with their afflictions as not to use such righteous means as may deliver them out of their afflictions, Mat 10:23. But when they persecute you in this City, flee you into another, Acts 12. Afflictions are evil in themselves, and we may desire and endeavour to be delivered from them, James 5:14-15. Isa 38:18-21, both inward and outward means are to be used for our own preservation.

Eighthly, a holy, a prudent silence does not exclude a just and sober complaining against the authors, contrivers, abettors, or instruments of our afflictions, 2 Tim 4:14. Alexander the Coppersmith did me much evil, the Lord reward him according to his works.

Christ himself (who was the most perfect pattern for dumbness and silence under sore trials) complains against Judas, Pilate, and the rest of his persecutors, Ps 69: 20,30,&tc.

Next: Why Christians must be mute and silent under afflictions in this world. (Part 5)

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