Thursday, April 17, 2008

Brooks: Why Christians must be mute and silent under afflictions in this world. (Part 6)

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

Reason 5. A fifth reason why gracious souls should be mute and silent under the greatest afflictions and sharpest trials that do befall them is this, because a holy, a prudent silence, under afflictions, under miseries, does best capacitate and fit the afflicted for the receipt of miseries. When the rolling bottle lies still you may pour into it your sweetest, or your strongest waters; when the rolling, tumbling soul lies still, then God can best pour into it the sweet waters of mercy, and the strong waters of divine consolation. You read of the peaceable fruits of righteousness, Heb 12:11, James 3:18.

Reason 6. A Sixth Reason why gracious souls should be silent under the smarting Rod, is this, viz. because it is fruitless, it is bootless to strive, to contest or contend with God; no man has ever got anything by muttering or murmuring under the hand of God, except it has been more frowns, blows, and wounds.

Reason 7. A seventh reason why Christians should be mute and silent under their afflictions, is because hereby they shall cross, and frustrate Satan’s great design and expectation. In all the afflictions he brought upon Job, his design was not so much to make Job a Beggar, as it was to make him a Blasphemer: it was not so much to make Job outwardly miserable, as it was to make Job inwardly miserable, by occasioning him to mutter and murmur against the righteous hand of God: that so he might have some matter of accusation against him to the Lord. His is the unwearied accuser of the brethren, Rev 12:10.

Reason 8. The eighth reason why Christians should be silent and mute under their sorest trials, is this, that they may be conformable to those noble patterns that are set before them by other saints, who have been patient and silent under the smarting Rod. As Aaron, Ex. 10:3, Ely, 1 Sam 3:18, David, 2 Sam 16:7-13, Job, chap 1:21-22, Eliakim, Shebnah and Joab, Isa 36:11-12. So those, saints in that, Acts 21:12-15, and that could of witnesses, pointed at in Hebrews 12:1. Gracious examples are more awakening, more convincing, more quickening, more provoking, and more encouraging than Precepts, because in them we see that the exercise of grace and godliness is possible, though it be difficult.

1 comment:

Katie said...

This is very, very convicting. The picture-language he uses, and particularly the idea that by remaining silent under the hand of God, we frustrate Satan.... whew. I also appreciated the reminder to be encouraged by our "cloud of witnesses." Probably my favorite of all the Brooks excerpts you've put up thus far. Thanks for sharing!