Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Brooks - What does a prudent, gracious, holy silence include? (Part 2)

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

What does a prudent, a gracious, a holy silence include? (continued)

Fifthly, a holy silence takes in gracious, blessed, soul-quieting conclusions about the issue and event of the afflictions that are on us, Lam 3.27-34. In this you may observe five soul-stilling conclusions.

  • First, they work for their good.
  • Second, they shall keep them humble and low.
  • Thirdly, For the Lord will not cast off forever; the Rod shall not always lie on the back of the righteous.
  • Fourth, In wrath God remembers Mercy, Hab 3.2, Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.
  • Fifthly, For he does not afflict willingly (or from his heart, as in the Hebrew) nor grieve the Children of men. God’s heart was not in their afflictions, though his hand was; he takes no delight to afflict his children...

Sixthly, a holy, a prudent silence includes and takes in a strict charge; a solemn command that conscience lays upon the soul to be quiet and still, Ps 37:7 Rest in the Lord (of as the Hebrew has it, be silent to the Lord) and wait patiently for him. I charge thee, oh my soul, not to mutter, nor to murmur, I command thee, oh my soul, to be dumb and silent under the afflicting hand of God.

Seventhly, a holy, a prudent silence, includes a surrendering, a resigning up of yourselves to God, while we are under his afflicting hand: the silent soul gives himself up to God: the secret language of the soul is this, Lord, here am I, do with me what you please, write upon me as you please, I give up myself to be at your disposal. There was a good woman, who when she was sick, being asked whether she were willing to live or die? Answered, Whatever God pleases, but said one that stood by, if God should refer it to you, which would you choose? Truly, said she, if God should refer it to me, I would even refer it to him again; this was a soul worth gold.

Eighthly, a holy, a prudent silence, takes in a patient waiting upon the Lord under our afflictions, until deliverance comes. Ps. 40:1-3, Ps 62:5, My soul wait thou only upon God, for my expectation is from him, Lam 3.26 It is good that a man should both hope and quietly (or silently) wait for the salvation of the Lord.

Next: What does holy patience not exclude? (Part 3)