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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Puritan Nuggets of Gold # 2

Affliction (continued)

The whole creation groans,and God's children bear a part in this concert. They have their share in the world's miseries; and domestical crosses are common to them with other men in the world; yea, their condition is worse than others'. Chaff and corn are threshed in the same floor, but the corn is ground in the mill and baked in the oven. Jeremiah was  in the dungeon when the city was besieged. The world hates them more than others, and God loves them more than others. The world hates them because they are so good, and God corrects them because they are no better. (Thomas Manton)

Do not even such things as are most bitter to the flesh, tend to awaken Christians to faith and prayer, to a sight of the emptiness of this world, and the fadingness of the best it yield? Doth not God by these things (ofttimes) call our sins to remembrance, and provoke us to amendment of life? How then can we be offended by things by which we reap so much good? Therefore if mine enemy hunger, let me feed him; if he thirst, let me give him drink. Now in order to do this, we must see good in that, in which other men can see none. We must pass by those injuries that other men would revenge. We must show we have grace, and that we are made to bear what other men are not acquainted with. Many of our graces are kept alive, by those very things that are the death of other men's souls. The devil (they say) is good when he is pleased; but Christ and His saints, when displeased. (John Bunyan)

(Some say) "I am grieved that I am thus dealt with because I never deserved it; had I done anything worthy of punishment it would not have grieved me ..." Thou speakest like a foolish man. Whether is it better to suffer, when thy conscience is free and suffereth not, or when with thy outward affliction thou art afflicted also of thine own heart? And is it not a glorious thing to suffer for well doing when in thy cause of grief is the less? For if the cause of affliction rather than affliction itself should grieve thee, then affliction without cause of affliction - being for God, His cause - should rather comfort thee. (Richard Greenham)

The vessels of mercy are first seasons with affliction, and then the wine of glory is poured in. Thus we see afflictions are not prejudicial, but beneficial, to the saints. (Thomas Watson)

A sanctified person, like a silver bell, the harder he is smitten, the better he sounds. (George Swinnock)

We often learn more of God under the rod that strikes us, than under the staff that comforts us. (Stephen Charnock)

God's house of correction is His school of instruction. (Thomas Brooks)

God does by affliction magnify us three ways. 1. In that He will condescend so low as to take notice of us. It is a magnifying of us, that God thinks us worthy to be smitten. God's not striking is a slighting: "Why should ye be stricken any more?" (Isaiah 1:5). 2. Afflictions also magnify us, as they are ensigns of glory, signs of sonship. "If you endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons." (Hebrews 12"7). Every print of the rod is a badge of honor. 3. Afflictions tend to the magnifying of the saints, as they make them renowned in the world. Soldiers have never been so admired for their victories, as the saints have been for their sufferings. (Thomas Watson)

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