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Sunday, April 5, 2015

Puritan Nuggets of Gold # 75

Reproof

You would count him unworthy the name of a friend who, knowing a thief or an incendiary to lurk in your family with a design to kill, or rob, or burn your house, would conceal it from you, and not acquaint you with it in his own accord. There is no such thief, murderer, incendiary, as sin. Silence or concealment in this case is treachery. He is the most faithful friend, and worthy of most esteem and affection, that deals most plainly with us in reference to the discovery of our sin. He that is reserved in this case is but a false friend, a mere pretender to love, whereas, indeed, he hates his brother in his heart. (Leviticus 19:17). (David Clarkson)

It was well done of Paul to reprove Peter to his face, and it was well done of Peter, to praise Paul in his absence. (Thomas Adams)

A foolish physician he is, and a most unfaithful friend, that will let a sick man die for fear of troubling him; and cruel wretches are we to our friends, that will rather suffer them to go quietly to hell, than we will anger them, or hazard our reputation with them. (Richard Baxter)

He cannot be a bold reprover, that is not a conscientious liver; such a one must speak softly, for fear of waking his own guilty conscience. (William Gurnall)

Oh, that I might never be so void of love to my fallen brother as not to give him a serious reproof, nor so void of love to myself as not to receive a serious reproof. (George Swinnock)

Sometimes a sudden reproof, upon the commission of the sin, has reformed the sinner, but this is not always safe. When men's spirits are hot, and their minds drunk with passion, they are more apt to beat the Christian than to hear his counsel. Abigail would not tell Nabal of his danger till he was sober
But if there be no probability of a better season, after some ejaculations to heaven for assistance and success, take the present opportunity. Fabius conquered by delaying, but Caesar overcame by expedition. Though it is not ordinarily so good to sow corn when the wind is high, yet the husbandman will rather do it in such weather than not at all. (George Swinnock)

A man may, by a parable or an history pertinent to the purpose, convince a sinner's conscience and not openly injure his credit. Paul, in his sermon to Felix, seemed to shoot at random, not naming any, but his arrow pierced that unrighteous prince to the quick. A wise reprover in this is like a good fencer, who, though he strike one part, yet none that stand by could perceive from his eye, or the carriage of his arm, that he aimed at that more than the rest. (George Swinnock)

It is not for every fool to handle snuffers at or about the candles, lest perhaps, instead of mending the light, they put the candle out. (John Bunyan)

I see iron heated red-hot in the fire, and afterwards beaten and hardened with cold water. Thus will I deal with an offending friend; first heat him with deserved praise of his virtue, and then beat upon him with reprehension. (Joseph Hall)


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