Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Jews have a proverb, that there is no punishment
comes upon Israel, in which there is not one ounce of the
golden calf; meaning that that was so great a sin, as that
in every plague God remembered it ; that had an influence
on every trouble which befell them. Every man's heart
may say to him in his sufferings, as the heart of Apollodo-
rus in the kettle, ' I have been the cause of this.'
God is most angry, when he shews no anger. God
keep me from this mercy. This kind of mercy is worse
than all other kind of misery. One writing to a dead friend
has this expression, ' I account it a part of unhappiness
not to know adversity ; I judge you to be miserable, because
you have not been miserable.' It is mercy that our
affliction is not execution, but a correction. He who has
deserved hanging, may be glad if he escape with a whipping.
God's corrections are our instructions, his lashes
our lessons, his scourges our school-masters, his chastisements
our advertisements ; and to denote this, both the
Hebrews and the Greeks express chastening and teaching
by one and the same word, because the latter is the true
end of the former, according to that in the Proverb, ' Smart
makes wit, and vexation gives understanding ; ' whence
Luther fitly calls affliction, ' The Christian man's divinity.'
So says Job, chap, xxxiii. 14 — 18 ; God speaketh once, yea,
twice, yet man perceiveth it not : In a dream, in a vision of
the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings
upon the bed ; then he openeth the ears of men, and sealeth
their instruction, that he may withdraw man from his purpose,
and hide pride from man. He keepeth back his soul
from the pit, and his life from perishing by the sword.
When Satan shall tell thee of other men's sins to draw
thee to sin, do thou then think of the same men's sufferings
to keep thee from sin. Lay thy hand upon thy heart,
and say, ' O my soul, if thou sinnest with David thou must
suffer with David.'

-Thomas Brooks
Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices


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