Everything on this side Hell is mercy!
("The Mute Christian Under the Smarting Rod" or, "The Silent Soul with Sovereign Antidotes" by Thomas Brooks, 1659)
"I was silent; I would not open my mouth, for You are the one who has done this!" Psalm 39:9
Oh! labor every day to be more humble and more low and little in your own eyes. "Who am I," says the humble soul—"to complain of trials. I am not worthy of the least mercy, I deserve not a crumb of mercy, I have forfeited every mercy!"
It is only pride that puts men upon complaining and contending with God.
A humble soul will lie quiet at the foot of God; it will be contented with bare necessities. A dinner of green herbs is relished to the humble man's palate; whereas a stalled ox is but a coarse dish to a proud man's stomach.
A humble heart looks upon . . .
small mercies as great mercies;
and great afflictions as small afflictions;
and small afflictions as no afflictions;
and therefore sits mute and quiet under all.
Do but keep humble, and you will keep silent before the Lord.
Pride kicks, and grumbles, and frets—but a humble man has still his hand upon his mouth. Everything on this side Hell is mercy—much mercy, rich mercy to a humble soul; and therefore he remains mute under God's smarting rod.
John Berridge: "The heaviest afflictions on this side Hell—are less, far less than my iniquities have deserved! Oh, boundless grace! The chastening rod of a reconciled Father, might have been the flaming sword of an avenging Judge! I might now have been weeping and wailing with devils and damned spirits in Hell! I will bear the indignation of the Lord—because I have sinned against Him. It is of His mercy alone, that I am not consumed!"
Ruth Bryan: "Seek a resigned, submissive will—it will greatly lighten every outward cross. Murmuring thoughts ill become worms who deserve the lowest Hell; everything on this side Hell is more than we deserve."
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We encourage you to listen to this insightful sermon by Steve Lawson: "The Attitude of Christ". Play Audio Download Audio