You have been long a-gathering rust!
("The Mute Christian Under the Smarting Rod or, The Silent Soul with Sovereign Antidotes" by Thomas Brooks, 1659, London.)
"I was silent; I would not open my mouth, for You are the one who has done this!" Psalm 39:9
Oh! but my afflictions are greater than other men's afflictions are!
Oh! there is no affliction like my affliction! How can I not murmur?
It may be that your sins are greater than other men's sins. If you have sinned against . . .
than others—then it is no wonder if your afflictions are greater than others!
If this is your case, then you have more cause to be mute than to murmur!
It may be that the Lord sees that it is very needful that your afflictions should be greater than others.
It may be that your heart is . . .
harder and stouter than other men's hearts,
or prouder than other men's hearts,
or more impure than other men's hearts,
or more carnal than other men's hearts,
or more selfish and worldly than other men's hearts,
or more deceitful and hypocritical than other men's hearts,
or more cold and careless than other men's hearts,
or more formal and lukewarm than other men's hearts.
Now, if this is your case, certainly God sees it very necessary, for . . .
the breaking of your hard heart, and
the humbling of your proud heart, and
the cleansing of your foul heart, and
the spiritualizing of your carnal heart, etc.,
that your afflictions should be greater than others; and therefore do not murmur!
Where the disease is strong, the remedy must be strong—or else the cure will never be wrought!
God is a wise physician, and He would never give strong medicine—if a weaker one could effect the cure!
The more rusty the NAIL is, the oftener we put it into the fire to purify it; and
the more crooked it is, the more blows and the harder blows we give to straighten it.
You have been long a-gathering rust! Therefore, if God deal thus with you, you have no cause to complain.
"For the Lord disciplines the one He loves, and chastises every son whom He receives." Hebrews 12:6