Wednesday, May 16, 2012


The first proposition that I shall lay down concerning assurance is this, That God denies assurance for a time to his dearest and choicest ones, and that upon many considerable grounds.

(1.) As, first, for the exercise of their grace. A gracious soul would always be upon mount Tabor, looking into Canaan; he would always be in his Father’s arms, and under his Father’s smiles; he would always be in the sunshine of divine favour;[1] he would always have the heavens open, that be might always see his Christ and his crown; he would with Peter be always upon the mount; he is loath to walk through the valley of darkness, through the valley of Baca. As the king of Sodom said once to Abraham, “Give me the persons, and take the goods to thyself,” Gen 14:21; so gracious souls are apt to say, Give me joy, give me peace, give me assurance, and do you take trials, afflictions, and temptations to yourselves. But pray, what use would there be of the stars, if the sun did always shine? Why, none. Why, no more use would there be of your graces, if assurance should be always continued; therefore the Lord, for the exercise of his children’s faith, hope, patience, etc., is pleased, at least for a time, to deny them assurance, though they seek it by earnest prayer, and with a flood of penitent tears.

(2.) The Lord denies assurance to his dearest ones, that he may keep them in the exercise of those religious duties that are most costly and contrary to flesh and blood, as to mourning, repenting, self-judging, self-loathing, self abhorring, and self-searching; as Lam 1:16, “For these things I weep: mine eye, mine eye runneth down with water, because the comforter that should relieve my soul is far from me;” Lam 3:2-3, “He hath led me, and brought me into darkness, not into light. Surely against me he is turned; he turneth his hand against me all the day;” Lam 3:17, “And thou hast removed my soul far off from peace: I forgat prosperity.” Now, what this sad dealings of God puts the church upon you may see in Lam 3:40. “Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the Lord.”  And if you look throughout the book, you shall find the church much in self-examining, self-judging, self-loathing, etc., upon this ground, that God had hid his face, and drawn a curtain between him and them, and stood at a distance from them, and would not speak comfortably and friendly to them.
—Thomas Brooks From “Heaven on Earth”

No comments: