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Re: on the matter off being booted

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  • thebishopsdoom
    GMW, I know this is long. If you read nothing else, at least read the first few paragraphs. If you re down enough that you re simply not ready to read
    Message 1 of 8 , Feb 1, 2003
      I know this is long. If you read nothing else, at least read the
      first few paragraphs. If you're down enough that you're simply not
      ready to read anything, save it somewhere for a while until you think
      you are ready.

      From: THE TRIAL & TRIUMPH OF FAITH: OR An Exposition of the History
      of Christ's dispossessing of the daughter of the woman of Canaan.

      ...So was the servant of God, in a spiritual kind of praying, in
      uttering Psalm 77, when he saith, verse 4, "Thou holdest mine eyes
      waking; I am so troubled, that I cannot speak." Yea, groaning goeth
      for praying to God: "The Lord looked down from heaven, to hear the
      groaning of the prisoner." (Psalm 102:20.) "The Spirit intercedeth
      for us with sighs that none can speak." (Rom. 7:26.) Faith doth sigh
      prayers to heaven; Christ receiveth sighs in his censer, for prayer.
      Words are but the body, the garment, the outside of prayer; sighs are
      nearer the heart-work. A dumb beggar getteth an alms at Christ's
      gates, even by making signs, when his tongue cannot plead for him;
      and the rather, because he is dumb.
      Objection 2. I have not so much as a voice to utter to God; and
      Christ saith, "Cause me hear thy voice." (Cant. 2:14.) Answer. Yea,
      but some other thing hath a voice beside the tongue: "The Lord has
      heard the voice of my weeping." (Psalm 6:8.) Tears have a tongue, and
      grammar, and language, that our Father knoweth. Babes have no prayers
      for the breast, but weeping; the mother can read hunger in weeping.
      Objection 3. But I am often so, as I cannot weep: weeping is peculiar
      to a man as laughing is, and spiritual weeping is peculiar to the
      renewed man. Answer. Vehemency of affection doth often move weeping,
      so as it is but sprit weeping that we can attain: hence, Hezekiah can
      but "chatter as a crane, and a swallow, and moan as a dove," (Isa.
      38:14). Sorrow keepeth not always the road-way; weeping is but the
      scabbard of sorrow, and there is often more sorrow where there is
      little or no weeping; there is most of fire, where there is least
      Objection 4. But I have neither weeping one way or other, ordinary
      nor marred. Answer. Looking up to heaven, lifting up of the eyes,
      goeth for prayer also in God's books. "My prayer will I direct to
      thee, and I will look up." (Psalm 5:3.) "Mine eyes fail with looking
      upward," (Psalm 69:3). Because, 1st, Prayer is a pouring out of the
      soul to God, and faith will come out at the eye, in lieu of another
      door: often affections break out at the window, when the door is
      closed; as smoke venteth at the window, when the chimney refuseth
      passage. Stephen looked up to heaven, (Acts 7:55). He sent a post; a
      greedy, pitiful, and hungry look up to Christ, out at the window, at
      the nearest passage, to tell that a poor friend was coming up to him.
      2nd, I would wish no more, if I were in hell, but to send a long look
      up to heaven. There be many love-looks of the saints, lying up before
      the throne, in the bosom of Christ. The twinkling of thy eyes in
      prayer, are not lost to Christ; else Stephen's look, David's look
      should not be registered so many hundred years in Christ's written
      Objection 5. Alas! I have no eyes to look up. The publican, (Luke
      18,) looked down to the earth. And what senses spiritual have I to
      send after Christ? Answer. There is life going in and out at thy
      nostrils. Breathing is praying, and is taken of our hand, as crying
      in prayer. "Thou hast heard my voice; hide not thy ear at my
      breathing, at my cry." (Lam. 3:56.)
      Objection 6. I have but a hard heart to offer to God in prayer; and
      what can I say then, wanting all praying disposition? Answer. 1st,
      Therefore pray, that you may pray. 2nd, The very aspect, and naked
      presence of a dead spirit, when there is a little vocal praying, is
      acceptable to God; or, if an overwhelmed heart refuseth to come, it
      is best to go and tell Christ, and request him to come, and fetch the
      heart himself. 3rd, Little of day-light cometh before the sun; the
      best half of it is under ground. "We ourselves groan within
      ourselves." (Rom. 8:23.) All is here transacted in our own heart. The
      soul crieth, Oh! when will my father come, and fetch his children?
      When shall the spouse lie in her husband's bosom? 4th, If Christ's
      eye but look on a hard heart, it will melt it. 5th, I show here the
      smallest of prayer in which the life and essence of prayer may
      breathe and live. Now, prayer being a pouring out of the soul to God,
      much of the affections of love, desire, longing, joy, faith, sorrow,
      fear, boldness, comes along with prayer out to God, and the heart is
      put in Christ's bosom. And it is neither up nor down to the essence
      of sincere praying, whether the soul come out in words, in groans, or
      in long looks, or in sighing, or in pouring out tears to God, (Job
      16:20,) or in breathing...
      Every part of a supplication to a prince, is not a supplication; a
      poor man out of fear may speak nonsense, and broken words that cannot
      be understood by the prince; but nonsense in prayer, when sorrow,
      blackness, and a dark overwhelmed spirit dictateth words, are well
      known in, and have a good sense to God. Therefore, to speak morally,
      prayer being God's fire, as every part of fire is fire; so here,
      every broken parcel of prayer is prayer. So the forlorn son forgot
      the half of his prayers; he resolved to say, "Make me as one of thy
      hired servants;" (Luke 15:19,) but (verse 21,) he prayeth no such
      thing; and yet, "his father fell on his neck, and kissed him." A
      plant is a tree in the potency; an infant, a man; seeds of saving
      grace are saving grace; prayer is often in the bowels and womb of a
      sigh; though it come not out, yet God heareth it as a prayer. "And he
      that searcheth the hearts, knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit,
      because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will
      of God." (Rom. 8:27.) "Lord, thou hast heard the desire of the
      humble." (Psalm 10:17.) Desires have no sound with men, so as they
      come to the ear; but with God, they have a sound, as prayers have.
      Then when others cannot know what a groan meaneth, God knoweth what
      is under the lap of a sigh, because his Spirit made the sigh: he
      first made the prayer, as an intercessor, and then, as God he heareth
      it; he is within praying, and without hearing.
      ...Christ washeth sinners in his blood, but he washeth not sin: he
      advocateth for the man that prayeth to have him accepted, but not for
      the upstarts and boilings of corruption and the flesh that are mixed
      with our prayer, to have them made white. Christ rejecteth these
      things in prayer that are essentially ill; but he washeth the prayer,
      and causeth the Father accept it. There be so many other things that
      are a-pouring out of the soul in prayer; as groaning, sighing,
      looking up to heaven, breathing, weeping; that it cannot be imagined,
      how far short printed and read prayers come of vehement praying: for
      you cannot put sighs, groans, tears, breathing, and such heart-
      messengers down in a printed book; nor can paper and ink lay your
      heart, in all its sweet affections, out before God. The service-book
      then must be toothless and spiritless talk.

      [Sermon 15]
      "Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me."—VERSE 25
      CHRIST had denied her to be his, but she will not deny but Christ is
      hers: see how a believer is to carry himself towards Christ
      deserting, frowning. Christ, (1.) Answered her not one word. (2.) He
      gave an answer but to the disciples, not to the woman. Oh dreadful!
      Christ refuseth to give her one word that may go between her, and
      hell and despair. (3.) The answer that he giveth is sadder and
      heavier than no answer; it is as much as, Woman, I have nothing to do
      with thee; I quit my part of thee. Yet, (1.) She is patient. (2.) She
      believeth. (3.) She waiteth on a better answer. (4.) She continueth
      in praying. (5.) Her love is not abated; she cometh and adoreth. (6.)
      Acknowledgeth her own misery; "Lord, help me," and putteth Christ as
      God in his own room to be adored. (7.) She taketh Christ aright up,
      and seeth the temptation to be a temptation. (8.) She runneth to
      Christ; she came nearer to him, and runneth not from him; she
      clingeth to Christ, though Christ had cast her off.

      1. Patient submission to God under desertion, is sweet. What though I
      saw no reason why I cry and shout, and God answereth not? (1.) His
      comforts and his answers are his own free graces; he may do with his
      own what he thinks good, and grace is no debt. "Hear, O Lord, for thy
      own sake." (Dan. 9:19.) (2.) Infinite sovereignty may lay silence
      upon all hearts: good Hezekiah, "What shall I say? He hath spoken
      unto me, and himself hath done it." (Isa. 38:15.) It is an act of
      Heaven; I bear it with silence.

      2. She believeth. There is a high and noble commandment laid upon the
      sad spirit: "He that walketh in darkness, and seeth no light, let him
      trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God." (Isa. 50:10.)
      (2.) Fill the field with faith, double or frequent acts of faith: "My
      God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Psalm 22:1). Two faiths are
      a double breastwork against the forts of hell. (Eph. 6:16; 1 Thes.
      5:8.) (3.) In the greatest extremity believe, even as David in the
      borders of hell: "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow
      of death, I will fear no evil." (Psalm 23:4.) It is a litote; I will
      believe good. It is a cold and a dark shadow to walk at death's right
      side, "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him." (Job 13:15.) See
      Stephen dying and believing both at once: Christ's very dead corpse
      and his grave in a sort believing: "My flesh also shall rest in
      hope." (Psalm 16:9.) How sweet to take faith's back band, subscribed
      by God's own hand, into the cold grave with thee, as Christ
      did; "Thou wilt not leave my soul in the grave." (verse 10.) (4.)
      Faith saith, sense is a liar: fancy, sense, the flesh will say, "His
      archers compassed me round about, he cleaveth my reins asunder, and
      doth not spare, and poureth out my gall on the ground:" (Job 16:13:)
      but faith saith, "I have a friend in heaven; also, now, my witness is
      in heaven." (verse 19.) Sense maketh a lie of God; "He hath also
      kindled his wrath against me, and taketh me for his enemy." (Job
      19:11.) No, Job, thou art the friend of God: see how his faith cometh
      above the water, "I know that my friend by blood, or my Redeemer
      liveth." (verse 25.)

      3. She waits in hope, and took not the first nor second answer: hope
      is long breathed, and at midnight prophesieth good of God: "Though I
      fall, I shall rise again:" (Mic. 7:9). "Then I said, I am cast out of
      thy sight, yet I will look toward thy holy temple." (Jonah 2:4.)
      There is a seed of heaven in hope. When God did hide his face from
      Job, (Job 13:24;) yet, "He also shall be my salvation:" (verse 16).
      There is a negative, and over-clouded hope in the soul at the saddest
      time; the believer dares not say, Christ will never come again: if he
      say it, it is in hot blood, and in haste, and he will take his word
      again. (Isa. 8:17.)

      4. She continueth in praying: she cried, "Lord, Son of David, have
      mercy upon me;" she has no answer; she crieth again, till the
      disciples are troubled with her shouts: she getteth a worse answer
      than no answer, yet she cometh and prayeth. We know the holy
      willfulness of Jacob, "I will not let thee go till thou bless me."
      (Gen. 32:26.) Rain calmeth the stormy wind: to vent out words in a
      sad time, is the way of God's children: "Thy wrath lieth hard upon
      me: My eye mourneth by reason of mine affliction." (Psalm 88:7,9.)
      And what then? "Lord, I have called daily upon thee, I have stretched
      out my hands to thee." (Psalm 22:2.) Christ in the borders of hell,
      prayed, and prayed again, and died praying.

      5. She hath still love to Christ, and is not put from the duty of
      adoring. "Whom having not seen, yet ye love." (1 Pet. 1:8.) The
      deserted soul seeth little: there must be love to Christ, where there
      is, (1.) Faith in the dark; faith is with child of love. (2.) Where
      the believer is willing that his pain and his hell may be matter of
      praising God: "Who is so great a god as our God?" (Psalm 77:13). The
      church was then deserted, as the psalm cleareth.

      6. She putteth Christ in his chair of state, and adoreth him: the
      deserted soul saith, Be I what I will, He is Jehovah the Lord.
      Confession is good in saddest desertion, "I have sinned; what shall I
      do to thee, O preserver of man?" (Job 7:20). The seed of Jacob is in
      a hard case before God, (Lam. 1:17,) and under wrath, (verses 12-14).
      Yet, "The Lord is righteous, for I have sinned:" (verse 16:) this
      maketh the soul charitable of God, how sad soever the dispensation

      7. She seeth it is a trial, as is clear by her instant pursuing after
      Christ, after many repulses. It is great mercy, that God cometh not
      behind backs, and striketh not in the dark. "And I said, this is my
      infirmity:" (Psalm 77:10:) he gathereth his scattered thoughts, and
      taketh himself in the temptation. It is mercy, (1.) To see the
      temptation in the face. Some lie under a dumb and a deaf temptation
      that wanteth all the five senses; Cain is murdered in the dark at
      midnight, with the temptation, and he knoweth not what it meaneth.
      (2.) God's immediate hand is more to be looked at, than all other
      temptation. (3.) Hence the conscience is timorous, and traverseth its
      ways under the trial. When a night traveler dare not trust the ground
      he walketh on, he is in a sad condition; he is under two evils, and
      hath neither comfort nor confidence. "He that walketh in darkness,
      and hath no light," (but some glimmering of star-light, or half moon
      under the earth, and knoweth not the ground he walketh on,) "let him
      trust in the name of the Lord." (Isa. 50:10.)

      8. She runneth not away from Christ under desertion; but (1.) She
      cometh to him. It is a question what deserted souls shall do in that
      case. See, (2,) that you run not from Christ. It was a desertion that
      Saul was under, and a sad one we read of; but he maketh confession of
      his condition to the devil; a sad word; "I am sore distressed:" (1
      Sam. 28:15,) there is a heavy and lamentable reason given why; "the
      Philistines make war against me." Why, that is not much; they make
      war always against the people of God: Nay, but here is the marrow and
      the soul of all vengeance, "God is departed from me." Why, foolish
      man, what availeth it thee to tell the devil, God is departed from
      thee? Judas was under a total desertion; he went not to Christ, but
      to the murderers of Christ, to open his wound. "I have sinned:" fool!
      say that to the Saviour of sinners. The Church deserted, betaketh
      herself to Christ, and searcheth him out: "Saw ye Him whom my soul
      loveth?" (Cant. 1:5). It is a bad token, when men, conceiving
      themselves to be in calamity, make lies and policy their refuge.

      Objection. But it is a greater sin to go to Christ, being in a state
      of sin: What have I to do, to go to him whom I have offended so
      highly? Answer. (1.) To run from Christ under desertion, is two
      deaths. [1.] Desertion is one, and if real, the saddest hell out of
      hell. [2.] To flee from Christ and life, is another death; now to
      come to him, though he should kill thee for thy presumption, is but
      one death, and a little one in comparison of the other; and one
      little death is rather to be chosen, than two great deaths. (2.)
      Consider how living a death it is, to be killed doing a duty, and
      aiming to flee into Christ: better die by Christ's own hand (if so it
      must be) as by another; and better be buried and lie dead at his
      feet, as to run away from him in a heavy desertion: if the believer
      must die, it is better his grave to be made under the throne, and
      under the feet of Jesus Christ, as to die in a state of strangeness
      and alienation from Christ, not daring to come nigh him. All the
      deserted ones that we read of, did flee in to himself. (Psalm 34; 39;
      88; Job 13:15; Isa. 38.) (3.) It is good to claim him as thy God,
      though he should deny thee; and creep unto him though he should throw
      thee out of his sight: better kiss the sword that killeth thee, and
      be slain with his own hand, as cast away thy confidence.

      "But she came and worshipped." An heavier temptation cannot befall a
      soul tender of Christ's love, than to cry to God and not be answered;
      and to cry, and receive a flat and downright renouncing of the poor
      supplicant. Yet this doth not thrust her from a duty; she cometh, and
      worshippeth, and prayeth. It is a blessed mark, when a temptation
      thrusteth not off a soul from a duty. And (1.) When the danger and
      sad trial is seen, it is good to go on. Christ knew before, he should
      suffer; and when they would apprehend him, yet he went to the garden
      to spend a piece of the night in prayer. It was told Paul by Agabus,
      if he went to Jerusalem, the Jews should bind him, and deliver him to
      the Gentiles: it was his duty to go, thither he professeth he will
      go: "What mean ye to weep and break my heart? I am ready not only to
      be bound, but to die for the name of Jesus." (Acts 21:13.) Dying
      could not thrust him from a duty. Esther ran the hazard of death to
      go in to the king; yet conscience of a duty calling, she goeth on in
      faith; "If I perish, I perish." (2.) In the act of suffering: Christ
      on the cross prayeth and converteth the thief; Paul, with an iron
      chain upon his body, preacheth Christ before Agrippa and his enemies,
      and preaching Christ was the crime: Paul and Silas, with bloody
      shoulders, must sing psalms in the stocks. (3.) Indefinitely. After
      the trial, and when the temptation is on, yet the saints go on: "All
      this is come on us," (Psalm 44:17,) there is the temptation: the
      duty, "Yet we have not forgotten thee, neither dealt falsely in thy
      covenant." "Princes did speak against me," there is a temptation: yet
      here is a duty: "But thy servant did meditate on thy statutes."
      (Psalm 119:23.) "My soul fainteth for thy salvation, but I hope in
      thy word." (verse 81.) "The wicked have laid a snare for me, yet I
      erred not from thy precepts." (verse 110.) "Many are my persecutors
      and mine enemies, yet do I not decline from thy testimonies." (verse
      157.) "They fought against me without a cause:" (Psalm 109:3.) "For
      my love they were my adversaries, but I gave myself to prayer."
      (verse 4.)

      (1.) It is a sign of a sweet humbled servant, who can take a buffet,
      and yet go about his master's service; and when a soul can pass
      through fire and water to be at a duty; for then, the conscience of
      the duty hath more prevailing power to act obedience, than the salt
      and bitterness of the temptation hath force to subdue and vanquish
      the spirit: it is likely grace hath the day, and better of
      corruption. (2.) It argueth a soul well watched, and kept from the
      incursion of a house-sin, and a home-bred corruption; for the
      temptation setteth on the nearest corruption, as fire kindleth the
      nearest powder and dry timber, and so goeth along. "They prevented me
      in the day of my calamity;" (Psalm 18:18). "I was upright before him,
      and I kept myself from mine iniquity." (verse 23.) The devil hath a
      friend within us: now there be degrees of friends, some nearer of
      blood than other some; the man's own predominant is the dearer friend
      to Satan, than any other sin; if pride be the predominant, it is so
      Satan's first-born, he agents his business by pride. (3.) So it may
      argue that the soul steeled and fortified with grace, taketh occasion
      from the sinfulness of the temptation, and the edge of it, to be more
      zealous and active in duties. David scoffed at by Michal, said, "I
      will be more vile yet." So, "All that see me laugh me to scorn, they
      shoot out the lip, they shake the head," (Psalm 22:7). "He trusted in
      the Lord," (verse 8). See here a heavy temptation; but his faith
      diggeth deeper, to the first experience of God's goodness; "But thou
      art he that took me out of the womb," (verse 9). As the church mocked
      with this, "Sing us one of the songs of Zion," (Psalm 137,) raiseth
      an higher esteem of Zion, because Zion's songs are scoffed at: Let
      them mock Zion as they list, "But if I forget Zion," (verse 5,) then
      I pray God, "my tongue may cleave to the roof of my mouth." (verse
      6.) So the thief, hearing Christ blasphemed and railed on by his
      fellow, doth take more boldness to extol him as a king; "Lord,
      remember me when thou comest to thy kingdom:" Grace appeareth the
      more gracious and active, that it hath an adversary; contraries in
      nature, as fire and water, put forth their greatest strength when
      they actually conflict together.

      USE 1. Antinomians turn grace into a temptation, and then cast off
      all duties; as, "Christ has pardoned all sin; his righteousness
      imputed, is mine: What do you speak to me of law-duties?" The way
      that crieth down duties and sanctification, is not the way of grace;
      grace is an innocent thing, and will not take men off from duties;
      grace destroyeth not obedience: Christ hath made faith a friend to
      the law; the death of Christ destroyeth not grace's activity in
      duties. It is true, grace trusted in, becomes ourself, not grace; and
      self cannot storm heaven, and take Christ by violence: grace, though
      near of kindred to Christ, as it is received in us, is but a
      creature, and so may be made an idol, when we trust in it, and seek
      not Christ first, and before created grace: But believing and doing
      are blood-friends. (John 11:26).

      USE 2. This would be heeded, that in difficulties and straits, we
      keep from wicked ways; and being tempted, that we strive to come near
      the fore-runner's way. It was peculiar to Christ, to be angry, and
      not to sin; to be like us, "in all points tempted like as we are, yet
      without sin," (Heb. 4:15,) with this difference, Christ was tempted,
      but cannot sin; the saints are tempted, but dare not sin. The law of
      God, honeyed with the love of Christ, hath a majesty and power to
      keep from sin. So Christ, made under the law for us, (Isa.
      53:7,) "was oppressed, he was afflicted," (oppression will make a
      sinful man mad,) but it could not work upon Christ: "He was
      oppressed, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to
      the slaughter." So all Christ's followers did: they are tempted, but
      grace putteth a power of tenderness on them. Joseph tempted,
      saith, "How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?"
      (Gen. 39:9). David is reproached by Shimei, but he dares not avenge
      himself. Job, heavily as any man tempted, yet "In all this, Job
      sinned not, nor charged God foolishly?" (Job 1:22). I deny not, but
      the temptation doth sometimes obtain half a consent: Nabal tempted
      David, so that he resolved to be avenged. (2.) It will leave a black
      and a crook behind it in some, for their whole life. Peter shall be
      all his life known to be one that once forsware his Lord. But this is
      fearful, when men both create temptations, by defending a bad cause,
      (as holy men may have an unholy cause) and then, can find no way to
      carry it out, but by crooked policy and calumnies. We are now pursued
      by malignants with an unjust war. To embrace peace upon any
      dishonourable terms to Christ, is to desert a duty for fear of a
      temptation: on the other side, to refuse an offer of peace, because
      many innocent persons have been killed, is also a yielding to a
      temptation; for by war, we kill many more innocent ones, and it is
      against the Lord's counsel, "Seek peace," (Psalm 34:14), that is, as
      much as we are not to be patients only, but agents, even when we are
      wronged, in seeking peace. But what if peace flee from me? I confess
      that this is a temptation; then saith the Lord 'follow after it;'
      (the word Darash is diokein. Heb. 12:14); the Syro-Chaldee is, 'run
      after peace,' compel peace and force it, as men follow an enemy: 'Let
      us pursue after things of peace,' (Rom. 14:19, diokomen).

      USE 3. See the sweet use of faith under a sad temptation; faith
      trafficketh with Christ and Heaven in the dark, upon plain trust and
      credit, without seeing any surety or pawn; "Blessed are they that
      have not seen, and yet have believed," (John 20:29). And the reason
      is, because faith is sinewed and boned with spiritual courage; so as
      to keep a barred city against hell, yea, and to stand under
      impossibilities; and here is a weak woman, though not as a woman, yet
      as a believer, standing out against him, who is "The mighty God, the
      Father of ages, the prince of peace," (Isa. 9:6). Faith only standeth
      out, and overcometh the sword, the world, and all afflictions, (1
      John 5:4). This is our victory, whereby one man overcometh the great
      and vast world.

      ..."And she said Truth, Lord, yet the dogs eat of the crumbs that
      fall from the master's table."—VERSE 27.

      OBSERVE, 1. The woman's witty answer. By retortion in great
      quickness, by concession of the conclusion, and granting she was a
      dog, she borroweth the argument, and taketh it from Christ's mouth to
      prove her question. She argueth from the temptation: Let me be a dog,
      so I be a dog under Christ's feet at his table.

      ...To wait in patience for God all the day long, is an argument of
      great faith: "He that believeth shall not make haste; (Isa. 28:16);
      he shall not be confounded with shame, (so the Seventy translate it,
      and Paul after them, Rom. 9:33); as those that flee from the enemy
      out of hastiness, procured by base fear, which is a shame. It proveth
      believing, and a valorous keeping the field without flying, and so,
      continued waiting on God, to be of kin to believing; and the longer
      the thread of hope be, though it were seventy years long, (as Hab.
      2:1,2,) or though it were as long as a cable going between the earth
      and the heaven, "up within the veil," (Heb. 6:19,) the stronger the
      faith must be. Unbelief not being chained to Christ, leapeth
      overboard at first, as the wicked king said in the haste of
      unbelief, "What should I wait any longer on the Lord?" (2 Kings
      6:33.) Faith is a grace for winter, to give God leisure to bring
      summer in his own season. The reasons of our weakness be two: (1.) We
      see Israel and their dough on their shoulders wearied and tired,
      lately come out of the brick furnace, wandering without one foot of
      heritage, forty years in the wilderness, and four hundred years in
      Egypt; (Acts 7:6;) this looketh like poverty: to believe the other
      mystery in the other side or page of providence, the glory of
      dividing the Red sea, and of giving seven mighty nations to his
      people, and their buildings, lands, vineyards, gardens; is a strong
      faith. (2.) The furnace is a thing void of reason and art, and so
      knoweth little that by it the goldsmith maketh an excellent and
      comely vessel of gold. It is great faith to believe, that God, by
      crooked instruments, and fire and sword, shall refine a church and
      erect a glorious building, and these malignant instruments are as
      ignorant of the art of divine providence, as coals and fuel are of
      the art and intention of the goldsmith, (Mic. 4:12; Isa. 10:5-7).

      ...All Christ's answers and words to this woman, till now, were but
      interpretations and proclamations of wrath, and rejecting of her, as
      not one of the lost sheep of the house of Israel; a dog under the
      table, not a child of the house. Love came never above ground till
      now; yet did Christ's affection and love yearn upon her all the time.
    • Leah Dohms
      Well said, bishopsdoom! That was a very edifying read! Thank you! In Christ, Leah
      Message 2 of 8 , Feb 2, 2003
        Well said, bishopsdoom! That was a very edifying read! Thank you!

        In Christ,
      • nocost2great <nocost2great@yahoo.com>
        ... the ... in ... Jer, FWIW, I have been praying for you. My heart aches to read of your agonies. I could quote you some encouraging scriptures but then I am
        Message 3 of 8 , Feb 5, 2003
          --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "raging_calvinist
          <raging.calvinist@v...>" <raging.calvinist@v...> wrote:
          > Thank you BD.
          > Looks like you've been absent for very profitable reasons. I, on
          > other hand, have been absent because I feel like I am slowly dying,
          > being crushed under affliction, being ground into powder, drowning
          > sorrow, wallowing in anger and anguish.
          > I'm having a hard time caring about other things.

          FWIW, I have been praying for you. My heart aches to read of your
          agonies. I could quote you some encouraging scriptures but then I am
          sure the ones I have in mind are familiar. I remember when we had to
          bury our 4 1/2 week old son 4 years ago. You describe how I felt
          then... It was a miserable dark time but God by his grace drew me
          closer to Himself during that time. My prayer for you is that He
          would do the same in your situation.

          Dee Dee
        • raging_calvinist <raging.calvinist@veriz
          Thank you, sister. Sounds like you know the kind of pain I m going through. I ve been listening to the blues alot lately. I used to listen to the blues and
          Message 4 of 8 , Feb 7, 2003
            Thank you, sister. Sounds like you know the kind of pain I'm going

            I've been listening to the blues alot lately. I used to listen to
            the blues and go, "yeah, that would really stink if that happened."
            Now I listen to them and go, "That's right, brother... that's how I
            feel." The same way with the Psalms (88 and 55 especially).

            Like Ringo sang, "You've got to pay your dues if you wanna sing the
            blues, and you know it don't come easy."

            Yeah, it sure don't come easy.


            --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "nocost2great
            <nocost2great@y...>" <nocost2great@y...> wrote:
            > --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "raging_calvinist
            > <raging.calvinist@v...>" <raging.calvinist@v...> wrote:
            > > Thank you BD.
            > >
            > > Looks like you've been absent for very profitable reasons. I, on
            > the
            > > other hand, have been absent because I feel like I am slowly
            > > being crushed under affliction, being ground into powder,
            > in
            > > sorrow, wallowing in anger and anguish.
            > >
            > > I'm having a hard time caring about other things.
            > >
            > Jer,
            > FWIW, I have been praying for you. My heart aches to read of your
            > agonies. I could quote you some encouraging scriptures but then I
            > sure the ones I have in mind are familiar. I remember when we had
            > bury our 4 1/2 week old son 4 years ago. You describe how I felt
            > then... It was a miserable dark time but God by his grace drew me
            > closer to Himself during that time. My prayer for you is that He
            > would do the same in your situation.
            > Dee Dee
          • nocost2great <nocost2great@yahoo.com>
            ... Jer, I don t know your specific pain, but I know you described mine! I would joke through my tears that I was going to have to throw out my pillow because
            Message 5 of 8 , Feb 8, 2003
              --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "raging_calvinist
              <raging.calvinist@v...>" <raging.calvinist@v...> wrote:
              > Thank you, sister. Sounds like you know the kind of pain I'm going
              > through.
              I don't know your specific pain, but I know you described mine! I
              would joke through my tears that I was going to have to throw out my
              pillow because it was going to mildew. (I did have to throw it out
              too!) It was an effort to face the day each morning, but the long,
              dark nights were worse when the wheels that Satan kept spinning in my
              head would turn endlessly. I spent many, many hours reading the
              Psalms & the Prophets. Lamentations 3 was my best friend. In fact
              3:31 is on Joshua's headstone.
              The thing about blues music is that there is no hope in their
              message. God's message on the other hand is filled with hope... and
              compassion. No matter what we suffer in this life we have eternity to
              look forward to and that is the knot on the end of the rope for us to
              hold onto. I can remember feeling as if my chest was going to
              explode. The physical pain was sometimes more than I could bear. It
              was as if I had hundreds of pounds of pressure crushing me. I cried
              out to the Lord begging Him to just relive me of the pain I was
              suffering and take me home. I understood what Paul felt when he said,
              to live is to die, and to die is gain (though I know that his agonies
              were different.) Each day I had to face my unworthiness as a parent,
              as a wife, as a child of the most high King.
              God's grace is sufficient Jer. Hang in there, and if you want to sing
              the blues... sing David's blues cuz that is where you will find hope.

              May God grant you peace and grace to endure the refining fire.
              Have a blessed Lord's day brother!

              With Tears in My Eyes,

              Dee Dee
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