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They Are Glad To Be Deceived

“And he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him.” Zechariah 3:1

It is the object of Satan to keep those secure who are safe in his hands; nor does God see fit to disturb their quiet. But on the other hand, where Satan perceives a work of grace going on, where he sees the eyes sometimes filled with tears, where he hears the sobs heaving from the contrite heart, where he observes the knees often bent in secret prayer, where his listening ear often hears the poor penitent confess his sins, weaknesses, and backslidings before God, (for by these observations we have reason to believe Satan gains his intelligence,) wherever he sees this secret work going on in the soul, mad with wrath and filled with malice, he vents his hellish spleen against the objects of God’s love. Sometimes he tries to ensnare them into sin, sometimes to harass them with temptation, sometimes to stir up their wicked heart into desperate rebellion, sometimes to work upon their natural infidelity, and sometimes to plague them with many groundless doubts and fears as to their reality and sincerity before a heart-searching God.

So that while those who have no work of grace upon their hearts at all, are left secure, and free from doubt and fear, those in whom God is at work are exercised and troubled in their minds, and often cannot really believe that they are the people in whom God takes delight. The depths of human hypocrisy, the dreadful lengths to which profession may go, the deceit of the carnal heart, the snares spread for the unwary feet, the fearful danger of being deceived at the last–these traps and pitfalls are not objects of anxiety to those dead in sin. As long as they can pacify natural conscience, and do something to soothe any transient conviction, they are glad to be deceived.

But, on the other hand, he that has a conscience tender in God’s fear knows what a dreadful thing it is to be a hypocrite before God, to have “a lie in his right hand,” and be deluded by the prince of darkness; and therefore, until God himself with his own blessed lips speaks with power to his conscience, and establishes him in a blessed assurance of his saving interest in Christ by “shedding abroad his love in his heart,” he must be tried and exercised in his mind, he must have these various tossings to and fro, for this simple reason–because he cannot rest satisfied except in the personal manifestations of the mercy of God.

J.C. PHILPOT 1802-1869

Source: https://puritanboard.com/threads/they-are-glad-to-be-decieved.17756/#post-222779, Comment 1

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Such Mercies Prove To Be Hard Crosses And Troubles

Buttercups and Brackish Water - geograph.org.uk - 180122Buttercups and Brackish Water by Glyn Baker

“If things do befall us when we have vexed ourselves into the possession of them, yet now they are mingled and brackish; they are not so clear and sweet…It will not at all have the relish of a mercy until we have repented of our former disturbance. He who is impatient until he has a good is usually unthankful when he receives it; for he knows not how to depend on God has yet to learn how to bless God. Neither can I expect a contentment of mind in the fruition, where there has been an unbelieving turbulence in the expectation…When the Israelites desired, by any means, to have a king, they had him, but it was in wrath…When God must answer, not our needs but our desires; not our wants but our pleasures, we usually find that such mercies prove to be hard crosses and troubles; and we scarce taste a delight before we break out into new complaints, so that by our vexing we have procured to ourselves a further burden.”

~Obadiah Sedgwick, Providence Handled Practically

Source: https://puritanboard.com/threads/dont-vex-your-mind.93135/

The Advantages Of A Visible Profession

Robert Traill (Stedfast Adherence to the Profession of our Faith), Works 3:19-20:

It is greatly for the honour of Jesus Christ, that men should knit themselves visibly under his standard and banner. Our Lord Jesus Christ is no such master, that people should be ashamed to wear his livery, and give themselves to him. Again, it is greatly for the advantage of people too. You know there are two great plagues the church of Christ has been distressed by, and it will never be quite free from them; a multitude of hypocrites in a fair day, and a multitude of apostates in a foul day. When summer-weather is, hypocrites increase to a multitude; when a storm comes, they are blown away as chaff by the wind. What is likely to be the only way that can prevent the abounding of these dreadful scandals? If there were strictness in calling for the truth of people’s faith, for the making of them give a true profession of it, if they had it, truly they would be found to adhere to the Lord far more closely in a day of trial.

Source: https://www.puritanboard.com/threads/the-advantages-of-a-visible-profession.91887/, Comment 1

It Is The Promising God That Threatens

Double-Rainbow

Robert Traill (Stedfast Adherence to the Profession of our Faith), Works 3:54-55:

God reveals himself sometimes to us as a threatening God. Threatenings and promises seem to be very cross to one another. It is the promising God that does threaten, and the Lord knows very well how to make his promises and his threatenings agree together, if we were wise to make them agree together in our faith. If his children forsake my law, etc., I will visit their transgressions with the rod, and their iniquities with stripes. Nevertheless, my loving-kindness will I not utterly take from him, etc., Ps. 89:30-34. It were well for us, if we were as able to believe the standing of promises, and the love in his heart, notwithstanding the threatenings and the strokes of his hand.

Source: https://www.puritanboard.com/threads/it-is-the-promising-god-that-threatens.91990/, Comment 1

At My Heels To Hinder Me

Hunter Tripping over Dog by Boston Public Library

William Gurnall’s The Christian in Complete Armour:

The Doctrine of Joy

The Strong Secret Working of Some Consolation

Robert Traill (The Throne of Grace), Works 1:204:

The consolations of an afflicted state are very needful, and grace only can furnish us with them. Be ye assured of it, that never did a Christian bear up patiently under God’s heavy hand, but by the strong secret working of some consolation. It is true, we value and seek most that consolation that comes in as a great flood of sense, and that doth swallow up the bitterness of affliction. This the Lord can, and sometimes doth give to his people. But there is a secret, silent spring of consolation, that is as profitable, and more common in the Lord’s way with his children. Of this the apostle speaks in 2 Cor. 1:3-5. Everlasting consolation, and good hope through grace, are his blessings, 2 Thess. 2:16, 17.

Source: https://www.puritanboard.com/threads/a-secret-silent-spring-of-consolation.91010/, Comment 1