A Drink from Brooks: Don’t Be Idle, Especially about Idleness

workzone-30948_1280.pngAs ever you would give up yourselves to private prayer, Take heed of an idle and slothful spirit. If Adam, in the state of innocency, must work and dress the garden, and if, after his fall, when he was monarch of all the world, he must yet labor—why should any be idle or slothful? Idleness is a sin against the law of creation. God created man to labor, the idle person violates this law of creation; for by his idleness he casts off the authority of his Creator, who made him for labor. Idleness is a contradiction to the principles of our creation. Man in innocency should have been freed from weariness—but not from employment; he was to dress the garden by divine appointment: ‘And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden, to dress it, and to keep it,’ Gen 2:15. All weariness in labor, and all vexing, tiring, and tormenting labor, came in by the fall: ‘In the sweat of your face shall you eat bread,’ Gen 3:19. The bread of idleness is neither sweet nor sure: ‘An idle person shall suffer hunger,’ says Solomon, Prov 19:15. An idle life and a holy heart are far enough asunder. By doing nothing, says the heathen man, men learn to do evil things. It is easy slipping out of an idle life into an evil and wicked life; yes, an idle life is of itself evil, for man was made to be active, not to be idle. The Cyclops thought man’s happiness did consist in doing nothing; but no excellent thing can be the child of idleness. Idleness is a mother-sin, a breeding-sin; it is the devil’s cushion, on which he sits, and the devil’s anvil, on which he frames very great and very many sins, Eph 4:28; 2 Thess 3:10,12. Look! as toads and serpents breed most in standing waters, so sin thrives most in idle people. Idleness is that which provokes the Lord to forsake men’s bodies, and the devil to possess their souls. —Thomas Brooks, The Privy Key of Heaven

A Drink from Brooks: Don’t Despise Less as Nothing for Envy of More

“Now, let no Christian say, that he has no communion with God in closet-prayer, because he has not such a full, such a choice, such a sweet, such a sensible, and such a constant communion with God in closet-prayer—as such and such saints have had, or as such and such saints now have; for all saints do not alike enjoy communion with God in their closets: some have more, some have less; some have a higher degree, others a lower; some are enrapt up in the third heaven, when others are but enrapt up in the clouds. What man is there so childish and babyish as to argue thus, that he has no wisdom, because he has not the wisdom of Solomon; or, that he has no strength, because he has not the strength of Samson; or, that he has no life, because he has not the swiftness of Ahimaaz; or, that he has no estate, because he has not the riches of Dives? And yet so childish and babyish many weak Christians are, as to argue thus: namely, that they have no communion with God in their closets, because they have not such high, such comfortable, and such constant communion with God in their closets, as such and such saints have had, or as such and such saints now have! Whereas they should seriously consider, that though some saints have a great communion with God—yet other saints have but a small communion with God; and though some Christians have a strong communion with God—yet other Christians have but a weak communion with God; and though some Christians have a very close and near communion with God—yet other Christians have but a more remote communion with God; and though some of God’s servants have a daily, constant, and uninterrupted communion with God—yet others of his servants have but a more transient and inconstant communion with God.” —Thomas Brooks, The Privy Key of Heaven

Pour Out because Poured In

overflowing-glass-3-1259014.jpg“Prayer is nothing but the turning of a man’s inside outward before the Lord. The very soul of prayer lies in the pouring out of a man’s soul into the bosom of God. Prayer is nothing but the breathing that out before the Lord that was first breathed into us by the Spirit of the Lord. Prayer is nothing but a choice, a free, a sweet, and familiar intercourse of the soul with God. Certainly, it is a great work of the Spirit to help the saints to pray: Gal. 4:6, ‘Because you are sons. God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.’ God hath no still-born children.” —Thomas Brooks, The Privy Key of Heaven

A Drink from Brooks: The Strength of Withering

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“David was like a withered flower that had lost all its sap, life, and vigour, when God had wrapped up himself in a cloud. The life of some creatures lieth in the light and warmth of the sun, and so doth the life of the saints lie in the fight and warmth of God’s countenance. And as in an eclipse of the sun there is a drooping in the whole frame of nature, so when God hides his face, gracious souls cannot but droop and languish, and bow down themselves before him. Many insensible creatures, some by opening and shutting, as marigolds and tulips, others by bowing and inclining the head, as the solsequy [sunflower] and mallow-flowers are so sensible of the presence and absence of the sun, that there seems to be such a sympathy between the sun and them that if the sun be gone or clouded, they wrap up themselves, or hang down their heads, as being unwilling to be seen by any eye but his that fills them; and just thus it was with David when God had his his face in a cloud.” —Thomas Brooks, An Ark for all God’s Noahs

A Drink from Brooks: Altogether Beautiful

 

ring-1425671.jpg“If God be truly precious to thee, then all of God is precious thee; his name is precious to thee, his honour is precious to thee, his ordinances are precious to thee, his Sabbaths are precious to thee, his promises are precious to thee, his precepts are precious to thee, his threatenings are precious to thee, his rebukes are precious to thee, his people are precious to thee, and all his concernments are precious to thee. Look, as every sparkling stone that is set round about a rich diamond is precious in the eyes of the jeweller, so is every sparkling excellency in God precious in his eyes that sets an high value upon God.” —Thomas Brooks, An Ark for All God’s Noahs

A Drop of Special Grace is Greater than an Ocean of Common Grace

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“Again, That little that a saint hath, he hath it from the special love and favour of God; he hath it from a reconciled God, Prov. 15:17. Now, a little from special love is better than a great deal from a general providence. A penny from a reconciled God is better than a pound from a bountiful God; a shilling from God as a father is a better estate than an hundred from God as a creator. The kiss that a king gave to one in the story, was a greater gift than the golden cup that he gave to another; a little, with the kisses of God’s mouth, is better than all the gold of Ophir, Cant. 1:2. A drop of mercy from special love is better than a sea of mercy from common bounty. Look, as one draught of clear, sweet spring water is more pleasing, satisfying, and delightful to the palate than a sea of brackish salt water, so one draught out of the fountain of special grace is more pleasing, satisfying, and delightful to a gracious soul than a, whole sea of mercy from spring of common grace: and therefore do not wonder when you see a Christian sit down contented with a little.” —Thomas Brooks, An Ark for All God’s Noah’s

A Drink from Brooks: Everywhere Present, Nowhere Contained

“God is the original cause of all greatness. All that greatness that is in any created beings, whether they are angels or men, is from God ; all their greatness is but a beam of his sun, a drop out of his sea, a mite out of his treasury. God is a God of that infinite greatness, that he fills heaven and earth with his presence ; he is everywhere, and yet circumscribed to no place ; he is in all things, and without all things, and above all things, and this speaks out his immensity.” —Thomas Brooks, An Ark for All God’s Noahs