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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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Despising The Correction Of God

Asahel Nettleton

When you are afflicted by the divine hand of providence, are you made better or worse? If sickness and pain do not wean you from the world, and drive you to God, is it not because you have hardened your heart? This is the result of all the judgments of heaven and the calamities and miseries of human life. It is illustrated in the story of Pharaoh, king of Egypt. Asahel Nettleton explains:

He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy (Proverbs 29:1).

Allusion is made to the bullock which has repeatedly felt the galling yoke. At length his neck becomes hardened, and he can bear it without feeling or flinching. The sinner never hears a galling reproof without producing some effect. If his heart be not subdued, and changed, he becomes at length more hardened. The child who is often corrected, but not subdued, becomes more hardened. . . .

Because God is so good, etc. Thus despising the riches of divine goodness, and forbearance and longsuffering-not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth him to repentance, after his hardness and impenitent heart, and with a stiff neck, he perseveres in his course of rebellion, treasuring up unto himself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God. O, the awful reckoning that awaits such offenders!

It is wholly impossible that a person should be frequently and faithfully admonished for his crimes, and yet experiences no alteration in his own condition. His rancorous pride will be augmented and his conscience becomes seared as with a hot iron. The earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: But that which beareth thorns and briars is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.

On this work the sinner may make rapid advances-he may acquire the faculty of silencing the remonstrances of his conscience, and with a stoical apathy, proudly boast that he is superior to the thunders of Sinai. He may resist the mild accents of mercy, and do despite to the spirit of grace. He may spurn the offers of a bleeding Savior. The darkened heavens-the rending rocks, and the quaking earth may have no effect-to all these he may render himself impervious. But the day cometh that shall burn as an oven. Then his stiff neck, and his stout heart will not exempt him from the terrors that shall thrill through the soul of every guilty culprit that shall stand at the judgment seat of Christ.

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