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Location: Greensboro, NC, United States

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Watson on Affliction, Part IV

(4). Afflictions work for good to the godly, as they are destructive to sin. Sin is the mother, affliction is the daughter; the daughter helps to destroy the mother. Sin is like the tree that breeds the worm, and affliction is like the worm that eats the tree. There is much corruption in the best heart: affliction does by degrees work it out, as the fire works out the dross from the gold, "This is all the fruit, to take away his sin" (Isa. xxvii. 9). What if we have more of the rough file, if we have less rust! Afflictions carry away nothing but the dross of sin. If a physician should say to a patient, "Your body is distempered, and full of bad humours, which must be cleared out, or you die; but I will prescribe physic (1) which, though it may make you sick, yet it will carry away the dregs of your disease, and save your life" : would not this be for the good of the patient? Afflictions are the medicine which God uses to carry off our spiritual diseases; they cure the timpani (2) of pride, the fever of lust, the dropsy of covetousness. Do they not then work for good?


(1) Medicine.
(2) A tumour, a swelling.

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