The following in a portion of a message preached by Thomas Brooks in 1659.
You Have Been Long A-Gathering Rust
("The Mute Christian Under the Smarting Rod" or, "The Silent Soul with Sovereign Antidotes" by Thomas Brooks, 1659, London.)
Oh! but my afflictions are greater than other men's afflictions are! Oh! there is no affliction like my affliction! How can I not murmur? It may be your sins are greater than other men's sins. If you have sinned against . . . more light, more love, more mercies, more promises, than others--no wonder if your afflictions are greater than others! If this be your case, you have more cause to be mute than to murmur!
It may be that the Lord sees that it is very needful that your afflictions should be greater than others.
It may be your heart is harder than other men's hearts, and prouder and stouter than other men's hearts, it may be your heart is more impure than others, and more carnal than others, or else more selfish and more worldly than others, or else more deceitful and more hypocritical than others, or else more cold and careless than others, or more formal and lukewarm than others. Now, if this is your case, certainly God sees it very necessary, for . . .
the breaking of your hard heart,
and the humbling of your proud heart,
and the cleansing of your foul heart,
and the spiritualizing of your carnal heart,
etc., that your afflictions should be greater than others; and therefore do not murmur!
Where the disease is strong, the remedy must be strong--else the cure will never be wrought!God is a wise physician, and He would never give strong medicine--if a weaker one could effect the cure! The more rusty the NAIL is, the oftener we put it into the fire to purify it; and the more crooked it is, the more blows and the harder blows we give to straighten it. You have been long a-gathering rust; and therefore, if God deal thus with you, you have no cause to complain.