Learn to call God "Father" in afflictions

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MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Thomas Manton, Works, 19:15:

It is most comfortable to observe how Christ upon the cross calleth God “Father.” He felt him a judge, and believeth him a father. The special work of faith in afflictions is to maintain the comfort of adoption: Heb. 12:5, “Ye have forgotten the exhortation that speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord.” Those that are under chastening may be sons. God doth not always put on the person of a judge when he taketh the rod in his hand; the change of your condition doth not alter, nor make void your interest. God is the God of the valleys as well as the God of the hills. Christ was now, as a man, forsaken and rejected of God, left to the assaults of Satan and scorns of men; and yet in the height of his pains and passion he retaineth his confidence: “Father, forgive them.” The whole world is not worth the comfort that is wrapped up in that one word, “Father.” It is a great folly in the children of God to question his love merely because of the greatness of their afflictions. We presently cry out, as Job, chap. 30:21, “Thou art become cruel to me; with thy strong hand thou opposest thyself against me;” that he hath put off all fatherly affection, because we judge of the cross according to the sense of our own flesh. And therefore, merely to question God’s love because of afflictions is folly. Rather we may conclude the contrary of the two. Bastards are left to a looser discipline than sons; the bramble of the wilderness is suffered to grow and spread when the vine is cut, and pruned, and pared; the stones that are to be set in the building are most hewed and squared, others lie neglected in the quarry and are left to their own roughness. Multiplied afflictions are a sign God hath a care of you; he will not suffer you to run wild. And therefore, in defiance of the cross, learn to call God Father; look through the cloud of the present dispensation to the love of God towards you.
 

Dearly Bought

Puritan Board Junior
Thanks for this. After some experiences with enthusiasm (i.e., Pentecostalism/charismaticism), this is one of the areas that I have struggled with. I think I have come to understand better what Manton means by "bastards are left to a looser discipline than sons." Sometimes we can overreact against the enthusiasts and their continual search for mystical guidance. There is a right and edifying, even necessary, place for us to look for the Father's chastening hand in our afflictions.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Thanks for this. After some experiences with enthusiasm (i.e., Pentecostalism/charismaticism), this is one of the areas that I have struggled with. I think I have come to understand better what Manton means by "bastards are left to a looser discipline than sons." Sometimes we can overreact against the enthusiasts and their continual search for mystical guidance. There is a right and edifying, even necessary, place for us to look for the Father's chastening hand in our afflictions.

This is an interesting comparison. Joel Beeke's "Heirs with Christ" brings out the fact that "the Puritans use the truth of adoption to transform God's needy children through powerful comforts" (p. 109). That would require a strong sense of efficacy in the blessing of adoption. It is difficult to see how "second blessing" proponents could properly develop the doctrine of adoption along these lines.
 

Constantlyreforming

Puritan Board Sophomore
Whom a father loves, he chasteneth. God is surely good to us, not in spite of chastening and affliction, but rather through it. Good fathers know what is good to give to their children. As His thoughts are above ours, let us reason that His decision to chasten and afflict is better than our opinions to receive the opposite.
 
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