William Gadsby Sermons (Complete)

45 No Guile In The Spirit, And Keeping Silence

“Blessed is the man in whose spirit there is no guile.”—Psalm 32:2
“O!” says some poor soul; “that is not me; for I feel that I am full of guile.” Indeed! Can you then go to the Lord and tell him you have no sin, that you are as good as your neighbours, and that you have a claim upon his mercy? “No,” say you. “I have to tell the Lord that I am full of sin and that I deserve nothing but his wrath.” Then in your spirit there is no guile. God has made you honest, that you can neither attempt to deceive him nor yourself. There is no deceit in you nor about you in this respect. “When I kept silence,” &c. (Ver. 3.) Kept silence! Why what does that mean? Is it possible for a child of God to keep silence? Yes, it is. I was going to say something that would have alarmed some of you; and if it did not alarm you, there are many congregations that it would.

“Well,” say you, “it must be something very bad if you are afraid of it, for you are not amazingly nice.” Well; I was going to say that there are times and seasons when, through the temptations of the devil, and the deceitfulness of their own hearts, the children of God turn sulky with God. “Turn sulky with God?” say you. Yes. Perhaps there has been something they have particularly desired, and thought they had prayed earnestly for, and even imagined they had some claim upon God for it; when, instead of giving it, God has sent them something directly opposite; and then they have turned sulky. Just like a child naturally sulking with his father and with his food; he will not have it, but knocks it away from him. This is keeping silence with a witness.

But, though God’s people may be in this state, they cannot be comfortable in it. Hence, says the psalmist, “When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long.” Not his natural bones, but his spiritual bones,—his comforts, and his enjoyments; for day and night God’s hand was heavy upon him. The more he kicked the more God laid on, till at length he says, “My moisture is dried up like the drought of summer;” and he now begins to feel the wretchedness of his state. And what then? Why, he says, “I acknowledge my sin unto thee.” This was what God brought him to. Instead of saying, “If he sulks, I will too,” he brought him to confess his iniquity, as a poor guilty wretch.