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coming upon them, and he koew if the fond, and immoderate love of life were not overcome, and mortified in them, it would make them warp, and bend under such temptations.

This was it that freed Paul from Navish fears, and made him fo magnanimous, and undaunted; indeed he had less fear upon his spirits, tho' he was to suffer thole hard, and sharp things, in his own person, than his friends had, who only fympathized with him, and were not farther concerned, than by their own love, and pity: he spake like a man who was rather a spectator, than a sufferer. Acts xx. 24, 25.

“ None of these things move me,” faith he. Great foul! not moved with bonds, and afAictions ! how did he attain fo great courage, and constancy of mind, in such deep, and dreadful sufferings ! It was enough to have moved the stouteft man ia the world, yea, and to have removed the resolutions of any that had not loved Christ better than his own life: but life was a trifle to him, in comparison with Jesus Christ, for fo he tells us in the next words, “ I count “ not my life dear unto me," 9. d. It is a low-prized commodity in my eyes, oot worth the faring, or regarding on such fintal terms. Oh! how many have parted with Christ, peace, and eternal life, for fear of losing that which Paul regarded not. And if we briog our thoughts closer to the matter, we shall foon find that this is a fountaiq of fears in times of danger, and that from this exceffive love of life we are racked and tortured with ten thousand terrors. For,

1. Life is the greatest and nearest interest men naturally have jo this world, and that which wraps up all other inferior interests in itself, Job ii. 4. " Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath, « will be give for his life.” It is a real truth, thought it came from the mouth of the father of lies; amictions never touch the quick, till they touch the life; liberty, estates, and other accommodations in this world receive their value and efiimation from hence ; if life be cut off, these accidents perish, and are of DO account, Gen. xxv. 32. “ Behold I am at the point to die,

(faid Efau) and what profit shall this birth-right do to me?"*

2. Life being naturally the dearest interest of men in this world, the richest treasure, and most beloved thing on earth, to a natural man; that which strikęs at, and endangers life, muft, in his eyes, be the greatest evil that can befal him; on this account death becomes terrible to men ; yea, as Job calls it, the king of terrors, Job xviii. 14. The black prince, or the frince of clouds and darkness, as some translate those words: Yea, fo is terrible is death upon this account, that the very fear of it hath fomeVOL. IV,


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times precipitated men into the hands of it, as we sometimes ob ferve in times of peltileace, the excessive fear of the plague hath induced it *.

3. Though death be terrible in any shape, in the mildest form it can appear in ; yet a violent and bloody death, by the hands of cruel and merciless men, is the most terrible form that death cao appear in; it is now the king of terrors indeed, in the most ghastly representation and frightful form, in its fearlet robes, and terrifying formalities; in a violent death, all the barbarous cruelty that the wit of our enemies can invent, of their malice in fict, is mingled together; in a violent death are many deaths converted into ooc, and it oftentimes approaches meu by such flow and deliberated paces, that they feel every tread of its foot, as it advaoseth towards them. Moriatur, ut sentiat Je mori; Let him fo die, (faid the tyrant) that he may feel him . felf to die; yea, and how he dies by inch-meal, or Now, lingering degrees and this is exceeding frightful, especially to those that are of moft soft and tender nature and temper who must needs be struck through with the terrors of death, except, the Lord arm them against it with the affurance of a better life, and fweeted these bitter apprehensions by the foretastes of it. This is enough to put even fanctified Dature into consternation, and make a very gracious heart to link, unless it be so upheld by divine strength and comfort: And hence come maný, very ma• 1 ny of our fears and terrors, especially when the same enemies that have been accustomed to this bloody work, shall be fouod confederating and designing again to break in upon us, and act over again as much cruelty, as ever they have done upon our brethren in times past.

Gause 6. To conclude: many of our fipful fears and conster. nations flow from the influences of Satan upon our phantafies. They say winds, and forms are oft-times raised by Satan, both hy sea and land; and I never doubted, but the prince of the power of the air, by God's permission, can, and often doth, put ihe world into great frights and disturbances by such tempelts, Job. i. 19. He can raise the loftieft winds, pour down roaring Showers, rattle in the air with fearful claps of thunder, and scare

* Galen reports, that some have died suddenly through fear : It is not therefore a thing to be wondered at, in the opinion of Arif. totle, and almost all others, that a man should die, through the fear of death. The fear of evil sometimes brings on men that which they dread; as is evident from the example of those whose fear has prevented the death appointed them by the judge. Stern.en Death, p.167the lower world with terrible Aalhes of lightning. And I doubt not but he hath, by the same permission, a great deal of influence and power upon the fancies and passions of men; and can raise more terrible storms and tempefts within us, than ever ve heard or felt without us : he can by leave from God, approach our phantalies, difturb and trouble them exceedingly by forming frightful ideas there; for Satan not only works upon men mediately, by the ministry of their external senses, but by reason of his spiritual, angelical nature, he can have immediate access to the internal sense also, as appears by dialolical dreams; and by practising upon that power of the soul, he influences the passions of it, and puts it under very dreadful apprehensions and con, steroations. Now if Satan can provoke and exasperate the fury and rage of wicked men, as it is evident he can do, as well as he can go to the magazines and fore-houses of thunder, lightpings, and Norms: O what inward Norms of fear can he shake hearts withal, and if God give him but a permission, how ready will he be to do it, seeing it is so conducible to his defign: for by putting men into such frights, he at once weakens their hands in duty, as is plain from his attempt his way upon Nehemiah, chap. vi. 13. and if he prevail there, he drives them into the soares and trains of his temptations, as the fifherman and fowler do the birds apd bfhes into their nets, wheo once they have Aushed and frighted them out of their coveris. And thus you have some account of the principal and true causes of our {inful fears.


CH A P. V. Laying open the finful and lamentable effects of favish and inordi

nate fear, both in carnal and regenerate persons. Se&. I. HAVING taken a view in the former chapters of

the kinds and causes of fear, and feen what lies at the root of flavilh fear, and both breeds and feeds it, what fruit can we expect from such a curfed plant, but gall and wormwood, fruit as bitter as death itself? Let us theo, in the next place, examine and well consider these following and deplorable effects of fear, to excite us to apply ourselves the more concerne edly to those directions that follow in the close of this treatile, for the cure of it. And,

Effect 1. The first effect of this linful and exorbitant palloa is dittraction of mind and thoughts in duty: Both Cicero and Quintilian will bare the word tumultus, a tumult, to come from

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timor multus, much fear, it is a compound of those two words; much fear raises great uproars and tumults in the soul, and puts all into hurries and distractions, so that we cannot attend upon any service of God, with profit or comfort. It was therefore a very necessary mercy that was requested of God, Luke i. 74. That we, being delivered out of the hands of our enemies, “ might serve him without fear.” For it is impossible to serve God without distractions, till we can serve him without the Navilh fear of enemies. The reverential, fear of God is the greatest spur to duty, and choicest help in it, but the distracting fears of men will either wholly divert us from our duty, or destroy the comfort and benefit of our duties; it is a deadly fnare of the devil to hioder all comfortable intercourfe with God.

It is very remarkable, that when the apostle was giving his advice to the Corinthians, about marriage in those times of perfecution, and difficulty, he commends to them a single life as moft eligible : Where it may be without sinful inconveniencies, and that priocipally for this reason, “ That they might attend upon “ the Lord without distraction," 1 Cor. vii. 35. He forefaw what straits, cares, and fears must unavoidably distract them in · such times that were most clogged and incumbred with families

and relations; when a man should be thinking, O what hall I do now to get my doubts and fears resolved about my interest in Christ? How may I fo behave myself in my sufferings as to credit religion, and not become a scandal and stumbling-fone to others ! His thoughts are taken up with other cares and fears: O what will become of my wife and poor little ones? What shall I do with them, and for them, to fecure them from danger.

I doubt not but it is a great desigo of the devil to keep us in contioual alarms and frights, and to puzzle our beads and hearts with a thousand difficulties, which posibly may never befal us, or if they do, shall dever prove so fatal to us as we fancy them, and all this is to unfit us for our present duties, and destroy our com. fort therein ; for if by frights and terrors of mind he can but once distract our thoughts, he gains three great points upon us, to our uofpeakable loss,

1. Hereby he will cut off the freedom and sweetness of our communion with God in duties, and what an empty shell will the best duties be, when this kernel is wormed out by such a subtle artifice ? Prayer, as Damascen aptly expresses it is 'ArcBacts FX ve, the ascension of the mind or foul to God; but distraction clips its wings; he can Dever offer up his foul and thoughts to God, that hath not the possession of them himself

and be that is under distracting fears possesseth not himself. The life of all communion with God in prayer, consists in the barmony that is betwixt our hearts and words, and both with the will of God; this harmony is spoiled by distractions, and so Satan gains that point.

2. But this is not all he gains, and we lose, by distracting fears; for as they cut off the freedom and sweetness of our intercourse with God in prayer, so they cut off the soul from the fuccours and reliefs it might otherwise draw from the promises. We find when the Ifraelities were io great bondage, wherein their minds were distracted with fears and sorrows, they regarded not the supporting promises of deliverance fent them by Moses, Exod. vi. 3. David had an express and particular promise of the kingdom from the mouth of God, which must needs include his deliverance out of the hand of Saul, and all his stratagems to destroy him; but yet, when eminent hazards were before his eyes, he was afraid, and that fear betrayed the succours from the promise, so that it drew a quite contrary conclusion, 1 Sam. xxvii. 1. “ I shall one day perish by the hand of Saul :" And again he is at the same point, Pfal. cxvi. 11. “ Alt men “ are liars," not excepting Samuel himself, who had assured him of the kingdom. This is always the property and natüre of fear (as I thewed before) to make mon distrust the best security when they are in eminent peril : But oh! what a mischief is this to make us suspicious of the promises, which are our chief relief and support in times of trouble: Our fears will upfit us for prayer, they will also shake the credit of the promises with us; and fo great is the damage we receive both ways, that it were better for us to lose our two eyes, than two such advantages in trouble. But,

3. This is not all, by our present fears, we lose the benefit and comfort of all our past experiences, and the singular relief we might have from all that faithfulness and goodness of God, which our eyes have seen in former straights and dangers, the present fear clouds them all, Ifa. li. 12, 13. Men and dangers are so much minded, that God is forgotten, even the God that hath hitherto preserved us, though our former fears told us, the enemy was daily ready to devour us. All these sweet reliefs are cut off from us by our distracting fears, and that at a time when we have most aeed of them.

EffeEt 2. Diffimulation and hypocrisy are the fruit of flavish fear; distraction you see is bad enough, but diffimulation is worse than distraction, and get as bad as it is, fear hath driven good men into this fpare ; it will make even an upright soul

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