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warp and bepd from the rules of that integrity and candor, which should be inseparable at all times from a Christian : of whom (failh God to his lsrael) halt thou been afraid, that thou halt lied, and haft not remembered me? God fipds fallhood, and charges it upon fear, q. d. I know it was against the resolutions of my people's hearts thus to diffemble, this certainly is the effect of a fright; who is he that hath scared you into this evil ! It was Abrabam's fear that made him dissemble to the reproach of his religion, Gen. xx. 2, 11. And indeed it was but an odd fight to see an heathen so schooling and reproving great Abraham about it, as he there doth.

It was nothiog but fear that drew his son Isaac into the like {nare, Gen. xxvi. 7. And it was fear that overcame Peter against his promise, as well as principle, to say concerning his dear Saviour, I know not the man, Matth. xxvi. 69. Had Abraham at that time remembered, and acted his faith freely upon what the Lord said to him, Gen. xvii. 1. Fear not, Abraham, I am thy Shield, he had escaped both the sin and the shame into which he fell, but even that great believer was foiled by his own fears; and certainly this is a great evil, a complicated mischief. For,

1. By these falls and scandals, religion is made vile and contemptible in the eyes of the world, it rcflects with much reproach upon God and his promises, as if his word were not sufficieot security for us to rely upon in times of trouble, as if it were faser trusling to our wit, yea, to fin, than to the promises.

2. It greatly weakens the hands of others, and proves a fore discouragement to them in their trials, to see their brethren faint for fear, and ashamed to own their principles ; sometimes it hath this mischievous effect, but it is always improved by Satap and wicked men to this purpose. And,

3. It will be a terrible blow and wound to our own copsciences, for such filaws in our integrity we may be kept waking and sighing many a night; O see the mischiefs of a timorous and faiat fpirit !

Effect 3. Slavish fears of the creature exceedingly strengthen our temptations in times of danger, and make them very efficacious and prevalent upon us, Prov. xxix. 25. The fear of man brings u fnare. Satan (preads the net, but we are pot within its reach, till our own fears drive us into it; the recoiling of our fpirits from some imminent dangers, may cause the pulse of a true Christian to intermit and faulter, how regular foever it beats at other times; this will cause great trepidation and timi. dity in men that are fincere and upright, and that is it that brings the foare over their souls. Aaron was a good man, and idolatry he knew to be a great fin, yet fear prevailed with thac good man to give too much way to that great evil, Exod. xxxii. 22. Thou knoweft the people that they are set upon mischief, faith he, in his own excase in the matter of the golden calf, g. d. Lord, I durft do no otherwise at that time, the people were violently and paflionately fet upon it; had I refifted them, it might have cost me dear.

It was fear that prevailed with Origen to yield fo far as he did in offering incenfe to the idol, the confideration of which fact brake his heart to pieces. It was nothing but fear that made David play the fool, and act fo dishonourably as he did, 1 Sam. xxi. 12. Fear is a foare in which Satan hath caught as many fouls as in any other of his stratagers and fnares whatfoever.

It were easy to give instances, so many and so fad, as would enlarge this head even to tedioafuels, but I chuse rather to come to the particulars, wherein the danger of this faare of the devil confifts. And,

1. Herein lies the ensaaring danger of sinful fear, that it drives men out of their proper ftation, out of their place and duty, befide which there is none to be found, but what is Satan's ground. The subtle enemy of our salvation is aware that we are out of gon-hot, beyond his reach, whilst we abide with God in the way of our duty, that the Lord is with us, whilst we are with him, and there is no attempring our ruin, under the wings of his protection. If ever, therefore, he meaneth to do any thing upon us, he must get us off that ground, and from under those wings; and there is nothiog like fear to do this: then we are 'as the birds that are wandering from their delts, Prov. xxvii. 8. or like Shimei out of his limits.

2. Fear is usually the firft paflion in the soul that beats a parley with the enemy, and treats with the tempter about terms of rendition ; and, as the French proverb is, The castle that parleys, is half won. It is fear that consults with flerh aod blood, whilft faith is engaged with God for the fupply of ftrength to endure the fiege. We have a fad, and doleful in : Itance of this in Spira; he tells us how his own fears betrayed him, by parleying with the tempter : for thus Mr. Bacon, in the history of his life, records the occafion of his fall." Whilft Spira ws toffing upon the restless waves of doubts, without

guide to trust to, or haven to flee for succour, on a sudden, • God's fpirit affisting, he felt a calm, and began to discourse • with himself in this manner :' • Why wanderelt thou thus

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« in uncertainties ? Unhappy man! cast away fear, put on thy “ Thield of faith; where is thy wonted courage, thy goodness, “ thy constancy ? Remember that Christ's glory lies at the stake,

suffer then without fear, and he will defend thee, he will tell “ thee what thou shalt answer; he can beat down all danger, « bring thee out of prison, raise thee from the d. ad; confider " Peter in the dungeon, the martyrs in the fire, &c."

• Now was Spira in reasonable quiet, being resolved to yield ' to those weighty reasons; yet holding it wisdom to examine • all things, he consules, also, with flesh, and blood; thas the • battle renews, and the flesh begins, in this manner : * Be well " advised, fond man, consider reasons on both sides, and then

judge : how canst thou thus overween thine owo fufficiency, " as thou ncither regardest the examples of thy progenitors,

nor the judgment of the whole church? Doft thou not con“ fider what misery this day's rashness will bring thee unto? " Thou shalt lose all thy substance gotten with so much care, “ and travail, thou shalt undergo the most exquisite torments as that malice itfelf can devise, thou shalt be counted an' heretic. “ of all, and to close up all, thou shalt die shamefully. What “ thinkest thou of the loathsome stinking dungeon, the bloody

ax, the burning faggot? Are they delightful ? &c.” Thus through fear he first parleyed with the tempter, consulted with Aeth and blood, and at last fainted, and yielded.

3. It is fear that makes men iinpatient of waiting God's time, and method' of deliverance, and so precipitates the foul, and drives it into the snare of the Dext temptation. Isa. li. 14.

" The “ captive exile hasteth to be delivered out of the pit.” Any way, or means of escape, that comes next to haad, faith fear, is better than to lie here in the pit; and when the soul is thus prepared, by its own fears, it becomes an easy prey to the Dext temptation ; by all which you see the mischief that comes by fear, in times of danger.

Effect 4. Fear naturally produceth pufillanimity and coward. liness in men, a poor, low spirit, that presently faints, and yields upon every night assault. It extinguisheth all Christian courage, and magnanimity, where-ever it prevails; and therefore you find it joined, frequently in the scriptures, with difcouragement. Deut. i. 21. “ Fear not, neither be discouraged, " with fainting, and trembling.” Deut. xx. 3." Let not your “ hearts faint, fear not, and do not tremble;" with dismayedDess, Deut. xxxi. 6. and faint-heartedocfs, Ufa. vii. 4. these are the effects, aod consequents of sinful fear. And how dangera ous a thing it is, to have our courage extinguished, and faini. ness of heart prevail upon us, in a time when we have the greatelt need, and use of courage, and our perfeverance, peace, and eternal happiness rely, and depend so much upon it, let all fcrious Chriftians judge. It is fad to us, and dishonourable to religion, to have the hearts of women, as it is said of Egypt, Ifa, xix, 16. when we should play the men, as the apostle exhorts us, i Cor. xvi. 13. We fiod, in all ages, those that have manifested most courage for Christ in time of trial, have been those whose faith hath furmounted tear, and whose hearts were above all discouragements from this world.

Such a man was Balil, as appears by his answer to Valens, the emperor ; who tempting him with offers of preferment, received this answer, offer these things, said he, to children: and when he threatened him with grievous sufferings, he replied ; Threaten these things to your purple gallants, that give themfelves 10 pleasure, and are afraid to die.

And this was the spirit of courage and magnanimity with which the generality of the primitive Christians were animated ; they feared not the faces of tyrants, they shruok not from the molt cruel torments : and it redouoded not a little to the credit of Christianity, when one of Julian's nobles, present at the tormenting of Marcus, bishop of Arethusa, told the apostate to his face, We are ashamed, O emperor, the Christians laugh at your cruelty, and grow more resolute by it. So Lactantius also teftifies of them, Our women and children, faith he, not to speak of men, overcame their torments, and the fire cannot fetch fo much as a high from them. If carnal fear ooce get the ascendant over us, all our courage and resolution will flag and melt away; we may fuffer out of unavoidable necessity, but shall never honour Christ and religion by our sufferings.

Efect 5. Caroal fear is the very root of apostacy, it hath made thousands of professors to faiot and fall away in the hour of temptation. It is not so much from the fury of our enemies without, as from our fears within, that temptations become victorious over us. From the begioning of fears, Christ dates the beginning of apoftafy, Matth. xxiv. 9, 10. " Then shall " they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you, and ye “ skall be hated of all nations for my name's fake, and then “ shall many be offended.” When troubles and dangers come to an height, then fears begin to work at an height too, aod theo is the critical hour ; fears are high, and faith is low; temptation strong, and resistance weak : Satan knocks at the door, and fear opens it, and yields up thc soul to him, except VOL. IV.


fpecial aid and affittance come in featonably from heaven ; ; long as we can profels religion without any great hazırd of life liberty, or estates, we may thew much zeal and forwardness i the ways of gedlinefs : but when it comes to the sharps, to re lifting unto blood, few will be found to own and affert it openis in the face of fuch dangers. The firft retreat is usually made from a free and open, to a clofe and concealed practice of religion; pot opening our windows, as Daniel did, to shew we care not who knows we dare worship our God, and are not alhamed of our duties, but hiding our principles and practice with all the art and care imaginable, reckoning it well if we can efcape danger by letting fall our profession which might expose us to it: but if the inquest go on, and we cannot be secured any longer under this refuge, we must comply with false worship, and give fome open fignal that we do so, or else be marked out for ruin; then faith fear, Give a little more ground, and retreat to the Bext fecurity, which is to comply seemingly with that wbich we do not allow, hoping God will be merciful to us, and ac: cept us, if we keep our hearts for himn, though we are forced thus to dissemble and hide our principles. Eamus ud communem errorem, said Calderiaus, when going to the mass, Let us go to the common error; and, as Seneca adviseth about worshipping the Roman gods, In animi religione non habeat, Jed in a£tibus fingat ; let us make a semblance and Thew of worshippiog them, though our hearts give no religious reípect to them. But if ftill the temptation hunts us farther, and we come to be more Darrowly fifted, and put to a feverer test, by subscribing contrary articles, or renouncing our former avowed principles, and that upon penalty of death, and loss of all that is dear to us in this world ; now nothing in all the world ha. zards our eternal falvation, as our own fears will do; this is like to be the rack on which we shall split all, and make an horrible fhipwreck both of truth and peace. This was the case of Cranmer, whose fears caused him to subscribe againit the dictates of his own conscience, and cowardly to betray the known truth; and indeed there is no temptation in the world that hath overthrown so many, as that which hath been backed and edged with fear; the love of preferments and honours hath llain its thousands, but fear of fufferings its ten thoutands. | Effeet 6. Sinful fear puts men under great bondage of fpirit

, and makes deach a thousand times more terrible and intolerable than it would otherwise be to us. You read of some, Heb. ii. 16. “ who throngh the fear of death were all their life-time sub" ject to bondage," i. ei it kept them in a miserable anxiety and

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