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paid him ten thousand-fold in the peace, courage, and comfort it gave him in all the troubles of his life, which were great and


Confcience must be the bearing shoulder on which the burden muft ly, beware therefore it be not galled with guilt, or put out of joint by any fall into fin, it is fad bearing on fuch a shoulder; inftead of bearing your burdens, you will not be able to bear its pain and anguish. To prevent this carefully obferve these rules.

1. Over-awe your hearts every day, and in every place with the eye of God. This walking as before God will keep you upright, Gen xvii. 1. If you so speak and live as those that know God fees you, fuch will be your uprightness, that you will not care if all the world fee you too. An artist came to Drufius, and offered to build him an house, fo contrived, that he might do what he would within doors, and no man fee him: Nay faid Drufius, fo build it that every one may fee.


2. Do no action, undertake no defign, that you dare not preface with prayer; this is your rule, Phil. iv. 6. Touch not that you dare not pray for a blessing upon; if you dare not pray, dare not to engage; if you cannot send your prayers before, be confident, fhame and guilt will follow after.

3. Be more afraid of grieving God, or wounding conscience, than of difpleafing or lofing all the friends you have in the world befides; look upon every adventure upon fin to escape danger to be the fame thing as if you fhould fink the fhip to avoid one that you take to be a pirate; or as the fatal mistake of two vials, wherein there is poison and phyfic.

4. What counsel you would give another, that give yourfelves when the cafe thall be your own; your judgment is most clear, when intereft is leaft felt. David's judgment was very upright, when he judged himself in a remote parable.

5. Be willing to bear the faithful reproofs of your faults from men, as the reproving voice of God; for they are no lefs when duly adminiftred. This will be a good help to keep you upright, Pfal. cxxxv. 23, 24. "Let the righteous fmite me," &c. It is faid of Sir Anthony Cope, that he fhamed none fo much as himself in his family-prayers, and defired the minifters of his acquaintance not to favour his faults; but tell me, faid he, and fpare not.

6. Be mindful daily of your dying-day, and your great audit-day, and do all with refpect to them. Thus keep your integrity and peace, and that will keep out your fears and ter



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Rule 9. Carefully record the experience of God's care over you, and faithfulness to you in all your paft dangers and diftreffes, and. apply them to the cure of your prefent fears and defpondencies.

Recorded experiences are excellent remedies, Exod. xvii. 14. "Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears "of Joshua." There were two things in that record; the victory obtained over Amalek, and the way of obtaining it by inceffant prayer: and there are two things to be done to fecure this mercy for their use and benefit in future fears, it must be recorded and rehearsed, preserved from oblivion, and seasonably produced for relief.

There are two fpecial affistances given us against fear by experience.

1. It abates the terror of sufferings.

2. It affifts faith in the promises.

1. Experience greatly abates the terror of fufferings, and makes them lefs formidable and fearing than otherwife they would be. Fear faith, they are deep waters, and will drown us; experience faith, they are much fhallower than we think, and are fafely fordable; others have, and we may pass through the Red-fea, and not be overwhelmed. Fear faith, the pains of death are unconceivable, sharp and bitter, the living little know what the dying feel; and to lye in a flinking prifon in continual expectation of a cruel death, is an 'unfupportable evil: Experience contradicts all thefe falfe reports which make our hearts faint, as the fecond fpies did the daunting stories of the firft; and affures us prifons and death are not, when we come home to them for Chrift, what they feem and appear to be at a distance. O what a good report have those faithful men given, who have searched and tried thefe things! who have gone down themselves into the valley of the fhadow of death, and feen what there is in a prifon, and in death itself, fo long as they were in fight and hearing, able by words or figns to contradict our falfe notions of it. Oh what a fweet account did Pomponius Algerius give of his flinking prifon at Lyons in France! dating all his letters whilft he was there, From the detectable orchard of the Leonine prison; and when carried to Venice, in a letter from the prifon there, he writes thus to his Christian friend; I shall utter that which scarce any will believe, I have found a neft of honey in the entrails of a lion, a paradife of pleasure in a deep dark dungeon, in a place of forrow and death, tranquillity of hope and life. Oh! here it is that the Spirit of God and of glory rests upon us.

So bleffed Mr. Philpot, our own martyr, in one of his sweet

encouraging letters: O how my heart leaps (faith he) that I $ am fo near to eternal bliss! God forgive me my unthankfulness ⚫ and unworthiness of fo great glory. I have fo much joy of the ' reward prepared for me, the moft wretched finner, that though I be in the place of darkness and mourning, yet I cannot lament, but am night and day so joyful as though I were under no cross at all; in all the days of my life I was never so joyful, the ⚫ name of the Lord be praised.'


Others have given the fignals agreed upon betwixt them and their friends in the midst of the flames, thereby, to the last, confirming this truth, that God makes the infide of fufferings quite another thing to what the appearance and outside of them is to fenfe. Thus the experience of others abates the terrors of sufferings to you; and all this is fully confirmed by the perfonal experience you yourselves have had of the fupports and comforts of God, wherein foever you have confcientiously fuffered for his fake.

2. And this cannot but be a fingular affiftance to your faith; your own and others experiences, just like Aaron and Hur, ftay up the hands of faith on the one fide and the other, that they hang not down, whilft your fears, like thofe Amalekites, fall before you. For what is experience, but the bringing down of the divine promiles to the teft of fenfe and feeling? It is our duty to believe the promises without trial and experiments, but it is easier to do it after fo many trials; fo that your own and others experiences, carefully recorded and feasonably applied, would be food to your faith, and a cure to many of your fears in a fuffering day.

Rule 10. You can never free yourself from finful fears, 'till you throughly believe and confider Chrift's providential kingdom over all the creatures and affairs in this lower world.

Poor timorous fouls! is there not a King, a fupreme Lord under whom devils and men are? hath not Chrift the reins of -government in his hands? Mat. xxviii. 18. Phil. ii. 9, 10, 11, 12. John xvii. 2. Were this dominion of Chrift, and dependence of all creatures on him, well studied and believed, it would cut off both our trust in men, and our fear of men; we should foon difcern they have no power either to help us or to hurt us, but what they receive from above. Our enemies are apt to over-rate their own power, in their pride, and we are as apt to over-rate it too in our fears. Knoweft thou not (faith Pilate to Chrift) that I have power to crucify thee, and I have power to release thes 4. d. Refufeft thou to answer me? doft thou not know wlio


and what I am? Yes, yes, faith Chrift, I know thee well enough to be a poor impotent creature, who haft no power at all but what is given thee from above; I know thee, and therefore do not fear thee. But we are apt to take their own boasts for truth, and believe their power to be fuch as they vainly vogue it to be; whereas in truth all our enemies are fuftained by Christ, Col. i. 17. they are bounded and limited by Christ, Rev. ii. 10. Providence hath its influences upon their hearts and wills immediately, Jer. xv. 11. Pfal. cvi. 46. So that they cannot do whatever they would do, but their wills as well as their hands are ordered by God. Jacob was in Laban's and in Efau's hands; both hated him, but neither could hurt him. David was in Saul's hand, who hunted for him as a prey, yet is forced to difmifs him quietly, bleffing instead of flaying him. Mélancthon and Pomeron both fell into the hands of Charles V. than whom Christendom had not a more prudent prince, nor the church of Chrift a fiercer enemy; yet he treats these great and active reformers gently, difmiffeth them freely, not once forbidding them to preach or print the doctrine which he fo much opposed and hated.

Oh Chriftian! if ever thou wilt get above thy fears, settle these things upon thy heart by faith,

1. That the reins of government are in Chrift's hands; ene mies, like wild horfes, may prance and tramp up and down the world, as though they would tread down all that are in their way; but the bridle of providence is in their mouths, and upon their proud necks, 2 Kings xix. 28. and that bridle hath a strong curb.

2. The care of the faints properly pertains to Christ; he is the head of the body, Eph. i. 22, 23. our confulting head; and it were a reproach and difhonour to Chrift, to fill our heads with distracting cares and fears, when we have fo wife an head to confult and contrive for us.

3. You have lived all your days upon the care of Christ hitherto; no truth is more manifest than this, that there hath been a wisdom beyond your own, that hath guided your ways, Jer. x. 23. a power above your own, that hath fupported your burdens, Pfal. lxxiii. 26. a spring of relief out of yourselves that hath supplied all your wants, Luke xxii. 35. He hath performed all things for you.

4. Jefus Chrift hath secured his people by many promises to Take care of them, how dangerous foever the times fhall be Ecclef. viii. 12. Pfal. lxxvi. 10. Amos ix. 8, 9. Rom. viii. 28, Oh! if these things were throughly believed and well improved,

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fears could no more distract or afflict our hearts, than storms or clouds could trouble the upper region: but we forget his providences and promises, and are so justly left in the hands of our own fears to be afflicted for it.

Rule 11. Subject your carnal reasonings to faith, and keep your thoughts more under the government of faith, if ever you expect a compofed and quiet heart in distracting evil times.

He that layeth afide the rules of faith, and measures all things by the rule of his own shallow reason, will be his own bugbear; if reafon may be permitted to judge all things, and to make its own inferences and conclufions from the afpects and appearan ces of second causes, your hearts fhall have no reft day nor night; this alone will keep you in continual alarms.

And yet how apt are the best men to measure things by this rule, and to judge of all God's defigns and myfterious providences by it! In other things it is the judge and arbiter, and therefore we would make it so here too; and what it concludes and dictates we are prone to believe, because its dictates are backed and befriended by fenfe, whence it gathers its intelligence and information. O quam fapiens argumentatrix fibi videtur ratio bumana? How wife and strong do its arguments and conclufions feem to us! faith Luther. This carnal reason is the thing that puts us into fuch confufions of mind and thoughts. It is this that,

1. Quarrels with the promises, shakes their credit, and our confidence in them, Exod. v. 22, 23.


2. It is this that boldly limits the divine power, and affigns it boundaries of its own fixing, Pfal. lxxviii. 20, 41.

3. It is carnal reafon that draws defperate conclufions from providential appearances and aspects, 1 Sam. xxvii, 1. and prognofticates our ruin from them.

4. It is this carnal reason that puts us upon finful shifts and indirect courfes to deliver and fave ourselves from danger, which do but the more perplex and entangle us, Ifa. xxx. 15,


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5. It is moftly from our arrogant reafonings that our thoughts are difcomposed and divided; from this fountain it is that they flow into our hearts in multitudes when dangers are near, Pfal. xciv. 16. Pfal. xlii. 1.

All these mischiefs owe themselves to the exorbitant actings and intrufions of our carnal reafons; but these things ought Bot to be fo, this is befide rule. For,

1. Though there be nothing in the matters of faith or providence contrary to right reafon, yet there are many things in

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