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perplexity of mind, like Naves that tremble at the whip which is held over them; thus many thousands lige under the lath; fo terrible is the name of Death, especially a violent death, that they åre not able with patience to hear it mentioned; which gave the ground of that saying, Praeftat femel, quam femper mori ; it is better to die once, than to be dyiog always. And furely there is not a more miferable life any poor creature can live, than such a trembling life as this is. For,

1. Such a bondage as this destroys all the comfort and pleasure of life; no pleafure can grow or thrive under the shadow of this cursed plant. Nit ci beatum cui femper aliquis terror impendet, faith Cicero *, all the comforts we possess in this world are embittered by it. It is storied of Democles, a flatterer of Dionyfius the tyrant, that he told him he was the bappiest man in the world, having wealth, power, majesty, and abundance of all things: Dionyfius fets the farterer in all his own pomp at a table furnished with all daintes, and attended upon as a king, but with a heavy sharp sword hanging by a riogle horse hair right over his head; this made him quake and tremble, fo that he could neither eat nor drink, but defired to be freed from that estate. The design was to convince him how miferable a life they live, who live under the continual terrors of impending death and rain. It was

It was a fore judgment which God threatened against them in Jct. v. 6.“ A lion out “ of the forest fhall nay them, and a wolf of the evening " Thall spoil them ; a leopard shall watch over their cities, every

one that goeth out thence, Mall be toro in pieces.” What a miferable life most those people live, who could not Nir out of the city, but they presently were seized by lions, wolves, and leopards, that watched over them, and Jurked in all the avenues to make them a prey! and yet this is more tolerable than for a man's own fear to watch continually over him. 2. And

yet I could with this were the worst of it, and that our fears destroyed no better comforts than the natural comfort's of this life : but, alas, they also destroy our spiritual comforts, which we might have from God's promises, and our own and Others experiences, which are incomparably the sweetest pleasures meb have in this world : but as to creature comfort is pleasant, so no promile relishes like itself to him that lives in this bondage of fear; when the terrors of death are great, the confolations of the Almighty are small.

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* Cicer. Tusc. Q. 156

fa the written word are found all forts of refreshing, ftrength: ening, and heart-reviving promises, prepared by the wisdom and care of God for our relief in the days of darkness and trouble; promises of support under the heaviest burdens and preffures, Isa. xli. 10. “ Fear not, for I am with thee; be pot dif. “ mayed, for I am thy God; I will strengtheo thee, yea, I will “ help thee, yea, I will uphold thee with the right-hand of my “ righteousoess A promise able to make the most timorous and trembling foul to shoot with the joy of men in hatveft, or as they that divide the spoil.

There are found the encouragiog promises of defence and protection, Ifa. xxvii. 2, 3. and lia. xxxii. 2. promises that lead us up to the almighty power of God, and put us under the wings of his care in time of danger.

Promises of moderation and mitigation in the day of sharp affliction that we may be able to bear it, Ifa. xxvii. 8. i Cor. X. 13. Promises of deliverance out of trouble, if the malice of man bring us into trouble, the mercy of God will assuredly bring us out, Plal. xci. 14, 15. and Psal. cxxv. 3. And, wbich is inolt comfortable of all the rest, promises to fanctify and bless our troubles to our good, so that they shall not only cease to be hurtful, but, by virtue of the promise, become exceed: iog beneficial to us, Isa. xxvii. 9. Rom. viii. 28.

All these promises are provided by our tender Father for us, agaiost a day of straits and fears; and because he knew our weakness, and how apt our fears would be to make us fufpect our security by them, he hath, for the performance of them, engaged his wisdom, power, care, faithfulness and wachangeableness, 2 Pet. ii. 9. Ifa. xxvii. 2, 3. 2 Cor. xvi. 9. 1 Cor. X. 13. Ifa. xliii. 1, 2. In the midnt of such promises fo fealed, how chearful and inagoanimous should we be in the worst times ! and say as David, Psal. xlix. 5. “ Why should I fear in the day " of evil ?" Let thofe that have no God to flee to, no promise to rely upon, let them fear in the day of evil, I have no cause to do fo. But even from these most comfortable refuges in the promises our own fears beat us; we are so scared that we mind them dot, fo as to draw encouragement, refolutioo, and courage from them. Thus the shields of the mighty are vilely cast away.

So, for all the choice records of the saiots experiences in all former troubles and distresses, God hath, by a singular providence (aiming at our relief in future distresses) preferved them for us ; if danger threaten us, we may turn to the recorded experiences his people have left us of the frange and mighty influence of

xvi. y.

his providence upon the hearts of their enemies, to fhew theme favour, Gen, xxxi. 29. Psal. xvi. 46. Jer. xv. 11.

There are also found the antient rolls and records of the ad. mirable methods of his peoples deliverance, contrived by his infinite and unsearchable wisdom for them, when all their own thoughts have been at a loss, and their understaodings posed and Itaggered, Exod. xv. 6. 2 Chron. xx. 12, 15. 2 Kings xix. 3, 7.

There are the recorded experiences of God's unspotted faithfulness, which never failed any foul that durft trust himself in its arms, Micah vi. 4, 5. Joshua vü. 9.

There are also to be found the records of his tender and mort fatherly care for his children, who have been to himn as a pecoliar treasure in times of danger, Pfal. xl. 17. Deut. xxxü. 10, 11, 12. Ifa. xlix, 16. Job xlix. 16. Job xxxvi. 7. 2 Chroo.

All thefe and many more fupports and cordials are made ready to our hand, and provided for a day of trouble; but alas ! to what purpose, if our own fears fo transport us, that we can peither apply them, nor so much as calmly ponder and consider them.

3. To conclude, by these fears we are deprived of those manifold advaotages we might gain by the calm, and composed meditations of our own death, and the change it will make a . pon us; could we sit down in peace, and meditate in a famili: ar way upon death : could we look with a composed and wellsettled mind into our own graves, and not be scared and frighted with the thoughts of death, and startle whenever we take it (though but in our thoughts) by the cold hand : To what seriousness would those meditations frame us? And what abua, dance of evils would they prevent in our conversations ? The {prinkling of dust upon new writing prevents many a blot and blur in our books or letters: And could we thus sprinkle the dult of the grave upon our minds, it would prevent many a sin and miscarriage in our words and actions. But there is no profit or advantage redounding to us either from promises, cx. periences, or death itself, when the soul is discomposed aod put into confusio's by its own fears. And thus you see some of those many mischievous effects of your own fears.

с н А Р. VI. Prescribing the rules to cure our finful fears, and prevent the

fad and woful effects of them.

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SeA. I. We are now come to the most difficult part of the

work, viz. the cure of the sinful and navisk fear of creatures in times of danger, which if it mighr, through the blessing of God, be effected, we might live at hearts ease in the midst of all our enemies and troubles, and, like the fun in the heavens, keep on our fteddy course in the darkest and gloomiest day. But before I come to the particular rules, it will be des cessary, for the prevertion of mistakes, to lay down three ofeful cautioos about this matter.

i Caution. Understand that none but those that are in Chrift are capable to improve the following rules to their advantage. The security of our fouls is the greatest argument used by Chrift to extinguish out fears of then that kill the body, Mat. x.

But if the foul must unavoidably perish when the body
doth, if it must drop into hell before the body be laid in the
grave, if he that kills the body doth, by the fame stroke, cut
off the foul from all the means and pollibilities of mercy and
happiness for ever, what can be offered in fuch a case, to relieve
a man against fear and trembling?

2 Caution. Expect not a perfect core of your fears in this
life, whilft there are enemies and dangers, there will be fome
fears working in the best hearts : If our faith could be perfect.
ed, our fears would be perfectiy cured; but whilft there is so
much weakness in our faith, there will be too much strength in
our fears. Aod for those who are naturally timorous, who
have more of this passion in their constitution than other men
have, and those in whom melancholy is a rooted and chronical
disease, it will be hard for them totally to rid themselves of
fears and dejections, though in the use of such helps and means
as follow, they may be greatly relieved against the tyranoy of
them, and enabled to possess their souls iñ much more tranquil-
lity and comfort.

3 Caution. Whosoever expects the benefit of the following prescriptions and rules, must not think the reading, or barremembring of them will do the work, but he must work them into his heart by believing and fixed meditation, and live in the daily practice of them. It is not our opening of our cafe to a pbysician, nor his prescriptions and written directions, that will

cure a man, but he must resolve to take the bitter and naufeous potion, how much foever he loath it; to abftain from hurtful diet, how well foever he loves it, if ever he expect to be a found and healthful man. So it is in this case also. These things premised, the

1 Rule. The first rule to relieve us against our lavish fears, Is seriously to consider, and more thoroughly to study the covenant of grace, within the blessed clasp and bond whereof all believers are. I think the clear voderstanding of the nature, extent, and ftability of the covenant, and of our interest therein, would go a great way in the cure of our sinful and Navifh fears.

A covenant is more than a naked promise ; in the covenant, God hath graciously consulted our weakness, fears, aod doubts, and therefore proceeds with us in the higheft way of solemnity, confirming his promises by oath, Heb. vi, 13, 17. and by his feals, Rom. vi. 11. Putting himself under the most folema ties and engagements that can be, to his people, that from fo firm a ratification of the covenant with us, we might have strong consolation, Heb. vi. 18. He hath fo ordered it, that it might afford ftrong supports, and the most reviving cordials to our faint and timorous fpirits, in all the plunges of trouble both from within, and from without. In the covenant God makes over himself to his people, to be upto them a God, Jer. xxxi. 33. Heb. viii. 10. Wherein the Lord bestows himself in all his glorious esseatial properties upon us, to the end that whatsaever his almighty power, infinite wisdom, and incomprehensible mercy can afford for our protection, support, deliverance, directie on, pardon, or refreshment; we might be assured shall be faithfully performed to us in all the straits, fears, and exigencies of our lives. This God expects we should improve by faith, as the most sovereign antidote against all our fears in this world, Ifa. xliii. 1, 2. " Thus faith the Lord that created thee, " O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel ; fear not, for I “ have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name, thou

art mine; when thou passeft through the waters, I will be “ with thee,” &c. Ifa. xli. 10." Fear not, for I am with thee,

be not dismayed, for I am thy God.”

And if thou, reader, be within the bonds of the covenant, thou mayest surely find enough there to quiet thy heart, whatever the matter or ground of thy fears be: If God be thy coveDaar God, he will be with thee in all thy Atraits, waots, and troubles, he will never leave, nur forsake thee. From the coveBapt it was that David encouraged himself against all his troubles, 2 Sam. xxiii. 5. " Although my house be not fo with God, yet

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