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à man under such promises, a man of fuch manifold and manifelt experiences, fhould such a man flee? Let others, who have no such encouragements, Aee if they will; for my part, I will 'not flee. I remember it was an argument used by ITertulliao, to quiet the fears, and stay the flight of Christians in thofe bloody times; Art thou afraid of a man, o Chriftian ! when devils are afraid of thee, as a p:isoner of his judge, and whom the world ought to fear, as being one that shall judge the world. O that we could, without pride and vanity, but value ourselves duely, according to our Christian digaities and privileges, which, if ever it be necessary to count over, and value, it is in such times of danger and fear, when the hcart is fo prone to dejection, and sinking fears.
4. Igoorance of our daogers and troubles, causes our frights and terrors; we mistake them, and therefore are frighted as them, we are ignorant of two things in our troubles among o. thers, viz,
1. The comforts that are in them.
There is a vast odds betwixt the outward appearance, and face of trouble, and the inside of it; it is a lion to the eye ac a distance, but open it, and there is honey in its belly. Piul and Silas met that in a prison which made them fing at midnight, and so have many more since their day.
And as we are not ignorant of the cornforts that are sometimes found in our troubles, fo of the outlets, and doors of escape, God can, and often doth, open out of trouble; “ To God the * Lord, belong the issues from death,” Pfal. Ixviii. 20. “ He “ kooweth how to deliver the godly out of temptation," 2 Pet. ii. 9. He can, with every temptation, make a way to escape, 1 Cor. X. 13. the poor captive exile reckoned upon nothing, but dying in the pit, making their graves in the land of their captivity, Ha. li. 14. for they could think upon none, but the usual methods of deliverance, power, or price, and they had deither; little did they dream of fuch immediate influences of God upon the king's heart, to make him dismiss them, freely,
5. But especially the fears of good men arife out of their ig
† Art thou afraid of a man, o Christian ! who shuuldst be feared by angels, since thou art to judge angels; who shouldst be feared by devils, fimce thou hast got power orer devils; who should be feared by all the worlu, -liace all the world is to be judged by thee, Tertul, on Fear,
borance and inconsiderateness of the covenant of grace. If we were better acquainted with the dautre; extent, and stability of the covenant, our hearts would be much freed thereby, from these tormentiog passions ; this covenant would be a panacea, an universal remedy against all our fears, upon spiritual, or temporal accounts, as will be made evident hereafter in this discourse.
Cause 2. Another cause, and fountain of sinful fear, is guilt upon the copscience. A fervant of fin cannot but, first, or last, be a Nave of fear; and they that have done evil, cannot chufe but expect evil. No sooner had Adam defiled, and wounded his conscience with guilt, but he presently trembles, and hides himself: So it is with his children; God calls to Adam, not in a threatening, but gentle dialect; not in a tempest, but in the cool of the day ; yet it terrifies him, there being in him. self mens confcia fali, a guilty, and condemning conscience, Gen. iii. 8. “ It is * Seneca's observation, that a guilty con- . « science is a terrible whip, and torment to the finger, perpe• tually lashing him with follicitous thoughts and fears, that ," he knows not where to be secure, nor dare he trust to any, i " promises of protection, but distrusts all doubts, and is jealous • of all.” Of such it is said, Job xv, 21. that a dreadful found is in their ears; notiog not only the effects of real, but also of imaginary dangers : His own presaging miod, and troubled fancy, scares him, where no real danger is, suitable to that, Prov. xxviii. 1. The wicked fleeth when none pursues, but the righteous is bold as a lion. Just as they say of sheep, that they' are affrighted by the clatteriog of their own feet, when once they are set a running; fo is the guilty sinner with the noise of his own conscience, which founds nothing in his ears but misery, wrath, and hell. We may say of all wicked men in their frights, as + Tacitus doth of tyrants, “ That if it were “ possible to open their inside, their mind and conscience ; ma“ ny terrible stripes, and wounds, would be found there :" : And it is said, Ifa. xxxiii. 14. the finners in Sion are afraid, trembling taketh hold of the hypocrite. Fear and trembling as naturally arise out of guilt, as the sparks do out of a fiery
as they canone Purlable to
* Male facinorum confcientia flagellari, et plurimum illi tor: mentorum ele, eo quod perpetuo illam solicitudo urget, ae verberat quod sponsoribus securitatis suae non poteft credere. Senec. Epist. 97.
't Si recludantur mentes Tyrannorum poffe afpici laniatus ef 'ictus. Annal.
charcoal. Histories abundantly furnith us with fad examples of ike truth of this observation. Cataline, that monster of wickedness, would start at any sudden poife, being haunted with the furies of his own evil conscience. Charles IX. after his bloody and barbarous massacre of the Protestants, could neither sleep nor wake without music to divert his thoughts. And oor Richard III. after the murder of his two innocent nephews, faw divers images or shapes like devils in his sleep, polling and hauling him. Mr. Ward tells of a Jesuit in Lancashire, who being followed by one that had found his glove, out of go other design but to restore it to him, but being pursued by his own guilty conscience also, he leaped over the next hedge, and was drowned. And remarkable is that which Mr. Fox relates of cardinal Crefcentius, who fancied the devil was walking in his chamber, and sometimes couching under his table, as he was writing letters to Rome against the Protestapts. Impius tantum metuit, quantum nocuit : fo much mischief as conscience tells them they have done, so much it bids them expect. Wolfius tells us of one Joho Hofmeister who fell sick with the very terrors of his own conscience in his ina, as he was travelling towards Auspurge in Germany, and was frighted by his own conscience to that degree, that they were fain to bind him in his bed with chaias ; and all that they could get from him was, I am cast away for ever, I have grievofly wounded my orun conscience.
To this wounded and trembling conscience is opposed the Spirit of a found mind, mentioned 2 Tim. i. 7. “God hath not “ given us the spirit of fear, but of power, of love, and of a “ found miod : ” A found mind is, in this place, the lame thing with a pure and peaceable conscience, a mind or conscience nor infirm, or wounded with guilt, as we fay a fouod or hale body, which hath no difcase attending it, such a mind is opposed to the spirit of fear; it will make a man bold as a lion;
- -Nil conscire fibi, nulla pallefcere culpa,
Ho. l. 1. ep. I.
Nor e'er turn pale with guilt.
1. By aggravating small matters, and blowing them up to į · the height of the most fatal and destructive evils; so it was with
Cain, Gen. iv. 14. “ Every one that meets me will day me."
Now every child was a giant in his eye, and any body he met his over-match. A guilty cooscience gives a man no sight of his enemy, but through a magoifying or multiplying glass.
2. It begets fears, by interpreting all doubtful cales in the worst seose that can be fastened upon them; Pelimus in dubiis augur timor. If the swallows do but chatter in the chimney, Bessus ioterprets it to be a discovery of his crime, that they are telling tales of him, and fagiog, Bessus killed a man. Nay, • 3. If a guilty conscience hath nothing to aggravate and mag. nify, nor any doubtful matter to interpret in a frightful fenfe, it can, and often doth create fears and terrors out of nothing at all: the rules of fear are not like the rules in arithmetic, where many nothings make nothing, but fear can make fomething out of nothing, yea, many things, and great things out of nothing at all, Pfal. liii. 5. there were they in great fear where no fear was ; here was a great fear raised or created out of nothing at all; had their fear been examined and hunted home to its original*, it would have been found a pure creature of faocy, a chimera having no fundamentum in re, no other foun. dation but a troubled fancy, and a guilty conscience ; thus it was with Pashur, he was a very wicked man, and a bitter ene. my to the prophet Jeremy, and if there be none to fright and terrify from abroad, rather than he shall want it, he shall be a terror to himself, Jer. xx. 3, 4. he was his own bugbear, afraid of his own shadow; and truly this is a great plague and misery; he that is a terror to himself, cao no more flee from terrors than he can fee from himself. Oh, the efficacy of confcieoce ! how doth it arrest the stoutest sioners, and make them tremble, when there is au visible external cause of fear ! Nemo se judice, nocens absolvitur ; i. e, No guilty man is absolved, even when himself acts the part of the judge.
Ohjection 1. But may not a good man, whose fios are pardoned, be affrighted with his own fancies, aod scared with his own imaginations ?
Solution. No doubt he may, for there is a twofold fountaia of fears, one in the body, another in the soul, one in the constitution, another in the conscience ; it is the affliction and infelicity of many pardoned and gracious souls, to be united and married to such distempered and ill habited bodies, as shall af.
: * In time of fear and danger, objects of terror appear to those who are terrified more numerous and greater than they are in reality; as such things are then more creduloully believed, and more easily imagiaed. Cicero.
Biet them without any real cause from withio, and wound them by their own diseases and distempers; and these wounds can no more be prevented or cured by their reason or religion, than any other bodily disease, suppose an ague or fever, can be fo cured. Thus * physicians tell us, when adult choler or mclancholy overflows and abounds in the body, as in the hypochondriacal distempers, &c. what fad effects it hath upon the mind as well as upon the body, there is not only a fad and fearful afpect or countedance without, but forrow, fear, and afflicting thoughts within ; there is a fore affliction to many good men, whose consciences are sprinkled with the blood of Christ from guilt, but yet God sees good to clog them with such affliction as this for their humiliation, and for the preventiva of worse evils.
Obje&t. 2. But many bold and daring finners are found, who, Dotwithstanding all the guilt with which their consciences are loaded, can look dangers in the face without trembling, yea, they can look death itself, the king of terrors, in the face, with less fear thao better men.
Sol. True, but the reason of that is from a spiritual judge ment of God upon their hearts and consciences, whereby they are hardened, and seared as with a hot iron, 2 Tim. iv. 2. and so conscience is disabled for the present, to do its office, it cannot put forth its efficacy and activity now, when it might be useful to their salvation, but it will do it to purpose hereafter, when their case shall be remediless, · Cause 3. We see what a forgę of fears a guilty conscience is, and no less is the fin of unbelief, the real and proper cause of most distracting and affictive fears ; so much as our souls are empty of faith, they are, in times of trouble, filled with fear: We read of some that have died by no other hand but their own fears; but we never read of any that died by fear, who were once brought to live by faith ; if men would but dig to the root of their fears, they would certainly find unbelief there, Matth. viii. 26. Why are ye fearful, Oye of little faith! . The less faith, still the more fear : Fear is generated by unbelief, and unbelief strengthened by fear, as in nature thcre is an ob
* Pernel. Pathiol. lib. 2. cap. 16. Corporis habitus ficcus et macilentus, aspectus inconftans, horridus ac meftus, in morbis animi metus et mæftitia, taciturnitas, folicitudo, innanis rerum coinmenfatin fomnis turbulentus, bórrendis infomnus fluctuans, et agitatus Spietris rerum nigrarum, &c.