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commandment,” Prov. 13. 13. “ but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.” I deny not but servile fear may give a check to our sins ; but this doth not proceed from any hatred of sin, but from fear of hell. To illustrate this by a similitude, a dog although his ravenous nature do prompt him to take hold of the meat, yet when the staff is over his head he dares not touch it. A wicked man while terrors of conscience are upon him, though he loves his sin, yet he dares not venture upon it. What epicure is there that is such a slave to his appetite, that when he is under a fit of the stone, will venture on those meats that he knows will increase his paroxysm, and make his pains more dolorous ? and yet he may love the meat very well: so it is here, such a person that hath this slavish fear, although he loves his sin, yet he may possibly be kept from it for fear of hell, but this fear is terminated only upon the punishment.
4. Another difference between these fears is drawn from the continuance of them; this servile fear usually being a sudden passion, but the ingenuous fear is a serious constitution of spirit. I shall apply to this purpose that which Aristotle speaks concerning the colours of men; there are some colours which proceed from complexion, there are others which proceed from some sudden passion. Suppose the question be, what complexion a man is of; if he be pale through fear, or red for anger, we cannot say that man is of a pale or red complexion, because that is a sudden thing : it is just so here, one that is a carnal wretch, sometimes when there are sharp pangs of conscience upon him, he may fear to sin; but this fear remains no longer than the paroxysm of the burning ague, it may be not-so long, for some few hours only; but the gracious spirit always maintains this fear in him, “ blessed is the man that feareth always ;” the one is but a sudden passion, the other is the complexion of the soul.
5. They vastly differ in their excitations to that which is good, and that in two respects. (1.) In respect of the extent of that good, to which carnal fear doth excite a man. (2.) In respect
a . of the manner of performance.
(1.) In respect of the extent of that good. He that is a slave, and fears God servilely, his fear prompts him but to such a degree of good as he judgeth to be absolutely necessary for his own peace ; such a person will give God but gold-weight; he
will not perform those duties to which natural conscience by some spear or goad doth not excite him. But the fear that is ingenuous and filial, excites the soul to a more liberal degree of service; therefore it is said, 2 Cor. 7. 1. “ perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” So Phil. 2. 12. “ work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” Now reduce this to your particular state, and make an inquiry, whether the fear that you bear towards God, doth only excite you to some duties which the very light of natural conscience discovers and commands ; or whether or no, doth it engage your hearts to all the duties of holiness?
(2.) In respect of the manner of performance. This is the usual temper of servile fear, it excites a man to the bare act of the duty, without regard to those qualities which should attend that act and that duty. Thus he that is a slave and fears God merely for his wrath, possibly he will pray and hear the word; but his prayers are but a little motion of the lips, they are spiritless devotions. He prays like a parrot, without a correspondency of his affections to that whieh he prays; and what is the reason of it? Because natural conscience is quiet for the act done. Whereas an ingenuous fear, causeth the soul, in prayer, to labour that it may be in a flame, and endeavour to raise the affections to the highest pitch and degree. He that fears as a slave, though he makes God the object of his duty, he doth not make him the end of his duty. And therefore saith the Lord, “ when you fasted, did you fast unto me?” Zech. 7. 5. But this is the end of their duties, to quiet conscience, that all might be peaceable within. But ingenuous fear excites the soul to perform duties in such a manner, as may be acceptable to the Father of spirits.
6. These fears differ in their restraints from evil, and that likewise in a clouble respect. (1.) In respect of the nature of those evils from whence they are restrained. (2.) In respect of the manner of their fight from them.
(1.) In respect of the nature of those evils from which they are restrained. Servile fear checks the soul from those black sins which stare in the face of a natural conscience, those sins which are of the first magnitude, and of a crimson dye, which do vastare conscientiam, waste the conseience, these sins slavish fear will keep a man from; but for other sins, which (although
they do not leave so great a blot upon the name, yet they may leave a very great stain upon the soul) they do not regard. To give you an instance; a natural man that lies under this slavish fear, fears to kill a man, but not to hate or bear a spleen against a man; and yet this is murder in a degree. Such a man fears actually to defile himself with a woman; but he cherisheth speculative wantonness, and gazeth on the image of the lust, it may be whole days in his fancy; and yet this is the adultery of the heart, but this he doth not regard : but where there is an ingenuous fear, this causeth a person not only to fly sin, but the appearance of it, to fly the smallest sin as well as the greatest ; for as there is the same reason of the roundness of a ball, as there is of a globe, so there is the same reason he should fly the smallest sin as the greatest. Thus an ingenuous child fears not only visible disobedience, but declines the very colour of it. A chaste wife doth not only fear to break the marriage knot, but flies every sign of disloyalty, and will not bring upon herself the least suspicion of her chastity; so that in respect of the nature of the evils declined, there is a vast difference.
(2.) In respect of the manner of their flight : for that fear which is degenerate and servile, although it may withdraw the soul from the action, it doth not crucify the affection to sin ; but now a gracious spirit doth not only forbear sin, but abhor it; he doth not only leave it, but loath it. In the one the faculties are bridled up, in the other the will is healed; the one doth abscondere hide his sin, and keeps himself from outward acts; but the other doth abscindere, he cuts off sin by the roots.
7. Servile fear drives a man from God, but filial fear unites a man to God. He that is a slave, his great care is how he may hide himself from God; but he that is a son his great care is, that God do not hide himself from him. A slave is afraid to find God, a son is afraid lest he should lose him. St. Austin doth admirably explain this by the different fear the harlot hath of her husband, from that which the wife hath, who is loyal and virtuous. The harlot saith he, illa timet ne veniat, she fears lest her husband should come home; but the virtuous wife illa timet ne deserat, she fears lest he should depart. The harlot fears lest her husband should chastise her, but the virtuous wife lest he should forsake her. Thus it is here, he that is a slave all his design is this, how he may hide himself from God; but
my fear 1
gracious soul doth less fear God's blows, than his absence, he can better brook his strokes than the withdrawing of his countenance.
8. Servile fear is an earnest of hell; filial fear is the beginning of heaven. Servile fear is the fruit of the covenant of works, and therefore the beginning of sorrow. Filial fear is the product of the covenant of grace; for saith the Lord, “ will plant and put in their hearts," and so it is the initials of glory. Servile fear is one of the black train of affections that shall accompany sinners to another world; all the bright part of their affections shall leave them, their joy, their hope, and their delight; but their fear, sorrow, despair and horror, shall accompany them for ever : but now the fear of God which is son-like and ingenuous, that doth endure for ever, that shall be completed in glory. There are some graces in 'a saint that are relative graces, that respect the present state, as repentance and the justifying faith of a saint ; but the fear of God, that is the eternal homage and tribute which the creature must pay to him, and therefore it shall continue for ever.
The effects and products of filial fear:
iv. It was next propounded to show what are the effects and products of filial fear; they are these,
1. The fear of God produceth a flight from sin : this is so essential to the fear of God, that it makes up its description, the fear of God is to depart from evil. In the 19th Psalm ver. 9. you have an expression there, “the fear of the Lord is clean;" it is clean formaliter, it is clean in itself; it is clean effective, as it makes us clean ; that person that thus fears the Lord will
not ordinarily neglect the least duty, nor commit the least sin for the greatest good. The fear of God is animæ vigil & custos, it is the sentinel and guard of the soul, which is very vigilant that no temptation may enter in, nor no corruption may pass out.
2. Another effect or product of this fear of God, is a careful search after the perfect knowledge of God's will, that so a man may not offend him, (and this proceeds from the former) Psal. 86. 11. “ teach me thy way, O Lord, and I will walk in thy truth, unite my heart to fear thy name:" Here you see the conjunction of these two requests. A man that is a stranger to this fear, makes it his design to preserve his conscience from the command of the light of the word. Lazy persons lie upon their beds of ease, and draw their curtains that no beam may dart in upon them; they are afraid of the shining light, lest it should scorch them; they are afraid conscience should know what is the will of God lest it should perform its office of accusing them: but one that fears God ingenuously, he tries what is the acceptable and good will of God. Thus it was with Job, chap. 34. 32. “ that which I see not teach thou me: if I have done iniquity I will do no more.” This is the temper of a person that fears God; and indeed you may carry this through all relations. This is the fear of a son, who will inquire what is his father's will that he may not displease him. The care of a wife is this, she will inquire what her husband's disposition is, that she may not contradict him : it is a necessary effect of fear to make a person full of inquiries after the will of him whom he endeavours to please.
3. This fear hath a great influence upon our performance of the duties of worship. (1.) It composeth the soul. (2.) It makes it awful in the discharge of them.
(1.) It composeth the soul, Psal. 86. 11. “ unite my heart to fear thy name." There is a natural lightness in the spirits of men, and when we come to religious duties our thoughts are like a bird in a cage, it futters the more because it is inclosed; our thoughts then are full of such a light discurrency as chaff in the wind, or dust in the air ; but now the fear of God binds up the soul from fitting. The fear of God brings the soul to a consistency when it awaits upon God in religious duties. He that staps the sun in its flight, and the wayes in their course, doth