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à man under such promises, a man of such manifold and manifelt experiences, fhould such a man flee? Let others, who have do such encouragements, Aee if they will; for my part, I will 'not flee. I remember it was an argument used by 1 Tertulliao, to quiet the fears, and ftay the flight of Christians in those bloody times; Art thou afraid of a man, o Christian ! 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 Christiao dignities 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 finking fears.
4. Ignorance of our dangers and troubles, causes our frights and terrors; we mistake them, and therefore are frighted at them, we are ignorant of two things in our troubles among others, viz.
1. The comforts that are in them.
There is a vaft 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. P.sul and Silas met that in a prison which made them sing 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. Ixvii. 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, la. 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, contrary to all rules of state policy, Ifa. xlv. 12.
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, fince thou hast got power over devils ; who fhouldst be feared by all the worlu, lince 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
thc conscience. A fervant of fin cannot but, first, or lalt, 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 tempeft, but in the cool of the day ; yet it terrifies bim, there being in himself 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 singer, perpe“ tually lashing him with follicitous thoughts and fears, that • he knows not where to be secure, nor dare he trust to any “ 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 prefaging mind, and troubled fancy, scares him, where no real danger is, suitable to that, Prov. xxviii. 1. The wicked fleeth when none pursues, but the rightcous 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 fay of all wicked men in their frights, as † Tacitus doth of tyrants, “ That if it were
possible to open their in Gide, their mind and conscience ; ma
ny terrible stripes, and wounds, would be found there : " And it is faid, lfa. 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
* Male facinorum confcientia flagellari, et plurimum illi tormentorum elle, eo quod perpetuo illam solicitudo urget, ae verberat quod Sponsoribus securitatis fuae non poteft credere.
Senec. Epist. 97
+ Si recludantur mentes tyrannorum poffe afpici laniatus ef itus. Annal.
charcoal. Histories abundantly furnish us with fad examples of the truth of this observacion. Cataline, that monster of wickedocss, would start at any sudden noise, being haunted with the furies of his own evil cooscience. Charles IX. after his bloody and barbarous massacre of the Protestants, could neither sleep nor wake without music to divert his thoughts. And oar Richard III. after the murder of his two innocent nephews, faw divers images or lapes like devils in his deep, pulliog and hauling him. Mr. Ward tells of a Jesuit in Lancashire, who being followed by one that had found his glove, out of no 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 drowded. And remarkable is that which Mr. Fox relates of cardinal Crescentius, who fancied the devil was walking in bis chamber, and sometimes couching under his table, as he was writiog 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 grievously wounded my own conscience.
To this wounded and trembling conscience is opposed the spirit of a found mind, meptioned 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 same thing with a pure and peaceable conscience, a mind or conscience not infirm, or wounded with guilt, as we fay a fouad or hale body, which hath no difcafe attending it, such a mind is opposed to the spirit of fear; it will make a man bold as a lion;
--Nil confcire fibi, nulla pallefcere culpa,
Ho. 1. 1. ep. 1.
Nor e'er turn pale with guilt.Ao evil and guilty conscience foments fears and terrors three ways.
1. By aggravating small matters, and blowing them up to the height of the most fatal and destructive evils; fo it was with Cain, Geo. iv. 14. Every one that meets me will day me." VOL. IV.
Now every child was a giant in his eye, and any body he met his over-match. A guilty conscience gives a man no sight of his enemy, but through a magnifying or multiplying glass.
2. It begets fears, by interpreting all doubtful cales in the worst sense that can be fastened upon them; Pefimus in dubiis augur timor. If the swallows do but chatter in the chimney, Bellus ioterprets it to be a discovery of his crime, that they are telling tales of him, and saying, Bessus killed a man. Nay,
3. If a guilty conscience hath nothing to aggravate and magnify, nor any doubtful matter to interpret in a frightful fenfe, it can, and often doth create fears and terrors out of nothiag at all: the rules of fear are not like the rules in arithmetic, where many nothings make nothing, but fear can make something out of nothiog, 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 fancy, a chimera having no fundamentum in re, no other foundation but a troubled fancy, and a guilty conscience ; thus it was with Palhur, he was a very wicked man, and a bitter enemy 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 flee from himself. Oh, the efficacy of conscieoce ! how doth it arrest the stoutest sioners, and make them tremble, when there is no visible external cause of fear! Nemo fe 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, and scared with his own imaginations ?
Solution. No doubt he may, for there is a twofold fountain of fears, one in the body, another in the soul, one in the conftitution, agother in the conscience ; it is the affliction and infelicity of many pardoned and gracious fouls, 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 credulously believed, and more easily imagiacd. Cicero.
dict 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 * physiciaos tell us, when adult choler or melancholy 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 aspect or countenance without, but forrow, fear, and afflicting thoughts within; there is a fore affliction to many good men, whole 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 prevention of worse evils.
Obje&t. 2. But many bold and daring fioners 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 judgment of God upon their hearts and consciences, whereby they are hardened, and feared as with a hot iron, 2 Tim. iv. 2. and fo conscience is disabled for the present, to do its office, it canDot 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 forge of fears a guilty conscience is, and no less is the sia of unbelief, the real and proper cause of most distracting and affictive fears; so much as our fouls are empty of faith, they are, in times of trouble, filled with fear: We read of fome 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 there is an ob
Pernel. Pathiol. lib. 2. cap. 16. Corporis habitus ficcus et ma. cilentus, aspectus inconftans, horridus ac maftus, in morbis animi metus et mæftitia, taciturnitas, folicitudo, innanis rerum commenfatin fomnis turbulentus, bórrendis infomnus fluctuans, et agitatus fpeclris rerum nigrarum, c.