Imagini ale paginilor

our hearts? O my brethren, when things are dark without, let all be clear within, give diligence to make your calling sure; it is both feasible and probable. God is not wanting to them that seek him. Let not this great business hang in hand any longer. If there were a controversy about your land, you would use all means to clear your title. And is salvation nothing? Will you not clear your title here? Consider how sad your case is, if you are not effectually called.'-WATSON'S "Dirine Cordial." Chap. vi.

NOTE XIX. p. 177.

The author inserts the following extracts from another non-conformist divine, as deeming them a most suitable and valuable appendix to the foregoing chapter.

'How a christian may keep his heart from distracting and tormenting fears in times of great and threatening dangers.'

'Now there are fourteen excellent rules or helps for keeping the heart from sinful fear when imminent dangers threaten us, and the first is this:—

‹ RULE 1. Look upon all the creatures as in the hand of God, who manages them in all their motions, limiting, restraining, and determining them all at his pleasure.

RULE 2. Remember, that this God, in whose hand all the creatures are, is your Father, and is much more tender over you, than you are or can

be over yourselves. "He that toucheth you toucheth the apple of mine eye."

RULE 3. He hath charged you not to fear; "When ye shall hear of wars and commotions, see that ye be not terrified." "And in nothing be terrified by your adversaries." Yea, in Matt. x. 26, 28-31, and within the compass of six verses, our Saviour commands us thrice not to fear man. Methinks the command of Christ should have as much power to calm, as the voice of a poor worm to terrify thy heart; "I, even I am he that com forteth you; who art thou that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man that shall be made as grass, and forgettest the Lord thy Maker?"

'RULE 4.

Remember how much needless trouble your vain fears have brought upon you formerly, and how you have disquieted yourselves to no purpose: "And hast feared continually because of the oppressor, as if he were ready to devour; and where is the fury of the oppressor?" He seemed ready to devour, but yet you are not devoured.

RULE 5. Consider solemnly, that though the things you fear should really fall out, yet there is more evil in your own fear than in the thing feared. And that, not only as the least evil of sin is worse than the greatest evil of suffering; but as this sinful fear has really more torment and trouble in it, than is in that condition you are so much afraid of.

RULE 6. Consult the many precious promises which are written for your support and comfort in

all dangers. These are your refuges, to which you may fly and be safe; "when the arrows of danger fly by night, and destruction wasteth at noonday.”

[ocr errors]

RULE 7. Quiet your trembling hearts by recording and consulting your past experiences of the care and faithfulness of God in former distresses. These experiences are food for your faith in a wilderness condition. By this David kept his heart in time of danger, 1 Sam. xvii. 37, and St. Paul his, 2 Cor. i. 10. It was sweetly answered by Silentarius, when one told him that his enemies way-laid him to take away his life,- If God take no care of me, how have I escaped hitherto ?'

RULE 8. Be well satisfied that you are in the way of your duty, and that will beget boly courage in times of danger. "Who will harm you,

if you be followers of that which is good?" Or if any dare attempt it," you may boldly commit yourselves to God in well-doing." It was this consideration that raised Luther's spirit above all fear : In the cause of God,' said he, I ever am, ever shall be stout: herein I assume this title, Cedo nulli; a good cause will bear up a man's spirit bravely.' Righteousness is a breast-plate:'

[ocr errors]



RULE 9. Get your consciences sprinkled with the blood of Christ from all guilt, and that will set your hearts above all fear. It is guilt upon the conscience that softens and cowardizes our spirits: "the righteous are bold as a lion." It was guilt in Cain's conscience that made him cry, Every one that meets me shall slay me."


RULE 10.

Exercise holy trust in times of

great distress. Make it your business to trust God with your lives and comforts, and then your hearts will be at rest about them. So did David;



what time I am afraid, I will trust in thee." q. d. Lord, if at any time a storm arise, I will make bold to shelter from it under the covert of thy wings." Go to God by acts of faith and trust, and never doubt but he will secure you.

[ocr errors]

RULE 11. Consult the honour of religion more, and your personal safety less. Is it for the honour of religion, think you, that Christians should be as timorous as hares, to start at every sound? Will not this tempt the world to think, that whatever you talk, yet your principles are no better than other men's? O what mischief may the discovery of fears before them do! It was a noble sayyour ing of Nehemiah, "Should such a man as I flee? and who, being as I am, would flee?" Were it not better you should die, than that the world should be prejudiced against Christ by your example?

RULE 12. He who will secure his heart from fear, must first secure the eternal interest of his soul in the hands of Jesus Christ. When this is done, then you may say, now, world, do thy worst! You will not be very solicitious about a vile body, when you are once assured it shall be well to all eternity with your precious soul.

RULE 13. Learn to quench all slavish creature fears, in the reverential fear of God. • This

method of cure Christ prescribes in that forementioned place, Matt. x. Like to which is that in Isaiah viii. 12, 13. "Fear not their fear."


how shall we help it? Why, "sanctify the Lord of hosts himself, and let him be your fear and your dread."

RULE 14. Lastly, pour out those fears to God in prayer, which the Devil and your own unbelief pour in upon you in times of danger. Prayer is the best outlet to fear. Where is the Christian that cannot set his probatum est to this direction?' Abbreviated from FLAVEL'S Saint Indeed.'

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]


EZEKIEL xl. 2. There are several circumstances which conclusively show, that something exceedingly superior to either the first or second temple was intended, and that the external description must be considered as a figure and emblem of spiritual blessings. (Note xli, 22.) This will appear in many particulars, as we proceed; but especially the dimensions of the temple, city, and land; and the division of the land to the prince, priests, and tribes; and the river of water springing from the threshold of the temple, enlarging till it reached the dead sea, and sweetening its waters; with the trees" growing on "the banks of the river, bearing fruit every month; " cannot be literally interpreted, or made to accord with any thing which has yet taken place.' xli. 5, 22, “The altar of wood" must signify that on which incense

« ÎnapoiContinuă »