Heaven Collection BV4831 .B4 1765

TO BE EXPECTED ON EARTH. 195 lie down, and rise up, and walk abroad, with our hearts full of the joys of God, we continually fill them with perplexing fears. For he that fears dying, must be al- ways fearing, because he bath always reason to expect it. And how can that man's life be comfortable, who lives in continual fear of losing his comforts ? Are not these fears of death self - created sufferings ? As if God had not inflicted enough upon us, but we must inflict more upon ourselves. Is not death bitter enough to the flesh of itself, but we must, double and treble its bitterness? The sufferings laid upon us by God, do all lead to happy issues ; the progress is from tribulation to patience, from thence to experience, and so to hope, and at last to glory. But the sufferings we make for ourselves, are circular and endless, from sin to suffer ing, from suffering to sin, and so to suffering again. And not only so, but they multiply in their course ; every sin is greater than the former, and so every suf fering also; so 'that, except we think God hath made us to be our own tormentors, we have small reason to nourish our fears of death. And are they not useless, unprofitable fears? As all our care cannót make one hair white or black, nor add one cubit to our stature; so neither can our fear prevent our sufferings, nor delay our death one hour: willing or unwilling, we must away. Many a man's fears have hastened his end, but no man's ever did avert it. 'Tis true, a cautious fear ncerning the danger after death, hath profited many, rc is very useful to the preventing of that danger ; but for a mem- 1 ber of Christ, and an heir of heaven, to be afraid of en- tering his own inheritance, is a sinful, Useless fear. And do not our fears of dying insnare our souls, and add strength to many temptations ? What made Peter deny his Lord ? What makes apostates, in suffering times, forsake the truth ? Why doth the green blade of uprooted faith wither before the heat of persecution ? Fear of imprisonment and poverty may do 'much, but fear of death will do much more. So much fear as we have of death, so much cowardice we usually have in the cause of God. Beside the