Baxter - BV4831 84 F3 1830

164 THE SAINTS' REST [Chap. 10, ful thoughts of bliss ; how do we fill them up with cause- less terrors ! Thus we consume our own comforts, and prey upon our truest pleasures. Whenwe might 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 always 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 cf 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 tribula- tion to patience, from thence to experience, and so to hope, and at last to glory. But the sufferings we make for our- selves are circular and endless, from sin to suffering, 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 suffering also : so that, _ex- cept we think God hath made us to be our own tormentors, we have small reason to nourish our fears =s auzr,. ncr are racy um, uocra u ....d<. r a A.,aua t As all our care 6f cannot make one hair white or black, nor add one cubit to our stature," so neither can our fear prevent our suffer- ings, 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 did ever avert it. It is true, a cautious fear concerning the danger after death hath profited man`, and is very useful to the preventing of that danger; but for a member of Christ, and an heir of heaven, to be afraid of entering 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 does the green blade of unrooted faith wither before the heat of persecution ? Fear of imprison- ment 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 multitude of unbelieving contrivances, and discontents