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FEAR is the duty we owe to God, as being the God of power and justice, the great judge of

is the benefit of communication of our minds to others, that sorrows by being communicated grow less, and joys greater. And indeed, sorrow, like a stream, loses itself in many channels; and joy, like a ray of the sun, reflects with a greater ardour, and quickness, when it rebounds upon a man from the breast of his friend."


Upon counsel in judgment, see also the same sermon, in which he says: "The fifth advantage of friendship is counsel and advice. A man will sometimes need not only another heart, but also another head besides his own. In solitude there is not only discomfort, but weakness also. And that saying of the wise man, Eccles. iv. 10. Woe to him that is alone, is verified upon none so much, as upon the friendless person: when a man shall be perplexed with knots and problems of business and contrary affairs; where the determination is dubious, and both parts of the contrariety seem equally weighty, so that which way soever the choice determines, a man is sure to venture a great concern. happy then is it to fetch in aid from another person, whose judgment may be greater than my own, and whose concernment is sure not to be less! There are some passages of a man's affairs that would quite break a single understanding. So many intricacies, so many labyrinths are there in them, that the succours of reason fail, the very force and spirit of it being lost in an actual intention scattered upon several clashing objects at once; in which case the interposal of a friend is like the supply' of a fresh party to a besieged yielding city." In the conclusion of Bacon's Essay, he says: "After these two noble fruits of friendship, (peace in the affections, and support of the judgment), followeth the last fruit, which is like the pomegranate, full of many kernels; I mean, aid and bearing a part in all actions and occasions. How many things are there which a man cannot, with any face, or

heaven and earth, the avenger of the cause of widows, the patron of the poor, and the advocate

comeliness, say or do himself? A man can scarce allege his own merits with modesty," &c.

As to the duties of friendship, some of them are
Secrecy, which is the chastity of friendship ;-
Patience, with infirmity ;—" It endures all things."
Suspension of judgment ;- "It hopes all things."

Protection of children after his death.

"As to patience:"-" Do not think thou didst contract alliance with an angel, when thou didst take thy friend into thy bosom; he may be weak as well as thou art, and thou mayest need pardon as well as he."

Suspension of judgment: see South's sermon, where he says: "It is an imitation of the charities of heaven, which when the creature lies prostrate in the weakness of sleep, and weariness, spreads the covering night, and darkness over it, to conceal it in that condition; but as soon as our spirits are refreshed, and nature returns to its morning vigour, God then bids the sun rise, and the day shine upon us, both to advance and to shew that activity. It is the ennobling office of the understanding, to correct the fallacious and mistaken reports of sense, and to assure us that the staff in the water is straight, though our eye would tell us it is crooked. So it is the excellency of friendship to rectify, or at least to qualify the malignity of those surmises, that would misrepresent a friend, and traduce him in our thoughts. Am I told that my friend has done me an injury, or that he has committed any undecent action? why the first debt that I both owe to his friendship, and that he may challenge from mine, is rather to question the truth of the report, than presently to believe my friend unworthy. A friend will be sure to act the part of an advocate, before he will assume that of a judge."

"The last and most sacred duty of friendship is after we have stood upon the planks round his grave. When my friend is dead I will not turn into his grave and be stifled with his earth: but I will mourn for him and perform his will, and take care of his relatives, and do for him as if he were alive; and thus it is that friendships never die.”

of the oppressed, a mighty God and terrible. Fear is the great bridle of intemperance, the modesty of the spirit, and the restraint of gaieties and dissolutions; it is the girdle to the soul, and the handmaid to repentance, the arrest of sin; it preserves our apprehensions of the Divine Majesty, and hinders our single actions from combining to sinful habits; it is the mother of consideration, and the nurse of sober counsels. Fear is the guard of a man in the days of prosperity, and it stands upon the watch-towers and spies the approaching danger, and gives warning to them that laugh loud, and feast in the chambers of rejoicing, where a man cannot consider by reason of the noises of wine, and jest, and music; and if Prudence takes it by the hand and leads it on to duty, it is a state of grace, and a universal instrument to infant-religion, and the only security of the less perfect persons; and in all senses is that homage we owe to God, who sends often to demand it, even then when he speaks in thunder, or smites by a plague, or awakens us by threatenings, or discomposes our easiness by sad thoughts, and tender eyes, and fearful hearts, and trembling considerations.

Let the grounds of our actions be noble, beginning upon reason, proceeding with prudence, measured by the common lines of men, and confident upon the expectation of a usual Providence. Let us proceed from causes to effects, from natural means to ordinary events, and believe felicity not to be a chance but a choice;

and evil to be the daughter of sin and the divine anger, not of fortune and fancy. Let us fear God when we have made him angry; and not be afraid of him when we heartily and laboriously do our duty; and then fear shall be a duty, and a rare instrument of many: in all other cases, it is superstition or folly, it is sin or punishment, the ivy of religion, and the misery of an honest and a weak heart; and it is to be cured only by reason and good company, a wise guide and a plain rule, a cheerful spirit and a contented mind, by joy in God according to the commandments, that is, a rejoicing evermore.


The illusions of a weak piety or an unskilful confident soul, fancy to see mountains of difficulty, but touch them and they seem like clouds riding upon the wings of the wind, and put on shapes as we please to dream. He that denies to give alms for the fear of being poor, or to entertain a disciple for fear of being suspected of the party he that takes part of the intemperance because he dares not displease the company, or in any sense fears the fears of the world and not the fear of God; this man enters into his portion of fears betimes, but it will not be finished to eternal ages. To fear the censures of men when God is your judge; to fear their evil when God is your defence; to fear death when he is the entrance to life and felicity, is unreasonable and pernicious. But if you will turn your passion into duty, and joy and security, fear to offend God, to enter voluntarily into temptation:

fear the alluring face of lust, and the smooth entertainments of intemperance: fear the anger of God when you have deserved it; and when you have recovered from the snare, then infinitely fear to return into that condition, in which whosoever dwells is the heir of fear and eternal sorrow.*


I HAVE seen the rays of the sun or moon dash upon a brazen vessel, whose lips kissed the face of those waters that lodged within its bosom; but being turned back and sent off, with its smooth pretences or rougher waftings, it wandered about the room and beat upon the roof, and still doubled its heat and motion. So is sickness and a sorrow entertained by an unquiet and discontented


Nothing is more unreasonable than to entangle our spirits in wildness and amazement, like a partridge fluttering in a net, which she breaks. not, though she breaks her wings.+


SINCE all the evil in the world consists in the disagreeing between the object and the appetite, as when a man hath what he desires not, or de

Sermon on Godly Fear; Serm. ix. part 3. + Holy Dying, chap. 3.


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