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FEAR CAST OUT BY LOVE.pdf

FEAR CAST OUT BY LOVE.pdf

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY SAMUEL COX



" There is no fear in love ; but perfect love casteth out fear,
because fear hath torment : he that fcareth is not made perfect
in love."— I John iv. i8.
BY SAMUEL COX



" There is no fear in love ; but perfect love casteth out fear,
because fear hath torment : he that fcareth is not made perfect
in love."— I John iv. i8.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Nov 09, 2013
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FEAR CAST OUT BY LOVE.BY SAMUEL COX" There is no fear in love ; but perfect love casteth out fear,because fear hath torment : he that fcareth is not made perfectin love."— I John iv. i8.I. It is almost impossible for any man, however constantand brave of spirit, to enter into lontj and intimate com-munion with Nature without feehng some touch of fear,and even of that fear which hath torment. When wewander, alone, through some vast forest or pathless desert ;when we arc tossed on a raging and tumultuous sea,buffeted by fierce winds and drenched by waves whichthreaten to engulph us ; when, far from all shelter, thestorm beats down upon us, and the lightning stabs, andthe thunder peals and roars above our heads ; when wecreep along the dizzy edge of a precipice where onefalse step would be fatal, and the stones dislodged byour feet plunge into unknown depths : whenever, inshort, we stand among the wilder and grander scenesof Nature, we become aware of forces in it so vast, sopotent, so irresistible, that they may well move us toFEAR CAST OUT BY LOVE. 365wonder and to fear. To many, no doubt, the beauty orthe magnificence of the scenes on which they look provesan ample compensation for the fatigues and perils theyencounter ; and in some, doubtless, the call made ontheir energies by every new emergency as it arrives, andthe triumphant consciousness of difficulties battled withand overcome, kindle an excitement in which, for themost part, all sense of fear is lost. But the boldest man,and the man of steadiest nerve, have moments, even in
 
their waking hours, in which a thrill of awe or terrorruns through their frame ; and at night, when in theirdreams they are for ever sinking in the wave, or slippingdown a crevasse, or falling from a ledge, Nature takesan ample revenge on them for having steeled their heartagainst her threats and frowns.There is no need to argue the point, however ; for therecognition of a something fierce, cruel, ruthless andterrible in Nature is a characteristic note of our recentliterature. And, indeed, some of our ablest thinkersand writers are so impressed by it that they find it im-possible to accept the world as the handiwork of a Beinginfinitely wise and good. The Maker of the universe,they argue, either did not foresee all the results of hiscreative work, all that would come of it, and so was notperfectly wise ; or, if He did, and yet had the heart tomake a world so full of peril and misery. He could onlybe of a limited and imperfect goodness.How, then, is this fear, which hath torment, to be castout ? How may we come to walk amid the vast physicalforces, of which we seem to be the sport, with a calm366 FEAR CAST OUT BY LOVE.and collected spirit ? Love casts out fear, replies St. John,and love alone. And is not his reply confirmed by-reason and experience } Do we not daily see how eventhe most timid and defenceless creatures grow bold indefence of the offspring they love and cherish .'' Do notmen and women daily encounter deadly imminent risksfor the love they bear each other 1 If, then, we wouldkeep a composed and fearless heart when we stand faceto face with Nature in her wildest and fiercest moods,we must know and believe the love of Him by whomall things were made and by whom they are controlled.So long as we conceive of heat and cold, wind and
 
tempest, torrent and avalanche, earthquake and pestilence,as the products offerees which He either cannot or doesnot care to control, but leaves to work out their own will,we cannot have boldness in any day of trial ; our enjoy-ment of the most sublime scenes will be marred by asense of helplessness and insecurity : for what is ourstrength as measured against the forces everywhere atwork around us .? Our fear will only be cast out as welearn to conceive of God as a friendly and all-pervadingPresence, and as ruling all things according to thegood pleasure of his will. But if we love Him, andknow that He loves us, how can we fear anything thatHe may do }And have we not abundant warrant for so conceivingof Him ? Even if we limit our thoughts to the naturalworld, which is so capable of exciting terror in thestoutest breast, yet is not this world favourable andkindly to us on the whole } Is not Nature at least muchFEAR CAST OUT BY LOVE. 367more our friend than our enemy ? Could men havesubsisted, and multiplied, and replenished the earththrough so many centuries, if the main forces andoperations of Nature had been unpropitious and un-friendly to them ? Do not even what seem to us themost fierce and cruel of its moods betray some kindnessfor us, and confer some benefits upon us ? Do not itsvery storms and tempests, its rains and floods, purifythe air or fertilize the earth, or brace the nerves of menand develop their courage and resources ?No doubt something — much — is still left to faith.There are some physical calamities and catastrophesin which as yet we can read no gracious intention.But, for all that, faith is no mere leap in the dark. Ittakes its stand on ascertained and verified facts. It

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