We must shape not in our fancies such troubles as are never likely to fall out. It comes either from weakness or guiltiness, to fear shadows. We shall not need to make crosses; they will, as we say of foul weather, come before they be sent for. How many evils do people fear, from which they have no further hurt than what is bred only by their causeless fears! Nor yet, if they be probable, must we think of them so as to be altogether so affected, as if undoubtedly they would come, for so we give certain strength to an uncertain cross, and usurp upon God, by anticipating that which may never come to pass. It was rashness in David to say, “I shall one day perish by the hand of Saul” (1 Sam 27:1).

—Richard Sibbes
Adapted from The Complete Works of Richard Sibbes, 1:163.


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