The FISHERS Magazine (Issue 194)
“The fear of the Lord is clean” (Ps 19:9)
It is clean, first, subjectively, or in itself. Fear is a pure, crystal, orient grace: there is no spot in it. Second, it is clean effectively: it is a cleaner. Fear is a purifying grace. “Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and of the spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord” (2 Cor 7:1). These two go still together: “Fear the Lord, and depart from evil” (Prv 3:7). Yea, “The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death” (Prv 14:27); meaning either sin, which is a spiritual death, or damnation, which is an everlasting death. Again, “The fear of the Lord is to depart from evil” (Prv 8:13). The very definition of holy fear, consists in our abhorrence of that which is unholy. Once more, “By the fear of the Lord men depart from evil” (Prv 16:6). They depart from evil by the help of this good fear; - first, so as not to do what is forbidden; and, secondly, so as not to feel what is threatened. Fear is the bank, which keeps the black and dead sea of sin from overflowing. It is the golden bridle, which checks our head-strong lusts when they would either run us out of the straight way of life, or run us into the broad way of death and destruction.