Fear & Salvation

By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.
~ Hebrews 11:7-8

Thus did Moses: according to all that the LORD commanded him, so did he.
~ Exodus 40:16

What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.
~ Deuteronomy 12:32

Fear, Trouble and the Salvation of rhe Soul, by Jonathan Edwards. The following contains an excerpt from his work, “The Manner in Which the Salvation of the Soul is to be Sought”.

Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.

4. Sometimes the fear, trouble, and exercise of mind, which are undergone respecting this business, and the salvation of the soul, are great and long continued, before any comfort is obtained. Sometimes persons in this situation labor long in the dark, and sometimes, as it were, in the very fire, they having great distress of conscience, great fears, and many perplexing temptations, before they obtain light and comfort to make their care and labor more easy to them. They sometimes earnestly, and for a long time, seek comfort, but find it not, because they seek it not in a right manner, nor in the right objects. God therefore hides his face. They cry, but God doth not answer their prayers. They strive, but all seems in vain. They seem to themselves not at all to get forward, or nearer to a deliverance from sin: but to go backward, rather than forward. They see no glimmerings of light: things rather appear darker and darker. Insomuch that they are often ready to be discouraged, and to sink under the weight of their present distress, and under the prospect of future misery. In this situation, and under these views, some are almost driven to despair. Many, after they have obtained some saving comfort, are again involved in darkness and trouble. It is with them as it was with the Christian Hebrews, Heb. 10:32, “After ye were illuminated ye endured a great fight of afflictions. Some through a melancholy habit and distemper of body, together with Satan’s temptations, spend a great part of their lives in distress and darkness, even after they have had some saving comfort.

5. It is a business which, by reason of the many difficulties, snares, and dangers that attend it, requires much instruction, consideration, and counsel. There is no business wherein men stand in need of counsel more than in this. It is a difficult undertaking, a hard matter to proceed aright in it. There are ten thousand wrong ways, which men may take; there are many labyrinths wherein many poor souls are entangled and never find the way out ; there are many rocks on which thousands of souls have suffered shipwreck, for want of, having steered aright. Men of themselves know not how to proceed in this business, any more than the children of Israel in the wilderness knew where to go without the guidance, of the pillar of cloud and fire. There is great need that they search the Scriptures, and give diligent heed to the instructions and directions contained in them, as to a light shining in a dark place and that they ask counsel of those skilled in these matters. And there is no business in which men have so much need of seeking to God by prayer, for his counsel, and that he would lead them in the right way, and show them the strait gate. ” For strait is the gate and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it;” yea, there are none that find it without direction from heaven. The building of the ark was a work of great difficulty on this account, that Noah’s wisdom was not sufficient to direct him how to make such a building as should be a sufficient security against such a flood, and which should be a convenient dwelling-place for himself, his family, and all the various kinds of beasts and birds, and creeping things. Nor could he ever have known how to construct this building, had not God directed him.

6. This business never ends till life ends. They that undertake this laborious, careful, expensive, self-denying business, must not expect to rest from their labors, till death shall have put an end to them. The long continuance of the work which Noah undertook was what especially made it a great undertaking. This also was what made the travel of the children of Israel through the wilderness appear so great to them, that it was continued for so long a time. Their spirits failed, they were discouraged, and had not a heart to go through with so great an undertaking. But such is this business that it runs parallel with life, whether it be longer or shorter. Although we should live to a great age, our race and warfare will not be finished till death shall come. We must not expect that an end will be put to our labor, and care, and strife, by any hope of a good estate which we may obtain. Past attainments and past success will not excuse us from what remains for the future, nor will they make future constant labor and care unnecessary to our salvation.