Tends to Life
By John Bunyan
Reprinted from: The Puritans, Edited by Randall J. Pederson, Christian Focus Publications
By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.
“By the fear of the LORD men depart from evil:” that is, in their judgment, will, mind, and affections; not, that by the fear of the Lord, sin is annihilated, or has lost its being in the soul; there still will be those Canaanites, but they are hated, loathed, abominated, fought against, prayed against, watched against, strove against, and mortified in the soul. This fear is called a fountain of life. “The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death” (Proverbs 14:27).
It is a fountain, or spring, which so continually supplies the soul with a variety of considerations of sin, of God, of death, and life eternal, as to keep the soul in continual exercise of virtue, and in holy contemplation.
It is a fountain of life; every operation thereof, every act and exercise thereof, has a true and natural tendency to spiritual and eternal felicity… “The fear of the Lord tendeth to life; and he that has it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil” (Proverbs 19:23).
It tends to life even as of nature; everything has a tendency to that which is most natural to itself, the fire to burn, the water to wet, the stone to fall, the sun to shine, and sin to defile. thus I say. the fear of the Lord tends to life; the nature of it is to put the soul upon fearing of God, of closing with Christ, and of walking humbly before Him. It is “a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.” What are the snares of death but sin, the wiles of the devil, and so on. From which the fear of God has a natural tendency to deliver you, and to keep you in the way that tends to life.