A lion is much more dreadful to him that never saw him, than he is to his keeper who feedeth him every day. A pitched battle is more frightful and scaring to a new-listed soldier, that never took his place in the field before, nor saw the dreadful countenance of an army ready to engage, nor heard the thundering noise of cannon, and volleys of shot, the shouts of armies, and groans of dying men on every side, than it is to an old soldier who has been used to such things. The like we may observe in seamen, who it may be trembled at first, and now can sing in a storm. Scarce any thing is more necessary for weak and timorous believers to meditate on, than the time of their separation. Our hearts will be apt to start and boggle at the first view of death; but it is good to do by them as men use to do by young colts; ride them up to that which they fright at, and make them smell to it, which is the way to cure them. Look, as bread, says one, is more necessary than other food, so the meditation of death is more necessary than many other meditations. Every time we change our habitations, we should realise therein our great change: our souls must shortly leave this, and be lodged for a longer season in another mansion. When we put off our clothes at night, we have a fit occasion to consider, that we must strip nearer one of these days, and put off, not our clothes only, but the body that wears them too.
It is a common thing for men to benumb their own arms, and make them as dead and useless by leaning too much upon them: so it is in a moral as well as a natural way: all the prudence and pains in the world avail nothing without God. So saith the Psalmist, in Psalm cxxvii. 2.