In chapter 3, Franck gives 75 observations on the effect of fear of man. Below, I have tried to organize and summarize his argument.


Of the signs and effects which discover the fear of man

1 “A fearful man knows to do good, but doth it not, for fear of incurring the hatred and enmity of others.” His who desire is to not be separated from the common opinion or the crowd. He will always be a “coward.”

a He will be reluctant to be “convinced of the truth,” for fear of consequences.

b If convinced,

i He will keep quiet among those who don’t approve.

ii He will only speak among those who do approve. He makes sure not to be seen which such people, when others who may disapprove are bout.

iii He will always be primarily concerned with those around him.

c In conflict, the fearful man will always seek to use arguments which will be acceptable to those who already disavow the Word of God. He will not trust the Word of God to be sufficient to defend him (and itself).

2 This fearfulness will make him reluctant to learn, because he doesn’t want to even consider things which might cause him trouble.

3 This fear also makes him restrain his judgments and match the culture: even when the culture is wrong. This leads him to be in places and positions which are not fitting.

a If he does address a wrong, he will only do so among those who cannot respond to him.

b It will also lead him to gossip and speaking behind another’s back.

c He trusts more in political power than in the power of God.

d He won’t address problems with other ministers who hold to popular if untruthful positions.

4 He will also seek to limit others to that which is safe.

5 If you put this man in a pulpit, he will be “like a fox” and always be looking for some sort of “escape” so that he cannot be caught in an unpleasant place.

a “Being got into the pulpit, he reproves and exclaims boldly; but he denies that in so doing he meant any particular person.”

b “He saith always with the slothful, “There is a lion in the way;” for he fears, should he alter anything of long received customs, he might bring himself into trouble.”

c So he is always hedging his position with this and that opinion. He must also avoid to clear an application, for fear it might give offense to someone.

d Being fearful, he can never set anything aright, because he has already compromised in so many places.

6 His fearfulness of words leads to fear in actions. He will not do things which might cause a stir – unless he has enough social backing to make it safe. He will complain or excuse that this is “not the right time.”

7 He uses a false concern for “peace” or “prudence” as an excuse to avoid the truth and its effects. This also makes him a false or inconstant friend.

8 “He is afraid of burning his fingers, and therefore rather employeth another to do it for him: he makes the arrows, but others must shoot them.”

9 “He is very apt to believe any false reports against the faithful children of God; and because his heart is tossed with fear, he is very forward in warning them to take heed to themselves, and by his imprudence damps and stifles the cheerfulness of their holy faith.”