« PreviousContinue »
an account : that they may do it with joy, and not with grief : for that is unprofitable for you.
5. Seeing this is not the world in which we are always to live together, let us labour to improve our present day, that we may have a happy meeting in that day we are looking for. Whenever I speak in the name of Christ, o chat
may do it in the view and expectation of his appearing again, travelling in birth till Christ be formed in you: and may you, under the same apprehension, hear as for your lives and eternity : and as you are our hope now, may you be our joy in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at bis coming.
PHILIP. II. 12, 13.. ---Work out your own salvation with
fear and trembling. For it is God that worketh in you, both
to will and to do of his good pleasure.
T HESE words are an exhortation to that
which is our main business in this present world; The working out of our salvation; and to this as attended with a direction as to the manner of doing it, viz. with fear and trembling : both the one and the other is pressed with the most encouraging motive, For it is God that worketh in you, both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
There is no ground for despondency on one hand, nor for presumption on the other. The work is great and difficult; yet to carry you on in it, you may expect a power above your own: God worketh in you to will and to do. But herein he is a free Agent, and may cease when he pleafeth: wherefore work with fear and trembling ; for he worketh of, or according to his good pleaTure.
*Doct. The working out of our salvation is the
main business we have to do in this world : in which the confideration of God's free concur-, rence, bould engage us to labour with the
most serious diligence. In speaking to this, I shall endeavour to Thew, I. What is supposed in the command to work
out our salvation ? II. What is included in the salvation we are to
work out. III. What is implied in our working out this,
and doing it with fear and trembling. IV. That it is God that worketh in all that are
saved, both to will and to do, and this of his
good pleasure. V. The force of the reason from such a repre
sentation of the divine influence to quicken and engage us to set about our part with the
utmost diligence. Lastly, The application.
1. What is supposed in the command to work out our salvation? And here three things are obvious, viz. That we,
while in our natural state, are lost creatures, liable to perish for ever.
Our being enjoined to work out our salvation, speaks us antecedently to this, in a lapsed miserable state ; at present so, and in danger of one inconceivably worse, and that it is not with us now, as it was when men came first out of the hand of God. Man was then adorned with his Maker's image, happy in his love ; and had he preserved himself innocent, he had remained al
ways so. But Man being in Honour did not long abide fo: he soon finned and forfeited his hopes of heaven, lost the happiress he enjoyed upon earth, and laid himself open to an everlasting hell : intailing the same on all his offspring, who, as born in sin, are by nature children of wrath, doomed to it, and prepared for it.
Salvation, as now become needful, speaks the primitive law broken, grace and heaven lost, the foul and body defiled, and both under the sentence of death, the wages of sin. Our being bid to work out our salvation, supposes this to be our antecedent condition, which may well keep us humble as long as we live. It is supposed,
2. That there is a way open, by which we may be delivered from all that evil present and future, which fin deserves, and may be made partakers of the glory and blessedness revealed in the gospel, as purchased by the death of Christ, and promised for his fake to all that believe : for we had never been enjoined to work out our salvation, had we been left under an inevitable necessity of perishing.
This command of working out our salvation is given us after we have had an account of the Redeemer's sufferings, by which our salvation is obtained, and after his exaltation to the right-hand of God, in order to its being applied. This was the end of his being sent, God so loved the world, that he gave bis only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him, ji.culă not perish, but have everlasting life, John iii. 16.
Apoftate angels are utterly lost. No Saviour is provided for them, no falvation is obtainable
ut by them: they have no ground to expect it, or
encouragement to labouř after it. It would be
man is come into our world, to seek and to save hic
that which was loft, Luke xix. 10.
3. This farther is supposed, that God is very
I live, faith the Lord, I have no pleasure in the 61,
death of the wicked, but that he may turn from
and live. Turn ye, turn ye, for why
ye die, O house of Israel? i. e. Do not destroy your souls, after I have done so much for VOL. II.