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they are accepted in all their holy exercises and works, and their fins are pardoned, and through his righteousness they receive the reward of eternal life. This every Christian feels constantly, and acknowledges to be true with regard to himself, while he is with the greatest care and diligence working out his own salvation.

II. Christians do not work out their own salvation in their own strength, but by the special and constant affistance and powerful influences of the Spirit of God, by which they are made ftrong in the Lord and in the power of his might. Christians are in themselves altogether unequal to this work, being nothing but weakness and insufficiency: it is infinitely too great and arduous for them : they depend entirely and constantly on the grace and aslistance of God, in order to do any thing effectually towards it. This is abundantly declared in the scripture. Christ tells his disciples, “ Without me ye can do nothing." And he said to the apostle Paul, “ My grace is fufficient for thee : for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” Paul therefore dared to say, “ I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me. For when I am weak, then am I strong. By the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace, which was bestowed upon me, was not in vain, but I laboured more abundantly than they all : yet not l, but the grace of God which was with me.” According to our text, it is God who worketh in them both to will and to do this great work which is before them. Without his energy, and constant effectual operation on their hearts, they would not take one step in this work, or put forth any act of will towards it.

act of will towards it. But this will be more particularly considered, in further attending to this subject.

III. This work is as neceffary to be done in order to salvation, as it would be if men obtained a title to falvation by thus working, and merited it by their good works. Though men are not saved by or for their holinefs, yet holiness is as neceffary to salvation, as if they were ; for deliverance from fing and turning from it,

and

and the exercise of holiness, is essential to falvation, as the latter can have no existence without the former. It is as neceffary that men should be holy in order to falvation, as it would be were they to obtain a title to it and merit it by their holiness and good works ; for it still remains true, that without holiness no man shall see the Lord, or enjoy salvation. But to be holy and exercise holiness, is to work out salvation, in the sense of the text, and as it has been now described.

The moral inability of man to exercise holiness, and go on to perfection in holiness of himself, does not make it in any degree less neceffary that he thould be holy.in order to be happy; and therefore not the less necessary that in order to be holy men should be active and work; for that men should live a holy life, or be holy, without working, or the exercise of holiness, is a contradiction.

IV. Though men are morally unable to work out their own salvation of themselves, but depend on God for assistance and grace, by which he worketh in them both to will and to do it; yet it is not only as neceffary they fhould do these works, but they are as much their own works and actions, as if they did them of themselves, without any aflístance and powerful, effe&tuall influence from God. God's aflifting men to do these works, does not make them the lefs man's own exercises and works, than if they did them without any assistance. Every act of any person's will or choice, and all the defigned attendants and consequences of such a volition, are his own exercises and actions, and it is impossible it should be otherwise, whatever influences he is the sub- , ject of in order to his thus willing and acting. Whatever a man wills, and does in the execution of his will, are bis own exercises of will, and his own actions, and cannot be otherwise ; and to assert the contrary is always an untruth, and a palpable contradiction.

It would be needless to make this observation, were it

not that some have been so thoughtless and absurd, however learned and judicious in other matters, as to

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say, that if God worketh in men to will and to do, so that their choice and doing is the effect of what God does work in them, then it is God who wills and does, and not man ; and if there be any virtue or goodness in what is done, it is the virtue and goodness of God, and not man's. But this is manifestly most absurd, and contrary to the reason and common sense of mankind; for they feel and know that every thing which men will and do is their own choice and deed, and not of any other; and that, whatever induced them thus to will and do; and that it is as much their own act and deed, as if they had done it without any such influence. And if what they do be right and virtuous, it is as much their own virtue and goodness, as it could be if they had done it without any influence or assistance from others.

Upon the whole, to conclude this head, it appears that Christians have a great work to do, which is absolutely necessary, in order to be saved, in which they must be active, must will and do it. And this is to perfect holiness in the fear of God, and work out their own salvation with fear and trembling. And this is the work spoken of in the text ; a description of which has been attempted in the preceding discourse : which may God bless to the benefit of all who shall give to it a proper attention. AMEN.

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Phil: ii. 12, 13. Work out your own falvation with fear : and trembling : for it is God who worketh in you, both to will and to do, of his good pleasure. N attending to these words it has been attempted to

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working out their own salvation. This has been endea

voured in the preceding discourses. It is now proposed,

II. To consider what is meant by their doing this with fear and trembling.

It is of importance to observe here, and let it be kept in view, that this paffage of scripture cannot be under: {tood, and the true sense of it given, unless the real mean{ng of these words be properly ascertained, and fixed in our minds : for they are really the key by which alone the meaning of the whole paffage is opened, and without which the true intent and force of these words of the Apostle cannot be perceived. This, it is expected, will be made to appear before the subject is dismissed; and is a reason why these words should be examined with particular care and attention, that the true import of them may not be overlooked, and they be taken in a wrong fense, but the true meaning of them be known and fixed.

The drift and force of the exhortation of the apostle is not merely to work out their own salvation, but has a principal and chief respect to the manner of doing this, which is expreffed in the words, “With fear and trembling." Therefore in these words is contained an

of the exhortation ; and to this part, which points out the manner and only way in which they could work out their own salvation, the following words do wholly refer, as an argument to enforce it : “For it is God who worketh in you both to will and to do, of his good pleasure." This is a reafon, not merely why they should work out their own salvation, but why they should do this with fear and trembling, as the only way in which it could be done. Whatever men may do, and however much and great pains and labour they may take in working out their falvation; yet if they do not this with fear and trembling, they will fail of obtaining falvation. This points out the only way to heaven. But this will be more particularly considered and illustrated in the prosecution of this fubject.

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The following particulars will serve to lead to the true meaning of fear and trembling.

1. These words must intend something which is right and becoming all Christians at all times, while they are working out their own salvation. It is what is essential to all truly Christian grace and exercises, and belongs to the beauty and excellence of their character: and as they cannot be real Christians and live as such without it, so the more they have of it, the better and more ftrong and excellent Christians they are. If this were not fo, the Apostle would not have exhorted them, and 'confequently all Christians, at all times and in all 'ages, thus to work out their own salvation. It would be injurious and absurd to suppose that he exhorted to those exercises and that practice which are not virtuous and excellent, and becoming all Christians, at all times, as their indispensable duty, in which they are bound to excel, and cannot be practifed to excess. This obfervation, of the truth of which none can doubt, will help to shew what is not intended by fear and trembling here, viz. all those exercises which are wrong, or are a blemish and imperfection in the character of a Christian. Thefe muft all be excluded, and will lead to the observations following:

2. The Apostle does not exhort Chriftians to work out their own salvation under the influence of a fervile, plavilh fear of God, in which no true love is implied, but is contrary to a spirit of love. This is sometimes meant by fear in the scriptures, and is condemned as contrary to a Chriftian fpirit of love and true obedience. This Apostle fays to Christians, “ Ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear ; but ye have receivcd the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba Father. God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, of love and of a found mind :” [Roin. viii. -15; 2 Tim.

He therefore certainly did not exhort Christians * The word in the original, translated fear, 2 Tim. i. 7, is deilias, which is not the word commonly used for fear, and the most proper "meaning of it is cowardice.

to

i. 7.]

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