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and on the edge of dreadful precipices, when by losing his hold or taking one wrong step he should fall and be dashed in pieces in a moment, unless prevented by his guide, making use of the strong cord when his patron was out of fight. Thus he went on in the exercise of conftant care and watchfulness, and incessant exertion, taking heed that every step of his Rould be according to the direction of his leader; and found that the efforts which he made to resist the wild beasts of

prey, which continually fought to devour him, were effectual to make them fly from him, and thus he kept himself from their deadly touch. And the farther he went, he became more afraid of displeasing his guide, who was so worthy, kind and condescending; and increased in a sense of his danger if left to himself, and the certainty and dreadfulness of the destruction which would in that case await him; confiding altogether in the power, wisdom, truth and goodness of his patron. He sometimes in a measure forgot his own weakness, and constant dependence on his patron, and attempted to stand and walk in his own strength; but this always cost him dear ; for when he thought thus to stand, he certainly fell, and it proved the occasion of ihame and humiliation. And he made many wrong steps, which he knew was offensive to his patron, which filled him with shame and pain, and served to increase self-abhorrence and diffidence in himself. Thus he went on through all the difficulties and dangers of the way, in fear and trembling, increasing in felf-diffidence and humility, and in his humble dependence and trust in his able, faithful pztron, till he came to the promised land of safety and rest, where he is to live a happy and endless life.

From the whole which has been faid in the description of fear and trembling, the result is, that it coniiits most essentially in Christian humility and poverty of {pirit, in a sense of their own weakness, and insufficiency to work out their own salvation, and a humble trust in God for his constant, powerful energy on their hearts, disposing and prompting them effectually to will and to

do

do all that they must will and do in order to be faved; together with all those views and exercises which are implied in this, according to the various objects in their fight, and the circumftances with which they are at. tended. This is essential to the life of all Christians, and to the exercise of every Christian grace; and the more they have of this, the stronger and more beautiful Chriftians they are. Thus the apostle Paul worked out his own falvation with fear and trembling, while confident and assured of the favour and love of God, and of eternal life. He felt himself to be nothing but weakness, while he was strong in the Lord; to be less than the least of all faints, and that he was nothing, and the chief of winners. He felt that all his fufficiency was of God; that by his grace working effectually in him, he was what he was, and did what he did in the Christian life. Well might he then recommend this fear and trembling to all Christians, as effential to their character, without which all their attempts to work out their own salvation would be in vain, and end in fad disappointment.

And if this Apoftle did work out his falvation with fear and trembling, then the greatest and most afsured Chriftian does not get beyond or above this; but the more he has of it, the greater is his ftrength and excellence. This has been in fome measure kept in view through the whole of this description of fear and trem·bling. And the Christian who has not an affurance of his falvation, but at times is in great doubts whether he be a real Christian or not; though he may differ in fome respects in his views, feelings and exercises from the assured Christian, yet he is working out his falvation with this fame fear and trembling which the afsured Christian has, while he is attended with many doubts and fears, which perfect, or a more ftrong love would cast out.

From the foregoing view of fear and trembling, it appears to consist in a disposition and exercises of heart which are in direct opposition to a self-righteous fpirit,

or

or a trust and confidence in ourselves, relying on our own strength and sufficiency to work out our own falvation, depending on this as a righteousness to recommend to divine favour. They who are of this difpofition depend on themselves to move first, and set themfelves to work out their own salvation, hoping for all the favour they think they want, as the consequence of their thus working, and out of regard to it. This evil disposition, which is contrary to the nature of Christian exercises, our Saviour sets in a clear and striking light in the character and conduct of the pharisee, who applies to God in a confidence in his own sufficiency and righteousness, trusting in himself that he is righteous, valuing himself on his own supposed good character, and despising others. The publican is an instance of humble fear and trembling.

Sermon XII.

TW.

Phil. ii. 12, 13. Work out your own salvation with fear

and trembling : for it is God who worketh in you, both to

will and to do, of his good pleasure. III. THE next thing proposed is, to consider and show

what is the meaning of God's working in Christians both to will and to do of his good pleasure. This may be done by attending to the following parti. culars.

1. Working in men to will and to do, must intend more than affording them external means and advantages, and urging them by external motives to will and to do; for this cannot with any propriety be called working in them, when all that is supposed to be done is done out of them and externally. Some have supa posed this to be all the meaning of these words ; not

because

Cc

ous.

because it is the natural meaning of them, for it is a forced meaning; but because they think man needs no more to be done for him in order to his working out his own salvation, and that any thing more, and an immediate operation on the will, is inconsistent with his liberty, and his actions being his own, or really virtu

But the absurdity of all this has been often ful. ly shewn, and will appear before this subject is finished. It is sufficient to observe here, that to say that an operation on the human heart which effectually influences men to will and to do, that is, to act voluntarily, and consequently freely, is inconsistent with their acting voluntarily, and willing and doing any thing in the exercise of all the liberty which can in nature exist or be conceived of, is inconsistent with human liberty, is as flat and palpable a contradiction as can be made. If to work in men so as effectüally to prevent their willing and doing in any particular instance, be inconsistent with their having or exercising any freedom in that instance, then working in them so as effectually to make them will and do in that instance, or any other, is to promote their liberty, and cause them to act freely. And to say that what men do voluntarily is not in ali cases their own act and deed, is to say that men are not capable of doing any thing which is their own act; for they can do nothing but what they do voluntarily, and the stronger and the more forcibly the motives are im. pressed on their minds to induce them to will and act, the more freely they act, and the more fensibly are their choice and actions their own, and the more virtuous they are, if agrecable to the truth.

This does not mean any divine operation on man, which respects his willing and doing, of which willing and doing is not the certain consequence, and which therefore is consistent with his not willing and doing. Tor any divine operation in man, of which his willing and doing is not the effect, is not working in him to will and to do; because, notwithstanding such operation, he is left fort of willing and doing To work in

men

2.

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men to will and to do, is to do that which is effectual to produce the will and the deed, so that there is a certain connection between the former and the latter. And this is the import of the original word here translated worketh. It fignifies, to operate with energy, and effectually to accomplish the end, and produce the willing and doing

That working in men to will which leaves them short of willing, is the same with working in them to will, if they will, which is talking most absurdly. Men are always able to will, if they will, and need no special assistance or influence on them to will what they will, or if they will, which is the fame. If men are willing, or do will

, they have no need of any operation or assistance to make them willing; for this they have already by the supposition; for they at all times can will, if they will. There can therefore be no such operation ; and any supposed afistance or working in them which leaves them not actually willing or doing is not working in them to will and to do.

3. God worketh in Christians to will and to do, by giving them the powerful influences of his Spirit, with out which they would neither will nor do those things by which they work out their own salvation, and which are effectual to cause them to will and do them; there being a certain and infallible connection of one with the other.

Men are naturally, while wholly destitute of such in fluences, not only entirely destitute of all inclination to every thing that is truly virtuous and holy, but their hearts or wills are obftinately set in them to do evil, and they run swiftly on with all their hearts towards de struction ; and they go on in this course until God changes their hearts, by taking away the heart of stone, the obstinate, rebellious heart, and giving them a new heart, a humble, obedient heart, and thus makes them willing to obey him, in the day of his power, or by his omnipotent energy on their hearts.' And when he has begun this great and good work in any whom he pleas

1

es,

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