OUR SALVATIO WROUGHT OUT WITH FEAR AD TREMBLIG.
ROBERT GORDO, D. D.PHIL. ii. 12.Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling^It may perhaps be supposed, that in ilhistratingso plain and solemn an admonition as that con-tained in the text, it is only necessary to remindthose whom we address, of the magnitude and im-portance of the work which the apostle urgesupon the Philippians, and to state the considera-tions by which his admonition is enforced. I ampersuaded, however, that there are few passagesof Scripture that are more liable to be misunder-stood, than this very sentence, and few, therefore,that require a more careful examination, to ascer-tain the precise import of the language which theapostle employs. The man who, in the pride of self-righteousness, takes a survey of the many vir-tues, by which his character has been dignified436 OUR SALVATIO WROUGHT OUT SER. 21.and adorned, and flattering himself that these vir-tues will be found immeasurably to outweighwhat he calls the failings and imperfections of his nature, confidently calculates on acquittal inthe day of reckoning, will be ready to urge theadmonition in our text in defence of his scheme,and to allege, that it recognises man's own righte-ousness, as the ground of his acceptance in thesight of God. In like manner, the perplexed in-quirer, who, from a misapprehension of the na-ture of the gospel, and in the despondency of a false humility, is laboriously striving to si-