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SERM. III. This Work must be performed X. with Fear and Trembling ; not such a

Navish Fear and Dread of missing Salvation, as would take away all the Comfort and Happiness of our Lives, and, through Fear of Death, make us, all our Life-time, subječt unto Bondage ; but a filial and more generous Fear, which proceeds from a serious Sense and Awe of God's Divine Majesty, and the Confideration of his glorious Attributes, his Holiness, Mercy, and Goodness; which will convince us how

great an Evil it is, to lose God's Favour, and the Light of his Countenance, and to incur his Anger and Displeasure ; this will discover itself by an humble Temper of Mind, and meek Frame of Spirit, fensible of its own Frailty and Sinfulness, and how insufficient it is to perfevere in the Way of God's Commandments, without the Help and Assistance of God's good Grace ; and how apt we are to swerve aside, and to go aftray from his Commandments. Such a filial Fear as this will incline us to flee unto God for Help and Aslistance, that we may grapple with all our spiritual Enemies; and, the more we thus fear, the more we shall put our Trust in God, like a Child in its Mother's

Arms,

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Arms, the more it is afraid, the faster it SERM. clasps about her.

X. That this is the true Meaning of this Expression in the Text will appear, if we consider that this Phrase is thus expounded in other Places of the Holy Scripture : Serve the Lord with Fear, and rejoice be- Pf. ii. u. fore him with Trembling; where, it is plain, that such a Fear is here denoted, as is reconcileable with Rejoicing; and therefore, it cannot be meant of Fear, properly so called, but only of an humble and meek Temper of Mind, a Sense of our own Frailties, and a Distrust of our own Abilities to perform the Will of God. And thus, speaking of Titus, he says, His in- 2 Cor. vif. ward Affection was more abundant toward 15. them, whilst be remembred their Obedience, how with Fear and Trembling they received him : And, I was with you in Weakness and 1 Cor. ii. Fear, and in much Trembling. Thus the 3. Apostle commands Servants to be obedient Eph. vi. to their Masters with Fear and Trembling,.s

. and Singleness of Heart; in all which Places, Fear and Trembling, must denote, an humble and teachable Disposition of Mind, sensible of its own Wants and Infirmities, and defirous of being bettered and informed ; and, that this is the Meaning of the Apofile, will appear, because

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SERM, his Design, in this Chapter, is to recomX. mend Humility, as appears by the Verses before the Text; and to this End he exhorts them to fear and tremble.

But though this was the main Design of the Apostle, yet something farther was intended; and this Expression of Fear and Trembling doth denote, moreover, the utmost Caution and Diligence imaginable, in the leading our Lives and Conversations according to the Will of God, and a solicitous Care to avoid every Thing which has the Appearance of Evil, or is displeasing in the Sight of God; and though we cannot do this by our own Strength and Power, though we have no Ability to do any good Work, though our Strength is, at best, but Weakness, and our best Performances tainted with Sin; yet we are assured in the Text, that God will work in us both to will and do, of bis good PleaJure, i.e.

IV. THAT he will assist our weak Endeavours with his almighty Arm, that he will incite good Desires in our Souls, and cherish the first Beginnings of Virtue; he, that fows the good Seed in our Hearts, will not with-hold the former or the latter Rain, i. e. he will afford us 'every Thing which is necessary to make it fruit-SERM. ful and prolific.

X. AND thus having explained to you the Phrases made Use of in the Text, it will plainly appear, that the Meaning of the Words is this, viz.

That it ought to be the Endeavour of every good Christian, to gain the Favour of God and the comfortable Hopes of Happiness hereafter, by mortifying his Lusts, and restrining his disorderly Pasfions, and leading an holy, pious, and devout Life: Anger Alugh this is a very difficult Talk, yet no Man has Reason to be discouraged from setting about it; because God, from whom are the Preparations of the Heart, has promised to bestow on him a sufficient Measure of his Grace; and he, who makes Use of that Grace which God gives him, shall, from Time to Time, be furnished with a farther Supply; and, in all his Trials and Afflictions, God will never leave nor forsake him, till Patience has had its perfect Work.

The Words, thus understood, will afford us these following Observations :

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I. THAT the Working out our Salvation

doth require a great deal of Pains and Diligence. And yet,

II. THAT

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SERM. II. THAT every good Christian has sufX. ficient Encouragement to set about

it. III. WHAT those Means are which we

ought to make use of, in order to perform this difficult Task.

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1. That the Working out our Salvation doth require a great deal of Pains and Diligence. This we are taught in the Text, when we are commanded to work out our Salvation, and to do it with Fear and Trembling ; and thos, En other Places of the Holy Writ, the Christian Life is compared to a Race, and to a Warfare ; all which are figurative Expressions which imply the Difficulty of the Talk, and the great Diligence and Industry which is to be made Use of in the Performance of it. And of this there can be no Question with any one who considers with himself,

1. What every good Christian and regenerate Person doth oblige himself to perform. Let us suppose that he doth understand the Principles of the Christian Religion, and has been instructed and catechised in the true Faith ; let us suppose, that he gives his firm Afsent to all the Articles of his Creed, and that he knows

and

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