“And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and sinner appear?”
(1st Peter 4:18)
The righteous are said to be “scarcely saved;” not with respect to certainty of the event, for the purpose of God in their favour cannot be disappointed, but with respect to their own apprehensions, and the great difficulties they are brought through. But when, after a long experience of their own deceitful hearts, after repeated proofs of their weakness, willfulness, ingratitude, and insensibility, they find that none of these things can separate them from the love of God in Christ, the Lord Jesus becomes more and more precious to their souls. They dare not, they will not ascribe anything to themselves, but are glad to acknowledge, that they must have perished (if possible) a thousand times over, if Christ had not been their Saviour, their Shepherd, and their Shield. When they were wandering He brought them back, when fallen He raised them, when wounded He healed them, when fainting He revived them. By Him, out of weakness they have been made strong: He has taught their hands to war, and covered their heads in the day of battle. In a word, some of the clearest proofs they have had of His excellence, have been occasioned by the mortifying proofs they have had of their own vileness. They would not have known so much of Him, if they had not known so much of themselves.