Why, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence…
The face of the helmsman in coming down the rapids of the St. Lawrence in the great vessel is a sight to see. He takes in, as it were, all the conditions of the case, in one inevitable glance — the bank; the bend; the shallowing or deepening bed; the amount of way on the vessel; the hurry of the waters; the calm spread of the deep river lying like a peaceful haven yonder in the distance! There he stands — fearful, yet firm — distrustful, yet confident — until the danger is past. With a similar feeling — not slavishly afraid — but intent, earnest, bending all the powers in concentrated effort towards the ultimate object — so "work out your salvation."
(A. Raleigh, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.