Why, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence…
A clock presents a beautiful emblem of Christianity. When in good order it is always going, and one wheel propels another and even so must true Christianity be in continual exercise, and every act of godliness make way for the next. As a clock, however, needs to be constantly inspected, and frequently set and cleaned, so God, in His faithfulness and long suffering, has continual work to do, amending, purifying, and regulating our Christianity.
(T. H. Leary, D. C. L.)
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.