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By the Law, sinners must be led to the brink of Jordan; but by the Gospel, they must be carried over Jordan into the promised land of spiritual rest, the earnest and foretaste of heavenly bliss.

It is delightful to observe the wisdom of our Lord; how exactly he suited his counsel to the various states of mankind. The secure and presumptuous he sent to the Law, that they might be humbled. To the contrite and penitent, he preached the Gospel, that they might be comforted. When the rich Pharisee, full of self-conceit, said, "Good Master, what good thing shall I do that I have eternal life?" The answer was, may "If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments."

When the broken-hearted woman fell at his feet, and spoke in tears the guilt of her life, and the anguish of her soul; "Thy sins are forgiven," was the gracious reply.

Thus the wisdom of God shines forth in all his dispensations. The Law gives us the shadow of good things to come; the Gospel reflects their image more distinctly; while in heaven they will be viewed in the perfection of beauty, and be revealed in the saints, in all their fulness of glory.






DISINTERESTEDNESS forms a beautiful feature in the character of St. Paul.

It is the appointment of God, that they who preach the Gospel should live of the Gospel; as the Jewish priests, who ministered about holy things, lived of the things of the temple.

It is also due from a principle of equity, that those who devote their time and talents for the spiritual good of others, should be preserved, by a suitable maintenance, from those anxieties and cares which necessarily attend worldly business.

This equitable provision is clearly ordained of God, both under the Old and New Testament dispensations, that the faithful minister may be enabled, with more unfettered spirit, to pursue the arduous labours of his office. 66 "If," says the Apostle, “we have sown unto you spiritual things, s it a great thing, if we shall reap your carnal things? Let him that is taught in the word, com

municate unto him that teacheth, in all good things."

When Paul succeeded, through the grace of God, in forming a church, both Jews and Gentiles instantly united to crush this little company of believers; while some accused him of self-interested motives, as if he only sought a livelihood among the newly converted heathen.

This accusation led him to refuse repeated offers of assistance, that he might cut off occasion from them who thus desired an occasion to misre

present him. He therefore said to the elders of Ephesus "I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel. Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me."

Though he had a full right, as a minister of Christ, to the support of Christian believers, for whose sake he expended all his strength, yet from the peculiar state of the infant Church, he made this disinterested declaration: "I have used none of these things: neither have I written these things that it should be so done unto me: for it were better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void. For though I preach the Gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the Gospel."

Nothing could be farther removed from the heart of the Apostle than self-seeking, and the love of what he designated filthy lucre. The man who could "I die daily; say: whose desire was to depart, and to be with Christ; whose affections

were set on things above; and whose life was hid with Christ in God: would feel no hankering after the perishing honours and riches of the world.

His appeal to the church of Corinth is a striking specimen of that eloquence of the heart, which flows from a feeling of conscious integrity: "What is it, wherein ye were inferior to other churches, except it be, that I myself was not burdensome to you? Forgive me this wrong. Behold the third time, I am ready to come to you, and I will not be burdensome to you; for I seek not yours, but you; for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children. And I will very gladly spend, and be spent for you, though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved."

Nothing, but the power of the Spirit of Christ, could have produced a feeling so completely opposed to every principle of our fallen


"I will very gladly spend, and be spent for you," is the language of warm affection. It is the expression of an entire surrender of ourselves for the good of those whom we tenderly love; as the Apostle said to the Philippians: "If I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy and rejoice with you all; for the same cause also, do ye joy and rejoice with me." But to say: "I will very gladly spend and be spent for you, though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved,”—is a glorious triumph over the pride and selfishness of the human heart.

O! that we could see among professing Christians, more of this unwearied, this disinterested love. To possess this grace is to resemble Christ, who went about doing good, even to the evil and unthankful; who prayed for his enemies; who laid down his life for his murderers; and who hath left us an example that we should follow his steps.

Without this heavenly principle of love, which suffereth long and is kind, we shall soon grow weary in well-doing, especially, if our labours be requited with ingratitude. To retaliate injuries is the work of pride; to bear them meekly, is the fruit of humility. He, who is saved by infinite mercy, will cheerfully forgive an offending brother. The spirit of the Gospel is love. Happy is the man, whose soul is cast into this heavenly mould, and receives the image of Him, who is


The faithful minister of the Gospel is often called to spend his strength among a people, who, so far from valuing his exertions for their spiritual good, oppose him in every possible way. Yet, he goes on labouring with unwearied patience in the midst of every discouragement. His motives being misjudged, and his character maligned, still, in the strength of that Saviour who sees the sincerity of his heart, he perseveres in his work of mercy. Knowing the value of souls, and the grace of Jesus, he is determined to endure every trial, though the more abundantly he loves, the less he be loved.

This holy perseverance does not, in general,

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