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lose its reward.
The Lord blesses such a patient exercise of faith and hope, both to the shepherd and his flock.
Many opposers of the Truth are led, through the Spirit, to submit their wills to Jesus, and to love the man, through whose persevering meekness and unwearied forbearance, they have been brought into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
May each Christian reader, while holding before himself the mirror of Divine Truth, be enabled to discover his own character.
Hast thou, like the disinterested Paul, this holy love to the Gospel of Christ? Canst thou labour for the salvation of sinners, though thy labours be requited with ingratitude and contempt ? Dost thou esteem all things which nature admires, as loss for Christ? Is thy heart powerfully drawn toward the people of God, and dost thou love them, because they are the members of Christ, and the temples of the Holy Ghost? What are thy views of sin? Is it beheld as rebellion against God, as the crucifier of Christ? Is it hated, opposed, and more and more destroyed within thee? Is holiness the sacred atmosphere in which thou delightest to live? Canst thou say with the heavenly-minded Apostle, I have a desire to depart, and to be with Christ? Dost thou esteem it thy heaven, to be with Christ, to be made like him, and for ever to behold his glory?
If, with the deep feeling of humility and selfabasement before God, thy heart can assent to these
important questions, then rejoice, yea again and again rejoice, for He, who hath begun this good work in thee, will carry it on, and perfect it to his own everlasting praise.
True faith, from its very nature, must influence the heart, and cause the fruits of holiness to spring up and abound. When genuine, it works by love, and is never satisfied with any present measure, but is always panting after an increase; since He, who imparts it, is infinite and inexhaustible, and hath declared: "Whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and he shall have more abundance."
PARENTAL SOLICITUDE was an interesting trait in the character of the Apostle. Fearing lest his humiliating sufferings, which he so feelingly described to the Corinthian Christians, should make them ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, he says in his Epistle to that church: "I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you; for though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the Gospel. Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me. For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways, which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every Church."
Where is the zealous minister of Christ, who does not meet with trials, among the very
people, for whose welfare he is expending all his strength?
This holy man had innumerable trials, and those arising from false brethren were not among the least.
Pursuing his former appeal to their hearts, he adds: "now some are puffed up, as though I would not come to you. But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord will, and will know, not the speech of them that are puffed up, but the power. For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power. What will ye? Shall I come unto you with a rod, or in love, and in the spirit of meekness ?"
His parental fears were greatly excited for the Corinthian converts. He saw among them much to commend and much to blame.
With what faithfulness does he set before them his holy apprehensions: "I am jealous over you with godly jealousy; for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”
Though at a distance from Colosse, he was equally alive to the dangers which surrounded the Christians in that city, from the storms of per
He therefore writes: "I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; that their hearts might be com
forted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgment of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ, in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."
With the same fatherly spirit, he exhorted the Hebrew Christians: "Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called To-day, lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end."
It is truly beautiful to behold this combination of tenderness, with that honest plain dealing which will not suffer sin to remain unreproved upon a Christian brother.
The divinely-taught Apostle was well acquainted with the deceitfulness of the heart and the devices of Satan. He knew the dangers which accompany both the smiles and the frowns of the world, having himself experienced both. His anxieties were, therefore, never dormant, respecting those young believers in Jesus, whose faith might be shaken through the afflictions attendant upon a zealous profession of the Gospel.
Another striking instance of his solicitude is afforded us in his Epistle to the Thessalonians :"When we could no longer forbear, we thought it good to be left at Athens alone, and sent Timotheus, our brother and minister of God, and our fellow-labourer in the Gospel of Christ, to
stablish you, and to comfort you concerning your faith; that no man should be moved by these afflictions; for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto: When I could no longer forbear, I sent to know your faith, lest by any means the tempter have tempted you, and our labour be in vain : but when Timotheus came from you unto us, and brought us good tidings of your faith and charity, and that ye have good remembrance of us always, desiring greatly to see us, as we also to see you, therefore, brethren, we were comforted over you in all our affliction and distress by your faith for now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord."
Then, with expanded heart, he breaks forth into the most joyous thanksgivings to God: "What thanks can we render to God again for you, for all the joy wherewith we joy for your sakes before our God night and day, praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith. Now God himself, and our Father direct our way unto you."
Like the gardener, he was most solicitous about his tender plants; and laboured to screen them from the nipping blast.
By faith and prayer, he daily committed them to Him, who died to redeem them by his blood; and felt assured, that He, who had called them by his grace, would preserve them unto his kingdom and glory.
No one had a clearer perception than St. Paul of the sovereignty of Divine Grace, and the stability of the Divine Promises; yet this did not