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to justify what is wrong, even in the holiest of men, yet, it is evident, that nothing guided the Apostle, but that uprightness of principle and that devotedness of heart to Christ, which rendered him so abundantly useful to the souls of men.

Painful as was the circumstance, it forms another development of St. Paul's character; while, through the over-ruling power of God, it was made conducive to a more enlarged diffusion of the Gospel of peace.

In his last Epistle to Timothy he leaves this satisfactory record: "Take Mark and bring him with thee; for he is profitable to me for the ministry."

Thus he proved himself to be a true believer, by his growth in grace, and his continuance in well-doing. How apposite is the admonition of the Apostle, to all who feel inclined to expose, rather than to correct, the failings of a Christian brother: "If a man be overtaken in a fault, which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ for, if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself."



Thus beautifully were the graces of the Spirit blended in the character of this servant of the Redeemer. He drank into the Spirit of Christ, and trod in his steps. May we go and do likewise.

Another striking instance of his faithfulness in reproving, is related by himself to the Galatians.— "When Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.

For, before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles, but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him, insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation. But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the Gospel, I said unto Peter before them all: If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of the Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?"

What could exceed the honesty of reproof here exhibited to our view? Did the Apostle speak evil of Peter behind his back? No-he withstood him to his face. Did he shrink from a public, though painful, reprehension of Peter's conduct on this occasion? No-he rebuked him openly, before them all. Did his reverence for Peter's age and character, cause him to palliate or connive at what he conceived to be injurious to the cause of Truth? No-he boldly reproved him, when he saw that he walked not uprightly, according to the truth of the Gospel.

This was faithfulness indeed; and no doubt St. Peter well knew how to value it, and to love his brother Apostle for it; for "the ear that heareth the reproof of life, abideth among the wise."

Consistency of conduct is, at all times, most important, both in ministers and people. On this occasion, there was a want of consistency in Peter's conduct, which Paul condemned.

If he thought it right to eat with the Gentile


converts, he ought not to have separated himself from them, when certain Jews came from James. By this act, he either tacitly acknowledged, that he had done wrong, or he was influenced by an undue fear of man. But another and yet more pernicious effect resulted from this inconsistency of Peter's. In this act, he frustrated the glorious design of the Gospel, which was to break down the middle wall of partition, and to unite both Jews and Gentiles in one body in Christ; for the kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. Peter was the more inexcusable, as the vision with which he had been favoured to prepare his mind to visit Cornelius, and the blessed fruits of that visit, must have removed his Jewish prejudices, and led him to see, that unto the Gentiles also, God would grant repentance unto life.

St. Paul therefore, perceiving the evil which would arise to the Gentile churches from this conduct of his beloved fellow-labourer, boldly maintained the liberty of the Gospel; which, while it freed the Jewish Christians from the ceremonials of the Law, brought the Gentile converts into all the privileges of the children of God. Hence, he gloried in this blessed truth-"ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus-There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus."

In no stage of our Christian course are we removed out of the reach of temptation, or from the hidden evils of our fallen nature. "By faith

we stand." Nothing but Almighty power can keep us from falling, and enable us, under all circumstances to walk uprightly according to the truth of the Gospel.

How faithfully did the zealous Apostle also reprove the church of Galatia on account of their being drawn away by Judaizing teachers, from the simplicity of the Gospel. "I marvel, said he, that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another Gospel, which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the Gospel of Christ." And then, with apostolic authority he declares: "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other Gospel unto you, than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again: if any man preach another Gospel unto you, than that ye have received, let him be accursed."


Errors in doctrine, are seldom unattended by defects in practice. If we depart from the purity of the Truth, we shall suffer loss, both in holiness and comfort. This St. Paul knew, and deplored. "O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the Truth? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain. After ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain."

Few things are more painful, than that which is experienced by the minister of Christ, when he beholds his flock carried away by dangerous errors, and losing their affection for him, through the insinuations and flatteries of false teachers.

No one, not so circumstanced, can fully enter into the heart-felt grief of such a pastor.

With great tenderness of spirit St. Paul then appeals to their former affection for him."Ye know, how through infirmity of the flesh, I preached the Gospel unto you at first; and my temptation which was in my flesh, ye despised not, nor rejected, but received me as an angel of God, even as Jesus Christ. Where then is the blessedness ye spake of? For I bear you record, that if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me. Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth? Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. Ye did run well, who did hinder you, that ye should not obey the Truth? This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you. I would they were even cut off which trouble you."

With such earnestness did their spiritual father long for their restoration, that he used the strongest metaphor to express his feelings: "My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you, I desire to be present with you, and to change my voice, for I stand in doubt of you." Who can question the sincerity of a heart which could make such affectionate appeals, and administer such faithful reproof. His

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