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the performance of this duty, nor cause him to desert his beloved converts in the hour of dan
ger. When he could not see them, through providential hindrances, he wrote invaluable Epistles to confirm and strengthen them; and when enabled to travel, we find how fearlessly he revisited those places which were noted by his trials; being willing rather to risk the loss of life, than that one soul should perish through his neglect or from fear of suffering.
In all this, the Apostle sought not his own glory, but the glory of God; not his own interest, but the interest of perishing sinners. Hence he could say: "We preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord." With the angels of God, he could rejoice over one sinner that repenteth; and praise the Lord, for every brand which was plucked out of the fire. Having been caught up into paradise, his soul was full of heavenly love, and all his prayer, and desire, and labour was, that heaven might be let down into the hearts of men, through a believing reception of Jesus Christ.
What a model is here presented to Christian teachers in every age. There was nothing lukewarm, nothing timid, nothing selfish, in the character of this preacher of righteousness.- The love of Christ was the governing principle of his actions; to promote the glory of Christ was the constant desire of his heart. He could truly say: "To me to live is Christ."-A heavenly light irradiated his mind. He saw, by faith, the realities of eternity, and his bowels yearned over dying sinners. Beholding them suspended by the thread
of life over the gulph of hell, in danger every moment of dropping into its everlasting fire, he laboured to rescue them from ruin. With un
wearied solicitude, he directed them to Jesus, the only Saviour and Friend of sinners, whose blood cleanseth from all sin, and who can and will save to the uttermost, all that came unto God by
Thus he felt for the unconverted Jews when writing to the Church at Rome: "I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, that I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart, for I could wish myself accursed from Christ, for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh.
He also expressed his great solicitude for their salvation: "Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they may be saved: for I bear them record, that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge, for they, being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God." In them, he saw the image of his former self. He could therefore pity them, and pray for them, and labour to do them good. But he trembled for their state of unbelief. With a prophetic eye, he foresaw the miseries which were coming upon them as a people, who, to use his own words, "both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men, forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles, that they might be saved, to fill
up their sins alway; for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost."
The present degraded state of the Jews is an awful comment upon these words; while their existence as a people, affords an undeniable and perpetual evidence to the divine inspiration of the Holy Scriptures. "My God will cast them away, because they did not hearken unto him; and they shall be wanderers among the nations." "Fear thou not, O Jacob my servant, saith the Lord; for I am with thee: for I will make a 'full end of all nations whither I have driven thee: but I will not make a full end of thee." "Thou shalt become an astonishment, a proverb, and a by-word among all nations whither the Lord shall lead thee." "And it shall come to pass, that as ye were a curse among the heathen, O House of Judah and House of Israel, so will I save you, and ye shall be a blessing."
What uninspired men could have uttered these words with the certainty of their fulfilment? It is most evident, therefore, that the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man; but holy men of God spake, as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
The Jews have been scattered and peeled; they are to this day, wanderers, and a by-word among the nations. Those kingdoms which once oppressed them are now no more; while they still preserve their national character, customs, and religion, though dispersed throughout the earth, without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice. What but Almighty Power could have
effected, and what but Infinite Omniscience could have foreseen, EVENTS, which ought to shame the infidel out of his unbelief.
The Apostle, who foretold their miseries, has also, in his Epistle to the Romans, foretold their restoration, and conversion to the faith of Christ. This glorious event will be to the world, as life from the dead, when "Israel shall return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king; and when they shall fear the Lord and his goodness in the latter days."
In the same compassionate spirit, Paul grieved over the benighted heathen, who, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world, walked in the vanity of their mind, having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, through the ignorance that was in them, because of the blindness of their heart.
With these bowels of compassion and earnest longings for the salvation of sinners, he told the Romans, that, "from Jerusalem and round about unto Illyricum, he had fully preached the Gospel of Christ."
The Lord, whom he so faithfully served in the Gospel of his Son, sustained him amidst all his labours, so that he could say: "I am filled with comfort; I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation." This experience of his Saviour's loving-kindness, made him even glory in tribulation also; knowing that tribulation worketh patience, and patience experience, and experience
hope; and that hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
Thus he was strengthened to glorify God in the fires; and to spread abroad the savour of his
With the love of God, is inseparably connected the love of our neighbour; for: "If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar; for he that loveth not his brother, whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, that he who loveth God, love his brother also."
Under the influence of this Christian love, the Apostle cheerfully expended his strength, in promoting the temporal, as well as the spiritual welfare of his brethren of mankind.
His religion was of a practical nature; it did not consist in high professions and swelling words; in many promises, and few performances; but in self-denying labours.
When writing to Timothy, he gave him this command: "Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy. That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate, laying up in store for themselves, a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life."
To the exercise of the same practical piety, he exhorted the Galatian converts: "Let us not