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trasted with those which he has still to make, just as the hillocks, which looked large when we stood beside them on the plain, seem very small when viewed from the mountain's summit.

Here then is a model for the imitation of young men; and the closer they approach it, the nearer will they come to perfection, the more stable will their character be, the greater their personal influence, and the more extensive their usefulness. If even Paul was humble, much more ought they to be. The remembrance of what they were by nature, and the consciousness of their remaining imperfections, should abase that spirit of pride and self-confidence which is so natural to us all, and should clothe them with that

ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which in the sight of God is of great price."

Still, however, the consciousness of our deficiencies should not produce either a sluggish feeling of listless indolence, or a morbid feeling of despair. Instead of paralysing the energies of the great apostle, it roused and stimulated him to greater activity, in prosecuting his labours, and in “pressing toward the mark for the prize of his high calling." He did not make his felt imperfections an excuse for resting satisfied with low attainments in Christian excellence; but he rightly judged that, in proportion to the extent of these imperfections, ought to be the measure of his diligence in “reaching forth unto those things which were before.” And so must we aim at a high standard of excellence, and aspire after perfect holiness in heart and life. We cannot stand still in the journey to heaven, but we must either advance or recede; and if we are not making progress, we must be losing ground. We are like a man who is rowing a boat against the strong current of a rapid river. If he lie upon his oars, instead of plying them vigorously, then he can make no upward progress, but will be swept helplessly down the stream. All our natural tendencies are downward, and we must resist them, and strive against them, otherwise they will drive us down to the chambers of death.

II. MORAL DIGNITY. It is not often that humility and dignity are combined, in an equal degree, in the same character. When the former predominates, the character is apt to be soft, timid, and yielding; and when the latter predominates, it is apt to be stern, imperious, and overbearing. But when these two qualities are combined in equal strength, they form a character which is both attractive and venerable, and which awakens both ardent love and profound esteem.

Such, in no ordinary degree, was the character of the apostle Paul, as his whole history shows. While his deep humility led him to regard himself as “less than the least of all saints ;" yet that humility was combined with a high sense of the dignity of his office and work, as an ambassador of heaven who was appointed to “preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ." But though he regarded himself as a humble “servant of Christ,” and “ the servant of his people for Jesus' sake," yet he would never stoop to be “the servant of men,” by humouring their prejudices, or flattering their passions, or employing unworthy means to gain their favour or applause. When assailed by his enemies, he displayed a dignity of bearing, a calmness of spirit, and a resolute assertion of his rights, which showed that he did not fear the face of man, and that he would not submit to be trampled upon, or treated with injustice. Thus, for instance, at Philippi, after he had been cruelly beaten and thrust into the prison, and when the magistrates found out next morning that they had committed a great wrong, and sent to tell him that he might depart, Paul stood firmly upon his rights as a Roman citizen, and said, “ They have beaten us openly uncondemned, being Romans; and now do they thrust us out privily? nay verily; but let them come themselves and fetch us out.” Again, when he was put upon his trial before Festus at Cæsarea, and when the governor, instead of declaring him innocent of the charge, as he believed him to be, urged him to undergo a new trial before his enemies at Jerusalem, the apostle replied, with calm dignity, “I stand at Cæsar's judgment-seat, where I ought to be judged : to the Jews have I done no wrong, as thou very well knowest. For if I be an offender, or have committed anything worthy of death, I refuse not to die : but if there be none of these things whereof these accuse me, no man may deliver me unto them. I appeal unto Cæsar." Nor can we forget his dignified bearing in the presence of Felix, when the apostle “reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come,” with such thrilling eloquence and power, that the judge “trembled” before his prisoner. Such calm self-possession and bold independence indicated not only conscious innocence, but also the highest moral dignity.

Then, also, this high elevation of character appears in his utter indifference to human applause. Though he sought to commend himself, or rather his message, to every man's conscience in the sight of God, and to please every man for his good to edification and though he was not insensible to the favourable opinion of the wise and good-yet he was entirely free from that thirst for notoriety and that love of applause, which are characteristic of small and vulgar minds. He never shunned to declare the whole counsel of God, from the fear of giving offence to gainsayers. Nor did he spare even his best friends, when their conduct was worthy of blame, but he rebuked them sharply. A remarkable instance of this occurred at Antioch, where he withstood even the apostle Peter to the face, because he had “not walked uprightly, according to the truth of the Gospel,” by giving countenance to those who attached undue importance to ceremonial observances. And when the Galatians took offence, because he had reproved them for their ritualism, he refused to made any concession or apology; and he repeated his rebuke in the strongest terms, saying, “ Am I, therefore, become your enemy, because I tell you the truth? Similar to this was that noble and touching appeal which he made to the Thessalonians, and which reveals so clearly the high motives which uniformly influenced his whole conduct : “As we were allowed to be put in trust with the Gospel, so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, who trieth our hearts. For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloak of covetousness; God is witness ! nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others.” As an eloquent writer has said, "He must be fond of applause indeed, who sighs for that which has been lavishly sprinkled on the most worthless, who is willing to be made a king to-day at the expense of being stoned tomorrow, who glories in being now saluted as a god, at the risk of being anon devoured by the worms that worship him.” From such weakness and meanness Paul's noble and independent spirit was entirely free. He would not stoop to curry favour with any; and he regarded with utter

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