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him with high capacities, inspired him with noble aims, and fired him with a generous ambition to devote his energies, not only to the salvation of his own countrymen, but to the evangelisation of the world. “I am a debtor," he said, “both to the Greeks and to the Barbarians, both to the wise and the unwise." Truly, his “heart was enlarged."
But to come more to particulars, his large-heartedness appears :
1. In forming the noblest aims and purposes.—His enlarged heart panted for the salvation of every human being, and embraced all the world in the wide circle of its generous sympathy. No distinction of sect or party, of class or colour, checked the outflow of his gushing benevolence, or chilled the fervour of his glowing zeal. He rose superior to the narrow prejudices of the Jew, and to the intense bigotry of the Pharisee. His fellow-countrymen, with scarcely an exception, vainly imagined that they were the exclusive favourites of Heaven; and they could not endure that their peculiar privileges, as the chosen people, should be shared or enjoyed by the other nations of the world. Misunderstanding the numerous predictions of their own prophets, in which the conversion of the Gentile nations is so clearly foretold, they accounted the Gentiles as hopeless outcasts from the favour of God, and considered them to be as unworthy of the children's bread as the dogs under the master's table. Now, in these narrow and deeprooted prejudices, Paul himself had been educated at the feet of Gamaliel, as well as under the roof of his parents; and of this, if he could ever forget it, he could not fail to be forcibly reminded on one special and trying occasion, in Jerusalem itself. When he stood on the stairs of the fortress of Antonia, and made his defence before the Jewish people, who had driven him out of the temple, and would have put him to death, unless the Roman officer had rescued him, they listened patiently to his touching appeal, until he spoke of his mission to the Gentiles. Then, however, their pent-up wrath burst forth in a torrent of violence and abuse; and “they cried out, and cast off their clothes, and threw dust into the air,” shouting, “Away with such a fellow from the earth; for it is not fit that he should live." Such, in the days of his own ignorance and unbelief, had been his own feeling, when he reckoned the admission of an uncircumcised Gentile as a foul profanation of the Church of God.
How great then in this respect was the change which had been wrought upon him by Divine grace. Now he gloried in being the "Apostle of the Gentiles;" and his whole soul was devoted to their salvation. “ Unto me,” he said, “who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ," Never did the love of fame impel the statesman more powerfully to self-sacrificing toil, nor the love of country impel the patriot to deeds of heroism, nor the love of glory impel the soldier to fight on the battle-field, nor the love of science impel the student to spend laborious days and sleepless nights in quest of some new discovery, than the love of souls impelled the apostle to turn them from darkness to light, and to win them to Christ. We justly admire the old patriots and heroes of Greece and Rome, although with their love of country there was mingled, in no small degree, the love of distinction and the thirst for earthly glory and human applause. But the “ Apostle of the Gentiles” was fired with a far nobler and purer ambitionthe ambition of turning many to righteousness, and making them jewels in the Redeemer's crown; and of him it might truly be said, that he was “above ambition great." His greatness consisted, not in desiring to be thought great, but in his intense love of that which is truly great and essentially noble and excellent. He was free from all selfish aims; and what he chiefly sought was, not his own things, but the things of others, and especially " the things which are Jesus Christ's," and the advancement of His glory in the salvation of men. Truly his “ heart was enlarged” to all the world : and rapid as his movements were from place to place, yet they were far “outrun by the celerity of his desires." The key to
this part of his character is thus furnished by himself: “ Though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews. To them that are without law, as without law, that I might gain them that are without law. To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. And this I do for the Gospel's sake.” Here then is a model for young men, which they would do well to copy closely, by cherishing lofty aims and purposes, by honouring all men, and doing good to all as they have opportunity. In thus feeling and acting, in rising above self and sense and time, and in devoting their energies to the welfare of souls, they will know by experience the truth of those words of the Lord Jesus -“It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
2. In prosecuting his labours for more than thirty years amid formidable difficulties and dangers.--Many begin to run well who never reach the mark or win the prize; or to use a homely expression, "Many put on their spurs who never ride." Many have commenced a good work or a noble enterprise with sanguine hope, and even with high enthusiasm ; but when difficulties met them in the way, when strenuous opposition was to be encountered, and painful sacrifices were to be endured, they soon lost heart, and fled from the post of duty in despair. How often, alas ! have the promising blossoms of early piety been withered into dust, by worldly companionship, and the bitter blasts of temptation, How often have promising young men been tossed about by every wind of doctrine, and every wave of passion, instead of standing “faithful among the faithless," like a rock that resists the fury of the storm. Many have begun to build, but not counting the cost, were not able to finish. Many have put on, or seemed to put on, the Christian armour, who have suffered an inglorious defeat in the battle with sin. And to such the caution of the King of Israel is most appropriate, “ Let not him that girdeth on his harness boast himself, as he that putteth it off.” To persevere in the path of duty, and in the walk of Christian benevolence amid opposition and obloquy, amid hardship and sacrifice, amid danger and death—this requires no ordinary strength of principle, and no small measure of enlargement and devotion of soul.
A very striking parallel has been drawn, by one of our greatest preachers, between the position of a modern missionary, and the position of the apostle Paul, in going forth to convert the nations. We cannot but admire the large-heartedness of those, in modern times, who leave their home and their friends to dwell among savages, and who take, as it were, their lives in their hand to extend the peaceful triumphs of the Cross, in the dark places of the earth. And yet,