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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, painful as are the sacrifices which they are required to make, and formidable as are the difficulties which they must encounter, they can scarcely be compared, except in a few rare instances, with those of the great apostle. One of the most striking of these exceptions is, perhaps, the illustrious Livingstone, who in his large-heartedness, seems to approach nearest to the high standard of Paul. Among his last words, as recorded in his journal, is this memorable utterance : “The spirit of missions is the spirit of our Masterthe very genius of His religion. A diffusive philanthropy is Christianity itself. It requires perpetual propagation to attest its genuineness.” And how impressive and touching are the words, which he wrote, in reference to slavery, a year before his death, and which are now inscribed on the tablet erected to his memory beside his grave : “All I can add in my loneliness is, may Heaven's rich blessing come down on every one, American, English, or Turk, who will help to heal the open sore of the world.” This was genuine largeness of heart, and it well deserves our highest admiration. But, excepting cases like these, the average missionary in modern times, when he goes forth among the heathen, leaves behind him many Christian friends who are deeply interested in his progress and success, who sustain him with their counsel and prayers, and who will gladly welcome him on his return. Such encouragements, however, were in a great measure denied to Paul; and he was often left alone in his arduous struggles. When a prisoner at Rome, “Demas," he said, "hath forsaken me, having loved this present world.” And when he was brought before the emperor, to be tried for his life, he had reason to say, “At my first answer, no man stood with me; but all men forsook me." Even his own countrymen were his greatest enemies; and he found them, in every city he visited, to be the ringleaders in almost every persecution which he endured. There was no earthly protector to whom he could look, and the Saviour, whom he preached, was “a stumblingblock to the Jews," and "foolishness to the Greeks." The obstacles which he had to contend with, in the jealousy of despotic rulers, in the pride of self-sufficient philosophers, in the bigotry of interested priests, and in the ignorance and superstition of a licentious and bloodthirsty populace, were such as would have made an ordinary man's courage quail, and caused the most hopeful to renounce his calling in despair. What elevation of soul, then, must he have possessed, to enable him to bear up, and persevere, amid such overwhelming difficulties. As has been truly said by the preacher just referred to, “it required a soul raised to a high pitch, not by sudden impressions and the force of a heated imagination, but by enlightened and steady principles; a soul wound up in all its faculties, intellectual and moral; regulated, balanced,
sustained, and furnished with a spring which could bear the severest pressure, which would not wear itself away by its own motion, nor suffer derangement from the changes of external circumstances; a soul exalted above the world, and all those worldly motives by which men are ordinarily actuated, attracted, or impelled; and disengaged from all selfishness, effeminacy, envy, illiberality, and those narrow prejudices which are founded on the distinction of nations, classes, and conditions in life; a soul filled with supreme love to God, and ardent love to man, fired with heavenly ambition to advance the Divine glory in the highest, and promote the eternal welfare of mankind; and which, in pursuing this noble object, was prepared to make all sacrifices, sustain all fatigues, run all hazards, endure all sufferings. And such was the soul of Paul. At the call of God, he went forth into the world, bearing (it was all his armour) the name of the Lord Jesus, not knowing whither he went, but prepared to go wherever Providence pointed the way, to the north, the south, the east, or the west ; and not knowing what would befall him, nor moved by the warnings which he received, in every city, that bonds and imprisonments awaited him. His heart was enlarged to all the world, and he trusted to his Master to open before him the door of faith, and to preserve him as long as He had services for him to perform." What a noble model is this for our young men! teaching them